Second in standings
Cheever setting his sights high
Mass. snowboarder in World Cup chase
Jonathan Cheever’s got a crystal globe in his sights. The Saugus snowboarder who moonlights as a plumber in the summer is currently second in the World Cup snowboardcross standings, sandwiched between leader Alex Pullin of Australia and France’s Pierre Vaultier.
“This year it’s just a little different for me,’’ he said from his winter base of Park City, Utah. “My head is screwed on tighter, I’ve been riding strong all year, and now I’m on the podium.’’
Cheever (www.teamcheever.net) has had a banner month, besting a deep field to win the US snowboardcross title at Park City. He followed with a second-place finish at a World Cup race in Stoneham, Quebec, a resort about six hours north of Boston where he often does well.
“I don’t know what it is about the place,’’ the US Snowboard Team rider said. “I guess it’s my type of course.’’
He’s had a couple of top-10 World Cup results, placed eighth at the Worlds in January, and was fifth at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo.
The 25-year-old is a bit banged up from competitions, dealing with a bruised foot, sprained ankle, and slight whiplash, so he’s resting up before making a European sojourn to Italy and Switzerland next month for the World Cup’s last leg.
“I think every venue has a different style,’’ said Cheever. “I like the longer courses. I think that is the progression of the sport . . . longer, faster, bigger.’’
Thinking ahead Crotched Mountain has started selling a $119 end-of-season pass that offers unlimited lift access from Sunday through the end of the season. The night-skiing hot spot in southern New Hampshire is further sweetening the deal with “buy early’’ incentives for 2011-12 adult, junior, or family passes by throwing in the end-of-season pass for free to anyone who springs for next year’s pass . . . Sugarloaf has Maine’s only Nordic downhill race Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The $20 entry fee includes a T-shirt and bragging rights . . . Ski from March 1 until the slopes close for the season at Wachusett Mountain for $139 . . . Okemo drops Thursday pricing in March to $39 per lift ticket, provided you make the purchase online . . . Attitash turns back the clock to the 1980s on March 6 with its Spread Eagle World Championships. Prizes will be awarded for both big jumps and “best-dressed’’ contests, which, when talking about skiing fashion from 25 years ago, can only mean neon day-glo attire. If you’re really into the decade that spawned MTV and form-fitting Lycra, Sunday River has an entire ’80s weekend planned March 11-13, with prizes for best retro hair, rock star, and famous look-alike.
Stowe Derby day Bragging rights await skiers taking to the 10-mile-plus Stowe Derby Sunday that proceeds down the Mt. Mansfield Toll Road, over the Stowe Rec Path, and into the bucolic Vermont village . . . The Ludlow Fire Department lights up the features during Saturday’s Light the Night Rail Jam at Okemo, with the gate split between the winner and the department. Killington hosts the popular Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge Saturday; it’s at Pico Sunday. Bolton Valley’s $19 Saturday night skiing ticket (after 4 p.m.) is a sweet vacation week steal . . . The two-day IZStyle Winter Tour lands at Mount Sunapee this weekend. New-schoolers show off their spins and grabs during the ATP Freeride Series Big Air contest Saturday at Attitash. The series wraps up with the March 5 Skier/Ridercross race over bumps and jumps Cross-country skiers go between Alpine and Nordic terrain from the base of a lift, into the glades and onto the groomed network during Sunday’s Inferno Downhill at Sugarloaf. Freeskiers strut their stuff at Saturday’s Red Bull Super Hit contest in the Rocking Chair park, with a slot on the line for Simon Dumont’s pro-am Dumont Cup March 25-26 . . . Blue Hills hosts a slopestyle contest Friday.
Palmer ailing Friends of Tyler Palmer, the first American male skier to win a World Cup race, are organizing to help him with his battle against diabetes and Addison’s disease, a rare disorder that impacts the adrenal glands causing chronic fatigue.
Palmer, a New Hampshire native, achieved the victory in 1971 and then finished third in the World Cup slalom standings. His World Cup career included two victories. He was ninth at the 1972 Sapporo Olympics and for several years competed on Bob Beattie’s World Pro Ski Tour. He also competed on the New England Masters circuit.
Palmer, now 60, became a passionate coach of young skiers and recently spent 11 years with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation in Idaho. He’s returned to his North Conway home to be closer to family.
Though he is appreciative of the effort to defray his medical expenses, the fiercely independent skier downplays his plight and would rather see support going to youth ski racing programs and clubs like North Conway’s Eastern Slope Ski Club, where he has volunteered.
Still, he would like to hear from Addison’s sufferers.
“I find I can learn a lot more from people with Addison’s than from the doctors themselves,’’ he said.
To make a donation, send a check with the memo “In honor of Tyler Palmer’’ to The Bald Mt. Rescue Fund, c/o Brian Barsotti, PO Box 370, Ketchum, ID, 83340. Those knowledgeable about Addison’s can contact Palmer through that address, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Globe correspondent T.D. Thornton contributed to this report.