Too Stoked

Maybe those Drink Water guys were onto something. Despite their transcendent ability to outdo government space programs, energy drinks are coming under fire for their effects on human health, especially for the young children to whom they are so heavily marketed. The FDA is investigating Monster Energy after releasing a report linking the death of five people over the past three years to consumption of their beverages. The most sensational is of 14-year-old Maryland girl, Anais Fournier. Anais had a heart condition, and after consuming two 24-ounce Monsters in a 24-hour period (which contains 480 mg of caffeine, about 14 times the caffeine in a can of soda), she died of a heart arrhythmia.

Sugarbush to Build Beginner Slope in Queens

Still not sure where this hill they're talking about is

Word on the street is that Sugarbush may fund a learn-to-ski program at Queens' Astoria Park this winter, replete with snowguns, instructors, rentals, and trailers for changing. Bringing snow into the city is not a new thing—a series of urban big air contests now make their rounds through Europe and, occasionally, the U.S. in the fall. But this might be one of the first events that will actually get more people to ski. The plan is to offer ski lessons to 8- to 10-year-old kids on weekend mornings, with the hill open to the public during the week. There's still quite a bit of red tape to get through, but this would be a really cool move to expand the opportunities for inner-city kids to get their shredding start. No word yet whether Woodward will move in and build another bunker and an artificial glacier for running summer camps.

Corey Vanular For Your Entertainment
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Good skiing is just good skiing, period. When ski mountaineer Nate Wallace wants to watch the classics for inspiration, he watches weird Greg Stump movies where Glen Plake mono-skis naked through the Nevada desert. I tend to gravitate to more recent jib segments, like Corey Vanular's segment from Level 1's Long Story Short. There are only 10 tricks in his whole segment, no doubles, and not even a switch takeoff, but few video parts before or since have shown how hard you can own a park.

MRA Partners with Brindle Group

The Mountain Riders' Alliance has made another strategic partnership announcement, this time with Colorado's Brindle Group, an environmentally minded engineering consultancy. The hope to use Mount Abrams, Maine, MRA's first official Mountain Playground, as a testing ground for theories about how to use sustainability as a framework for making medium- and small-sized ski areas more economically viable.

October Snows

Will we get a repeat of last Halloween's epic snowliage powder day? PHOTO: TIM FATER

If your desk job isn't within driving distance of Utah's Powder Mountain or Lake Tahoe, you're probably kicking yourself right now, as both spots got a whopping of snow this week. Anyone with a pair of skins or snowshoes was out getting some full-on pow day conditions this week, but East Coasters may be snickering a week from now, as long as they can leave their driveways. Sandy is working its way up the coast almost a year to the day after last year's freak Halloween snowstorm and nearly 21 years to the day after 1991's The Perfect Storm (cue G. Clooney entrance). Those with a jonesing to erase memories of last winter's s fail on the East Coast may want to get to Western Virginia before next Tuesday. Snow totals of two to four feet are expected.

And Then We'll Be Able to….

Of course, freak early season storms mean only one thing—it's cold enough to snow. It may not stick, heck it might even ruin the snowpack come January, but one thing's for sure: Soon enough, we'll have a license to thrill. Where's my SteepTech???