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Sugarbush to Focus on Moguls at Mt. Ellen

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Full text of article from mogulskiing.net (and AlpineZone news) below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulskiing.net
WARREN, Vermont -- Thirty years ago, freestyle skiing meant moguls, ballet, trees, and big mountain skiing. The term has become skewed of late, referring mostly to terrain parks. This season, Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont informs mogulskiing.net that they are reviving the old definition of freestyle skiing at its Mt. Ellen area. The 2600' vertical mountain (at 4083' elevation, third highest in Vermont) will offer mogul terrain for all abilities, and will encourage skiers to learn and appreciate all of the natural aspects of skiing.

Sugarbush plans to be at the forefront of the revitalization of freestyle skiing at Mt. Ellen. Embracing a primary goal of creating an appreciation for and understanding of mogul skiing, tree skiing, powder skiing, and mountain adventure, Sugarbush hopes not only to capture the existing market for such an offering, but also to inspire all skiers to learn and enjoy these integral parts of the skiing world.

Spearheading this project is Mt. Ellen VP & General Manager, Dan Torsell. Torsell has been a ski industry fixture for more than thirty years, and has been with Sugarbush since 2005. His passion for freestyle skiing (the old definition, of course) began in the late '70s, and he has nurtured it through his career.

"I'm really excited because I've always been a proponent of mogul and freestyle skiing," Torsell tells mogulskiing.net. "I'm excited because we have decided upon a direction for the mountain; we're giving it an identity. We're making it a home for mogul skiers. I want it to be known by mogul skiers as the place they want to go."

To see him ski a zipperline on Cliffs or Tumbler, or execute a tip-drag 360 on Straight Shot, one would never suspect he turns 52 in March. He is bringing his freestyle passion to the forefront at Mt. Ellen this season by creating an operational plan and programming that will support, promote, and teach mogul skiing, and all of the natural facets of skiing.

Part of the operational plan includes offering mogul terrain for all ability levels. Most ski areas offer some mogul terrain, but often it is only on the steepest and most difficult trails.

"We want to provide a mogul skiing experience for everyone, from novice to expert, because I think once you get caught up in it, it's something you'll never want to get out of. Many people are afraid or intimidated and never have the opportunity to experience it," Torsell muses. "We want everyone to enjoy the thrill of skiing moguls with the hope that eventually they will feel confident and enjoy skiing the more difficult terrain."

According to Torsell, skiers can expect to find moguls on novice, intermediate, and advanced terrain. Some will form naturally, and others may be helped along by patrollers, instructors, and local mogul skiers "skiing in" good lines. On tree skiing, Torsell becomes somewhat sentimental.

"There's a sense of serenity," he suggests. "It's like you're in the temple of the ski world. It takes you out of the hubbub of the mainstream resort environment and puts you one on one with the essence of the alpine experience." Mt. Ellen offers six marked and maintained tree skiing areas. As a parting thought Torsell says, "I invite everybody to come and try it. As the Sugarbush slogan suggests, we want to give all skiers the chance to 'Be Better Here.'"


Mt. Ellen VP & General Manager, Dan Torsell

Mt. Ellen at Sugarbush is located in Fayston, Vermont, 45 miles from Burlington International Airport, and is 3 miles from the Sugarbush Lincoln Peak resort area. Mt. Ellen is scheduled to open for the 2008/09 ski season on December 19th. Visit www.mogulskiing.net/sugarbush.html for our mogulskiing.net review of, and information about Sugarbush. Visit www.sugarbush.com for official information on the resort and the Mad River Valley, Vermont.


Thoughts?
post #2 of 58
Sweet
post #3 of 58
Honestly, it makes me want to find a way to scam a 'Bush ticket sometime this winter and go see what the hype is all about!
post #4 of 58
Looks like we might have found a home for Bumpfest 09
post #5 of 58
So long as mogul==natural terrain I'm all for it. Don't like seeded bumps though!

Well maybe groom the edges so in case I need to bail ....
post #6 of 58
North needed something to bring it up to it's full potential and this might be it. I think it's a great idea and will make what's now a good mountain potentially a really good mountain.
post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Looks like we might have found a home for Bumpfest 09

So when is that going to be Phil? And might as well hit up MRG the next day, eh?


