Breaking Down “Deep Powder”
"You can't go with that lift guy. He's dangerous."
Hollywood has another ski film on tap. But in this one, there’s cocaine.
Week in Review: April 8
Closing day is the best day
We’re well into April, and you can tell who had a good season based on the release of upcoming closing dates for ski areas around the country. Squallywood is only staying open until the 22nd of the month, while Alpine Meadows set to keep the lifts spinning until May 5th, Killington is planning to stay open at least as long, and most of the Utah resorts are closing April 14th
Tahoe Sets Record
For driest three-month spell in last century
Skiers in the Tahoe region were optimistic about this winter. After last season—when the big storms didn’t come until March and everybody was skiing man-made groomers well into January—it seemed like winter had hit rock bottom. Any season would be better than last year’s, right? But coming out of a three-month dry spell, Tahoe just hit a new low.
According to the National Weather Service, this past January, February and March set a record in Tahoe City for being the driest first quarter in the last century. The precipitation Tahoe City usually gets in those same three months, based on a 30-year average from 1980 to 2010, is more than 16 inches. This year, only 2.68 inches of precipitation fell in Tahoe City. The previous record, set in 1976, saw almost an inch more of liquid.
Junior Freeride World Tour Championships
Today and tomorrow at Snowbird
Want to feel mediocre about your high school years? Watch the best teenage big mountain skiers in the country compete on Silver Fox at Snowbird in the Junior Freeride World Championships. The five-year-old JFT is responsible for giving skiers like Johnny Collinson their start, and according to organizers the level of skiing is only getting higher.
Troubling Trends: The Rise of Fireball
The tragedy of whisky liqueur replacing bourbon in ski towns
The saddest part of my ski season happened in Montana. Now, Montana is my third favorite state in the Union—I appreciate the long straight highways, very large skies, and the ability to fit in while skiing in Carhartt coveralls. The Treasure State, I always assumed, represented the last vestiges of American ski town grit.
So you’ll understand my confusion, sorrow, and general life demoralization when I attended a ski patrol party in Montana (Montana ski patrollers being, like, the bedrock of the ski town crust) and a red-cheeked patrolman passed me a bottle of nearly empty Fireball. The bottle of Maker’s on the kitchen counter? Untouched.
Afternoon Delights: Mammoth in the Spring
Parker White, Cole Drexler, and Will Wesson in the Sierra
Spring has sprung and we’ll be posting afternoon edits from around the ski world for your enjoyment. Think of it as an after-dinner mint for the ski season. Today, we have action from Mammoth.
Frame of Mind, a Chris Benchetler Video Edit
Dragon releases webisode series
Creating a collection of short films starring its snow team riders, Dragon has released another installment of its revealing Frame of Mind webisode series, this time starring Chris Benchetler.
Shining a spotlight on the multi-talented skier, the film short follows Benchetler through powder fields and steep rock climbing ascents as he describes what drives him to achieve his goals.
All-Time: Italian Couloirs
Following Chris Davenport toward the light
As I went toward the light, it felt like I was emerging from the womb. Eventually, I came out of the huge, tight walls of the 750-vertical-foot couloir and entered a wide-open world of powder. A born-again skier.
It had pissed rain all day in Asolo in northern Italy the day before, and as we loaded vans at the SCARPA factory for the drive to the mountains that night, we learned the pass closed due to a fresh meter of snow and high avalanche danger.
The 2013 Pain McShlonkey
The world's preeminent small mountain competition
The Pain McShlonkey Classic saw its third iteration go down at a very springy Squaw Valley this Saturday, and it marked the only time of the year where people can snowlerblade down KT-22 without getting ruthlessly heckled, and can celebrate said snowlerblading by slurping from a giant bottle of Jack Daniels at the base area sans problem. Two separate events made up the meat of this contest/drunken costume party for adult skiers/memorial for Shane McConkey: the top-to-bottom Chinese Downhill off KT-22 at the burly and boilerplate hour of 9 AM, and the Extreme Small Mountain Invitational through the moguls and double stage “cliffs” of Enchanted Forest.
Week in Review: March 31
Talisker is claiming that it has no plans to develop anything else along the route of the proposed Canyons-Solitude gondola, with The Canyons Managing Director reasserting that there will be “No residential, no commercial, and no ski infrastructure beyond the lift towers.” The contentious project still needs the approval of the federal government, as the planned route cuts through 30 acres of Forest Service land.