Top Five Fridays - October 9, 2015 // Ski Industry News
#1: World Cup Race is Coming to Killington in 13 Months:
Here’s some exciting news for East Coast ski racers: it was announced just a couple of days ago that Killington will be hosting a Women’s FIS World Cup race next November! After touring the mountain one last time at the end of September, the USSA finalized their decision to make the proposal, which was presented to the International Ski Federation this week. Amongst the deciding factors that encouraged event organizer are the nature of the trail (Superstar), the available arena that can host the finish, and of course, Killington’s ability to make a massive amount of snow. The race will take place on November 26th and 27th of next year, and will be the first East Coast FIS World Cup event since 1991 when Stratton hosted one. This is obviously excellent news for the East Coast, and event organizers expects a far reaching ripple effect from the event to positively effect the entire area. For more information, checkout the writeup from NPR.
#2: Alta V. Wasatch Equality: Round 4!
If you’re tired of hearing about the ongoing legal battle between Alta and a group of snowboarders rallied under the banner “Wasatch Equality,” don’t worry, we are too. But, as self nominated heralds of all things skiing, we feel it’s our duty to convey the news regardless. Earlier this week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals accepted Wasatch Equality’s appeal after they’d been rejected by a District Judge back in Utah. In essence, this means that the group has another chance to force Alta to change their skier’s only policy to allow snowboarders the right to use their mountain. In case you haven’t heard about this story previously, the argument that Wasatch Equality is making, is that Alta Resort operates on land leased from the National Forest, which is public land. Citing the 14th amendment, W.E. is suggesting that Alta is discriminating a certain group of people and excluding them from a public space. Alta’s counter argument of course, is that they aren’t discriminating the people- they are more than welcome to use the land, so long as they have skis on their feet. It’s really a decent argument from both parties, and the outcome is still yet to be determined. Stay tuned to Top Five Friday’s where we’ll surely have another update for you in about a month after the appeal has been heard.
#3: Silverton Expansion Plan Update:
A couple of months back, we mentioned that Silverton resort out in Colorado was looking to re-structure the lot of land that they lease from the Bureau of Land Management in order to access what they consider to be more favorable terrain for their hell skiing operation. When the news was announced, the public was given approximately two weeks to respond to the request. Unsurprisingly, the request was met with resistance as most public land issues are. The lack of support of the public stems from the same reason that Silverton wants the land in the first place: it’s home to some of the best lines in the county. Essentially, Silverton’s request has started a fight between the mountain and the locals over who get’s the best slice of pie. As a result, the decision has been made to put the request through an environmental review, meaning an outcome won’t happen before this ski season starts. If you’re a local Silverton skiing or plan on doing any backcountry touring in the area this season, make sure you check out the dispute terrain while you can, as it may be a different set of rules by this time next year!
#4: Copper Mountain Has Started Making Snow:
It’s official, preparation for opening day is officially underway in North America! From what we can tell, Copper Mountain in Colorado is the first ski resort to start blowing snow in anticipation of their opening day. In fact, they’ve already taken the bold step and announced a projected opening date of November 6th. Now, that’s not to say that they’ll be the first to open, or that that date will stand- there will certainly be some strong competition for that title from perennial favorites such as Arapahoe Basin in Colorado and Killington here in Vermont. Still, it is exciting to hear that the guns are on and blowing snow at a resort in North America. Also worth mentioning here, is that several resorts have already tested their snow guns and will undoubtedly be joining the snowmaking race soon enough. Regardless of where you are in North America, it’s the time of year to start thinking about skiing again!
Bonus News! Central New York Ski Resorts Shifting Ownerships:
This one’s of particular interest to a certain crowd, so we decided to mark it as a bonus. If you keep your ear to the ground regarding small feeder hills like we do, then you might’ve picked up on some interesting news coming out of the Central New York ski scene. Within an hour’s drive from Syracuse, there are 4 main resorts: Song Mountain, Labrador Mountain, Toggenburg Mountain, and Greek Peak. Last year, the owner of Song Mountain purchased neighboring Labrador Mountain and offered a joint season ticket to the two resorts. More recently, the owners of Greek Peak Resort in Virgil, New York purchased Toggenburg Mountain back in September. Now, two former long term managers from Toggenburg Mountain have branched out and purchased a mountain of their own: Snow Ridge. Known locally for its incredible amount of snow, new owners Cynthia Sisto and her son Nick Mir hope to boost the overall quality of the ski area’s experience by expanding the resort’s hours of operations, improving the resort’s terrain, and developing the area’s race and terrain park programs. So as the world turns, it appears so too does the cycle of feeder hill ownership in Central New York. We wish the best to all of the new owners in the area!
#5: And Now, the Edit of the Week:
One of our favorite skiers to watch has to be Sean Pettit. If you're wondering why, simply watch the first ten seconds of this video and you'll have your answer. Once you're as convinced as we are that Sean is an unstoppable force when he's on a set of skis, feel free to continue watching the rest of episode 1 from his new web series: "Keep Your Tips Up."
Double Bonus Edit!
Some times the ski edit gods are exceptionally generous. Such is the case this week as we were blessed with a second edit that we couldn't ignore. In the above short, Tatum Monod displays five minutes of incredible Alaskan skiing. Say what you will about female freeskiers, just know that Tatum might disagree and she has more than enough skills to back herself up.