Snowshoe: A rant followed by happier thoughts
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JR
December 29, 2004
Member since 01/1/2003 🔗
276 posts
1. Why does everyone love to stop on trails with all their buddies and watch for their friends as if they're getting off a plane from Tahiti? Why must they always do this in groups of 4 or more and line up across the trail rather than up and down the trail so they don't take up half of the trail. Sure, Bob is stopped off to the side but his other three friends extend all the way to the middle. Ok, so I understand Cupp is a long run and people get tired halfway down, but whats up with people having to stop after the flat travers at the bottom? You have 200 yards to go. Go for it little red caboose, I think you can I think you can. JUST GET THE HECK TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TRAIL AND OUT OF THE HOLIDAY CROWDS WAY ALREADY.

2. Whats up with everyone wanting to put their kids on Cupp Run. I understand building confidence in kids is hip these days but come on, does it really build confidence to put them or have them put someone else in the hospital. You can see no less than 10 adults every run that have at least one kid snowplow turning the whole way down, falling all over, bodies flying to the ground around them as people try not to kill the poor kids. Its redicuous. Take your kid to Silver Creek and act like they're a big boy when they go down Bear Claw. They'll brag to their friends at home that they went on a black diamond and they'll soon be building the confidence they need. I understand dads want to go on Cupp but if you drag your kids over there because its your turn to baby sit and you can't wait to try Cupp until it actually makes sense I feel sorry for you. Use some common sense people.

3. Why do people hate silver creek. I waited at Ballhooter for 20 minutes. The look of the line was worse than the actual wait. They moved it along quite nicely. People whined and whined and whined some more and I said to one group, "go to silver creek. there are never lines there" they said "yeah, but you get tired doing the runs over and over. Ok, so let me get this straight. You got bored because there was no lift lines and you actually got to ski all the runs too much??? If you're gonna be that way shut up and enjoy your line, the mountain won't get boring nearly as fast while you stand in line. These people are never happy.

4. Why do morons congregate on Widowmaker. I went over there once in an attempt to try it since it just opened that day. I rode over to the lift and on the way up I saw no less than 4 people get taken out, no less than 3 people walking the rest cause they got in over their head, and no more than 1 person actually linking turns on it (incidentally they got taken out rather aggressively). So needless to say I rode back over to the basin and got back to Cupp.

Now, after all this whining about stuff I'd just like to say I had one of the most enjoyable days on the slopes ever. I got there at 9 and everything but lower Shay and a couple trails at silver creek were open i think. Packed powder was EVERYWHER. Absolutely no ice in the morning. I couldn't believe it since there were so many people there snowplowing. I got to Cupp expecting a sheet of ice and, while you could find it in the middle, the sides were nice and powdery with some forgiving moguls. Upper Shay was even better and the Upper Shay to Lower Cupp was an awesome run. I must have done top to bottom runs 20 times. I did Ballhooter, Skip Jack (wonderful powder moguls), Choker (ditto), Gandy Dancer, Flume and Hootenany of course. The rest of the day was on Cupp and Shay and it was incredible. More hard pack (not really ice) showed up in the afternoon on Lower Cupp but you could find great mogul paths where you wouldn't find any ice. You could bump your way the whole way down. Loved it. The only gripe I had about terrain was at flat, narrow traverse. Of course you had a wonderful bottle neck there but the worse was that they had small ripples that had dug accross the flat section. There were some nice shadows on it and you couldn't even see them. There were poeple falling all over that section and it just made the bottle neck worse. They actually had to stretcher someone off there. Again, it wouldn't have been bad if it weren't for all the daredevils weaving in and out of the slower traffic but whatcha gonna do. All in all, best first day of the season EVER! Sorry I still had to rant a little
David
December 29, 2004
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Jr, I feel your pain. I suffer through the same very thing it seems almost every time I go. Especially the proud fathers of incapable 8 year olds on Cupp. Urgghhhh!!!!!!!
kennedy
December 29, 2004
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Bring on the wedge patrol. I say have a sort of special forces black ops patrol on Shays and Cupp. At the merest suggestion of a wedge or falling leaf, you will be escorted of ze mountain. I swear I nearly lost it one day at the terrain park on Silver Creek when I saw a mother in her fantastic purple all in one with her kid leading the way wedging the length of the half pipe. I couldn't say anything I was just stuck in shocked fascination. I saw them do this three or four time through the park. Talk about an unsafe environment.
snowcone
December 29, 2004
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
I have had similar experiences and I have been seriously thinking of joining the Courtesy patrol at SS; we are up there 4-5 times a season anyway. I would do it just for the love of the sport and to get the gapers and kamikazes under control so that everyone could have a pleasant skiing experience. I wonder how much time you are expected to devote and who to contact?
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MRPLOW
December 29, 2004
Member since 12/23/2003 🔗
27 posts
The bottom line is that there's just way to many people on the slopes at the same time. Your's always gonna have people that are on slopes that are over there heads, snowplowing and all sorts of other things. The only solution is less people or more slopes. Cup runn or any slope for that matter just isn't fun on a crowded day for fear of being run over or lack of room to turn.
Roger Z
December 29, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
The "dragging eight year olds down expert slopes" seems epidemic in this region, not just Snowshoe. I've seen it on numerous occasions at Whitetail and Roundtop. I mentioned before about one father who had taken his six year old on Bold Decision last year when it was mogulled and the poor six-year old was crying for all she was worth.

