Liftlines: November 2001

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Email us at liftlines@skimag.com. Or write us at SKI, Liftlines, 929 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Boulder, CO 80302.

Guys And Gals
I was touched by Andy Bigford's "Women and Skiing" (From The Top, September 2001). My husband has put a ton of time into helping me love the sport as much as he does. He's waited for me on powder days, bought me new gear, signed me up for clinics and given me many personal lessons. I'm happy to say that-though, not as die-hard as he-no one has to wait for me anymore.
Kelly Wright
Evergreen, Colo.

Builders Are People, Too
Hal Clifford's article "Home Theatre" (Mountain Property, September 2001) was an insult to all builders-those who create mankind's shelter, sanitation and comfort from nothing but raw material, skill and will. Clifford reminds me of that old hypocrite Henry David Thoreau, who-while glad to bum boards for his famous cabin-derided the industrious people who created said lumber from flora. Like my Telluride trades brethren, I too toil for ungracious dullards who shrug and ask, "Who is John Galt?" The question is not: "How could a few things go wrong building my house?" but rather, "Why did a million things go right?" So, Hal, go cry in your Paulaner. Quietly!
Edward Sullivan
Carbondale, Colo.

Editor's Note: For fellow ungracious dullards, John Galt is Ayn Rand's monumental character in the novel Atlas Shrugged. He wanted to see the world as it is, not as it is perceived.

The Golden Rules
I enjoyed Edie Thys' "The New Old Thing" (Racer eX, September 2001). As a former East Coast ski instructor, I started skiing again last winter after having been off skis entirely for almost 18 years. I was worried on the first lift ride, but once I got on my feet, I realized that it's just like riding a bike.

While skiing on demo skis at Park City, I found that the basic technique you wrote about kept me going the whole week. I was glad to find that no "new" thing had revolutionized making the skis turn. Pressure and posture still got the job done. Thanks for the reminder that there are certain golden rules, as you say, that get skis to arc.
Tony German
Wichita Falls, Texas

Too Old To Ski?
When did you decide that "old people" don't need to be skiing? At least three times in your issue you mentioned "old" and the age was under 50. I'm over 50 and I still ski (read: spend money on your magazine and at ski resorts). No, I don't race anymore or bang the bumps the way I used to when I was 30, but I still spend whole days on the mountain enjoying the sport. You can ski at my age and beyond if you take care of yourself.By the way, thanks for the women's equipment sections. I've been skiing for over a quarter of a century, and manufacturers finally figured out that girls ski too!
Anne McFarland
Franklin, Tenn.

Editor's Note: Check out "Should Seniors Ski Free?" on page 58, "Do Not Go Gentle" on page 72 and "Ski Better With Age" on page 204.

Grip Your Wallet
It is amazing how many ever-so-slight changes manufacturers can market-and sell (In My View: "Get A Grip," October 2001). It's also amazing that 40 years ago-when I started skiing and when poles were simply straight and had huge baskets-we skied just as well and had just as much fun. Why do we let manufacturers trick us into thinking that if we don't have the newest gear, then we're at a disadvantage? I think they've got us fooled.
Francis Sedgewick
New York, N.Y.

The List Goes On
I'm a 59-year-old retired engineer who has by no means retired from skiing, and I immensely enjoyed "My Life List" (Mountain Chronicle, September 2001). I too have kept track of all the ski areas I have skied. But as I have grown older, my tastes have shifted to larger areas with better grooming and high-speed lifts, and I have lost much of the desire to expandy list. I now take more pleasure in accumulating vertical feet. In my first year of retirement, I skied 70 days and totaled 2.3 million vertical feet-no complaints here.
Ira Kay
Tolland, Conn.

I took particular note of Peter Shelton's desire to ski Snow Ridge in Turin, N.Y. I was fortunate to learn to ski at Snow Ridge in the late Forties and early Fifties. It's a winter wonderland blessed with huge snowfalls (no snow guns in those days) from the "lake effect" snows off Lake Ontario. It has about 550 feet of vertical with Fifties ambience. A lot of good skiers came off that hill with Otto Frei's help. I had my very first ski lesson from Frei. He must have pointed me in the right direction, because I am still at it: I skied 60 days last year.
Bob Stewart
Turin, N.Y.

Ski Math
While I tend to agree with Andy Bigford about owning skis (Forum, September 2001), I feel his cost figures are a little off. Check the cost of skis and bindings this year (20 demos at $30 each equals $600) and let me know where to find a setup for that cheap. I will gladly send a check.
Larry McGivney Jr.
Whitehall, Mich.

Editor's Note: Turn to page 182 to read about SKI's Value Gear of the Year. You'll likely find the K2 Escape 5500 in a ski shop near you for $399.

Guilt By Association
It's too bad that the first resort-linkage involves a ski area that doesn't allow snowboarders ("Missing Link," September 2001). I'm a skier, but I won't support any area that dictates what boards I strap on my feet. I won't ski Alta-and now I won't ski Snowbird, either.
Emilio Trampuz
Salem, Ore.

Girl Power
Thank you for including the great article on women's skiing ("Ski Like A Girl!" September 2001). I'm a female instructor and have been teaching skiing for 17 years. I'm thrilled with the industry's advances in women's gear. I remember buying my first setup, trying to convince the salesman that I did not want a white boot with pink buckles and a ski that matched.

Many of my clients are women who enjoy the sport but are not in love with it. My goal is to get them to have fun, to learn to play on the hill, build their self-confidence and enjoy skiing again. Many times the answer to their problems is improved equipment.

