Top Five Fridays - April 6, 2018 // Ski Industry News

Top Five Fridays April 6, 2018: Lead Image

Image: Granite Backcountry Alliance on Facebook

#1: A Shout Out to Women, Who Are Major Players in the Ski Industry::

Top Five Fridays April 6, 2018: Kelly Pawlak Image

This Fall, Kelly Pawlak left her post as General Manager of Mount Snow, and became CEO and President of the National Ski Areas Association. A tremendous acheivement to be sure. Image: Mount Snow Academy

Let’s start out this week with a shout out to the women of skiing. This week, Forbes published an article highlighting the growing number of women rising to prominence in the ski industry. It’s something we’ve noticed too, although we’ll shamefully admit that it took this article from Forbes to realize just how strong of a trend it’s become. One of the big moves that we did take note of, was when Kelly Pawlak left her post at Mount Snow this past fall to become the CEO and President of the NSAA. That was monumental as the NSAA is arguably the most influential trade organization in skiing. In addition to Pawlak’s recent ladder climb, other women across the industry have been reaching new heights as well, including Meegan Moszynski who is the first female executive director of the National Ski Patrol. All told, the writeup from Forbes is pretty interesting, and gives a good idea just how widespread the influence of women in skiing has become.

Before we put the finishing touches on this, we’ve got one last thing to say: shout out to all of the women who ski with passion. Seriously, it’s probably not said enough. As a culture, skiing probably hasn’t been the most historically P.C. Still, with women doing amazing things both on the business side of the industry, as well as on the slopes, it’s safe to say that the women of skiing have become a force to be reckoned with. From Pawlak, Vonn, and Shiffrin to the females who ski hard at their local mountain every time they hit the slopes, women across the industry are proving that not only can they “keep up”, but that often times they blow right past the men. So with that, a final shout out and a thank you. Keep doing what you do, and pushing us all forward!

#2: New Hampshire Group Gets Approval to Create 1,000+ Acres of Glades:

Top Five Fridays April 6, 2018: Granite Backcountry Alliance Image

Just a taste of the type of New England glade action that can be expected from the Granite Backcountry Alliance's newest project. Image: Granite Backcountry Alliance on Facebook

Turning the proverbial page to another topic, we caught word this week that a group called the Granite Backcountry Alliance has just received permission to develop and maintain over 1,000 acres of glades in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It’s a pretty big success for the group, although they’d likely readily admit that their work is just getting started. In a decision made by the White Mountain National Forest this week, the region’s history of glades cut by the C.C.C. as well as the rise of illegal and under the radar deforestation were enough reason to hand caretaker duties over to the Granite Backcountry Alliance. Now, the group has been given the green light to thin and trim 410 acres on Bartlett Mountain, as well as 600 acres on Baldface Mountain. As part of their responsibilities, the group has also been assigned the task of responsibly managing the natural ecosystem of the area. In other words, they’ll likely clear brush and small trees, but will leave larger obstacles in place. Ultimately this is a big step forward for New England’s backcountry ski community, as well as land conservations who have been increasingly concerned with the growing amount of guerrilla glade trimming. For more on this, check out the full news release from Powder.

#3: Ski Resorts in the Summer, From the National Parks' Perspective:

Top Five Fridays April 6, 2018: White River National Park Image

A view from Aspen looking out over the White River National Forest. Image: Aspen Snowmass on Facebook

Speaking of land conservation and the growing needs of skiers, we’re excited to share with you an interview from somebody with a perspective that we’re not accustomed to hearing. This week, the Denver Post published an interview with Scott Fitzwilliams, the supervisor of Colorado’s White River National Park. In the discussion, Fitzwilliams is asked mostly about his perspectives regarding the further development and use of national forests, with 2011’s Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act specifically in mind. As you may be aware, this piece of legislation is what opened the door for ski resorts on national forest land to expand their operations in the summer months. From the ski industry’s perspective, this act has been huge as they’ve been able to hedge against the inherent seasonality of the ski business. Fitzwilliams has a different perspective, although maybe not the one you’d expect. For him the legislation has resulted in new logistical issues, such as an increased work load requiring additional staff, and a backlog of requests from ski areas. The interview itself goes much further than that, but we’d recommend swinging over to the Denver Post for the full story.

#4: Audi Nines: A Wild New Contest:

Top Five Fridays April 6, 2018: Audi Nines Slope X Course Image

Yes, this is a real shot of the Slope X course. Image: @audinines on Instagram

Finally: an update from the world of competitive skiing. As you may have noticed this fall when we shared news of the King and Queen of Corbett’s competition, we love learning about new and exciting ski contests. After all, there are only so many ways you can alter a half pipe or slope style contest to make it feel new. Regardless, this week it was announced that this year the Audi Nine Knights competition would become the Audi Nines contest, the centerpiece of which is a new event being referred to as Slope X. In essence, the idea of this contest is to combine a slope style course with a skier cross course, resulting in high speeds, big air, and even a handful of rails. Possibly the most interesting thing about this contest is, the actual format hasn’t been determined yet. Being such a new, different idea, the jury is still out as to how athletes will actually approach and use the course. As such, the final format for the event will only be decided on after the first day of practice. Ultimately, just the sheer concept, design, and history of the Nine Knights is enough to get us excited for this one. To learn more, visit the official Audi Nines website!

#5: And Now, Your Edits of the Week:

Just a Quality Time at Jackson Hole:

A Reminder: The Future is Now:


Written by on 04/06/18