2/9/18 — Snow & Olympic Dreams

First up, looks like something really is happening at presently shuttered Tenney Mountain Ski Resort in Central New Hampshire. An angel investor type stepped in and bought the place a few years ago amid financial scandal by the then-owner, or something like that. Anyway the buyer knew nothing about ski areas but decided the whole place was pretty cool (which it is) and said what the heck, let’s reopen it. Well there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel and Tenney just may reopen in the next couple weeks, albeit with limited terrain and natural snow only. Keep your skis crossed.

Speaking of the Granite State, photo above courtesy one of the larger resorts, color should give it away. Read on, or scroll for the answer below.

Elsewhere in New England, successive snowfalls have a couple of the smaller, throwback type places operating at 100% today, including Magic Mountain in Vermont and Plattekill in New York. I tell you there’s just something about these old school operations that — when they have the snow — they beat the big boys in every respect except lift speed.

If you ever wanted to try cat skiing but the price tag scared you off, head for Loveland Resort in Colorado; this last dumping of snow on the front range has enabled the Big L to start up the snowcats. There’s no charge for the Ridge Cat, but they do require a pass of some sort, probably for liability reasons.

And as for the PyeongChang Olympic games, couple of interesting things to be aware of. Wondering if Matthias Mayer will successfully defend downhill gold? Well, I sort of think that he will. He’s looked silky smooth in his two training runs in Jeongsong, the alpine venue. But odds are not in the Austrian’s favor; here are the only gold medalists to successfully defend their top spot four years later:

  • Alberto Tomba
  • Kjetil Andre Aamodt
  • Katja Seizinger
  • Deborah Compagnoni
  • Janica Kostelic
  • Maria Hoefl-Riesch

…not Killy, nor anybody else. It ain’t easy to win in this kind of company. Looking over my cheat sheet, I name about 14-15 guys capable of winning the downhill gold, another half dozen who could sneak in a surprise win. Downhill skiing is slightly controlled insanity on the constant knife edge of chaos.

As for the list of champs who defended their gold, two of them share the record for the most gold in alpine skiing, Aamodt and Kostelic with four apiece.

Speaking of sharing, the only two skiers to ever share a gold medal in a solo alpine skiing event are Dominque Gisin and Tina Maze, who both struck gold on the 2014 Sochi downhill.

As for the photo above, that skier is bearing down on the Kancamagus Highway at Loon Mountain.