Your weekly look at the latest news around the ski scene.
IN-BOUNDS AVALANCHE FATALITY AT PALISADES TAHOE
Four skiers were buried with one fatality at Palisades Tahoe on January 11 when an avalanche ripped down the GS gully near KT-22 chairlift. It was the first day this season that the chair was open, and coincided with a snowstorm. While rare, in-bounds avalanches do occur, with seven fatalities being recorded over the past decade at U.S. ski areas (a time period that saw roughly 600 million skier visits).
Four skiers were hurt, one of them hospitalized, when a gondola car fell off its supporting cable at Hochoetz ski resort in Tyrol in western Austria. Local police say they believe that a falling tree landed directly on the bracket attaching the gondola arm to the cable, causing the gondola to dislodge and fall 11m to the slope below.
WHO’S IN FIRST?
Coming off three wins in a row, Jared Schmidt is running away with FIS ski cross season this year, currently sitting at 318 points. His closest competitor, France’s Terence Tchiknavorian, has 183 and third-place Reece Howden of Canada sits just behind him at 162. Scmidt, an Ottawa native, is going into races on January 20 and 21 on home soil at Nakiska, Alberta, with little immediate need to look over his shoulder to see if anyone is on his tails.
GRENIER’S VERY GOOD YEAR CONTINUES
Canada’s Val Grenier rolled into Kranjska Gora in Slovenia with fond memories of winning her first World Cup race there last year. She left with even better memories, having repeated her first-place result in the most recent women’s giant slalom. It’s been a consistently good year for Greneir, having placed in the top 10 in all six GS races so far. That’s good enough for fourth place overall in the women’s rankings. She’ll look to keep rolling in Jasna, Slovakia, on January 21.
Going for Glory at Revelstoke
From January 21 – 25, Revelstoke’s North Bowl (see photo) will be the venue for up and coming athletes to vie for a spot on the top tier of freeski competition. It’s one of 60 global events put on by the International Freeskier and Snowboard Association to whittle down the field of contestants who ultimately get to compete in the Freeride World Tour.
Hop on the Red bus
Getting to Red Mountain just got easier, with the reestablishment of a regular airport shuttle to and from Kelowna. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays the $150 shuttle leaves Red at 8 a.m. and gets to Kelowna at 12:30 (weather permitting). Inbound skiers leave Kelowna at 2:30 p.m., and arrive at 7 p.m.