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Rope off powder slopes to inhibit diagonal crossings?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
I'm going to be inputting a recomendation to the area I ski, to put ropes up in at least one area in order to inhibit inexperienced skiers and especially boarders from inconsiderately moving diagonally across advanced slopes on fresh powder days. The area is a large bowl with a long extending ridge. Some boarders will enter the ridge area about half way to the top of the ridge and instead of taking fall lines, will cut diagonally far along the ridgeline. And I'm not talking about traversing out to an untracked spot and then dropping down the fall line but rather a continuous diagonal as far as they can go along the ridge. Other boarders and skiers will do the short easy hike out along the ridge and then drop down the fall lines. But with these diagonal tracks, the lower half becomes mutilated with all these crossing lines. The particular slope could easily be blocked off with "Don't Cross" signed ropes just a couple hundred feet down the ridge at a key narrow spot the diagonal trackers are forced to go through. I'd like to see this work out in order to consider roping off a few other advanced slopes with like abuse.

It burns me that these boarders have the selfish inconsideratge attitude of wasting good advanced fresh powder slopes with Z-ing and diagonal tracking without our resorts taking any measures to inhibit such. This type of complaint is nothing new to we Western skiers concerning boarders and now I want to do something about it. It would also send a clear message to those that think its ok because others are doing it.

So I'd like to hear what the rest of the community has to say.

...David
post #2 of 51
I don't know; I can see some fool getting caught up in the ropes. Maybe you need a few educational posters, you know with a check mark next to the banana turns down the fall line pattern, and a bar through the traverser.
post #3 of 51
I can see this being useful. One could argue it as a safety issue for those traversers (getting hit from above, getting on terrain/conditions where they don't belong). Of course, most of the places I ski folks wouldn't do that long; they'd get talked-to either by patrol or regulars.
post #4 of 51
Good luck trying to enforce it.
post #5 of 51
More than one boarder I have known has mentioned wanting to keep skiers off a fresh run so that it doesn't turn into a bump run.
post #6 of 51
Sounds like a simple solution to the problem, provided that you enforce it. Now all you need is something to keep novice boarders from sideslipping all the steep sections of powder slopes. Unfortunately it is too easy to be a bad snowboarder and still easily negotiate your way down a steep slope by sideslipping. Great for the bozo that wants to tell his friends he "rode" the black slopes he really can't handle, but bad for anyone who acutally wants to ski or ride the powder on the steep slope.
post #7 of 51
I won't comment one way or the other beyond saying that more ropes would give the rope-duckers even more opportunity for self-gratification.

(and now I'm ducking)
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_SSS
...The particular slope could easily be blocked off with "Don't Cross" signed ropes just a couple hundred feet down the ridge at a key narrow spot the diagonal trackers are forced to go through. ...
Do that and your next problem will be "all those idiots that cross under the ropes". With so many people jonesing for so few resources, there will always be someone that uses up more than their fair share.

Powdr
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
I won't comment one way or the other beyond saying that more ropes would give the rope-duckers even more opportunity for self-gratification.

(and now I'm ducking)
somebody get a rope...
post #10 of 51
It's a great idea, and it works.

Copper Mountain has tried over the years at the bequest of OHG members to allow access to Union Bowl by way of a skiers right traverse from the top of Sierra Lift towards Kaboom. Every time they "try" it it ends up with the ugliest traverse lines accross the bowl.

Traditionally, the access route to Union Bowl is to hike from the top of Sierra Lift an additional ~200 vertical feet up and then another 75 yards east to access the Union Bowl. That hike keeps the Bowl well preserved.

The hike is necessary because ski patrol keeps a 4 rope "fence" along the fallline of skiers left of the bowl. Although, there are some who choose to cut the rope to save themselves the effort of a 10 minute hike.

There is another access route to Union Bowl that doesn't require a hike. But it does require 2 chair lift rides.

I will spend all day lapping Union with a hike for every run.


post #11 of 51
Seven, thanks for that. I was trying to think of examples, but didn't realize that there was the call for that (and from the OHG, too!). However, with my groups, I usually do the two-lift lap that you mention. Most of the OHG members are quite good skiers, but since many of our guests are in the 65-and-up age range, most would prefer not to hike.

Which is just fine with me!
post #12 of 51
Well here goes. I will brace for the howls.

Maybe we should only allow expert skiers (certification required) to enter pristine ski areas. Come on guys. Everybody's gotta learn some how. I have my doubts that all the powder experts were plowing parrallel furrows there first 20 times skiing powder.

I, for one, am not much of a powder skier. We simply don't get much chance out East. I am a fairly strong skier, but my inexperience in powder would virtualy guarantee I would not be capable of farming a powder stash my first few times. We all gotta learn some how.

