Fully Functioning LEGO Chairlifts
I mean, I guess being able to build a full-scale working replica of a real chairlift out of LEGOs is pretty cool, but I maintain that the battleship I built in 5th grade, with countless sweet rocket launchers and secret compartments for speedboats and helicopters, was way cooler. I mean I guess being able to build a detachable quad is cool, too, but whatever. Screw that guy.
Colorado Ski Towns & Their Green Dreams Become Realities
Telluride and Aspen both made strides towards greening their transit systems this week. After installing LED lights and more efficient heating systems, Telluride is adding solar panels to the town gondola that provides free access from downtown up to Mountain Village and the resort, foregoing the eight miles of driving that would otherwise be required. Meanwhile, Aspen and Pitkin County introduced the nation's first bus rapid transit system for a rural community, dubbed VelociRFTA. The new network will have hybrid electric/biodiesel buses along the Highway 82 corridor showing up every 12 minutes during peak commuting hours, and will cut the commute between Aspen and Glenwood Springs down from an hour and twenty to two hours down to nearly 55 minutes. Plus all the buses and bus stations will have wifi, and displays at bus stations as well as a new online application will show bus arrival time updates in real time. Hey, you kids quit being so progressive over there!
A Non-Eviction Eviction
Despite the frenzy of speculation that followed Vail Resorts/Talisker's issuance of an eviction notice for Park City Mountain Resort that required them to vacate the vast majority of the ski terrain they operate on by this Labor Day, PCMR will not actually be kicked off its own slopes just as people start thinking about season passes. Vail claimed the eviction notice was merely a procedural effort to move the lawsuit between Talisker and PCMR along, and a statement issued before the weekend declared that "there is no intent by Talisker to take any action that would prevent PCMR's ability to operate their resort during the upcoming 2013-2014 ski season." PCMR's reaction was to call Vail, who took over Talisker's legal position in the case as part of their lease agreement for The Canyons, a "bully." The Talisker/Vail statement also declared that "we anticipate there will be a number of actions required to bring this dispute to closure," so we can't wait to see what those actions might be. Closing Jupiter on a pow day? Outlawing Tom Wallisch from the park? Who knows.
Food For Thought
The only "style" I'd be able to manage skiing anything like what Andreas Fransson skis on a regular basis would revolve around not having a fear shit in my pants at the bottom of the mountain.
In light of POWDER's multimedia feature on the Mammoth saga, this piece from Desert Snow Junkies brings up some interesting ideas about the actual economics of ski areas, and it provoked a larger debate over on an EpicSki forum. Another one written by the legendary Andreas Fransson over at Adventure Journal, a site run by former POWDER editor Steve Casimiro, covers Fransson's insistence on the ski mountaineering community developing a set of "style ethics" along the lines of what has developed in the climbing community. Needed or plain obnoxious?
Happy Birthday Sarah Burke!
Sarah Burke would have celebrated her birthday this week, and all kinds of images from Sarah's time dominating women's skiing could be seen alongside the #celebratesarah hashtag. Back at FREEZE's Parkasauras in 2003 when this photo was taken, Sarah was possibly the only lady hitting handrails that were above stairs, even if those stairs were fake and in the middle of June Mountain. NDB, Sarah Burke. NBD.