Northstar ponies up $6 million

Obviously, we're back in the business of skiing and snowboarding with the fresh snow in the Sierra. With Northstar opening its new six-pack $6 million chairlift, that resort comes into its own as the newest example of real estate fueling mountain development.

This is not the Northstar of five years ago; it's a new resort, complete with ice rink and two levels of village. Dedication of the new lift is Friday and we plan to be there for a ride.

BURTON DEMO AT HEAVENLY

Heavenly will host the Burton Demo Days tour today and through Sunday at the base of Gunbarrel Express at the California Lodge. The Burton Demo will feature this year's line of snowboards, bindings, boots and RED helmets.

Complete with an inflatable dome tent, the Burton lounge, partner tents, a Jam session on World Cup, an après party in the Cal Bar and two feet of fresh snow, this promises to be one extreme weekend.

The demo is designed as a way for consumers to test out the newest equipment from Burton for free. The featured board at the Burton tent will be this year's Vapor model, the lightest board Burton manufactures. Joining Burton will also be vendors Motorola, Volvo, Nintendo, Paul Mitchell and Snow Magazine. Motorola will be bringing the Audex jacket which is equipped to handle all your phone and music needs, complete with Bluetooth capability. Volvo will feature the XC90 and the new C30 prototype. Nintendo will be featuring its newest system, the Wii, and will have Wii systems set up to play.

In addition to the demo, Burton will also host a Jam session on World Cup Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Jam is open to all levels and all ages. Following the Jam the games will continue with more chances to win prizes at an après snow party at the California Bar from 3-6 p.m. Also open to all ages, the après party will be filled with games, giveaways and good times.

SNOWBOMB ON TAP

The Snowbomb/Alpine Meadows Sick & Twisted Big Air competition soars Saturday. This competition includes up to $3,000 in cash and sponsor prizes and the cash purse is Snowbomb's largest sum to be awarded.

The event will host a "big air" format in which competitors will clear a custom-built step-down jump at the bottom of Alpine's terrain park while performing some of the sports' latest tricks.

Local and regional pros and amateurs of all ages of men's and women's ski and snowboard classes will be included. The event's venue will be Kangaroo lift. Competitor receive an hour of practice; competitors will be scored on the better of two runs. Winners will be determined by amount of air achieved, style, trick difficulty, and, of course, whether or not the competitor sticks the trick.

Event registration is 8:30-10 a.m. near the fireplace in the main lodge. Entry fee is $25. Competitor lift ticket rates are $41 for adults; $37 for ages 15-22; $13 for ages 7-14. Practice is from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Skiers and snowboarders in the Open Class have a shot at the $3,000 cash purse. A mandatory competitor pre-event meeting will take place at the base of Kangaroo Run at 11:30 a.m. Competition starts at noon. Helmets are mandatory to compete. Check www.skialpine.com.

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