The Compleat Skier

Once your warmest pair of pants and heavy jacket would have been enough for your ski trip. Now ski fashion is a booming industry featuring many styles and specially developed fabrics. Prices for basic outfits are as low as $50 and as high as $350. If you’re a beginner, however, it’s wise not to make a big investment in clothing until after you’ve been to the slopes at least once. Don’t hesitate to borrow items from friends who ski, and to improvise with a pair of jeans waterproofed with Scotchgard, and the sweaters and turtlenecks you already own.

There are a few basic items that every skier should include in his inventory. Be sure to have a parka, preferably punched fiberfill or down, with lots of pockets inside and out and a clip to hold your gloves. Take a wool hat that covers your ears, and changes of lightweight long underwear (the Ski Skellar has “hot dog” underwear which is rather expensive – $20 – but extremely warm and fast drying). Thermal socks are also a must. Buy pairs that are 85 percent wool and 15 percent nylon to allow stretch and form fit and prevent bunching at the toe or heel which ruins the fit of your boot. Never skimp on the price of gloves or mittens. Good ones usually begin at $20 and are well worth it.

Pants can be waterproofed jeans, zip-over warmups or stretch fabric. Stretch pants which cover the boot rather than go inside prevent snow and ice from melting in your shoes. Lightweight tur-tlenecks and wool or wool blend sweaters will provide plenty of additional warmth.

Extra items that it pays to have along are a good pair of goggles with tinted lenses, bandanna scarves to cover your face during cold, windy days, and lotion to prevent chapping and sunburn.

If you’re a veteran skier searching for some new looks this year, the trend is toward bib suits and one-piece and two-piece zip-together jumpsuits; these come in a wide price range. Stretch suits have a tight fit, while down is puffier, though complemented by a slimmer style line. In the past, colors have been bright and hot. This year the focus is on muted pastels and earth tones, especially shades of brown. Unfortunately, prices will be higher this year.

Sales pitches about equipment can boggle your mind. There are scores of types of skis and boots on the market and the statistics on each ski model begin to read like a computer printout. If you’re numerically inclined, ski magazines usually publish bench test reports every year on the ski designs of major manufacturers. For the average skier, however, there is no one best ski. Manufacturers produce several models adequate for recreational use. Naturally,each shop considers the skis it carries to be the best. In this area, look for Hexcel, Olin, Rossignol, Kniesel, Kastle, or Lange. Price is not necessarily an indication of quality, but stay in the $100 to $185 market to assure yourself of the best buy. If you shop around and find a salesperson you consider to be knowledgeable and fair, you can’t go wrong.

A good fit in a boot is a must for good skiing. Don’t skimp on price (the price range is about the same as skis) and be sure that the boot allows your ankle to bend forward while maintaining a snug fit. Buy your boots first and then begin looking for skis. Around Dallas the best buys are Dolomite, Hanson, Lange, Nordica, San Marco or Munari.

Skiers can find clothing and equipment at the stores listed below. If you’re shopping for equipment or clothing, do so before Christmas. Once the holiday season has passed, pickin’s are slim. If you’re looking for rental equipment, consider the pros and cons of renting here instead of when you get to the resort. The advantage in obtaining rentals here is that you know you’ve got your equipment and don’t have to worry about their availability at the slopes. Here you can also afford a little more time to shop around without losing ski time on the slopes. On the other hand, if you rent at the area, you save yourself the inconvenience of excess baggage, and if you’re dissatisfied with the equipment’s performance, the ski shop can always give you a new pair of skis, boots or poles.

Ski Skellar. 5500 Greenville Avenue at Old Town Village. 692-7372. A full line of clothing, equipment and new this year, a rental shop.

Cullum & Boren. NorthPark -363-8441; Valley View – 661-9653. A full line of clothing and equipment.

Oshman’s. 3610 Forest Lane. 351-5385. Clothing and equipment. For clothing only, Six Flags Mall in Arlington – 640-1086; Highland Park Village at Mockingbird & Preston – 522-4120; Promenade Center at Coit & Arapaho – 231-8168.

