Top Five Fridays - September 18, 2015 // Ski Industry News
#1: Mt. Abrams Continues to Buck Trends and Expand Their Mountain:
While both feeder hills and established resorts alike struggle to reopen each year, Mt. Abrams in Maine continues to buck the trend with their steady yearly growth. Last year we reported that the feeder hill installed an array of 803 solar panels, a brand new energy efficient snow making system, and a wood pellet heating system for their lodge. All of the savings from these projects must have added up as the mountain has just announced that they’ll be cutting 6 new trails for the upcoming season. In doing so, they hope to be able to create a new trail that’s exclusive to their ski racing programs, which will in turn alleviate the congestion and ski traffic in different areas of the hill. The news should also be exciting to terrain park skiers at the mountain as the additional trail for ski racing will free up room for an expansion to the resort’s terrain park. This year’s expansion and last year’s upgrades come on the heels of Mt. Abram’s partnership with the Mountain Rider’s Alliance which formed in August of 2013. The goal of the Mountain Rider’s Alliance is to own and manage a collection of shuttered and at-risk feeder hills in order to take advantage of group rates on overhead issues such as insurance. So far, the business model appears to be working as Mt. Abrams has not only avoided closure, but appears to be thriving under it’s new leadership. Congrats to all involved!
#2: Cringeworthy Apres Ski Show Set to Air on Bravo:
Alright, this one’s going to hurt a little bit. We’ve known for a long time now that there’s a stark difference between ski bums who wash plates 8 hours a day just so they don’t miss a powder day, and the rich ski “enthusiasts” who have little problem shelling out $150 for a lift ticket, only to call it quits by noon in favor of some pampering at the mountain side spa. What we didn’t know, until this past week, is that Bravo has plans to air a TV show called “Aprés Ski,” which appears dead set on portraying the worst type of person you could ever meet at a ski resort. In the short 2:20 teaser for the documentary, we hear quotes like, “it’s like Disneyland for grownups!” and, “is there any way we can get some sanitary napkins?” Mix in multiple shots of dinners in gondolas, glory shots of the world’s mellowest hell accessed skiing, and excessive man-butt and general skin, and you can be absolutely sure that this show is going to suck. In fact, about the only positive result that we can hope for from this one, is that the portrayal of high fashion skiing is so ridiculous that the perpetrators find themselves analyzing their values in a gold plated mirror somewhere, and decide that skiing should be about skiing, and not about acting glamourous.
#3: 20 Square Miles of Undeveloped Wasatch Mountain Range for Sale:
You guys know that song, “If I Had a Million Dollars,” by the Barenaked Ladies right? Well, in the same day-dream-like sense, you should take a look at the above video. That’s right, a somehow undeveloped 20 square mile slice of the Wasatch Range has just been put up for sale. On this property, you have access to 24 Wasatch peaks, 15 bowls, and an estimated 5,500 acres of skiable terrain. At the moment, the Wasatch Peaks Ranch is home to private snowcat, backcountry, and hell skiing operations during the Winter. In the Summer, the property offers a variety of mountain terrain including meadows, rivers, and forests, making it perfect for numerous activities such as hunting, fishing, mountain biking, and a ton more. Sounds amazing right? Well if you’re in the day dreaming mode, it looks like you might want to sing those lyrics as “If I had 46 Million dollars,” because that’s the price tag on this lavish piece of land.
#4: New Hampshire High School Hoping to Rescue Their Ski Jump:
It’s no secret: ski jumping is on the fast track to extinction. As ABC News reports, New Hampshire is the only state that includes ski jumping as a competitive sport. Within the state, there are only seven participating schools. Now, that number appears threatened to be reduced again a Plymouth High School’s ski jump has been deemed unsafe for use. This determination has caused quite a stir in the local crowd, as concerns about the future of Plymouth’s ski jumping team have grown. Without their own ski jump, the closest practice facilities would be about 1.5 hours away. The fear is that the distance would play a roll in reducing the number of participants in the sport, eventually causing the team to call it quits.
Originally built in 1979, the ski jump architects knew this day would come and built the structure with removable supports in hopes that it would make maintenance of the jump affordable. As luck would have it, the only barrier to rebuilding appears to be the cost of the effort and nothing regarding legalities. Already the fundraising efforts have gotten a nice jump start by the Mt. Sunapee Area Ski Club who’s donated $1,000 to the rebuilding of the jump. They’ve also stated that if total costs could be determined, then it is likely that the club will be able to donate more. So while the current state of the ski jump is in disrepair, groups involved with the issue are hopeful that the jump can be repaired and reopened in time for this years ski jumping season.
If you'd like to contribute to the cause, you can head over to the "Save Our Ski Jump" petition on ipetition.com.
#5: And Now, the Edit of the Week:
A couple of days ago, Redbull released a trailer for their new ski flick, PASSENGER. As expected, everything from the sound design and cinematography to the locations and skiing itself are nothing short of incredible. Watch the trailer above, and get yourself stoked to see the latest from Redbull and the Legs of Steel crew. PASSENGER will be premiering on October 16th on www.redbull.tv.
With all of the great trailers coming out these days, it's hard to not overlook some of the edits that are still being released from last winter- especially if it's from a new name. That's the case here, as we were lucky enough to come across this season edit from Josh McSkimming out of British Columbia. Despite the low snow year, it looks like Josh managed to find the goods regardless and put together this awesome season edit which should give old ski curmudgeons hope for the future of skiing.