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Fun on narrow groomed trails?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I would like to see an advanced slope groomed in a special way in order make some new and interesting fun. This would be done to long slopes that had some some natural rolls instead of some featureless wide slope. The width of the track would be narrow simply the width of one snowcat track. And also instead of the typical straight swath, the track would rather follow the true direct fall line that an advanced skier would tend to follow. Ideally the main fall line would tend to be at the center of the one track. Thus it would require some careful pre-inspection by the grooming crew instead of just barreling down a slope. At resorts with only tree sided runs there might not be any suitable areas since many runs have historically been cut wide and straight without much regard to fall lines. Resorts with open alpine bowls would be able to find some place easy. In either case the best solution would be to find a slope which was already within a known groomable run.

There would have to be some sign that would warn against fast skiing as that would obviously be dangerous when skiers pass. And advice of not stopping on the groomed portion but rather off to the side. There was a time in the not too distant past of litigation paranoia that the suggestion I am making would have not been given any thought by resorts. Fortunately today resorts are opening up dangerous terrain while letting skiers take proper responsibility for their own actions.

Some skiers will predictably not think this is a viable idea. Some of those who tend to mainly make longer turns, may not be interested. Some snowcat operators may tend to resist doing anything that is different. Others might say that anybody can follow such a route anyway so why make it so narrow as to limit the free ways others might descend. At this point I will just say that it will be different... and I think there will be value which I could speculate on but would prefer to evaluate it by experience instead of making arguments. I would like to think there is a little room for experimentation and creativity beyond what is the status quo and to give ideas a chance. Comments from the rest of the members? -dave

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 01, 2001 11:22 PM: Message edited 1 time, by dave_SSS ]</font>
post #2 of 26
It sounds like a great idea. How about limiting ALL groomed runs to one cat width wide. Or maybe even no grooming. Ahhh Silverton.

The resorts could save big bucks on cat fuel costs that they could give back to us in the form of cheaper lift tickets. Speaking of cat fuel, terrain parks sure burn massive amounts.
post #3 of 26
How bout "Fun skiing through the trees" or "Fun in the narrow chute" or eliminate grooming altogether.

I let your "storm skiing shelters" thread slide because I had nothing good to say about it - but when I look at that thread and this one I'm beginnining to think you should try and get transferred to England or Japan where you can ski indoors on carpet - no need for storm shelters. Plus you could draw up your own run and have them build it to your specifications.
post #4 of 26
Dave, betweeen your 3 recent threads, lift status on powder days, storm shelters and this one, it sounds like you want Disney Land not a ski mountain. Bad weather and dealing with gear problems are things seasoned skiers can deal with, with out needing a shelter. There is no way I would want lift status on powder days posted every gaper on the mountain would then know when stuff is opening and it would get tracked out twice as quick. If you want to know when some thing is going to open talk to people and be friendly and you would be surprised what you can find out. With regards to your trail design thread if it is truly an expert run why does it need to be groomed in the first place? If you want a narrow expert run that follows the fall line jump into the trees like most people and the tightness of the trees will control peoples speed not a sign put there by ski patrol. In addition; I have not skied to many resorts in CO, NM or Utah that have all their expert runs cut in a straight line down the mountain ther is some but not many.
post #5 of 26
Uh, I think what Dave_SSS suggests is a great idea. In fact I think the slopes could be divided into say two or three categories. Then we could use flags to mark the course and have a special starting gate with a timer to insure only one person was on the slope at a time. And we could have a timer at the bottom to record how fast we ski. And then we could all get together and see who could do it fastest. We could give it a name...we could call it a "Race" The slope could be called a "Race Course."
post #6 of 26
I think there is some serious snow deprivation going on here.
post #7 of 26
Is it really so important to rag on the guy?
post #8 of 26
Go to Snowbird and ski the miles of cat tracks there.
post #9 of 26
I think I agree with nakona.

Before you guys go ape over groomed slopes, don't forget that grooming is the single most important reason why resorts stay in operation. For every expert who can ski on any terrain, there are hundreds (make that thousands) of mediocre skiers who need groomed runs to enjoy themselves and survive the day. Besides, for a huge population of baby boomers who are getting old, groomed runs are the only way to stay in the sport. These are the people who keep resorts in operation!

