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Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic question

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Figured someone on this site would know this answer. I remember back in '02 Snowbasin hosed the men's downhill and I think PCMR hosted some other ski/board races.

Were any of the Cottonwood Canyon resorts used? If not what was the reason for this? Besides SB and PCMR what other mountain resorts facilities were used?

Thanks.
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post
Were any of the Cottonwood Canyon resorts used?
No. When I was in Snowbird last season, I was told that it was because an Olympic venue needs to have at least two access routes.
post #3 of 21
Big negative on the LCC/BCC. No way would SOC (Save Our Canyons) allow that. Here's the breakdown of events:


Alpine:
- SL; Deer Valley
- GS; PCMR
- SG; Snowbasin
- DH; Snowbasin
- Combined; Snowbasin

Freestyle:
- Aerials; Deer Valley
- Moguls; Deer Valley

Snowboarding:
- GS; PCMR
- Halfpipe; PCMR


I think that was it, but might have missed something.

Powdr
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post
Figured someone on this site would know this answer. I remember back in '02 Snowbasin hosed the men's downhill and I think PCMR hosted some other ski/board races.

Were any of the Cottonwood Canyon resorts used? If not what was the reason for this? Besides SB and PCMR what other mountain resorts facilities were used?

Thanks.
No events were held in LCC/BCC. Thats was one thing Utah didn't want do , due to the narrow canyons. Having thousands more people go into them each day would of been a major traffic nightmare. Plus if the roads were closed( and they do close often)due to Avalanch control. How would you house every one.
Deer Valley hosted all the freestyle ski events.As well as the Giant Salom events.
Champion was created to be the steepest Olympic Mogul run ever. White Owl, used for the airials was there from day one of the resort. Know you Don't was the GS course. All runs are opented to the public, unless there are events going on
It is still used yearly for the huge airials even they hold every year. This year they get to host the FIS World Championships again. They held them a few years ago. The competors have said they enjoyed competing at DV,because of how the resort hosts the event.

The Canyons resort hosted the Today Show.

The cool thing about working at DV (88-03) during the games,NBC had placed tv's in the employee dining rooms, and they were showing live feed from each event that was taking place. So you could go in at break, and see what was happening over at PCMR and the snowboarding events, or look at Snowbasin, and watch the Alpine events.

The funnest thing i saw, was Natiional Park Rangers, up from the Everglades, for added security, trying to learn how to drive snowmobiles.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoetr View Post
Deer Valley hosted all the freestyle ski events.As well as the Giant Salom events.
Actually Powdr is correct, PCMR hosted both the GS Alpine events while DV hosted the Slalom events - I acutally saw Costelic win her (I think it was her third) Gold medal in the women's slalom at DV in a bit of a snow/slush storm.

I believe a big reason for the Cottonwoods not being in involved in the Olympics (starting with the bid) was the lack of adequate spectator access to the events with just the single lane canyon roads. And even with busses it would be difficult and environmentally unfriendly to host events in those canyons.
post #6 of 21
As a side note. It was a lot of fun living and working in Park City during the Games.
post #7 of 21
I thought this was going to be about hookers.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49 View Post
As a side note. It was a lot of fun living and working in Park City during the Games.
Indeed it was.
post #9 of 21
I was in PC back in 02 just before the Olympics - a few events were over near the Canyons as I recall - ski jumps and XC I think.

That was a great acheivement at the time. A relative of mine was involved in the operational side for that one and they really did a great job pulling it off. In the wake of 9-11 there were a lot of concerns obviously.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I would imagine that most first time visitors attending the games didn't even realize that the "greatest snow on earth" is NOT in the PCMR area/Snowbasin but up in the Cottonwoods!

Forget driving logistics...where would you put the downhill, super G, etc. in LCC or BCC? What resort and trails would be best?
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post
Thanks guys. I would imagine that most first time visitors attending the games didn't even realize that the "greatest snow on earth" is NOT in the PCMR area/Snowbasin but up in the Cottonwoods!

Forget driving logistics...where would you put the downhill, super G, etc. in LCC or BCC? What resort and trails would be best?
Well.......

I think a big issue is that for a major race you want the finish line to be at the base village of the ski area. That means you need fairly open runs leading to the base, and those runs should neither be "too" steep nor "too" flat. That's a significant problem at the Cottonwood ski resorts.