Mt. Ellen, the Mary Jane of the east


Bush, are there enough good bump skiers at SB to make a bunch of runs with really nice zipper lines?
post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

So when is that going to be Phil? And might as well hit up MRG the next day, eh?


Mt. Ellen, the Mary Jane of the east


Bush, are there enough good bump skiers at SB to make a bunch of runs with really nice zipper lines?
I usually have it the first weekend in April, but hope to be out in Big Sky then. I WILL be up at MRG/Bush the 3rd weekend in Feb, that might be an option.
post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
3rd weekend in Feb, that might be an option.
I'll just be getting back home from the Gathering that weekend. Early/mid March a possibility?
post #10 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post
Mt. Ellen, the Mary Jane of the east

Precisely!
post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Looks like we might have found a home for Bumpfest 09

EXACTLY what I was think'n
post #12 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Looks like we might have found a home for Bumpfest 09


You'll have the Mt. Ellen GM's support. I chatted with him about the possibility, and the response was definitely positive. If you'd like to get in touch, shoot me a PM.
post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ct55 View Post
Well maybe groom the edges so in case I need to bail ....
That's what the trees are for

On a serious note, I'm not a big fan of part groomed/part bumped. I know they serve their purpose but I don't usually care to ski them as the bumps there are too often very irregularly shaped, spaced and sized. If I were a better skier it probably wouldn't matter but right now odd bumps and odd lines are way tougher to deal with than the prospect of not having an easy exit.

Just my $.02
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post
Sweet
What he said.

I wish they'd do that at plain old Sugar Mountain too. Alas that is a big snowboard haven so they will never allow bumps to survive there.
post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post
On a serious note, I'm not a big fan of part groomed/part bumped. I know they serve their purpose but I don't usually care to ski them as the bumps there are too often very irregularly shaped, spaced and sized. If I were a better skier it probably wouldn't matter but right now odd bumps and odd lines are way tougher to deal with than the prospect of not having an easy exit.
I avoid bump runs with a "groomer escape" down the side like the plague. I find the bump shapes that form in those situations are an absolute nightmare to deal with.
post #16 of 58
Gosh I'm hoping to amp up my bump skillz this year.
post #17 of 58
This is fantastic news! Particularly the existing of Intermediate bumps. "Blue" bumps are really hard to find in the east. There's tons of them in Colorado, and it's done a world of good for my skiing.

I'll be there this season, count on it!
post #18 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
I avoid bump runs with a "groomer escape" down the side like the plague. I find the bump shapes that form in those situations are an absolute nightmare to deal with.

Actually, the best way to deal with this is to let the bumps form first, then groom whichever side has worse lines.

This is why it is so key that the GM, Dan, is a solid bump skier. He can make those assessments both from an industry standpoint, and from a bump skier's standpoint.
post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushMogulMaster View Post
Actually, the best way to deal with this is to let the bumps form first, then groom whichever side has worse lines.

This is why it is so key that the GM, Dan, is a solid bump skier. He can make those assessments both from an industry standpoint, and from a bump skier's standpoint.
You still get the advrerse affects from folks traversing from side to side across the bumps a lot more on runs with half and half.
post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushMogulMaster View Post


You'll have the Mt. Ellen GM's support. I chatted with him about the possibility, and the response was definitely positive. If you'd like to get in touch, shoot me a PM.
We will talk when we get closer.

Ideally, I would like to do Bumpfest later in the year than earlier, due to longer warmer days. I know I will be up at 'Bush that weekend, thats why I was thinking that weekend. We have some time to decide.
post #21 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
You still get the advrerse affects from folks traversing from side to side across the bumps a lot more on runs with half and half.
Interesting. That hasn't been my experience at all, and I've skied lots and lots of half&half trails. Some of the best bumps I've ever skied at Mt. Ellen have been on Elbow and Cliffs when they were 1/2 groomed.

As long as you've got good bump skiers ripping the lines everyday, they'll be fine.

Here again, this is why we want to promote and teach proper mogul skiing, so that as time progresses, skiers will become more and more competent in the moguls and will not "ruin" the lines anymore.

