Cold temps and early season snowstorms have led to a plethora of early openings east, west, north and south…Utah faves and neighbors Alta and Snowbird have announced they’ll be opening on Friday, as will east coast family fave Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont…Southern California getting in on the action, Mountain High open and looking pretty good and the snowguns are cranking to add terrain…swing back to Vermont, Killington got positive snow control last week, which is FIS World Cup-speak for “conditions are good and the race is on.” Venue favorite has to be Mikaela Shiffrin, who you may have heard broke the all-time record for career slalom wins last weekend in Levi Finland…looking down the road, Beaver Creek Colorado also got the positive vibes from FIS, they’re scheduled with the boys Birds of Prey race December 6-8. Gals will also be doing speed events that weekend, pleased to report that Lake Louise also got the thumbs up on the snow control front…biggest news in a long time to come out of the Mid-Atlantic region, troubled Timberline Four Seasons Resort West Virginia has been sold to the Perfect family of Indiana, these are the very capable folks who operate Perfect North Slopes in the Hoosier state. Timberline has long been a diamond in the rough, shutting down and then put on the auction block. Friends in the region are positively walking on air over this news. It will be a year of rebuilding/fixing/improving, but we should be seeing turns next season…and we’ll conclude with a word on the passing of Jake Burton Carpenter. As a snow sports pioneer, he was one of the titans, no question. Next time you strap in to your snowboard, or you see a snowboarder, keep in mind that it’s happening because of Jake. Yeah maybe there’d be some sort of snowboarding even without him, but it sure as heck wouldn’t look like this or even be called snowboarding. So yes, it’s all due to Mr. Carpenter. I don’t agree with everything he did, but on the whole he deserves sincere and lasting admiration for his hard work and inventiveness.