Top Five Fridays - December 18, 2015 // Ski Industry News
#1: Landslides Cause White Pass Ski Area to Close:
Well, as most of you are aware, the start of this ski season has been a mirror image of last year. In the West, ski resorts have been getting hit with snow relentlessly. Just this week, Utah and the Lake Tahoe region received an additional foot or more of snow. Further North in British Columbia, snow has continued to fall throughout the month, giving them one of their better starts on record. Unfortunately though, the snow hasn’t been all good for everyone. Just outside of White Pass Ski Area in Washington, a portion of their access road was wiped out by a landslide triggered from the latest round of storms there. The result is that the mountain has had to close until further notice while construction crews work frantically to reopen the road. In the meantime, White Pass Resort will sit idle, covered in more snow than it had all last winter, getting ready to fully open as soon as the roads allow.
#2: Weekend World Cup Results:
Once again, this past weekend was a big one for the Women’s U.S. Ski team- although it’s not all good. Let’s start with the positive news though. On Saturday, Lindsey Vonn won her fourth straight World Cup race and her first giant slalom race since 2013. This is Vonn’s fourth World Cup win in two weekends, and brings her career total to 71 victories- an astonishing accomplishment. Now, for the bad news. During free ski practice runs, Mikaela Shiffrin took a fall that resulted in a knee injury. Initially fans and spectators were concerned that it was a serious injury that would require surgery, but fortunately it looks like the injury is a partial MCL tear combined with a bone bruise- neither are severe enough t0 require surgery. Still, Mikaela will be forced to play the sidelines while she heals from her crash. It’s unknown at the moment how long Shiffrin will be forced to sit out, but she’s already hit the gym to start rehab and has stated that she hopes to return later this season. So with that, congratulations goes out to Lindsey Vonn for continuing to have an incredible season, and we wish Mikaela the best of luck and for a speedy recovery!
#3: Breckenridge Winter Dew Tour Results:
As we reported last Friday, the Breckenridge Winter Dew Tour event was held last weekend, officially kicking off the major event schedule for free skiers and snowboarders. It was an eventful few days as skiers competed in Men’s Slopestyle, Men’s Superpipe, Women’s Slopestyle, and Women’s Superpipe. For the Men, it was Gus Kenworthy taking Slopestyle gold, followed by Jossi Wells in second and rounded out by newcomer Fabian Boesch. In the Superpipe, David Wise took first place followed by Beau-James Wells and Alexander Ferreira. On the Women’s side of things, Ayana Onozuka finished in first place in the Superpipe event, with Cassie Sharpe placing second and Brita Sigourney rounding out the top 3. In the Women’s Slopestyle event, 13 year old Kelly Sildaru took top honors while Tiril Christiansen grabbed the silver medal and Emma Dahlstrom won the bronze. For those of you who have been following Kelly Sildaru’s very young career, you’re probably excited to see her finally on top of the podium at a major event. With an uncanny knack for landing technical tricks, Sildaru appears to be on the verge of having a breakout year and shaking up the Women’s Freeski scene. Congratulations to Kelly, as well as all of the winner’s from this past weekend!
#4: Castle Rock, CO Looks to Create Snow Flex Ski Area:
Here’s a bit of news that’s sure to make skiers in the Denver, CO area smile. Earlier this week, it was announced that there’s a proposal for a dry slope ski area at the Philip S. Miller Park in Castle Rock, CO. The ski area would be built using snow flex, a carpet like material that has the same low friction qualities as snow when it’s wet. The result would be a year round ski area that’s more accessible than the ski resorts that are buried in the Rocky Mountains. In addition to multiple runs to satisfy all skill levels, the proposed ski area would also include a terrain park featuring multiple jumps, rails, and even artificial moguls. Locals in the area appear to be welcoming the proposal with open arms, saying, “anything you can do to give people an opportunity to get exercise and recreate here in town is great.” If the proposal is accepted, construction could begin on the new snow flex ski area as early as early as 2016. Upon completion, it would be the second year round ski area in the United States, following only in the footsteps of the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre at Liberty University.