I have been lucky enough to work with Jeannie Thoren (pictured) and Tom while they were in my area, and I have seen women change their skiing and their attitudes toward the sport in a weekend. Lessons are important, but without the right equipment, it's like playing basketball with sneakers two sizes too big and an uninflated ball. Sure, I "ski like a girl," but just try to keep up.
Adele WellmanPSIA level II instructor
Ellicottville, N.Y.

I picked up a copy of SKI's Buyer's Guide a couple of weeks ago, and my eye went immediately to an article about Jeannie Thoren, and her program for women on skis.

I am a 58-year-old woman who has been skiing for 30 years and have always had to deal with "unisex" (read: men's) equipment. I have never had any guidance about what equipment would improve my skiing, but now with the article about Jeannie and women's equipment, I'm many steps ahead.

I have never had a boot that I've been really satisfied with. And until I read your article, I wasn't aware just how boots and proper fitting might impact my skiing. Now I'm going to get a new pair of women's boots and get a heel lift (I have a narrow, hard-to-fit foot). There are so many other questions that I have, and I'm sure that other women have many, too. So here's my suggestion! How about a regular column written by Jeannie?
Eleanor Brown
Keystone, Colo.

Thanks for the intelligent article, "Ski Like A Girl!" Finally we get something written for women that isn't drivel. Jeannie Thoren's theory makes great sense and so does featuring her ideas in your magazine. I'd like to see more articles about women's equipment. How about starting a monthly column like "Ask Jeannie?"
Cathy J. Kaiser
Gulfport, Fla.

Editor's Note: It's a great idea for a column. We'll look into it.

I went to one of Jeannie Thoren's dryland clinics about 15 years ago when I was a new member of PSIA. It immediately changed the way I teach skiing. I now refer to it as my second law of skiing: "If it still doesn't work, blame your equipment." (The first law is that you tend to go where you look.) I now run the weekly "Her Turn" women's day clinic at Silver Mountain, Idaho and I sell heel lifts out of my backpack after being frustrated that shop referrals were totally unfamiliar with them.
Dean Palmer
Kellogg, Idaho

In Good Time
This is a photo of my daughter, Emily. This picture was taken at the New Jersey Shore in August 2000. She was 3 1/2 years old. I had been preparing her to begin her "ski life" all summer. I didn't begin skiing until age 28 (better late then never). But now I'm obsessed with the sport and want to give my daughter the opportunity that I did not have as a child. My wife and I enrolled her in private lessons at a small ski area near our home. We then went to Mt. Tremblant, Que., and she spent four days in their Ski Wee program. Needless to say, she really took to it. By the end of the season she was skiing down blue runs at Mt. Snow, Vt.
Robert Giordano
Brewster, N.Y.

I loved "Parent Trap" (Racer eX, October 2001). We have a 2-year-old son, and we tried to get him on skis this winter. As I might have guessed, he cried the entire time we were out there-a whopping two hours. After that, we were hesitant to put him back on skis because we don't want him to associate skiing with tears. If your son is in tears when you're taking his skis off, I wouldn't ask questions. Edie, you lucky thing.
Margie Cunningham
Boston, Mass.

For The Record
The image accompanying the writeup for the Fischer Freeride 68LX (Buyers Guide, September 2001), a Gold Medal winner in the Women's category, was incorrect (the ski is pictured here); and the Fischer Jr. World Cup SC was mistakenly identified as the Jr. World Cup GS.In the same issue, the Volant Vertex Super, also a winner in the Women's category, was misidentified as the Gravity Super. I'd like to see more articles about women's equipment. How about starting a monthly column like "Ask Jeannie?"
Cathy J. Kaiser
Gulfport, Fla.

Editor's Note: It's a great idea for a column. We'll look into it.

I went to one of Jeannie Thoren's dryland clinics about 15 years ago when I was a new member of PSIA. It immediately changed the way I teach skiing. I now refer to it as my second law of skiing: "If it still doesn't work, blame your equipment." (The first law is that you tend to go where you look.) I now run the weekly "Her Turn" women's day clinic at Silver Mountain, Idaho and I sell heel lifts out of my backpack after being frustrated that shop referrals were totally unfamiliar with them.
Dean Palmer
Kellogg, Idaho

In Good Time
This is a photo of my daughter, Emily. This picture was taken at the New Jersey Shore in August 2000. She was 3 1/2 years old. I had been preparing her to begin her "ski life" all summer. I didn't begin skiing until age 28 (better late then never). But now I'm obsessed with the sport and want to give my daughter the opportunity that I did not have as a child. My wife and I enrolled her in private lessons at a small ski area near our home. We then went to Mt. Tremblant, Que., and she spent four days in their Ski Wee program. Needless to say, she really took to it. By the end of the season she was skiing down blue runs at Mt. Snow, Vt.
Robert Giordano
Brewster, N.Y.

I loved "Parent Trap" (Racer eX, October 2001). We have a 2-year-old son, and we tried to get him on skis this winter. As I might have guessed, he cried the entire time we were out there-a whopping two hours. After that, we were hesitant to put him back on skis because we don't want him to associate skiing with tears. If your son is in tears when you're taking his skis off, I wouldn't ask questions. Edie, you lucky thing.
Margie Cunningham
Boston, Mass.

For The Record
The image accompanying the writeup for the Fischer Freeride 68LX (Buyers Guide, September 2001), a Gold Medal winner in the Women's category, was incorrect (the ski is pictured here); and the Fischer Jr. World Cup SC was mistakenly identified as the Jr. World Cup GS.In the same issue, the Volant Vertex Super, also a winner in the Women's category, was misidentified as the Gravity Super.