Big Snows Dump A Foot or More, Cancels Saturday WC Race
On Friday morning, most of Vermont was brown. By Friday afternoon, thick snow buried branches, choked roadways and turned the Green Mountains into a winter wonderland. Winter arrived like a lion, with the storm depositing nearly 19 inches at Killington, 8 to 11 inches at Bromley, 5 inches at Stratton. In northern Vermont, Sugarbush report 6 inches, Stowe showed 10 inches and Jay Peak 5 to 8 inches. All of those resorts are now open, though some have holiday blackouts.
Skiers were ecstatic. Most skiers at least. “We like snow and we want just enough but then we go,’OK, you can stop now,” Mikaela Shiffrin said on Friday evening as high winds whipped heavy, wet snow around the resort. Killington had defied some naysayers who said the warm fall weather would cause the World Cup to be canceled. Superstar, the course where the women’s top technical racers compete this weekend for World Cup honors in slalom and giant slalom, had been showered in more than 3 to 5 feet of snow. It took the resort just 100 hours of snowmaking, some 15 million gallons of water and the immense expertise of a crew that is used to being the first resort in the East to get the course ready Killington has been open for skiing since Nov. 5,
Still, as the snow continued to dump and stick, Shiffrin and other racers began to worry. Too much snow could cancel the race as it would be hard to groom the surface back to its asphalt-hard optimum. High winds were also causing drifts. To help maintain the course and keep it smooth, skiers slid the course throughout the night.
Finally, the start was announced for 10:30, albeit on a slightly shortened course, moved down from the traditional start by 8 to 10 gates because of the wind. The first few racers set off in conditions where it was hard to see even the next gate. Mikaela Shiffrin, who started in 6th place, was more than a second behind leader Tessa Worley. But as conditions deteriorated, the event was paused and then ultimately cancelled for the day. In the meantime, others were off enjoying the powder.