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Returning to Normal

I hope you had a great summer and are ready for a return to somewhat normal operations as borders begin to open and snow sports enthusiasts make their return to their favorite slopes and trails. Although, despite the obvious challenges, the National Ski Areas Association shared that skier visit numbers totaled 59 million last season in the U.S. That’s the fifth best season on record!

In a rather ironic twist, some ski areas reported that the Covid-19 mitigation efforts implemented last season have improved the guest experience and will be continuing these measures this season. I’d love to hear from you what worked and what your ski area will be carrying over this season.

As climate change continues to be a concern for industry – and the world, let’s be honest – many ski areas are relying on snowmaking systems to ensure sufficient coverage. Of course, snowmaking is nothing new for ski resorts, but other industry sectors, such as cross-country skiing associations, are now relying on these systems as well. Head over to our cover story, for a discussion with the Cross-Country Ski Areas Association to learn how their members are implementing snowmaking on their trails. I haven’t heard of any snowmobile clubs relying on snowmaking, or looking to employ a snowmaking system, but I’d love to hear from you if you are.

Have you heard of STAR Towing and their innovative Towmobile? The company provides towing assistance and recovery specifically for snowmobiles on the trails. Currently, STAR Towing covers a part of the southeastern Ontario trail network, but they have plans to expand. Learn more about this company and their – potentially – lifesaving services.

I am also thrilled to congratulate this year’s inductees to the Snowmobile Hall of Fame. The Class of 2021 is filled with people who have dedicated their lives to promoting the sport of snowmobiling and their stories are fascinating.

There’s a new kid on the block in the world of snow grooming and you can learn more about the Finland-based Jarcrac. This company first came on my radar while preparing the 2021 SnowOps Equipment Comparison Guide, and I’m so happy that we could provide more information in this issue.

Preparations are underway for the 2022 SnowOps Equipment Comparison Guide. The submission process will officially open in January, so start gathering your spec sheets! As always, if you have any questions about the process, or have additional categories you would like to see added, drop me a line.

Don’t forget you can reach out at any time if you have comments on this issue or topics you would like to see covered in future issues. If you haven’t already, be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. I hope you enjoy this issue!

Best wishes for a successful snow season,


Lindsay Risto