Shots, with adrenaline
Wescott fired up by competition
Seth Wescott sees a pattern he'd like to repeat. The 2006 Olympic gold boardercross champion took first at the Worlds in '03, second in '05, and first again in '07. In '09, it's off to South Korea.
"I'd like to win that," said the Mainer by cellphone after taking seven runs on Sugarloaf's opening day last week.
Wescott, 32, has been on the go with recent appearances for Warren Miller's latest film, "Children of Winter."
For the movie, Wescott traveled to Alaska at the end of last season and partnered with US Ski Team member Marco Sullivan on an epic Alaskan adventure.
"They were the worst conditions in the six years that I've done this," he said. "There was an 18-day snowstorm and winds for 72 hours straight. But we did find decent snow and plugged away."
Soon back in the gates looking for the hole shot, Wescott is not content with his eight podium finishes at the X Games. He wants gold.
"That has eluded me and I've got to buckle down," he said.
He's also eyeing the World Cup boardercross stop at Sunday River this season.
"There's something about racing on your home turf that makes you feel good," Wescott said.
Aiming for top formThe US Ski Team's Kris Freeman started the World Cup cross-country season with a respectable top-20 finish in a 15-kilometer freestyle race in Sweden above the Arctic Circle.
"I thought the day was a good start. I felt like I skied strong and technically very smooth, but I didn't have that last 5 percent to put me up into the really good numbers," Freeman, of Andover, N.H., told the team's website. "I thought I had a chance for the top 10, and that would have been a perfect race. But a top-20 would have been a good day and that's what I did."
Open for businessOn the list of downhill areas planning to open this week is New Hampshire's Mount Sunapee. The resort says it will have the most terrain ever for its opener tomorrow: 13 trails. That includes top-to-bottom runs in Sunbowl, and on both the main mountain and South Peak.
Also opening tomorrow: Cannon, Cranmore (tubing/terrain park only), Ragged, Pats Peak (reopening), and Crotched (reopening). Wildcat chimes in Saturday.
In Vermont, Jay Peak is resuming operations today while tomorrow's opening crew includes Bromley, Smugglers' Notch, and Stratton.
Wachusett was slated to open again yesterday with Jiminy Peak and Nashoba on tap for tomorrow. Catamount's opening day is tomorrow with a projected nine trails and $25 tickets, while Butternut starts Saturday.
Through the woodsThe hills are alive with snowmaking at Stowe's Trapp Family Lodge. The esteemed Vermont cross-country network is gunning for an opener today on limited terrain. There isn't much snowmaking at New England cross-country centers, but Trapp's has two portable guns and started blasting last week. Since then, there's been a mixed bag of about 4 inches of snow, rain, and warmth. Still, cautious optimism reigns.
"We are capable of maybe a 1-kilometer loop at this point," said Charlie Yerrick, director of the 60-kilometer Nordic center, which will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this season.
Green saves greenRemember the days of carpooling? They're back, but with a green spin. Berkshire skiers visiting Jiminy Peak on Green Weekends (Nov. 29-30, Dec. 6-7, Dec. 13-14, and Dec. 20-21) can snag a free lift ticket if they show up with at least four people in their ride. Also, at least one person in the car has to have an old lift ticket from any ski area. Show up at Jiminy before 10:30 a.m. and hand over that lift ticket to the attendant for a freebie (only one per car). Carving it up midweek? Maine's Shawnee Peak's nonholiday Monday Carload Days feature a $75 price for the car before 11 a.m. Southern Vermont's Magic Mountain charges $80 for the carload on nonholiday Wednesdays. Every nonholiday midweek day at Magic showcases $25 lift tickets if you show up in a group with at least three skiers or riders . . . Stratton Mountain is giving away 10,000 lift tickets this season via a text-messaging promotion. Contestants must be 18 and own a mobile device with two-way text messaging from a list of selected carriers. If you don't win right away, you can opt for Stratton to e-mail a daily reminder to try again until you score. Details are at www.stratton10k.com.
Vonn gets clearanceOverall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn was given the all clear by team doctors yesterday to race in Aspen, Colo., this weekend. Vonn, who got the season off to a sizzling start with her first career slalom win in Levi, Finland, had looked likely to miss the only World Cup races on home snow after bruising her knee in a training crash last week. But a scan revealed the injury was not too serious and Vonn, 23, will compete Saturday and Sunday. "For a while it was looking pretty grim that I might have to have surgery, but thankfully after an MRI it turned out that I would only be on crutches for a few days," Vonn said . . . Defending overall champion Bode Miller was fastest yesterday during the opening day of training for the season's first World Cup downhill, this weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta. Miller finished in 1 minute 47.22 seconds on the men's Olympic downhill course. Miller, of Franconia, N.H., was followed by Austrians Klaus Kroell in 1:47.30 and Michael Walchhofer in 1:47.40.
Material from Associated Press was used in this report.