First off, I'm sure that some of our more serious racers will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that THREE of the four resorts in the Cottonwoods have enough vertical to even qualify to host a FIS downhill. I think maybe the FIS requirement for a downhill is about 2,700 vertical, and Snowbird is the only resort with more than that. I don't think the FIS requirements EXACTLY apply to an Olympic downhill, but I do believe that a downhill held at Alta, Brighton, or Solitude would be a pretty short, pretty boring affair.

Snowbird, on the other hand, doesn't really have what I would consider to be a "good" location for a downhill. I think both the Chip's and Regulator Johnson sides are actually too steep to make for a full-on, down-the-fall-line downhill course. I think the gates would have to be set across the hill too often to keep the speeds manageable. Either one could probably be a very good Super G, however.

Solitude could host a very nice GS, I think, but the final pitch to the base area is probably too flat to host a good slalom.

The final runs to the base of Alta are either too flat or too steep (or narrow) for slalom. Perhaps GS would work.

That's about it, IMHO. :
post #12 of 21
One thing you have to keep in mind is that for races you don't want the light and dry snow Utah is known for. The Down Hill at Snowbasin was put on hold, becuse there was to much snow.
post #13 of 21
The 2002 Men's Olympic Downhill course was 2,950' vertical & quite steep both at the start 70% grade & the finish 74%. Fritz Strobl won with a time of 1 minute 38 seconds. Compared to Wengen at about 2.5 minutes, the Olympic course although technical, was lacking any long flat gliding sections.

IMO, Snowbird could have a killer Downhill either down Chips, or preferably on the Gad side. There are probably a few good jumps & compressions in there as well. They would probably need to widen the run in a few areas, but the lentgth and vertical would be fine. Definately not too steep for a men's DH.
Thanks,
JF
post #14 of 21
What Bob said.

FYI, here's a link to all current courses registered with the FIS.

Snowbird has a Super G homologation for Mineral Basin. No FIS courses are approved for Brighton, Solitude or Alta - this too reflecting those resort's commitment to racing -

To hijack this thread, the best DH in the Lower 48 used to be at Jackson Hole - down the Gros Ventre at 1100m vertical. It was last used in '75.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
The 2002 Men's Olympic Downhill course was 2,950' vertical & quite steep both at the start 70% grade & the finish 74%. Fritz Strobl won with a time of 1 minute 38 seconds. Compared to Wengen at about 2.5 minutes, the Olympic course although technical, was lacking any long flat gliding sections.

IMO, Snowbird could have a killer Downhill either down Chips, or preferably on the Gad side. There are probably a few good jumps & compressions in there as well. They would probably need to widen the run in a few areas, but the lentgth and vertical would be fine. Definately not too steep for a men's DH.
Thanks,
JF
I did spend many days two different winters as a course crew worker on the Grizzly course (the Men's Olympic Downhill) at Snowbasin. I'm actually looking at my framed poster of the course as I type this. So, I'm pretty familiar with the Grizzly course in full race conditions.

I also had a Snowbird season pass for quite a few winters, so I've definitely skied Snowbird a time or two. The Grizzly course has four somewhat sustained flatter gliding sections separated by significant steeps. The steeps on Grizzly are certainly steep, but they're not nearly as long as the steeper sections of both the Peruvian and the Gad sides of Snowbird.

So, my own estimation is that - when compared with Snowbasin - the steeps are longer at Snowbird and the flats are shorter. To me, that means a downhill would have to be very turny to keep the racers at a relatively safe speed. I'm sure a Snowbird course could be very interesting technically, however.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by whygimf View Post
Snowbird has a Super G homologation for Mineral Basin. No FIS courses are approved for Brighton, Solitude or Alta - this too reflecting those resort's commitment to racing...
Indeed - it's all about the commitment.

The Serenity run at Solitude (off the Eagle Express chair) used to be FIS homologated for GS, but they let the certification lapse once the three teams training on said hill either left for Park City (Rowmark Ski Academy and the University of Utah) or folded (Solitude Ski Team). Since their departure, the management at Solitude has aimed at different priorities than alpine racing.