Not sure what factors bring this out in people. Since it's usually fathers (that I've seen, at least), my guess is that sometimes it's mom takes the kid one half the day and dad takes the kid the other half. Dad says "I'll be darned if I'm gonna ski the greens with my child- he/she can handle this!" and takes the kid out to where HE wants to ski rather than where the kid CAN ski. That's a hypothesis, anyway.

Hey, here's the deal: I had one of the best ski trips with my folks out west last year because I spent every afternoon skiing with them on the blue runs, consequently I wasn't gassed by day 4 of the trip like I usually am. Enjoy the break from the tough terrain by hanging out with your kids on slopes where they can have a blast. In addition, if you're dragging your kids onto a black or double-black in late afternoon you're setting him or her up for disaster. That's when the runs- and the skiers- are at their worst. Might as well paint a bullseye on the kids' back while you're at it.
snowcone
December 29, 2004
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
I think sometimes it might be something more than dad wants to ski the blacks while babysitting Junior. Last year I overhead a conversation at Snowshoe while waiting for my partner at the top of PowderRidge. An expensively dressed woman and her husband were mouthing off to another couple about their young (7-8?) kid skiing Cupp 'all the time'. They took off with the kid down the hill for what the woman called a 'warmup' run. I was a short distance behind and heard the woman ragging on the kid all the way down Gangway/Skidway. The kid snowplowed wedges down the entire run with a terrified look on her face. I was appalled. The child was in trouble skiing greens .. why would a parent put her in danger by forcing her to go down an icy black ... just for bragging rights? Boggles the mind.
kennedy
December 29, 2004
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
I have to say this is always a favorite rant
JohnL
December 29, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
In Vermont the opposite problem is common: 7 year-old Johnny forcing his mom or dad to ski down double-black terrain.
Roger Z
December 29, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Indeed it is! Watch: I've been ragging on these parents for two years now. Someday when I'm a dad I'll probably do the same stupid things and get harassed endlessly on a message board (which would be entirely justified I might add!).

On the other hand, as JohnL points out, there are some incredible six year olds out there. No disrespect is meant to those little hot shots, as annoying as it is to be outskied by someone approximately as tall as your boot.
tromano
December 29, 2004
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Snowcone, Kamakazi is somewhat self explanitory... but whats a gapper? Sad to admit it but I am not savy to your mountain slang.
Ullr
December 29, 2004
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
It's gaper.

