Highs, Lows, Deep Snow, and Retirements

Starting with high, as in Mountain High in Southern California; they’ve got a good pile of snow on the ground but still need a lot more to get the East Base cranking. Quite a bit expected this weekend, so keep your fingers crossed…cross the country diagonally to Maine, we’re told that the White Heat quad chair is up and running again at Sunday River…low temps continue across much of the midwest and northeast; even Buck Hill — Lindsey Vonn’s formative stomping grounds in Minnesota — closed until tomorrow…deep snow has caused the mountain ops at Cannonsburg Michigan to change their plans today. They were shut down until tomorrow, but decided it’s too good to pass up so they cranked up the lifts about 15 minutes ago….speaking of Lindsey Vonn, we mentioned that she and Aksel Lund Svindal will be retiring after the season. Turns out they’re in good company, as a flurry of notable FIS athletes jumped on the bandwagon this week. First up, André Myhrer reigning Olympic Slalom Champion, sez this season will be his last as well. Myhrer won the slalom discipline globe in 2012, arguably the highlight of a career that includes 8 World Cup wins, 28 podiums, plus two Olympic and one World Championship medal. Don’t be surprised if he reaches deep and pulls out one more podium, particularly with the upcoming contests on his home turf in Åre. Another skier claiming this will be his last campaign is French GS specialist Thomas Fanara, who held the record for most podiums without a win on the World Cup circuit prior to claiming victory in St-Moritz three years ago. He’s added a pair of podiums this season, so Fanara is by no means doing a pointless farewell tour. More immediate retirement announced by 2015 downhill champ Patrick Küng of Switzerland, who suffered a concussion in Wengen the previous weekend and sez he’s done with life on the edge of crazy. Wengen of course was the site of Küng’s 2014 Lauberhorn win. Another Swiss skier, Sandro Viletta, also banged it up. Viletta, who took gold in the Alpine Combined at the 2014 Sochi games, was struggling with successive ACL tears. We wish the retirees well, and thank all of them for the thrills and memories they’ve provided through the years…above photo, one more shot from yesterday at Smuggler’s Notch VT, that’s DJ enjoying the frozen smoke…and below, while Kostelic and Innerhofer both enjoyed a more World Cup success overall, it was Viletta who stood atop the podium in Sochi…


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