Two months from today we'll be in the middle of the first week of Olympic competition in Sochi. Every race and competition that's happening now is very important in determining a nation's final teams roster and who will be entered in what disciplines. This weekend is loaded with events.
Here's a look at what's happening where:
There's also Men's Ski Jumping on tap at Titisee-Neustadt, Germany and Cross Country at Davos, Switzerland, as well as Nordic Combined action at Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria. Also note there is a lot of focus on the Dew Tour results which is going this weekend at Breckenridge, Colorado.
So, during your apres ski activities be sure to stop by About Skiing Facebook and check out results and especially how the home team is doing.
photo Copyright Getty Images
Do you need a gift for your favorite skier or perhaps something to add to your own holiday "wish list"? Here is a selection of my favorites for gift giving - or receiving - this holiday season.
From skis, boots, socks, goggles and sunglasses, skiing books and DVDs, or family ski vacation deals and ski lessons and clinics you will find a gift for everyone on your holiday list.
Here's my list of the top holiday gifts for skiers.
Julbo Bivouak Mountaineering Sunglasses Courtesy Julbo
Two hundred and ten skiing and snowboarding Santas turned out for the 14th Annual Santa Sunday at Sunday River Resort in Maine.
"Santa Sunday is the one event that really kicks off the holiday season here at Sunday River," said Sunday River Resort Events Marketing Manager Caroline Ochtera. "It's a visually entertaining fund-raiser that allows us to give back to the Bethel Rotary's annual holiday toy drive."
This year, Sunday River raised $2,100 for the local rotary club by requiring each of the pre-registered Santas to donate a minimum of $10.
RegistrantsÂ were asked to come to the resort with their donation in full Santa garb, including the hat and pom-pom, red coat and pants, belt, and, of course, the beard.
Sunday River Resort thanked each St. Nick with a free lift ticket to use the day of the event, as well as another lift ticket to use any time before Christmas.
Read More: Sunday River Santa Sunday
Sunday River Santa Sunday 2013 Copyright Sunday River Resort
Sunday was a big day for both the U.S. men racing a Giant Slalom on the Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek, Colorado and the women competing in a super G up at Lake Louise in Canada.
Seeing Ligety win his fourth consecutive giant Slalom by such an impressive margin has to give the U.S. men a big boost. That boost showed with Miller, battling to get his form back after missing last season, and landing his first Giant Slalom podium since March of 2007.
In Canada, Switzerland's Lara Gut won her third race of the season, but the big news was Lindsey Vonn, apparently no longer gun shy and skiing her way to a fifth place finish, with teammate Leanne Smith right behind her in sixth.
These showings by the U.S. Team anchors may be just what the doctor ordered to get the whole team rolling again.
Next up on the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup circuit for Dec. 14-15, the women head to St. Moritz, Switzerland, for a super G and Giant Slalom while the men will be in Val d'Isere, France to race a Slalom and Giant Slalom.
Bode Miller, Ted Ligety on Birds of Prey podium Copyright Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
If you dream about heli-skiing, but can't afford it here's an opportunity to live your dream.
Live Well Network is looking for an 'above average' skier or snowboarder who lives for fresh powder and would love to go heli-skiing with the Live Well Network "Motion" crew.
It's an all expenses paid trip - they will cover airfare, lodging, meals and transportation. The trip will include a heli-ski trip, some snow shoeing, a cool hike, and will be at either Vail, Aspen or Whistler.
Interested? Who wouldn't be? All you have to do is apply on the show's website Live Well Network - Motion. Then sit back and cross your fingers, pray, stick pins in chairlift dolls or do a variation of your make it snow dance.
Go for it - somebody has to win.
Logo Copyright Live Well Network
This is a big day of World Cup speed racing for both the men and the women. The ladies will be up in Lake Louise, Canada, while the men take on the Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek, Colorado and both will racing Downhill.
Of course, the big news is that Lindsey Vonn is cleared to race and she'll be out to defend her two Downhill wins at Lake Louise last year. Her teammate Stacey Cook, who finished second to both of Vonn's wins last year, will also be looking to going for the gold.
At Beaver Creek, due to a schedule change based on a forecast of incoming snow, the men will be racing Downhill today instead of super G which will go Saturday. In today's race, the U.S. men have three good starts with Steve Nyman, #3, Travis Ganong, #4 and Bode Miller in the 13th slot.
Note that the race time for the Beaver Creek Downhill has also been changed to 12:45 EST.
