Mikaela Shiffrin made another entry into the World Cup record books last weekend in Lienz, Austria, where the 24-year-old skier won both the giant slalom and slalom events, giving her 64 career wins.
It was her 43rd World Cup win in the slalom, tying Lindsey Vonn for the women’s record in a single discipline. Vonn retired last year with 43 downhill victories.
Shiffrin is also now only 18 victories short of Vonn’s overall women’s mark of 82.
Which leaves us wondering; could Shiffrin break the record at Killington later this year?
Considering Shiffrin set a World Cup record with 17 victories in 2018-19, it’s a stretch. Yet, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
In order to have a chance by the time the Killington Cup returns over Thanksgiving weekend, Shiffrin will have had to finish the 2019-20 season with 20 victories overall (adding 16 to the four she already has), and then come into the Vermont event with one 2020-21 victory under her belt. She could tie Vonn with a grand slalom win, and then surpass her with a victory in the slalom on Sunday.
With a résumé already chock-filled with accomplishment, Shiffrin’s status of becoming the greatest American ski racer of all time is on a rapid rise. So it stands to reason just why the Killington Cup is such a memorable — and well-attended — stop on the World Cup tour. Imagine if the Burke Mountain Academy product were to set the record for victories in the state where she went to school.
Shiffrin, after all, is the cog in everything that makes the Killington Cup so successful. As she continues to shatter World Cup records en route to becoming the most successful ski racer of all time, her roots in Vermont grow deeper. The more Shiffrin makes a name for herself on the World Cup circuit, the more profound her legacy with the Green Mountain State becomes.
It would be the perfect place for Shiffrin to stake her claim as the greatest the sport has seen.
However, it would take Shiffrin making this World Cup season even better than her record-setting one of a year ago in order to put it on the table.
Unlikely? Well, we should probably say so. But Shiffrin just keeps on shattering the record books anyway.
New year, new snow
Sunday River was the big winner from a storm that spread across northern New England earlier this week. In Maine, Sunday River claimed 14-16 inches of snow over the course of Dec. 30-31, and had ropes dropping everywhere. That included on trails like Tin Woodsman, Last Tango, and Caramba.
In all, Sunday River is kicking off 2020 with nearly 100 trails and glades open.
In New Hampshire, Cranmore Mountain Resort reported 13 inches of snow, followed closely by fellow Mount Washington Valley resorts Black Mountain, Wildcat Mountain (both 12 inches), and Attitash Mountain Resort (10 inches).
Meanwhile, in Vermont, Killington and Sugarbush both reported eight inches over a 48-hour period. Mad River Glen claimed 10 inches over a 72-hour window. The Jay Cloud, of course, was also in effect at Jay Peak Resort, where 18 inches of snow has been reported over the last week.
The Indy Pass keeps growing.
Maine’s Mount Abram became the latest ski area in New England to join the pass, created by a coalition of independent resorts in order to offer buyers two days at each of 47 participating resorts across the country.
That now includes nine in New England, with the likes of Pats Peak, Bolton Valley, Magic Mountain, Suicide Six, Berkshire East, Catamount and Mohawk Mountain among the participating resorts. New Hampshire’s Black Mountain was also added to the list last month.
That gives pass holders a great variety of skiing for only $239. You can check out the entire list of participating ski areas here.
Steals and Deals
Each week in this space we’ll bring you some unique deals to keep an eye out for when you’re planning your time in ski country. This week, we present the New England Ski Journal readers special at the Comfort Inn and Suites in North Conway. Receive 10 percent off all direct booked reservation by calling the hotel at 603-356-8811. Visit www.northconwaycomfortinn.com for more information.
This deal is good for the entire 2019-20 season.
The premium Parka experience
Contributor Josh Laskin has a great look in the January edition of New England Ski Journal at how the Red Parka Pub became the premier ski bar in the Mount Washington Valley. There are few, if any, better après options in all of New England, and reading Laskin’s piece makes my mouth water for what might be the best burger to enjoy after a day on the slopes.
There aren’t many other ski-related hangouts that have more comfortable memories for me than a place like the Red Parka.