The Warming Hut. 13931 North Central at Keystone Park. 234-6088. A new shop this year carrying a full line of clothing and equipment.

TIM Athletic House. Highland park village at Mockingbird & Preston. 526-3131. A full line of clothing and equipment.

The Ladylike Shop. Wylie, Texas. Drive north on Central Expressway to Piano, right on FM 544 and east tor 15 minutes. 442-5842. Clothing only. Prices are cut in half because inventory is all factory surplus but usually well-known brands.

Mountain Chalet. 5500 Greenville at Old Town Village. 363-0372. Cross-country equipment only. Some clothing suitable for skiing.

Mountain Hideout. 14010 Coit Road. 234-8651. Specializes in backpacking equipment but some clothing suitable for skiing.

Plaeco Ski Rental. 10219 Denton Drive. 358-1504. Ski rentals and sales. Ski racks also available. Clothing and accessories for sale. Nastar clinics available.

Reservations: Copper Mountain, P.O. Box 1, Copper Mountain, Colorado 80443; (303)668-6477.

Crested Butte

Crested Butte lies halfway between Gunnison and Aspen and is 228 miles southwest of Denver. Like so many ski areas in the Rockies, it was once a mining town. Many of the original buildings from the 1880’s still stand in Crested Butte proper, two miles from the ski area. Seven lifts service 7,300 skiers per hour on 35 runs. Thirty-six percent of the runs are for intermediates and 27 percent are for experts. The vertical drop is 2,150 feet. There is lodging for 2,500 people in town and 300 rooms are available at the base resort. Restaurants provide fare varying from Mexican to Italian to cafeteria style. Night clubs, specialty shops and a health club at the ski village complete the offerings.

Ski School: Robel Straughaar heads a staff of 50 instructors. GLM and American method taught. Half day $8. Private lessons are $17 per hour (each additional person $5). Closed circuit TV available for reviewing progress. Nastar races twice a week. $3. Cross country and advanced instruction also available.

Reservations: Crested Butte Resort Association, Box 565, Crested Butte, Colorado 81224; (303)349-5100.


Keystone is 75 miles west of Denver and just six miles from Dillon. It is one of three ski areas in Summit County with free shuttle bus service to Copper Mountain and Breckenridge. It is also one of the newest ski resorts in the Rockies and boasts a totally planned community of slopes, condominiums and adjacent lodge. The John Gardiner Tennis Club with two indoor courts for winter play is across the highway from the lodge and lifts. A heated pool, restaurants, shops and a discotheque complete the village. There are 37 miles of trails at Keystone covering 375 acres. Eight double chairlifts and one poma-lift service 27 runs. This year, Keystone has been selected as the host resort for USSA Ski Week (January 8-15) and the national NASTAR finals (March 24-27). Other extras at Keystone include 15 miles of crosscountry touring trails and special instruction, an ice skating rink, one of two 400-meter speed skating tracks in the country and an adjacent lake where you can try your hand at ice-fishing. The food is delicious at the Lodge but a trip to Keystone wouldn’t be complete without a meal at La France Restaurant in nearby Dillon where the fare is deliciously prepared Provincial French cuisine. Call 468-6111 for reservations while you’re there.

Rates: $10 adults, $5 children under 12 for full day. Half day rates are $7.50 for adults, $4.50 for children.

Ski Rental: $7.50 adults, $5.50 children.

Ski School: Rod Carnie, Director, with 90 instructors. ATM taught. $10 full day; $6.50 half day. Private lessons are $50 for a half day (each additional person $5). Cross-country lessons, $9 for a lull day. Nastar races held daily at noon. $3. Nastar clinics can be arranged.

Reservations: Keystone International, Box 38, Keystone. Colorado 80435; (303)468-1234.


