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Race skis really haven't changed much over the years

December 17, 2010

While radical new designs are taking hold in snowboarding and recreational ski design, one thing hasn’t changed much.

“Race skis have not changed that much at all,” said Robin Falkingham, the longtime ski racer supplier at Command Performance in Mammoth.

“The race ski hasn’t changed dramatically because the race courses haven’t changed dramatically.”

He said the only difference in the past couple of decades has been that the skis have become shorter, but that’s not out of design considerations, but because of the materials with which skis are now built.

Downhill racer Bryce Eller is standing on the edge of greatness

December 17, 2010

Bryce Eller is standing on the precipice.

He is 17 years old, a senior at Mammoth High School and a championship-class downhill skier on the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team.

When he looks over the edge, he is peering at greatness, even if he himself doesn’t quite know that yet.

Ranked second in the United States for his age group, Eller, at 5-11 and 195 pounds, is carrying a lot of weight each time he enters the gates. The number of eyes watching each of his runs is a bit astonishing.

June Mountain is open; long live "The Chair"

December 17, 2010

June Mountain locals refer to it simply as “The Chair.”

It is arguably one of the top carnival rides at either June Mountain or Mammoth, and if you’re going to ski or ride June, “The Chair” is de rigueur.

It is Chair 1, marked on the June Trail Map as J1, and though as slow as molasses in January, it has taken skiers up the hill since 1961. As in straight up.

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