The Buzz: Ski Area News Archive January thru April 2013

hosted by Rick Bolgerwith correspondents throughout the world

3 April 2013 New York biggie Hunter Mountain will be shutting down daily ops this Sunday, but will reopen for April 13 & 14...

2 April 2013 Season just won't quit in some parts of the country: Oregon's Mt Bachelor is still talking mid-June...still so much snow even in parts of the southwest that New Mexico's Sipapu Resort will re-open for the next two weekends. Likewise Ski Santa Fe is still serving up a three foot base, but temps are making it tough and they'll bang it up this Sunday. Taos still has over 4' base, serving up sledding and pond skimming this weekend...move to the opposite side of the nation, Sugarloaf got two inches of snow overnight, and yes, they are open in the woods, the snowfields, and the legendary "backside" New Hampshire, sister resorts Wildcat and Attitash are both 100% open. Attitash will shut it down Sunday, but the Cat will be open daily through the 14th and then go on a weekend-by-weekend basis...move to the midwest, Ski Brule got 3" of fresh last night, unbelievable. Elsewhere in Michigan, snowmobile races on tap this weekend at Big of Utah getting soft...interesting report from our Utah correspondent Bill O'Hara, he was at Powder Mountain yesterday and surprised by a thunderstorm; PowMow issued vouchers...kudos to the University of Vermont womens nordic team who assisted in a wild rescue Saturday in the Adirondacks; Julie Rheaumb, 30, of Montreal, Quebec, was snowshoeing on Dix Mountain when she badly injured her ankle...back to Utah, a Connecticut skier was kicked off the hill yesterday at Deer Valley for using a "teleboard," which is similar to a monoski. Deer Valley, of course, does not allow snowboards and this thing looks like one. So the dude was kicked out, but now is claiming foul because he's handicapped and this teleboard is adapted for his limited movement. Deer Valley was called out by a Salt Lake TV station and is taking a second look at the ski...season winding down this weekend at some Colorado resorts, they are: Buttermilk, Crested Butte, Keystone, Purgatory, Ski Cooper, Sunlight, Telluride and Wolf Creek...back to Oregon, sorry to report that a Timberline instructor, body of 23-year-old Russell Tiffany was found drowned in a creek out-of-bounds near Mt. Hood Ski Bowl Sunday...kudoes to Joe Discoe of Telluride, CO who won his third U.S. title Saturday in dual moguls competition at Heavenly Mountain Resort in California.

1 April 2013 Big news out of Colorado where Ski Loveland will be constructing a lift through the Eisenhower Tunnel to access terrain on the west side of the Continental Divide. The ski area is moving the disused double chair that connects Loveland Basin and Loveland Valley to the westbound Eisenhower tube. Skiers will return to the base area via the eastbound Johnson tube, where management is presently considering some type of surface lift.

29 March 2013 Aside from Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods, biggest news in the ski world right now has to be the way the season is hanging on in the east. Pleanty of areas have changed their scheduled closing dates, and some of the biggies like Wildcat, Sugarloaf and Killington just might possibly spin lifts in May. K-Mart still 100% open with 71 miles of trails...These are the good old NH, Loon is looking to April 13th; they still have 98% of their terrain open. Attitash will go to April 7. Venerable Black Mountain banged it up this past weekend, with more snow than they had for a good part of the regular season! Vermont, even the hills not known for long seasons are going on and on. Magic, which has the best prices and terrain in Southern VT will go to at least April 7, possibly the 14th if they get enough bodies. Bolton Valley extended their season as well. Both these mountains were in serious, serious trouble just a few years ago; makes this so good to's so good in New England right now, even the southernmost resorts are going strong. Jiminy Peak looks to go through at least April 7...over the border in the Catskills, Windham will shut it down Sunday, but they'll have 100% of terrain open. Wow. Go north a bit to Gore and it's still winter, with great ticket rates. $30 tomorrow at Gore, that's fantastic. I can't say it enough, this is a big finish...the story is just as good in parts of the midwest. Ski Brule in Michigan is 100% open. The sky is blue this morning, and the snow is as deep as six feet in some places. Wacky Mt Bohemia -- no cash accepted, credit & debit cards only, has all 450 acres open, side to side, top to bottom...that 900 lb gorilla in the midwest, Lutsen, is 100% open on four mountains, and they've even got most of their "backcountry" good is this season? Folks, head to North Carolina and find Sugar Mountain at 100% open. I'd say Wintergreen in Virginia, because the snow is fantastic right now, but they're -- ahem -- closed. Fear not, Wintergreen will be open tomorrow and next Saturday. That's amazing. Massanutten banged it up last weekend...look to West Virginia; Snowshoe open daily through April 7th...Pac northwest, run don't walk to Anthony Lakes, half price tix and 100% open and groomed alpine and nordic. Mt. Bachelor is skiing heaven right now, planning to spin lifts until the end of May. In Washington State, Stevens Pass will go to mid April. Summit Central and Alpental will close after next Sunday. But the season will go on; when Crystal Mountain ends weekday ops in late April, they'll stay open weekends until June California, the skiing is great despite the leaks; Heavenly skiing 100% and wonderful, downside is a $120,000 fine from the California Department of Toxic Substances for problems stemming from a used oil tank...sad to report Steamboat is closing the Four Points Hut next weekend, going to replace it with a $5 million Four Points Lodge. They're looking to do evening dining, a la Vail and others. Actually, the old hut was always crowded, I guess I'm not that heartbroken about it. Good cel reception; friend of mine did a phone interview there years ago, got a job. I took a snow nap in the sunshine. So good memories; undersized facility...and I'm so sorry to report that a 26-year-old snowboarder died Wednesday night at Brighton in Utah, hit a tree. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

25 March 2013 Winter is hanging on in most of the country; outstanding conditions this past weekend in Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, New Hampshire, Oregon, Anthony Lakes is still getting snow, but they'll bang it up April 7th regardless, with nordic operations closing on the 6th...New Jersey has Mountain Creek now planning on cranking up the lifts one more time next weekend, closing for the season on the 31st. Creek was planning to button it up New Mexico, Angel Fire, Ski Apache and Red River wrapped it up this past weekend. So the place to be is Taos, still skiing on a five foot base on parts of the mountain...Utah's Powder Mountain pulled in a couple inches of snow on Saturday, which means fresh tracks everywhere. Slightly south, Alta is still going strong, 6" new snow...this is some of the best skiing of the season, right now. Made a trip to Bolton Valley Vermont this weekend, was skiing on snow that would make the management at Aspen envious. It seems to be good throughout most of New England; Okemo is fully open but for a couple of Pennsy, Blue Mountain just extended the season until March 30th, with $25 lift tix from here on out...and Plattekill New York will be open next weekend; longer if they can. Neighbor Belleayre is just about 100% and serving up amazing conditions...about half a foot of fresh at Steamboat...sorry to report that 42-year-old David Schreitmueller of Kensington, MD died after hitting a tree at Snowmass on Friday. Schreitmueller was in Aspen for the NASTAR National Championships...and more grim news out of Aspen...55-year-old Aspen resident Jeff Walker, who went missing out of Aspen Highlands a couple weeks ago, has been found dead from a gunshot wound reportedly New York, troubled Greek Peak Resort was sold in bankruptcy court for about $7 million to a pair of local businessmen. The proceeds will go to the FDIC, which was holding some $40 million worth of notes on the property.

18 March 2013 Congratulations to Mikaela Shiffrin, blistering her second run and winning the season slalom finale in Lenzerheide and taking her first globe! Overall champ Tina Maze was third, which kind of makes her loss in the downhill standings a moot point, since this race would've precluded a sweep. Maze of course won the final GS event yesterday, giving her an incredible 2414 points for the season, more than double the tally for runner-up Maria Hoefl-Riesch. So Maze walks away with three globes, and a record point total. Marcel Hirscher continued his winning ways, taking yesterday's slalom event and finishing the overall about 300 points ahead of 2009 champ Aksel-Lund Svindal. With the glaring exception of the injuries to Lindsey Vonn, Klaus Kroell and a few others, it was a fantastic season for FIS World Cup New Mexico, Pajarito banged it up yesterday, and Angel Fire has announced that it will shut down after Sunday March 24...fantastic conditions in New York and New England; Gore Mountain got 8" near the summit and had powder in the trees over the Colorado, Arapahoe Basin on 5" of fresh the banana belt, Mountain Creek NJ is closed for a couple days but will re-open Wednesday and run through Sunday, closing for the season at that time...sister resorts Wildcat and Attitash NH are skiing fantastic right now, and have lowered e-ticket prices to $40 midweek...Pac northwest Anthony Lakes reports in with 4-6" of fresh over the weekend, skiing is spectacular right now...why is it that in years like this, the conditions are fantastic right before the end of the season, but most skiers and boarders have put their gear away? I'll never understand it.

14 March 2013 Tough news out of New Hampshire. Olympic champ Evan Dybvig and partners have been forced to close Whaleback Ski Area, which is an incalculable loss for the nearby communities. The lifts will spin one last time today, and that's it...lose one, gain one: news out of Wyoming has the long-shuttered Antelope Butte in the Bighorn Mountains coming back from the dead, now as a non-profit. Owner of nearby Meadowlark Resort is less than thrilled...More misfires at the World Cup final event in Lenzerheide; weather conditions again forced cancellations of the mens & womens Super G, but not until Austria's Klaus Kroell was blown into the netting and broke his arm. Aksel-Lund Svindal collects another globe but he's really got no chance at the overall. Tina Maze gets the womens globe for the Washington, The Chelan Ranger District is offering free cross country skiing at Echo Ridge Nordic. Grooming is done for the season, but you can't beat the price...Massachusetts' Nashoba Valley banged it up for the season on Sunday. Rumor has it they may reopen this weekend if conditions permit. Still no word from Nashoba about the 14-year-old snowboarder airlifted to a Boston hospital...Stratton VT gearing up for its 24 hours of Stratton fundraiser next weekend...Mountain Creek NJ has been closed, reopens today...Boyne Highlands MI still 100% open and no signs of slowing down. Sister mountain Boyne has great conditions, still very much a winter wonderland...update on World Cup: Aksel-Lund Svindal has announced that he will not enter the slalom event scheduled for Sunday, thus giving Marcel Hirscher the mens overall globe...Pennsy's Shawnee Mountain has announced March 24th closing date...skier still missing at Aspen Highlands...speaking of Aspen, Skico has announced that January and February skier visit count gained ground. At the end of December Skico was down 8%, but now is down just 2%. Nationwide the trend is better, with the industry overall gaining 10% over the snowless season passes for 2013-14 will go up twenty bucks at Steamboat, will be $979 if a $99 deposit is received prior to June 1. Passes then go up to $1089. Yikes. Kids, students & seniors are lower prices of course.

