News Roundup, 10/10/16

10 October 2016 — Photo above taken this past weekend at Killington VT, where autumnal activities belie the fact that the FIS World Cup circus is due to roll into town in just over a month from now.  Evidence is quite visible on the ski trails as Kmart has a lot of guns and hoses set up in anticipation.  Reports are they put on a nice snowmaking show last night up on the ridge as temps plummeted into the 20s.  This morning the guns turned to the top of Superstar, looks like they’re gauging things for November…article about aging chairlift infrastructure in Outside Magazine got a swift and carefully crafted response from the National Ski Areas Association via, saying the sky is not falling, here’s a link to that response, well worth reading as a point/counterpoint kind of thing…back to New England, pleased to report that Ragged Mountain NH just got the green light to expand their snowmaking pond to some 4 million gallon capacity…Whitefish Resort MT (what used to be called Big Mountain) settled out of court with the family of a 16-year-old boy who died after skiing into a tree well in 2010. The terms of the suit weren’t disclosed, but Whitefish did not admit guilt of any kind.  They have increased their tree well warning signage since then…little known fact, about 20% of all ski fatalities in the USA are the result of skiing into tree wells.  I really wonder how many easterners, southerners, and other out-of-towners are aware of the dangers of tree wells.  Outside Magazine would do a far better service for its readers by publishing a sensational article about tree wells rather than aging lifts.  The aforementioned Whitefish Resort had something like five tree well fatalities in the past 40 years, but not a single chairlift fatality…better topic, Schweitzer Mountain Resort ID is putting the finishing touches on a new, $5 million summit lodge.  The Sandpoint area resort says they’ll be done in December, in time for the coming season…and we’ll wrap up today on a high note, Laurel Mountain in southwest PA is slated to reopen after being shuttered for about a dozen years.  The commonwealth infused a few million dollars, and they’re selling passes on the website.  Let’s hope for a great winter to get Laurel restarted on the right foot!