December 6, 2018

Winter Weather Summit – Making the Best of Winter
By Roger Lohr
In a story posted by TSIL, the Northeast Winter Weather Summit, organized by the North American Snowsports Journalist Association (NASJA) with support from 19 other companies and organizations, saw meteorologists, ski resorts and media gather at Stratton Mountain, VT, Dec. 2-3 for the first of what many hope will be a continuing conversation between the various groups to provide information on making the best of winter.

Pictured above left: Keynote speakers Ian Bailey and Adam Gil (Mount Washington Observatory) share a glimpse into severe weather conditions atop Mount Washington.

The meeting brought together some groups and topics that don’t normally occur at industry meetings and some lively discussions ensued. There were 70 people registered; roughly half of them meteorologists/media. New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Quebec, and Pennsylvania ski areas were among the states represented. The Weather Summit was supported by Mountain Travel Symposium, MountainGuard, Prinoth, HKD Snowmakers, BEWI Sports, Dion Snowshoes, and VFC (The North Face). The attending meteorologists were from Boston, Mt. Washington Observatory, Hartford, Albany, Altoona (PA), Skywatch, and WeatherNation to name a few. 
On Sunday Dec. 2, the opening seminar about "How To Dress for Winter Weather" by The North Face corporate rep Stan Kosmider was a big hit, with multiple questions from the audience about smart layering and technological advancements in snow sports apparel. Next, the Welcome Reception started with short introductions from NASJA President Iseult Devlin and welcome remarks from Stratton President Bill Nupp. The keynote presentation featured observers from the Mt. Washington Observatory, who gave a vivid picture of life on top of Mt. Washington, which claims the worst weather on earth (i.e., 231 MPH winds!). Did you know you can use a frozen banana as a hammer?

Pictured above left: Michael Maginn (, Bernie Weichsel (BEWI Productions) and Stratton videographer Tom Vayianos enjoy a ride in a Prinoth Husky with passenger travel cabin featuring a Mercedes Tier 4F engine. The Italian-built model is the cleanest in its class as far as vehicle emissions. 

Eight lucky attendees joined Tim O’Neil, founder of the Team O’Neil Rally School at a Sun Bowl parking lot for some tips on driving in winter. O’Neil stated that his favorite position for driving was sideways, and demonstrated with some hot laps around the icy, slushy parking lot. Then participants got their turn, although not at quite the same velocity. On another part of the mountain, Vermont Lt. Governor David Zuckerman made an appearance to demo Vermont manufactured Dion Snowshoes and take a ride in the Prinoth snowcat. Zuckerman also addressed the group at lunch thanking them for coming to enjoy the incredible opportunities Vermont has to offer. He invited meteorologists to “be educators on how to tell people to dress for winter.”

Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman and meteorologist Steven Glazier (WeatherNation) enjoy a lively chat after the Art of Grooming session.
Western Winter Summit Heads to Utah
Snowbird skiers
by Vicki Andersen
Over the past 27 seasons, the Western Winter Summit has explored slopes from Alyeska to Taos, Alberta to Lake Tahoe. This year, attendees are headed to Salt Lake City to take on Big Cottonwood (Brighton, Solitude) and Little Cottonwood (Alta, Snowbird) Canyons. Join them January 27-31 for what always proves to be a great meeting.
 Snowbird Aerial Tram, photo by Richard-Cheski

Cost is $350 per person/double occupancy or $700/single room (limited availability). This includes 4 nights double-occupancy lodging at the Hyatt Place Cottonwood, lift tickets (1 day at each resort), demo equipment, all breakfasts and lunches, Welcome Reception, Pizza/Pasta/Salad Feed, hotel parking, and ground transportation between Hyatt and the resorts. There is an option to add a fifth night at the Hyatt at a rate of $169/night per room for those who wish to leave Friday, Feb. 1, rather than post-skiing on the 31 st .

The meeting is open to Active Press members only with a limited number of slots still available and registrations will be confirmed on a first-received-in-the-NASJA-treasurer’s-hands basis. Registration form with full payment must be received by Saturday, Dec. 15. If interested, send an email to Vicki Andersen ( [email protected] ) and she will pencil you in. But, it’s still first-in-hand… Hope to see/ski you there!
Snowbird Skiers, photo by Scott Markewitz.