Most mountains in the East have modest snow accumulations and huge crowds. After several days of no grooming, slopes would be completely unskiable for everyone but experts. Sounds like a recipe for bankruptcy, not a means to lower ticket costs.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 02, 2001 09:28 AM: Message edited 1 time, by TomB ]</font>
post #10 of 26
I think we should put gates on it, but allow more than one person to ski it at a time, and maybe even time them on the way down... Add features like rolls and jumps to the terrain even! We could only have this built once in awhile on any particular slope, but there would be competitions when it was set up. We could even call it Skier Cross...?? Or something like that. Then even better, people could all buy overpriced midfats to ski only on this slope, but the midfats would have to have cross in their name or they wouldnt be allowed on the slope, this is key to the completion of the course.
Okay enough of that, id rather make my own turns, but a skiercross hill would be fun to race on instead of the usual nastar courses, although injuries would be higher if it were a public event. Does anyone know if its popularity is catching on?? I know some resorts around here are planning on building a skiercross course and having one day that is a skiercross race... It looks like its a lot of fun though, probably will try it this season if i get the chance. Talk to ya'll later
GREG

Oh one more thing for dave, at vail, go ski the old bobsled run, thats what youre looking for i think...
post #11 of 26
At my local mountain, there's an old tow rope trail cut through the woods. It's no longer used and the cable has been removed. It's only about 2-3 ski lengths wide and shaped like a trough. It can only be skied when there's enough natural snow. Here in the east, that's 3-4 times a year. But, when the conditions are right, it's a blast!! The trough effect makes it like a narrow half pipe except it has 800 ft of vertical It's fun climbing the walls and dropping back down into the tow trail.

Of course, as soon as it's skied a half dozen times, it's toast! Than you leave it for the crazy kids who don't give a fig about their ski bases.
post #12 of 26
At Timberline there is a ravine that runs from the Mile to the parking lot behind the lodge that is incredibly fun to run. Like a natural halfpipe with huge walls and all kinds of terrain to play on. I need it...I want it...I can't wait!
post #13 of 26
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nakona:
Is it really so important to rag on the guy?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yea, give Dave a break. He's an engineer, for god's sake, this is the kind of stuff they stay up late thinking about. : (Sorry, Dave, couldn't resist.)
post #14 of 26
they do that at at least one resort: Magic Mountain, VT. Last year after a dumping of about 16 inches, Magic Mountain groomed a single snow cat width of all green circle runs and maybe one or two squares, everything else was left as powder. what a day!
post #15 of 26
Hmmmmmmmm an interesting idea, but do you think it could work here in Washington? With our Cascade Concrete I wonder how long it would take before we were all skiing in a line down that one track.

We can get some incredible death cookies up here. Without grooming we lose a lot of terrain.

O.
post #16 of 26
The part about narrow and winding sounds great! But why on earth would they need to be groomed? Here in the east, there are narrow winding trails with interesting lumps etc - some are in the woods and some are just narrow winding trails. I guess I can see how it might be necessary out west actually to create such things in places where there otherwise would be wide open snow fields, but in my experience, the east is blessed with naturally occuring narrow, winding trails and no special grooming is required.
post #17 of 26
At the resort I ski at there are already some narrow, winding groomed runs through the trees with bumps and rolls, etc... But IMO any groomed run is not an expert run (unless you're going at racing speeds). Steeps that normally require a little bit of effort when covered in powder require absolutely no effort when groomed, at least in my experience.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
LG wrote:
"Dave, betweeen your 3 recent threads, lift status on powder days, storm shelters and this one, it sounds like you want Disney Land not a ski mountain. Bad weather and dealing with gear problems are things seasoned skiers can deal with, with out needing a shelter."