I'm going to work on a little video series this year for mogulskiing.net, and I will be doing it all at Mt. Ellen. Hopefully this will prove a useful addition to the technique guide
post #22 of 58
It would be interesting to know if Sugarbush now plans to offer (better) mogul instruction for snowboarders.

I've taken lessons in mogul riding at several resorts, Sugarbush included, and I've generally been underwhelmed.

One thing I've always liked about Sugarbush is that they already do let some easier runs stay moguled up -- Walt's Trail at Mt. Ellen and Birch Run at Lincoln Peak come to mind.

They're not planning on moving the park from Sunny D are they?
post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushMogulMaster View Post
As long as you've got good bump skiers ripping the lines everyday, they'll be fine.
I'd say the lack of poor bump skiers is more important.

I like the approach of letting the hole piste bump up before grooming half of it but it seems to me that it's likely the bumps will only get worse after the grooming takes place.
post #24 of 58
What's the name of the steepest trail on Mt Ellen, and is it going to be all bumps? As I recall the wide open steep trail at the top (FIS??) was steeper than any trail at MRG. If that trail were all natural bumps it would be challenging and fun.

I skied Stein's with soft blown snow with huge bumps and pretty good lines. That's a pretty steep trail and that day was a blast.

I'd like to give Mt Ellen a try. Last time I was there was 1972

This is a good thing. I don't like half groomed trails. It reminds me of Killington
post #25 of 58
I actually think the key is to have a variety of slopes angles and levels to get better. Same thing on tree runs. Places like Ragged or Bolton are great for kids and intermediates to get a somewhat easier version of trees for instance. Agree on the blue bump runs - helps beginners to get a better feel for them. Natural bumps are great because it seems the lines kind of form the best way. Although they do move. I'm thinking of that time lapse photography someone once posted that shows the bumps migrating up the hill over time - wild. Makes sense in some way though.

I was referring earlier if they had a seeded run it's nice to have a flat side too.
post #26 of 58
Being a weenie bumper with inadequate skills, I like to find a place that has some moderate bump runs to play on, if that's possible.
Is this a goal when places like Sugarbush focus on moguls? Something for each stage of mogul skill building?
post #27 of 58
If that one run I was referring to is all bumped up natural, it will be a very difficult trail - especially if it r*ins

I hope they do a variety of bump runs with some easier ones too. Skiing chute at MRG is challenging and rewarding, sometimes, but I can't run laps on that one any more

The lines at MRG are beautiful and I hope they will be similar at Glen Ellen.

Being at the top of Glen Ellen on a sunny day, good snow and lots of bumpers could be a real good time. Hope this all comes together.
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
If that one run I was referring to is all bumped up natural, it will be a very difficult trail - especially if it r*ins

I hope they do a variety of bump runs with some easier ones too. Skiing chute at MRG is challenging and rewarding, sometimes, but I can't run laps on that one any more

The lines at MRG are beautiful and I hope they will be similar at Glen Ellen.

Being at the top of Glen Ellen on a sunny day, good snow and lots of bumpers could be a real good time. Hope this all comes together.
Exterminator, Bravo, Upper FIS all (can) have nice natural bumps along the lines of MRG, simply because they are getting the same skiers skiing both mountains. The Cliffs also gets bumped up nicely. There are also some trees off of Bravo that are very nice too. Granted North does not have the variety of MRG, but the Slidebrook Chair can bring you over to the main mountain for Castlerock . I know a couple of guides that we might be able to secure for a Slidebrook Tour if the conditions permit.
post #29 of 58
This is great news. What everyone's saying about a variety of bump runs for developing skiers rings true -- and is proven out just next door at MRG. Despite the "ski it if you can" fear factor there is a great variety of bumped up terrain there, steep to moderate, tight to wide open, with no "bail out" options. I had skied for years with lousy bump skills before spending some time at MRG and voila: went from survival mode to really enjoying and seeking out moguls wherever we ski. Which certainly will include Mt Ellen if this plan plays out.
post #30 of 58
Hmm, I might have to turn a midweek MRG day trip into a midweek SB trip.

Does the 'bush offer discounted Mt. Ellen only week day passes? They only have their spring ticket prices posted.
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