NASJA’s First Meeting of the Year Held at Boston Ski Expo  

by Tamsin Venn
Over 20 NASJA members gathered at the Ski & Snowboard Expo at the Seaport World Trade Center Nov. 8-11. The annual event marks the time to fire up those winter columns and blogs, with the new season fast out of the starting gate with plentiful snowfall in the East and West, leading to the now common #snovember. Thanks to 37 years of show directing by NASJA corporate member Bernie Weichsel of BEWI Productions. He also staged the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo in Denver the following week.

Pictured above right: Shaun Sutner, Worcester Telegram, Mass., is ready to report on Boston Ski Show.

Weichsel presented the 33rd Annual BEWI award at the annual BEWI awards luncheon of 165 industry professionals Nov. 9 at the Seaport World Trade Center to two outstanding ski area promoters: Bonnie McPherson from Okemo, Vt., and Tom Meyers of Wachusett Mountain, Mass. 
President Iseult Devlin and past president Martin Griff awarded NASJA’s Bob Gillen Public Relations Award to Jeff Wise of Stowe Mountain Resort, Vt., and the Mitch Kaplan Award to Heather Burke.

Pictured at left: NASJA past president Martin Griff gives Heather Burke the Mitch Kaplan award. 

Many NASJA members also attended receptions by Ski Vermont, Ski Utah, and Ski Maine, and later at Ski New Hampshire’s event at the McIntyre Ski area in late November. 
NASJA Business Meeting
About 20 NASJA members met in the Congress Boardroom at the Seaport Trade Center Nov. 9 to discuss current business, presided by president Iseult Devlin. News is upbeat for the first year of the newly merged organization. Discussed were ways to grow press membership (currently 123 press members up from 109 in 2017); simplify online application procedures; develop the NASJA Clip Book as a recruiting tool; clarify the credentialing process; and replicate the success of the Weather Summit that took place Dec. 2-3 at Stratton Mountain, Vt. Financial Statement: On Budget. Sign-ups for the annual NASJA meeting in Park City, Utah, Apr. 4-7, held in conjunction with U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame meeting will be available soon on the NASJA website. 
Mary Jo Tarallo
Learn to Ski and Snowboard Story Ideas
At the NASJA Boston meeting, corporate liaison Mary Jo Tarallo covered the new Learn to Ski and Snowboard (she’s the executive director) partnership with NASJA and offered story idea tips for Winter 2019: New for 2019 is the “National Learn to Ski or Snowboard Day Celebration,” Friday, Jan. 11 and 32 resorts have signed up so far for a total of 117 opportunities. That is in addition to the LSSM month and Bring A Friend promotions. Check out the Special Offers page on the LSSM website: that has 85 special offers available at the moment.

Pictured above left: Executive director Mary Jo Tarallo gives NASJA members news on LSSM and tips for story ideas.

New York and Massachusetts are among the top three states for LSSM website visitation. It also attracts many parents. Writers can find plenty of material with lots of cool learn-to-ski story ideas on the tool kit website; and many stats are available through Dave Belin at RRC Associates ( or from NSAA’s new director of marketing and communications Adrienne Saia Isaac ( Tarallo is looking for new skier learning content, so reach out to her.

“Research shows the number one reason why people want to ski is to spend more time with their friends and family and second, they want to try a new sport,” says Tarallo. The trick is for the friend to introduce the new skier to the ski school “and not take them up to the black diamond area,” she says.
U.S. Women’s Cross County Ski Team Story Angles
Also at the NASJA Boston meeting, NASJA member Peggy Shinn discussed her new book "World Class: The Making of the Women’s Cross-Country Ski Team." She covers the remarkable breakthrough of this team in a sport long dominated by other countries. Shinn attributes the success to teamwork in a sport known for its individual effort. Story angles here for your broadcasts and articles include women’s XC racers’ expectations for this year. Follow Jessie Diggins, Sadie Bjornsen, Sophie Caldwell, and Ida Sargent on the World Cup Circuit with finals on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City starting Mar. 22. Nordic World Championships take place starting Feb. 20 in Seefeld, Austria. And a World Cup XC ski race is scheduled in Minneapolis in March 2020, one of the first in the U.S. To set up interviews, contact Reese Brown, cross country communications manager at the U.S. Ski Team.