This ski area is 28 miles north of Durango. There are over 40 runs on 450 acres of the San Juan National Forest. The area gets one of the heaviest snowfalls in Colorado. Nearly 50 percent of the slopes are for intermediates while experts get their choice of such intimidating runs as “Hades,” “Pandemonium,” and “Catharsis.” At Purgatory itself there are six condominium complexes, a. 50 room lodge and three cocktail lounges. In Durango there are 30 additional motels as well as 41 restaurants and lounges. Tamarron luxury resort is 18 miles north. This summer a fourth chairlift was added, creating four new runs and additional rental shops. The lifts provide a per hour capacity of 4,200 skiers. The longest run is two miles with a vertical drop of 1,600 feet.

Rates: Full day $9.50; half day $6; children $4. Ski Rental: $7 adults, $4 children. Touring equipment

$5. Ski School: Fritz Tatzer, Director since 1968, with a staff of nearly 50 instructors. ATM taught. Half day $6.50, full day $11. Private lessons are $16 (each additional person $6).

Reservations: Durango Ski Corporation, Box 666, Durango, Colorado 81301; (303)247-9000.

Steamboat Springs

The resort is located at the base of Mt. Werner (named tor Olympic racer Buddy Werner) in the Yampa River Valley. It’s 157 miles from Denver by way of the Eisenhower Tunnel and Dillon. Over 500 acres and 53 ski trails (49 percent intermediate and 28 percent advanced) are ready for skiing. The 12 lifts and one gondola have a capacity of 12,700 skiers per hour. The vertical drop here is 3.600 feet with the longest run being two and a halt miles. In addition to alpine skiing, there are other activities available: cross-country, ice skating, and swimming – to name a few. Night-time skiing and evening sleigh rides are other attractions. It you’ve had enough of the slopes by lift closing time at 4 p.m., the resort village and adjacent Steamboat Springs (3 miles away) have 35 restaurants, two movie theaters, three bars with live bands, and two discotheques tor dancing for your pleasure. There are three lodge/ condominiums at the resort itself and over 30 other lodges or motels in Steamboat Springs or within easy driving distance.

Rates: $11 adults full day. $4 children. $8 adults half day.

Ski Rental: $7 downhill, $5 cross-country Ski School: Loris Werner, Director with over 100 instructors. Modified GLM taught. Two hour lessons – $9 adults, $7 children. Private lessons are $17 per hour (each additional person $7). Nastar races four afternoons a week.

Reservations: Steamboat Village, P.O. Box ZZ, Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80477; (800)525-2501.


This resort has the distinction of being named a National Registered Historical Landmark. Once a silver boom town, it dates back to the 1880’s and was the setting for Butch Cassidy’s first bank robbery. It is 127 miles southeast of Grand Junction and still relatively untouched by large ski crowds. But Dallas skiers who’ve been there think it’s one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado. Six double chairlifts provide access to 40 miles of trails, the longest being over 4 miles, and aptly named “See Forever.” Tellu-ride has a lift capacity of 6,400 skiers per hour and a reputation for “no lift lines – ever!” Emile Allais, world champion alpine skier and inventor of parallel skiing, designed the mountain with an equitable balance for beginner, intermediate and advanced runs in mind. One expert run, called “The Plunge.” is America’s longest, steepest run. There are over 20 restaurants, bars and discotheques, two movie theaters, lots of quaint shops, and seven lodges that provide good accommodations at modest prices.

Rates: $9.50 adults full day; $5 children under 12. $7.50 half day.

Ski Rental: $7 adults, $4.50 children.

Ski School: Peter Brinkman, Director, with a whole new approach to the concept of ski schools. GLM taught but special needs, problems emphasized in a Ski Academy held periodically throughout the season (six days tor $96). $11 all day (adults and children). Half day $7. Private lessons $12 per hour (each additional person $5).

Reservations: Telluride Central Reservations. Box 651, Telluride, Colorado 81435; (303)728-4316.


