Hard to believe we’re kicking off already, as usual on the glacier in Soelden, Austria. On the women’s side, France’s Tessa Worley is your defending champ; her hard charging style is captured nicely in the photo above courtesy FIS. Men’s race, you may recall, was blown out last October by near-blizzard conditions. The media is all but ready to hand the trophy directly to Mikaela Shiffrin. In related news, we’re told officially that Ted Ligety will only be competing in GS this season. I have a hunch we may see him stray into another off-the-cuff event in some other discipline here or there…Hey here’s a thing for eastern skiers, especially New York’s southern tier or for our friends in northern Pennsy, it’s called the Ski Finger Lakes Mountain Pass, and it’s a freebie that gets you 30% off tix albeit some days are blacked out. It’s honored at Greek Peak, Labrador Mountain, Song Mountain, and Toggenburg. Free to register, here’s the link…news from Vermont, Magic Mountain has completed pouring the last of the necessary tower footings for their new-to-them quad chair, which replaces the ghastly black chair they had. After the concrete cures sufficiently they’ll chopper in the towers and we’re hoping to see the thing spin sometimes during the season…word in from the Tahoe region on some early opening dates; Mt Rose NV is targeting October 25 for bragging rights. Boreal is looking to drop the ropes on November 8, and Mammoth Mountain plans to follow a day later.