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What is it about these trails?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am not a racer. As a matter of fact saying Lisamarie and racer in the same sentence will inspire fits of laughter in anyone who knows me.

BUT>>>
My 3 favorite trails:
Stelvio Downhill in Bormio (red}
World Cup Run at Sunshine {blue}
Upper Competition Hill at The Loaf {black}

It seems strange that someone who is not a speed freak has the best time on trails that are race courses, provided nobody puts up any gates.
Perhaps its the fact that I enjoy watching racing on OLN. It seems really easy to choose a line on these trails. Maybe something is sinking in.

Any other thoughts as to what makes these trails so skiable?
post #2 of 21
Explore yourself. Maybe you are a racer in the bottom of your heart.
post #3 of 21
I may have an answer, Lisamarie . . . or at least a suggestion as to why you so much like these trails. First, my credentials:

From the lifts at Brighton and Sugarbush, I have watched you ski. I actually skied with you once at Sugarbush, albeit briefly. You have skied with Mrs. oboe - one of the skiers who likes to ski more slowly than you (yes, it can be done). I know from what you've said that you never fall . . . oh, wait a minute, you did fall once in the dining room at Deer Vally, and wasn't there one time actually on snow? No? I know that your livelihood depends upon your remaining physically intact and that you prefer to ski quite cautiously. I also know from Mrs. oboe's reports that you are like the Energizer Bunny - you just keep skiing, and skiing, and . . . . well, she doesn't know where you get the phyisical or emotional energy to go out there again and again facing the challenge . . . AND THAT'S THE ANSWER!

I believe that the reason you like those trails is because they are what they are - and that makes them challenges. At the same time, they provide the space in which the challenge can be met. So that's my answer - and it doesn't refer to the trails so much as it refers to you. I believe that one of the aspects of skiing that you value so much is facing, and meeting challenge. On those trails you so much enjoy, you do both.
post #4 of 21
Lisamarie- I've never been to Bormio or Sunshine, but having just been at Sugarloaf there are a couple things that come to mind.

</font>
  • You've mentioned several times that you don't like narrow trails, and most race courses aren't narrow (safety reasons, plus it's hard to setup a GS course when you don't have the room). You mentioned that you didn't like that warm-up trail that we did because it is narrow, and Competition Hill is wide open.</font>
  • Most race courses I've been in have the steep part right off the start -- it allows the racers to hit warp speed off the start and then forces them to hold it across a gentler pitch. That is, race course trails (generally) seem to get less steep as you go down (ok, no flame wars please with all the exceptions to this...).</font>
I believe that Sugarloaf's "Narrow Gauge" trail is also home to the US Alpine Downhill and Super-G events. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong... Did you get onto Narrow Gauge? How did you like it? It doesn't have the "race" name associated with it, but it holds to the two points I mentioned above.
Kevin
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oboe, great insight! I also liked Waterfall at Sugarbush, and I believe you are correct. A decent challenge, but there is a good deal of space to correct a mistake, if need be.

Kevin, I skid Narrow Gauge. Liked it, but not like Uppper Competition Hill.
In contrast, I hate King's Landing, and Paradigm at Sunday River
{both blue}. It feels like I just cannot figure out their rhythm, if that makes any sense.

Interjecting some humor:
Kevin and I are riding the lift at The Loaf. I wanted to warm up on a blue run. As the lift passes over Competition Hill, the following dialogue occurs.

Lisa: This looks like a nice Blue to warm up on!
Kevin: WHAT??? You think this is a blue???
People on lift: Its a black, but you can traverse it.
Kevin: {Vocal pitch raising a few octaves} NO!! NO TRAVERSING!

Its not the trail rating. Every time I have seen a trail where my reaction is "I can find a good line on that trail", it turns out to be a racing course! But if you put gates on the same trail, I would probably go beserk!

[ March 13, 2003, 04:31 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Lisa: This looks like a nice Blue to warm up on!
Kevin: WHAT??? You think this is a blue???
People on lift: Its a black, but you can traverse it.
Kevin: {Vocal pitch raising a few octaves} NO!! NO TRAVERSING!
Now wait a minute! I'll agree that the dialogue actually took place, but I had met Lisamarie on the bus the night before, so therefore I knew her much better from reading her 3,000 posts on here then I did in person. Anyway -- knowing that the only blacks she had skied before were at Okemo and Deer Valley (I think...), and I believe half of them were in the fog. I was attempting to warn Lisamarie that her suggested warm-up trail is a lot steeper then it looks!

