Minnesota Area Opens, Lindsey Wants to Race the Men + Grateful Dead Snowboards

While all eyes have been on Colorado in expectation of Loveland Ski Area or Arapahoe Basin getting the 2012-13 ski season off to an early start, Wild Mountain in Taylors Falls, Minnesota, went and scooped everyone with a surprise October 7th opening.

Betting on an October cold front, the area turned on the snow guns Saturday night and had just enough terrain open to run a tow bar and set up some features and jumps for their guests to hit. Wild Mountain co-owner Amy Frischmon told the Associated Press that the area had a crew on hand just in case temps dipped below freezing. On Sunday she said, “Yesterday I was thinking, I think it’s going to happen.”

Only two weeks ago, the area’s water slides were open. Check out the Wild Mountain Facebook page for lots of pictures of some very happy riders.

Lindsey Vonn Wants to Race the Men in Downhill
With four overall World Cup titles, American Lindsey Vonn will go down in history as one of the greatest racers to ever step into a pair of skis. But now she wants to test herself against the men, and has asked the International Ski Federation (FIS) for permission to race against them in the World Cup speed events at Lake Louise, Alberta.

FIS officials said they are looking into the possibility of allowing her to race, while still allowing themselves an exit strategy by stating that Vonn may gain an unfair advantage over other female competitors, who will be racing the same course a weekend after the men.

“It's complicated because no racer is supposed to ski on a race course a week prior to his or her own competition,” said Norway's Atle Skaardal, the women's World Cup race director. “If Lindsey Vonn could train and compete with the men in November, she would have a huge advantage on her rivals the following week during the women's races on the same course.”

For more, including the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s reaction, click here.

Burton Partners with the Grateful Dead
Burton Snowboards and the Grateful Dead have partnered up this season to bring riders the new Easy Livin’ snowboard series.  The Easy Livin’ board, available now, comes in three different sizes and features iconic imagery from the Grateful Dead, including the legendary Steal Your Face, Skull and Roses, and Dancing Terrapins.
Burton celebrated the launch of the new series in Los Angeles at the Burton LA Flagship Store on Melrose. Snowboarders and Deadheads came out in droves to check out the boards firsthand. The night included a first listen of never-released Grateful Dead tracks, a menu of standard “lot” food and munchies, and an exclusive limited-edition gift bag. It also featured special guests David Lemieux (producer and legacy manager for the Grateful Dead) and Burton pro Danny Davis, among others.

“The Steal Your Face and Skull and Roses is just so sick and I always thought it would look so good on a snowboard,” said Davis. “I think the boards came out amazing! I don't think I will ever want to ride another graphic.”

— Peter Kray

Photo courtesy of Burton Snowboards


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