Checking back in after an early season ski trip, mucho happenings in the ski world to catch up on…most notable is that the Broomfield Borg continues to wreak havoc on the galaxy. In other words, Vail Resorts Inc. has purchased more resorts. This latest flurry of purchases is focused on western Pennsylvania, and in the words of Vail CEO Kirsten Lynch, “We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to add Seven Springs to our family of resorts along with Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain.” Permit me to interpret CEO-speak: Seven Springs was a steal, Hidden Valley is ho-hum since we already have one in Missouri, and the other one is a state park we’ll jettison as soon as possible. Epic passes will not be valid at the new trio of Keystone State properties this season…meanwhile in New Hampshire, Vail Resorts properties have 4 1/2 runs open…season underway last weekend across much of the nation, Caberfae Peaks in Michigan opened with a nice batch of runs and lifts, not sure how well they weathered the recent warm up. Photo above taken early this afternoon, and while the snow looks a bit grey it should still be a solid base for the cold weather to follow…backcountry avalanche at Washington’s Crystal Mountain last weekend caught five skiers, sorry to report that 66 year old Robert Weisel of Issaquah perished in the slide…happier news from Washington, Mission Ridge in Wenatchee opened yesterday and I have to say conditions are very good there. White Pass also open for the season, great conditions as well but it is cold there today…tough start to the season in Ohio, the Vail properties have held off opening but Snow Trails in Mansfield decided to spin the lifts today. It ain’t pretty, but it’s skiing…well if you didn’t hear it already, Italian speedster Sophia Goggia did the three race hat trick in Lake Louise two weeks ago, reminiscent of when Lindsey Vonn ruled the Canadian races…other WC news, past champ Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland has tested positive with the ‘ronah, she’ll miss this weekend. Gut-Behrami was set to compete in speed events at Val d’Isère this weekend then a pair of GS races at nearby Courchevel on Tuesday and Wednesday…no clear word on what exactly Mikaela Shiffrin is doing this weekend, first she says she is but then some outlets are reporting she isn’t doing the super G. I can say for certain she is not doing the downhill…Colorado weather continues to have its ups and downs, but at least we can report that Loveland now has the Ptarmigan lift open…small but mighty Mt Abram in Bethel Maine opened today, they’ll spin through the weekend then reopen after Christmas.