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Winter doesn’t arrive on the calendar until next week but the province is already painted white with more snow to come. The next system will bring storm surges to some, heavy snow for others, high winds for the island and bitter cold for just about everyone.

The south coast, east coast and Avalon Peninsula got about 15 cm of snow overnight and this morning, resulting in delayed openings of schools and services.

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There is something about a secluded Olympic Games in a relatively small mountain town that sounds especially delightful in today’s bigger-must-be-better sports world.

The Winter Olympics always sneak up on us, coming so soon after the previous Summer Games. And so it is with the 2018 Olympics, which are now exactly one year away, being held in and around Pyeongchang, the smallest city (including the surrounding environs) to host an Olympic Games, summer or winter, since the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

It takes three hours to get there by bus from Seoul’s Kimpo airport. A high-speed train, still under construction, will reduce that trip by more than an hour. From Seoul itself, the train to Pyeongchang will take just over an hour.

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Caroline Mathes skis through the snow from the snow machines at Quarry Road Recreational Area in Waterville on Saturday. Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

WATERVILLE — Winter ski season kicked off at Quarry Road Trails on Friday, and Caroline Mathes is hopeful that an upcoming forecast of snow will get the whole 6 miles of trails ready to go.

Mathes, the Welcome Center coordinator for the trails, said on Sunday afternoon that snow production has gone well so far. Over the next day they plan to smooth and groom the snow, which would at least double the number of trails currently open, she said. A natural snowfall would help get everything else up and running.

The “state-of-the-art snowmaking system” helps keep the trails covered, “even in periods of low natural snowfall,” according to a news release from Friends of Quarry Road spokesperson Ellen Wells.

This weekend the trails opened for the season with a 500-meter loop, which got Sam Ross, 10, of Sidney, out for his second ski trip of the season. Ross is on the Central Maine Ski Club, and he said he likes having trails that are close by. He said the conditions were good on Sunday.

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Photo from Steve Hulbert.

The horrors of I70 traffic don’t go unnoticed by the skiers and snowboarders of Denver, Colorado. The freeway’s ridiculous congestion is a major headache for residents along the corridor, travelers, and any human being that enjoys breathing clean air.

From 1940 to 2009, skiers and residents alike had ridden the iconic Winter Park train from Denver to Winter Park. Although the train has been long out of commission, Winter Park recognized that the railroad tracks still existed and were perfectly viable. Why not use them again? And so, with a great deal of time and effort Winter Park temporarily resurrected the Winter Park Train during the 2015 season. It was nothing short of an immense success.

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WINTER PARK, CO – MARCH 15: The Amtrak Winter Park Resort Ski Train arrives throught Moffat Tunnel at Winter Park, Colorado on March 15, 2014. For the first time since 2009 the Amtrak Winter Park Resort Ski Train made two trips from Denver’s Union Station to Winter Park Ski area. The two trips sold out in a matter of hours and officials at Amtrak hope to work out a way to have the ski train come back on an annual basis. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

It’s back, and it’s ready to party.

Winter Park Express Opening Day will celebrate the return of the popular winter tradition as the train chugs into Winter Park through the historic Moffat Tunnel on Saturday. After catching a ride and hitting the slopes, the resort will host a DJ, prizes and giveaways on the West Portal patio from 1 to 3 p.m., then live music by Ryan Kelly inside the Derailer bar from 3 to 5 p.m. before you head back into the city.

But did you really even go if you didn’t document it on social media? The resort is asking travelers to post to Instagram with #WinterParkExpress so they can collect 3,000 images for a special Train Mosaic.

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There are certain parts of the world that automobiles just aren’t meant to go. The Inferno Mürren downhill ski course in Switzerland was one. That is, until stunt driver and former “Top Gear” Stig Ben Collins took on the challenge in a Range Rover Sport.

In a video produced by Jaguar Land Rover, Collins attempts to complete the 14.9-kilometer (9.2-mile) course, which has up to a 75-percent grade, in an SUV weighing more than 5,000 pounds. The run was inspired by the Mürren downhill race that was founded in 1928. That event sees skiers begin at the peak of the Schilthorn, a mountain in the Alps with an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet, and snake their way down through changing conditions to the finish at the bottom of the valley. For Collins’ attempt there’s not much snow on the course, but there is ice, loose gravel, mud, grass, and other types of tricky terrain.

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Ever thought of hillclimbing an Alpine downhill ski course on a MotoGP bike? No? That surely didn’t stop Red Bull coming up with the stunt, and Marc Marquez being crazy enough to do it…

OK, anyone out there who skis and has been down or even just checked out a downhill ski course knows how steep and treacherous they can be. Going down is enough to get your heart rate going…but have you ever imagined trying to ride a motorcycle up the course—with snow and ice on it? No? That makes two of us. But leave it to the crazies at Red Bull to cook up an imaginative stunt where three-time MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez rides a Honda RC213V MotoGP bike equipped with tires studded with two-inch-long ice spikes up a fabled Alpine downhill ski course.

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PARK CITY, UT (July 12, 2016) – The U.S. Alpine Ski Team has announced its nominations for the 2016-17 season. Nominations include those active athletes who qualified based on published selection criteria in the prior season.

Each athlete accepting the nomination to U.S. Alpine Ski Team receives a high level of world-class program support, along with access to the USSA Center of Excellence, as well as athletic benefits including an elite coaching, sport science, sports medicine and high performance staff, and education opportunities.

An official team announcement will be made in the fall.

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Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader of the Sioux Nation (C) meets with Morton County Sheriff’s Department officers near a Dakota Access pipeline construction site north of Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. October 29, 2016. REUTERS/Josh Morgan

Native American leaders vowed on Saturday to protest through the winter against a North Dakota oil pipeline they say threatens water resources and sacred lands, and are weighing lawsuits over police treatment of arrested protesters.

A group of at least 200 Native American demonstrators meanwhile returned to the scene of an earlier confrontation with police to stage a peaceful ceremonial prayer vigil near the town of Cannon Ball, at the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

A smaller crowd of 25 to 50 rallied on the grounds of the state capitol in Bismarck, about 30 miles to the north, in a separate protest of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, police said. No arrests were reported at either location.

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A wet winter is set to give way to a sneezy spring in south-eastern Australia, with this hayfever season predicted to be the worst in years.

Experts have warned the winter rains will have caused increased grass growth, meaning more pollen in the air in the coming months.

This year Australia had its seventh wettest July on record according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Melbourne University botanist Associate Professor Ed Newbigin said lean rainfall in previous years meant there had not been much grass pollen around.

“This year will be different — people will notice their symptoms and think it is probably the worst season ever,” he told 774 ABC Melbourne’s Red Symons.

“It’s probably not the worse season ever, but it is certainly worse than the past few seasons that we’ve had.”

Approximately one in eight Australians suffer from hayfever, according to Dr Newbigin said.

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