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Old School Bumps

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Am I the only one who misses the beautiful, round, Volkwagon-sized bumps that were available in the pre-short ski/snowboard era? I remember the days at Mary Jane in Colorado where the signs at the top of "Outhouse" and "Drunken Frenchman" said, "Experts Only! Anyone skiing this run with skiis shorter than 185 cm will have their lift passes pulled". Beautiful bumps! It seems these days the bumps are all chopped to hell on the downhill side and finding a decent line is an adventure in itself.
post #2 of 29
The 185 limit was an attempt to keep the bump shape.  I wonder if putting a limit back on might work.

There really aren't a lot of large bumps in southern Ontario.  They are very rare.  Snow's pretty rare here too.  Bump skis = rock skis if you know what I mean.   I used to be quite happy not to see bumps, but now a days I want bring my bump game up to par with the rest of my skiing and I can't find any real moguls that don't involve skiing gravel.
post #3 of 29
I remember back in the 70's at Squaw the bumps on Red Dog were sort of a right of passage. Those suckers were huge.
post #4 of 29
There were some marvelous bump runs. 

We had a some of natural moguls (stump or boulder in the middle) at Alyeska.  A 6' skier would go over one of those bad boys and disappear!  You would absorb for all you were worth, and it was still a free fall off the backside.  Wonder how much of their existence is owed to the lack of grooming? 

You would ride the Exhibition lift at SV, or a dozen others, and your mouth would water. 
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
I can recall skiing Squaw and cussing out the moguls; primarily because I didn't know how to ski them. They were impressive though. I'd like to go back now and try them though my best mogul mashing days are well behind me. 50 year old knees and all that.
post #6 of 29
While riding the lift yesterday at Holimont, mapping out my route for the next trip down Cascades nice line of bumps, this very topic came to mind as a couple of snowboarders were slip slidding their way down the moguls. Scraping what nice snow was on the tops, exposing the blue ice underneath. I'm thinking, what kind of fun is that. Riding moguls and turning is one thing on a board but heel edge sliding the entire hill is bullshit.

should moguls be protected? I remember when they were. i remember every resort used to have signs at the top of mogul runs and patrollers nearby making sure ski length was 190 or longer. And there wasn't any boarders back then. mogul runs were better, more rounded, more consistant and always had snow in them instead of the scraped icey uneven bumps we ski today.

Bump competitions were held in natural formed moguls instead of man made as they are today. So, if you want my opinion keep the snowboarders out of mogul runs. At least those who can't navigate them without sliding all the snow off them. Today's shaped skis aren't really a detriment to formation as much as the way people ski them. New ideas of trying to carve gs turns through them and constant over the top techniques certainly don't help.

And for the reasons above, I am a firm believer that it's much harder to learn and to ski moguls today than it was 20 years ago. Still, I spent most of my ski day yesterday skiing them mostly because there were no crowds there and the snow was the freshest.

Mogul skiing is dying
post #7 of 29
In fairness there were some really raspy bumps them too.  Bent and broke more than 1 pair of skis and boots in the bumps.  Z skiers on steep faces did not make good bumps then either.  Running into the side of a hard steep faced bump on a pair of 205s'  was not good for the tips.  Created my first pair of rockered tip skis that way, then we called them bent.

Our Nordica rep drilled some holes in my shells to try and keep me from ripping them up, and it worked for a few extra weeks. 
post #8 of 29
 Mogul skiing is indeed dying.  There was no grooming where I learned to ski and so it was my goal to learn to ski bumps, otherwise I'd be in a world of pain.  Now I love to hit the bumps, in moderation.  My old knees won't take run after run.

I notice that skiers that have begun skiing in the last 20 years or so seem less eager to hit a bump run.  I don't see bumps as an obstacle, just another terrain feature, but these folks try to avoid bumps when they can, like there's something wrong with them.

