U.S. Ski Areas Report Record Visitation. U.S. ski areas saw a record 61 million skier visits for the 2021-22 season, an increase of 3.5 percent year over year, according to data from the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). More. SAM
Quebec Skier Visits Up 3 Percent for Second Busiest Season of Last 10 Years. The preliminary results of the 34th Economic and Financial Study of Ski Areas show 6.3 million visits were recorded at Quebec ski areas during the 2021-22 winter season, an increase of 3 percent compared to 2020-21. More. SAM
SKI Reduced to One Print Issue a Year. Outside Inc., owner of several active outdoor media brands and related publications, including SKI magazine, will reduce print production by 80 percent across the company, according to internal communications from company leadership. This includes reducing SKI to one print issue a year, plus the annual “Winter Gear Guide.” More. SAM
New Snowbird Tram Cabin Damaged During Installation. One of the two new tram cabins being installed at Snowbird, Utah, fell to ground on Saturday, May 29, leaving it damaged beyond repair. The cabin was being lifted by a crane onto the hanger when it fell, according to Snowbird general manager Dave Fields, who said he is grateful no one was injured. The state-of-the-art cabins will be the first in the United States to have open air rooftop balconies. More. SAM
Parts of Utah’s Newest Ski Resort Could Open This Summer. One of the most fascinating storylines in the ski industry right now is the construction of Mayflower Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah. KPCW reports that Extell Utah, the developer of the site, gave an update and new renderings for the anticipated project. More. Unofficial Networks via NSCF RSS Updates
Owner of Lutsen Mountains and Granite Peak to Purchase Michigan’s Big Snow Resort. Charles Skinner, the owner of Minnesota’s Lutsen Mountains Ski Area and Wisconsin’s Granite Peak Ski Area, has entered a definitive purchase agreement to acquire all of the assets of Big Snow Resort, including more than 1,000 acres of private land, from owner Art Dumke. Big Snow Resort consists of Indianhead and Blackjack ski areas on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. More.
America’s Hidden Mega Ski Pass: 3 Days Each at 48 Mountains, Plus a Season Pass, for $299. Ski Cooper (CO) assembles the strongest coast-to-coast reciprocal lift ticket plan in U.S. skiing. More. The Storm Skiing Journal
Smugglers’ Notch Resort to Offer Employees Free Childcare. Smugglers’ Notch, Vt. will offer free, full-time childcare for all employees. The benefit will be rolled out in phases beginning this month, and it applies to full-day care for children ages 6 weeks to 3 years old as well as some offerings for older children on days when an employee is working. More. SAM
US ski team ends 33-year partnership with Spyder, makes clothing deal with Kappa. The U.S. ski team and Spyder outerwear have ended a 33-year partnership, the team announced on Tuesday. U.S. Ski and Snowboard will now use Italian sportswear company Kappa to outfit its teams, a deal which will run through the 2030 season, the team said. More. Aspen Times via Google Alerts
Amazon Delivers Over Austrian Snow. The newly released video in the company’s Deliveries Around the World series takes viewers to Tauplitz Mountain Village on Central Europe’s largest lake plateau, located at 1,600 meters above sea level in the Austrian Alps. More. InTheSnow.com
NSAA award winners honored at National Convention. The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) named the winners of its annual awards in conversion (growth), sustainability, marketing and safety. The awards were presented to ski area members with the most innovative and successful programs in each category at the association’s National Convention and Tradeshow in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, May 14. More. NSAA
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The United States sees an impressive 75 million skier days a year, with the term ‘skier days’ referring to a full day of downhill skiing by an individual skier. However, for those who want to take their love of the sport into their everyday career — rather than visiting the slopes during the season — there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you prefer to hit the slopes full time, capture the sport from behind a camera, or spend your days teaching others, here are just three fulfilling options worth considering.
Becoming an instructor
For those who find teaching to be a rewarding experience and who have extensive knowledge of skiing, becoming a ski instructor is a great career path worth considering. With the goal of working with beginners to more advanced skiers and helping them to learn to ski (as well as improve their skills on the slopes), those who wish to become an instructor will need at least a high school diploma in addition to skiing and educational experience. In addition to being skilled on the slopes, other important skills needed to be a successful ski instructor include good communication skills, and the ability to physically work in winter weather conditions. According to Best Accredited Colleges, voluntary certification is available through the Professional Ski Instructors of America — American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA—AASI), though there’s no question that those who are comfortable on the mountain and find joy in helping others learn are best suited for this career.
The considerations of going pro
Becoming a professional skier can be a dream come true for many, though it’s important to take into account that reaching such a goal isn’t without a fair share of hard work, natural talent, ambition, and determination. While there aren’t any academic requirements needed to become a professional skier, many who are pros in the field often make their money via endorsements/ sponsorships, and prize money from competing. In fact, skier Lindsey Vonn, who has won multiple Olympic medals, notes that the best skiers make around $30,000 from winning competitions.