As for the "no traversing" bit -- I hate traversing (not to start that thread again and hijack Lisamarie's...), and I tend to get a little high-pitched when I get excited and a chord is struck like that.

:
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
I know. But it felt a whole lot bettter than that winding blue thing we went down.
post #8 of 21
well Lm you can test the theory again - How did the downhill at Whistler feel?
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
You mean the Dave Murray? Hard to tell, since it was my 1st year skiing when I went there. Was not yet sure what I liked. I did learn to truly hate cattracks, though.
post #10 of 21


They have nice WIDE cattracks compared to what I'm used to - & "relatively" uncrowded - so i was quite happy to edgeroll them... the only problem was the few RUDE people who have DECIDED that as they ski straight on them you should too & abuse you for daring to 'TURN IN FRONT OF THEM' ....

I really MUST print out the skier responsibility code & carry some copies with me this season

I ended up on it on my own by 'accident' (tired & took a wrong turn - oops) - I found it less scary than I thought given the 'speed we hit jump at' given by my instructor...

It felt less worrying than the racecourse that I hate at home - because it was WIDE - really wide...
post #11 of 21
How about World Cup at Okemo. One of my favorites.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, forgot about that one!
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Oh yeah, forgot about that one!
Courses are chosen for their uniformity. This makes the runs predictable to ski and comfortable even if they are gosh awful steep! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #14 of 21
Ya know LM, next time you're in Kitzbuhel, they have this nice little DH trail that might be right up your alley...

[ March 14, 2003, 06:57 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #15 of 21
...and there are great views of it from the hospital!

S
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Learner:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Oh yeah, forgot about that one!
Courses are chosen for their uniformity. This makes the runs predictable to ski and comfortable even if they are gosh awful steep! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] </font>[/quote]That makes sense. In the past 2 years, I've been getting progressively more comfortable on steeper trails, and my perception of what I would call steep is changing.
But as far as athleticism goes, my talents lie more in strategy than they do in agility. {something I am working on}
So a predictable course, no matter how steep, is pretty skiable.
Its these "where the hell did the fall line go?" trails that still drive me nuts!
post #17 of 21
I ski Sugarloaf quite a bit, and have to say that Comp Hill is a trail that I rarely ski. I PREFER trails of varying pitch and direction rather than straight consistent fall-line runs. So I think it is a matter of simpler personal preference. It makes it more interesting for me to try to "read" the terrain and adjust my technique and approach in a dynamic way (not that I'm always successful!), rather than take one turn after another without much variation.

I understand that others prefer to get into a "rhythm" when they ski. That's great! So many ways to get down the mountain -- take your pick!
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
I think it goes beyond personal preference. Solid technique plays a significant role. In another thread, I had mentioned that when people up the ante in terms of how they are going to advance their skiing, they sometimes have a tendency to choose trails that have too
many challenging variables at once; steep and narrow, steep and bumpy, steep and icy, steep with an unpredictable fall line, and the best, steep narrow icy unpredictable fall line and very CROWDED.

What has worked for me so far has been to deal with one or two challenges at a time on any given trail. I have found, that even though I CAN ski trails that have a few things that stretch the limits of my ability, doing that too often simply leads to bad, defensive habits.

BTW, I would say that the ability to read any trail and adjust your technique puts you in the realm of expert, or near expert status!
[img]smile.gif[/img]
post #19 of 21
Sure, technical ability will have a lot of influence on your preferences. I did indicate that I like to TRY to read the terrain but my read is not always correct nor am I always successful at making the right adjustments. I sure don't consider myself an expert (or anywhere near one) but I do enjoy variations within a run and the challenges they present. Yes, I sometimes have too much on my plate to handle all at once but unpredictability can be fun!
post #20 of 21
Quote:
How about World Cup at Okemo?
Well, they don't race on that one. (Perhaps they once did though). Towards the bottom it also has quite a double fall line where you can ski uphill quite fast. They race on Wardance, which is fairly steep for the top 1/3, and Chief which has steeper pitches interspersed with fairly flat parts.

What about that "White Heat" or "White Lightning" at the 'Loaf? That's pretty steep at the top.

Lm, I think you should find a trail that you feel comfortable tucking for at least half it's length! Feel the glide!
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Actually we did that tuck thing in class at The Loaf. What a blast! Can't remember which trail it was, though!
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