3/3/17 — Mark & Evan sent the photo above, taken this morning on the approach road to Mt. Bachelor up the hill from Bend, OR. Bachelor is one of the biggest areas in the nation, serving up some huge open terrain on the cinder cone. Ski bums might find the light a bit flat up high this morning, although the summit chair isn’t running due to wind hold. Upside is these clouds tend to create mini snowstorms, and they’re getting some on top right now. Meanwhile a massive storm is set to move in this afternoon, so we aren’t concerned about Bachelor’s season any time soon…Meanwhile Eastern half of the country continues to try and recover from the see-saw weather, which by the way, more of that is on the way…temps in the arctic zone across the midwest, New England, but another warm up on the way next week to be followed by another arctic plunge next weekend. Not good. At least for now the committed resorts are doing what they can, blowing snow on key trails, tilling and re-grooming the frozen freeze…places like Stratton VT, where they have the horses to do it, Stratton bounced back from 42 trails yesterday to 72 today, but the natural snow trails are done for at least now…and semi-good news from Mad River Glen VT, they re-opened today, albeit with just the practice slope. The upper mountain looks ugly right now; hoping for some upslope snow to save the balance of the season. Official statement from MRG: Don’t give up the ship folks, hopefully this is just a hiccup in our season. We are forever hopeful here at Mad River Glen so please check back regularly for updates. Let’s hope the ship sails some more before it’s all over…Central New York’s Swain Resort running snow guns in anticipation of their winter carnival this weekend, have to report that they’re doing $25 lift tickets for the rest of the season, that’s a great deal…Michigan I keep talking about Caberfae, gotta do it again, they got 6 1/2″ overnight and the slopes look fantastic right now…Minnesota’s Lutsen Mountains skiing on a 40″ to 70″ base. They haven’t been getting too many big powder dumps but an inch or two here and there every other day is keeping everything shipshape…World Cup ladies are in Jeongseon, Korea right now; get used to the spelling because they’ll all be competing there in the Olympics in less than a year. Anyway, training runs for DH yesterday and today saw it go Vonn/Stuhec/Goggia in both warm ups. And, surprise here, way way down on the timing sheet we see that fan fave Julia Mancuso is back on the snow! Now I don’t know if she can come back from her latest layoff, but it’s good to see Super Jules give it a try. Real thing is tomorrow, followed by a Super G on Sunday. Men meanwhile are in Kranjska Gora with tech events on tap, yawn, Marcel Hirscher, blah blah blah. Can’t anybody step up and compete with this guy? Maybe we have to wait for the Marcel machine to hit middle age? He’ll probably still be winning…Recently I observed that Vail Resorts‘ properties “lead the league” in collisions, now Ms. Hsu Chiang Chou of California has filed suit against Pennsylvania snowboarder Philip Moroco II in Denver U.S. District Court over a Jan. 17 bang up on Vail‘s Blue Sky Basin section. Suit sez Hsu Chou was skiing ahead of Moroco on the Star trail (intermediate), when he went “out of control” at high speed and struck her from behind. Hsu Chou suffered clavicle and rib fractures and is seeking upwards of $75,000 for the ordeal. Vail has to start noticing that they’ve got a lot of out-of-control lunatic snowboarders — and skiers — at their properties.
Above: Approaching Mt Bachelor this morning from Bend, OR courtesy Mark Smith