2/15/18 — Vacation, Ashes to Ashes, Back Markers

Holidays ahead for the northeast; this is the weekend that New England area resorts look to fill their coffers. Problem is the weather forecast sucks, although I suspect the big resorts will be jammed regardless. Still unclear where the snow/sleet/rain line will be. One “little engine that could” story out of New England is throwback area Magic Mountain in Vermont — they turned on the snow guns early this week to get back some terrain, and did a good job of it too. Magic hasn’t been run this smoothly since, well, probably ever. They’ll probably be hit with rain tonight, but they’ll bounce back no question…no such weather problems in the Pacific Northwest…Anthony Lakes Oregon calls in with 10″ of fresh powder; they’re a bit overdue for that so we’re glad to see it.

Can of ashes found last week under chair 26 at Vail Colorado. Human remains perhaps? Resort officials say “someone probably brought it up the mountain with the intentions of scattering it, in memory of their loved one.” Vail wants to help…send an email to comm@vailresorts.com. #26 is the Pride Express lift, which ends up near Eagle’s Nest.

Photo above your podium on the Olympic Downhill; gold medal winner Aksel Lund Svindal flanked by silve Kjetil Jansrud (left) and bronze for Beat Feuz. Not gonna rehash any of the racing, you probably saw it. One thing the television doesn’t show you (unless you used your cable account to watch online) is the bottom of the field — these are the skiers with no chance really, a couple dozen made up mostly of up-and-comers, underfunded skiers from countries with no real team, self-funded skiers who have moved to countries with no team, and a couple of has-beens.

Considering the fact that they are skiing against the elite of the elite — the Svindals, Jansruds, Reichelts, etc. — they look pretty darn good. With but a couple of exceptions, these secondary skiers finished just 4 to 8 seconds behind Svindal, a past overall champ who is one of the best speed skiers of all time. 8 seconds is an eternity in a ski race, but when you consider what they’re up against, it’s pretty amazing. So I say kudos to the back markers. I watched all of them, and to a man they are awesome skiers in their own right.

Mikaela Shiffrin‘s second run was incredible. She finally answered the question and pulled out of the Super G; I say that’s a smart decision, and wouldn’t be at all surprised if she wins Super G gold in 2022.