Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sochi2014 It's All Downhill From Here

The Winter Games are heating up. The Men's Downhill is in the books, as is the Men's Snowboard Half-Pipe. America's Favorite Sons, Bode Miller and Shaun White misstepped in their attempts to step up to the top of the podium.

Conditions at Rosa Khutor look pretty tough on the competitors...every Alpine Event I've watched (save the Men's Downhill) has been contested in what you call 'Spring Snow'...Bode Miller lead the time sheets on two of three sunny Downhill Training Sessions, only to face the infamous 'flat light' on race day.

I just streamed the Half-Pipe, Qualifying, Semi-Finals and Finals...the pipe looked a little soft, save for the walls...they even sent a pack of skiers down the gut of the pipe midway through the Finals to sideslip the 'mashed potatoes'

Aside from the American Bobsledder who made a sensation on the web when he got locked in the shower room, broke out through the locked door, and tweeted a photo of the breached door, getting stuck in an elevator (no destructive escape this time around), for the most part the Snark from Sochi has been reduced to a softening mylar birthday balloon a week on...there are, medals being won and lost after all!

Well...there is the @SochiProblems Twitter account that has a third more followers the the Official @Sochi2014 verified account... Not all Snark from Sochi is dead, it's just been on the 'Down Low' for a day or two now...

@MagnifeyeRoads's man in Sochi, Truckee's own Jonathan Sass takes requests!

That's how it got started, I emailed him, and he blogged the photos two days later!

I don't remember if it was during the SlopeStyle or the Women's Combined Downhill coverage, but for a fleeting moment I saw a Bombardier MP Groomer with a Troop Carrier body on the back, parked on the side of a trail! It was still the original Bombardier Yellow, all waxed and shiny, too... It looked great considering that it was probably 10+ years old.

Seeing this snowcat was the genesis of my photo request. I was curious whether Sochi made a deal with Prinoth/Leitner or Pisten-Bully for a fleet of machines, and if they did, was there special Olympic Livery like Bombardier showed on the Salt Lake2002 machines?

Jonathan's photos showed a nice array of groomers. It doesn't look like what I think of as a 'Fleet' however. To me a fleet is all of a single manufacturer, and of a single tractor model. This keeps the parts inventory at the cat shop down to a dull roar...

My Mountain has had a mixed fleet from time to time over the years, and more down shifts and over-crowded parts rooms are the price you pay.

Photo: Jonathan Sass 2014

Pisten-Bully PB400

Photo: Jonathan Sass 2014

Prinoth BisonX parked next to an Everest Winchcat

Everyone who's into Sochi2014 should follow Jonathan's Magnifeye at the Olympics Blog, and while you're all at it, please follow CorduroyPlanet's Tumblr as well...thank you very much!

Going forward, I suspect there'll be more grousing about Sochi2014's Sub-Tropical climate. The forecast has Highs in the low 50°F's and Lows in the high 30°F's for the rest of the week. Tuesday's Women's Downhill Training was cancelled due to the balmy weather.  Women's Combined looked really juicy Monday as well. The early Downhill didn't look too bad, but the afternoon Slalom portion looked ridiculous!

Another thing caught my eye while streaming the Women's SlopeStyle Skiing last night, it was a CameraDrone following the action! I didn't see any DroneCam footage on NBC's LIVE stream, I'll look for it on Tuesday night's big broadcast.

There's plenty of Sochi2014 still to be contested, Stay tuned!



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