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Skiing and Snowboarding

Free Skier Society – Supervention II Screening

 

Whether you’re an experienced skier or just getting started, you should know about the Utah Freeskier Society, a student-run organization started in 2001 whose goal is to promote the sport of skiing on campus at the U.

On Tuesday, Nov. 29, they will screen Supervention II, a new ski documentary by Field Productions. This screening will be the premier in the United States, so ski bums and film lovers, rejoice. This event is not to be missed. Tickets are $5 at the door for members and $10 for non-members. There will be an accompanying raffle with the chance to win free skis, poles, goggles, gift cards, and outerwear, along with many companies and brands giving out free schwag.

The event will be held in the U’s College Of Social Work Auditorium. Raffle begins at 7:15, so mark your calendars and clear your schedules. Visit the Utah Free Skier’s website here or follow them on Facebook to find out more and stay in the loop on all the upcoming events.

Through a Utah Freeskier Society membership, you can get massive discounts on season passes at Brighton, Alta, Park City Mountain Resort, and more, plus huge gear discounts on tons of big name brands. They host ski-related events and activities throughout the year.

a.winter@dailyutahchronicle.com

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World Renowned Cross-country Skier Trampled at Local Ski Swap SATIRE

It is with a heavy heart and tear-fogged goggles that I recount this weekend’s tragic circumstances.

At a local ski-swap event last Saturday evening, professional cross-country skier and Italian national treasure, Horatio Pellegrino II, was gravely injured in what witnesses described as a “freak accident,” recounted by one bearded bystander as a “vulgar spectacle of human depravity.”

This annual event, known as ‘Soggy Sam’s Saline Ski-Scramble’, is a typically peaceful one, having served witness to only two fatalities since its grand debut in 2003. This year, however, was different. While the 25 x 25 ft. REI backroom had adequately facilitated visitors of years past, the newly introduced prospect of free ballcaps brought new participants in droves, pushing the venue to its limit.

Included in this tremendous turnout was Pellegrino, six-time Marcialonga race winner and the first and only person to summit the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc on skis, in a single day. According to his agent, Pellegrino had traveled to Salt Lake City after reading a mysterious online article alluding to the “Turkey King” of Gobbler’s Knob, seeking to catch a first-hand glimpse of the fowl monarch and challenge him to a race through the woods.

In an exclusive interview with the athlete after the tragic event, he shared with great difficulty that “I always, always, no matter where I wander, attend every available ski swap. With an open heart and mind, I look for a vintage pair of Asnes Turski Nordic skis, used by my father and his father before him.” This nostalgic quest is what brought Pellegrino to Soggy Sam’s that fateful night.

From the confused and inconsistent reports, it seems that the coordinators began distributing ballcaps around 10:30 pm, marking the beginning of the abrupt spiral into chaos. One anonymous participant stated “When I saw those hats, I just ran. They had mountains on them. I am a mountain guy, everyone must know that I am a mountain guy. I suppose I just…blacked out.” In a violent, collective mass, the ski-swap patrons rushed the distribution table, startling an unsuspecting Pellegrino to the ground.

“I was comparing the spiritual energy of two powerful sets of skis, and I heard the scampering — it reminded me of my encounter with Gray Wolves in the Swiss Alps,” Pellegrino recounted, his eyes watering, “and, I lost control.”

In his state-of-the-art snowsuit and boots, the bewildered athlete struggled to stay on his feet, slipping and thrashing for nearly twenty-five seconds before plummeting to the ground. In the incomprehensible commotion, Pellegrino was trampled by over 80 people, reportedly rushing either to or from the distribution table, some towards the parking lot to conceal their new hats.

Pellegrino, who refused to be transported in any kind of automobile, was frantically carried by present fans to the University Hospital, where he currently tends to his wounds.

According to the medical staff overseeing his recovery, the athlete will be incapacitated for months to come, and must sit out the approaching ski season in the hospital. Shortly after relaying this heartbreaking news, Pellegrino’s agent informed him that the Gobbler’s Knob myth was fabricated by a student writer as a gag, and that the liquor he had requested is prohibited in Utah.

When asked of his immediate plans, he expressed with great exasperation and fury that he intends to write an expository memoir about the injustices done unto him in Utah and sue Soggy Sam for damages.

Utahns, he declared, “must now face the wrath of Horatio Pellegrino II.” The implications of this vendetta are anyone’s guess; for now, we must hang our heads in shame, and pray for the athlete’s full recovery.

d.rees@wasatchmag.com

Photo by Chris Hammock

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Settle in for a Slick Ski Season

Powder is on its way.

At Ski Utah’s kickoff to the ski season yesterday, that was the resounding message. Representatives from ski resorts and Utah’s Office of Tourism gathered with media members to hear Nathan Rafferty, president and CEO of Ski Utah, discuss the prospects of the upcoming season.

Many ski resorts, such as Sundance, Cherry Peak, and Powder Mountain, are increasing access with new ski lifts. Snowbird and Brian Head have expanded buildings for ski school and restaurants. But, all the resorts have a resounding theme —

“Snow guns are at the ready,” Rafferty said.

Since last year broke records from the 2007-08 season for number of visitors, Rafferty and others are hopeful that this year the momentum will keep going. Of course, everyone is doing it in different ways.

For resorts like Powder Mountain, they want to keep the number of visitors high, but not so high that they lose their iconic seclusion. They have decided to limit the amount of season pass holders to 1,000 and day passes to 2,000.

“We don’t want to change. We want to keep our little resort feel,” said JP Goulet, marketing manager for Powder Mountain. “We want you to look around and have no one around you.”

Since they are adding two new chair lifts and adding another 600 acres to their resort, that goal is feasible. The lifts are expected to be running by Dec. 15. While Powder Mountain doesn’t have a set opening day (since they don’t make their own snow), Goulet is confident they will be running by the first week of December.

Other resorts are hoping to open starting next week.

Brighton is celebrating its 80th year of operation, Solitude is re-modeling their mountain lodge, and Snowbird is starting a program to support carpooling and public transportation use. While many are worried about the lack of snow, the resorts know sooner or later, it will come.

Rafferty wants everyone to remember, “Utah always delivers when it comes to snow.”

c.webber@dailyutahchronicle.com

@carolyn_webber

Photo by Carolyn Webber

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