Week In Review Dec 13: Year-Round Skiing in SF & Russian National Freeski Champ Caught Doping

Blake family sells Taos Ski Valley, ski stoke health benefits, new Meathead Films series, & Eliel Hindert drops beautiful edit

Blake Family Sells Taos Ski Valley

Despite the infusion of capital, Taos' terrain will remain as core as it gets. PHOTO: Tom Winter

Despite the infusion of capital, Taos’ terrain will remain as core as it gets. PHOTO: Tom Winter

New Mexico's last family-owned mountain and unofficial capital of ski quirk, Taos Ski Valley, was sold this week to billionaire conservationist Louis Bacon. Prior to the sale, the resort was owned by the Blake family for almost 59 years. Known for its legendary high-altitude steeps, Taos had experienced financial shortages in recent years as it tried to keep up with Colorado and Utah megaresorts with a series of expansions. Bacon's deep pockets could be just what the resort needs in terms of sustainability, and we can only hope that he will maintain the legacy the Blake family built in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Meathead Film Web Series Highlights Young East Coast Talent

It appears that 2014 will be the Year of the Interwebz for our friend's over at Meathead Films, as they recently launched a second web series initiative. This one, titled "NEO," focuses on an up-and-coming crop of East Coast snow sliders making it happen in firm terrain parks and tight-treed backcountry. The cast is almost entirely new and, from the looks of it, hungry to rep the Beast Coast. Here’s the first course.

Is Slopestyle Telemarking Headed For X Games?


San Jose Landfill Proposes First All Season Skiing In The West

Don't look now, but skiing may be coming to the Bay Area, or at least that's the proposal of entrepreneuer Martin Benik, who is pushing to build a dryland ski slope in southeast San Jose. San Jose Snow Park would be the first snow-less ski hill on the West Coast and one of only two in the U.S. Benik's idea is to build a slope out of clean fill dirt and Snowflex (essentially slick carpet) on an area landfill and turn it from an ecological hazard to usable space. The initial proposal has received mixed opinion, but Benik has received support from city officials and big names like hockey star Joe Thornton. Right now the project is only in fundraising stages, but with the right momentum the Bay Area could be learning to ski a lot closer to home in the not so distant future.


The biggest Non-News Of The Week: Ski Stoke Is Good For Your Health

Researchers at South Korea's Yonsei University apparently had a little extra time on their hands, conducting a study that found losing yourself in a sport you love (read:ripping a powder turn) is good for your wellbeing. The study looked at 279 skiers and boarders across three resorts in South Korea and concluded their overall life satisfaction went up after a day on the slopes. I would say, "no s#%t Sherlock," but I'll let the above video do it for me.

Mount Baldy's Black Balls To Help Cut Costs This Season

It takes balls to ski at Mount Baldy. PHOTO: Courtesy Mount Baldy

It takes balls to ski at Mount Baldy. PHOTO: Courtesy Mount Baldy

In skiing's newest chess move against Mother Nature, Southern California's Mount Baldy will look to reduce evaporation in its snowmaking reservoirs this season by employing a layer of black plastic balls across the surface of the water basin. While it may look like a depressing take on the Chucky Cheese ball pit you peed in as a kid (was that just me?), the 4-inch diameter balls actually function as a floating cover that reduce evaporation up to 90-percent, saving the resort an estimated $120,000 a year according to resort president, Ron Ellingson. The balls also eliminate maintenance headaches by rearranging themselves with the rising and falling water levels. The experiment is the first of its kind in North America, but keep your eyes out for more futuristic ball pi…err…reservoir covers in the not-so-distant future.

Eliel Hindert's Season Edit, Hot And Fresh Out The kitchen

This season edit isn't just a gratuitous athlete post, it's the real deal. Smooth skiing Eliel Hindert had a big season of filming last year, hooking up with Powder Awards Movie of the Year winner Sweetgrass Productions and stacking footage with a solid Whistler crew. But his season edit might be the feather in the cap. Seven minutes of inspiring visuals right here. Dig in kids.

Russian National Freeski Champion Caught Doping

Anna Orlovskaya, the 18-year-old Russian slopestyle champion, was banned from competition for two years after testing positive for drugs. The exact drugs were not released, leaving us to speculate just what the young skier was caught with. My money is on bath salts.

In other competition news, Americans Gus Kenworthy and Annalisa Drew won The North Face Park and Pipe Open in Copper Mountain, Colorado this week, and World Cup racer Julia Mancuso spent her whole week working on this.

Meanwhile, at Bridger Bowl