Originally Posted by 4ster
I too have spent some time on Grizzly and except for John Paul trarerse, which is a pretty radical sidehill, there isn't much flat, or a real gliding section on that course when compared to other WC DH's...
The Austrians really thought it lacked a gliding section, but they got the gold anyway.
Well, given that the Austrians had the fastest gliding skis at the time (Eberharter's Atomics), it's understandable that they would gripe.
But yeah, Grizzly lacked anything that was glide-friendly. The racers were on-edge for at least 85 percent of the course, given the off-camber traverses and whatnot. When I spoke with the racers (cancelled WC and Olympics), they also bemoaned its short length, but were also quick to praise the technical challenges on the course.
I really wish that Holding & Co. had left the A-poles in place - it's a shame that they don't want to have more races on Grizzly or Wildflower. It'd be nice to have something other than Birds of Prey for World Cups. Granted, there's the possibility of holding WC DH races at Aspen-Ajax (on the old Ruthie's/America's DH course), Copper Mountain, Vail, Big Mountain, Sugarloaf, Mammoth, Squaw Valley, or even on the old Centennial DH course at Beaver Creek.
But Grizzly was a lot of fun, and quite action-packed for a short course - and extremely spectator-friendly (both for folks in the finish area and for folks who were on the mountain). The biggest drawback, though, was that staging races on Grizzly and Wildflower essentially shut down a lot of the expert terrain off of the John Paul lift.
I think that the drawback of Snowbasin is its lack of a decent run for GS or SL. Given the tendency to bunch races at North American venues, it's a major drawback. And I don't think that the FIS considers Park City and Snowbasin close enough to be "single stop."
(Of course, that brings up my ongoing lament about Park City giving up the "America's Opening" races on CB's and Picabo's - a big loss, in my mind.)