13 March 2013 Some closing dates have been announced...Pajarito NM will bang it up after this weekend...Middlebury Snow Bowl VT is planning to go to the end of the month...Hidden Valley NJ has already thrown in the towel...small but mighty Bear Creek PA is going out with a St. Patrick's Day party on Sunday; they've had a great season despite up-and-down temps in the mid-Atlantic...elsewhere in PA Alpine Mountain and Ski Big Bear are reduced to weekends-only...just heard from Ski Brule MI; they got a foot of new snow Sunday and will be open well into early April, which is just friends at Arapahoe Basin got another inch overnight, add it to the 6-7" they got Sunday, and you've got some fantastic conditions with temps in the 20s today. Wow...speaking of wow, big news from Lenzerheide today where the FIS World Cup Downhill final was cancelled. Remember a couple years ago when a cancellation eliminated Lindsey Vonn's chances of reclaiming the overall globe when Maria Riesch had a slight lead? Well I guess turnabout is fair play -- this time, fog on the Silvano Beltrametti piste made running the race unsafe and gives Vonn the downhill globe by default. Lindsey finishes just one point ahead of Tina Maze, who was poised to take it with a decent finish. The sad news here is that it ends Maze's shot at sweeping all of the globes. As Vonn said back in 2011, it's a shame this was settled by weather rather than in competition. On the mens side, this is a win/lose for Aksel-Lund Svindal. The Norseman takes the downhill globe as a result, but loses out on a surefire opportunity to gain points on Marcel Hirscher for the overall. (Hirscher does not enter downhill events) Rumours are floating that Svindal will put on slalom skis to try and gain a few points, but I really doubt it, because he hasn't been competitive in that discipline since 2007. Back to Tina Maze, she has had the most dominating season imaginable. This just goes to show how incredibly difficult it would be to sweep the globes. It's got to be a letdown for her, and I'm wondering if it might not give Mikaela Shiffrin a psychological advantage in the final slalom...55-year-old Aspen resident Jeff Walker has been missing for five days; last seen skiing Aspen Highlands...back to Pennsy news, mucho heavy rain forced Blue Mountain, Camelback, Jack Frost/Big Boulder and Shawnee Mountain to close yesterday, but they all reopened this morning, most of 'em at 100%...speaking of 100%, but on the other side of the country, Anthony Lakes Oregon has a 78" base and fabulous skiing. Put that on your calendar if you're anywhere near it this weekend...kudos to Dick Bass and Snowbird UT for naming a run after fallen Navy Seal Glen Doherty of Winchester MA. Doherty was an avid fan of the 'Bird. He was killed in the Sept 11 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi...NW skiers be aware of March 22-23 the 24 Hours of Schweitzer (Idaho) is little over a week away; this cause raises funds for 6-year-old Hank Sturgis of Sandpoint, suffering from cystinosis.

11 March 2013 Congratulations to the University of Colorado, who rallied from a 54-point deficit to overtake University of Vermont for the NCAA Championship this weekend. Vermont was the points leader based on strong downhill performances at Stowe and Middlebury, but lost ground in the XC competitions at the Trapp Family Lodge and then at Breadloaf XC. The Buffaloes beat defending champs UVM in the final race, and the University of Utah surged ahead to second overall. It was a terrific competition, despite the soaring temperatures on Saturday...temps spiked all over the east this weekend, tough to take after recent snows through much of the region. But the East still has plenty of season remaining; temps are slated to drop mid-week and snow slated to return for the weekend. Mount Snow in southern Vermont is always a good indicator, offering skiing and boarding on 99% of total terrain today. 43 degrees at Killington this to be right now is on the packed pow at Arapahoe Basin, bitter cold and sunshine...temps in the 30s today in Utah, serving up ice cream consistency at Alta and Snowbird...annual Jackson Hole Town Downhill was run yesterday at Snow King. The race is nicknamed the "mini-Hahnenkamm" due to its terrifying pitch; winner was US Ski Team member Colby Granstrom...big news out of the FIS World Cup circus is Tina Maze winning the ladies' slalom event yesterday at Ofterschwang, Mikaela Shiffrin finished third. Win puts Maze ahead of Shiffrin in the slalom title chase by just a few points. Maze is now sitting in the catbird seat to take every globe in the women's disciplines. In addition to cinching the overall, Maze has clinched the GS globe. She's just one point behind Lindsey Vonn in the downhill. With Vonn on the sidelines she merely needs to ski well to take the globe. Maria Hoefl-Riesch is mathematically very much alive in this hunt; a 2nd place finish would give Riesch the crown if Maze finishes 19th or worse. A victory for Riesch would give her the title if Maze finishes lower than 7th. If Riesch DNFs, all Maze needs to do is finish 29th or higher to take the globe. In Super G, Julia Mancuso could conceivably catch Maze, but I doubt it. On the men's side, nothing compares to Maze's run, but the competition is still somewhat interesting for the overall with Aksel-Lund Svindal about 150 points shy of defending champ Marcel Hirscher. With four races to go, Svindal would need to ski very well and Hirscher very poorly in order to change the inevitable. Hirscher has clinched the slalom globe, Svindal has the super G globe, and Ted Ligety just took the GS globe with his win Saturday in Kranjska Gora. Hirscher finished second; Svindal sixth. The finale in Lenzerheide begins with training today. Competition starts Wednesday with mens and womens downhill, which will determine the globes for that discipline...that's a lot to read, but it's the briefest way I can summarize how the season is ending. As far as Tina Maze is concerned, she's had the best single season point total of any skier in history, and has won in all disciplines. In short, you'd have to combine speedster Svindal and technician Hirscher to have a mens skier as good as Maze this season...our thoughts and prayers are with a 14-year-old girl who was flown from Nashoba Valley ski area to a Boston hospital with "severe" injuries following a snowboarding accident, apparently a jump gone horribly wrong...better news from western Mass, after a young boy fell 30' off a chairlift at Ski Butternut, taken to hospital in Pittsfield but apparently no serious New York State, venerable Greek Peak Resort goes on the auction block on March 19th. Greek filed chapter 11 back in August 2012...Maine Warden Service says it will not charge a 17-year-old skier who was missing for two nights near Sugarloaf, which is only fair, since they weren't the ones who found him.

5 March 2013 Pleased to report that a 17-year-old Medford, MA skier who went AWOL at Sugarloaf this weekend was found this morning by a snowmobiler. Kid survived two nights out in the cold by building a shelter with hemlock branches and snow...5" fresh overnight at Arapahoe Basin, added to other recent snowfalls gives that area some of its best conditions this season...2-for-1 tickets today at Sipapu in NM...four deaths this past weekend in backcountry ski related avalanches around the nation, including one in Grand Teton National Park; an additional Colorado victim is in critical condition...Tina Maze went ahead and broke Hermann Maier's record for season point totals in World Cup racing by finishing 4th in the Super G event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Austrian Anna Fenninger won the event, followed by Maria Hoefl-Riesch and our own Julia Mancuso. Maze then put an exclamation point on her amazing season by winning the Garmisch downhill. Laurenne Ross of the USA was a surprise second, with Hoefl-Riesch claiming third. American Alice McKennis crashed heavily and was airlifted out of the event. Later diagnosis revealed a broken right tibial plateau, what you and I call a shin bone...meanwhile, Aksel-Lund Svindal won his first World Cup event on his home turf by claiming the Super G event at Kvitfjel. Also clinches the Super G globe for the popular Norseman...NCAA Championships kick off tomorrow in Middlebury, VT and of course the Colorado Buffaloes are favorites going in, but look for heavy competition from defending champs University of Vermont and Eastern Regional runner-up Dartmouth. It all kicks off tomorrow morning with the Ladies' GS event at Middlebury Snow Bowl...great news out of the mid-Atlantic: Snowshoe WV will extend the season thru the end of the month...sorry to report that 65-year-old Donald Hansen, owner of backcountry ski Scottish Lakes High Camp near Leavenworth WA died after a massive amount of snow fell off a tree and buried him; authorities say he either suffocated or was knocked out and then suffocated. Either way, ugh...looking at the midwest, Crystal Mountain MI is still working on a 72" base, Nubs Nob MI is still 100% open, Treetops in Gaylord still on a 60" base. Last year at this time they were offering golf lessons.

1 March 2013 Skicross championships going on this morning at The Canyons, it will be televised on NBC Sunday at 3:00 pm...big congrats to Liechtensteiner Tina Weirather who won her first World Cup race, specifically the Super G at Garmisch today. Tina Maze and Julia Mancuso tied for second. Weirather comes from a skiing family; mom and pop were both winners in World Cup. Today's is the 40th victory for the family...5" new snow at Arapahoe Basin...surprising news here, but good news, Bear Creek in Macungie PA turned their snow guns on last night...foot of fresh at Stratton VT...a bit less also at nearby Mount Snow, which is mobbed this morning, and that's good to see...belated birthday wishes to Mario Andretti...snowing right now at Powder Mountain utah, conditions are nothing short of fabulous but most of us mere mortals will want to wait for the precipitation to slow down a bit...about a foot in Maine at Sugarloaf, which has awesome conditions right now...tomorrow March 2nd Olympians Bode Miller, Phil Mahre, Tommy Moe and Diann Roffe will participate in events including an autograph session and Apres Ski Party at Windham Mountain New York...update on the early February Aspen death of 48-year-old Natalie Egleston, of Ardmore, Pa., who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a collision with another woman. District Attorney Sherry Caloia says not enough evidence to substantiate that the other skier was criminally reckless or negligent. The accident occurred at a merge point on the Spar Gulch trail...Tahoe region resort Sugar Mountain will drop ticket prices on Monday...State senator Bill Monning of California has introduced California Senate Bill 564 requiring ski resorts to prepare an annual safety plan that includes detailed descriptions of all safety and accident prevention activities, as well as monthly and annual reports of all known deaths and injuries. Good grief.

