A good showing is on Clark's to-do list
It's a genuine homecoming for Kelly Clark as the inaugural Winter Dew Tour visits Mount Snow in West Dover, Vt. The events run today through Sunday and feature many of the world's best snowboarders and free-skiers.
Among the competitors are Olympic medalists Clark, Shaun White, Hannah Teter, and Danny Kass; top riders Kevin Pearce, Danny Davis, and Steve Fisher; and noted free-skiers Simon Dumont and Tanner Hall.
Clark was born in Rhode Island but grew up in West Dover and graduated from Mount Snow Academy in 2001. She hasn't competed at Mount Snow since it hosted the X Games, when Clark finished fourth in slopestyle in 2000 and came in fifth in the superpipe in 2001.
"This is going to be great to see everybody I grew up with," said Clark. "I will get time to spend with my friends and family and they'll be able to see me in my element up close and personal doing what I do year-round."
Clark, 25, placed second in the superpipe behind Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler at the Tour's debut in Breckenridge, Colo., last month.
"I think to win it will have to be a combination of amplitude and progression," she said. "I don't think one trick or one specific thing will do it. They will be looking for the whole package."
Many snowboarders are preparing for the 2010 Olympics.
"The Olympics are definitely my long-term goal," said Clark, a member of the US Snowboarding Team. She won gold in the Olympic halfpipe in 2002 and took fourth in the 2006 Games. Last season she won the Chevy Grand Prix halfpipe and an X Games silver medal.
The competition is set at the Carinthia base area and spectator entry is free.
"The finish line of the slopestyle course is literally a stone's throw from the superpipe so all the action can be viewed right in the base area," said Mount Snow spokesman Luke Stafford. "No chairlifts are necessary."
On Friday, lift ticket prices roll back to the 1930s cost of $3.30. The yellow train station in Schouler Park is the backdrop for Saturday's reenactment of the Feb. 11, 1939 arrival of the Schneider family, during which Hannes's son and former Cranmore general manager Herbert Schneider, his sons Christoph and Hannes, and two grandsons will walk under an arch of poles held by children from the area.
"There will also be the opening of a New England Ski Museum satellite display which fittingly features Hannes Schneider," said Cranmore's marketing director, Kathy Bennett.
The unidentified man wasn't injured, although his ego likely was bruised thanks to onlookers who snapped photographs of the ordeal.
The Aspen Times reported that the skier was boarding the Skyline Express Lift shortly after 10 a.m. when he slipped through the seat, which appears in photographs to be incorrectly placed in the upright position. His right boot and ski became wedged in the metal framework of the chair, and as he fell through the opening, his pants and underclothes got snagged.
Operators immediately stopped the lift and reversed it so the man could be lowered to the ground by ski patrollers.
According to the Vail Daily, the man seemed in good spirits after being lowered to the ground, and that the crowd applauded his return to safety.
The full-service Flagstaff Lake Hut, which sleeps 42 people, is on the east end of Flagstaff Lake by the Bigelow Range and can be accessed by skiers, hikers, snowshoers, and mountain bikers while also providing paddling opportunities in the Carrabassett Valley.
Maine Huts and Trails executive director David Herring says skiers will be able to ski the 11.5 miles between Flagstaff Lake Hut and Poplar Stream Falls Hut, which opened last February. The tour can take between 3-5 hours.
"There is some nice rolling terrain," Herring said.
The organization grooms about 17 miles of trails, which are free to use, but there is a fee for staying in the huts. The new hut will be used in the Feb. 14 Maine Huts Marathon XC Tour and Race, which goes between the Flagstaff Hut and Sugarloaf Outdoor Center. There is more information at www.mainehuts.org.
Sugarbush has scheduled tours, kids' parties, moonlight skiing, and remote fireside gourmet dining packages involving rides in its new toy, which comes with a flat-screen TV, cushy seats, and beverage service. Diehard skiers might be more enticed by the "April Cabin Cat" promotion, when the Lincoln Limo will be available for private group bookings of spring skiing excursions on the resort's highest peak.