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Wachusett glades

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have a question. What is the best glade at Wachusett? They do not have any glades so I am looking for a off map glade between two trails.

post #2 of 19

In years past, Wachusett has been very strict about skiing off-trail -- as in doing it (and getting caught) gets you kicked off the mountain immediately.  They are really protective of their old growth forest.

 

There's very rarely enough snow off in the woods to even make them skiable anyway, so it's kind of a moot point.

post #3 of 19

KevinF is correct.  If caught skiing off-trail, there is a significant likelihood that you will lose your pass/ticket.  I know - I've pulled passes/tickets for this reason.

 

Why anyone would want to ski off-trail at Wachusett is beyond me.  The woods are still littered with the remains of the ice-storm from 2008, to the point where I don't think it is safe to venture off-trail.

post #4 of 19

Correct about the no glade skiing at Wa.

 

It's in a state park and there's a contract between the ski area and the park that must be respected and that dictates that you can't ski in the woods at Wa.

 

Whenever people ski in the woods, it just makes it harder on the ski area to try to provide more skiing.  It took six years to get a tiny expansion approved.

 

Maybe sometime they will be able to allow some tree skiing below the road not in the old growth forest but it would probably take five years to negotiate but people breaking the rules now will just make it harder.

 

post #5 of 19

Yep, the only tree skiing at wachusett is cross country on the other side of the mountain (I think). I'm actually pretty sure you're looking at some serious fines if you wander into the old growth forest. Too bad though, mountains so convenient just not a lot of variety there.

post #6 of 19

can some please explain to me how tree skiing though an old growth forest affects it at all?

 

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

can some please explain to me how tree skiing though an old growth forest affects it at all?

 


Well, Alpine skiing could cause major devastation, but Cross-Country is actually good for it.

 

It's sort of like horses and bikes.

post #8 of 19

Could be a concern about ski edges cutting the bark of the trees. I have seen trees with damage that appeared to be caused by skis.

post #9 of 19

 

Quote:
can some please explain to me how tree skiing though an old growth forest affects it at all?

 

I'm not sure there's much terrain that could be safely opened up without being thinned substantially.  You'd certainly have to go in and take out all the underbrush, fallen trees, etc.

 

The only thing I've heard were rumored discussions with the DCR about maybe thinning and opening that little glade in the middle of Vickery Bowl, but they apparently didn't like that idea much.  And that stand of trees already has ski trails surrounding it completely!

post #10 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

Quote:
can some please explain to me how tree skiing though an old growth forest affects it at all?

 

I'm not sure there's much terrain that could be safely opened up without being thinned substantially.  You'd certainly have to go in and take out all the underbrush, fallen trees, etc.

 

The only thing I've heard were rumored discussions with the DCR about maybe thinning and opening that little glade in the middle of Vickery Bowl, but they apparently didn't like that idea much.  And that stand of trees already has ski trails surrounding it completely!


if there is enough snow to cover everything, what the safety issue? whats the environmental issue?

 

plus who cares about skiing trails? skiing trails when there is woods to skiis so not fun. also woods hold good snow, trails get scraped to ice.

post #11 of 19

The ban on skiing the old growth forest could be a concern about skis damaging the trees. I've seen tress that appeared to be damaged by skis. Unless you have permission to ski the woods, stay out! You are not bright, but a simple minded person could understand this.

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

The ban on skiing the old growth forest could be a concern about skis damaging the trees. I've seen tress that appeared to be damaged by skis. Unless you have permission to ski the woods, stay out! You are not bright, but a simple minded person could understand this.



just like horses do less damage to wilderness areas than mountain bikers right?

post #13 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

Quote:
can some please explain to me how tree skiing though an old growth forest affects it at all?

 

I'm not sure there's much terrain that could be safely opened up without being thinned substantially.  You'd certainly have to go in and take out all the underbrush, fallen trees, etc.

 

The only thing I've heard were rumored discussions with the DCR about maybe thinning and opening that little glade in the middle of Vickery Bowl, but they apparently didn't like that idea much.  And that stand of trees already has ski trails surrounding it completely!


if there is enough snow to cover everything, what the safety issue?


