Week in Review: Trouble in Squallywood

Crystal Mountain loves grizzly bears, IOC says slopestyle is injury-prone, Canadians give urban jibbers free reign, and more

Judge Gaffney, a man for the people.

Judge Gaffney, a man for the people.

Dr. Robb Gaffney resigns from Squaw, becomes a free man

Author of Squallywood, co-director of GNAR: The Movie, and all-around good guy, Dr. Robb Gaffney announced his resignation as a Squaw Valley ski ambassador via his Facebook page on April 10, an affiliation he’s had for 20 years, citing discontentment with Squaw’s direction. Squaw is planning a large-scale base area and lodging extensions, a move that has drawn the ire of area residents over the last several years. Says the ski icon: “I am not opposed to change, I am not anti-development, and I recognize that Squaw needs drastic updating and improvement. However, I am not comfortable being linked to an organization and a process that fundamentally disturbs me at several levels.” Gaffney has aligned himself with the Incorporate Olympic Valley movement, which seeks to turn Squaw Valley into an official town. His resignation has serious symbolic implications, as the local legend has been a catalyst of the Squaw ski experience for years.

No snow, no problem for this spring skier

So the snow is melting in some parts of the world, but turning down is not an option—at least not for this guy. Skiing under a dangerous combination of Mountain Dew Code Red and Extreme Doritos, Cliff McSendington kicks things up a notch with this rather snow-less P.O.V. edit. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

parkwerwhite

IOC considering taking slopestyle out of the Olympics?

Slopestyle may have been the it-girl at this year’s Olympics, but that hasn’t stopped the IOC from considering it dangerous enough to eliminate from the docket for South Korea in 2018. According to an IOC official, the sport produced an “unacceptably high” amount of injuries, and had no place in the Games. Naturally the slopestyle world reacted strongly, with competition O.G. Simon Dumont tweeting, “Why do people with no clue make the decisions?” Despite a slushy course, there didn’t seem to be any more bails than usual. But, hey, maybe we just missed them during NBC’s gratuitous commercial breaks.

Under the Weather crew says, ‘Don’t sleep on Whistler’

B.C.’s pride and joy had a bit of a rough go in the early stages of winter, with fluctuating temps and low precipitation. But Old Man Winter finally stopped hitting the snooze button toward the end of February and has been making up for lost time ever since. Eliel Hindert and crew decided to do their skiing with cameras and, lucky for us, put together a nice little installment of their Under the Weather series for us. I was trying to think of a clever pun for powder skiing, but I think the boys described it best, “Pillows, pat downs, and more face shots than an illicit L.A. film.” Hmmm, I think they may have a future in ghost-writing…

Top urban skiers slide through Mont Tremblant village

Bringing it back to the Urban Jib days, Mont Tremblant and Red Bull gave birth to the Foret Urbaine last weekend—a rail jam built right smack dab in the middle of Tremblant’s iconic village. The competition featured top Canadian rail slayers Charles Gagnier, Dominic Laporte Cote, and Alexi Godbout, and revved up a packed house. Godbout took top honors on the night in a competition that looked about as sketchy to ride as it was fun to watch.

Park City will refund pass holders if forced to close

I know the whole Park City/Vail thing has been covered to death the past few weeks, but this whole debacle is like an onion—so many damn layers. The newest ripple this week came again from the Park City camp, which promised all season pass holders for the 2014-15 season a full refund if they are forced to close. This is likely just to cover their bases in case of a loss in the lawsuit, but it really makes you wonder what Park City would be like without PCMR. The future is scary sometimes.

Bridger Teton National Forest extends daily avalanche forecast

In honor of Idaho and Wyoming’s freakishly good snow year, avalanche forecasters at the Bridger Teton National Forest have decided to keep doors open an extra week this year, much to the delight of its loyal backcountry following. According to Jackson Hole News and Guide, the service will run until April 24, providing their usual beta for skiers and boarders and keeping stoke running high for just a little bit longer.

Crystal Mountain gives grizzly bears a snowy birthday present

This week’s aww-shucks moment comes from Crystal Mountain. The largest resort in Washington donated some of its spring snowpack to Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo so that a pair of grizzly bears could get their pow fix in and, yeah, it’s pretty darn cute. Cute in a: These animals might look fuzzy but can still rip your face off kind of way. But cute nonetheless.

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