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U.S. racers chase World Cup podium in Aspen

Mikaela Shiffrin rips some GS on the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational race hill during training. Photo courtesy Jeremy Swanson, Aspen/Snowmass.

Lindsey Vonn still a question mark for this weekend’s gate races

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The World Cup makes its annual early season stops in Colorado the next few weeks, beginning with a pair of women’s races in Aspen this weekend, followed by Beaver Creek races in early December.

The races won’t be hampered by a lack of early season snow thanks to prodigious, targeted snowmaking, but the TV cameras will have to zoom in tight on the race courses to avoid showing the snowless brown hills all around. Ironically, the early season races in Colorado were slotted into the World Cup schedule years ago because of concerns about snow conditions at other venues, but this is the second year in a row that Colorado is seeing an early season snow drought. Continue reading

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U.S. Ski Team naming ceremony set for Nov. 15 at Vail

Lindsey Vonn racing in a 2006 slalom in Aspen. Photo courtesy Arthur Mouratidis, via Wikipedia and the Creative Commons.

Start to Vail’s 50th anniversary season marked with homage to resort’s ski racing tradition

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Vail will start its 50th anniversary season in style, as Olympic champions Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller, Julie Mancuso and other U.S. Ski Team members gather Nov. 15 for the annual Nature Valley First Tracks event, which includes the ceremonial naming of the team and a fan appreciation and autograph session.

The event also kicks off opening weekend at Vail, where the lifts will roll on Nov. 16.

“It’s always fun for me to meet people who are as passionate about skiing as I am. The U.S. Ski Team naming in Vail is a blast and the community really comes out to support us,” said Lindsey Vonn, only the second woman to win four overall World Cup titles, and the first American woman to win an Olympic downhill gold medal. Continue reading

Colorado: Ski racers start training at Copper Mountain

Upper Mountain hosting local teams; full-length speed training center slated to open Oct. 31, weather permitting

Ski team luminaries and resort execs prepare for the opening of the U.S. Ski Team Speed Training Center at Copper Mountain in November, 2011.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — After an intense early season snowmaking session, Copper is already hosting race training on the upper mountain, while U.S. Ski Team racers are looking forward to the scheduled Oct. 31 opening of the speed training center on terrain served by the Super Bee chair.

The training venue, which opened last year, has been touted as a game-changer for the U.S. team, enabling racers to make full-length training runs before key early season World Cup races at Vail and Aspen. The speed center opening is weather dependent.

To help get skiers psyched for the season, Copper is holding an online lottery that will enable a handful of passholders to win VIP access to the speed center, along with a chance to ski or ride with ski team racers like Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso. Continue reading

Skiing: Vail Resorts boosts ski slope safety efforts

Play it Safe campaign aims to reduce accidents by encouraging more compliance with skier responsibility code

Vail Resorts will expand skier and snowboarder safety program.

By Bob Berwyn

VAIL — Vail Resorts is beefing up its mountain-safety programs at all six of the company’s ski areas, with more personnel and greater visibility aimed at enforcing the on-mountain rules of skiing and snowboarding.

After an audit last year, the program’s enforcement component has been strengthened, requiring skiers and snowboarders who have their pass revoked to attend an overhauled safety awareness class.

“Our guests have been telling us that safety is a key component of their mountain experience, and their comfort level on the mountain relative to safety is one of the most important things we can affect,” said Blaise Carrig, co-president of Vail Resorts’ mountain division. “Because of this, we’re launching the Play It Safe campaign across our resorts to encourage locals, destination guests and employees alike to ski and snowboard responsibly so that everyone can have fun on the mountain all season long.

Veteran Denver trial lawyer Jim Chalat reinforced Carrig’s observation on customer demand. More and more skiers are choosing their ski vacation destinations with safety as a primary consideration, said Chalat, who has a national reputation for handling ski injury cases. Continue reading

Lindsey Vonn snags World Cup downhill trophy

Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn holds the crystal globe she won for taking the season-long Audi FIS World Cup downhill title in 2010 after the final downhill race of the season in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. (Doug Haney/U.S. Ski Team)

Colorado racer earns coveted title with secon-place finish in Italy

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Vail’s Lindsey Vonn continued to strengthen her position as one of the best speed event ski racers in recent years by winning this season’s World Cup downhill title just one day after nabbing the super-combined trophy.

Vonn finished second to Sweden’s Anja Parson Saturday in the next-to-last downhill of the season at Tarvisio, Italy, taking an insurmountable 143-point lead over Germany’s Maria Riesch. Continue reading

Lindsey Vonn and the ‘School of Shred’

Lindsey Vonn on course in this file photo from the U.S. Ski Team.

Vail Resorts program offers free skiing for fifth and sixth graders

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with the long-running fifth and sixth-grade ski passports from Colorado Ski Country USA, school kids in the state can also sign up for the Vail Resorts School of Shred program, which offer four free days or skiing or riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone. The program also includes one free beginner lesson and equipment rentals.

Olympic gold-medalist Lindsey Vonn brought the School of Shred message to Devinny Elementary School this week, speaking to more that 450 youngsters about her ski career, including three World Cup titles and the first-ever downhill gold for an American Woman. Continue reading

Vail to rename trail for Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn will have a trail named in her honor at Vail Mountain. PHOTO COURTESY U.S. SKI TEAM.

Trail names often offer a glimpse of skiing heritage and history

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Lindsey Vonn’s gold medal downhill run at the Vancouver Olympics will be memorialized with a trail name at Vail Mountain, according to a press release from Vail Resorts.

The expert “International” trail on Vail Mountain will be renamed Lindsey’s.  A new trail sign will greet skiers and snowboarders today.The trail was used for women’s speed events during the World Alpine Ski Championships at Vail and Beaver Creek in 1989 and 1999.

Read more about historic ski trail names after the break. Continue reading

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