27 February 2013 Snow, snow and more snow in west Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma. Unfortunately not many ski areas there. In fact, none that I know of. Well at least Hidden Valley Missouri got some of it, Snow Creek got 5" as well, which is a very nice bonus for those folks...In Iowa, Mt Crescent took advantage of the snow to open Monday & Tuesday afternoon, and in Dubuque Sundown Mountain garnered 5" of fresh from the storm. I guess the bigger news there is that Sundown will try and break the world Shot Ski record this weekend; they're going to line up some 200+ participants over a shotski longer than a football field. Gotta be 21 to participate, so at least that aspect will be legit. Apparently Breckenridge CO is home of the current record. Breck only got 3" of snow out of this storm, so Sundown Iowa is the place to be Saturday for many reasons...Plenty to report from New England today, first and foremost is the news that Eaton Mountain in Skowhegan Maine is returning to lift-served skiing and riding next Thursday. It will be serving up a handle tow for a terrain park on Thursdays only, but that's a major step in the right direction. They've had a lot of factors conspiring against them, so this is quite a surprise. This is the second "lost" Maine ski area to reopen this season; first and most noteworthy was the resurrection of Big Squaw by a volunteer group. Maine skiers are tough if nothing else...and from southern New Hampshire, news is that Pat's Peak will be expanding over the next couple years; they're looking to add a triple chair and a few trails on a sort-of back side and will call it "Cascade Basin." We're glad to see this...Thomas G. Wagner, supervisor of the White Mountain National Forest is cogitating and ruminating over an expansion plan for Waterville Valley, which is proposed entirely on Forest Service land the government has already designated for skiing. Proposal includes a detachable quad, eight new trails and one glade in the Green Peak area. If USFS does approve, the whole thing goes for public comments and heaven knows how many other hurdles...Ski The East Freeride Tour rolls into Magic Mountain this Saturday...speaking of Maine, the inaugural Penobscot Ski Bash is slated for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course, yes, golf course and this is an event for nordies, but that's cool...good news from New Mexico, Ski Santa Fe turned away a disabled skier recently, but that is prompting them to add ski bikes to their offering...Vermont's Mount Snow has about a half foot of fresh, but some lifts are on wind hold...identification of the backcountry skier killed in the avy near Revelstoke; he was Holger Achim Fritz, 24, a native of Germany who'd been living in British Columbia for a while...and from the other side of the pond, good news from the Ski Scotland trade association; they've already passed last season in terms of skier Pennsy we thank Seven Springs for hosting a dozen or so Wounded Warriors with free skiing and lodging this week...speaking of Pennsy, Blue Mountain must not be familiar with the nearby Sno Mountain at Montage bankruptcy, because Blue plans to follow their lead and sink a whole boatload of dough into a water park...did I ever mention Telluride CO celebrating its 40th season? Not sure how I missed that...Montana's Whitefish City Council trying to sort out the stalled subdivision plans and future of Big Mountain Village at Big Mountain...Tuesday will be "Vermont Peanut Butter Day" at Bolton Valley; bring an unopened 16-ounce jar of any Vermont peanut butter, get a half-price ticket. The peanut butter will be donated to a local food mission...Steamboat Springs CO hearing winds up Friday concerning the wrongful death case of a young man killed at Howelsen Hill (this is not to be confused with the popular Steamboat Resort)...Utah news, see if you can follow this. The ski area now known as Eagle Point Resort was once called Elk Meadows. A few years back, a pair of Salt Lake area brothers named Marc and Stephen Jenson proposed taking the Elk Meadows area and creating the very exclusive Mount Holly Club, which would be a millionaires-only resort. They got money from a bunch of folks, but then a "key investor" dropped out, and the whole thing spiraled down and now they're in jail and on trial for fraud and what have you. I guess the good news in all this is that it opened the door for Eagle Point, which is a revitalized, thriving ski area, and not at all associated with the brothers Jenson.

25 February 2013 Pleased to report that Bakersfield CA area Alta Sierra re-opened this past weekend after a foot-plus of fresh; the first time the ski resort has had enough snow to open since Jan. 29...Looks like Ski Apache is the place to be this morning. That's in New Mexico, for those of you who like to keep track of that stuff. Nice snow overnight at Angelfire and Taos as well...personal fave Powder Mountain in Utah got over a foot of fresh on Saturday, which means there is still easy-to-find powder today, also tomorrow, and the next day...speaking of Taos, they're hosting the 2013 Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships Feb 28th thru March 2nd; skiers from around the world will be dropping in the freaky chutes on Kachina Peak for a lousy $15,000 top prize...awesome skiing at Arapahoe Basin today, mostly powder and packed, and very cold...Poconos Shawnee Mountain has a terrific season ender deal, 3 lift tix for just $89...Wisconsin fave Mt LaCrosse running a $225 pass special for next season, good for the rest of this season, but offer ends March 10...Montana news, glad to say a Missoula Snow Bowl skier who went missing yesterday was found during a chopper search this morning...the body of the Quebecor who was missing in the Chic Chocs was found yesterday, 36-year-old Bertrand Marcotte was missing since last Sunday, had his gear but apparently never reached the shelter he set out for...British skier Thomas Lynch, 22 years old and apparently intoxicated, died after smacking into a snow cannon on the slopes of La Pagne in France...avalanche near Revelstoke British Columbia claimed the life of a backcountry skier on Friday...sorry to say the bad news doesn't end there...38-year-old Curt Winklevoss of Upper Arlington, Ohio crashed into a tree and died at Wisp in Maryland on Friday, he was on the Squirrel Cage slope, same one where a man died a month ago. It's a black diamond at Wisp, but it's not that tough of a slope...Tina Maze is your overall women's World Cup Champion this year, and it's not because Lindsey Vonn was injured. Maze simply kicked butt in every discipline. She had the most dominating season I've ever seen...Sno Mountain, formerly known as Montage Mountain in Scranton PA is on the auction block this week, not much info available. They've had a great ski product this season, I can tell you that. Unfortunately they're 24.2 million in the hole...Redevelopment at the base of Buttermilk is on hold while Skico negotiates with the State of Colorado for ownership of a sixty foot swath of land...Dayglo and big hair were back in fashion at North Carolina's Ski Beech this past weekend for a fun 80's retro party.

20 February 2013 News from Mid-Atlantic has West Virginia's sizable Snowshoe Resort offering season passes for next year and the balance of this season for just $199 right now, which is unbelievable. I tell you, when a resort of that size and success has to sell passes for $199, gives you an idea of how tough this business must be in the banana belt...FIS World Cup road show rolls on; men are in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the ladies are bound for Meribel. Both are predominantly speed events...conflicting news out of Aspen these days, Skico says skier visits were down 8% through December, but the Aspen Times says that doesn't necessarily mean Skico is losing money. Based on past payments to the US Forest Service for use of the lands, Skico profitability in 2011-12 was actually higher than 2010-11, even though visits were down over that period...found a great deal in the midwest, Mount Bohemia is offering free tickets to all ladies on Saturday, March 9th...26-year-old Bozeman MT man is hospitalized with a leg injury after being buried in an avy in backcountry near Bridger from Whitetail in Pennsy is that they've been running at 100% for a couple weeks now, and why is that news? Well, doesn't happen all that often, particularly for any extended period of time...good news from NM, Red River got over a foot of fresh while Taos Ski Valley was close behind with about 8", both resorts operating at 100%...not much new snow in Tahoe area, not much at all, but business has been brisk according to Sugar Bowl spokesman Peter Avidschmidt, who says cold temps and careful grooming have kept the resort in tip-top shape, and the crowds prove it. Meanwhile Donner Ski Ranch GM Lincoln Kauffman says that this past Saturday and Sunday were among the busiest days of the season...interesting news just coming out of Arapahoe Basin, apparently there was an avalanche in Montezuma Bowl on Saturday, and some 15 skiers were caught in it. All were accounted for; one required sled evac due to a knee injury. The Basin says it had done a huge amount of avy control in the days leading up to the slide, and that included the usual firing of explosives. Glad no one was seriously news yet on the Quebecor missing in the Chic Chocs, the hunt has been intensified with two helicopters, dog teams, and numerous personnel; storm headed in tonight is cause for deep concern...New Hampshire lawmakers vote this week on whether or not they get free skiing at state-owned Cannon Mountain; the majority of the Legislative Administration Committee is recommending that they vote against the perk...Vermont's Mount Snow is rumored to be starting up a Sunday afternoon promotion, sort of a "sleep in" promo, tix just $29 from noon til 4 pm...small but mighty Woodbury CT ski area coming under fire for some tubing wouldn't get me on one of those tubing runs for anything. Not at Woodbury, not anywhere. Not in a house, not with a mouse.

19 February 2013 Will be the first to admit that I did NOT expect Mikaela Shiffrin to hold up under the pressure cooker of the World Championships in Schladming, well, my goodness that young lady showed incredible poise and really now, how many people can say they achieved the pinnacle of success in their chosen career at age 17?!? When I was her age, the US Ski Team was sort of an also-ran. Seriously, Jim McKay would recall the glory days of Andrea Mead-Lawrence. Add Shiffrin's accomplishments to Ted Ligety's hat trick and team USA garnered more golds than any other team. The last time team USA dominated the golds was, uh, never. All this without Lindsey Vonn, who, I am pleased to report, is recovering nicely and did not have the sort of ACL/MCL damage that would be career ending. Well, it might for the rest of us, but not for Lindsey. We can certainly look forward to the World Championships 2015 in Beaver Creek, but a lot can happen between now and then...73-year-old Eau Claire resident John Kotar, one of the two individuals to ski in each of the American Birkebeiner competitions since 1973, has announced that he will retire after the event this weekend...sorry to report that a 34-year-old heli skier from Germany was killed in an avalanche on Jumbo Mountain in British Columbia this weekend... 37-year-old Quebec City man is missing in the Chic-Chocs backcountry; about three feet of fresh snow is hampering rescue efforts. The unnamed backcountry skier is experienced in the outdoors and is believed to have a sleeping bag and a few other basics, so let's hope...pleased to report a 30-year-old Massachusetts woman skiing nordie in Upton State Forest was rescued safely Sunday after getting lost for a few hours. Upton is hardly the Chic-Chocs but with temps plummeting it was definitely no picnic...also from Massachusetts, awaiting word on a 25-year-old woman badly hurt at Ski Butternut Sunday, now in our prayers...there are some real animals out there, two employees at Maryland's Wisp Resort were assaulted by a customer at the snowtubing runs Sunday night, they were attempting to tell him the rules.

