Top Five Fridays - July 15, 2016 // Ski Industry News
#1: Australian Toyota Ad Raises Eyebrows and Infuriates:
Despite being 2016, it’s recently become frighteningly clear that not all sexism and racism is behind us. We’ll leave the heaviest stuff to other news associations, but there was one instance this past week that's directly related to skiing. Over in Thredbo, Australia, a Toyota ad stirred up some controversy for its underhanded sexism. Seen at right, the sign looks innocent enough at first glance, playing off of symbolism that skiers and snowboarders instantly recognize. After mulling over the messaging though, a second thought becomes painfully clear. The marketing team at Toyota thinks Mums can’t ski as well as Dads, or even on the most difficult trails for that matter. What was undoubtedly supposed to conjure up imagery of families skiing together has resulted in a stark reminder that sexism still lingers and is most capable of showing itself in instances of mental lapses. No doubt the team behind the ad didn't set out to create something with a sexist message, they simply got an idea and ran with it without questioning its implications. The good news? As soon as the signs were pointed out, Toyota apologized for the offense and pulled the signs. Privilege, checked.
#2: Ski Lift Mysteriously Collapses at Sunday River:
Modern day philosophers and wise-guys alike will often ask, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?” We’re not sure, but it does beg the question, “Did Sunday River’s chairlift make a sound when it fell last Sunday?” It’s a weird question for sure. Almost as weird as the fact that Sunday River’s Spruce Peak Triple chairlift collapsed for seemingly no reason, and no one was around to witness it. Every year the resort's chairlifts are inspected, and as of the last inspection, there were no notable warnings or expectations that the lift was at risk of failing. Still, it’s evident now that it did and resort employees have had to piece together the cause in a “best guess” sort of way. Here’s what Darcy Lambert, the lift maintenance manager, thinks happened, “It broke away from the ground and then it allowed the rope tension weight to pull the steel bull wheel down... so it brought the foundation down. At that angle, the haul top was able to come off the bull wheel which lowered the chairs to the ground.” Essentially, it sounds like the foundation for the top lift tower cracked, causing a domino effect spurred by weight and tension. Despite being unsure of what caused the initial structural failure, officials at the resort remain confident in their infrastructure and plan to repair or replace the lift for next season. So no harm, no foul right?
#3: Freeride World Qualifiers Announces New Chile Location:
Here’s a bit of interesting news for those who follow the Freeride World Qualifiers: there’s a new location! Late last week it was announced that Cerro Castillo in Chile will play host to a 2* Freeride World Qualifying (FWQ) event. It marks the furthest extent of the tour’s Southern reach, finding itself in Chile’s Patagonian region. For those unfamiliar with this particular mountain peak (ourselves included), it sounds like the venue is known for it’s rugged and remote qualities. Just how remote? Well, it’s a hike-to-venue which means the terrain sees limited action and the crowd sizes are expected to be limited to the competitors and only the most passionate of spectators. The terrain itself looks amazing too, with a variety of of chutes, cliffs, and snowfields providing a creative environment that’s likely to pair well with the "go for broke" mentality that the tour typically encourages. The event is scheduled for August 7th and will also be a part of the Juegos Invernales De La Patagonia, a winter sports festival that’s quickly growing in popularity. So if you’re going to be in Chile or are planning a trip, you might just want to make some adjustments to your itinerary to fit this one in!
#4: Picabo Street Set to Launch a New School in Park City:
Picabo Street made the news again this week for the second time since April, and this time around it’s even more positive. Way back in the 1980’s when Picabo was still required to attend high school, she struggled to balance her educational life with her aspiring career as a ski racer. It’s something that’s stuck with her all these years and has recently helped inspire a new business venture. After learning that the Winter Sports School in Park City currently has more demand than it can handle, Picabo Street teamed up with Michelle Demschar (formerly of the USSA) to announce a new private school in Park City: the Picabo Street Academy. More than just a school for aspiring ski racers, Picabo’s vision is of an academy that works with students who have a “high-level extracurricular drive” of all varieties. Whether that’s skiing or another discipline, the goal of Street’s academy will be to enable to students to pursue their passion to the fullest while still receiving a level of education that will make them college ready. From here, the future looks bright for Picabo Street, and we wish her the best of luck with her new venture!