Thursday, November 6, 2014

Season Starter 2014

Welcome back to One, Two, Ski!

Hope you’ve all had a sizzling summer and are now relaxed and rejuvenated for a wonderful winter. It won't be long before we're all skiing again. Can you imagine that inaugural run? Sliding off your first chilly chairlift ride, colder by far than you've been since last season, finding that crucial centre of balance, tentatively gauging your skis for connection with feet, knees and hips, veering into that initial turn and feeling the rhythmic rebound into the next, muscles miraculously remembering after their summer slumber, and endorphin flooding you with a sense of harmony, wellbeing and exhilaration. Can't wait!

James Bond-like camera goggles from Zeal Optics

So, now’s the time to get into shape for long days of skiing and riding and time to start researching new skis and cozy clothing so you’re ready to rock as soon as the lifts in your area open. Check out some of the latest trends in ski gear below and also in my new article for Houston Chronicle.

Bumps for Boomers, Aspen

Early season skiing is an effective, gradual way to rekindle muscle memory and altitude adaptation, developing fitness and endurance slowly as the snow starts building up in the mountains. But if you can’t get skiing for a while, check out top tips and ski exercises on the Bumps for Boomers website: and to verify if you are truly ski ready, check out Ski Canada’s quippy quiz:

Apart from masses of skiing, my plans for this winter include co-writing the quintessential ski industry book – a window on wintersports scheduled for publication in fall 2015. It will make a great Christmas gift for all your ski industry colleagues and friends next year. I’ll let you know when you can start advance ordering.

Under contract with Goodfellow UK publishers, my co-writer is my husband and ski buddy, Dr Simon Hudson who wrote Snow Business over 15 years ago. There hasn’t been a rival book since then, so we figured time was ripe for an update.

Simon will be concentrating on the main chapter text of the book, depicting how the industry has changed over the past decade or so. His areas will include technology which has had a huge impact on the sport and how it is enjoyed and marketed; demographic shifts which have dramatically affected the customer profile; and fall-out from the economic downturn and climate change which are impacting hills all over the world.

Via 36 international case studies, I will be featuring pivotal personnel, the very latest best practices and progressive trends in the ski and snowboard industry. So, if you know of someone or something that really should be included in this book, please send me an email at: My case studies will also be featured in this blog over the next few months and will be the basis of many of my editorial pitches for story assignments with the newspapers and magazines that I regularly work for. These include Ski Canada, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Calgary Herald, network, Calgary’s Child magazine, ABC parent mag UK, Silver Travel Advisor, Eat Drink Travel mag and many others.

Lindsey Vonn at Lake Louise Winterstart
World Cup last year
Following a festive five-week trip to Canada in Dec/Jan, I’ll be moving my field research on to Utah in Feb and back to Canada mid March – and somehow slipping in a Colorado quickie in between – trying to beat my 42 days on snow last season! But I will also encompass examples, anecdotes and data from all over the world via my networking tentacles in Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

If you would like your business to be featured on the front and back covers of the book as a sponsor, please send an email to: He can also organize special customized editions for circulation among your staff. 

Other exciting news: I’m the writer for Ski Zone, a new snowsports’ column in Eat Drink Travel magazine. Over the next five months, I will be contributing feature articles on adventures in Canada, Utah and Colorado.

I also have six ski stories scheduled in The Dallas Morning News, three in Houston Chronicle, three in Calgary Herald, one in Calgary’s Child magazine, another in Alberta Hospitality and one in ABC magazine in the UK. Calgary’s Child and ABC mag are both on newsstands now so don’t miss them. As each of my articles go online, I will let you know the links so you can check out the latest trends and innovations in resorts around Canada and the USA. 

Already published in the Houston Chronicle is my article about ski technology changing how we view ski holidays:

The first Dallas Morning News article went online on Sunday - about the new focus on winter ziplining at ski resorts. Check it out at:

Me trying out Rossi Rockers at Snowbasin, Utah last season
This season I am trying out products for Rossignol – rocker hybrid Savory 7 skis with honeycomb tips for ultra powder float; for Seirus – state-of-the-art brand new ultra-heated Heat Touch Ignite mitts; for Nils  - soft, stretchy, base-layers and underwear made from eco-friendly, silk-like Tencel; for Opedix - Knee-Tec ¾ tights with 19 panels to help prevent further knee injuries and for Dakine – colourful ski luggage, base layers, and gloves from the vivid Vera collection.

And I’m putting through their paces various items from last year including customized Nordica ski boots (now on their 8th season), Patagonia’s Capilene onesy, Rossignol’s Tracy Jacket, Nils stretch ski pants, Giro’s Edit helmet and Bolle’s goggles to gauge how much wear and tear they can withstand. I’ll let you know my results! As you can tell, I’m not a one-brand band.

Just so you don’t miss out on first turns on snow this season, here are some resort opening dates – please let me know if I’ve missed your favourite area or if there is a change in the proposed schedule:

A Basin, Colorado, first to open in North America
Already Open – Arapahoe Basin and Loveland, Colorado; Killington, Vermont

Postponed from Oct 31 – Keystone

Nov 7 – Nakiska; Breckenridge; Copper Mountain

Nov 8 - Wolf Creek

Postponed - Mt Norquay

Nov 12 –Winter Park; Okemo

Nov 13 -  Lake Louise

Nov 14 – Sunshine Village

Nov 15 – Mt Snow; Stowe; Big White; Marmot Basin

Mid Nov – Eldora

Nov 21 – Vail; Alta; Tremblant; Heavenly; Northstar; Grand Targhee

WhistlerBlackcomb, pre-season - photo
by Paul Morrison
Nov 22 – Squaw Valley; Kirkwood; Park City; Snowbird; Monte Sainte Anne; Sun Peaks

Nov 26 – Crested Butte; Monarch; Beaver Creek; Snowbasin

Nov 27 -  Whistler Blackcomb; Aspen Mountain; Snowmass; Steamboat; Telluride; Jackson Hole; Sun Valley

Nov 28 – The Canyons; Smugglers’ Notch; Silver Star; Stoneham; Purgatory

Nov 29  – Revelstoke; Howelsen Hill

Dec 5 – Fernie; Sunlight; Whitewater

Dec 6 – Deer Valley; Sundance; Apex

Dec 11 – Powderhorn

Whistler Blackcomb team checking out conditions
before opening - photo by Paul Morrison

Dec 12 – Panorama; Kicking Horse; Kimberley

Dec 13 – Kimberley; Castle Mountain; Red Mountain; Buttermilk; Aspen Highlands; Ski Cooper

Mid Dec – Ski Granby Ranch

Dec 20 -  Silverton

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