Meanwhile, for members contemplating a long research/writing project, Shinn offers this advice: “The biggest help is getting a deadline.” Hers was 80,000 words in eight months: “I made myself sit down and write 2,000 words every day, even if I ended a word on an a. You just start writing, you have to get yourself going.” The book is available at local book stores or on  
Seniors Skiing Looking for Contributors is celebrating its fifth year of publishing, and welcomes new correspondents to its regular crew. is the free online platform for older skiers, boarders, and snowshoe enthusiasts, started by Mike Maginn and Jon Weisberg. 
According to NSAA, 20% of all U.S. skiers and boarders are ages 52 and older. The average subscriber is 67, skis 16 days per season (vs. 6 days nationally), and identifies as financially independent. 
Topics of interest include: Resort reviews, Equipment and gear reviews, Profiles of interesting, older skiers/boarders/snowshoers, Instruction, Travel, Nostalgia, Snowshoeing; Fitness, and XC skiing, snow-biking, winter walking. 

“We provide contributors with a place to publish and help in accessing a resort. We are self-funded with support from a handful of advertisers. There is no editorial budget, but contributors are happy to be part of the effort, mainly because they are or getting to be senior themselves,” says Maginn, who added that the site gets 50,000 monthly pay views.
Article submissions should be 500 - 600 words and accompanied by digital images.
If interested in contributing email [email protected] or [email protected]
Green is the New White
Story idea: How sustainable is your local ski area? Outside Online covers ski area sustainability here.
Heather Burke
Member Profile: Heather Burke
Heather R. Burke has been an award-winning journalist for almost two decades and just won NASJA’s Mitch Kaplan Award. She has been published in countless newspapers, magazines, websites and writes several weekly ski columns and ski blogs. Heather is editor of Luxury Ski Trips – now, The Luxury Vacation Guide, and she’s the ski guru and reporter for

Heather reviews ski resorts across the U.S., Canada, and Europe — she’s skied 170 resorts (so far). Heather’s travel articles have been featured in The Boston Globe, Forbes Travel Guide, Liftopia, Maine Magazine, SAM- Ski Area Management, Snow Country, Providence Journal, Montreal Gazette, and The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram where she contributed the ski column for 11 years, The Sun, The Daily Item, The Ski Journal and more ski and travel publications. Heather travels to each ski resort before writing a resort review.

About NASJA, she says, “NASJA was such a great connector for me when I first launched my ski writing career. Meeting industry peeps in person at ski writer meetings made it so much easier to then reach out when I was working on articles. I also developed special friendships with fellow writers, editors and resort reps, and now NASJA is like an extended ski family. It’s wonderful to be with likeminded passionate journalists and ski enthusiasts. Receiving the Mitch Kaplan award this year was the ultimate honor, because I remember Mitch fondly – he was such a positive, prolific writer, and just as a super nice, witty guy.”
NASJA Members - Dates to Remember:

Jan. 9 - 11, 2019: NASJA On-Snow Meeting, Magic Mountain, Vermont

Jan. 27 - 31, 2019: Western Winter Summit, Salt Lake City, Utah

Feb. 28-Mar. 2, 2019: NASJA On-Snow Meeting, North Conway 

Apr. 3, 2019: Deer Valley, Utah. Deer Valley hosts NASJA 

April 4-7, 2019: NASJA Annual Meeting, Park City, Utah, held in conjunction with U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame meeting.

If you have any questions about any of the meetings, please contact Iseult Devlin, [email protected].
Join the NASJA Clipbook

Attention NASJA press members: NASJA wants your clips. We have been revamping the clipbook during the last year to include more writers and to make it more graphically appealing. Take a look here.

If you haven't sent clips in or want to update what you have, please send .pdfs or links to Sue Yarworth, NASJA exec secretary, [email protected].
- Tamsin Venn, Jeff Blumenfeld 
NASJA Vice Presidents