Weird Weather, Senior Profile, Von Trapp Cross-Country Innovator, Getting Ready.

October 2017 blizzard in Rocky Boy, MT, left 30 inches behind, breaking a monthly record for the state.
Credit: Shawn/Steph White

We can’t stop thinking about the major weather events that have descended across the globe this year. Hurricanes with epic levels of destruction, surprisingly early and deep snows in the Rockies, (and from what we hear, prodigious snowfalls in parts of Australia), wild fires creating horrendous destruction and loss of life in California and Montana, heat waves in Europe all point to the fact that something is going on in the atmosphere. Basically, it is warming up, as predicted by scientists across the world, and we are starting to see the consequences.

What this means for winter sports remains to be seen, but the direction of global temperatures is not positive. One group that has taken the future of global warming and winter quite seriously is Protect Our Winters, an advocacy non-profit whose objective is to create awareness of the connection between the two and to provide opportunities for businesses, individuals and others to influence policy.  If you’re interested in taking some action, check out POW and let us know what you think.

Meanwhile, here’s the latest three-month forecast from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center for November-December-January.

Temperature Predictions Nov-Jan
Precipitation Predictions Nov-Jan










What you will notice at a glance is that the temperature predictions across most of the US (left) are above average with a probability of from 33-to-50 percent of actually happening. Above average precipitation (right) is focused in the Rockies while the Southeast looks like below average precip. Everyplace else is a toss-up; equal chance means there could be more, less, or the same as “normal”.  Of course, a prediction is not something to take to the bank.  But since the National Hurricane Center’s forecast for the number and severity of hurricane activities was spot-on for this year’s season which is closing down soon, perhaps the odds of being right about the predictions are changing as climate changes become more extreme.

This week, we revisit the Trapp Family Lodge and a scion of Sound of Music fame, Johannes Von Trapp. In this article from publisher Roger Lohr, our colleague at, we learn that Johannes was the first one in the US to have the idea that cross-country ski resorts could be a real thing.  In inventing a new winter vacation destination, Johannes changed how people enjoy cross-country beyond local golf courses, parks and back yards.

Don Burch shows us how to get ready for the season with some tongue-in-cheek advice for locating and dusting off your long lost gear.  Harriet Wallis profiles Ruth DeSouza, a senior skier who learned about stick-to-it-iveness from her experience in World War II.  By the way, we intend to profile more senior snow sports enthusiasts in the coming months.  If you know anyone who has a long history in snow sports and who has an interesting story to tell, please let us know.

Thanks, Ben, you’re our kind of guy.

Speaking of senior skiers, we received the following note from Ben Prupis, a 91-year-old reader from Westlake Village, CA. He included it in his request for free stickers.  We sent him a bunch and our thanks very much for reading our online magazine and for skiing 50 days a year. Totally awesome. We salute you, Ben.

If you want a free sticker, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to, Box 416, Hamilton, MA 01936.

And, tell your friends about Remember that there are more of us every day and we are not going away.


  1. Tom Kazikiewicz says:

    Hi I was wondering if you have a list of ski areas that offer free skiing for seniors.I’ve come across 3 this summer. Ben Lonand Ski area Tasmania,Aust; Mt Hodham Victoria,Aust(also free equipment here) and Mt Ruapehu ,North Island,New Zealand. free skiing for over 70 y/o Thanks

    • Michael Maginn says:

      Hi Tom: We do indeed have a listing of ski areas that offer free skiing for seniors. Under the COMMUNITY MENU at the top of the page look for SUBSCRIBER ONLY CONTENT. If you are a subscriber (it’s free just enter your name and email), you can have access to our listing of free ski areas that you can find under SUBSCRIBER ONLY CONTENT. If you’re not a subscriber, just sign up. Again free. We are in the midst of updating this list as we speak, so come back for an updated version. We don’t however cover ski areas in NZ, Australia, Europe or Asia. Just North American, at least for the time being.

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