New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Selling A Myth? - Page 3

post #61 of 83

The Dream Exists

On two occassions last year I skied virgin powder, both times at Solitude. The first was kind of a fluke -- the lift system wasn't working properly and only the express quad was going on backup. I decided to ski to the day lodge area and noticed Powderhorn had started running right as I came down to it. I got on, and had the first of 10" on a bright, sunny day. With as slow as the lifts are there, I even had the time to admire the snow before I descended.

Time two: Honeycomb canyon at Solitude on a random Tuesday in March. No one was around, and the gates had been open all day. Everyone seemed intent on hiking to the longer chutes far north of the initial drop in area. I set in and probably made 8 turns down the whole canyon and return trail. As for grinning, I was smiling, but only when i got stuck because the snow was too deep for the slope!


I think the type of snow conditions in the pictures exist -- whether it is a "first chair" or simply a place that doesn't get tracked out quickly. But it's there...
post #62 of 83

Don't give away all those secret places now!

Iksnay on the oneyComb Canyonay threadsay ...
post #63 of 83
i think the myth is plausible, just in short supply.

last season i visited Utah for the first time. Rode Brighton in a gropple storm. Rode Alta next day post storm. Managed to get some freshies over to skiers right of Last Chance. And rode Eagle's Nest all by myself at the end of the day (some crazy Philly guy convinced me to follow him and then promptly disappeared!)

At Breckinridge I found a lot of nice little lines up off the T-Bar and New Imperial Chair. While not totally untracked, I was able to pick a line less travelled and spent most of one day all by myself until some folks noticed me enjoying the solitude and started muscling in.

I will echo the w/o a buddy bummer. I often end up riding solo (even though some of my friends claim to be serious skiers/boarders, they thought I was over-the-top with 39 days and 3 out of state trips last season). I have passed up a number of fresh tracks because they are O/B and I'm solo. However, the first time I experienced close to knee deep powder (that wasn't "Sierra Cement") was in Keystone several seasons ago. I found myself on the back peaks by the snowcat terrain. But the sign screamed "Don't ski w/o a buddy!" Since I'd never been to KS before and was solo, I reluctantly skied the other way. Very next ride up the lift, however, I met a couple and we got to talking. When we got off the lift they were like "Are you coming with us into the trees?" I spent the next several runs as their "buddy" for the day, which was great. Haven't had that kind of friendly experience since, which is a bummer, but that day is totally memorable because of it.
post #64 of 83
Thread Starter 

Who Said Anything About Mt. Baker

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbakerskier View Post
Dude, your from Bellingham, with Baker the world snowfall record holder so close, if you cant get fresh tracks a few days or even a week after a storm, OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!!!
I've never seen an ad for Mt. Baker in a skiing magazine. Nor is Mt. Baker a destination resort.

This thread refers to "money shots" placed in ads by Ski Resorts in order to entice bookings.

So, what does that have to do with Mt. Baker?

Or, with me "finding fresh"?

This issue is: what's being sold?

Everyone on this forum is likely willing to hike for fresh, and has their "stashes". We're the fringe.

But, for Mr. & Mrs. vacation planner and their kids, what's the likelihood of experiencing the image sold in the ads?

Your pics, mtbakerskier, are outstanding. And, I've no doubt you're a world-class ripper.

But, is it possible you're being just a tad cranky?
post #65 of 83
hopefully Mr. & Mrs. VP look into the resorts and try to get the most for their money.

then again, if it weren't for those ads, I might never have gone to JH last season (I kept seeing the ads for Tram Week in SKI and then read an article about the final tram...ended up going closing weekend).

we're all victims of advertising, selling us the dream is how money keeps exchanging hands.

the way i look at it a certain portion of people will buy into the ads and book the dream ski vacation. when they get to the mountain and find that it's cold and tracked out and crowded chances are they won't visit again or will give up skiing all together. bottom line, the ads aren't there for the fringe, like us, as you say. the ads are there for the Johns and Janes who might not otherwise have considered such a vacation. Then again, who really is reading SKI, Skiing, Powder, etc.? The Fringe, that's who!

Oh yeah, while on the subject, what about the Warren Miller films? They sell/propogate the myth in a manner of speaking, as well. They come through San Francisco every year and make a big show of it, giving away tickets, advertising on the radio. Don't get me wrong, I go every year, but they're selling the myth of endless powder just as much as the ads in the magazines. And with the added bonus of a chance to win a Jeep, who can resist a trip to the mountains?

Or something like that (just got back from road tripping to Santa Cruz to see the local screening of Corduroy, the new Rage Films ski flick. A little too much jibbing and booter action for my taste, but there's a few slices of BM riding and a smack down worthy of the WWoS agony of defeat award).
post #66 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
I've never seen an ad for Mt. Baker in a skiing magazine. Nor is Mt. Baker a destination resort.