Brighton has a ski and snowboard team, but they aren't as focused on FIS-caliber racing as the teams that train at Snowbird, Park City or Snowbasin.

Additionally, the requirements for full FIS homologation have evolved over the years, both due to changes in ski technology and acceptible safety standards. Also, some resorts may no longer be willing to be potential hosts for high-liability events (e.g. SG and DH). Some examples:
  • Sun Valley, ID, used to have FIS homologation for a DH course on the River Run side (the first 45 seconds of the course took place on a narrow cat track that had very little room for error, as well as insufficient A and B netting). They let said certification lapse due to safety concerns in the wake of Muffy Davis' training accident on the Warm Springs side.
  • Ski Sunrise, CO, used to have FIS homologation for all four alpine disciplines, but let said certification lapse in the mid-1990s.
  • Although still listed as homologated, the Grizzly DH/SG and Wildflower DH/SG courses at Snowbasin aren't likely to be used again anytime soon, as Snowbasin removed the A-netting support poles from the slope in 2003.
But back to the idea of having a FIS-level DH at Snowbird: I think you'd actually have more sustained flats at Snowbird than on the Grizzly DH course. On this Chips/Cirque side, the start would have more sustained steeps than Grizzly (akin to the top of the Nakiska DH used in the 1988 games), but would have some formidable flat in the middle, followed by more steep stuff at the bottom. On the Gad Valley side, it would be more rolling, and some of the terrain at the top could be spectacular (e.g. the whale-rollers in the Gad Cirque/Shireen area), but the finish (down Big Emma) would be very, very flat and uneventful for spectators.

The beauty of Grizzly (and, to some extent, Wildflower) was that it constantly rolled and bucked, with a lot of off-camber bumps that belied its short length. It wasn't an easy course to ski well, and wasn't popular with a lot of national teams for this reason - but it sure made for a helluva show for folks working the course.
post #17 of 21
"On the Gad Valley side, it would be more rolling, and some of the terrain at the top could be spectacular (e.g. the whale-rollers in the Gad Cirque/Shireen area), but the finish (down Big Emma) would be very, very flat and uneventful for spectators."

That was my picture of a DH at Snowbird exactly. I did not think about the bottom being uneventful for spectators, that is a good point.

Bob P. I am not as familiar with Snowbird, and you may very well be correct, I was just trying to visualize it. I did picture the top as being technical (personally I like technical), and the length is about right.

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.

Over the 3 years that the course was used, Super Series, cancelled WC and the Olympics, I spoke with many of the racers. Most of them loved skiing it, but wished it was a little longer. The Austrians really thought it lacked a gliding section, but they got the gold anyway.

Sadly as Songfta stated, the A-net poles are gone and it may never be raced again...
Thanks JF
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
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.)
post #19 of 21
I see your point(s) about Grizzly. It seemed like there were a lot of straight sections, but you're right that it was seldom "flat-ski" straight. They were almost always on edge. Be that as it may, I agree completely about what a spectator-friendly course it was. I was thirty feet from the Buffalo Jump (the last jump right above the steep final schuss) and it was just a hoot.

Thinking about that long, steep drop to the finish at Grizzly, I'm coming around to agreeing with you guys that maybe a downhill at Snowbird would be pretty interesting.

Speaking of early races, is anybody going to be at the Beaver Creek Races? By a lucky quirk of fate, we're attending the wedding of a friend's daughter in Beaver Creek that same weekend. I'm planning to watch as many of the races as I can without being TOO obvious about ducking the wedding events.

I was talking not long ago with a contact from my course crew days at Snowbasin who is now doing course prep for FIS. She will be there for the Birds of Prey courses and is going to try to get me access to the course during training. That would be outstanding.

I'll get to watch Bode sweep everything on his hot new Heads. :
post #20 of 21
You're a lucky guy Bob! I doubt that I will make it there, unless there is no skiing at home. Then, you never know...
If you do get on the course, you should try and get up on that cranking, steep turn right after the flats at the top, for a while. Those guys can get some extreme angles going there. To bad Rahlves won't be there, but Bode should provide some excitement.
Have fun, I shall live vicariously through you!
JF
post #21 of 21
@Powdr - thanks for your post. I could not recall where the Olympic events were held... and for the other posts about racing/competition in Utah, thanks also
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