20 January 2017 — welcome to the weekend! We’re between holidays, so be sure to get out there and use those punch-cards, promos, passes and anything else subject to holiday black-outs. Here’s your chance — use it or lose it…seems that Mammoth Mountain was the, ahem, winner in the most-snow-from-the-epic-California-weather sweepstakes. They got a mind-numbing 267″ aka 22 feet on the summit, and they’re actually having to dig lift chairs out of the snow. You know if a chair is 12′ off the ground but the snow is 15′ deep somewhere down the mountain, that chair be three feet under, assuming my math is correct…Loveland CO reports that the #9 chair is now open; that’s the one that goes up to the Continental Divide and serves up all kinds of access to other lifts, gated bowls, etc., and this is not the earliest but certainly earlier than usual…update on that fire last month at Boyne Highlands in Michigan; indeed arson and now David Gerald Soltysiak, 31, of Petoskey MI was arraigned in Emmet County’s 90th District Court on a charge of second degree arson, a felony. Soltysiak pled no-contest as part of a plea agreement, and thus will not be charged with the more serious offense of first degree arson. Prosecuting Attorney James Linderman and chief assistant prosecutor Stuart Fenton issued a statement saying “the agreement is advantageous for the community and the defendant’s victims. The plea saves the taxpayers from the cost of a lengthy process of litigation and guarantees a positive outcome with swift and speedy justice; including closure for all the victims of the defendant’s crime and gives consideration to the defendant for quickly accepting responsibility and not contesting the case.” 14 people were injured during the evacuation, including one man who suffered smoke inhalation and was touch-and-go for a while; pleased to say he’s ok…kind of hard to believe the season got off to such a dismal start in the Rockies, but as a reminder Colorado SkiCountry USA‘s 22 member resorts have released their numbers through the end of December, and those numbers are indeed down 8% from last year…image above is definitely not our usual, I just wanted y’all to see what goes into the circus-like atmosphere surrounding a typical World Cup race, and because we’re in the midst of the Hahnenkamm/Kitzbuehel events, I figured this was fairly timely. Here we’re showing just a portion, and I’ve edited this document down for space considerations. If you’re curious about the entire 44-pages, you can click here to download the pdf. As you can see, the Super G is in the books, Austria’s Matthias Mayer topped the podium, Christof Innerhofer of Italy and Swiss Beat Feuz second and third. Other notables? Super G cup leader Kjetil Jansrud was 9th, Travis Ganong was top US finisher in 11th, and overall cup leader and current champ Marcel Hirscher added points with a 24th place finish. The ladies meanwhile are in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where they’ll contest a downhill tomorrow. Rising Italian starlet Sofia Goggia was fastest in today’s practice; Lindsey Vonn and Lara Gut were each about a second behind. Again, it’s a training run, and different skiers have different agendas during these sessions. Fastest training run doesn’t necessarily mean anything, however we won’t be surprised to see Goggia in the thick of things. Check back to Wednesday’s report for more info on the racing events this weekend…sorry to report that 25-year-old Long Island resident Brian Conners died at Belleayre NY. Connors was boarding on the Wanatuska Trail and had an accident around 11 a.m. this past Saturday according to Belleayre spokesman Jon Lundin, who said state police were investigating the accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family…more pleasant news in the east, crappy midweek forecast for New England turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the rain/snow line kind of hovered around Massachusetts; that means places bumping along like Bolton Valley got a nice shot in the arm, enabled Mad River Glen to re-open…New Hampshire’s Attitash is about 95% open thanks to the storm.