If they just started letting people go into the trees as-is, patrol would spend all their time dragging the bodies out.  Also, some of the stands of trees could be unsafe due to traffic entering/exiting onto busy trails.

 

You'd need a LOT of snow to cover up all the crap in the woods there, especially after that ice storm a couple years back.  There are a lot of large, solid obstacles.  And it doesn't stay as consistently cold as it does up at Stowe, so it's less likely that the snow will stick for weeks at a time and stay in good shape.  I'm not sure it would be worth having "glades" that are open for something like two weeks a season.

 

Quote:
whats the environmental issue?

 

I know there can be erosion/runoff concerns with removing trees and brush.  I'm not sure if that's the main problem.  The current stance of the DCR seems to be anti-expansion of any kind, but I don't know if there are legit environmental concerns or it's all just politics.  The resort is in a state park, so it's up to the state to approve anything.

post #14 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

Quote:
can some please explain to me how tree skiing though an old growth forest affects it at all?

 

I'm not sure there's much terrain that could be safely opened up without being thinned substantially.  You'd certainly have to go in and take out all the underbrush, fallen trees, etc.

 

The only thing I've heard were rumored discussions with the DCR about maybe thinning and opening that little glade in the middle of Vickery Bowl, but they apparently didn't like that idea much.  And that stand of trees already has ski trails surrounding it completely!


if there is enough snow to cover everything, what the safety issue?


If they just started letting people go into the trees as-is, patrol would spend all their time dragging the bodies out.  Also, some of the stands of trees could be unsafe due to traffic entering/exiting onto busy trails.

 

You'd need a LOT of snow to cover up all the crap in the woods there, especially after that ice storm a couple years back.  There are a lot of large, solid obstacles.  And it doesn't stay as consistently cold as it does up at Stowe, so it's less likely that the snow will stick for weeks at a time and stay in good shape.  I'm not sure it would be worth having "glades" that are open for something like two weeks a season.

 

Quote:
whats the environmental issue?

 

I know there can be erosion/runoff concerns with removing trees and brush.  I'm not sure if that's the main problem.  The current stance of the DCR seems to be anti-expansion of any kind, but I don't know if there are legit environmental concerns or it's all just politics.  The resort is in a state park, so it's up to the state to approve anything.


 

you dont need to thin anything, or take anything out to have woods skiing. You just need enough base(which freeze thaw actually helps build) to ski in there. Most glades are overly thin and invite people who cant ski to go into them.  Skiing woods(vs glades) is a different animal and most people simply arent good enough to attempt.

 

Your arguments about safety are lame. People should be free to kill or maim themselves as long  they understand noone is going to save them. The american way of cuddling and protecting people from themselves pretty much has to go.  Case in point the glades/wood at stowe are never opened or closed. People ski woods that trust me are way sketchier than anything there is in Ma and yet they are are still statically the safest places to be on the mountain.

 

Just saying that if for some reason you guys got a huge dump(unlikely I know) pulling people's passes for skiing on what is their land(public land), just because they want to have fun.

 

wood skiing use to be not legal here or most  other places but enough people kept breaking the rules to change the rules.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

People ski woods that trust me are way sketchier than anything there is in Ma 


The people or the woods? Oh yeah, both!! HAHAHA!

post #16 of 19

 

Quote:
you dont need to thin anything, or take anything out to have woods skiing. You just need enough base(which freeze thaw actually helps build) to ski in there. Most glades are overly thin and invite people who cant ski to go into them.  Skiing woods(vs glades) is a different animal and most people simply arent good enough to attempt.

 

You would need a LOT of base with all the debris and underbrush in there, unless you went in and started clearing stuff.  (And I've heard stories of Stowe locals doing just that in the summer, even though you're not supposed to go cut down trees on Mansfield.)  It's atypical for several feet of snow to pile up in the trees at Wachusett; it just doesn't stay cold enough consistently enough.  Even if it was allowed, there might be two weeks a season where it would actually be a good idea for anyone to try it.

