The end of the Telluride backcountry saga
Telluridians rejoice, some of the best lift-accessed backcountry in the region has officially reopened after the courts shot down the Gold Hill Development Company's mining claims to the area. Bear Creek Basin has been the center of an ongoing power struggle between backcountry skiers and private landowners, but it appears the former may have gained the final upper hand as portions of the Wasatch and East Fork Trails that ran through GHDC land will remain open to the public. The U.S. Forest Service opened two of the four gates accessing the Gold Hills backcountry terrain, but with the latest ruling keeping those bottom trails open, skiers will have a legal run out from the zone—a huge win for backcountry travelers in the San Juans.
Wonderchild Kelly Sildaru landing switch 1080s and stuff
Twelve-year-old Kelly Sildaru is currently attending Derek Zoolander's School For Kids Who Slide Rails Good…And Do Other Stuff Good Too. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. Must be able to land a switch 10 and be under five feet tall.
U.S. Ski Team proposing Olympic Big Air
Despite FIS claiming that slopestyle skiing and snowboarding are too badass for Olympic competition, the United States Ski and Snowboard Association has proposed adding Big Air to the Olympic docket for 2018. USSA freeskiing and snowboarding director Jeremy Forster told the Associated Press that he thinks Big Air has the potential to be the next exciting sport in the Olympics and that its inclusion would help build a younger crowd. He also suggested that a Big Air jump could be built in a stadium, allowing a unique viewing experience for fans. The next step of the push for Big Air in 2018 will be getting a thumbs-up at this weekend's International Ski Federation Congress. From there, it's up to the International Olympic Committee to make the final ruling.
There's no such thing as an off-season
For those who can't afford to attend bikini-clad summer ski camps, remember, it's never too early to start training for next year.
P.S. — It's snowing in New Zealand.
Austrian ski town denounces burqas, starts firestorm
The Austrian ski village of Zell am See is up in arms after a state-distributed leaflet advised the town's Arab citizens to stop wearing burqas in public. While completely banning the face covering is against Islam traditions, the Austrian town has advised against wearing them saying, "people from the region are used to looking into the laughing face of others in order to gain a first impression and in order to build trust," thus insinuating some not-so-savory things about their Arab clientele. This is no doubt a slippery slope for a ski town built on tourism dollars, with one hotel owner stating that the pamphlet was "tourism apartheid." Yikes.
Revolutionary turns in Tehran
It's not your normal ski destination, but a group of skiers and snowboarders are trying to grow our favorite winter pastime in the mountains of Iran, and it looks like they're onto something. In addition to filming and skiing in the mountains around the country's capital city, Tehran, former Swiss freestyle competitors Arnaud Cottet and Benoit Goncerut also started running freestyle competitions in the area in a project called, We Ride in Iran. The pair took a break from organizing to drop an edit from one of their last days of the 2014 season, and honestly them thar mountains look pretty darn fun.
Inside the Olympic village with Keri Herman
Remember all those horror stories we were hearing from the Olympic Village? The ones about inadequate rooms, weird water, and all those crazy dogs? Well, turns out those reports weren't that far off according to a video released by U.S. freeskier Keri Herman this week. It's not the cleanest editing, but as far as embedded footage goes, this is a pretty nuts look inside the life of an Olympian in a foreign country. Highlights include, Devin Logan walking the runway, Nick Goepper confused about turtlenecks, and future gold medalist Joss Christensen passing out in every chair he sits down in. Ah Sochi, we miss you already.