While many who pursue a career as a professional skier will seek out part time work at a ski resort or as an instructor to supplement their income, working in the film industry is another way that professional skiers can garner extra income in the field as well. Whether it’s shooting for a movie, commercial, or other advertisement, it’s important to realize that filming itself and its success often depends on a variety of factors, leaving teamwork to play a valuable role in such a job. Logistics experts, such as production managers and logistics coordinators are largely responsible in ensuring everything runs smoothly, though other factors are also at play — like finding the right set in addition to working through hard times (aka low demand for filming due to the coronavirus pandemic). While these are just a few aspects of what you may encounter at work, ensuring you’re in practice and capable of performing on the slopes will ensure you’re doing your part.
Getting behind the camera
For those who love skiing as a hobby but who don’t want to pursue a professional career in skiing, capturing the sport in action can be equally fulfilling — especially for those who may already have a background or interest in cinematography or photography. Professionally known as a sports camera operator, those who choose this path will primarily control cameras and related film equipment at sporting events for TV networks and sports teams. Other duties may involve operating drones, setting up equipment, and choosing optimal equipment and angles. With a national average salary of $32,327 per year, those who choose this career path will enjoy a fast paced work environment and potential travel opportunities.
For those who wish to pursue a career that revolves around the skiing industry, there are plenty to choose from. From options that involve getting behind the camera, finding joy in teaching others, or pursuing a professional skiing career that involves hitting the slopes full time, there are multiple engaging ways that one can immerse themselves in their love for the sport.
They’re red and white, plastic and edgeless, eight feet long and two inches wide with metal-clip bindings. My dad showed up with them some time in the mid-90s, a Mid-Michigan garage-sale score with “$2-” magic-markered across a strip of masking tape. Circa early-70s, with plastic-toed size 10.5 shoes clipped to the skis.
For years they sat. If I was skiing, I was going up on a chairlift and down securely bolted in. Somehow the skis made it to Manhattan, standing, for years, alongside my Rossignols in the corner of my small apartments.
Then. Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006: a nor-easter exploded out of the wilderness, clobbering the city with 26.9 inches of snow. A record. I had no car. No way out. And there, dusty and beckoning, those vintage Treks.
New York City mid-snowstorm is stalled, bewildered, joyous. There is simply no place to put that much snow. Outside amid fat flakes drifting like a Tahoe bomber I buckled in. Strode as I’d seen on Nordic Track commercials, extending plastic poles with six-inch baskets in an awkward shuffle, west toward Central Park.
Over sidewalks lumped and uneven, shoveled and boot-pocked, curb-cuts barricaded high by the plows, I somehow made it, turned north along the ring road. Shuffling, finding something resembling a stride, 6.1 miles. Normally dense with joggers, bicyclists, men on contraptions Seussian and alarming, the road felt secret, country-sealed and forgotten. The drama: cliffs jutting edgewise over the road, like Colorado gap jumps frozen on the cover of Powder magazine.
In the years that followed, I repeated that process a dozen or more times. Whenever eight inches or more dropped on Manhattan. Which wasn’t very often. Until last year, when the 50-year-old toe clip finally snapped in a Brooklyn park during a February dump. The city is the only place I’ve ever cross-country skied.
Indy goes country
But that could be about to change. Today, Indy Pass, the 82-resort downhill passport that I don’t leave home without in the winter months, added six additional cross-country ski resorts to its portfolio (Indy already included Sovereign Lake, British Columbia on the pass this season). It hopes to sign more than 30 total by the time the 2022-23 ski season starts. Downhill Indy Pass holders will get two days at each cross-country center for no additional cost, but a standalone cross-country version is available for $69 ($29 for kids).
I wasn’t really sure what to do with this information at first. I am aware that people cross-country ski, like I am aware that they snowmobile or play volleyball or fish. But I know nothing about these things, and I know nothing about cross-country skiing other than that it makes me sweat as though I’m sunbathing on the surface of Mercury. Of the culture or the norms or the scope and scale of the whole business, I’m ignorant. It turns out, however, the activity is quite popular.
“There are millions of cross-country skiers in North America and a large percentage of them also take part in alpine skiing,” said Indy Pass founder Doug Fish. “The Indy Pass is excited to welcome this passionate community of skiers and independent resorts to our coalition, and we are proud to help find common ground (snow-covered that is) for all those who love sliding on snow.”
Did you hear that, kids? Millions. There’s something here, a potential untapped, perhaps. To bring the whole thing together, Indy is partnering with the Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA) – see, it’s a thing – and will donate 10 percent of pass sales to the non-profit organization.
“The partnership with Indy Pass and Cross Country Ski Areas Association is an exciting and logical next step as we see explosive cross-country skiing growth,” said Reese Brown, executive director of the CCSAA. “As people begin to travel again and the number of alpine skiers visiting cross-country centers increases, the Indy XC Pass offers great value.”
And how about that? Explosive growth. OK, you have my attention. Maybe I will check out, let’s see here: Woodstock Nordic Center in Vermont, Maplelag in Minnesota, JacksonXC in New Hampshire, Waterville Valley – hey, I’ve heard of that! – in New Hampshire, White Grass – I’ve heard of that one too! – in West Virginia, and High Point Cross Country Ski Center in New Jersey. New Jersey? Cross country? This I’ve got to see.
