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Grooming classic Bump runs

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Should ski area be grooming classic bump runs :
post #2 of 28
looks like a troll to me
post #3 of 28
And a very prejudiced troll as well.
Choices presented kind of a forgone conclustion or retorical question biased viewpoint.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by dblhappiness:
looks like a troll to me
Just keep up with the Troll...won't happen!
post #5 of 28
Originally posted by Labump:
Should ski area be grooming classic bump runs :
Ya know, this gets the imagination working. Grooming Spiral Stairs at Telluride: Now this I would love to watch.
post #6 of 28
Define a classic bump run?
Bradley's Bash at Winter Park is only a Blue/black from memory, and is normally left as a bump run. A couple of years back they groomed the middle of it one day, and the amount of so-called "good" skiers who couldn't cope with it was hilarious. They didn't have their bumps, and couldn't control themselves at the higher speeds. During one of my trips down it that day, I counted 5 blood wagons on that short run.
Yes, it's OK to groom the bumps, in the same way that it's OK to leave normally groomed runs for a few days. It lets people experience more than just their normal skiing. (one of the things I like about WP is how they rotate which runs are groomed and which are left)
As for someone who believes grooming makes things easy, I guess it show a narrow-mindedness similar to the "all snowboarders are scum" people.
Broaden your horizons. If you don't ski bumps, try them, you might enjoy it, and if all you do is ski bumps, well, try going down a good pisted run, you might be surprised.

Just my thoughts, as someone who likes both groomed and bumps (although doesn't ski either with particular finesse)

post #7 of 28
I've softened a bit. I use to think all groomers should be shelled from the valley. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #8 of 28

Stop The Brutal Grooming!
post #9 of 28
How would it ever be possible to get rid of bump runs?

Those nasty "creatures" form continuosly. You can
start with the best groomed black run and time one or
two hours you have a steep mogul run.
The only time they do not form is when either the snow is
really icy or there is little snow or no snow.
So you are safe, no need to be concerned about bumps.

But, consider that as one ages and knees grow weaker it
is harder to keep up with the demand of bump runs on our
bodies. Also consider that in some places moguls get
rock solid (Midwest, East), snowboarders cut them in
shapes that are really not nice for skiers, and some
skiers are taller than the average so have to use
longer skis and it is difficult for them to track in
bumps made by smaller skiers on shorter skis.

All in all, I like what they do already in some places:
half the run with bumps and half groomed so I can ski bumps
and when I do not feel like it anymore I can cruise down
the other half of the run.

Keep Goat at Stowe for yourself. With bumps it is a major
achievement, groomed is just an average steepness narrow
run at the black diamond level. I do not know about Mary
Jane... keep that one too... Could somebody erase the
moguls inside Corbet's Couloir? Isn't it amazing when what
one fear the most is not dropping in but hitting the bumps?

If you are looking for nasty moguls try Minnesota but wear
football pads, hip pads and all the other stuff. Believe me
I have hit mogul fields that were less friendly than a bed
of rocks, I have hit one mogul that was 2 feet high and
perfectly vertical and caused me to bounce back without
luckily breaking my skis. I have met a few moguls that
where 7 feet or higher one next to the other. Once you drop
in you are not sure that you get out over there.
These I would raze without mercy!

post #10 of 28
Originally posted by SnoKarver:

Stop The Brutal Grooming!
Stop all the grooming!!

In the PNWet, particularly Mt. Hood Meadows, there are no remaining bump runs at all. The boarders and the general ski population don't like them and Meadows has responded with a vengeance. This is really sad. Same for Flatchelor, there are a few bump runs left there but not like they had in the 1970's.

If you think there is a bump run out there that can't be plowed you are wrong. The new winch cats can do just about anything. The runs they can't do are too steep to call bump runs, more like steeps with bumps. At Meadows they winch cat some 45-degree runs and at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl they winch cat the speed skiing run, which is about 50-degrees (so I have been told).

It seems like the areas should leave some of all kinds of terrain to satisfy all kinds of skiers, but no, if it is steep it needs to be smooth so the boarders don't have problems.


post #11 of 28
Y'all who hate groomed runs really need to come and ski Snowbird.

If and when they ever go broke, it *won't* be from spending too much money on grooming [img]tongue.gif[/img]


post #12 of 28
Do you really mean that they are out there with a winch cat to
smooth every bump as soon as they form? I will not believe that
as it is at odds with everything I have seen in my life of
skiing in USA, Canada, and Europe (and my preference is
Canada, USA, and Europe in this order).

For example, last March I was at Sunshine Village, Banff. There
was not a single run without bumps (true, they had lots of
snow in those days) and the smoother run was Delirium Dive!!

