The Old Masters and Their Art

Just in case you live in a cave, Lindsey Vonn retired, but not before she blistered the downhill course at the World Championships in Åre, Sweden. Ultimately Ilka Stuhec and whoever bettered Vonn’s time, but she still limped away with a bronze medal. That’s incredible, and the skiing world knows it. Too bad for Stuhec, who was the first skier to repeat as downhill world champ since the 1980s, largely overshadowed by the retiring legend. Photo above taken yesterday doesn’t provide any helpful visual for all the brouhaha at the finish area, but it does show three of the all time greats. Don’t try and keep up if you run into this trio on the hill: At left, Bode Miller, center is Ingemar Stenmark, best technical skier of all time, and of course Lindsey, best speed skier of all time…in a similar ending the other old master, Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, put a silver medal on the culmination of his career. Teammate Kjetil Jansrud bested AL by just a couple hundredths, with Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr back by 3/10ths. Just a year ago Svindal was the oldest skier to ever win Olympic gold, but years of injuries finally caught up with the Norseman this season. Nice to see both Vonn and Svindal go out with class — and medals…tough weekend in the east as plunging temps came hot on the heels of a hot spell. Not the case on the opposite coast; Mammoth Mountain CA grabbed another foot or two…check out this photo, this is typical Blue Sky Basin at Vail on any given weekend:

…is Vail Resorts/Borg Collective getting any pushback at all for this stuff? Honestly if you pay the walk up rate for this privilege, you’re insane. No, the majority are Epic® Passholders, and the attractiveness of the pass price is what is causing this. I don’t know where it all ends (the line or the problem) but I suppose as long as people keep shelling out their treasure to do this, Vail will continue to cash the checks…back to normal, kudos to Tussey Mountain PA, they’re doing a buy-one-get-one on Valentine’s Day. Tussey is near Penn State, which means Tussey is far from everywhere else…in case I neglected to report it, Killington VT has finally opened the replacement South Ridge chair. The fixed-grip quad was originally installed on their Snowdon pod back in 1992, moved after installation of the new Snowdon sixpack. The original South Ridge lift was a strange triangular configuration, removed a few years ago. I think this installation is going to take some of the crowd away from the Skye Peak area…and we’ll leave you today with a parting shot of Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud taken Saturday in Åre…

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