21 October 2016 — As I type this the Front Range faithful are lined up at Arapahoe Basin, ready to kick off the season! Photo above shows the queue about a half hour before launch, 8:30 AM RMDT. If you’re viewing this on a desktop, the A-Basin webcam feed is right up there on the right showing whatever else is happening this morning…Soelden, Austria conditions on the Rettenbach Glacier are “perfect”, sez FIS World Cup race director Markus Mayr. Lindsey Vonn, Aksel Lund Svindal, Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety are slated to make comebacks this season, of that group I think only Ted will be on the glacier this weekend. Mikaela Shiffrin also making a comeback of sorts, but at age 20 something it’s much less of a concern, and she did rejoin competition at the end of last season. Svindal, the Norwegian great, had a nasty crash at Kitzbuhel last season. Reigning overall champions of course are Lara Gut and Marcel Hirscher…other news from Soelden, Slovenian great Tina Maze officially announced her retirement at a news conference, saying: “I’ve realized that I no longer have the energy or the motivation to keep competing at the top level”…and to follow up on openings, looks like a bit of rain is falling at Timberline Lodge, but we’ll continue monitoring.