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Back Talk - November 2001

First Tracks
posted: 01/07/2002

Write us at backtalk@skiingmag.comor:
Back Talk
929 Pearl Street
Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80302

On Thursday, August 10, we hit a record-shattering high of 102 degrees here in upstate New York. What a surprise it was to get home from work and find your September '01 issue in my mailbox. Looking through your "Photo Annual 2001" really helped to put a damper on the heat. Well, that and a couple of cold ones.
Ron Green
via the Internet

I think Ajax allowing snowboarders "Move Over, Two Planker," March/April '01 is a huge victory for the entire snowboarding community. As a skier, I am somewhat disappointed that Aspen has finally given in. It was a model for the few ski-only facilities left, and it had proven that a resort could survive without snowboarders. With this change, I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't any skiers-only resorts five years from now.
Peter Dewar
Anderson, Indiana

Actually, we think this change has proven that Aspen couldn't survive without snowboarders. --Ed.

I'm sure that the elite Hollywood crowd is itching to head over to the "other side" of Aspen. I can see it now: Ivana Trump sporting a mink Burton pullover, riding fakie down the slopes! As a sometime rider, though, I know boarders will love the gnarly terrain up top. It's randy, baby!
Matt Wolcott
East Greenwich, Rhode Island

You published my letter in the September '01 issue Back Talk in which I asked for financial help in getting to Whistler/Blackcomb. You titled the letter "Get a Job." The ironic thing is that I have two jobs, and I am a full-time double-major college student.
Ben Pearson
Rochester, New York

You're a true inspiration, Ben, but unless you can huck 80-foot cliffs or pull a D-spin 900, we're fresh out of ideas. --Ed.

In "25 Best Skiers" February '01, you credit Vincent Dorion as being the inventor of the 1080. While he did help design Salomon's ski, he did not invent the trick. Who invented the 1080? I can't answer that, but I can tell you this: The first person to ever throw a 1080 in competition is my longtime coach and freestyle skiing legend, Bruce "Bogue" Bolesky, who now coaches for the Stratton Mountain Freestyle Ski Team in Vermont. My intent is not to discredit an incredible skier like Dorion, but to give credit where credit's due.
Ben Ginsberg
Woodbridge, Connecticut

As far as we can tell, Bolesky was the first to land a 1080 in competition, but the origin of the 1080? It's an engima; like the meaning of life, the Kennedy assassination, or the Macarena -- there's just no explaining it. --Ed.

In September '00, Josh said, "I defy you to name a male American World Cup top-10 downhiller from the Martin Bell era." Josh, your American World Cup top-10 downhiller from the late 1980s can now be found patrolling right field for the Warren Hitmen softball team. Those of us in Vermont's Mad River Valley know that during the Martin Bell era, Doug Lewis' results include a bronze in the 1985 World Championship downhill at Bormio, Italy, and a silver in the Las Leñas World Cup at the beginning of the 1986 season. Let's also remember that AJ Kitt emerged from Sugarbush's Green Mountain Valley School in the late '80s before hitting the downhill circuit. Our memories are clear enough to know that our hometown heroes outskied Mr. Bell throughout their respective careers. Nothing against Martin Bell, but there was no talent vacuum on this side of the pond during the '80s.
Scott Peterson
Sugarbush, Vermont

Josh says: "Ahh, you have me! Hung up on my own hyperbole. Interestingly, though, you are the first person who has named an American male downhiiller of that era, consistent top-10 finisher or not. My apologies to Mr. Lewis and to you."

In your description of the Utah Interconnect Adventure "Backcountry Adventures," November '00, you write, "You'll probably get to see more of the Wasatch wilderness than Joseph Smith himself." Yeah, you probably will since Joseph Smith never came to Utah. Smith was murdered by a mob in an Illinois jail on June 27, 1844, after the Mormons had fled New York, Ohio, and Missouri in an effort to escape persecution. After the murder, Brigham Young led the church to Utah.
Steve Hirzel
Park City, Utah

Once again, hung up on our own hyperbole. We apologize to Mormons and historians everywhere. Go Jazz! --Ed.

Thank you for "Are You Getting Bad Advice?" February '01. While at Mont Ripley in Michigan last season, I received a beginner lesson that was incredible. The instructor was wonderful. He did not try to fit me into some sort of predetermined lesson plan. He worked with me and my personal style. My life will never be the same. I am so glad that your magazine is trying to dispense with the notion that all skiers and the techniques they employ should be the same.
Tara Southerland
Durham, North Carolina

In "Under Cover" on page 140 of the September '01 issue, we inadvertently discounted the price of the Velvet Blondie sunglasses. The correct price is $60.

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