I do agree that boarders are a pain in the petuzzi. I have three young girls on skis. Our 8 year old has been hit on no less than 7 occassions over the past three years. Never by a skier. Always by a boarder bombing down the hill with little, or no, control. Anyhow, I am a bit off topic. My main point is that not everbody is an expert, so we need to cut each: other some slack. Our ski hills would be closed if they were forced to rely on the income from top 20% of the ski crowd.
post #13 of 51
A better Idea would be to License people to ski and board Powder
post #14 of 51
You guys are running out of intelligent threads to discuss.

This is almost as stupid as license's to ski.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr
Do that and your next problem will be "all those idiots that cross under the ropes". With so many people jonesing for so few resources, there will always be someone that uses up more than their fair share.

Powdr
I resent being called an idiot!
post #16 of 51
No, this is not a stupid thread and does have some merit. At my area you can get off the top of a lift and traverse out and a bit downhill to the left to access 1 bowl and 1 chute. You must sidestep a bit to reach the neighboring chute. There is a double ropeline that keeps the folks who have chosen the inital path from lowdogging into #2 chute. There is a sign that explains that the sidestep ends at the skiers left of Chute #2 and you must enter Chute #s 3 & 4 from above. Our locals appreciate that approach and are the most vocal enforcers of people who attempt to lowdog into chutes 2, 3 & 4.

Traverses that cross good skiing/boarding ruin good skiing/boarding. It has nothing to do with being proficient enough to enjoy the snow or learning how to do so, it is more simple good behavior and not being a lazy muthaf$%ker.
post #17 of 51
Ski-Dad, it's not to keep them off the powder. It's to keep them from traversing across it. Read Seven's post. That's why the Patrol puts those ropes down Kaboom at Copper.
post #18 of 51
bunion, right on.
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
You guys are running out of intelligent threads to discuss.

This is almost as stupid as license's to ski.
I can understand you disgruntled demeanor ...you obviously need more powder in your life.

Once you have satisfied that requirement, then this discussion will take on a more ...how should I say... emotionally meaningful tilt in your life.
post #20 of 51

Traversing Powder

Put up ropes, signs, neons and who is going to enforce these special rules. Well I guess all the REAL powder skiers could pool their money and hire a security guard to stand by the rope with a far reaching pepper spray gun and get the offenders, oh that won't work because goggleswould protect their eyes, so I gues s taser guns. Shoot with a taser if they look amateurish and about to traverse more that 3 feet. Oh don't forget insurance on the guard, work comp coverage, proper clothing, training and the need to put a criminal law firm on retainer.

AND THEN (AS a poster recommended)

Issue Powder License.

I'm sure some PSIA Level 8 persons can be developed but they can only work Full Time and at LEGITIMATE powder meccas. To be licensed to ski powder you have show residency in the Wasatch, CO or TAOS only and prove with affidavits that you have done so for 3 consecutive years. A written, oral and demonstrative (on the powder) test will be given each year on not less that a 6'2" persons knee depth of powder. Your powder license with be embossed with a red-white-blue insignia as follows:

E - White raised letters O - Blue raised letters

G - Red " " A Red/white/blue "EGO"


OR The person who recommended this idea could just go ski Taos where there aren't any boards and I hope no BIG traversers on ski's in Kachina.
post #21 of 51
No offense to the original poster, but frankly I think it's a bad idea.

It's eventually going to get tracked out anyways, so why bother? If you want untouched powder and want to get away from the newbies, just venture into the backcountry.
post #22 of 51
Thread Starter 
Seven, thanks for the post. Great to know a big mountain like Copper hasn't been afraid to take that obvious problem solving tact to corral in abusers. I'm going to reference this Copper example in my letter, thanks again.

Ski-Dad >>>"...Come on guys. Everybody's gotta learn some how..."

As an Easterner, you don't seem to understand open Western skiing in timberline and above timberline slopes. There is considerable terrain at all skier ability levels for those that wish to practice and learn on. Thus most powder skiing at all levels are not on forest cut runs. Addditionally novices ought not be practicing powder skiing on advanced slopes because they first need to learn to do so on lower gradients. If such skiers have already mastered those easier slopes they won't be one of those making diagonal tracks.

Powdr >>>"Do that and your next problem will be "all those idiots that cross under the ropes". With so many people jonesing for so few resources, there will always be someone that uses up more than their fair share."

Ropes can be put up in different ways. The most common is the single rope or orange fluourescent tape strung across a length of poles. Such does not always indicate one is not supposed to cross under because they are sometimes used like a stop sign to force skiers to for instance look up the hill before ducking under then proceeding across. Simply adding signs to such a barrier is unlikely to inhibit some that wish to cross from doing so. The more effective method that sends an absolutely clear message to those unclear about the meaning of the barrier is to put a second or third rope or tape a foot or so up from the ground in order to make it quite difficult to cross without maliciously cutting the ropes. In the case of the location my proposed barrier would be placed at, it quite in view of lift riders, so they won't have to worry about a fool taking his knife out to go across.