Vail, just 100 miles west of Denver, has a reputation for some of the best skiing and nightlife in the world. In tact, it’s North America s largest single mountain ski resort. The resort has two base areas – Vail Village and Lionshead. They are connected by both ski trails and shuttle buses so cars are hardly ever needed. The Lionshead gondola, now completely overhauled, and 14 chairlifts, service 57 miles of ski trails. The skiing is great, but it’s the nightlife and diversity of visitors that really make Vail so unusual. Gerald Ford skis there and so does the Shah of Iran. One can choose among 56 hotels or condominiums for accommodations. At the base of the mountain, there is a complete Tyrolean-style ski village that includes 62 restaurants and over 50 gift shops and boutiques. One could spend weeks here before sampling all of the variety of Vail’s cuisine and nightlife. If you’re only planning a stay of a few days, try our suggestions for the best restaurants and night spots in town:


1. Gasthof Gramshammer. The Antlers Room therespecializes in wild game.

2. Kostas Tiverna. They serve Greek food with aGreek band thrown in tor good measur.

3. Lancelot Inn. Specializes in prime rib.

4. The Left Bank. The best French cuisine in town.

5. The Red Lion. Serves great American and continental cuisine.


1. Donovan’s Copper Bar, a famous after-ski saloon.

2. Sheika’s at the Gasthof Gramshammer. A discotheque with top name entertainment.

3. Red Lion Inn tor great jazz.

4. Matchpoint Lounge at The Mark. Great live entertainment for listening and dancing.

5. The Village Pub at Vail Village Inn. Vail’s oldest barwith live entertainment.

Rates: $12 full day. $8.50 half day. Children and senior citizens, half-price.

Ski Rental: Adults $7-$10; children $6-$9.

Ski School: Bob Gagne heads a staff of over 150 full-time instructors from all over the world. Full day $13. halt day $10. Private lessons, $18 per hour.

Reservations: Vail Resort Association, Box 1368, Vail. Colorado 81657; (303)476-5677.

New Mexico

Angel Fire

Angel Fire is 26 miles east of Taos and boasts conditions so uncrowded that “the only lines you see are the ones you make ” Three double chairlifts service 3,200 skiers per hour on 18 miles of ski runs. The longest run is three and a halt miles with a vertical drop of 2,180 feet. Only 15 percent of the runs are rated expert so the beginner and intermediate skier will have plenty of practice terrain. Accommodations can be found at one ot four condominium lodges around the resort. The largest lodge, called Starfire, is located near the base of the slope, and provides a shuttle bus to take you to the lifts. A rental shop, restaurant, snack bar, and ski shops are also located here for your convenience. Extra offerings include ice skating and snowmobiling.

Rates: $8 adults full day, $5 children. Half day $5 adults, $3 children.

Ski Rental: $8 adults, $6 children.

Ski School: GLM taught. Class lessons $7. Private

lessons $14 per hour, each additional hour $6.

Information: Angel Fire, Drawer B, Angel Fire, New Mexico 87718; (505)377-2301.

Red River

This old gold and silver mining area in northern New Mexico is located in the Sangre de Cristo range with a mountain summit of 10,274 feet. Fifty-two snowmaking hydrants allow a longer ski season than would normally be possible, but the weather can fool you. Last year, New Mexico had better snowfall than Colorado. A new chairlift will be installed this fall to replace the pony lift and 31 trails are ready for skiing. Red River is a year-round resort and during the winter, sleigh rides, ice skating, cross-country, snowmobiling and sledding are also available. There are 30 lodges and 16 restaurants in Red River as well as four bars, and numerous shops, banks, theaters, service stations, and grocery stores. Two complimentary shuttle buses make continuous rounds from your lodge to the ski area and back. This year, the base lodge has completely revamped the food operation tor faster service which allows more time on the slopes. When you reach the top of the mountain, the Ski Tip Restaurant will serve you sandwiches and drinks as well.

Rates: $9.75 adults full day; $7 children 12 and under. $7 adults half day. $5 children.

Ski Rental: Eight rental shops. Average cost is $7 for adults, $5 for children.