Gape/er - (1) A person who stands in the middle of a slope with mouth wide open in a gapeing fashion. (2) A poser - A person (usually male and over weight) in camo pants, and a Steelers jacket snowplowing down a black diamond run all the while yelling to his buddy, "Hey Joey, I'm doin it, I'm doin it"! (3) Female - Wearing the most recent fashions, and sporting the most expensive skis, bragging of her extensive skiing ability, and the fact that she is a Level 9 skier, and could have been in the Olympics. All the while not able to carve a single turn to save her life!

Bumps
December 29, 2004
Member since 12/29/2004 🔗
538 posts
I saw a little of this myself today at Massanutten. A small kid was snowboarding and he literally cartwilled down the lower half of Diamond Jim. Luckily the kid had a helmet on. I'm not certain if the kid was good and just caught an edge or if he was out of control. I stopped to make sure he was alright and his father and brothers (?) stopped by a few minutes after. He hit his head pretty good, he was lucky he didn't hurt his neck. ON another note I also saw some teenage snowboarders Zooming down the hill. They seemed pretty capable but there were way too many folks on the slope for the speed. In fact, I was carving a turn and one made a jump coming very close to my head. It was funny the only thought in my head was that I hoped he was in control and really had timed that perfectly. Somehow, I think he got lucky. But back to the clueless. I also saw kids way out of their element wrecking on the blind side of a steep drop-off. This is bad enough, but they had no clue of the danger they were putting themselves and other skiers in while they wondered around giggling and making fun of each other. Lucky for them most stopped at the top to look over before committing to the drop-off. Of course, add the zoomers to this mix and it's a disaster waiting to happen. Oh well. I, however, managed to have a blast anyway. I came back this week after a week in VT and was starting to feel blue by Tuesday. A day on the snow can do wonders to ones karma .
tromano
December 29, 2004
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Hehe Thanks for the info. I assumed gapper as like gap toothed and knock kneed.
tromano
December 29, 2004
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Hehe Thanks for the info. I assumed gaper as like gap toothed and knock kneed.
Ullr
December 29, 2004
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
I spent my first day out this year yesterday at Wintergreen with my 6 & 5 year old. Kept them on the greens and stayed behind them, while constantly looking uphill. Had to cut a boarder off and direct him away from them, but other than that I had no problems.
Roy
December 29, 2004
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
Ullr I feel your pain as I take ski school kids down busy slopes (kid gets hit, parents sue, house goes away).
snowcone
December 29, 2004
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Thanks Ullr ...

Thats about the best definition for gaper I've ever heard. Covers all the bases. We also the term 'Vail bunny' [snicker] for the female gaper you mentioned.
kennedy
December 29, 2004
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
I have a friend who is a Vail bunny. On our first trip she was telling me how good she was, hit the hill, blasted past her leaving her for dust.
SkiBumMSP
December 29, 2004
Member since 12/8/2004 🔗
224 posts
Quote:

The "dragging eight year olds down expert slopes" seems epidemic in this region, not just Snowshoe.




Isn't that the truth?

Reminds me of an incident at Massanutten a few years ago (before I joined the patrol there).

I was skiing down Paradice, and going at a pretty good clip (had to break in those new Atomic Premiers I had at the time (and still do, although stored down in the basement) ). Anyway, as I was coming around that dog-leg on the lower half, some little 8-year old kid darted out from the side of the trail right in front of me! Oh $#!+! I leaned hard on those edges in an attempt to stop as well as to avoid him. I ended up clipping the back of his skis, and in the process, knocked one of my own skis off! I proceeded to have a full yard-sale at that point!