I don't see that bump quality has changed a whole lot, but I'm glad that it's not the only thing on the hill anymore.
post #9 of 29
I think the BEST part of old school mogul skiing versus the today's events was having to pick your line based around natural air bumps you chose instead of having mini aerials jumps with chopped slope landings.  Granted, folks go WAY bigger off those prefab air bumps in competition today, ,But, If you asked me landing an upright triple maneuver in the middle of the moguls takes a lot more balls and skill than landing an invert or 720 on a prepared landing area.
post #10 of 29
From what I can tell, it appears taking hard moguls on a snowboard is a nightmare - I rarely see a boarder doing it, and it usually involves a lot of windmilling of arms.  Boarders are a big part of resort revenue, so I really think they've groomed away a lot of mogul fields for that reason.  I look at the hot dog skiing sequences in the old Dick Barrymore movies and just drool over those moguls...  I've always thought of myself as a fan of moguls, but watching the modern mogul competition on TV, I start to lose interest when run after run in prefab moguls appears nearly identical.  I wonder if pipe competitions will die the same death of conformity:  "He goes up in the air, and guess what - he crosses his skis and grabs them!"  I'm really amazed at the conformity of those "advancing the sport".
post #11 of 29

Mogul skiing is alive and well in the Alps, but not where you'd think to look for it. Most resorts viciously groom marked runs -- even black runs -- into boring submission.

 

However, high traffic at many resorts turns some of the easier-to-access offpiste into bump runs. These are never groomed. St Anton, Verbier among others offer excellent offpiste bump skiing if it hasn't snowed in the last couple days.

post #12 of 29

Second Lars with the negative impact snowboards can have on the bumps. Had the great fortune of getting dumped on last week in Colorado. Where there were bumps back in Blue Sky, the boarders manufactured fang like bumps without the hint of roundness.

Guess if I was a better bumper it wouldn't matter but its the way it is all too often with the number of boarders. They are having an impact!

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by strato102 View Post

From what I can tell, it appears taking hard moguls on a snowboard is a nightmare - I rarely see a boarder doing it, and it usually involves a lot of windmilling of arms.  Boarders are a big part of resort revenue, so I really think they've groomed away a lot of mogul fields for that reason. 
 

Bwa ha ha ha ha!
Yes, snowboarders who ride hard moguls well are rare, but they do exist. Visit Jackson Hole and you'll see a few ... blow past you. I've ridden with some of the locals who ride the bumps as fast as I'd ski them.

I'd love to hear about a single resort that has groomed moguls down specifically for snowboarders.  My resort has started grooming moguls into the slopes (i.e. man made moguls). It's been real cool to see the little riders tearing up the bumps on our beginner (yes - it's a green trail) run. When these kids grow up you'll need to be vewwy afwaid.
post #14 of 29
Wow, Rusty, those snowboarders ride as fast as you? And they would "blow past" strato102? So, logically, you're assuming you would also "blow past" stato?

Do you get special permission to have this much attitude because you're a moderator?

How do you know strato wasn't doing mogul comps back in the day? How do you know he didn't teach Frickin' Glenn Plake how to ski? Do you always assume you're better than random posters? Have you ever tried being humble, just to see what it feels like?
post #15 of 29
I once skied a glacier in the summer at Stelvio. I was 15 (1963) and tagged along with a couple american ski patrol. The only skiers there were National Team Racers doing some training. They were skiing laps on a short steep slope, when not in the gates. The absolute BEST moguls I had ever skied, because every skier was competent, skied in the fall line, turned on every bump. There was not one groove that dead ended in a chopped up bump. It makes a huge difference for pace, rhythm, and oh, yeah, pleasure.

So, if you want to ski good bumps, you need a run only skied by good bump skiers. Squaw does have a few. I have friends who groom a line or two in spring by sideslipping the entire pitch on one line, then skiing it into perfect bumps, gradually, and they last until other (less skilled) skiers find the line.
post #16 of 29
The local hill freestyle team I was on used to all ski in a line behind the coach to carve out our bump run. If there was an upcoming competition scheduled at our hill the management would rope it off to team members and competitors only until after the event.
post #17 of 29
Bumps are so niche. Most places aren't going to cater to the 5 people who get excited about them. The rest are going to mow them down.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiHinduKush View Post

Am I the only one who misses the beautiful, round, Volkwagon-sized bumps that were available in the pre-short ski/snowboard era?... Beautiful bumps! It seems these days the bumps are all chopped to hell on the downhill side and finding a decent line is an adventure in itself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

In fairness there were some really raspy bumps them too.  Bent and broke more than 1 pair of skis and boots in the bumps.  Z skiers on steep faces did not make good bumps then either.  Running into the side of a hard steep faced bump on a pair of 205s'  was not good for the tips.  Created my first pair of rockered tip skis that way, then we called them bent.