I am for natural conditions. However, when a run is used and
misused it gets nasty. And it is not natural as those kind
of bumps would never happen if you or I were the only skiers
on that mountain. Many mogul runs are actually made with
machines. The ideal is jump off a reasonable cliff, land
in powder, get a few good turns there, hit a few bumps,
then get some nice corduroy to ease up down to the base of
the mountain and show off for the people on the chairlifts.

I would agree with you that good skiers can ski everything,
yet I think that you guys are making it sound worse than it is.

True, I am not in your area, but I have been lucky to get
40-60 days of skiing a year and most places I have been
bumps where very easy to find, with the exception of those
times when there was little snow on the ground. Actually,
maybe I have found more bump runs than groomed runs from the
black diamond level up. And, at times, I had a dream to be
able to cruise down some of those lines instead of committing
myself to those lines of bumps.

You say that snowboarders do not like bumps? Then they have
more in common with me than I have ever thought! I have to
start liking them

Do not get me wrong. I understand your point. Just I do not
share it, but hopefully the mountains out there are big enough
for my kind and your kind of skiers.

post #13 of 28
While 99% of the time I would agree with the position of no gooming, there is a preverse side that enjoys a steep groomed run. Here at Breck we have a run that at one point was one of the steepest used for mogul competions. In the past few years snowmaking has been added to Mach 1, which allows the snowcats to be winched for grooming purposes. I have to say the fun meter can still be pegged on a groomed run when it's tipped at about 40 degree pitch.
post #14 of 28
They groom Mach I? That run was the reason I came to Breck the first time. I saw it in a freestyle contest on TV while sitting in my fraternity house living room one year and said "I'm going to Colorado this spring break to ski that run."

Four of us made the trip a few months later and ran laps on Mach I on day 1 until we were out of legs.

Do they groom it all the time or just when the bumps get too big? Please tell me it's the latter!
post #15 of 28
Hmmmmmm.......Goat at Stowe groomed? Never seen it done, never heard of it done! I have only been skiing and teaching at Stowe for 10 years, so it might have been done before that, 'tho my longer-term colleagues say not. I think it would be impossible to use even a winch-cat on Goat. Average steepness???? WOW
Guess I've been skiing the wrong run all this time. Goat is big-time steep.
As to grooming bump runs-I would prefer no grooming at all on any slopes, but, modern skiers demand corduroy. I don't mind seeing bump runs groomed when they have become icy ruts and people are getting hurt.

How do y'all feel about bump-making machines?
post #16 of 28
Glad to see members in this forum overwelmingly have this viewpoint. Certainly many may not ski bumps but nevertheless are openminded and unselfish enough to respect the rights of fun of others.

I could write at length about this but just have a few minutes before I need to escape to work. I can't speak to the conditions in the East where a loss of one or two key trails at a resort has a large impact on bump skiers. In the West there are usually always some runs which are left alone. Unfortunately many of the best historic bump runs under ski lifts are now groomed. I very strongly feel that ski areas should leave alone steep fall lines directly under ski lifts to bump skiers. I'm not talking about a wide trail under a lift left to bumps but a narrow strip maybe three lines wide. The rest of such slopes might as well be groomed for all I care.

Another problem is the current increasingly popular attitude of periodically needing to mow down a bump field because someone thinks they have gotten ugly and hard to ski (hard for them!). It is true that zipper lines during the spring sometimes can be pretty ugly on cool spring mornings but in the drier cold snow conditions in the West for most part, the theory that bumps evolve into something ugly is not supported by good bump skiers. Good bump skiers will rip right through such lines, no problemo, and enjoy it.

Leave my bumps alone -dave
post #17 of 28
As the bumps get deeper and knarlier on any run they offer enjoyment to a decreasing percentage of customers. If the only bumps out there are the older monster ones, (that most skies don't like), there will be more pressure to groom them.

Some of the most effective management of bump runs I seen is done via "staged grooming". This is where they groom opposite half of a run at intervals determined by bump development and deterioration resulting from smowfall, thaw/freeze cycles and skier traffic. This yields a run that is usually half mature user challenging bumps and half developing uses friendly bumps.
This actually gives those who aspire to a chance to learn to enjoy skiing bumps (duh!) and is most likey to provide suficient future generation of bumpers to keep your runs alive.

It has got to work for everybody to work for anybody.
post #18 of 28
In defining Stowe's Goat an average steepness black diamond
run when deprived of bumps, I am just looking at the average
pitch reported by the very same ski resort, i.e. 34 degrees.
I did not ski it: too narrow and too bumpy for a 6'2", 220lbs
guy on 190cm shaped skis with stiff tips and tails.
I skied the other 3 of the famous four, though.

