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Welcome to Ridiculary

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Grab me Punxsutawney Phil and call me Bill Murray.

This past week was my own personal “Groundhog Day.”

For seven days straight, I woke up to check the snow reports at Vail and Beaver Creek, then brushed vast amounts of snow off my car and headed to the mountain.



It was the same powder dream day-after-day. By Thursday, I figured there would be a break in the weather, but, it kept coming. (Before the questions start coming from either readers or my editors, YES, I did go to work every day week, and was even early on most days).

During what I’m going to call the second week of Ridicuary (which is kind of like Rocktober, but I promise not to browbeat you with the word until you forget that this month is called January), I learned a few things about powder:



-It’s much like the mythical Fountain of Youth. No matter how little you sleep, you can still get up for six-or-more inches of new snow.

-There really are friends on powder days. They are just the people who stay in bed or grab a grooming report.

-It’s the kryptonite to Chuck Norris’ beard.



The sad part about Ridicuary (OK, twice isn’t bad) is that anything less than six inches of snow will be a letdown by comparison. Just kidding. Well, not really.

– Major props to the high school ski racers who participated in Friday’s slalom at Beaver Creek. I would have “missed a gate” on my first run and “went inside to drink some hot chocolate for several hours.”

– Whether you love him or not, you’ve got to tip your hat to Bode Miller, who picked up his 27th career World Cup win on Sunday, tying Phil Mahre’s American record. What’s scary for the rest of the World Cup skiers is that Miller has found his slalom groove once again (He was third in Friday’s super-combined and fifth in Saturday’s slalom), unlike last season when I finished one fewer slalom than Miller. Although Miller claims he won’t compete in the 2010 Vancouver Games, I’ll believe it when 2010 comes around.

Lindsey Vonn is quietly picking up some points in technical races. If she keeps this up, an overall title may come pretty soon. At the risk of jinxing her, I think Vonn will take this season’s downhill globe.

– The Rocky Mountain Pond Hockey Championships return to Avon this week. Anyone who has played past sunset and in freezing temperatures, or lost a tooth and set it aside for after the game knows what old-time hockey is aboooot (said with a Canadian accent).

– While I respect the winter biathlon (which combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting) as well as Nordic combined (cross country and ski jumping), I think it’s time for a winter pentathlon. Starting the top of the mountain, a competitor would have to race a downhill, then switch to a slalom, followed by a halfpipe run on a snowboard, snowmobile skijoing jousting and freestyle tobogganing.

– The X-Games are on the horizon. An early list of competitors came out last week and locals Clair Bidez (snowboarding halfpipe), Chris DelBosco (ski cross) and John Spriggs (big air skiing) were among the Coloradans invited.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.


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