Lindsey Vonn Training at Copper Mountain Copyright Getty Images Sport/Doug Pensinger
The 2014 World Cup Ski Cross competition kicks off today at Nakiskia, Canada with two days of racing for both the men and women. For the women, Fanny Smith of Switzerland, France's Ophelie David and Marie Berger Sabbatel, and Georgia Simmerling of Canada are the standouts.
For the men, the leaders are Switzerland's Alex Fiva who claimed the 2013 Ski Cross championship finishing over 100 points ahead of runner-up and fellow countryman, Armin Neiderer and Victor Oehling Norberg of Sweden who finished the 2013 rankings in third place.
However, this is Ski Cross and so stand by because anything can happen on the course. Ski Cross is a very physical, demanding and draining sport with continuing races following one upon the next until the final elimination round.
That said, Ski Cross is very fan friendly, exciting and often referred to as Motor Cross on skis and the Ski Cross athletes deserve full support of their respective countries to the same level as the athletes in the more established Alpine, Freestyle, Nordic and Ski Jumping disciplines. The more, we as fans, support Ski Cross races the more support the competitors will receive.
FIS World Championships Men's Ski Cross Copyright Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images
Deer Valley Resort, Park City, Utah, consistently ranked Ski Magazine's #1 in guest service among ski resorts in North America, will open for the 2014 season this Saturday, December 7. To add to the opening day excitement will be the 22nd Annual Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest benefiting Waterkeeper Alliance.
There is a full weekend of events coming up that include a live performance by Grammy® Award-winning country music artist Miranda Lambert, the signature Saturday Night Gala Dinner and a new Celebrity Poker Night, all in support of Waterkeeper Alliance, the fastest-growing grassroots environmental movement in the world.
On the snow, the Celebrity Skifest spotlight will be on Deer Valley's Birdseye ski run at noon on December 7 and 8, 2013. Celebrities and Olympic legends including Steve Mahre, Phil Mahre, Tommy Moe, and Deer Valley's own Ambassador of Skiing, Heidi Voelker will be competing for the Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest title.
The races are free to the public and can be viewed from the Silver Lake area at mid-mountain. However, if you aren't in Park City watch the races on TV because, while this is all in fun and for a great cause, you can't take the competitiveness out of these World Cup and Olympic athletes. Last year, Tommy Moe and Heidi Voelker, head-to-head, had as much intensity as you'll see on the World Cup circuit - and Tommy is back with a vengeance so you can be sure it will be a lot of fun to watch.
Tune into CBS on Sunday, December 8 at 5 p.m. EST - after the NFL - to see the races and the entire weekend of festivities in the number-one rated winter sports television special, Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest.
Read More: Deer Valley Resort
Heidi Voelker and Tommy Moe Copyright Mike Doyle
All through December, between now and right up and through New Year's, there are a lot of activities and events at Vermont ski resorts that you really shouldn't miss. While I know you can't be everywhere, you can have your choice of whatever might tweak your fancy.
We're talking about Brewfest - this weekend at Smugglers Notch Resort - voted the #1 resort in the East this year in Ski Magazine for which it's also been the best family resort for umpteen years. Family Fridays at Bromley Mountain also start this week. Next weekend, don't miss the December Super Demo at Okemo Mountain Resort on the 14th featuring top brands of the latest gear from a variety of ski, snowboard and snowshoe companies.
I think you get the idea - so get out and ski Vermont!
Killington Morning Copyright Mike Doyle
Over a foot of new snow and a forecast for continuous snow throughout the day has canceled the second of three Audi Birds of Prey downhill training runs scheduled for Beaver Creek.
The opening training run slated for Tuesday was also called due to complications in athlete travel out of Calgary, Alberta - also due to snow. All three Audi FIS Alpine World Cup races will be broadcast same-day along with the final downhill training run slated for Thursday 12/5/13.
Live Broadcast Schedule: Audi Birds of Prey - Audi FIS Alpine World Cup
- Thur. Dec. 5, 12:30-2:00 p.m. EST - Men's downhill training - LIVE - Universal Sports
- Fri. Dec. 6, 10:00-11:00 p.m. EST - Men's super G - SAME DAY - NBCSN
- Sat. Dec. 7, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST - Men's downhill - LIVE - NBCSN
- Sun. Dec. 8, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST - Men's weekend highlights - NBC
- Sun. Dec. 8, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST - Men's giant slalom - LIVE - NBC
- Tues. Dec. 10, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST - Men's super G - Universal Sports Network
- Wed. Dec 11, 6-30-8:00 p.m. EST - Women's giant slalom - Universal Sports Network
- Sun. Dec. 22, 9:00-10:00 a.m. EST - Men's downhill - Universal Sports Network
Beaver Creek Empty Grandstands Copyright Ezra Shaw/Getty Images