Over 50, Outdoors

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    An avalanche of avalanche reportage

    An avalanche of avalanche reportage

    The New York Times has weighed in mightily on last February’s fatal Tunnel Creek avalanche, which took three lives near Washington’s Stevens Pass ski resort. Over six months, a handful of writers and graphic designers and web gurus assembled text, videos, maps, slide shows and sound files. The result is a gorgeous package, by turns...
    Is skiing an old person’s sport?

    Is skiing an old person’s sport?

    Young snowboarders were once considered the saviors of the ski industry. Without that influx of stoked shredders (the reasoning went), the mountains would have reverted to empty, windswept wastelands. Abandoned chairlifts rusting in the thin mountain air. The Boomers who had built the industry in the 60s and 70s were now too old and feeble....
    If you love America, go skiing.

    If you love America, go skiing.

    Remember after 9/11, when George Bush advised America to go shopping? For the good of the country and the economy. Because purchasing power is power, after all. And power should be exercised. Against the terorists.   (Sidebar: You don’t need Don Draper to sell this message; most Americans accepted it intuitively. If your way of...
    Olds and altitude sickness. And Viagra.

    Olds and altitude sickness. And Viagra.

    Ski season is here and with it the risk of altitude sickness. You know the drill: you start in Chicago (elevation 579 feet) or New York (which averages around 30 feet of elevation when it isn’t swamped by a hurricane). You fly a few hours west, rent a car, drive to Summit County and a...
    The season’s first ski story

    The season’s first ski story

    New Zealand’s Otago Daily Times just ran a story about an adaptive ski program for disabled skiers and snowboarders, which is a pleasing piece to read if you like the idea of disabled people enjoying all the good things in life, and if you’re looking ahead to winter and are happy to see a ski...
    Summer’s here and the time is right for dreaming about skiing

    Summer’s here and the time is right for dreaming about skiing

    Included in the news that Colorado’s Echo Mountain was up for sale—we can’t give you a price because it’s going to be auctioned—was this nugget: the state has 140 abandoned ski areas. Turns out these ghost resorts have their own website…as do ghost resorts in other states, including Alaska and New Hampshire. And a book....
    Saturday mash-up: May 26, 2012

    Saturday mash-up: May 26, 2012

    Busted glasses, busted diets, lost manufacturing…no intention here to sound ominous. Sometimes the news just points you in a way and there’s no point in resisting it. But summer is here at last. Break out the white flannels. Soon. Just as soon as this small dark cloud passes over. They’re pretty light, those glasses, so...
    Saturday mash-up: May 12, 2012

    Saturday mash-up: May 12, 2012

    By separating these odd lots into discrete posts spread over several days, we might appear more professional. But alas, we are what we seem to be: The National Park Service is reminding folks that 33 national parks will offer premier seating for the solar eclipse on May 20, and six parks “are at the center...
    Saturday mash-up: March 31, 2012

    Saturday mash-up: March 31, 2012

    Whenever there’s a pile of items that accumulate over the week and we can’t get around to individual pieces on each one, we throw them into a bin like this, which we previously called a stew and then a hash. This time we’re call it a mash-up, which seems like another food metaphor but less...
    Vargas of the trail map gets his due

    Vargas of the trail map gets his due

    We are occasionally confined to the great indoor wasteland of the desk, corner office, or garret. There we stare at a computer screen all day, with no opportunity to roam the precious spaces on earth.  (Of course there is Google Earth, but the emptiness of that world wearies after a time. And, let’s face it,...
    Vintage ski photos prompt nostalgia for a time we never knew

    Vintage ski photos prompt nostalgia for a time we never knew

      Some days skiing—especially resort skiing—seems to have no more connection to the raw mountain than a Carnival cruise ship has to the sea. If you snap into your bindings in hopes of engaging nature, you will be disappointed. The hills are mostly manicured and groomed, rendered comfortable and convenient and predictable. Most folks like...
    Climate change is really starting to sting

    Climate change is really starting to sting

            Despite years of truly frightening predictions about the inevitability of climate change and its disastrous effects, the world seems to have lost traction on the issue . People are still writing stories, scientists are still debating models, activists are still acting. But previously concerned citizens now seem to be uttering a...