15 February 2013 The news today is all about Ted Ligety who pulled an unlikely gold medal hat trick in the Schladming World Championships by winning the GS event today. Ted the Shred is the first skier to do this since Anja Paerson in Aare 2007 and the first male skier since Jean-Claude Killy in 1968 Grenoble. Some will say Ted had more events in which to do it, but I say Ted had much tougher competition with so many specialists and such deeper teams these days. He's long been a great skier; today he became one of the all-time greats. Look for tomorrow's World Championship slalom event on NBC TV at 3:00 PM. Women skiing for Team USA will be Julia Mancuso, Laurenne Ross, Mikaela Shiffrin and Resi Stiegler...New England gearing up for school vacation week, Attitash NH reports 100% of Massachusetts, Jiminy Peak will have 41 of 45 trails open...speaking of school vacation, First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters are headed West this weekend for their annual ski trip, no indication where. Joe Biden and family are headed to Snowmass, so you might want to avoid that area...sorry to report things are not looking good in Albuquerque; Sandia Peak has been unable to open anything beyond beginner terrain due to lack of snow. And so they've announced that Monday, February 18 will be the last day of the season. Sad news indeed...on to some good news, 5" new snow at Arapahoe Basin is just enough icing on the cake to get Montezuma Bowl open; as of this morning the skiing back there looks fantastic...have a great weekend, remember your coupons and discount tix may be "blacked out" for Presidents Day depending on what and where.

14 February 2013 -- Happy Valentine's Day! It was just that for Tessa Worley of France, winner of today's GS event at the world championships in Schladming. Overall leader -- dare I say champion -- Tina Maze was second, followed by Anna Fenninger, saving face for the home team. American wunderkind Mikaela Shiffrin finished a very respectable 6th...neglected to mention that Sugarloaf has reopened Brackett Basin for the season...Vermont's Sugarbush is having some issues on its legendary "Castlerock" terrain; the trails are open but the lift isn't spinning. Apparently there are some safety issues with the terrain, and they're trying to keep all but the hard core out of that section...8" fresh at Jackson Hole...speaking of tramways, neglected to mention a foot of fresh fell Tuesday at Jay Peak...New England resorts gearing up for vacation week at regional schools; with snow on the ground in Boston I'm going to go way out on a limb here and predict record-setting days at some resorts...snow on the ground in much of New York City and the suburbs, should translate into huge crowds this weekend at places like Camelback, Hunter and Mountain Creek...great skiing and riding right now at Northern California's "learning" hill, Tahoe Donner, fully open and running all lifts under beautiful sunshine...moving north a bit, sweetheart skiing at Mt. Bachelor but the air has been dry, wind has been blowing, so most of us will want to stick with the groomers...midwest looking good right now at Spirit Mountain WI; 8" natural snow fell Tuesday, conditions best described as awesome...sorry to report that 45-year-old Robert Redmond of Reston, VA died yesterday following injuries suffered when he hit a tree Sunday at Breckenridge; he was on the Columbia trail. Redmond is the 5th skier to die in a Colorado resort accident this season, 4th from hitting a Colorado tree. As usual, the media reports on his helmet status. Yes, he was wearing a helmet. I don't understand why this gets reported. Was he wearing properly fitting ski boots? Were his edges dull? Was he skiing too fast on a groomed trail? Columbia trail bakes in the sun - did some slushy snow grab an unwaxed ski? I don't mean to be disrespectful to Mr. Redmond, it's the media and audience idiocy that I'm talking about here. When this fellow hit the tree, the helmet was obviously irrelevant. But still they ask. Hmmm. That's some shrewd reporting there! Maybe the problem here isn't helmets. Maybe it's too many skiers on the slopes, or skiers going too fast because the grooming allows it, or a pre-release on a rental binding that was just plain worn out? Was he trying to turn on noodle rocker rentals on an icy pitch? I'm not suggesting Mr. Redmond succumbed to any of these things, I'm just saying it's time we need to report the real cause of the accident, work on that, instead of saying "well, he was wearing a helmet, nothing we can do." Just pisses me off. If he hadn't been wearing a helmet, it would be case closed: "He was NOT wearing a helmet." OK ski resort industry, most people are wearing helmets now. What are you going to do about these people crashing into trees? Are we going to be told to wear flak jackets next? Obviously people are going to die when they slam into trees. Let's try and prevent it. Here this poor son-of-a-gun was only 45 years old, and he's probably left a family behind, it's just tragic. An overwhelming majority of these deaths are happening on groomed intermediate slopes, with skiers hitting trees. What's going on, dammit! These aren't all coincidental. I'm not saying we have to make the sport bullet proof, but we can't have part-time skiers flying along at 30 mph on two pieces of laminated wood & plastics they can't control. How many more people have to die these needless deaths? People will ski beyond their control, and yes, they are responsible for their actions. But it's just so many these days. Now somebody's gonna say, ok, the trails are too narrow, but this ain't happening on narrow trails. Columbia at Breck is as wide as a football field. Maybe we need to go back to less grooming, narrower trails? That doesn't work for the industry...alright, I can't follow that. It's Valentine's day, and somewhere there's a void left by this latest death. Sorry, that's all for today. I guess one more takeaway is that life is precious, we should always appreciate it and treasure our loved ones. We can lose it all in a moment.

12 February 2013 -- Indeed Ted Ligety won the Super Combined world championship event in Schladming. When I filed this column yesterday he was leading with a few great skiers still to follow; a couple -- including the great Aksel Lund Svindal -- DNF'd, giving Ligety a lock. He's clearly a favorite in the GS championship still to come, so we may see Ted the Shred pull a medal hat trick, which is extremely difficult to conditions of the season in Arizona, the Flagstaff Snow Bowl received three feet of fresh in the past week and is skiing on glorious pow and packed pow right now. Phoenix folks want to check before you go...follow up to the news of a man who died at Keystone yesterday; US Air Force officials say 27-year-old First Lieutenant Arthur Glaz was a vehicle management flight commander with the 49th logistics readiness squadron at Holloman Air Force Base. He was originally from Illinois...coming event in Bethel Maine, that's near Mt. Abram, Black Mountain of Maine and Sunday River: The West Parish Congregational Church will host a public supper and program on the skiing history of Maine at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. The presentation will be given by Scott Andrews, the research director of the Ski Museum of Maine in Kingfield. Titled "Schuss-Boom and Schuss-Bust: Fast-Paced Growth and Face-Plants in Maine Skiing," it will include a slide show and discussion, and focus on the growth of skiing in Maine following World War II and the setbacks that Maine skiing suffered in the 1970s and 1980s. Cost of the supper is $8, well worth it...and finally, a woman who had her $4200 camera stolen at Vail in January posed as a Craigslist buyer and last week led police to arrest 29-year-old Teodor Georgiev, a Vail Resorts employee, on suspicion of felony theft.

11 February 2013 -- Place to be today is Wolf Creek in Colorado; almost 2' in the last 24 hours and still snowing right now. Same system hit Durango which used to be known as Purgatory but now I think they're calling it Purgatory at Durango if you can follow that. Not quite as much as Wolf Creek, but still some bitchin'conditions...further south, finally seeing more snow in New Mexico, 4" at Taos and Angel Fire, nine much needed inches at Pajarito. Unfortunately nothing fell at Sandia Peak which is closed today and tomorrow and will limp open Wednesday with the beginner chair only...great conditions this weekend across the northeast, the Massachusetts and Connecticut resorts got the brunt of the storm, Wachusett now 100% open. Some rain will fall today, but shouldn't do too much damage...18" reported in NH at Black Mountain, skiing on everything but a handful of tree the midwest, Lutsen called in with a foot of fresh, skiing on 90+ percent of the mountain, as well as some "back country" terrain...Wisconsin's Devil's Head Resort reports 10" of fresh...back to Colorado, reports total 9" fresh over the past few days at Arapahoe Basin, I'm getting tired of reporting this, Montezuma Bowl remains closed. Better conditions have arrived at Monarch Mountain, with 8" in the last couple days...World Cup championships in Schladming, did I mention Ted Ligety won the Super G? Downhill results are in; Marion Rolland of France won the womens event, followed by Nadia Fanchini of Italy and Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch. USA skiers Julia Mancuso and Stacey Cook finished 5th and 6th. Aksel Lund Svindal won the mens downhill, with Italian Dominik Paris and Frenchman David Poisson filling out the podium. Best American effort was Andrew Weibrecht's 22nd. Men's Super Combi scheduled for today, Austria's Romed Baumann leads after the downhill segment, Svindal second, Ligety sixth and certainly a threat...wacky and dangerous goings-on in the nordic world, a sheriff's deputy was stabbed at the Continental Cup Ski Jumping Tournament at Pine Mountain MI yesterday. An unidentified 74-year-old lunatic is in custody. Otherwise, 19-year-old Anze Semenic of Slovenia won two of the three competitions...sad to report that 27-year-old Arthur Glaz of New Mexico died Friday at Keystone, he hit a tree off the Porcupine trail. He was indeed wearing a helmet...unidentified 41-year-old Utah man was fortunate yesterday, buried up to his neck in a backcountry ski avy in the Broad's Fork area ofBig Cottonwood Canyon, his friends were able to dig him out...small but mighty Ski Campgaw, closest area to New York City, sold a record 1100 tickets before noon yesterday after the eastern snow...Ted Ligety just took the second run lead in the Super Combined, will update.

