27 December 2016 — That well known tune is playing out across the lower midwest, banana belt and well into New England today. Typical? Yes. Expected? Sort of. Welcome? No. Fortunately it looks like a temporary hiccup in the weather, and we should be back to more wintry temps as the week rolls on…and today is Two-fer Tuesday….rain can’t dampen the fun at Detroit metro Mt Brighton, GM Chris Sorensen sez “It has been a fantastic start for skiers and snowboarders to get out on the snow and have some fun with family and friends this season.” And despite the warm up, Michiganders are still making turns on close to a 20″ base at Brighton…Utah’s Brighton Resort asking for some of that warmth, they awoke this morning to zero but it was a balmy eleven when they started up the lifts. They’re 100% on a 66″ base — “We had kind of a slow start in November, but once we got into December it’s been nonstop and you know we’re full capacity – and it’s been a lot of fun,” according to Brighton spokesman Kyle Dellinger. Fun indeed, check the photo of Santa on his “sleigh” in Big Cottonwood Canyon, taken two days ago…Moving to Pennsy, Shawnee Mountain by the Delaware River has some surprisingly good conditions today, they seem to be avoiding the rain so far. Shawnee’s Jim Tust explains “We had a couple cold snaps so we were able to make quite a bit of snow.” Kudos to their mountain ops…two-fer Tuesday turns to…you guessed in, Shawnee Peak in western Maine, they usually open later than most of their bigger neighbors and this season was no exception, lifts started spinning on the 17th. this enables Shawnee to avoid a lot of the heartbreak that comes with early season snowmaking, and it’s a plan laid down by retiring GM Ed Rock. Rock is stepping down after an incredible 34 years at the helm, and it’s universally agreed that he’s set a standard of excellence for mid-sized mountains. Shawnee Peak Owner Chet Homer honored Mr. Rock by creating the Ed Rock Community Spirit Fund to benefit the town of Bridgton, and kicked it off with a $10,000 donation. The fund will be managed by the Maine Community Foundation, very cool…Utah’s Powder Mountain has started “skiing reservations” and limiting tix to 2,000 per day; they’ve had to post the “no more ticket sales” sign the past couple days. This is pretty interesting; a couple of times I’ve seen this backfire on the resorts that have tried it, or at least the ones who’ve made a big to-do about it. Word gets around that “you can’t ski there” and it catches on. Of course, none of those have the snow appeal of PowMow. We’ll keep an eye on it…pleased to report no such policies at Lost Trail Powder Mountain in Montana, they got a nice snowfall over Christmas and they’re serving up powder with about 95% of the mountain open. Open all week for the holidays. This is one of those overlooked gems that true Ski Bums seek out: 1800′ vertical, 1800 acres, five chair lifts, and a top ticket price of $42. Any questions…Wisconsin’s Camp 10 having an up-and-down season so far, good news is they’re open. This is one of those quasi-club type operations that seems to hang on by a thread, somehow they’ve been doing it for parts of six decades so this little blip in the weather is old hat in Rhinelander…two-fer Tuesday, any guesses where we go from Camp 10…weather is the same deal at New Jersey’s Campgaw Mountain, which has the distinct honor of being closest ski area to the George Washington Bridge. That could be eclipsed if the Meadowland indoor monstrosity is ever completed. Anyway, Campgaw is open and in fact “We opened three weeks earlier than we did last year,” according to GM Kristin Orozovich…hope you enjoyed the two-fers, quick look at World Cup news and it seems that indeed Mikaela Shiffrin is a contender for the overall this season, yes I know she’s leading but really didn’t think she could compete with 4-discipline Lara gut so soon. Anyway, Shiffrin WON the ladies’ GS today in Semmerling, Gut 4th, folks we have a race for the overall not seen since perhaps Vonn vs. Riesch in 2011. Shiffrin .75 seconds ahead of France’s Tessa Worley; Italy’s Manuela Moelgg rounding out the podium. Add it all up, and Shiffrin has a 50 point lead on Gut for the overall; Worley leads the hunt for the GS globe. Great World Cup season so far. Happy Tuesday, think snow!
Photo above courtesy Brighton — the one in Utah, not to be confused with Brighton Michigan.