Top Five Fridays - October 23, 2015 // Ski Industry News
#1: 2015 / 2016 Ski Season is Officially Underway!:
This past week and weekend, the ski season in the United States officially began as two New England ski resorts managed to capitalize on the cold weather by blowing enough snow to open! On Sunday, October 18, 2015 Killington Mountain in Vermont opened its lifts to season pass holders, and officially opened to the public a day later on October 19th. Right on their heels was Sunday River, who announced their opening last week and also opened to the public this past Monday. Of course the East Coast isn’t the only place where snowmaking efforts are in full effect. So far we’ve also heard reports from resorts all across North America, including Loveland and Keystone Resorts in Colorado, Wildcat in Southern VT, and even Ober Galinburg in Tennessee. So if knowing that ski season is underway in New England is driving you crazy, just hold tight. Chances are, you’re local resort will be blowing snow soon!
#2: New Drone Service Wants to Simplify Your Home Video Experience:
Last week we told you about a new ban that’s being placed on drones at many ski resorts. This week, we’re bringing you news of a new startup company that’s looking to offer their drone services to ski resort visitors. By partnering with Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain Resort, Timberline Lodge, Powder Mountain, Mountain Creek, and other resorts, Cape Productions hopes to give the on hill photography experience a serious update. This season, skiers at participating resorts will be able to spend between $100-$200 to have one of Cape’s drones follow them for three runs. After the skiing is all said and done, a team of editors at Cape will sift through the footage and turn it into a short edited video for you to sit back and enjoy. Our honest opinion on this? It’s actually a pretty good idea. We see lots of people using GoPro cameras everyday at the resort, and we often wonder what happens to the footage. With Cape’s services, visitors will not only get to see footage of themselves from a cool perspective, but it’ll also be edited and delivered to them in an awesome short film that can be immediately enjoyed. So with that, we wish Cape the best of luck and keep a watchful eye on where this trend might be heading.
#3: It’s All But Final: Mt. Ascutney to Reopen with Lift Access/Hike to Skiing Hybrid Model:
We’ve been keeping you updated on the progress of Mount Ascutney Outdoor’s attempt to purchase Mt. Ascutney and reopen the mountain as a non-profit community ski area. Now, we’re excited to share the news that the purchase is in its final phase. With a purchase and sales agreement already in place between the Vermont Trust for Public land and current resort owners, the non-profit is only about $54,000 (out of $640,000) away from finalizing the sale. Along with the purchase will come 469 acres of land, as well as 29 of the resorts ski trails. If all goes to plan, Mount Ascutney Outdoors would install a 1,000 foot rope tow to provide beginner access to the hill, and add a new chair lift, snowmaking equipment, and other ski resort amenities in future years. Possibly the most exciting piece of news regarding Mt. Asutney’s revival, is the standing plan for what to do with the resort’s upper trails. According to Mount Ascutney Outdoor’s president Art Keating, “Once the chair lift is put in, (backcountry skiers) will be able to take it halfway up, then hike up the rest of the way on skins and have access to some great trails.” In other words, the long term plan for the mountain is to create a place where kids and casual skiers can learn on the mountain’s lower trails, while serious backcountry skiers can continue hiking past the lift where they’ll be treated to several trails of potentially untouched powder. To advocates of side country access like ourselves, this is pretty awesome news.
#4: POC Sports and In&Motion Create Protective Air Bag Vest:
One of the most innovative and design driven brands in skiing is arguably POC Sports. From their POC Lobes Goggles to their range of helmets, POC is always on the forefront of innovation and product design. This week, they took things a step further by revealing a brand new FIS approved skier airbag vest. That’s right, in partnership with In&Motion, a French wearable protection and smart detection device designer, POC has introduced what might be the next big thing in ski protection devices. The wearable vest was designed for use by ski cross and alpine racers who are most at risk for high speed crashes. Using strategically placed sensors, the airbag vest performs 1,000 analysis per second to detect falls. If a serious fall is detected, the airbag vest will inflate in under 100 milliseconds to provide crucial protection in potentially severe crashes. As the sport of skiing continues to progress to more extreme levels as the result of improved equipment and competition, we’re excited to see companies like POC step up and create products that could potentially revolutionize ski safety. The airbag vest is set to be available this season, although POC’s press release doesn’t mention where or for how much.
#5: And Now, the Edit of the Week:
There's no doubt about it, Sammy Carlson is a busy man. After winning the X-Games Real Ski Backcountry competition last week, he decided to release the trailer for his personal project this week. Produced in partnership with Teton Gravity Research, the Sammy C Project looks to be a short film featuring Sammy Carlson when he's at his best: exploring new terrain and pushing his limits on creative features. A man of Sammy Carlson's stature hardly needs an introduction though, so we'll just let his skiing do the talking. That's likely what he'd prefer.