8 February 2013 -- Lead story has to be the storm about to pound New England...already doing some good in the banana belt, couple inches of fresh at Shawnee and Camelback in the Poconos this morning, and snowing hard right now...a few minutes before noon EST and snow is now falling at Windham in the Catskills, and just starting at favorite throwback area Plattekill...Southern New England areas such as Wachusett, Crotched, Pat's Peak and what have you seem to be poised for really getting the goods; downside is that gale force winds will be arriving with the snow and we're likely to see some wind holds, power outtages, and certainly some snarled are starting to fill up in NH and VT ski regions...Mount Snow already got an inch last night and is looking for a dozen more...glad to say it isn't all about New England today, parts of the midwest got a bit of snow yesterday; an inch at Lutsen and the place is pretty as a Michigan, Mount Bohemia got a small amount of fresh, they're at 100% open and conditions are simply fantastic...small but mighty Ski Brule is 100%...looking around, just about the only midwest resort that is not firing on all cylinders is Terry Peak in the Dakotas, but they've got plenty of open terrain and are spinning all the Colorado, Arapahoe Basin still hasn't been able to open the Montezuma Bowl, which isn't the end of the world but it Utah we're looking for more fresh at Powder Mountain but you don't have to look too hard to still find untracked...moving to the pac NW Mt Bachelor hasn't seen much fresh lately but conditions are right on and it's a beautiful blue sky day on the cone...from Aspen Mountain very sad to report that Pennsylvanian Natalie Egleston, age 48, died earlier this week after a collision with New Yorker Virginia Chen, age 53...also this past Saturday in Colorado, 23-year-old Peter Carver of Durango died in an avalanche outside the boundaries of Silverton Mountain...Sales of snowboards and snowboard equipment have slipped 21 percent over the last four years, while sales of skis have climbed 3 percent in the same period, according to SnowSports Industries America. I don't agree that this indicates the decline of snowboarding. I think that people inclined to board will be boarders, that's just the way they're wired, and that's cool. What I think is happening is that a lot of kids -- teens and pre-teens -- initially chose snowboarding over skiing because their friends did, and it was the popular thing to do. Same reason they all wore sheepskin boots in the summertime a couple years ago. Anyway, now that twin tips have become cool, the kids are following their friends onto the skis. Imagine if you're a 14-year-old snowboarder humping along a flat area while your friends whiz past switch with their pants hanging down, texting each other. Unless you're a born snowboarder, you are going straight home to tell Mom that you gotta have twin tips or you'll die. So don't worry about the future of snowboarding, it will always be part of the sport, it just won't be as sizable as it once was. To those who are abandoning snowboarding, welcome to the twin boards. To the born and bred true blue boarders, I say rock from the World Championships in Schladming, Maria Hoefl-Riesch finally beat Tina Maze at something this season, winning the super combined today. This is an event dominated by Lindsey Vonn for the past three seasons.

6 February 2013 -- Biggest news in the ski world today is Lindsey Vonn's season-ending, perhaps career-ending knee injury suffered in the Schladming world championships. Torn ACL, torn MCL, plus the top of her shin bone where the knee comes together is now all munched. This is tragic, simply tragic. Coaches, Linz, and pundits are all talking that she'll be back for the Sochi Olympics but I doubt even the great Lindsey Vonn can put together a competitive Olympic run after this mishap. Sorry to be a doubting Thomas here, it is just one heck of an injury....anyway, Championships from Schladming, Overall leader Tina Maze won the Super G event, followed by Lara Gut of Switzerland and our own Julia Mancuso. On the men's side, surprise: Ted Ligety won the Super G, with Frenchman Gauthier De Tessieres and Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal second and third. Downhill training today, competition resumes Friday...snow supposedly headed to the northeast USA on Friday, much needed. If you saw my report earlier in the week from New Hampshire, I have to say things were a bit scratchy but the New England groomers have plenty of experience with ice, they somehow always manage to make a skiable surface out of it...Mainers will benefit from a trio of events sponsored by Franklin Savings Bank and Western Mountain Financial Services; three "ski free" days! First is this Friday, Feb 8 at Titcomb Mountain, then Thursday Feb 14 at Black Mountain of Maine, and finally Saturday Feb 16 at Spruce Mountain in Jay, Maine. The series is intended to promote healthy outdoor activities. According to Tim Thompson, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Franklin Savings Bank: "We love to see families come to these free events. Oftentimes, the perceived cost of skiing or snowboarding prevents folks from giving it a try. The free events make it possible for a family to have a fun, healthy outing on the slopes." Kudos to all involved...midwesterners would do well to head the Snowflake Ski Club in Westby, WI for theSnowflake Junior Ski Tournament and Nordic Combined Cross Country ski event this Saturday, Feb. 9, with competition on the big 65-meter hill, also serves as an alternate qualifying round for the Junior Nationals. Admission is free; training at 10:00 and competition at noon...from New Mexico, two Ruidoso men were arrested last week for carving up the plexi windows in one of the new gondys at Ski Apache...NBC TV stations in California are creating quite a hullabaloo with a report on ski area safety, giving an "F" to Mt. Baldy for example, citing faded signage, flimsy lift tower padding, unmarked bare spots on trails, that sort of thing. Even the mighty Squaw Valley received a "C". Highest rated resort was Granlibakken, which managed a "B". If you'd like to see the report card, it can be viewed here...some dude fell off a 100' cliff in the Cottonwood Canyon backcountry near Snowbird, he got some leg and facial injuries but will be ok. The fall occurred in the Pfeifferhorn peak area, well west of the 'bird, but Snowbird ski patrol helped with the rescue.

4 February 2013 -- Greetings from North Conway, NH fresh off three days of Black Mountain, Attitash and Cranmore. A bit scratchy after the fluff at Vail, but fantastic just the same. Noticed that Black has a fresh coat of paint, a new tow rope for beginners, and more snowmaking than past years.

31 January 2013 -- Greetings from Vail, where snow Monday night put a fresh coat of fluff and made for some excellent skiing...2' of fresh at Steamboat...temp troubles in the east, looks like things are turning around. Gore reduced operations today to just a couple beginner chairs...similar story at Mount Snow in Vermont; between rain, warm temps, and 60 mph summit winds it's been a dicey morning. Good news is that temps have dropped, guns are on, and periodic snow squalls are helping out...up Rt 100 at Okemo they've managed to get the trail count back up to 80 something, but also a couple of wind holds...moving to New Hampshire, interesting weather to say the least. It appears that Attitash has held up well. Forecast called for rain today but they're enjoying bright sunshine and the snow appears to be firm but nice, open on the old side only. Sister resort Wildcat has nasty wind whipping through the notch; they're closed today but will re-open tomorrow...temps are going to turn much of New England into an ice cube this evening...banana belt areas seem to be faring better, if only because they aren't getting the wind: Camelback and Mountain Creek both have most of their terrain open...Whitetail survived its power outtage and is back to 100% open...Wintergreen temps have dropped into the 20s and the guns are on...looking to the midwest, Mt. Bohemia is now 100% open...Ski Brule has a 4' base and is also at Duluth, Spirit Mountain is 100% open both alpine and XC, snow is squeaky and the mercury is low...really and rescue ops scouring the terrain near Missoula's Snow Bowl, wait, update: Searchers found 30-year-old Derick Wyslick at about 10 a.m. today and he was safe and none the worse for NY, some jerks broke into a lodge at Swain earlier this week and stole a small amount of cash, soda, candy, two pairs of ski goggles and two ski helmets...New Mexico's Pajarito got enough snow to build a base and will re-open this weekend.

25 January 2013 -- Finally, a bit of new snow in parts of Colorado that aren't spelled Steamboat or Wolf Creek. Beaver Creek, Vail and Ski Cooper garnered a couple inches, and an inch of fresh fell at Copper and Breckenridge to freshen things up a bit. Unfortunately it didn't reach A-Basin. Meanwhile over the hill, Loveland got a dusting...Olympic Regional Development Authority is hosting the annual Lake Place Loppet for the nordies this weekend, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen are hosting an impressive randonee race to benefit the Green Mountain Club. If you don't know what that is, don't feel too bad. It's those skinny guys with the backpacks who climb uphill and then go down the piste with eyes open extra-wide because they're on skis that weren't designed for piste. Anyway, this race climbs Mad River Glen, follows the Long Trail to Mt. Ellen, goes down then up part of Lincoln Peak and finishes at Sugarloaf. Randonee enthusiasts will gather by the tens...cold continues to rock the midsection and the righthand side of the country; guns are cranking still and Jiminy Peak in Mass. reports that they'll have all but five trails open by tomorrow, and those still closed will just be some double blacks and odd stuff. Jiminy has quietly built one of the deepest bases in the east...kudos to Peak Resorts, offering free lift tickets to active, veteran and retired service men and women as well as discounted lift tickets for active duty family members at Wildcat and Attitash. Event at Attitash will have an on-snow Flag Parade on the Spillway trail, starting at 1 p.m. and a ceremony at the base area at 1:15 p.m. with the playing of the national anthem and presentation by a Color Guard. All skiers, military or not are invited to join the parade and wave flags...very cool...Aksel Lund Svindal won the Super G this morning in Kitzbuhel, an impressive 6th place finish for Ted Ligety...speaking of Peak Resorts, Boston Mills/Brandywine in Ohio is virtually at 100% and likely will be for the weekend...sister operation Paoli Peaks in Indiana got an inch of fresh overnight and the skiing is simply fantastic, they're open 100% but for a small section of terrain park...keeping it in the family, Snow Creek in Missouri is 100% and looks fantastic! Small, but fantastic - you can punch up their webcam here. I never met a ski area I didn't like in some way or another. And honestly, I have just as much fun at a tiny town rope tow as at a big resort. Well, maybe not quite but you get where I'm coming from...Utah's spectacular Powder Mountain has 4" of fresh on the ground and it's still coming down...Ore's Mt Bachelor was enjoying snow last night, but it turned to the r-word on parts of the mountain, now back to snow, should be in great shape for the weekend...Tahoe area Diamond Peak Nevada seldom gets a lot of press, but it has terrific conditions right now with an inch of fresh on top of the 3-5 foot base...and why not, at New York's Ski Windham the folks from the Cake Boss TV show are bringing a cake replica of the mountain today in honor of Windham's 53rd anniversary. They'll also be running a mechanical bull tomorrow, I have no idea why...New Mexico still needs snow; big players like Taos are fine but Pajarito is still shuttered due to lack of white stuff...Arizona's Snowbowl in Flagstaff has decent conditions, for some reason the Agassiz Lift wasn't running but is spinning Virginia, the tony Homestead Resort tells us that ticket sales are 50% ahead of last season...nearby Wintergreen demonstrated its snowmaking power last night, firing on every slope, and they have a bunch of 'em. Open on everything but a handful of trails on the Highlands, it's an awesome recovery from last weekend's mush fest...yesterday a judge in Steamboat Springs denied the town's request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Maureen Ryan, claiming negligence for her son's death after he flew headfirst into deep snow off of Howelsen Hill and suffocated. Howelsen (town owned & operated) says the area was closed, Ryan says it wasn't sufficiently marked. I don't expect her to prevail based on Colorado law, but if she does, this will have a serious impact on out-of-bounds skiing. Those of you who like to venture into side- and back-country might want to follow this case.

