Great Conditions Fuel Cardrona's Early Opening

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Schleper, with Lasse and husband Federico Gaxiola, shows off her hardware.Do you feel like you’ll like you’ll reach a level at the Vancouver Olympics that’s eluded you before? I feel like my skiing’s there. I just hope the stars align and I get some luck on my side. Anything’s possible. I’m a long shot for a medal. I haven’t been on a podium this year. But I’m on the upswing for sure. I’m going in there believing anything is possible. Is this your last Olympics, or is there more in store for you? My heart’s still in skiing. I’m kind of on the fence. The thing that holds me back is physical capability. Some days my body hurts. But this other side of me is like, I can’t give up.Schleper will race in the giant slalom on February 24 and the slalom on February 26 at Whistler.—Olivia Dwyer

Cardrona, New Zealand, June 26--Opening on June 23, a day earlier than scheduled, Cardrona Alpine Resort in New Zealand already looks to have an amazing season ahead.

A firm 8-12 inch base at the bottom rises to 39 inches at the summit making for the "best snow cover for any opening in ten years," said Shaun Gilbertson, operations manager. The international half-pipe remains in great condition and claims to be the first open this season.

Renovations over the summer included two new beginner's lifts. The Magic Carpet rides move in full swing and the newly expanded Captain's Café is prepared for the masses of hungry, early season skiers.

The Kid's Ski School is also ready to amuse and teach with a newly expanded staff from six to 10 instructors. Avoid the disappointment of full classes by calling ahead to make a booking (011 64 3 4439806).

Keep checking back with and the snow report link for updated information on the ski season down under.

New Zealand's Snow Report