This thread refers to "money shots" placed in ads by Ski Resorts in order to entice bookings.

So, what does that have to do with Mt. Baker?

Or, with me "finding fresh"?

This issue is: what's being sold?

Everyone on this forum is likely willing to hike for fresh, and has their "stashes". We're the fringe.

But, for Mr. & Mrs. vacation planner and their kids, what's the likelihood of experiencing the image sold in the ads?

Your pics, mtbakerskier, are outstanding. And, I've no doubt you're a world-class ripper.

But, is it possible you're being just a tad cranky?
Cranky???? Not at all. I just find it a tad bit odd that you, being based out of Bellingham / Baker would bring this up of all people. Furthermore, It never ceases to amaze me just how many people dont get it especially avid skiers.


I mean seriously, think about it. If I can go out and get the pics, thous condition DO EXIST. There not impossible to find either. You just have to get off of the beaten path. There is nothign special about us photographers, that allow us to "magicaly" find fresh powder, and blue skys. The only thing that sets us apart is that we are willing to work and make more scarafices to get those conditions. Whether it be hike a little more, purposely work lower paying jobs that allow a more flexible schedule etc.

Typicially when I am on an assignment, even a feature assignment, I am lucky to even get 3 or 4 days at an area. Most of the time it's an area that I have never been to, know nothing about, and have no control over the weather. I could show up and it could be pissing rain, it could be rock solid ice, or if I am lucky it is a few days after a storm. I never know. My schedule is ussually set before the season even starts, so I dont exactly get to set my schedule according to the weather. That is no different than what any of you do on vacation. HOWEVER what sets us apart from the general skiing public, is that we try to hook up with a good local skier, treat them with respect, and hopefully they will show us the secret stashes that stay good.
post #67 of 83
and therein lies the ultimate joy of your job (the bit about hooking up with the local skier).

as a journalist going on 20 years in the biz, i can echo MTBS's post. i've worked with enough photographers and gone on location enough to do interviews to know that 75% of it is usually out of your control (the weather, unforseeable complications, sickness, etc.).

perhaps some of us should volunteer to carry photographic gear in exchange for the chance to live the myth?
post #68 of 83
I've lived the myth a number of time. Lots and lots of times as a matter of fact.

Sunny sunday morning at Cannon after 3-4' of -20 degree white smoke over night. Not a cloud in the sky. First two runs didn't touch another track.

A week at Whistler where it snowed 8"-18" every night, and I was finding fresh tracks and full fresh lines all day, every day. Also took a day to go heli skiing.

I've even had a couple of days like that at Whitetail (mid atlantic). Granted, it was snowing, so no blue sky, but it was dumping so hard that your tracks weren't there on your next run. That's saying a lot when a run is only 900' vert or less.

I've had days like that skiing early season at Vermont, too.

But then again, I've also skied a lot in the rain and in 60+ degree wet cement, frozen coral reef, and every other nasty mess ever created on a ski hill.

It just takes time and luck. The more often you get out there, the more likely you are to run into good conditions.
post #69 of 83
Well I for one would rather stick by lifts and get 1 run in untouched pow and 19 runs in cut up pow than get off the beaten trail for 4 runs in one day. But that's just me. If the snow's soft, I don't care if I'm the first one to touch it or not.
post #70 of 83

How can it be special if it's easy and commonly found

I agree in at least one respect with what was said.

Most of the time you need to work for those perfect pow condition turns (even at a place like say Alta, infamous for making you hike). Personally I like that part of it because there is a special satisfaction when you can finally enjoy it. The buzzkill if there is one is that someone may beat you to it ....

The alternate mentality, which we face so often back east (like at Stratton for instance) are the folks for whom nothing is good enough; the snow's not deep enough, it's too deep, the lifts aren't fast enough, the coffee's not hot enough, the pizza's not tasty enough and on and on.

A certain state west of Connecticutt usually comes to mind as the primary source of these but I won't mention it by name since the Yankees are kicking our butts right now ...
post #71 of 83
i'd like to echo JohnH's post...the more days you go the more you increase your chances of realizing the myth.

i've gone from a 10-to-15-day a year Tahoe only skier to a 39 day, 3 state (Wy, Utah, Colo, Ore, Canada trips) skier in the past 2 seasons and I can say that myth days do exist, they're just few and far between. And sometimes the myth is a little off (i.e. knee deep powder, but storming like a mofo, zero visibility, wet as hell). Still, those days when it all clicks makes it worth it.
post #72 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbakerskier View Post
Cranky???? Not at all. I just find it a tad bit odd that you, being based out of Bellingham / Baker would bring this up of all people. Furthermore, It never ceases to amaze me just how many people dont get it especially avid skiers.
It appears you find the premise of this thread offensive; the notion that repeated images of boundless fresh snow with perfect conditions free from throngs - may not reflect the reality most consumers encounter.