...David
post #23 of 51
The thing that is missing AGAIN in threads like this the the message of education.

Why is that rope up, what does it means?

In another thread someone invokes the silly yet absorbing game of golf. There are those who play backalley golf in which there are few if any rules. There are those who view it as a sacred pastime in which penalty strokes may be applied for the most minor infractions. In either case there is a certain baseline of rules that must be followed such as, you have to tee off from a designated location and at the end, the ball must end up in the hole.

It isn't that hard to ask people to at least follow those rules is it?

By the same line of thinking, is it so difficult to grasp that on some portions of the mountain the policy may be, enter at the top point A, exit at end or at the bottom point B . I don't really care what you do from point A to point B, big turns, small turns, straightline what ever. enterting a slope and creating a traverse across the middle of terrain makes for bad and skiing/riding end of story. And shows a profound lack of understanding for what skiing is about.

Pete and Aaron, I think you are confused about the goal of the ropes/barriers.
post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeskinow
I resent being called an idiot!
Well, 'round here you are an idiot for crossing ropes because not only are you endangering your own life, you are endangering others too. When it comes to snow safety, I take a very militant stance on minimizing risk and take those that don't to task.

Powdr
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr
Well, 'round here you are an idiot for crossing ropes because not only are you endangering your own life, you are endangering others too. When it comes to snow safety, I take a very militant stance on minimizing risk and take those that don't to task.

Powdr
So this is now a safety thing. Roping off access to protect powder stash. Powder, I'm sorry but this is not a safety issue even where "you're from". Ropes described here in should be ducked and made up bullshit like this will only encourage more contempt for ropes. Ropes should only be put up to mark areas that a dangerous, risky, unsafe.
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski-Dad
Well here goes. I will brace for the howls.

Maybe we should only allow expert skiers (certification required) to enter pristine ski areas. Come on guys. Everybody's gotta learn some how. I have my doubts that all the powder experts were plowing parrallel furrows there first 20 times skiing powder.

I, for one, am not much of a powder skier. We simply don't get much chance out East. I am a fairly strong skier, but my inexperience in powder would virtualy guarantee I would not be capable of farming a powder stash my first few times. We all gotta learn some how.

I do agree that boarders are a pain in the petuzzi. I have three young girls on skis. Our 8 year old has been hit on no less than 7 occassions over the past three years. Never by a skier. Always by a boarder bombing down the hill with little, or no, control. Anyhow, I am a bit off topic. My main point is that not everbody is an expert, so we need to cut each: other some slack. Our ski hills would be closed if they were forced to rely on the income from top 20% of the ski crowd.
A very sensible post, IMHO. No expert should have the right to stop others learning to become expert skiers/snowboarders. And traversing is part of learning. And not everyone wants to, or is capable of, hiking. But didn't we discuss all this about 4 weeks ago?
post #27 of 51
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion
Traverses that cross good skiing/boarding ruin good skiing/boarding. It has nothing to do with being proficient enough to enjoy the snow or learning how to do so, it is more simple good behavior and not being a lazy muthaf$%ker.
I'm not sure if ski areas should force people to hike to in-bounds terrain that can be reached via a traverse. Not everyone skis 100 days a year, lives at altitude, or is young and fit. Someone who only skis 1 week per year, and has just paid some exorbitant price for a lift ticket, may regard hiking as time wasted, time in which he/she could be making turns.
Expert skiers who don't take account of this are doing a disservice to what is, in general, a pretty inclusive sport.
If you want a hike which will guarantee you an untouched line, the only way is probably to go into the backcountry. But even then, in some areas you may have to dodge snowmobilers - which is a discussion for another day.
post #29 of 51
Martin, you are certainly entitled to your opinion and I to mine.
The teraain controlled in this manner in my area is not expert terrain, it is beyond what is double diamond at most ski areas. The hikiking serves as a limiting factor. You would need to see it and to ski it to understand. BTW, you are from Taos eh? You happen to know a kid who grew up there name David Dobbs?


Free, at some areas, the ropes may be up to divide and area and keep part of an area closed and skiers safe from avalanche danger above. Again you wish to take on the position of deciding what is safe and what is not. Snowbird uses vertical ropes to delineate what is open quite a bit.

My job is better than your vacation...

Another example of someone who just won't get it
post #30 of 51
Common practice for the backside at Alta is to close off the easy traverse until an hour or so after the hike has been open. Once it's been tracked, they drop the rope so you can cut a traverse in without hiking. Problem solved. Hiking for a few minutes isn't going to kill you.

Out on the shoulder where there's a sidestep to get up to maximize the slope, they often put up a sign telling you not to cut in a low traverse (again, only applies until things are tracked up). I don't even think the sign needs to be there now - if someone cuts low, they're going to get more than an earful from the people hiking. If you drop off the hike, you better go straight down.

I'm sure there are other areas on just about any mountain where you can ski powder without destroying the slope for those willing to put forth the effort to hike.
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