Ski School: Drew Judycki, Director. GLM taught. One lesson $6. Private lessons $15 per hour (each additional person $6). Nastar races held.

Reservations: Red River Ski Area, Box 303, Red River, New Mexico 87558; (505)754-2444.


Taos Ski Valley has the charm of an old world alpine ski village. Swiss-born Ernie Blake discovered the area, developed it, and personally runs it today. Fifty-seven runs (over half of which are expert) on 1,090 acres comprise this resort located 19 miles from the city of Taos. The emphasis here is most definitely on skiing. In fact, skis are the only mode of transportation you’ll need to get from lodge to lift. The mood is tranquil, relaxed and uncrowded. Once considered primarily an expert skier’s oasis, the recent opening of Kachina Basin allows the beginner and intermediate skier plenty of runs. There are six lifts with a 4,000 per hour capacity, long runs and a vertical drop of 2,600 feet. The better skier taking the steep runs is even provided the famous “Martini Trees” where he can sip a well-cooled martini as he stops along the way. Just steps from the lifts are five lodges with European-style dining rooms, and three condominiums which provide accommodations for 1,200. In addition there are two independent restaurants and four night clubs. The city of Taos has nine additional lodges. Guests at the resort proper must commit to seven day package trips.

Rates: $10 full day, $6 half day; children $6.

Ski Rentals: $8 adults, $7 children.

Ski School: Ernie Blake, Director, with a staff of 46 instructors. Class lessons $9 in the morning, $6 in the afternoon. Private lessons $16 per hour. Advanced ski seminars, Nastar clinics and Nordic classes also available. Races every Thursday and Sunday.

Reservations: Taos Ski Valley, Inc., Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico 87571; (505)776-2206 or (505)776-2266.



Alta is noted for some of the best powder conditions in the world. It is just 25 miles southeast of Salt Lake City and one mile up-canyon from Snowbird. A shuttle bus service connects the areas. Many skiers take advantage of its proximity to the state’s capital and stay there while skiing all of the nearby areas (Snowbird, Brighton, Park City). The ski season begins in early November and ends in May. At one time Alta was a silver mining boom town of 5,000 people who made fortunes from the famed Alta Basin. It is also one of the oldest ski areas in America, best known tor its expert slopes, but beginners and intermediates will still find plenty of skiing. Six double chairlifts cover the mountain’s 29 slopes (half of which are “most difficult”), and six lodges provide accommodations at the mountain’s base. The mood is casual with limited but intimate night-time activities and the luxury of being able to ski from lodge to lift without need for a car. It is one of the few remaining ski resorts where the true feeling of lodge life still exists.

Rates: $7 all day, $5.50 half day.

Ski Rental: Four ski shops offer rates from $7 to $9.

Ski School: Alf Engen, Director, with a staff of 70 instructors. Pioneers in powder skiing techniques, using American Technique. Two hour class lessons $6. Private lessons $15 to $18 per hour.

Reservations: Alta Reservation Service, Alta, Utah 84 070; (801)742-2040.


Snowbird is a 40-minute. 31-mile drive from Salt Lake City’s airport. The ski trails and base area village are only six years old but have already gained the reputation of being one of the Rockies’ finest skiing experiences. Thirty-two runs lor all levels of ability, live double chairlifts and a 125-passenger tram make skiing a pleasure here. With nearly 2,000 acres of terrain to ski and a maximum 3,100 loot vertical drop, Snowbird guarantees variety for skiers. The village is one mile from Alta (accessible by free shuttle bus) and an hour from Park City. In addition to skiing the mountain, there’s tennis on five indoor courts, ice skating, swimming, cross-country, and helicopter guide skiing for the expert powder skier. For up-to-the-minute ski conditions call their toll free number (800) 243-5250. There are 12 lounges and restaurants at Snowbird as well as tour lodges with a total capacity of 571 rooms.

Rates: $10 full day, $8 half day.

Ski Rental: $8.50 adults, $6 children.

