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When I finished reading "Swinging Chairs" (Ski Life, February 2002), I showed it to my young, cold, underpaid crew. Having grown up in the ski industry and having worked my way through a variety of jobs just to get a pass, I can relate to what Brent Gardner-Smith describes as a "life-changing season."
Yes, we are all cold, underpaid and, some days, miserable. But the reason we all keep coming back for more is the same: fresh turns with our very best friends.
Ryan D. Lougeay
Lift Operations Manager
Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort, Ore.
A Little Tact
I t was good to see an article done on the tragedy we had (Ski Life, "Dead Right," March/April 2002). An article on its own would have brought back plenty of horrible memories and images. I can't speak for the Eldora Ski Patrol as a whole, but most of us thought the title could have been a little less harsh. At first we were like, what the heck does that mean? Dead Right? After reading the article, we saw your point. But, you could have come up with a more friendly title. Loosing Joe Despres rocked the best local ski posse anywhere right to it's foundation. Its been a hard enough season. Seeing that title didn't make the feeling in our stomachs a good one.
I have a problem with you putting a story on snowboarding in your February issue (Turning Points, "Ski Your Snowboard"). I am a 14-year-old and an avid reader of your magazine. I have been skiing since I was three, and ski almost every weekend. I have many friends who are snowboarders, and I have no problem with their choice to board instead of ski. But if you would note, your magazine's title is SKI, not Snowboarding Digest. I read your magazine for skiing information. And don't try to tell me that boarding is linked to skiing. I hear enough about boarding already¿I don't need it from the one source I thought to be inviolate. I beg of you, no more about boarding in SKI.
You put a beautiful graphic of a female downhill racer on the front cover (February 2002) and then inside in the foldout map section, "The Grizzly Roars," you only detail the twists and turns of the men's downhill. I hate that! I don't want to read about Wildflower online. That's why I bought a hardcopy issue of the magazine.
New York, N.Y.
No Time For Talking
Long Spring Lunch Or Not" (March/April 2002) struck me as worthy of comment. I fully agree with Bruce Stoff. There is no time to park my butt on a chair (unless it's attached to a cable heading uphill). There is no time to hash over skiing ability (unless a buddy is with me on that lift). And as far as lunch, well, as fast, cheap, and easy as possible is the way to go. Let's get real here, Mr. Reade. If I spend a huge amount of cash to get over to Europe to ski, I sure as heck am not going to waste valuable slope time sitting in a lodge hunched over a bowl of goulash. Besides, all that fancy food would only slow me down. I like easily digested stuff on the mountain. Because that's why I am on my skis¿to rip it up. I think Bruce has his priorities straight.
I got a great kick out of "Straight Line" (Warren's World, February 2002) regarding Dick Durrance's first Harriman Cup victory. Not only could I hear Warren's voice as I read the story, but I also could see and feel Dick's ingenuity and the pleasure he got from the challenge of the moment. There was joy and love for skiing in Dick's approach. He has always been an innovator, but having fun with the process was just as important as the real work he was doing. He may be from a different era, butt what a wonderful enduring example he remains.
NBC = Not the BestCoverage
Just wanted to thank Mr. Fry for his article, "Olympic TV: Dead or Live" (In My View, February 2002). I'm sure he'll take some heat, but it's good to see people putting the pressure on the networks. The amount of fluff is almost baffling, but I guess the bills need to be paid (as ratings plummet). Here in Lincoln we just had OLN removed from our standard cable system, so an area that actually has people thinking about ski racing has been denied regular access.
American TV stations, I am convinced, are run by the biggest numbskulls on this planet. Do they have to possess a Masters in total stupidity? My advice, move as close as you can to the Canadian border and watch the Canadian stations. (I rent a condo in Stowe, Vt., where we get them.) The Canadians actually know how to cover a sports event¿not like the blubbering numbskulls like those covering sports in this country. Oh, how complacent the average American sports fan is. The traditionalists (basketball, football, etc.) actually accept all the hype and nonsense without a word of complaint. In my house, we reach for the off switch, after checking out OLN, of course, for some ski racing.
You are right on the target. It drives real sports fans crazy the way TV packages skiing for viewers. It is insulting. I think your quote from NBC's Tim Ryan spoke volumes about their attitude: "I'm a firm believer that post-production tells the story better than a race shown live." How sad!
Wait Until May
I totally agree with Mr. Fry (In My View, "The Best Is About To Begin, March/April). Why would I stop skiing before April? It's the warmest ski month with the best snow. I have the six months after that to play golf. I'd much prefer to be warm on the slopes than cold on the golf course.
A s a skier, physician and low-backpain sufferer, I am uniquely familiar with the back problems outlined in the article "Don't Back Down" (Healthy Skier, March/April 2002). A serious lower back problem can sideline a skier for an entire season or more. This is unacceptable to professional athletes and weekend warriors.
The newest technology, Intervertebral Disc Decompression (IDD) via the SPINA System, maximizes the recovery processes in the shortest amount of time. It has numerous advantages over traditional therapies mentioned in the article. It only takes two to four weeks for full recovery. It's painless, noninvasive, and is hugely successful.
Dr. Steven Zodkoy
Deborah Marks' article "Don't Back Down" was a real treat for me. I threw my back out in December and haven't been the same since. I've tried to ski a few times, but whenever I'd hit a mogul, the sharp pain in my back would nearly knock the wind out of me.
I've been to the chiropractor and he told me I have a herniated disc and that the only way to fix it would be to operate. Your article inspired me to try acupuncture, and though I have yet to try skiing, my back feels so much better. You may have saved me surgery and a couple thousand dollars. Thanks.