Nobody disputes that the reality can be attained - as you often do without "special assistance" from the resort, and as virtually everyone here has done.

It also doesn't suggest that your profession is dishonorable, because the images you've created are used to promote an experience most vacationers seldom realize.

It's not about you, me, Mt. Baker or where we live (how did all that get rolled in?).

The insurance salesmen from Ohio, booking a trip to Heavenly, isn't likely to connect with locals, trek to find fresh, have avy training and equipment, or dare go beyond resort boundaries.

By your reckoning, he therefore only deserves whatever's found on the groomed slopes - NOT what's in the ads. Fair enough.

But, if ad, after ad, after ad, after ad, ONLY shows the opposite - perfect turns on untouched sparkling diamond snow - what's the resort selling?

Imagine going to a high-end steak-house, with enticing photos of perfectly cooked fillet mignon on the menu.

Alas, when your order arrives, it's nothing like the photo. It's dry, tough and tasteless. Upon inquiry, waiter explains that when the chef is in top form, and when the meat is fresh, the image on the menu can sometimes be attained - but not often.

Are you satisfied?
post #73 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
It appears you find the premise of this thread offensive; the notion that repeated images of boundless fresh snow with perfect conditions free from throngs - may not reflect the reality most consumers encounter.

Nobody disputes that the reality can be attained - as you often do without "special assistance" from the resort, and as virtually everyone here has done.

It also doesn't suggest that your profession is dishonorable, because the images you've created are used to promote an experience most vacationers seldom realize.

It's not about you, me, Mt. Baker or where we live (how did all that get rolled in?).

The insurance salesmen from Ohio, booking a trip to Heavenly, isn't likely to connect with locals, trek to find fresh, have avy training and equipment, or dare go beyond resort boundaries.

By your reckoning, he therefore only deserves whatever's found on the groomed slopes - NOT what's in the ads. Fair enough.

But, if ad, after ad, after ad, after ad, ONLY shows the opposite - perfect turns on untouched sparkling diamond snow - what's the resort selling?

Imagine going to a high-end steak-house, with enticing photos of perfectly cooked fillet mignon on the menu.

Alas, when your order arrives, it's nothing like the photo. It's dry, tough and tasteless. Upon inquiry, waiter explains that when the chef is in top form, and when the meat is fresh, the image on the menu can sometimes be attained - but not often.

Are you satisfied?
I guess that now that I have and "editor" title that I should make sure that my comments are "PR" and resvered, but thats not me, I've never bit my toung and aint about to start now, so here is my honest non-PR-bullshit responce:

Why are 90% of the ski photos that you see in the mags and ads sunny bluebird pow days?

-Photography is all about "capturing" the light. Sunny Pow days are just about the ideal conditions for photography. The contrast between sunny and shadow areas create an beatuifull aray of colors, and back lit pow spray, tends to really "pop" out and grab your attention.

In short bluebird pow days are gorgous, the views on those days are unbeleivable, they look great on film, and they speak to our hearts as skiers.

While I personally prefer those 2" an hour pow days that Baker is known for, those days are almost impossible to create good images. There is very little light (remeber photography is all about the light) and every photog I know would rather be ripping botomless pow than standing around shooting pics.

The average skier prefers to ski on sunny days, even if there isnt powder. Just look at the lift line on a clear sunny spring day, vs, a dark, stormy powday. The lift lines always are longer on the sunny day, and the lifts stay busier longer. Most pow days are not as busy.

Your from bellingham and know how few sunny pow days baker gets. So how many storm day, non suny shots have you seen of mine, Vs. How many sunny pow shots? Trust me, it isnt for a lack of shooting on storm days, as I shoot all day everyday.

The inssurance sales men from Ohio, is probally just stoked, to be out of the office, having a change of scenery and the opertunity to realx and not worry about work. Sure he would probally rather have a sunny pow day, every day he is on vacation in (insert skie area name here), but he probally isnt going to go home disapointed, if it is overcast, and well groomed.

Finally, as I stated before, "the dream" isnt impossible to come by, but it just doesnt happen every day. Niether does a pay raise, a winning lottery ticket, etc. Have you ever stoped to think that maybe those good days wouldnt be as good id you didnt ocasionaly have the bad day to remind you how good it is when its good?

(BTW, Baker passes go on sale tomorrow, and remeber when you buy that pass you are buying the dream of more bottomless powdays than you can count )
post #74 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
The insurance salesmen from Ohio, booking a trip to Heavenly, isn't likely to connect with locals, trek to find fresh, have avy training and equipment, or dare go beyond resort boundaries.
No, he'll be down at the Mountain Manager's office at about 10am, beating furiously on the door to complain about the lack of grooming.
post #75 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbakerskier View Post
(BTW, Baker passes go on sale tomorrow, and remeber when you buy that pass you are buying the dream of more bottomless powdays than you can count )
Fair enough.

