3/13/17 — Happy Birthday!

13 March 2017 — Tough news in North Carolina, Wolf Ridge closing for the season after suffering wind damage to one of its chairlifts…better news in Maryland; Wisp is planning to reopen with the pending snow storm…Happy Birthday to my darling daughters Ally & Brynn, and to Mikaela Shiffrin, current skier extraordinaire. Also actor William H. Macy born today, he’s an avid skier who spends a lot of time at Aspen. Apparently this is a great day for skiers…speaking of Shiffrin, she went back-to-back this weekend in Squaw Valley, topping the podium in both GS and SL. GS race saw Italy’s Federica Brignone and France’s Tessa Worley take second and third. Slalom on Saturday had Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic second, Austrian Bernadette Schild third. Veronika Velez-Zuzulova went hell bent for leather in the first run but crashed out, which mathematically made Shiffrin winner of the Slalom globe. The race is still on for the GS crown, but I suspect Worley will finish wherever she needs to in order to take the globe. As for the women’s overall, Ilka Stuhec still has an ultra-slim shot at it, but really they might as well start engraving Shiffrin’s name…rumor has it New York’s Belleayre, Windham, Gore, and Whiteface are being added to the MAX Pass next season, that would make it an extremely attractive package if they hold the price…NCAA Championships wrapped up this weekend at Cannon Mountain and Jackson XC in New Hampshire; University of Utah held on for the title despite a tremendous last day surge by the University of Colorado Buffaloes on the nordic track in Jackson. Utah finished some 16 points ahead, which indicates just how closely matched these teams were last week…search efforts continue for 57-year-old Dalles, OR resident Steve Leavitt missing on Mt. Hood. He was skiing alone in double black terrain at Mt. Hood Meadows when he went missing last Tuesday, according to Sgt. Pete Hughes, a spokesman for the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office…other FIS World Cup news, Austrian veteran Georg Streitberger has called it quits at age 35. Streitberger suffered terrible knee injuries a year ago in the Hahnenkamm. Streitberger retires with three World Cup victories and a dozen or so podiums, all of which came in speed events. The wins include two in Kvitfjell and one in Beaver Creek…official word just released that California native Andrew Garcia, who was stationed at Fort Sill, OK hit a tree while boarding on a beginner run at Aspen/Buttermilk on Feb. 19, suffering head injuries. Private Garcia died on the 23rd; our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family…three Washington State resorts have banded together to create the Cascadia Pass for next season. Crystal Mountain, Stevens Pass Mountain Resort and The Summit at Snoqualmie announced their partnership last week, to give “skiers and snowboarders living in the Puget Sound more reason to stay local and explore the three big ski resorts in the Cascades.” Naturally the pass and myriad options are too complicated for me to figure out, so I’ll (ahem) pass on further discussion at this point.

Photo: Happy Birthday memories — my daughters at Plattekill, NY March 2005 age 14.