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Alpine Meadows new trail map?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I was reading the lost art of the trail map from another thread today and didn't want to hijack it, but upon viewing the new, I assume, AM map they had taken off all the DDs on it and made them all single. This kind of got me thinking why they would do such a thing? (It may not be new map, but I haven't looked at it in some time)

I know from experience I can handle pretty much any single diamond out there, but there are areas on that mountain where the average joe might think one route was fine and then he ventures over to another area not expecting what he might be in for. I know previously, areas off scott and much of the area traversed skiers left off of the summit chair can get hairy pretty quick if you don't know where you're going.

My first few trips to AM I regarded these areas as expert terrain, I knew my limits and stayed away. I learned this the hard way 5 years ago because I ventured left off of wolverine and there was no climbing back. Mind you, wolverine or any of the open bowls I have no problems with. Anyways, I managed carefully, hucked a few boulders and got back to my comfort zone safely, but boy was I awake after that run. (Waterfall/sisters)

This said, I wonder how this may impact the safety of some skiers out there where one single diamond marked area is not really a single diamond? I haven't been to AM in three years as I've been deployed every ski season, grrrr, but maybe they have signs up now or something to forward the skier who is not familiar with the mountain?

Thoughts?
Kevin
post #2 of 7

Haven't seen the new AM map but Squaw (same company) made the switch last year. Chute 75, even mainline pocket are single black.  Although at Squaw the double black stuff usually has an expert only sign when you drop in--even the single black stuff when it's icy, and arrows direct people away from the gnarly stuff.  There isn't much easy to get to double black at AM--Our Father, Counterweight and Sherwood Cliffs have expert only signs, Pete's Peril doesn't. Haven't been over to High T and Beaver and beyond yet this year (shame on me) to see how it's marked, but hike to terrain usually scares off the gapers--and the lazy like me this year.  For the most part at both places what you see is what you get (except Silvy, which has gates) so I doubt too many people are going to get sucked in.

post #3 of 7

The stuff I've seen at Squaw and Alpine Meadows this year is marked pretty well on the trails. 

When you see a yellow or orange circle, pay attention. 

post #4 of 7

Did the new map *just* come out, as in over the past 2 weeks?  I grabbed another trail map on December 18th and I'm seeing double black diamonds on there.

 

Anyway, if that's the case, I would have to agree.  I've definitely seen people go from Wolverine down towards Waterfall who are way over their heads in that terrain, in particular because it's pretty narrow and twisting.  I think this happens because if you look towards the face - which is a pretty manageable single diamond run - it appears to be steeper until you're right on top of it - so people will bail out to the left instead of the right because waterfall's entrance appears to be so much more inviting until you get around the corner.

 

On the other hand, there is a big sign on a tree at the junction marking Waterfall as double black.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Did the new map *just* come out, as in over the past 2 weeks?  I grabbed another trail map on December 18th and I'm seeing double black diamonds on there.

 

Anyway, if that's the case, I would have to agree.  I've definitely seen people go from Wolverine down towards Waterfall who are way over their heads in that terrain, in particular because it's pretty narrow and twisting.  I think this happens because if you look towards the face - which is a pretty manageable single diamond run - it appears to be steeper until you're right on top of it - so people will bail out to the left instead of the right because waterfall's entrance appears to be so much more inviting until you get around the corner.

 

On the other hand, there is a big sign on a tree at the junction marking Waterfall as double black.

 

Not sure if it's old stock still being distro'd, but the current online pdf and jpeg are showing all terrain as single diamond.  I doubt they will change the boards on the mountain (that would be pretty dumb), but why introduce any confusion betwen map and on trail?  I'm fairly certain management is very deliberate at marking what is double black/expert terrain on mountain....I was just thinking from a perspective of one who had never been there, or is lost, or who knows what, ya know?

 

But yes, it does look more inviting for sure, then it's too late....

post #6 of 7

Alpine is now owned by Squaw and they are marching steadily toward a unified single resort.  So, they need to make the ratings consistent.  Squaw has never (as far as I know) put a double black diamond on a map, although there have been (and still are) some double-black signs.  What's new as of last year is the double blue square.  A number of the questionable black diamonds from the past are now double blue squares.  I think this happened when they changed from a "lift map" to a "trail map".

 

There are a number of reasons that Squaw has (mostly) avoided double-blacks.  First is that historically, the maps have rated lifts, not trails.  The lift got the designation of the easiest way down.  Few on-mountain signs existed, although there was a ski patrol map with trails rated.  The old Alex Cushing approach was one of personal responsibility: "We provide uphill transportation; you're in charge of the down."

 

Another reason Squaw has probably avoided double-blacks is that it's a slippery slope.  I mean, if gate 2 of Silverado is marked double-black, then shouldn't Mr. Toad's be triple-black?  What about the Chimney?  Quadruple?  Is Schmidiots a quintuple-black?  At some point, the ratings depend on snow levels and the number of backflips one performs.  At this point, it's time to buy a copy of Squallywood.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

Alpine is now owned by Squaw and they are marching steadily toward a unified single resort.  So, they need to make the ratings consistent.  Squaw has never (as far as I know) put a double black diamond on a map, although there have been (and still are) some double-black signs.  What's new as of last year is the double blue square.  A number of the questionable black diamonds from the past are now double blue squares.  I think this happened when they changed from a "lift map" to a "trail map".

 

There are a number of reasons that Squaw has (mostly) avoided double-blacks.  First is that historically, the maps have rated lifts, not trails.  The lift got the designation of the easiest way down.  Few on-mountain signs existed, although there was a ski patrol map with trails rated.  The old Alex Cushing approach was one of personal responsibility: "We provide uphill transportation; you're in charge of the down."

 

Another reason Squaw has probably avoided double-blacks is that it's a slippery slope.  I mean, if gate 2 of Silverado is marked double-black, then shouldn't Mr. Toad's be triple-black?  What about the Chimney?  Quadruple?  Is Schmidiots a quintuple-black?  At some point, the ratings depend on snow levels and the number of backflips one performs.  At this point, it's time to buy a copy of Squallywood.

Mr Toad's depends.  Not too bad with enough snow, unskiable when someone on a short snowboard sideslips a trench top to bottom in a couple of feet of cement.

 

Good point someone made about waterfall. That one is easy to get sucked into.  I got sucked in today--got too low on skier's left of Wolverine.  No big problem. I just wasn't in the mood for giant icy bumps, but I was in even less of a mood to climb. BTW in today's generous dust on crust conditions. the avy runouts--as in Our Father--were actually really nice--loose enough to turn easily and dense enough to keep from hitting bottom. 

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