While the SD980 has the longer zoom, it doesn't have a viewfinder, which I find indispensable on the hill. The display tends to get washed out, and trying to find your subject when fully zoomed can be a trick onto itself.
Keep in mind that amount of zoom is useless unless knowing what the focal length is. In the case of the 980 it goes up to the equivalent of 120mm lens. I hear all this stuff about 5000x zooms, but unless you're going to bring a tripod with you, or have some REALLY good stabilization (ie, think $750+ cameras), I think it's sort of a moot point.
You originally said you wanted to "capture some skiing now and then. ....just something I can put in my pocket and forget about it unless a good shooting opportunity comes up." Trust me, between the small size, nice 12+mp stills, 720 video and a price at about $225, this is a laugher.