Top Five Fridays - October 11, 2019 // Ski Industry News
#1: Ski Season Creeps Closer as Snow Coats Colorado:
If you follow any type of skiing accounts on social media, then chances are you're already aware of this week's top news: snow has officially landed in North America for the 2019-2020 Winter Season! Sure, we've reported on some preseason snow already this year, but this week's weather resulted in the most widespread, measurable snowfall of the season. As a result, there's a feeling as though the tide has turned and that ski season is just weeks away at many resorts. Most notably, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado were big winners this week, as resorts like Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, and Loveland reported snowfall in the range of 3" - 8". While that may not seem like much, it's a significant boost to the mountains' snowmaking efforts as they ramp up for opening day. Elsewhere in the U.S., the Northern Midwest region is expected to receive significant snowfall over the next couple of days as the storm that deposited snow in the Rockies heads West, plummeting temperatures along the way. We'll have more on that in highlight #4 this week, but for now you can check out a recap of Colorado's recent snow in this article from the Summit Daily.
#2: 2020 FIS World Cup Ski Racing Season Preview:
In other preseason jitter news, the return of FIS World Cup Ski Racing is just around the corner, with the first races of the year scheduled for just over two weeks from now, on the weekend of October 26-27th. To help us get ready for the season ahead, Summit Daily put together a quick article recapping all of the off season changes and storylines worth following as the season progresses. On the women's side of things, all eyes are destined to be on Mikaela Shiffrin again, as she's absolutely dominated the circuit for the past two seasons. While Shiffrin's focus is likely to be on each individual race she competes in, fans are awarded the luxury of watching her chase records, such as the most individual World Cup wins (Shiffrin currently has 60, while Ingmar Stenmark holds the record with 86, followed by Lindsay Vonn with 80), or the most World Cup points earned in a single season. On the men's side of the sport, the door's been left wide open after Marcel Hirscher announced his retirement from the sport just over a month ago. While that void's likely to be filled by either Alexis Pinturault or Henrik Kristoffersen, there's also a chance that U.S. team member Bryce Bennett could have a big year after a series of strong finishes last year. All in all, between these two storylines alone, this year's circuit should result in some memorable moments. To get an even wider view of the season ahead, check out the writeup from Summit Daily.
#3: CopenHill Urban Mountain Opens for Year Round Skiing:
Next up in ski news this week, CopenHill Urban Mountain is officially open for year round skiing and snowboarding! Upon seeing the news this week, we went back to see when the last time we covered this story was, and were quite surprised to see that it's somehow managed to elude a Top 5 Friday thus far. As such, some background is needed: in Copenhagen, Denmark, city officials have set their sights on becoming a zero-carbon municipality by 2025. To achieve this goal, city planners have been given the green light to develop innovative new ideas to help reduce the city's carbon footprint. One of the ways that's being accomplished is with the CopenHill power plant, the primary job of which is to burn trash otherwise destined for a landfill, creating energy from it instead. What makes this power plant particularly interesting, especially for skiers, are all of its secondary jobs.
In addition to being the city's trash converter, CopenHill also features year round rooftop dry slope skiing, as of this week. Offering a vertical of 1,475 feet and incredible views of the Copenhagen skyline, the opportunity to ski CopenHill comes at a cost of $33/hr. In addition to the ski trail, the building also offers a sloping rooftop garden, a free "hiking" trail, a climbing wall, and a restaurant at the base area. In addition to being a great use of public space, the building itself is also quite remarkable, and has been getting plenty of press in the world of architecture since it's conceptualization four years ago. To learn more about Copenhill, you can check out this writeup from Business Insider, this one from Quartz, or visit the official website here.
#4: Dramatic Weather in Denver Highlights Growing Prevalence of Climate Change:
While we're on the note of climate change, let's round out this week's news with a story that, while not directly related to skiing, is jaw dropping enough that we feel compelled to share it. Just yesterday, Denver, CO experienced a 63° drop in temperature over a 20 hour period. Within that window, the city also saw a 40° drop over the course of 4 hours, when the temperature plummeted from 81° to 41° between 4 PM and 8 PM. In other words, residents went from tee shirt and shorts weather, to pants and jacket weather in just 4 hours.
Now, to be totally fair, this type of weather isn't entirely unheard of for Denver and other High Plain areas. In these regions, the dry climate coupled with the vast openness can result in multiple weather fronts "battling" it out, without much interference. As a result, when a Fall cold front comes through, dramatic temperature changes can result. Still, this week's wild weather is notable for two main reasons. First, it's the largest temperature change on record for October, while also hitting record setting highs and lows. In other words, three separate temperature related records were set, involving both highs and lows. Second, and perhaps more concerning, is that vast temperature swings have become more prevalent in recent years, with 5 of the last 6 years seeing 40 degree temperature changes. And on that note, there's not much else to say about this one. For more details, check out the writeup from Washington Post.
#4.5: The SkiEssentials.com 2020 Ski Test is Now Live!:
#5: And Now, Your Edits of the Week: The Good Company Presents, "Cruise Control":
When Salomon TV Rents a Drone and Tells You to Charge, You Charge:
Dash Longe Returns, With DPS Cinematic in, "Stones Throw":
Finally, a Taste of World Class Urban Skiing: