December 1999

Features
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Features

Wyoming Wonder

I really enjoyed the Anti-Top 60 resorts package in the October 1999 issue. Jackson Hogen's article, "Totally Targhee," was of particular interest to me. Twelve of my friends and I get together every year to make that trek from Salt Lake City to Targhee to experience its comfortable atmosphere, uncrowded slopes and incredible ski conditions. The locals and Targhee staff live up to the billing that Hogen so well describes.

David M. Wharton

Layton, Utah

All About The Snow
In the 1999 Reader Resort Survey (October 1999), you state that "SKI readers rate Terrain as one of the top two resort features they value (the other one being Snow)." Why, then, do you rate the Top 30 North American ski resorts on so many criteria? For instance, I have no interest in going to ski areas¿Sun Valley, Idaho, for example¿that receive less than 300 inches of snow per year. I would be pleased if you could rate ski resorts on what skiers are concerned with: snow and terrain. Real skiers care next to nothing about service, dining and lodging.
Sean Parks
Jackson, Wyo.

Ed. Note: If you've ever dined with Alberto Tomba, you'd find out that "real skiers" enjoy many loves, snow and terrain, of course, being two of them.

Mad About Maps
Congratulations on a brilliant solution to an age-old problem. For years I have been reading ski articles describing mountains yet no magazine¿to my knowledge¿has ever included a map of the ski resort as you do in the "Fact File" sections of SKI's resort profiles. All I would suggest is adding some detail to the larger, more complex ski resorts and show the directions you refer to in the text, such as south, north, east and west.
Robert Torom
Toronto, Ont., Canada

Corporate Side Of Skiing
After browsing through one of your recent issues, I have come to the conclusion that your magazine is taking away the heart of skiing. You tailor to a small portion of the skiing population, which, sadly, has a major influence on the industry as a whole. Who wants ads for Land Rover and Ecco Domani wine? Only people who have no interest in what this magazine is supposed to be about: skiing. Despite all the resort reviews and tests you do, it still is not a core ski magazine. It takes more than après-ski scene reviews to get my attention. I hope that after a day of skiing, I'm so worked that I can't go out at night. Keep writing for those New York City CEOs, so they can plan their four-day vacations. As for me, I'm happy sleeping in my van, poaching hot tubs and getting first chairs.
Jeff Schmalenberg
Missoula, Mont.

Age Matters
Thanks for all the great information in the equipment reviews (Buyer's Guide, September 1999). But after a quick look at the testers/reviewers, I noticed that the youngest tester was 24 years old and that the roster was filled with 30- to 50-year-olds. In my opinion, skiers under 20 have a very different attitude toward skiing. I'm 19, and an opinion coming from a 50-year-old doesn't carry the same weight as it would from my roommate.
Dan Buckley
Brunswick, Maine

Go For Gore
Gore Mountain, N.Y., had many mountain improvements this year, meaning that it should be in the East Top 10 in your Reader Survey the resort finished at No. 25. The new gondola and trails should put Gore higher than Stowe, Vt., which placed at No. 2.
Richard Mumford
Sauguoit, N.Y.

In Search Of Skis.com
I understand and appreciate Andy Bigford's effort to portray the distribution issues that e-commerce manufacturers are struggling with today (Ski Life, September 1999). He should address that there are companies conducting e-commerce in the winter sports market that are not gray-market shops. Our company, GearDirect.com, operates an online website for skiers and boarders, offering gear whi is authorized by the manufacturers. We continue to extend this to the many skiers who would prefer to shop online.
R. John Siewierski
GearDirect.com
Boulder, Colo.

Helmets Are In
In the "Should You Wear A Helmet?" debate (Point/Counterpoint, September 1999), author Greg Trinker gave several reasons as to why you shouldn't wear a helmet. He says helmets hinder peripheral vision and give the skier a false sense of security. I'm a patroller at Berthoud Pass, Colo., and started wearing a helmet after my first season there. After reading the article I put my helmet on and found I had absolutely no loss of peripheral vision. In fact, while looking hard to the side I could barely see the edge of the ear flaps. While I agree that some skiers may become more reckless due to a false sense of security with a helmet on, I have found that a helmet makes me a better skier. Since I started wearing a helmet in the trees I feel safer and more confident, which in turn helps me stay over my skis. I have found that wearing a helmet is no more obtrusive than wearing a hat.
Rick Maddy
Denver, Colo.

The debate on wearing helmets in the September issue's Point/Counterpoint made me flashback to the terrible accident my husband had while skiing in New York last winter. Though it was a minor fall, he wasn't wearing a helmet and was rendered unconscious with a fractured skull. He ended up in the hospital for five days. What is Greg Trinker's point? That if the accident isn't fatal then it doesn't count? My husband was lucky it was only a few days before he recovered enough to do things for himself. The point is you don't have to be tree skiing or playing ski football to have an accident. Accidents happen even to experienced ski patrollers such as my husband.
Mona Kliegman
Windham, N.Y.

Every sport I can think of that has accepted helmet use¿such as ice hockey, baseball, football, cycling, boxing, auto racing and others¿has experienced a decrease in the severity and the number of head injuries among its players. My advice to all skiers is this: Follow the Skier Code and wear a helmet. You'll feel safer and ski better.
Joe Larkin
Beaver Creek, Colo.

An Impassioned Retort
This is an open letter of response to John Fry's In My View column "Ski Hall Of Fame? Not Exactly," which criticized the selection process of inductees into the Hall. (September 1999).

