How Ski Trails Got Their Names

When it comes to trail monikers, no lions and tigers, but plenty of bears—not to mention resort founders, historic events and death threats.


By Jeff Blumenfeld

I remember December 1973 like it was yesterday.

While on Christmas break from Syracuse University, a buddy and I decided to fly cross-country, stay at Utah’s Snowbird Cliff Lodge, and ski something bigger than what we were used to in Central New York. 

It didn’t work out that way.

The Incomparable Bob Beattie

Bob Beattie: An Appreciation

By John Fry

Bold, dynamic, charismatic, Bob Beattie fueled much of what happened to competitive alpine skiing between 1960 and the end of the 20th Century. During those 40 years the U.S. Ski Team, Nastar, the World Cup, professional racing, and television coverage of the sport wheeled into the Beattie gas station where their tanks were filled with his super-octane energy.


U.S. Skiing could learn a lot from the success formula within its own women’s cross-country team. By Edith Thys Morgan

The FIRST, EVER, cross country gold medal for the U.S.!” Those words, screamed by commentators in joyful disbelief, capped off one of the most memorable moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics. When Americans Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins won the team freestyle event, it was not only a triumph of persistence and hard work, but also the ultimate validation of the power of team. 


The man who wrote the manual recalls early efforts to bridge the cultural divide between skiers and snowboarders. By Roger Lohr

In the early 1990s, snowboarding was booming at mountain resorts across America, and skiers were not shy about voicing their disdain. Skiers mostly saw riders as reckless young upstarts—wise-assed, foul-mouthed kids who were crossing the fall line, pushing snow off the slopes, and ignoring the vaunted “Skier’s Code of Ethics.” They were poachers in paradise. 

NASTAR: Setting a New Standard

NASTAR, the world's largest recreational racing program, began 50 years ago when this editor wanted to introduce the equivalent of golf's par to the sport of skiing.

The environment for people learning to ski has varied little over the years. Ungainly tip-crossing neophytes are herded into classes of eight to a dozen students. After a day, or perhaps five days, they emerge skilled enough to achieve what they want: to descend the mountain on pleasant trails, while enjoying the scenery and the company of friends. 


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