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Skiing : Major Resorts Still Open as Easter Week Near

March 25, 1988|Bob Lochner

Ski season is dwindling down to its traditional Easter Week finale with spring conditions prevalent throughout the West. In fact, some places have more like summer conditions, meaning warm temperatures and granite poking through the snowpack here and there.

Locally, Goldmine, Snow Summit and Mountain High are still in operation, reporting bases of 12 to 30 inches. In the Sierra, several smaller and lower-elevation ski areas have already closed for the season, but all of the major resorts plan to remain open at least through Easter Sunday, April 3.

Mammoth Mountain, which has about 60 inches of snow on its slopes, will keep going indefinitely; June Mountain, with about 36 inches, will shut down April 10.

On the competition fronts, the World Cup finals are being held this week at Saalbach, Austria, while the pros are heading into their world championships--the women at Mammoth Mountain Saturday and Sunday, the men at Aspen, Colo., starting next Thursday.

Michela Figini of Switzerland was declared winner of her second World Cup women's overall title Thursday when Sunday's downhill was canceled due to warm weather. Figini, who also won in 1985, ended the season with 244 points, 18 more than teammate Brigitte Oertli.

Switzerland's Pirmin Zurbriggen inched ahead of Alberto Tomba in the men's overall race, 283 points to 281, by placing fifth in Thursday's super-G while the Italian tied for ninth. However, Tomba figures to surge back in front and take the title because of anticipated higher finishes in today's giant slalom and Saturday's slalom.

Parallel competition is scheduled for both men and women Sunday at Saalbach, but the results will count only in the Nations' Cup team standings.

Joakim Wallner of Sweden clinched the U.S. Men's Pro Ski Tour title last weekend at Stratton Mountain, Vt. Wallner has 445 points to 405 for runner-up Tomaz Cerkovnik of Yugoslavia.

The men are racing at Sapporo, Japan, this weekend in their final tuneup before the $120,000 Audi Quattro World Pro Championships at Aspen.

Roswitha Raudaschl defeated rookie Birgit Hussauf in the slalom final last Sunday at Kirkwood, so the two 20-year-old Austrians are tied for the lead in the Women's Pro Ski Racing Tour standings, with 371 points apiece, heading into the final $55,000 event at Mammoth, also sponsored by Audi Quattro.

Lynda McGehee, of Boulder, Colo., beat Raudaschl in the giant slalom final last Saturday and holds third place with 324.

The qualifying at Mammoth starts today at 10 a.m., with the giant slalom scheduled for Saturday and the slalom for Sunday, both at 10:30 a.m.

Warren Miller, who has produced 38 feature-length films on skiing since founding his Hermosa Beach company shortly after World War II, was selected as the sixth recipient of the AT&T Skiing Award, given annually since 1983 "to recognize an individual whose commitment to excellence and dedication to skiing has profoundly enriched the sport."

Miller, honored during the recent World Cup races at Aspen, joins previous winners Bob Beattie, Willy Schaeffler, Jimmy Heuga, Serge Lang and Billy Kidd.

The other 1988 finalists were Andrea Mead Lawrence, U.S. double Olympic gold medalist in 1952, and Hal O'Leary, a pioneer in teaching the handicapped to ski.

Skiing Notes

California's team in the 17th annual National Handicapped Ski Championships April 4-8 at Snowmass, Colo., was selected after final qualifying races last weekend at Snow Summit. . . . The 1990 World Alpine Disabled Ski Championships have been awarded to Winter Park, Colo. . . . The University of Utah won its sixth title in the last eight years at the recent National Collegiate Athletic Assn. ski meet at Rikert, Vt. Vermont was second, followed by Colorado, Wyoming and Dartmouth. . . . Alpine Meadows is playing host this week to its annual Corporate Ski Challenge, which winds up Saturday with the individual giant slalom finals. . . . Snowbird, Utah, will be the site of the U.S. National Telemark Championships April 7-10, when more than 250 skiers will compete in an event that combines downhill and cross-country techniques.

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