Pillows & Blankets

so much going on…see photo above; gotta start with more apparent labor shenanigans at Jiminy Peak in the Berkshires. Seems that during the weekend snowstorm and deep freeze some employees were told that they would be exempt from any State of Emergency declaration by the Governor, and no pillows would be provided. Fairbank Group CEO Tyler Fairbank went on social media to claim that this statement was made by a concessionaire and did not represent the attitude of the resort overall: “…the safety of our guests and employees is always our first priority.” Well OK, John Harvard’s Restaurant and Brewery is the concessionaire in question here. See if you can follow this: Fairbank Group lists Boston entrepreneur and philanthropist Joe O’Donnell as a “partner.” Mr. O’Donnell is Chairman of the Board of Centerplate Inc., which has a division called Centerplate Restaurant Group, which operates John Harvard’s Restaurant and Brewery. With apologies to Paul Harvey, now you know the rest of the story. I’ve visited Jiminy Peak, and skied the other Fairbank properties, Bromley VT and the venerable Cranmore in NH. At this point I have to say that I want to believe Mr. Fairbank’s response — these resorts seem to be well-run, family-oriented operations. I don’t think too many people higher up the Fairbank/Centerplate ladder would be stupid enough to post a memo like the above. But do they cultivate that sort of culture? Could this really be just an exaggerated tome from a demonstrative manager? I’d like to believe them, but I also cut them some slack when they were cited by the US Department of Labor for child labor law violations. Strike two, let’s see what happens next…moving on, tough news in Wisconsin where Whitecap Mountains base lodge burned last week. Resort spokesperson Summer WhiteEagle sez it was caused by a chimney fire. But aside from rentals and a few other services, Whitecap hasn’t missed a beat and is open for business…two rare inbounds avalanche fatalities at Taos NM last week. The slide on Kachina Peak claimed the life of 26-year-old Matthew Zonghetti of Massachusetts, and 22-year-old Corey Borg-Massanari of Vail, Colorado later passed away at UNM Hospital…Lindsey Vonn may not be hanging it up just yet. Turns out the tough, painful run in Cortina last week was due to a nerve injury in her right knee. While the pain had her questioning any further competition, the prognosis switched on Lindsey’s usual “let’s figure it out and fix it” response. That girl is tough…all of this overshadowed the fact that Mikaela Shiffrin won the Super G. She now leads three disciplines plus the overall. I gotta believe Tina Weirather spits nails and hornets any time she sees Shiffrin on the Super G start list…this week the white circus is in Garmisch GER, where the gals — minus Vonn and Shiffrin — are running the Kandahar speed events, and Kitzbuhel AUS, where the boys will be competing in the annual Hahnenkamm. Norwegian star Kjetil Jansrud stuck his hand out to break a fall during yesterday’s practice on the Streif, now he’s out of action with two broken bones…weather doing its usual thing in the east/midwest, Mount Snow VT more or less shut down Monday due to high winds and dangerous temps, Wildcat NH followed suit yesterday. Turn it around and we have Mad River Mountain in Ohio closed today with a mix of rain and sleet…no such problems in Montana, where Big Sky reports 10″ of fresh overnight…and just enough snow has fallen that Arapahoe Basin is dropping the ropes on the East Wall, I guess this is about average or maybe a little ahead of schedule. I have to tell you I’ve skied and watched people do the East Wall thing and I gotta say it’s not for everybody. I’ve seen people crash on the traverse out, on the various slopes, even at the entry gate…back to World Cup for a moment, the 2019 Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre (SWE) were officially confirmed on Monday following a positive snow control at the venue. Incidentally, PyeongChang 2018 Olympic dual ski and snowboard gold medalist Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic announced that she’s going to compete in the ski championships, then go back to the snowboard tour…just got word Mt Brighton Michigan also closed today due to rain, although they expect to fire up the snow guns tonight…news of another fatality, this time at Hunter Mountain in NY, Brendan McCue, 27, of Little Falls, NY is said to have skidded off a trail on Hunter North and slammed into a rock.  He died instantly according to Greene County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Adam Brainard.