Riddle posts Top 10 finish in season debut 

d'Artois ends up in 34th in Copper mountain

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CANADIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE - FOLLOWING SILVER  Squamish's Mike Riddle, seen here with his silver medal from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, finished 10th in his first FIS event of the season in Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • File photo courtesy of the Canadian Olympic Committee
  • FOLLOWING SILVER Squamish's Mike Riddle, seen here with his silver medal from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, finished 10th in his first FIS event of the season in Copper Mountain, Colo.

Squamish's Mike Riddle had some issues in his first action of the season, but still managed to make the Top 10.

In the first FIS World Cup event of 2014-15, Riddle overcame a broken ski in the first round to qualify for the finals in the halfpipe event at Copper Mountain, Colo. on Dec. 5. Riddle told the Canadian Freestyle Association website he incorporated some new tricks into his run, but because of the difficulties, wasn't always able to display them.

"The good news is that I'm working on some stuff that I'm excited for in the next coming event," said Riddle on the website. "There's definitely a couple cobwebs in the system to work through and hopefully that will lead to some success in the next couple of weeks. I didn't put down a run even remotely close to what I'm capable of."

Whistler's Simon d'Artois finished 34th, while other Canadians were: Calgary's Brendan MacKay (15th), Vancouver's Matt Margetts (18th), Calgary's Kristopher Atkinson (21st), and Calgary's Noah Bowman (33rd).

On the ladies' side, Edmonton's Keltie Hansen was 10th and Squamish's Rosalind Groenewoud was 17th.

TORONTO's Yurkiw just off the podium at Lake Louise

Larisa Yurkiw of Toronto was the top-finishing Canadian at the FIS World Cup downhill event held at Lake Louise, Alta. on Saturday, Dec. 6.

The lone Canadian in the event, Yurkiw's time of 1:51.22 was just 0.74 seconds behind champion Lindsey Vonn of the USA.

Yurkiw was also the top Canadian in the Sunday, Dec. 7 super-G event, finishing 20th, 1.83 seconds behind winner Lara Gut of Switzerland. Mont Tremlant, Que.'s Valerie Grenier was 32nd, while Lac-Etchemin, Que.'s Marie-Michele Gagnon did not complete her first run.

Meanwhile, the Canadian men did not post any Top 10 finishes at either event in Beaver Creek, Colo. on the weekend.

Toronto's Dustin Cook was 12th in the super-G on Dec. 6. His 1:13.93 showing was 1.15 seconds behind winner Hannes Reichelt of Austria. Calgary's Jan Hudec was 14th, Whistler's Morgan Pridy was 16th, and Invermere's Ben Thomsen was 37th. Whistler Mountain Ski Club's Manuel Osborne-Paradis and Calgary's Tyler Werry did not complete their first runs.

On Dec. 5, in the downhill, Hudec was 17th, Osborne-Paradis 20th, and Thomsen 48th. Pridy did not finish. Norway's Kjetil Jansrud won with a time of 1:40.17, besting Hudec by 1.36 seconds.

Cook was the only Canadian to make the giant slalom finals on Dec. 7, finishing 21st with a time of 2:36.24, 2.17 seconds behind champion Ted Ligety of the USA. Neither Werry, nor Phil Brown of Toronto, nor Trevor Philp of Calgary qualified for a second run.

Pinkbike in the Sea to Sky

Influential mountain bike website Pinkbike has set up shop in Squamish.

The site, which receives 73 million page views per month, has opened an office in downtown Squamish, according to a District of Squamish release on Dec. 8. Pinkbike initially announced the planned move from Chilliwack in the spring.

The site has 20 full-time employees and another 100 part-time contractors. The site is looking to hire software development and geographic information systems employees. Those looking for more information can contact jobs@pinkbike.com.

"The welcome has been awesome and the local bike community here is tight," Pinkbike CEO Karl Burkat said in the release. "We can't wait to ramp things up here."

Heli-skiing season is returning to the Sea to Sky corridor

Whistler Heli-Skiing opened its 34th season of operation on Friday, Dec. 5.

The company has access to big mountain terrain in a 432,000-acre area that includes 173 glaciers and 475 runs.

The company has helicopters that can carry five or 10 passengers with a guide to show off the local terrain.

Packages start from $929 per person.

More information is available at www.whistlerheliskiing.com.

Meanwhile, Pemberton's Coast Range Heli-Skiing will start up this weekend, kicking off its season on Saturday, Dec. 13.

The company, which has operated since 2002, has exclusive rights to over 200,000 acres of terrain and skis in groups of four or five people.

Coast Range offers heli-skiing packages from $1,099 per person or heli-assisted backcountry packages from $399 per person.

More information is available at www.coastrangeheliskiing.com.

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