On one hand, early snowfall has prompted a handful of openings, but on the other, November is up to her usual tricks of temperature swings and mixed precipitation. The recent World Cup opener on the ice in Soelden, Austria was no exception — the ladies skied in ghastly conditions last Saturday, and the men were cancelled a day later. That event has been rescheduled for Saalbach-Hinterglemm (AUT) on Thursday December 20th…trying to make sense out of a road rage incident in Afton, Minnesota; apparently some idiot threatened Olympic champion Jessie Diggins and training partner Kris Hansen while they were on a three-hour roller-skiing session last week. Diggins sez they were on a lightly used rural road that has no shoulders when an SUV driver began behaving aggressively toward them — first zooming past, then slowing and stopping, blocking the road, etc. Diggins scratched his license plate in the dirt, and contacted police merely to warn the driver. Well the story has a happy ending: George G. Frost, 37, of St. Mary’s Point, was charged Friday with assault, reckless driving, careless driving, disorderly conduct and nuisance on a public roadway, according to Afton City Attorney Fritz Knaak. Good. Diggins, in case you live in a cave, won the USA’s first ever XC gold with Kikkan Randall in women’s team sprint…since we’re talking midwest, first-to-open in the region (last weekend) Wild Mountain MN says they’re on track to re-open Friday…down in Twin Cities area, Buck Hill has closed down their plastic ski surface for the season, getting ready to commence snowmaking. No announced opening just yet…photo above shows the deal at Killington, VT, that’s the World Cup Superstar slope — which is not the part of the hill that’s open for public skiing right now. Superstar needs to reach a certain depth by a certain date, or else the FIS sez no go for the ladies events at Thanksgiving time.