Dear John,Your slap at the Ski Hall of Fame is most disappointing. After so much labor you have birthed¿what? A dyspeptic mouse.

Each major sports hall of fame hosts its own legends. Likewise skiing. Sprinkled among the Mahres and the McKinneys are names, as in other halls, somewhat more obscure but who have served significantly and been certified by that sport's historians.

I'm delighted that you brought up baseball. Not a single writer is in baseball's hall while a number, like yourself, are in skiing's hall, and I do get complaints. Baseball is strictly limited to those who played in the major leagues. There are no writers, no stadia developers, no widget inventors. Only players. All baseball records are listed in its massive encyclopedia. No heavy research lifting required from its voting panel. We, however, need to dig deep to research our skiing records.

Despite your belief, we do vet all nominations for corroboration of claims. Yes, anyone may submit a nomination. It's called democracy. However, mere submission by no means insures automatic placement on the ballot. It is screened by the Selection Committee, which chooses 10, by rule, for the ballot. Those 10 nominees are reviewed by a Final Voting Panel of, this year, 173, most of whom are already in the Ski Hall Of Fame and embody the very history of American skiing. Sixty percent approval is required for election.

You look askance at that Final Voting Panel, taking a jaundiced view of its competence. Such viewpoint might be deemed to be both arrogant and elitist. Might I suggest, John, that you are not the self-anointed Last Word in these matters. You, yourself, are a member of the Hall and have nominated a number of others, most of whom were subsequently elected. However, this year, a new nominee was not selected provoking you to pout publicly in a national ski publication in which you have some influence, knowing full well the difficulty of replying in kind. Your version of Gotcha, perhaps? One of your favorites not attaining instant entrance to the Hall is not cause to label the process flawed, unsophisticated and those running it, ipso facto, inept and naïve. You complain that the Honored Members on the Final Voting Panel, because they are not journalists, will only insure that new inductees will be a lot like themselves. As Hamlet once soliloquized, "...'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished." And yes, a number of well qualified people are not yet in the Hall. As did baseball, we addressed the problem of veteran skiers being overlooked. Last year, the Hall promulgated an Old Timers policy that provides for the review and election of those who have fallen through¿not between¿the cracks. We also reduced the eligibility wait for elite racers from five to one. The Hall is not mired in place.

What cut most was your unwarranted and demeaning assault on Fritz Mittelstadt. "Fritz who?" you write. Whatever became of civility? Fritz needs no defense. He toiled for years as a Nordic official at the highest levels and richly deserves his honors. If you do not know of him then perhaps you are not quite as knowledgeable as you would have us believe. I sense that you have little tolerance for Nordics, functionaries (your term) or volunteers. Skiing needs all three.

Your U.S. National Ski Hall Of Fame acceptance speech in Ishpeming in 1995 noted a number of ski notables not in the Hall. Many of them have since been inducted. Yes, there are still many not yet there but most will ultimately be honored despite our dispute over the order of precedence.
Alan Adler,
Chairman U.S. National Ski Hall Of Fame Selection Committee
Barton, Vt.

For The Record
Incorrect phone numbers for the special lodging packages at Sun Valley, Idaho, and Breckenridge, Colo., were published in the Top 60 Resort Guide of the October 1999 issue. Call (800) 786-8259 for the Sun Valley Lodge, and call (888) 796-2815 for Breckenridge lodging packages.ompetence. Such viewpoint might be deemed to be both arrogant and elitist. Might I suggest, John, that you are not the self-anointed Last Word in these matters. You, yourself, are a member of the Hall and have nominated a number of others, most of whom were subsequently elected. However, this year, a new nominee was not selected provoking you to pout publicly in a national ski publication in which you have some influence, knowing full well the difficulty of replying in kind. Your version of Gotcha, perhaps? One of your favorites not attaining instant entrance to the Hall is not cause to label the process flawed, unsophisticated and those running it, ipso facto, inept and naïve. You complain that the Honored Members on the Final Voting Panel, because they are not journalists, will only insure that new inductees will be a lot like themselves. As Hamlet once soliloquized, "...'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished." And yes, a number of well qualified people are not yet in the Hall. As did baseball, we addressed the problem of veteran skiers being overlooked. Last year, the Hall promulgated an Old Timers policy that provides for the review and election of those who have fallen through¿not between¿the cracks. We also reduced the eligibility wait for elite racers from five to one. The Hall is not mired in place.

What cut most was your unwarranted and demeaning assault on Fritz Mittelstadt. "Fritz who?" you write. Whatever became of civility? Fritz needs no defense. He toiled for years as a Nordic official at the highest levels and richly deserves his honors. If you do not know of him then perhaps you are not quite as knowledgeable as you would have us believe. I sense that you have little tolerance for Nordics, functionaries (your term) or volunteers. Skiing needs all three.

Your U.S. National Ski Hall Of Fame acceptance speech in Ishpeming in 1995 noted a number of ski notables not in the Hall. Many of them have since been inducted. Yes, there are still many not yet there but most will ultimately be honored despite our dispute over the order of precedence.
Alan Adler,
Chairman U.S. National Ski Hall Of Fame Selection Committee
Barton, Vt.

For The Record
Incorrect phone numbers for the special lodging packages at Sun Valley, Idaho, and Breckenridge, Colo., were published in the Top 60 Resort Guide of the October 1999 issue. Call (800) 786-8259 for the Sun Valley Lodge, and call (888) 796-2815 for Breckenridge lodging packages.