News Roundup 12/12/16 – Good times, bad times

12 December 2016 — Tragedy early yesterday morning at Boyne Highlands Michigan when fire destroyed much of the base lodge — photo above from better days — early reports are that 12 people were injured, including one quite seriously. The fire broke out around 1:00 AM in the main lodge, which also houses overnight guests. Boyne statement says 64 rooms were occupied by over 100 people. “Our primary concern right now is for those impacted by the fire, and for their health and wellbeing,” said Mike Chumbler, president/general manager of Boyne Highlands Resort. “We’re extremely grateful to the fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies who are managing the situation.” That’s the official; the unofficial includes rumors that a few people jumped from windows to escape the blaze. Most serious injury believed to be Traverse City resident David Chauvette, age 23, but that information is also unconfirmed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr Chauvette and all involved. Boyne Highlands is temporarily closed as some 40% of the lodge was damaged in the blaze…I’ll try and wrap up the bad news here, condolences to the family of 65-year-old William Cusano of Lagrangeville NY who died at Killington Resort on Saturday afternoon, apparently of a heart attack however that’s uncertain. Mr. Cusano was an accomplished skier and there were no outward signs of a collision…and on to the better news, opening weekends all over the place; Anthony Lakes OR opened this past weekend with both alpine and nordic offerings. They’ve shut down for the week, ramping up for full time ops starting Saturday the 17th…nice snow in Colorado’s front range gave us a powder weekend at Arapahoe Basin, and over the hill at Loveland they’re now open on lift six with the Keno/Roulette/Blackjack trails that are on a lot of “favorites” lists…Terry Peak SD kicked off full time this past weekend, as did Jiminy Peak MA…some good news out of Michigan, all good — make that great — at Caberfae, opening this past weekend which I’ll admit I did not expect. They’re also shuttered for the week but I believe going full time this Friday, will try and update…also in Michigan glad to see Bittersweet back strong, they opened Saturday in Otsego. Last year was simply terrible as they were only open two (2) days in December…Peak Resorts getting their smaller hills up and running; Pennsy’s Jack Frost and Big Boulder set to go next weekend, they did a park thing at Big Boulder on Saturday and Sunday. Up the road in Scranton, Montage Mountain (not a Peak Resort) also moving a lot of snow, they’re planning to open this coming weekend as well…where was I…Peak Resorts also struck gold at Alpine Valley in Ohio, that’s the often overlooked little brother to Boston Mills and Brandywine. Anyway, AV got dumped on with some lake effect snow and they’re open for the season and I have to tell you the conditions are incredible…not quite as incredible as what’s going on at Grand Targhee, where they got ten inches yesterday, but then again Ohio ain’t Wyoming so the Buckeyes will definitely take it…Southern New York’s Plattekill has announced they’ll spin for the season next weekend. It’s a bit different there as Platty is a weekend/holidays/special days only type place. Downside is you can’t ski an empty resort on Wednesday. Upside? You can usually find fresh stuff on Saturday…World Cup time! Ladies rolled in to Sestriere Italy for the weekend. GS yesterday had France’s Tessa Worley atop the podium, edging Sofia Goggia on her home turf, with Lara Gut in third. Slalom yesterday had Mikaela Shiffrin first, with Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova and Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener second and third. Shiffrin still has the overall lead on Gut, partly because of a fifth or sixth place effort in the GS the day prior. Gut did not run the slalom (she seldom does). The victory was Shiffrin’s 11th straight in the discipline, which is a record of some sort and pretty damn impressive. The men meanwhile stayed in Val d’Isere for another round of tech events. Saturday had Frenchman Alexis Pinturault grab GS honors, edging Austrian Marcel Hirscher and Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen. Ted Ligety DNFd. Kristoffersen, you may recall, got into a tussle with Team Norway over a sponsorship issue, I think he wanted a Red bull decal on his helmet or something like that. Reports say the brand was not on his helmet this weekend. Well whatever was fueling him worked, because Kristoffersen turned around yesterday and beat Hirscher to the line, with Russian star Alexander Khoroshilov third. Kristoffersen was clearly thrilled with the victory, beating his chest after reading his time. We’ll have to see how the helmet issue shakes out. It’s still early season, but Hirscher already has a 160 point lead on Pinturault, his closest challenger. I still think Hirscher’s closest challenger will be Kjetil Jansrud. The Norseman has won both speed events thus far, but has also DNFd both GS events that he entered. Tough to bet against Hirscher but you never know.