23 January 2013 -- Bitter cold is the word...Second training run in Kitzbuhel today, Aksel Lund Svindal again fastest. Apparently there was some hubbub yesterday due to fog; stars Benjamin Raich and Ivica Kostelic refused to take the piste...New Hampshire's Wildcat Mountain is a tremendous ski area, and if you've never been there put it on your short list. Just don't go today or tomorrow, because the 'cat is closed due to unsafe temps. It sits across the "notch" from the infamous weather on Mt. Washington, which is reporting -28 degrees F this afternoon...old-time lift fans would do well to head for Montana this winter to get a final ride on the classic center-pole Alpine double at Bridger Bowl. The Bozeman area resort just announced plans to replace the old clunker with two new lifts, complete with loading carpets (I hate those things) at a cost of $4.1 million and it all goes down this summer. This will probably drive an adult day ticket over the $50 mark...rumor mill has Lindsey Vonn dating Tiger Woods...skier died Monday at Aspen, 58-yr-old Aussie named David Coe, had heart disease and coroner says he died from natural causes, not skiing. Waiting to hear the condition of a 38-yr-old British man who did suffer a ski injury skiing yesterday at Aspen, said to have hit a tree, airlifted, no word yet...the former Colby College alpine area in Maine will be reborn this weekend, now as an FIS certified nordic area. Thanks to local businesses and volunteers, the old ski area has been expanded with a state-of-the-art snowmaking system and trails designed by Morton Trails. With the FIS certification it will immediately become one of the top dozen nordic areas in the nation. The site will host the Colby Carnival this weekend, which will include top collegiate skiers from UVM, Dartmouth, and the like. The alpine portion will be held at Sugarloaf...still super cold in the heartland, but temps up a bit at Spirit Mountain near Duluth, and they've reopened...26" of fresh in the past week was great, but perhaps it was the 4" of snow overnight that meant the go-ahead for all-natural Mount Bohemia; they'll open Friday at 10:30 am for the first runs of the season. The Front side, Pirates Cove and Haunted Valley will open Friday morning, with Bear Den and Outer Limits expected later in the day, building to almost 200 acres by Saturday. Oddly enough, Bohemia is credit and debit cards only this season, no cash. It is a strange operation, no doubt about it.

22 January 2013 -- Weird news from Boyne Mountain this morning, a snowmaking pipe failed on the Superbowl slope, water pressure built up on mountain and a chairlift tower came down. Boyne is open no problem except that slope is closed as you might expect...the World Cup men are in Kitzbuhel, gearing up to run the Hahnenkamm, downhill on the famed Streif course. Got that? Kitzbuhel is the place, Hahnenkamm is the name of the event and the overall course, Streif is the course/route they take for the downhill. At least that's how I understand it, no guarantees. On top of that, each curve, dip, roll and flat has a specific name. Mausefalle, Karusel, Steilhang, Alte Schniese...for ski racers, this is hallowed ground. This is the Indy 500/Super Bowl/Stanley Cup of men's skiing. Win the downhill here, you can get a table at any alpine restaurant in Europe. First practice done, Aksel Lund Svindal was quickest. Should be interesting, as the big Norseman has never finished on the downhill podium at the 'buhel. For a look at the various slalom, downhill etc. courses they run, click here...other news from the midsection, Ski Brule skiing on 100% of terrain right now...kudos to Stratton, VT, hosting a Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer on Jan. 26, their annual snowshoe walk & run benefiting Susan G. Komen foundation...sorry to report that William Kivet, 67, of Cedar Grove, NJ died when he hit a tree off the Silver King run at Park City Mountain Resort yesterday morning...just a bit north at Snowbasin a 20ish year old male body was found this morning near the top of Ogden Peak, they're hauling him out with a helicopter...kudos to Pennsy's Ski Roundtop, hosting a Special Olympics competition tomorrow morning...tossing a bone to the nordies, Massachusetts Berkshire Trails Ski Club is sponsoring a Nordic Ski-Fest on Sunday, Feb. 3, at Notchview Reservation, to benefit the Trail Improvement and Maintenance Fund.

21 January 2013 -- Arctic cold temps put the kabosh on some skiing yesterday in the upper heartland; Minnesota areas around Duluth barely reached the zero degree F mark. Spirit Mountain closed 3 hrs early yesterday and will do so again today; Giants Ridge closed at 6 p.m. instead of the schedule 8 p.m. and delayed opening an hour today. Mont Du Lac closed early at 4 p.m. Sunday and is closed today; ditto Chester Bowl which didn't open at all...another type of excitement in Jeffersonville, VT yesterday afternoon when high winds derailed the Madonna 2 lift at Smugglers Notch. No injuries; about 30 rescuers worked 1 1/2 hr to bring 70 stranded patrons down. Witnesses said they did it smoothly and professionally, kudos to all involved...Lindsey Vonn is back, no question, winning the downhill Friday in Cortina, a half-second ahead of Tina Maze. American Leanne Smith was third; temmates Julia Mancuso, Alice McKennis & Stacey Cook all finished within the top 15. But the real story this year among the ladies is Maze, who is absolutely laying down the law in terms of the overall. She's untouchable. Super G yesterday in Cortina saw Maze finish third, behind Austria's Nicole Schmidhofer and winner Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany. For team USA, Mancuso, Smith & Vonn went 5-6-7. The mens slalom yesterday in Wengen saw Germany's Felix Neureuther edge Austrian great Marcel Hirscher, who still has a sort-of lock on the overall lead. Ivica Kostelic was third. Good 13th place finish for Ted Ligety gives him some points toward the overall, it's a long shot but he's third behind Hirscher and Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal. Earlier in the weekend the Wengen downhill was run on the famed Lauberhorn course; Italy's Christof Innerhofer took the prize with Austrians Klaus Kroell and Hannes Reichelt rounding out the podium. Nice 4th place for Canadian Erik Guay. Svindal DNFd. History of sorts was made during the competition when Frenchman Johan Clarey hit 100.6 mph at the Hanneggschuss straight two minutes into his run. It's the fastest ever clocked speed during WC competition. Clarey wasn't quite as quick elsewhere on the course and finished fifth...So back to the ladies, here's the deal: Tina Maze has 1,474 points, almost double the total of second place Maria Hoefl-Riesch. Maze, like Riesch, has points in every discipline. The only other skier on the entire board with points in all disciplines is Mancuso. Maze is having a legendary season, easily one for the record books...speaking of World Cup action, Bode Miller is in the news again for a pair of paternity suits; you can find all the lurid details in the tabloid pages...sad to report that 40-year-old skier James Jung-Jin Park of Rockville MD smacked into some trees and died Saturday morning at Wisp Resort on the Squirrel Cage run...Colorado still in need of snow; skier visits through Dec 31 were down 11.5 percent from last season...Pally and Montezuma are still closed at Arapahoe Basin...moving west through the state, Mutt & Jeff: Vail is virtually 100% open as is Ski Cooper slightly south, but both are in need of fresh...and now I'll make a desperate pitch for eastern skiers to visit Sno Mountain at Montage, formerly known as Sno Mountain, previously known as Montage. It's offering terrific conditions at dirt cheap ticket prices right now. The operation is in need of cash -- get out there and keep it afloat. Where else can you ski Saturday morning for $25?

18 January 2013 -- History buffs will enjoy Jeremy Davis' Lost Ski Areas of New England "fireside historical chat" this coming Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Saxtons River Inn in VT...speaking of New England, weekend shaping up well after snow and cold this week; some areas are still reeling from the recent heat wave...Mount Snow is only 55% open but I expect to see all of the snowmaking trails open this weekend...move north, Okemo is about 75-80% open and working on more...Killington has almost everything that matters open, including that ghastly Juggernaut trail. I understand the trees down to Wheeler Road are skiing well...just kidding about that, the count of skiers who've gotten lost down there is now close to 50 for the season...moving to New York, Gore should be in fine NJ, Mountain Creek weathered the weather quite well, almost everything open tomorrow, along with a Tubbs "Romp to Stomp" fundraiser for breast cancer cure. This is a terrific event and we give props to Creek for hosting Pennsy, Elk Mountain is virtually 100%, and should be tomorrow, with the exception of one natural snow trail...looking south now, Wintergreen recovering slowly in Virginia but the snow guns are peppering dozens of slopes, should be decent for the weekend. Great skiing right now on Eagles Swoop and the Dobies...Carolinas, Cataloochee has the fan guns crank top to bottom and it's a beautiful Tennessee, Ober Gatlinburg opened today at noon with a bit of terrain, making snow on much of the rest...seldom get to say this, so here goes: Great skiing in Ohio today, yep, Mad River (Ohio) is at 95% o-hi-open...moving across the mid section, Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena IL is at 100% and looks like a damn winter wonderland, conditions are simply awesome and if you're anywhere near it, now is the time...Michigan, Boyne is about 70% open, so get back in the car and head over to sister area Boyne Highlands, which is at 100% and skiing wonderfully. If you can get there, you can ski tonight at 4:00 for just $10.29 on some radio station promotion. It's snowing at Highlands right now...small but mighty Ski Brule up in Iron River is 100% and conditions are magnificent...yeah, some of the Colorado resorts wish they had the snow that some of these midwestern areas have. But it's still not enough to drop the ropes at Mount Bohemia, although recent totals are making next weekend look better; they're tentatively saying the's all good at Minnesota's biggie Lutsen, which is pronounced "Loot-sin" don't cha know. They're running on 92% of the hills. In the rest of the state they got more or less 100% at Mount Kato, Buck Hill, Welch Village, Wild Mountain etc. But the nordies are screaming, Frontenac and Myre/Big Island State park XC areas are closed until more falls...Wabasha's Coffee Mill, which has the longest vertical drop south of Duluth (whatever that means) has some nice courderoy for the weekend...not so great at Dakota's big Terry Peak, only about a third open and really in need of snow...Colorado needs snow my friends...Arapahoe Basin has nice skiing right now, but it ain't on Pally or in Montezuma...Vail is fully open, but powderhounds...Utah's Powder Mountain is all good but looking for a fresh if you can go anywhere you want, that ought to be Idaho this weekend, perhaps parts of Montana. Schweitzer has truly epic conditions right now, skiing on 100% of all terrain of every conceivable type...hey how about it, regular readers know that I hype Meathead Films, which are all about and exclusively skiing in the east, and this year they won "Best Powder" segment at last night's Powder Magazine Powder Video Awards. If you haven't seen it, it was a segment filmed last season (!) at Jay's something odd, a couple guys out in Colorado are trying to build a "new ski area" to be called The Bear Creek at Telluride, which will in effect be sidecountry for the existing Telluride, no lifts, no grooming, but it will have a yurt, all on 1300 that two kids fell off the Pistol chair lift at Gunstock Mountain Resort in NH Tuesday night. Apparently they dropped about 6-10' and were transported by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia with non-life threatening injuries...Ted Ligety was well on his way to winning the World Cup Super Combined event earlier today in Wengen, but his ski inexplicably released just three gates from the end, allowing Alexis Pinterault of France to take the victory. Bright spot for USA was 25th place for Ryan Cochran-Siegle, his first ever WC points. The famed Lauberhorn downhill will be run in Wengen later this weekend...ladies are in Cortina, and yes Lindsey Vonn will be skiing in the downhill....have a great weekend, no excuses -- go ski!