It's true that everyone's vision of "the dream" is different. Like you, I'd MUCH rather be surfing bottomless pow on a gray storm day than groomers in the sun.

I can also appreciate that the sun makes a world of different to your shots - the contrast of white snow against blue sky creates those compelling, high-impact images.

At Baker, as you indicated, the dream of bottomless is guaranteed (you can't avoid it ). But sun? Not likely, until spring. I'm happy to trade it for our many storm days. We get spoiled with more fresh than almost anyone.

At the end of the day, I don't have strident complaints about the perfect "money shots" shown in resort ads.

I'm bemused that resorts consistently seem to show only those images. But, what travel industry image is any different?

Travel brochures of Thailand don't show Monsoon Season, and golf resorts don't show images of dark rainy days, even when they're located in Seattle.

Truth be told, Mtbakerskier, I've see a lot of your pics, and I find them liberating, a feast for the eyes. They speak to the beauty of our sport, and the perfection we all seek.

While I await those perfect moments, or find someone I trust enough to hike BC with, I'm happy with whatever's on the hill .
post #76 of 83
Most vacationers may not be adept at or even capable of skiing the steep and deep in the photos. But when they are zooming down the blues, they (I/we) feel like they are doing that. the image portrays the feeling we all seek.

I have bad news about Outhouse at Mary Jane. They took down the signs (although the gate is still there for effect) and now groom half of the run into an icey horror. it invites all the people who shouldn't be there to get on it and it ruins what bumps are left over. sad sad.

It is easy to see how the image ads sell resorts, but harder to figure out how they sell skis. Often, even in the PSIA magazine, the ski (and boot) ads tell nothing about the ski's characteristics or construction or anything. who would go buy a ski based on just a photo?
post #77 of 83
The times I get down about not finding the conditions I wanted are as someone suggested when I don't have the time. But that just means I need to reassess my priorities (work, ski, mortgage etc
post #78 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
...

I have bad news about Outhouse at Mary Jane. They took down the signs (although the gate is still there for effect) and now groom half of the run into an icey horror. it invites all the people who shouldn't be there to get on it and it ruins what bumps are left over. sad sad.

...
if you don't know it already, get someone to show you the route through the trees to drunken frenchman. bumps just as good (sometimes even bigger) without the weenie strip on one side.
post #79 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
the weenie strip on one side.
LOL
post #80 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin View Post
I suppose the myth is the dream. I've noticed the most dedicated skiers often come from the places that least resemble the ideal: bony little areas that often have little gnarly tricks through the trees or around the rocks, places where the skiing virtually requires an act of imagination for completion of the experience. Some of those who seem to love the sport the most originally learned to ski on little hills in the Midwest or in the East where a dusting of snow on the boilerplate was a "powder day". Really great skiing requires imagination be engaged.
hell yeah man i hear that take a trip to ski roundtop in south central pa cause you just painted a picture of the place
post #81 of 83
I wish they'd put a few more weenie strips down bump runs actually. Keystone had some on the second mountain. These make teaching bumps so, so much easier. They give breathing space and a bail out option.
Failing that, a bump strip down groomers would be even better!!!!!!
post #82 of 83
I hate them when I'm free skiing. But, for teaching, a groomed slope with a set of bumps in the middle, with groomed on each side, would be greate.
post #83 of 83
While it might be very hard for an out of town vacationer to get a “Dream” powder run in. It is not totally impossible. I grew up on the EC and we did a week each out west every year, plus about every other year I get down to Taos. A couple trips/days come to mind, that as a vacationer I managed to score some really great blue bird powders runs.


(Assuming you are an expert)Take a Private Lesson and ask the instructor to show you around the mtn
At Alta in the mid-80s, my dad and I took a morning private to get our powder technique back. At the end of the lesson, the instructor asked my dad if we wanted to extend it for an hour after lunch and he would hike us up to ski some untracked (hadn’t snowed in a few days). We did and he did. There was a face of side by side power tracks all perfectly spooning one of another. Instructor looked at me and said “don’t break the pattern”. It was one of great ski experience of life (was only 16 at the time). It seems like such of cool thing that everyone followed same pattern to maximize the amount of untracked lines on the face.

When the local pass holders are blacked out.
Two times at Taos I’m been there to during “ski week” when the mtn is full of Texans, but not locals and it dumped. More skiers, but less powder skiers. Both times I got very sweet 1st on the run lines off the hikes and got a couple laps of untracked in.


Currently, I’m one of those “locals” in the early morning powder day line up or hiking out to “Adventure Zones”/side country. Each year I get a few runs in, maybe a morning if I’m lucking, that I think I’m having allot more fun than the people in the ads. And last year was a pretty sweet year…
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion