11/14/17 News & World Cup Update

Neglected to report that both Bittersweet Resort and Boyne in Michigan opened this weekend, I believe that’s Bittersweet’s earliest opening ever. Boyne was just a one-off, they shut down and hope to reopen Saturday…Question of the day: Who will be first to spin lifts in New York State for the 2017-18 season? Holiday Valley with its lake effects? Whiteface with its polar temps? Hunter with its superior snowmaking power? Answer: None of the above. Indeed it was Bristol Mountain in the Finger Lakes region that managed to open this past weekend; have to say that was unexpected and slipped by. Well it was short lived (rain yesterday) but they’re going to try gamely for this coming weekend again. Kudos to Bristol…we know that a few of our faithful readers are just casual followers of the World Cup scene, some in fact wait for our reports and commentary since the national news coverage is rather absent. So we’re going to move it up a day, and we may do a recap on Mondays. Why so late, you ask? The results and nuts-and-bolts stuff is easy to obtain from a gazillion other sources. Our thing is the commentary; we wait for the dust to settle and then try and tell you something you don’t already know. Anyway, weekend action from Levi, Finland had both men and women on the technical course. German star Felix Neureuther won the guys race (photo above), and Slovakia’s talented Petra Vlhova blistered her second run to edge reigning world champ Mikaela Shiffrin in the ladies’ action. The real heartbreak came in the men’s competition when it appeared that Great Britain’s Dave Ryding was the man to beat after the first run. Ryding had a half second on Neureuther but pirouetted and DNFd in run two. Also noteworthy is the fact that reigning men’s champ Marcel Hirscher was a surprising fourth after the first run, dropped to 17th in the second. What’s surprising is that he performed so well, considering how he mangled his ankle over the summer. The guy is a machine, and the fact that he is tallying points so soon in his comeback is not good news for the skiers who thought this season might be their chance to dethrone the Austrian. Time will tell of course, Hirscher obviously isn’t out of the woods yet. The only American to score any points was David Chodounsky, who finished 23rd. Not much else to add on the women’s side of the sport; Shiffrin leads the overall based on her top tens in the first two events. Resi Stiegler tallied some points with a 21st finish. We always root for Resi — rhymes with crazy — because of her never-give-up attitude. resi stiegler eurosport photoWe also like the press photo that Eurosport uses for Ms. Stiegler, which looks like she just rolled out of bed and said “to heck with it” and still manages to look fabulous. In two weeks the ladies move on to Killington, where they’ll compete in both SL and GS, while the men will be in Lake Louise for speed events. FIS announced yesterday that Lake Louise snow control was positive and they have the green light…Last week we reported that Okemo VT was going to open with their usual white ribbon of death, then it looked like they were trying for top-to-bottom. Well we’re pleased to report — along with a thousand Okemo faithful — that they are indeed open T2B….Word just in from Bolton Valley VT, they’re making snow and targeting a December 9th opening…word just in from midwest biggie Lutsen Mountains; they’re looking to open Saturday and Sunday with the 10th Mountain Chair and the Magic Carpet, with Flapjack, Koo Koo, Upper Bridge and Lodge Run. They plan to add Moose Mountain on Thanksgiving Day with a primary route under the Caribou Express chair and novice deal that uses parts of Ridgeline, Mark’s Run, Middle Meadows, Second Cut and Lower Meadows…small but mighty Lost Valley Ski Area in Auburn Maine owners Scott and April Shanaman have announced John Herrick as the new GM. Herrick, a career military man, retired as a chief master sergeant from the Maine ANG in 2015, has served as president of the Lost Valley Racing Club, and been a competitive skier since age 3. We certainly wish them every success…northeast Pennsy area Ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain (I’m not making up that name, that is a ski resort) hosting a ski swap this Saturday…sorry to report that French speed specialist David Poisson died yesterday while skiing in Canada; Poisson was practicing for the Lake Louise events next weekend. Poisson was a bronze medalist in the World Championships a couple years back.