We seasoned skiers can deal with it, I do, but it could be improved. -dave

LG:
"There is no way I would want lift status on powder days posted every gaper on the mountain would then know when stuff is opening and it would get tracked out twice as quick. If you want to know when some thing is going to open talk to people and be friendly and you would be surprised what you can find out. "

As a talkative person I go the extra distance when on an unfamiliar mountain during a powder day, and per my thread I'm quite aware of how locals will view my suggestion. Yeah it's a game for sure. -dave

LG:
"With regards to your trail design thread if it is truly an expert run why does it need to be groomed in the first place? If you want a narrow expert run that follows the fall line jump into the trees like most people and the tightness of the trees will control peoples speed not a sign put there by ski patrol. In addition; I have not skied to many resorts in CO, NM or Utah that have all their expert runs cut in a straight line down the mountain ther is some but not many. "

Not talking about an expert run particularly as an initial experiment just one with say an upper intermediate pitch say 35 to 45% gradient. What you say about the chutes and trees is true and that is where my best skiing is done. I would suspect this is certainly something that many advance skiers able to follow a narrow controlled line may find to their liking. Yes particularly runs in Rockies cut more recently leave islands, trees, rocks etc within many of their groomed slopes and those are the runs I find most aesthetic and enjoyable. My suggestion is an extension of what you are saying with a novel narrow twist. -dave

==============================================
fudman wrote

"...We could give it a name...we could call it a "Race" The slope could be called a "Race Course..." "

Bingo! Very perceptive fudman. Yes that was a source of my idea but thought best to let it lie and see if someone would pick that up. With my suggestion it would be slightly different in that there would be no poles. In the beginning it would just be flat but very soon more interesting shapes would rise WITHOUT the race ruts. -dave
==============================================
Lucky wrote:
"I think there is some serious snow deprivation going on here."

That time of year and for any of us it can't get here too fast. -dave
==============================================
nakona wrote:
Is it really so important to rag on the guy?

Thanks Nakona, I expected it, simper simper. -dave
==============================================
TomB wrote:
"... After several days of no grooming, slopes would be completely unskiable for everyone but experts..."

One thing I've learned over the years is there are many of my fellow advanced skiers that have forever been in a pissing war with anything related to the word GROOM'd. -dave
==============================================
Heluvaskier
"...We could only have this built once in awhile on any particular slope, but there would be competitions when it was set up. We could even call it Skier Cross...??..."

Yeah hahah, that's something related and valid, but different. I'm definitely not thinking fast or race. -dave
==============================================
Lodro wote:
"Yea, give Dave a break. He's an engineer, for god's sake, this is the kind of stuff they stay up late thinking about. (Sorry, Dave, couldn't resist.) "

LOL, guess I'll wait for you to slip up to get even. -dave
==============================================
Sugar Snack wrote:
"Hmmmmmmmm an interesting idea, but do you think it could work here in Washington? With our Cascade Concrete I wonder how long it would take before we were all skiing in a line down that one track..."

Don't worry Sugar S, I'm just talking about some minimal experiment on a run somewhere among the very many runs at resorts. Since mainly advanced skiers would ski it, there would not be a crowd. -dave
==============================================
oboe wrote:
" But why on earth would they need to be groomed?...but in my experience, the east is blessed with naturally occuring narrow, winding trails and no special grooming is required."

Again they don't need to be groomed as I'm not talking about a revolution to change all the groomed trails into one laners or to winch cats down all your favorite spots.. Places like Goat deserve to be left just like they are. -dave
==============================================
Mike B wrote:
"...Steeps that normally require a little bit of effort when covered in powder require absolutely no effort when groomed, at least in my experience..."

My resort regularly winch grooms a few expert slopes some which have particularly steep sections which most good skiers cannot control their speed well on even if they tried. But I not suggesting this be done initially on steep terrain. [img]smile.gif[/img] -dave