 

Quote:
Your arguments about safety are lame.

 

If I was in charge it would be different.  I'm not.

 

But even if they said "you're responsible for yourself if you go in there", people would want rescue when they get stuck or break their leg.  I don't know if our patrol would want to be willing or able to handle that.

 

Quote:
Just saying that if for some reason you guys got a huge dump(unlikely I know) pulling people's passes for skiing on what is their land(public land), just because they want to have fun.

 

I don't personally think skiing in the woods should be prohibited, if people are willing to pay for rescues.  But note that in general, "public" land is not "do whatever you want on it" land.

post #17 of 19

In my opinion, the ecological risk of letting people ski in old growth is virtually zero.  If there's enough cover to be skiable, you won't affect soil, roots, or anything like that.  I can't believe you could ski by a tree and do any real damage to it with your gear.  More likely it will damage you.  As long as you aren't clearing growth, I don't believe it would make a hoot of difference if people are skiing on top of snow.

 

I believe that the so-called ecologic concern is solely political.  There's people that don't like the ski area and will do whatever they can to squash it.

 

The concern about injuries is more real.  With the clientele at Wa, including many less experience and younger skiers and riders, if they let people in the woods, patrol would be scraping people off trees right and left.

 

The only place where might conceivably be practical to allow tree skiing at Wa is the center of the Vickory area and the area between 10th and Lower Balance Rock.  Both would be clearly and entirely visible from trails on either side.

 

Being that attempting to ski in the woods can cause all sorts of problem for the relationship between the ski area and the state park, I do not ski in the woods, I do not let those I ski with ski in the woods, I discourage others from skiing in the woods.

 

One other thing, the Pine Hill Trail, and Balance Rock Trail were built in the 1930s as a ski trail long before the ski area and lifts where there.  For Balance Rock, portions remaining as original and portions incorporated into Conifer Connection are now part of the ski area.  Pine Hill is not part of the ski area.  It is no longer open for skiing and is mostly overgrown so skiing it would be tough.  It's narrowed to the width of a hiking trail over much of its length.  My personal opinion is the Pine Hill Trail is important part of New England ski history and should be restored as a ski trail and opened only for those that wish to hike.  The problem would get back to the concern about the type of skiers at Wa.  A lot of bone-head kids would leave the ski area, try to ski it, and get hurt.  The entrance is too close to the ski area.

 

 

 

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post

In my opinion, the ecological risk of letting people ski in old growth is virtually zero.  If there's enough cover to be skiable, you won't affect soil, roots, or anything like that.  I can't believe you could ski by a tree and do any real damage to it with your gear.


I saw a fatal car crash this summer and the tree that the car hit was barely damaged at all. It wasn't even very  big maybe a foot around. Considering that the car was a pretzel I thought the tree would have been obliterated. So yeah, I think you are right that trees wouldn't be damaged in any real way by skiers.

post #19 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post

In my opinion, the ecological risk of letting people ski in old growth is virtually zero.  If there's enough cover to be skiable, you won't affect soil, roots, or anything like that.  I can't believe you could ski by a tree and do any real damage to it with your gear.


I saw a fatal car crash this summer and the tree that the car hit was barely damaged at all. It wasn't even very  big maybe a foot around. Considering that the car was a pretzel I thought the tree would have been obliterated. So yeah, I think you are right that trees wouldn't be damaged in any real way by skiers.


While the tree may not have been destroyed, it is entirely possible that the tree was bruised or enough bark was broken to allow infection to get into the tree and eventually kill it.  The same can happen from skiing.  Still shouldn't be a reason to ban tree skiing in most instances though, but bottom line is any human encroachment on an ecosystem can and will change said ecosystem. 

 

The real issue is that once tree skiing is allowed, the area WILL be thinned out.  People will go in and cut out lines, whether Josh thinks they should be or not.  When you're talking old growth forest, I say let it go.  Everything else should be fair game though.

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