My remembrances are that the VOlkwagen bumps were mostly a western thang. Back East, the only times when bumps were comfortably rounded on any of the 'blacks' were shortly after some sizeable dump and after being tracked up. This usually only lasted for a few hours until traffic started building up the mogul faces again.
I do remember being mostly pissed off, in the Mid and Late 70's because of the 'Freestyle' short ski thang casuing such grief, back east, for those of us still banging down on 205s+.
And I too did bend skis on a regular basis. Incredibly, I remember the 1st time I bent a pr of FIBERGLASS skis, a pr of really nice Siderals. I was soooo bummmed! Turns out they weren't last pr of Fiberglass skis I bent. You can auger them into bumps so hard that even though they are totally glass/wood (or glass/foam) you could put a serious kink into the edges, enough to make a serious rocker!
One of the work-arounds we got good at, back east was 'Doubling' em up. Rather than tyring to ski each bump in a 'line'. You'd 'double' them up, by launching off the 1st and landing the backside of the 2nd bump, then trough, then launch again - and so forth down your line. Once you had that down, it made bump run life a bunch more fun.
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
I'd love to hear about a single resort that has groomed moguls down specifically for snowboarders.  My resort has started grooming moguls into the slopes (i.e. man made moguls).

Well, I'd have to say that the the Local LA areas, Big Bear/Snow Summit and Mtn High all groom extensively. And when you 'groom', moguls just don;t make it from one day to the next.
Now there are a bunch of runs they leave ungroomed, but the recent snowfall was partially mixed rain/snow and some wet snow. So rather than developing into moguls of any size, these ungroomed runs are mostly a serious hard base with some small amount of loose on top.
Considering how dominant snowboarding now is, at least in the areas convenient to large metros, I can't imagine anything but table top groomers for most runs in these areas.

What blew me away on my 1st day back was watching Boarders doing Hi-Speed sideslips down the entire face of 'Black' runs at Mtn High. I'd never seen anything like it! And it was like better than half the boarders on that run were doing it. I mean, not a single turn! Not even switchin once!  was totally scraping the face of the run! awful!
post #19 of 29

The comments about the bump competitions of our day are interesting.  Went to several where the area would groom the run smooth, rope it off and only let the competitors ski it.  It made for some marvelous moguls.

Have not seen anybody clipping bumps for a long time either, that was the name for it in our neighborhood.  Racers especially did this one.  Skiing a bump run fast, and basically just contacting the crests.  We only had 3 or 4 skiers at Alyeska that could or would (I was not one of them).  Was very cool to watch on on an entire bumped out face.  Not a trick you would pull off on short skis.

post #20 of 29
I remember the last time I skied rounded, large bumps mainly because it was last Saturday at Bridger Bowl.  The North Bowl there gets skied by locals that tend to have longer, fatter skis they can't carve very well or turn turn very fast..  They end up making moguls very similar to those made by skiers on long straight skis they couldn't carve or turn quickly on.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroEric View Post

Wow, Rusty, those snowboarders ride as fast as you? And they would "blow past" strato102? So, logically, you're assuming you would also "blow past" stato?

Do you get special permission to have this much attitude because you're a moderator?

How do you know strato wasn't doing mogul comps back in the day? How do you know he didn't teach Frickin' Glenn Plake how to ski? Do you always assume you're better than random posters? Have you ever tried being humble, just to see what it feels like?
 
:)  My bad. :( Moderators should know better.

It was a free shot to say how slow I ski in the bumps. Actually, I was trying to say that there are some totally awesome bump riders that blow away the myth that you can't do bumps on a board and that there seems to be a surplus of them at Jackson. And they do tend to blow past the skiers in the bumps. It's not that there aren't pro bump skiers out there, it's there are a lot of good bump riders out there.