16 January 2013 -- Huzzah, snow and cold are returning to the lower 48; the arctic whatever-it-is has dropped down again...Sugarloaf is the place to be in the northeast this morning, beg borrow or steal to get there, snowing like crazy...Vail got an inch of fresh overnight. An inch. Normally that isn't news, but Colorado NEEDS snow...midwest could use a fresh helping. Mount Bohemia does not expect to be open this weekend, and next weekend looks doubtful as well. They've had a tough season, so they'll be waiving their usual $1 daily fee for passholders...Lutsen needs fresh as well, but of course they're in pretty good shape skiing on about 90% of the Pennsy Camelback has the guns on this morning, and they're open on about 70% of their terrain. C'back and the other Pocono areas got 3-5" overnight and should be in excellent shape for the weekend...good skiing bargains for MLK weekend in Pennsy to be had at Sno Mountain formerly known as Montage, no coupons necessary...Massachusetts residents and Southern Vermont weekenders would be wise to head for Berkshire East this weekend, good conditions and reasonable prices, especially good deals for college Tahoe area, there's an excellent bargain for Saturday at Diamond Peak on the Nevada side, $47 if you pre-buy on Liftopia , but first you should read my Liftopia caveats in the paragraph below this Colorado I like the $55 price at Loveland for Saturday, or $39 at Ski Cooper, again on Liftopia ...Pac NW skiers will do well to head for Mt. Spokane in Washington, or small but mighty Anthony Lakes in Oregon. At the latter, you can get $29 tix on Saturday with Lifto...again, I'm recommending these for this holiday weekend, if you're looking for something that doesn't break the bank. And the ski areas are terrific, by the way...most of the New Mexico ski areas got a couple inches over the past two days, but not enough for Pajarito, closed until further notice because snow depth is down to 16". Likewise, Sandia Peak is limping along with just the beginner area. Red River might be your best bet in NM for conditions...just got word from Wisconsin that Bruce Mound is offering up some nice "throwback" skiing, if you want to do it up old school...we mentioned the midwest needs snow. The Muskegon County Winter Sports Complex in Western Michigan is in fact snowless, or was, at least until yesterday when Cannonsburg Ski Area came to the rescue with two huge dumptrucks full of snow. Thanks to Cannonsburg's efforts, the complex will be able to use their luge track this weekend...word is that Bode Miller will now definitely miss the rest of the season to let his knee heal. Speaking of Bode, Audrey Snyder of Central Pennsy's Patriot News brings up a good point, remember back to the 2006 Olympics Bode took a bunch of heat for partying and fishing prior to the games, and then got even more heat when he matter-of-factly called Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong cheaters for using drugs. Well Barry Bonds, sure, that was common knowledge. But the great Lance Armstrong?! How dare Bode say such things. As usual, we may not like what Bode has to say, but he tends to be frighteningly honest. We reported more news from the World Cup scene late yesterday, it's just below our Liftopia pitch below. Added overnight...Speaking of overnight, rescuers reached an injured skier in the backcountry near Snoqualmie Pass late last night, expecting to haul him out this morning. High winds prevented use of a of the skier killed at Ontario's Blue Mountain Resort over the holidays was released yesterday, a Mr. Miroslav Zak, 48 of Aurora, ON. Authorities were quick to point out that Zak was not wearing a helmet, however the coroner says he died of blunt trauma to the chest. Not sure how a helmet would've helped...sad to report an avy killed a backcountry skier in Gunnison County CO Monday; a 37-year-old man from Summit County was in the Raspberry Creek drainage which is part of the Raggeds Wilderness Area...kudos to Steamboat Resort celebrating its 50th anniversary of continuous operations. The area started as hike up terrain in 1958, and added a poma in 1960 on Storm Mountain. It was renamed Mt. Werner in 1964 after the passing of local skier and Olympic legend Buddy Werner.

15 January 2013 -- Longer report tomorrow, in the meantime, USA World Cup skiers just coming off an epic weekend, first podium/first win for Alice McKennis on the downhill in St. Anton. Also pleased to report Lindsey Vonn was back in action and finished well, fourth I believe. Ted Ligety maintained his winning ways in the GS at Adelboden. He'll most likely claim that globe, but I don't see how he can possibly catch Marcel Hirscher in the overall. And now this morning, or afternoon over there, oh my goodness Mikaela Shiffrin won her third slalom event in Flachau. The event just finished, Maria Hoefl-Riesch was leading after the first run, then was pushing like crazy in the second -- almost a full second better than Mikaela -- but she was pressing just too much and DNFd near the end. Now the weirdness factor: Mikaela is EXACTLY the same age -- 17 years, 308 days -- as Austrian legend Annemarie Moser-Proell was when she earned her third career victory in 1971. I'm not saying Mikaela will be another Moser-Proell, but as of today this teenager has hammered her name in the pantheon of ski goddesses! Incredible! It would've made the evening news here in the USA but the Kim Kardashian divorce saga bumped this story aside...Colorado needs snow, Arapahoe Basin is so starved they're sending out news blasts for 3" of fresh...East coast meltdown just about over.

10 January 2013 -- Word from upstate NY has Whiteface opening The Slides a day or two ago, earliest in recent memory...Mark your calendars for Saturday the 12th and you can do it up nordie style for free at dozens of locations across the country in honor of Winter Trails Day. California, for example, you can get free rental and trail pass at Kirkwood XC and try snowshoeing at Tahoe Rim Trail, Big Bear and Lassen NP. In Utah, Soldier Hollow and Ogden Nordic will have free trail passes, rentals, and mini lessons; The Sinks Winter Trailhead will have free rentals on XC skis & snowshoes out of a US Forest Service truck of some sort. Even New Jersey, always an XC mecca, will have free snowshoe demo use at High Point XC. To find a location near you, please click here...just got word that a 20-year-old Austin, TX woman Doae Oh, died this morning after hitting a tree last night at Keystone. Sources are quick to report that she was not wearing a helmet. The tragedy occurred at 6:30 PM on the intermediate Frenchman trail. If you didn't know it, Keystone does have night skiing....Let me remind you that if you hit a tree, you need full body armor and a good insurance policy to go with the helmet that everyone is so crazy about. Yes I wear a helmet, but I'm sick of people being so stupid about this. The woman died, and the loss to her friends and family is staggering. Does it really matter to them that she wasn't wearing a helmet? Would a helmet really save her from blunt trauma of a TREE?! Next time somebody dies in a plane crash, I'll demand to know if they were wearing a just pisses me off...let's move on...ladies looking for money and love on the ski slopes would do well to head for Whistler, Jackson Hole, Vail, Deer Valley or Telluride, which are the top five ski resorts for -- believe it or not -- meeting a sugar daddy. I am not making this up, it was announced on the Boston Globe's website, credited to some survey of 2,000 sugar daddies...and the snowboarder missing since Wednesday at Heavenly Ski Resort has been found. After a full-on search with multiple search-and-rescue crews, 24-year-old Corey Hoffman was staying in a hotel room at the resort and merely forgot to let anyone know where he was...some eastern ski areas expanding their open terrain despite rising temps; Attitash will spin the Kachina triple on Bear Peak this weekend, first time this season...Okemo has their big terrain park ready to NJ, Mountain Creek has the trail count up to 26. And yes, that includes upper this, middle this, and lower that, but it still moves 'em closer to full open...southeast, temps at Wintergreen VA are in the upper 40 this morning but they've been smart about it and have everything open but for a couple of trails on the Highlands...Lindsey Vonn is back on the piste in the World Cup training today at St. Anton...some of the Colorado areas could do with more cover. Well, most of the Colorado areas. It seems Wolf Creek is about the best off. Elsewhere in SW Colo, Purgatory is at about 90% personal fave Ski Cooper in Leadville is at 100% but base is 23" right now, cause for concern as days get longer. Think snow!

8 January 2013 -- A judge has put the brakes on the planned expansion at Tahoe area's Homewood Resort, which was looking to go from day area to destination...Tough sledding in New Hampshire, at least for small but mighty Granite Gorge in the Keene area; it's operating but faces a foreclosure sale on Groundhog Day...Montana's Lost Trail Powder Mountain has paid a $2820. fine to the state Dept of Environmental something or other for failing to conduct leak detection for an underground storage tank. Seems that everything is now up to Colorado, two anniversaries this weekend; Steamboat is celebrating its 50th anniversary, Loveland marking its 75th. Loveland will celebrate with $37 lift tix all weekend, which is a great nordie news, Wisconsin's Wausau Nordic Ski Club is giving free adult lessons every Tuesday evening this month at Nine Mile Forest Ski Trails beginning tonight at 7 pm. They've even got equipment to use on a first-come basis...sorry to report that a 43-year-old Oklahoma man died at Whistler/Blackcomb yesterday, apparently fell off a cliff in the Franz' Meadows section...and now for a promotion of sorts, but hey it's for skiing: Oregonians who fill up at Shell gas stations can get some kind of voucher that enables them to do a buy-one/get-one at six different areas. The areas and fine print are as follows: Anthony Lakes, vouchers are valid on Fridays during the whole season. Hoodoo takes the vouchers for day tix on Thursdays, night skiing on Fridays and Saturdays with supposedly no blackouts. Mt. Ashland the vouchers are good Thursday and Friday evenings, 3-9 p.m. from Jan. 10 through March 15. Mt. Hood Meadows takes them for Weds & Thurs night skiing, up until March 7. Mt. Hood Ski Bowl accepts the vouchers for Weds night skiing or a Friday day ticket. Timberline Lodge accepts them on Tuesdays for day tix through April 19, or for night skiing Fridays and Saturdays 4-10 p.m. but not on March 19 or March 26. Follow that? The link below this entry might be a little easier...ghastly incident at the Dumbai Resort in Russia, two men in a runaway zorb rolled down a gorge, one died of a broken neck.

