13 February 2014 — Reminder that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and the clock is ticking…Jackson Hole Mountain Resort sez “The mountain is now open folks! All of our lifts are currently up and running. Come out and enjoy the snow. Stay safe, stay warm, and have a wicked ski day!” JHMR had been knocked out of commission by power outages, deep snow, howling winds, everything but plague and locusts. Fact is their lodges/foodservice etc are still only partially open, should be all up to speed by Thursday or so…back east conditions are best of the season so far; part time ops like Magic Mountain and Pico VT and Plattekill NY — normally just weekend areas — are all open today and serving up the northeast’s version of powder…Pico and sister mountain Killington actually started spinning a couple of lifts an hour early today; KMart opened their ticket window at 7:30 and ran the Snowdon quad at 8:00 am to take advantage of the best conditions they’ve had in over a year…speaking of Plattekill, that’s a photo above from yesterday morning, sent to us by the Maul family hailing from Toms River NJ. They tell me it snowed all day yesterday at Platty, and all those crazy routes in the trees were open…incidentally, if you’ve got a great photo you would like to share with the world — well maybe not the world, but at least the 900 or so people who read this blog — please send it to info(at)skibum(dot)net…elsewhere in New England I’m seeing snow, snow, snow; Wildcat Mountain NH and Burke Mountain VT both with a legit 18″ of fresh in the past 24 hours. Burke is still in the midst of the court-appointed trustee situation, so this snow comes as a very welcome event…Windham NY reporting in at 100% open for what I believe is the first time in over a year…Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin has started talking about something they’ve had in the works for a while, calling it the “Beavers and Steep Gullies” Expansion, slated to add over 450 acres and a new quad chair. This bowl is located like a slice of pie between Pally & Montezuma, if you click here for the map you’ll see exactly what they have in mind. The “Steep Gullies” have long been an unofficial part of A-Basin; it appears this chair will make it a lot easier to get back to the resort proper…over the hill at Loveland they’re doing their 26th annual “Mountaintop Matrimony” tomorrow atop the Continental Divide, this is when a bunch of couples “renew their vows or tie the knot in a winter wonderland” assuming of course, the weather permits. I’ve been up there when the weather is a lot less than pleasant so let’s hope for the best for the sake of these Valentine’s Day couples…World Cup Championships in St Moritz had Slovenia’s surging Ilka Stuhec win the ladies’ downhill, followed on the podium by Austria’s Stephanie Venier and our own Lindsey Vonn; the bronze makes Linz the oldest the garner a medal in the World Championships. Men’s downhill followed immediately, Swiss speedster Beat Feuz took the gold. He was followed by Canada’s Erik Guay, which means Lindsey’s distinction of being the oldest medal winner was a fairly short reign. Austria’s Max Franz took the bronze. Today’s action in St Moritz included a ladies’ GS qualification race, which saw former USST member Sarah Schleper finish third racing for Mexico, congrats to Sarah and the Mexican ski program — glad to see it. But the biggest story in today’s action is the Swiss men’s team; surprise winner in the men’s combined today was virtual unknown Luca Aerni; teammate Mauro Caviezel took home the bronze medal, bringing the medal tally for the host nation to six. Marcel Hirscher grabbed the silver. Aerni wasn’t named as a starter until late yesterday. Aerni’s Cinderalla story continued through the downhill, where he finished 30th and final qualifier to move on to the slalom. Then as first skier, he blistered the slalom course and had to stand through all of the other competitors — which included some fairly fierce technical skiers. Action continues tomorrow with team events…regret to report that 46-year-old Lisa Kelly of Brookfield CT was killed at 8:15 last night at Mohawk Mountain after colliding with a snowboarder. State police said today that the fatal collision remains under investigation and are encouraging anyone with information to contact Trooper Jeremy Ribadeneyra at 860-626-1820 ext. 1034…an as-yet unidentified 26-year-old male Mexican citizen died Friday at Breckenridge CO on an unidentified trail after an unidentified incident. Sorry to be flippant here, but Vail Corp. asked for everything but my left nut when I tried to buy a ski ticket last weekend. Apparently Vail Corp. only discusses details when it concerns their Epic® program, heaven forbid anything should reflect badly on their resorts…I will definitely publish details when they’re available…Seriously, fellow next to me on line had to explain his relationship to the woman he was buying a ticket for…let’s get back to positive news…Mammoth Mountain CA just announced they’ve got enough snow to keep the lifts spinning through July 4th, and they plan to do it…some 200 alpine ski racers from the University of Minnesota, Wisconsin, St. Olaf, Gustavus Adolphus, Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech, Wisconsin-La Crosse and others wrapped up a big competition at Spirit Mountain MN this weekend, looks like St. Olaf’s came up big…UPDATE ok here are the details: 26-year-old Ricardo Cohen of Mexico City was killed on an advanced trail Friday morning, suffering severe head trauma after slamming hard into snow despite wearing a helmet, according to the Summit County Coroner’s Office.