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 02, 2001 09:40 PM: Message edited 1 time, by dave_SSS ]</font>
post #19 of 26
Ok people- open up your horizons a little bit. Sure, powder, steeps, chutes, and trees kick a@@, but what's worng with a groomer? I live in Maine, and usually ski Sunday River and Sugarloaf. Yeah, I get out west about once a year, skied Biig Sky a few times. Last year the east got blasted with snow, I can remember 3 different days (sounds little to you people out west) that i was skiing 2 plus feet of untracked powder. It was awesome. But I race, and love the feeling of a gromed slope below my skis, just pure technique and the snow. Some rolling hills, a little bit of air, and the feeling of that awsomely (if that's a word) carved turn. Are you people (not everyone) saying that it wouldn't be fun to have a narrow trail grromed into perfect conditions for speed, but not have to worry about too many irregulatities in the slope? Sure, expert skiers can ski trees, powder bumps and all of that, but just for fun wouldn't it be interesting coming around a bend, off of a roll, about a foot of two in the air, and then landing it perfectly, getting set to carve that next near perfect turn. Damn. I need to ski.
post #20 of 26
Our crew doesn't ski on stink'in groomers. Well just the lift ramp. If you can't handle the conditions maybe you need a lesson. Mt.B has a run called Dilly Dally Alley,don't let name fool you.
post #21 of 26
Hey Dave, your request for that run sounds exactly like the only groomed run down through the east side of the Alberta lift area at Wolf Creek last season. It wasn't on the grooming report or the trail map, and it took about an hour of hounding the lift attendants to get them to tell me about it. I can't remember the name; but it was real catchy, and was a wonderful one width run through trees with variable pitches and absolutely nothing to clue you in on what was up next. First run wasn't that much fun, but subsequent runs were a real hoot! --- OOPS!! ,,,I just remembered: the run was called Sympatico! [img]smile.gif[/img]

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 03, 2001 10:29 AM: Message edited 1 time, by feallen ]</font>
post #22 of 26
Spew is totally right. Winch catting steep slopes is a horrible thing. Here at Mammoth, they blasted off the top of Cornice Bowl back in the eighties, and use a winch cat to groom the life out of it. It used to be a great run (and still is sometimes), but now, they usually groom it after every storm. I guess it is a good thing for racing, as they run FIS SG and DH down it. One thing it really changed was the run's safety. If you fall on Cornice when it's groomed, you are likely in for a fast slide of several hundred verts. Of course this run gets real crowded when it's freshly groomed, so the slider usually takes out another 2 or 3 people. It is actually kind of fun to watch. They should rename it "Tourist Bowl", since they just about never leave the cornice on it.

The only good thing about winch cats, is how you can pull snow up the slope. This is pretty usefull early season, and on dry years. They actually winch cat lots of runs for this reason, that are not that steep. Otherwise, the cats push the snow down the hill.

Is there really such a thing as a "groomed expert run"? Sounds like an oxymoron to me.
post #23 of 26
At Turner there are two groomed runs.
anything that needs to be winch groomed shouldn't be. ever. what blasphemy!!
what the hell is that??
I cannot comprehend how or why a run would be winch groomed, anywhere, for ANY reason!
when the snow is crusty, we ski the crust, damnit. we ski the gnarliest crust we can. instead of skiing, we do big pole plants and hammer our feet into the crust, making weird, jump turns that don't belong on a 30 degree slope.
hahaha. wussy groomers. But Dave, the way I vision your description is something like from Alice in Wonderland. and winding, rolling trail at high speed. I'm definitely for that idea. just a concept, sheesh.
but winch grooming??? thumbs down. thumbs down.


colin
post #24 of 26
I'm not bashing groomed runs, which are pretty fun in most conditions, except a cold day after a warm one. =\
but Dave's idea, to me, sounds really cool.
Like i said before, something out of Alice and Wonderland. pretty good idea, but would be a source for a few bad wrecks, I imagine, unless they screened the people going down it.
i still have not come to terms with that winch grooming idea. unbeleivable. whatever you can groom, groom half of it, whatever you can't, stay the hell away from.
btw, when I say you, i mean they. (mountain directors, as they are probably the people who give orders on what to groom)

colin
post #25 of 26
oh yeah, slider!! "expert groomed run"? maybe ice.
I admit. I lead a sheltered life. I am quite deprived of the nasty conditions people claim to ski. I've pretty much skied four types of snow: powder, crud, crust, and groomed.
No ice. i've hit icy SPOTS, and it scared me sh|tless. i don't think i could deal with the ice. you eastern skiers deserve your notoriety.

colin
post #26 of 26
Skiing doesn't HAVE to be challenging to be fun.
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