It is true that, in general, the average pitch does not
always tell the truth, but I can find walls 100 yards
long even in Minnesota or Wisconsin where the average
pitch is in excess of 40 degrees.... it is the sustained
pitch that matters, but that was not the point.
What I meant is that depriving Goat of its bumps (and
with bumps it is really difficult) takes away its
"legend". Same is true of other classic runs around
the country. Those have built their history
on bumps and such should be left. Plus, I would like to see,
first of all, how one can use a winch cat on Goat and, if
they could groom it, how can they perhaps split it in
half-groomed and half-bumps given the narrowness of the upper part of the run.

However, the real problem is that I do not see why some people
should complain so much about grooming. I repeat, I ski a
lot and in many places: I almost never find corduroy on
black or double black diamond runs. If you know of real
black runs and double black runs that are without some bumps, please let me know, for I would really like to try them.
I agree that blue runs here and there are smooth, but I have never seen snowcats attacking them every 2 hours to take
away the bumps. At one place I found bumps even on the
bunny hill!! In my opinion there are not enough groomed
runs and not bump runs. Every bowl is bumps

Splitting the runs in halves seems to me the most democratic
way to go. Plus, the fact that in this section of the forums
most seems to like bumps and are against grooming means nothing.
The skiers who hate bumps, and they are the majority, do not
even bother to enter this section of the forum, so much they
hate even the word "bump".

I am a Midwest skier, the poorest of "poor" skiers: we don't
have the Rockies and we do not even have the mountains or
hills of the Eastern US/Canada and we have to make good with
what we have and it ain't much. So, when we have a chance
to go either West or East, we know that we are going to
have fun anyway, with bumps or without bumps.


[ November 08, 2002, 03:51 AM: Message edited by: MauSki ]
post #19 of 28
Originally posted by Bob.Peters:
Y'all who hate groomed runs really need to come and ski Snowbird.

If and when they ever go broke, it *won't* be from spending too much money on grooming [img]tongue.gif[/img]


Heh, I dont like groomers, but if I have to ski one, I want it to be reasonable. The 2 times I've been to snowbird, their groomers were horrible. So icy.
post #20 of 28

Good input. The half trail grooming concept sounds fine though getting a resort to do that would probably be difficult. For years I've nagged on people at my resort to leave narrow strips of mogulled 2 wide lines at the sides of some trails but that has been ignored. Here bumps just never seem to get to be old monsters like some I used to see on the main face of Headwall at Squaw long ago. That's because the snow comes frequent enough in the Sierra or the wind blows around the loose snow enough that even if during the drier stretches, the bumps reach a certain size then really don't get bigger except at a few narrow steep spots where too many pound down into a hole. Generally on any bump field, the lines near the edges tend to be much less formed than those down the middle.

Actually I often love crusing smaller bump fields because I'm a whimp after a couple of long bump runs and either need to take a groomer or something easier. That brings up another related issue. Ski resorts the last decade have tended to think that bumps should only exist on steep runs thus any modest pitch run that starts bumping up gets regularly mowed. Not too smart...that makes it harder for the upper intermediate to find a decent slope to practice technique on. Resorts would be wise to leave some area on the side of modest pitched wide width runs ungroomed.


If you want to ski some steep winch grooming, go to California. Mammoth, Sqauw, etc have some steep regularly groomed slopes because they are popular with skiers. The Warren Miller movies often have a comical clip of some novice at Mammoth falling on groomed Cornice and then sliding sliding sliding all the way down to the bottom. Every year the best steep grooming anywhere may well be at Kirkwood. -dave

[ November 07, 2002, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: dave_SSS ]
post #21 of 28
Thank you Dave_SSS. I will definitely write down the name
of these resorts with steep groomed runs. I have not seen
one in my life yet! It is a must see for me.

post #22 of 28

The entire west coast ski scene is a hot bed of steep groomed runs. Here on Mt Hood, we have Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, which has a speed ski run they keep groomed. Talk about fast! My problem with the grooming is that at Mt. Hood Meadows and many other areas, the management has taken to daily grooming of almost all bump runs and certainly all of the steep and long bump runs. Yes, that does leave some scattered runs with bumps, but the problem is these are usually steep narrow slots, which do not build bumps in the same way that the broad steep runs do. While I like to ski the narrow chutes, I would like the opportunity to ski a few of the broad steep runs that can generate the large well shaped bumps.

Yes, the groomed runs do generate some bumps by the end of the day, but they are not mature bumps just adolescent or preadolescent starter bumps. Since these are plowed every night, most non-bump skiers are never provided the opportunity to learn how to ski a progression of bumps in a friendly environment. Instead they are forced to learn on really small bumps then jump up to the bumps in these difficult to ski narrow chutes. This is about like teaching a kid to drive in a parking lot then placing him behind the wheel of a formula 1 on race day at Indy. No wonder fewer and fewer people are interested in skiing the bumps.

