Week in Review Dec 20: Paul McCartney’s Ex Freaks Out & Vincent Gagnier Pole Drives Mammoth

Dan Treadway drops 100-footer on sled, website charts acres per dollar, & Vail lands direct international flights

Paul McCartney's Ex Swings At Ski Official, Ends Bid For Paralympics

Heather Mills, the ex-wife of Beatles star Paul McCartney, saw her bid for the Paralympics end Wednesday after getting in a physical altercation with a ski official. Mills, who lost her left leg in a motorcycle accident in 1993, had hoped to represent Great Britain in the Paralympic Winter Games this winter as an alpine skier, but had recently come under scrutiny of the International Paralympic Committee for using an illegal boot with her prosthesis. When Heather learned the news she flipped, barging her way into a closed meeting to throw expletives at a room full of executives, and reportedly lunging out at one exec in particular. The freak out was witnessed by all 10 members of the board and ended any chance of Mills competing in Sochi.

Website Charts Ski Acres Per Dollar

Get more after-bang for your buck this season. PHOTO: Andrew Cunningham

Get more after-bang for your buck this season. PHOTO: Andrew Cunningham

While it looks eerily similar to a certain P3 scale employed by the Powder Resort Guide (hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?), website GetSkiTickets.com has set up a chart that shows shralpers how much ski acreage they are getting per dollar. Using in-house mathematicians (okay, I think they kidnapped Groomer Gary), the site launched its first-annual "Most Acres Per Buck" evaluation, ranking Banff, Lake Louise, and Sunshine as number one in its acreage-to-dollar ratio (106 acres to the dollar). While the survey wasn't perfect (notable missing resorts include Whistler Blackcomb and Squaw Valley) the guys and gals at GetSkiTickets.com have tapped into something we have always wondered: How much skiing are we getting for our money?

P.S. Brighton, I love you guys, but 15 acres to the dollar? Not your best look.

Dan Treadway Proves He Really Is A Superhero

In a POV video released today by Oakley, four-time POWDER cover boy gone sledneck superstar Dan Treadway, stomps a 100-foot snowmobile cliff drop last April. Of the feat, Treadway said: “It’s about as big as I’ve ever hit. I hit the same air a few years back but went about 10 feet smaller. It’s a really scary air as the take off is an uphill climb to the top of a cornice and you need to stay pinned right to the take off. It has the feel of dropping off the edge of earth.” NBD.


Squaw Valley Scaling Back Expansion

Which way to the water park? PHOTO: Anna Berthold

Which way to the water park? PHOTO: Anna Berthold

Squallywood management was bent but not broken by pressure put on by local conservationists, scaling back its massive expansion plans this week to a slightly less obnoxious build. The plan, which originally called for 1,100 new condos, 2,200 new hotel rooms, and a behemoth indoor recreational center, will now feature 750 new condos, 1,500 new hotel rooms, and a scaled down rec center while protecting more than 6,000 acres of recreation land according to Squaw's CEO Andy Wirth. While Wirth assures it's in the works, no formal plans have been finalized, making area conservationists nervous that Squaw's new plans are merely cold smoke and mirrors.

Vincent Gagnier Patents Pole Driving

The quirky Quebecoise we know as Vincent Gagnier was on his way to inventing a new sport this week, hitting the park as the Pole Driver. Essentially jamming his poles into his toe piece bindings, Gagnier maneuvers his sticks like a steam shovel operator, yet somehow rolls through Mammoth's park throwing cork 7's and spinning onto rails like it ain't no thang. Color me confused, but I think this is one of the weirdest things I've seen on skis (well, almost).

Gagnier continued befuddling at last weekend's Dew Tour, landing a run that the judges clearly had no idea what to do with. Oh, what up switch 540 pretzel 180 out?

Northwest Avalanche Center Launches New Site

Northwest Avalanche Center dropping color-coded knowledge.

Northwest Avalanche Center dropping color-coded knowledge.

NWAC debuted its newer, cleaner website this week just in time for the winter push. The site, which previously had a regional map that looked like a multi-colored puzzle, is now organized into defined zones with a set color rubric associated with the North American Public Avalanche Danger Scale. Also different for this year are the aspect charts. Instead of the method adopted from other areas such as Utah and Colorado that utilizes an oft-overwhelming circular chart to display the different elevations and aspects, NWAC is using a much simpler three-step system that will monitor above treeline, near treeline, and below treeline aspects. In all accounts, it looks like NWAC is looking to inform and educate a wider amount of people this season while keeping the confusion to a minimum. Alright by me.

First Ever International Flight Lands in Vail

"Do you think they have any idea what awaits them on I-70?"

“Do you think they realize how lucky they are to be avoiding I-70 from DIA right now?”

Vail and Beaver Creek decided the I-70 corridor wasn't busy enough for their liking and decided to up the ante, receiving their first international flight over the weekend. Air Canada flight 1051 from Toronto took its maiden voyage Saturday and will continue to land at Eagle County Airport through April 5, 2014. A U.S. customs installation in Toronto's airport means the flight can land without having to install any international arrivals at Eagle, but that same lack of a customs check should prevent too many more international flights from heading to the Valley—at least for now.

Corbet's Couloir: Who Skied It Better?

Unique ski descents are hard to come by these days, so I pitted athletes against one another on some of the sport's most iconic lines to determine who skied it the fiercest. First up: Man takes on beast in Jackson's legendary Corbet's Couloir.

Izaak Branch

A Dog

I heard Izaak stomped the next one.

How I Feel About Skiing This Weekend

I've been waiting for this moment for months and it's finally here…