Well, now things are getting interesting around here! I think I'm going to go to VK's Nastar course inspect it, wear a speed suit (I'll have to buy one), and brush my skis off just to get all the free stuff! (could I trade the shrink for a massage?)
I've decided to stay in my camp.
>>There are plenty of Anthill-Alps ski areas that are flat par-threes with snow on them that have created millions of skiers too...to you they are probably an abomination as well, but it is were we all start.<< - Robin
No, not at all... I learned to really ski on, well a Molehill (800 vert). Nothing wrong with the hills, I mean where are yah gonna go? But if the ownership started doing things that made you loose interest in skiing (don't know what that would be), that would be an abomination.
Yeah Nastar gets people to take a run or two but does it really get them interested in racing? Sure there are exceptions, Todd might set an interesting course but that's rare.
I like ed's idea for recreational racing. This is what I'm talking about. We need more programs like that. If Nastar is taking up the space both physically and in the fact that the mountain doesn't want to think about -more- racing as in : "Hey- we've got Nastar, why do we need anything else?" If it's taking up this space and preventing more in depth experience then it should go.
The reason I call it an abomination is I think it's preventing people from experiencing racing or even getting an idea of what it's about. Yeah courses are won on the flats and you've got to be good to win Nastar and get better etc. but it's just such a limited experience that I don't think people get an idea of the athleticism of racing.
Here's how I come to this. I've had very little actual racing experience. Where I learned to ski I couln't be on the team because I didn't live there. (stupid eh?) Anyway, I was taught pretty much by racers. I liked racing (even though I didn't do it) and took on most of that "style" of skiing. People would always assume I raced a lot by the way I skied. So I would do Nastar occasionally but it really never interested me at all. It just seemed so nit-picky. The course so straight, I don't know but it never got me going at all. Yet I really "liked" racing! I never really thought about this at the time, but here was a race course, I really liked racing, yet I could give a damn about the course! There's something wrong there!
There's a lot more to say but I've got to go...
But o.k.. Vk talks about the race and all that's required for it -brushing skis, speed suit etc.. Yeah that's a race and necessary but that's not what I'm getting at. It's more "racing" - running gates and learning the tactics, learning the skiing technique and putting them together in a course. Show people this and I think they could start to understand why it's an interesting thing to do to ski around these stupid gates.
I've run only 3 real races (bib,time) yet I've run a bunch of courses with instruction. I can tell you that I've had probably one of the best sequences of turns and movements I've ever done in one of those courses. I can remember the whole sequence. It was awesome. Yet no speed suit, no time, none of the trappings of a "race", but an incredible experience. A little taste of a world cup run in something I could actually do. That's pretty cool.
Yet Nastar never interested me.
(Also, in this same course were people who had next to no experience, and yes even a 7 year old. Everyone's running the same course! - but it was set by someone who knew what he was doing and we inspect, practice individual turns etc.)
Nastar seems just about the time. The experience of racing is a lot more than the time. People aren't going to go anywhere by learning to race but why not let them see what it's about? If Nastar is preventing this experience then it's an abomination and should go.