I’ll check my tone here. I don’t know if Nordic Bro is the sort who threatens to whoop my ass for mis-identifying the model of his Subaru, or the type of dude who chuckles lightly as he waxes on the hopelessness of man and the tyranny of the industrial slaughterhouse as told through his book of poetry. Either way, I need to get on with this article before I hurt myself. Let’s take a look at what we’re getting ourselves into here, and what this could mean for the Indy Pass and skiing of all kinds:
Below the subscriber jump: a breakdown of each resort, plus a serious(-ish) take on Indy’s expansion into the cross-country realm.
Earlier in the pandemic, renewing passports was a near impossible task. Many convenient passport couriers—which help with express renewals—paused their services, and standard renewal by mail was taking as long as sixteen weeks.
Fortunately, processing times have shrunk back to pre-pandemic timelines (or close), and many passport renewal operations are up and running once again. Travelers can now get a passport renewed in as little as a week, although those express options come with hefty price tags. To be on the safe side, travelers should follow the State Department’s latest guidance and submit their passport for renewal at least four to six months before planned international travel.
If you’re attempting to renew by mail, be sure your passport meets the State Department’s requirements. Only passports that were issued in the last 15 years, when the traveler was age 16 or older, and are undamaged aside from wear-and-tear are eligible for mail renewal. The passport must also be in your possession to mail in along with your application and be issued in your current name (or you should be able to document any name change).
Booking a flight on a private jet has long been viewed as a swanky, sometimes out-of-reach indulgence. But if you think social distancing at 35,000 feet requires access to your own personal G5, think again: These days, there are dozens of options for travelers looking to take to the skies in relative seclusion, many of them with ticket prices that deliver less sticker shock than you might expect. And the fact that most services operate out of smaller airports and private terminals has meant significant upticks in demand amid the pandemic.
Air Charter Service, the world’s largest private aircraft broker, has seen its new clients increase 25 percent over the past year; many of them have made the leap to private because it offered a pathway to reunite with family, says Caitlin Uhlmann, CEO of the company’s Chicago office. “A lot of people haven’t been able to see their loved ones for over a year, and we’ve been able to get them there with minimal touch points and minimal contact,” she adds.
Maddie Winters, a travel agent and blogger, usually racks up around 75,000 to 100,000 frequent flier miles a year. With that much time spent in airports, she relies on her memberships in programs like TSA PreCheck and Clear to save time at the airport. “[Having those memberships] makes me think I can show up at the airport later since I avoid most lines at security,” says the New Jersey–based traveler. However, on a recent trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii, a line stretching the length of the terminal to check a bag nearly cost her an on-time departure.
That all-too-common scenario is one of the issues that airports, airlines, and government agencies are hoping to solve with a burgeoning amount of biometrics, the category of technology that includes fingerprint, retinal, and facial recognition scans and helps travelers skip over lines.
“Each of us is different physically in many different ways, from the spacing between our eyes, the sound of our voice to the patterns of our fingerprints,” explains Rob Mungovan, COO at Aware, a biometrics software company. “Biometrics measures these differences and records them. This comparison of physical characteristics can be a much more secure authentication method than those used in most contemporary solutions, such as passwords.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, biometrics have proliferated in hubs across the country as a faster—and touchless—option at each stage of the air travel journey. One particularly notable new initiative is a pilot program between Delta and TSA, with a new biometric-enabled bag-drop designed to provide a seamless, low-touch experience that should take less than 30 seconds.
According to Rossignol, more than 75% of the ski is 100% recyclable. So how do they do it? The ski is primarily constructed with aluminum, wood, and steel; 77% of the ski, to be exact. These materials allow Rossignol to balance downhill performance with sustainability. When compared to a conventional ski with a current average recyclability rate of 10%, Rossignol’s incredible recyclability achievement blows existing skis out of the water.
“Improving end-of-life management for a product means better design right from the start. This has inspired us to design a ski made from as few materials as possible, all of which can be recycled and reused… By 2028, our aim is to have one-third of our ski collection developed through this same approach and ethos.”
– David Bouvier, Rossignol Mountain Sports Equipment Senior Marketing Director
By prioritizing component recyclability, Rossignol is significantly reducing the carbon footprint of ski construction. In fact, by using 75% recyclable materials in the Essential lineup, Rossignol is nearly halving the carbon footprint of ski manufacturing. With carbon emissions increasingly threatening the ski industry, it’s important to have big brands like Rossignol leading the industry by example in their commitment to the environment.
The Essential lineup was developed in partnership with MTB, a recycling company based in Trept, France. While Rossignol designed the ski, MTB has developed a new water-free process for improved recycling of conventional modern ski constructions. This development was synchronized with that of the Rossignol Essential ski to ensure maximum compatibility and the goal of contributing to a circular economy and product life cycle. Recycled materials can then be repurposed across automotive, garden, or construction industries, and in the future, within new Rossignol products.