Ski School: Junior Bounous, Director. GLM approach, American technique. Special powder instruction also available. $14 full day, $10 half day. Private lessons are $18 per hour (each additional person $6). Nastar races every Thursday and Sunday. $2.50.

Reservations: Snowbird Central Reservations, Snowbird. Utah 84070; (801)742-2000.

Park City

The area is 27 miles from Salt Lake City via Interstate 80. only a 40-minute drive from the airport. The resort is located at the mountain base and the ski runs cover 2,200 acres. There are 57 major ski runs, 30 percent advanced, 51 percent intermediate. The longest run is three and a halt miles. Nine double chairlifts, one triple chairlift and one of the longest four-passenger gondolas in America service 12.700 skiers per hour, so lift lines are minimal Park City experiences an annual snowfall of 25 feet with an average base of six feet for six months out of the year. This makes the resort’s season one of the longest in the Rockies – November 19 to May 8 for 1976-77. Park City also boasts the longest night-lighted run in the Rockies. The resort was once a silver mining town and residents have taken care to preserve the rustic flavor. Many restored shops, saloons, and restaurants line historic Main Street and over 60 hotels, condominiums and cottages provide accommodations at or near the mountain’s base. Utah’s liquor laws are conservative even by Texas standards but several liquor stores in Park City make aprés-ski drinks easier to come by. It’s best to buy your own bottles, otherwise expect to see lots of the famous Utah “mini-bottles” being sold at area restaurants.

Rates: $10 adults full day, $5 children under 12. Halt day $6 tor adults, $3 tor children. Student and senior citizen special rates are available with proper ID. Night passes are $5.50 for adults, $3 for children.

Ski Rental: Four shops service the area with average rates of $8 for adults, $5 tor children.

Ski School: Stein Eriksen, Director (an Olympic Gold Medal winner). GLM taught. Day lessons (3 hours) are $10. Half day lessons (1 1/2 hours) $7. Private lessons are $18 per hour (each additional person $6). An evening ski school is available as are half-day Nastar clinics for $10 (Saturdays only). Nastar races on Wednesdays and Thursdays. One run $3; re-runs $2.

Reservations: Park City Ski Corp., P.O. Box 39, Park City, Utah 84060; (801)649-8200.


Jackson Hole

Some of the best skiing in the world can be found here. The resort boasts America’s greatest vertical rise, 4,139 feet. There are six square miles of terrain to ski and if you’re ambitious enough, it’s possible to ski 150,000 vertical feet in one week. With the opening of Caspar Bowl in December of 1974, Jackson Hole’s “expert” reputation was expanded to include slopes for all levels of skiers. The resort town at the base of Rendezvous Mountain, known as Teton Village, is a year-round vacation area accessible from Dallas by Frontier Airlines with connecting Frontier flights from Denver. Teton Village has six ski lodges and eight apartments and condominiums. There is a large selection of restaurants in the area (we’ve heard the Mangy Moose is one not to miss) and bars (drinking age 19). Extras like a certified child care center, video tape evaluation at the Ski School, cross-country package tours, heated pools and meeting facilities tor large groups are also available. One aerial tram and five chairlifts service the mountain. The resort operators guarantee “virtually no waiting in lift lines.” If you want to get in a little sightseeing, nearby Jackson is reputed to be one of the last well preserved ranch towns in America. Rates: Chairlifts only: $11 adults per day. $5 children

12 and under. The tram is $4 extra per day. Ski Rental: $6 per day (GLM equipment). Ski School: Pepi Stiegler, Director (he’s a gold, silver. and bronze Olympic medal winner). ATM taught. Half-day lessons are $8 for adults, $7 for children. Private lessons are $16 per hour (each additional person $6). The Ski School also features full day clinics on Mondays and Thursdays tor Nastar races. Adults $10, children $8 Races are held every Tuesday and Friday; adult entrance fee $3, juniors $2. re-runs $1

Reservations: Teton Village Resort Association, P.O. Box P, Teton Village. Wyoming 83025; (800)443-6931.


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