For the record, I have a talent for getting humbled at least once a day. This thread is proof.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by moreoutdoor View Post
Well, I'd have to say that the the Local LA areas, Big Bear/Snow Summit and Mtn High all groom extensively. And when you 'groom', moguls just don;t make it from one day to the next.
Now there are a bunch of runs they leave ungroomed, but the recent snowfall was partially mixed rain/snow and some wet snow. So rather than developing into moguls of any size, these ungroomed runs are mostly a serious hard base with some small amount of loose on top.
Considering how dominant snowboarding now is, at least in the areas convenient to large metros, I can't imagine anything but table top groomers for most runs in these areas.

What blew me away on my 1st day back was watching Boarders doing Hi-Speed sideslips down the entire face of 'Black' runs at Mtn High. I'd never seen anything like it! And it was like better than half the boarders on that run were doing it. I mean, not a single turn! Not even switchin once!  was totally scraping the face of the run! awful!

 

It sounds like Mtn Hi is a lot like my home mountain (Whiteail,PA - close to DC). Riders are about 35% of the business. We've got our fair share of back foot windshield wipers that couldn't buy a vowel from Vanna White or a turn. And we only keep one run out of 20 ungroomed/moguls. But at a 2-1 skier to rider ratio and the long time it's been since we opened the park and pipe to skiers (used to be riders only), there's no justification for saying we groom moguls off the rest of the runs for the benefit snowboarders. If you've heard the grief we get from skiers on the rare days when we don't groom natural snowfall, the real reason for such extensive grooming would be obvious. The good news for us this year is that the colder temps and our extensive battery of fan and tower guns has made a lot of soft snow that often bumps up during the daytime.
post #23 of 29
Rusty,

I didn't mean to go off with both barrels. But when I re-read what I wrote, it's a full on flame. I did the same thing to BWPA in my first week here. I'll try to remember to tone it down a couple notches, especially when I'm in a hurry.


Old bumps...

I fondly remember the VW bumps at Copper Mountain. I think it was under the Alpine chair... but it was in the early '80s, so I might have it wrong.

I spent an entire week skiing nothing but the Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek back in the day. I think my teen age knees hurt for 3 weeks after that. :) It was worth it.

I still have my old 195 K2 Extremes and I'll use them when I find some old school bumps.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiHinduKush View Post

Am I the only one who misses the beautiful, round, Volkwagon-sized bumps that were available in the pre-short ski/snowboard era?

For the most part they are still that way on Aspen Mountain.   I skied there before and after they allowed Snowboards and I haven't seen any difference. Allowing Snowboards really was a non issue and IMHO, they should be allowed at every ski area.

I think it's more a matter of how much traffic and snow a slope gets as apposed to who rides it?  Maybe short skis just allowed more people to ski the steeper bump runs?  I still hate flat bumps.
post #25 of 29
My comment about not letting snowboarders on moguls wasn't meant to  degrade anyone. It is fact that many do sideslip the mogul runs though and they really do ruin a good mogul hill by doing so.

That said, I know a few boarders that can rip moguls. Which has little if any impact on how they form. I suppose it's no worse than skiers sideslipping them either.

However. The fact also remains that moguls just aren't as popular as they used to be and it just seems there are fewer really good bumpers out there these days.

Which leaves more empty bump runs for those who enjoy them. Like me.
post #26 of 29
 I found that snowbird had much rounded bumps than alta due to this..

snowbird  - skier = long fat skis making round turns
              - and ripping snowboarders who make nice round turns as well


alta - skiers on shorter older carving like sticks heel pushing = no fun on fat skis
post #27 of 29
How does that happen? Or is Alta known for more retro dudes, like from Maine, wool pants, ski cap, knees together and solid double pole plant?
post #28 of 29

Longing for VW size bumps?  Ski the Plunge at Telluride!

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmillar View Post

Longing for VW size bumps?  Ski the Plunge at Telluride!


Part of being retro is being cheap, so even though I live 2 hours from Telluride, I never ski there. 

I guess I should...
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