I too would like to find a middle ground between the groom-it-all and don’t-groom-anything mentalities. But my experience is opposite yours. I see grooming on almost all of the slopes up to 35 degrees and substantial grooming on slopes up to about 45 degrees. Few runs are left ungroomed long enough to generate mature bumps.

post #23 of 28
I can say that in 40 years of skiing bumps I have never met a bump I didn't like. When I try to think of bad bumps nothing comes to mind. Favorite; any bumps after a freezing rain. Oh yeah, just sittin here thinkin about it. I feel so alive when they are polished glass.

[ November 08, 2002, 01:01 PM: Message edited by: Pierre eh! ]
post #24 of 28
Thank you Maddog1959. I will definitely schedule a trip to those
latitudes. Speed skiing is not exactly what I have in mind, but
only the idea to see a steep run with no bumps makes it a must
see. I seriously have never seen a black diamond run without
bumps unless I was one of the first person to use it or the snow
was seriously iced.
Maybe where I live we do not have enough snowcats, what can I say? But, I often ski in the Banff area and even there
there are more bumps than groomed, despite what they claim.
Even the Lake Louise Men's and Women Downhill courses , the
last time I was there, were covered with bumps. I tried imagining Hermann Mayer coming down the mountain and
entering this long straight piece of 2-300 yards at a speed
in the neighborohood of 70 mph and meet a small mogul field
instead of a smooth icy surface. Disturbing!

Yes, I assume that the nice and democratic thing to do is
to groom only half of the runs, at least whenever it is


post #25 of 28
The Wall at Kirkwood is groomed on a regular basis from what I've seen and the top of it must aproach 40 degrees before mellowing out. I must say I like it and I grew up in the bumps. The new shape skis allow for a true short radius carve where hop turns were the norm on such steep terain a decade ago (that is if you were lucky to find something that steep groomed). The sensation of carving out perfect short radius turns on such steep terrain has added new dimension and enjoyment to my skiing. I do agree with dave_sss about leaving some bump runs under lift lines ungroomed. It is always fun to watch great skiers zipper line or make stylish turns through the bumps while under you as you ride up the hill. Plus, when it's your turn and you manage to get a good line and rhythm going, it makes you feel like a champ before a packed lift (or a chump if you lose it). Out West, there will always be the hidden bump runs and plenty of slopes bumped up with packed lifts for our enjoyment. Can you imagine Gunbarrel at Heavenly without bumps? Even in the East from North Carolina to Pennsylvania the resorts leave plenty of runs alone. Twenty years ago, many groomers could not easily smooth out steeper blue terrain and bumps would form leaving a sprawled out mess of novice and beginner skiers. No fun for anyone no matter how good or bad you were. The grooming has gotten better and resorts take advantage of it by smoothing out terrain for the benefit of the vast majority of skiers and riders.
post #26 of 28
To me grooming a bump run should only be done by Mother Nature. Like a good two foot dump of champagne powder. And, any bump run is a classic bump run.

Or, do you mean, grooming bumps into a run. Sometimes machine bump runs are nice. Especially after mother nature dumps two feet of snow on them.

Wow, I'm salivating!!!!
post #27 of 28
Grooming bump runs?

Sure thing. And during the summer why don't you remove all rocks and roots from mtn bike trails. Pave them in fact so any uncoordinated Huffy riding fool can go have nice unwheezing, unbloodied little spin through the woods.

So there [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #28 of 28

One reason one won't find steep winch groomed runs many places is that in order for the snow surface to be reasonably edgeable, the snow ought not be too firm. Fresh cold packed powder snow works best. That requires snow that is not too old or on a spring day snow that has warmed up. Accordingly doing that at resorts that have frequent snowfall with a deeper base works better. If the base is not deep, the strong forces to gouge out such slopes will soon dig down to rocks. If the snow is too firm, it is dangerous and not very fun for even advanced skiers. That is particularly true on cold spring conditions mornings. Another negative thing that often occurs where steep grooming is done too frequently, is the snow surface can turn to hard firm pack "slabs" which likewise makes edging difficult.

Another snow condition which doesn't require steep grooming but which provides steep smooth skiing in which ones skis do not sink in too far ala groomed slopes, is skiing steep wind packed wind blown powder. One finds such conditions below the ridgelines cornices of many big western resorts after a cold snow is followed by windy conditions. The wind continually re-smooths the surface soon erasing previous skiers tracks. Probably the best place I know for this is at Mammoth in late winter with Dave's Run often the ultimate. The sensation of contact with a baby butt smooth surface is a unique tactile pleasure. -dave

[ November 13, 2002, 08:54 AM: Message edited by: dave_SSS ]
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