News Roundup 10/24/16

24 October 2016 — With applause lingering for Arapahoe Basin‘s opening last week, some eastern snowfalls have prompted Killington to step up and call for opening on the North Ridge this week. Beginning with a passholders-only day tomorrow, KMart will be up-and-downloading on the K1 gondy, and accessing two trails via a walkway. The North Ridge triple will be providing continuous service up on the hill. With 5″ natural and a bunch of snowmaking, as you can see in the webcam grab earlier today, the Beast is looking pretty good! Kudos to their mountain ops team…FIS World Cup kicked off the white circus this past weekend on the glacier at Soelden Austria, yesterday reigning overall champ Lara Gut laid down the law with a pair of blistering runs, stomping the rest of the field by 1.44 seconds. USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin need not apologize for her second place finish, Gut was just “on” yesterday. Shiffrin for her part is looking better and better in GS and the future is certainly bright. Speaking of futures, 20-year-old Italian Marta Bassino finished third, her first career podium. Hard to believe Gut and Shiffrin are old veterans by comparison! Well not quite but you get the idea. Saturday was pretty much as expected, with Alexis Pinturault, Marcel Hirscher and Felix Neureuther claiming the podium. Good run for Ted Ligety finishing 5th; that’s not what he’s used to at Soelden but pretty darn good considering his season ending injury back in February…returning to Vermont, Magic Mountain currently in process of sale to an investor group led by Geoff Hathaway, closing delayed by what they call “due diligence issues.” Statement sez “The situation involved some permitting concerns but we have worked closely with the State of Vermont and we have a viable path forward. The important news is that Magic will be open this year and our transaction will be going through with the current ownership. We appreciate the cooperation of the state agencies, local and state elected officials, and current owners in working through these critical issues impacting the future of Magic.” Hathaway added that the closing should occur sometime around the 31st, with a targeted opening of December 17…staying east, snowfalls over the weekend put a blanket of white on higher elevations as far south as Snowshoe in West Virginia. Snowshoe, BTW, does an interesting “early season only” pass, which is a $99 deal good from opening day through Christmas Day. I like that idea…Catskills area Belleayre, which has the highest eastern base elevation north of West Virginia, got a nice covering Saturday night. Even Southern Vermont’s Mount Snow got in on the action. Further north in the White Mountains and environs, word is that Wildcat and Sunday River have snowmaking poised to go, but have yet to really kick it off…more tomorrow!