Photo above and below from our New England correspondent, Sam Shirley, who was making some turns at throwback type Black Mountain in Jackson NH. Kudos to Sam for getting out there despite the ghastly forecast, which would proceed to pulverize much of the northeast with rain and destroy snowpack across most of the region. Anyway, Black is one of those old school operations with fixed-grip lifts, affordable tickets, trails that snake around and confuse, close-in parking, and virtually zero pretenses. Here is Sam’s take on the scene yesterday…
It felt like spring at Black yesterday, but the amount of snow looked like winter. All trails, except Carter Notch Glade, were open. Steeper trails and some woods had very thin cover and it was easy to hit rocks and sticks in some areas. It was in the thirties all day and an overcast morning gave way to a rainy and foggy afternoon.
…an example of one of those “steeper trails” is T2, shown below, where a couple of intrepid skiers are collecting the courage to heave off the rock…
…on to the news…much ado about nothing thus far in PyeongChang, at least as far as the alpine skiing is concerned. Yes, we’ve seen some cool mogul runnings and some snowboarding that is simply off the charts; it just doesn’t have the same energy as the postponed men’s downhill I was looking forward to Saturday night. As for the snowboard competition, I think it’s just a matter of time before somebody gets killed on live television, at which point the foul language will be understandable. With auto racing they limit horsepower or air intake — not sure how you do that with a snowboard. Perhaps smaller pipes and jumps? Viewership might suffer. Like I said, not sure how you do it, but something ought to be done.
Skier missing in action at Whiteface NY since Wednesday; 49-year-old Constantinos “Danny” Filippidis, a firefighter from Toronto, seems to have disappeared. Officials are urging anyone who may have been in contact with him to call the police. Plus this unusual request: Anyone who might have been on the mountain Wednesday using a GoPro camera should please call the New York State Police at 518-873-2750.
Southeast Ski Bums: Dig out the dayglo duds and tease up your hair…Beech Mountain in the Carolinas gearing up for their Totally 80s Retro Ski Weekend. This year’s bash is Feb. 22-25, complete with throwback activities, contests, you name it. I knew there was a reason to save those red Hanson rear entry boots!
Happy Birthday Abe Lincoln! Recite the Gettysburg Address from memory at Mountain Creek NJ and you’ll ski for free today. Yes, Creek is open, despite getting positively hammered by warm rains yesterday and overnight.
Kudos to Elizabeth Howe, just named director of operations by Mountain Capital Partners. This is that group out of Durango Colorado that owns Purgatory CO, Pajarito Mountain NM and Arizona Snowbowl along with a handful of others. Howe was previously VP of resort ops at Telluride and senior director of mountain ops for Vail Resorts.
And we leave you today with Abe’s words and a couple Black Mountain photos from Sam. “…with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right…”
Above, the triple chair at Black Mountain; below, looking back at mid station while riding the vintage double.