7 January 2013 -- Great weekend of skiing around the country, one of the top surprises was Gore Mountain in New York's Adirondacks, skiing on all sorts of tree runs, chutes and what-have-you with true packed powder and soft powder on one of the few eastern mountains that feels like a big western area. Count 'em, Stowe, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Sugarbush and perhaps Wildcat and Jay. I'll probably get a lot of hate mail for that short list...speaking of the east, news out of northern Maine has a group of locals working at Big Squaw as a 503C non-profit trying to get it re-opened...local tows all over the east were spinning this past weekend, awesome conditions at some spots...and yes, Magic Mountain was able to crank up their chairlift...Pennsylvania's troubled Sno Mountain (once known as Montage) is up and running for the season. Not sure how, the place has deeper debt than the average American's Visa card. Desperate for bodies, they offer $10 tickets on Tuesdays...lucky skier in Montana, caught in an avalanche last Thursday in the backcountry Hourglass Chute north of Bridger Bowl escaped with minor injuries following a 1,000 foot ride in the slide...another 60-something skier lost in Vermont over the weekend on the Catamount Trail, this one was closer to Bolton Valley and was found near there Friday night thanks to his cel phone...also worked for some wayward skiers at Killington this weekend, they've had a quite a few there, as usual...midwestern nordies are happy about a new warm-up shelter at Wisconsin's Blue Mound State Park, it opened this weekend to coincide with the annual candlelight ski event. Sounds like fun. Cold, but fun...very sad to report that 13-year-old Tristan Bartlett of Houston, TX died Friday afternoon at Copper Mountain, he's said to have struck a tree while on a beginner slope...pleased to report that Hannah Kearney was back in mogul competition at Steamboat this weekend. Kearney suffered cracked ribs and a bruised liver after botching a trick landing in Zermatt back in October...more accolades on Mikaela Shiffrin, the 17-year-old World Cup Slalom phenom from Vail won again. This time by a massive 1.19-second margin Friday night in Zagreb, Croatia, becoming the first American woman to win two World Cup races before the age of 18. Shiffrin now leads the slalom standings, which is nothing short of amazing. Also pleased to report that Resi Stiegler indeed finished in the top ten, her best since returning from a busted knee suffered during last season's finals. Frida Hansdotter of Sweden was second, and Erin Mielzynski of Canada third. Favorites Tina Maze of Slovenia and Sweden's Maria Pietilae-Holmner both crapped out in their first run. The other favorite, Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia (winner of the previous two technical events) came to a sudden stop in her second run after a mistake. Now I doubt Shiffrin is going to walk away with the globe this season, the competition is just too tough. But in no way does that diminish her accomplishments thus far -- the kid is 17 years old and beating the best in the world...Marcel Hirscher won the men's event. Yawn....the ladies are now in St. Anton in the Arlberg for speed events, the men doing technical stuff in Adelboden. If you're wondering, Ted Ligety has never been much of a factor in the Adelboden GS events.

4 January 2013 -- Looking at a great ski weekend across the country, Pajarito will open today in NM as promised...elsewhere in NM Taos is offering about 60% of its terrain...Lindsey Vonn has returned to Europe to resume the FIS World Cup road show, right now in Zagreb where Mikaela Shiffrin is 4/10ths ahead of of Tina Maze after the first slalom run; forerunners for the 2nd run on course as I type this. Pleased to note that comeback kid Resi Stiegler was 9th after the first run, let's hope it holds up...Sugarbush VT reports Christmas week business up 14% over the previous season. You'd think it would be higher, but keep in mind it wasn't that bad at the Bush last Xmas. It was shortly after that it all went down the tubes...nearby Gore NY (well, nearby is relative) was so busy last weekend they had to turn cars away at the parking lots...hey I just saw on that Big Rock and Black Mountain of Maine are selling lift tickets for just $15, that's all day, every day. Those are both 1,000 footers with some dynamite terrain. Damn. $15 for a lift ticket. I skied Black/Maine last season and have to say, it is a legit mountain. I gotta tell you, don't walk, run to get that deal...Bromley regulars are getting an e-mail deal to forward friends names, garnering a free lift ticket for said friend. That's pretty season is underway in the Show-Me State; Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Wildwood and Snow Creek Ski Area in Weston (north of Kansas City) are both open...Aspen ski instructor Brett Bean is missing in Thailand...Magic Mountain isn't the only area with lift problems, even the mighty Steamboat had a lift slip this past week. A worn out grip on the Priest Creek lift caused a chair to slide back, nearly but not hitting the chair behind. Lift was unloaded without further incident, and closed pending inspection/repairs.

2 January 2013 -- Happy New Year, especially in the northeast where holiday week snow has many resorts cranking at 100%, most notably Sugarloaf which has every acre of terrain open...Gore was virtually at 100% yesterday...Plattekill was at 100% for the holidays...Okemo skiing fantastic...problem in the great white north, where Alyeska had its tram go bump on a lift tower in high winds, forcing closure of the tram. Reportedly folks got jostled a bit, some injuries but thankfully nothing too serious...another place in the east skiing really well, seldom gets mentioned in this report is Tussey Mountain in State College, PA...and we're still waiting on Pajarito in New Mexico, hoping to open Friday...other news from the Land of Enchantment has Sandia Peak shooting for 100% of terrain today; Ski Santa Fe is at 75% and Sipapu at 95%...lift problems at Vermont's favorite throwback Magic Mountain, they are closed but parts have arrived and are being installed. Assuming all goes well, a State inspection and load test will follow over the next couple days and operations may resume as soon as Saturday. Kudos to Magic, they're working on a shoestring budget but doing everything by the book and being totally upfront with the process...found this on a site this morning, worth repeating: Skiers and riders in front of you always have the right of way - it is your responsibility to avoid them...unfortunate mishaps this past weekend in the Toronto area; a 16 year old died after suffering a serious head injury at Lakeridge Resort on Saturday, and a 48 year old Aurora, ON man died at Blue Mountain, another Ontario ski area, not to be confused with the eastern Pennsy resort...Montana backcountry skier survived being partially buried by an avalanche last week on Mount Aeneas in the Jewel Basin area. He is said to have dug a test pit and performed compression test with a boarder, but a slab slide broke in spite of the indications. Glad the pair are ok...a 55 year old Vermont man was lost while XC on the Catamount Trail, a popular BC/XC route near Stowe. He was rescued in the middle of the night, seemingly no worse for wear...and another wayward nordie, this time in La Crosse, Wisconsin man was skiing from La Crosse to Galesville yesterday when he broke through and became submerged in the Mississippi River. He was rescued and hospitalized; no word yet on condition...Don't usually get to talk about the Mississippi River in a ski report...good skiing at Vermont's Mount Snow, just about everything but Hop and Ripcord...conditions are near perfect at Arapahoe Basin but cover is still a bit thin, A-Basin and Loveland haven't enjoyed the same snowfall as the rest of the state. Pallavicini has yet to open; back side "Montezuma" still Oregon, Mount Bachelor is fully open, running everything but the Red Chair, which they will if they need to...up the line in Washington, Stevens Pass is reporting business up 26% over last season...West Virginians now enjoying 100% of their areas as Oglebay Resort in Ohio County spun the lifts on New Years Iron Mountain, MI, the popular municipal park XC trail is seeing heavy traffic. It was groomed on Christmas Eve and had nordies schussing along the next morning. Trail is operated by the Menominee Range Nordic Ski Club, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, and the grooming and maintenance are fully funded by donations.

Archival News

News from October 2012 through the end of December 2012 is available by clicking here. News from January 2012 to the dismal end of the season is located here.
News from January thru December 2011 is located here.
News prior to January 2011 is located on the Oct/Nov/Dec 2010 page. Previous season and earlier news has been deleted and moved to the old "skiernet" news archive from 2009-2010, or for 2008 and older seasons click here.

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Use this to get Lift Tickets at Discount: There is a "clearinghouse" of sorts that many ski areas use to raise cash by selling discount tickets in advance, called Liftopia . If you haven't used this service, it is usually best to know for certain that you are going on a specific date. The deeply discounted tickets must be purchased in advance; generally up to two days out. The sticking point is that some ski resorts only make a limited number of tickets available to Liftopia for any given day, so they might be sold out if you wait too, as soon as you are absolutely, positively sure that you will be skiing on a certain day, click this link to get deeply discounted tickets . I've used this service many times, usually when I am absolutely certain I will be skiing on a specific date. Some resorts offer "flex" tickets with which you can specify the date, and some have a few different tiers of pricing. In other words, you might be able to get a lift ticket that can be used on different days, but you'll pay a little more for that privilege. You need to have access to a printer to print out your receipt, and you have to take identification with you to the mountain. I've knocked a third off -- even half off -- the price of some tickets. Not every area participates, but it's well worth checking before you head to the slopes.

A tiny portion of your Liftopia purchase helps fund this website, at no added cost.

Ski Movies for Mere Mortals

Did you ever feel like those big money ski movies are often a big let-down? You get all pumped up for the new release from some ski film company, and it's mostly incredible footage of guys jumping out of helicopters and shredding down some un-named mountain on the far side of the globe. They're neck deep in powder, skiing lines that you'll never, ever see. If you want ski movies you could actually relate to, a bunch of guys called The Meatheads, from Burlington, VT have made a series of "Ski The East" films. They film at real resorts like Sugarloaf, Blue Mountain, Big Boulder, Mount Snow, Ski Sundown, Stowe, Jay, Mountain Creek, Killington, Sunday River...urban locations ranging from Virginia to Quebec...mogul skiing with The Hammer and Radio Ron...and backcountry throughout New York, New England, and the Chic Chocs. It's simply fantastic -- and since it's the same terrain we can get to, it's inspirational!

Their most popular current release is No Matter What , which received the ski equivalent of an Oscar for the Jay Peak powder segment, filmed during 2012 of all things. One that is probably their best is from a year ago, called Prime Cut . Another favorite is Wanderland: An East Coast Ski Thriller. All Meatheads DVDs have hours of "bonus" footage, so it's like getting three ski movies for the price of one. The links go to, which enables you to order and return if you don't like them. And a small percentage of the sale helps us pay the expenses of this website, at no extra cost to you.

Here's a preview, courtesy Youtube...