Skiing Horizontal and/or Vertical? A Seven Springs Update by Iwan Fuchs 12
By Iwan Fuchs, Guest Columnist

Since I became the new Snowsports School Director at Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs Mountain Resort I have experienced a lot of new and exciting changes at the resort. Thank you DCSki readers for voting Seven Springs Snowsports School #1 in the 2008 DCSki Annual Survey. The new owners, the Nutting family, are very interested in making Seven Springs a prime ski resort.

Last Friday, on February 15, we had one of the first ever light music formation skiing & boarding shows in the country, just like the INTERSKI event last January 2007 in South Korea. It’s a mix of pure excitement combined with the elements of music, light and the skills of our snowboarders and skiers. For next season, I hope I can make it an invitational super show with different Snowsports School Demo-teams.

My first thought regarding skiing in the East after returning from Switzerland is do we ski/ride vertical and/or horizontal? Many ski resorts are developing new trails but all of them are very narrow. Seven Springs has some of widest trails among the East Coast resorts, allowing horizontal skiing.

On top of the Polar Express lift. From left: Joe Perry Jr., Ski and Board School Supervisor; Bob Kuban, Technical Director; and Iwan Fuchs, Snowsports School Director. Photo provided by Mountain Memory.

In my opinion, the mountain is geared in the right direction, regarding terrain parks. Our Eastern Mountains are not as challenging as the Western resorts and resorts in the Alps. Dedication towards the parks at Eastern Ski Resorts is constantly evolving and is a must for small and mid size resorts. According to Ski Magazine the top 10 terrain parks are in the East.

Of course there is some room to improve for Seven Springs Mountain Resort, especially since the possibility of Western expansion is floating around; new beginner learning lanes, and a new electronic system for the winter business. The new RF (radio frequency) system is used currently at 95% of Swiss Ski Resorts and about four Rocky Mountain resorts, which are compatible with a Swatch wrist watch pass.

Seven Springs Snowsports School is going through a big change regarding programs. The new direction in the industry is visible and needs to be addressed. As some of you know teaching today is different than it was years ago. The influence of the carving ski and board, and freestyle skiing has its footprints on the mountain. Teaching becomes more and more a combination of traditional teaching and freestyle teaching. Many resorts do have a pre and teen ski & board whole day program. We at Seven Springs are going into the Junior X generation 3G program. I believe the new changes will go along with the NSAA 10plus program. We also see a need for a VIP program and a whole day and/or multiday program for adults. When I worked in Engelberg Switzerland, we had an Adult multi day program and it worked great.

Going back to my question regarding horizontal and/or vertical! Seven Springs Snowsports School has answered the question for our students. Horizontal is the new way of skiing and riding our beloved mountains. I also hope we can start a discussion in terms of teaching and skiing/riding the new way.

See you on the slopes.

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About the Author

Iwan Fuchs currently serves as the Snowsports School Director at Seven Springs Resort. He has over 18 years of experience teaching, and has served as a certified Swiss ski instructor in his native Switzerland. He has also been a USSA racing coach.

Reader Comments

DCSki Reader
February 21, 2008
You nailed it...Dedication to Terrain Parks and more importantly terrain shaping and variation(not just flat everywhere) is a must for small and mid size resorts...and is the future of Mid-Atlantic skiing...
February 21, 2008
yeaaahhhhh! the best ... i love making big turns edge to edge ... sometimes i even go back uphill a little ! i hate thrashy little narrow trails u have to make all little skid-y turns on ... yech! ... like dragging my fingernails on a chalkboard...
February 22, 2008
in my opinion resorts need to look at horizontal skiing/riding more then they do currently. Thats the only way we will keep our guest on our mountain. Skiing and riding our mountains with the "new" powerful equipments we also need to look at from a new teaching style. In most cases the instructors cannot teach on a narrow slope anymore. Of course we do still need them.
September 28, 2009
Anyone have information about developing new terrain on the west side of the mountain??
September 28, 2009
I guess Iwan doesnt really know what hes talking about. A few years back 7 Springs had plans of this "Western Expansion" which was not new beginner areas as Iwan says. It was for new expert slopes on an undeveloped side of the mountain. They said it was going to be like skiing out west, thats why it had the name "Western Expansion". So get your facts right Iwan.
September 29, 2009
Obviously you don't have your facts straight. Iwan is relatively new at 7S and wasn't around for the BS that was the Great Western expansion that the Dupres promised. And in case you didn't hear, um... they don't own the place anymore. New day, new dawn.
September 29, 2009
Yes you are right the Dupres dont own it anymore but the project is still in the works. Its kept quiet due to the fact that they are still trying to get permits because it is in 2 different townships and a different watershed than the rest of the resort.
October 29, 2009
I think 7S needs to realize that probably around 75% (my rough estimation) of the people that come to 7S come for the skiing....not the spa, not the new really expensive condos, not the new flashy hotel rooms, but for the skiing....they did do one thing right with replacing the old gunnar lift with a high speed quad, but they shouldn't stop there....if they have enough money to renovate the entire hotel along with the pool and foggy goggle and put in a spa...then they should have enough money to give something back to the skiers and borders, and by that i mean give us a little expansion, some more challenging terrain. And I'm not sure if this is entirely true but i also heard from a former employee that the new owners don't even know how to run the snow making system as well as the Dupres used to???? anyone have more info on this??
October 29, 2009
old gunnar lift was replaced by a high speed six not a quad
October 29, 2009
old gunnar lift was replaced by a high speed six not a quad
October 30, 2009
You mean like, say, the Laurel Mt slopes?

No fan of the new ownership, but I think it would be safe to say that very few people could run the snowmaking system there better than the ones who developed it. HKD isn't just a TLA.
December 31, 2011
look at the great western trail on the map, it looks pointless. that's where the top of the lift was supposed to be, my buddy was riding quads (atv) back there and found several large trails cut, large as if not bigger then northface trail. but they were cut around ten years ago and are now being reclaimed by nature '( oh well The nuttings suck, look at the new 20$ blizten lot. it used to be free!!!

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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