Of course, the kid got knocked down and proceeded to start bawling his head off right there in the middle of the slope! I am still trying to recover from the wipeout myself, at the same time worried I may have killed the poor boy! I also was wondering if I am going to catch grief from his father, who was standing along side the trail. I got up and ran back up the hill to the kid to check on him. The father skied over and started apologizing, saying "oh I am sorry, we should've checked up slope before going" and on and on. At that point, I was still more concerned that the kid was okay than anything and told him, "Look, is that kid okay? That is all I am concerned about right now". Fortunatly, the kid was alright, although a bit shaken up, though.

I finally asked the father what the heck he is doing with a small child on an expert hill. Turned out the kid was still learning to ski, but the father wanted to "show him the big hill" and "to see what it is like". I then told him that if he is not careful, he is going to get that kid killed up here. That is not the place to learn how to ski. Thankfully, he did acknowledge, and probably (hopefully) learned a lesson on skier safety from that little instance.

Now, one can argue that I should've been more careful myself. I was sking on an expert slope, which was not very crowded at the time. I have a resonable expectation that other people on that slope have similar ability as myself, to be skiing there. Other people were skiing just as fast, if not faster, than I was. Also, the kid and his father was off to the side of the trail (thankfully), stopped. I was towards the middle, thus I figured I was well out of the way to avoid them.

The responsiblity code does state that it is your responsibility to look up slope and ensure traffic is clear and yield right-of-way before starting. True that the resposibility code also states that people ahead of me have the right-away and that I should be able to avoid them. However, since they were stopped,and just starting downhill again, they needed to yield that right-of-way to the traffic coming down hill. Also, since they were off to the side (and I did see them), and I was towards the middle, I felt sefe in my assumption that I gave enough clearance to avoid them. Unfortunatly, if somebody starts off and cuts right in front of you, there is not a whole lot you can do. Fortunatly, I was well enough in control that I was able to slow down enough and avoid him enough that I only caught the back of his skis, instead of hitting the kid directly, square on (which could've been disasterous for the both of us!)

So, to cut to the chase, I know all to well and can certainly relate to the rants in the initial post of this thread.

Please, people, be careful out there! Yes, have fun! And enjoy the slopes, but please, keep safety in mind. I don't want to come on here and hear about somebody gettting cracked up badly, and then not be able to ski for the rest of the season (or worse).
Roy
December 30, 2004
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
Quote:

The responsiblity code does state that it is your responsibility to look up slope and ensure traffic is clear and yield right-of-way before starting.




Traffic laws state that slower traffic should stay to the right but that doesn't happen either. I'm still young enough in my thinking to enjoy the aspects of anarchy but some things people really need to pay attention to. Then again, stupidity is something the scientific community has not been able to cure.
MadMonk
December 30, 2004
Member since 12/27/2004 🔗
235 posts
I'd like to add one caveat to the parents w/ kids on Cupp. On a Wednesday, it's fine to do such things. It might not be the best idea, but if the slopes are in good condition Upper Shays/Lower Cupp is really a blue run ... especially when there's like 10 people skiing the whole Western Territory. Those doing this on weekends, especially holiday weekends, are idiots.
jimmy
December 30, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
JR- A good rant is always enjoyable and this one generated lots of discussion. Holiday crowds are sure fun to watch, sure not fun to ski around, through, in front of or behind.

Roy- Fortunately (or unfortunately) most folks don't understand how dangerous a pursuit snow sports are until they, or someone they're with gets hurt. It's even worse when they hurt someone else due to ignorance. I'm a very "active" skier and for my protection spend as much time looking up the hill as down. Yesterday @ 7 Springs (sorry for the hijack, i'll try to keep it brief) I almost got run down coming off Cortina into Wagner after looking up to make sure it was safe to merge by two larger kids skiing WAY too fast, apparently racing to the bottom.

No one wants to be harassed by safety patrol but IMO we are seeing the opposite extreme in the Mid-Atlantic.

jimmy
Roger Z
December 30, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Someone earlier mentioned that there are just too many skiers/riders and not enough slopes. Out west, you almost never have run-ins with folks, at least on the less crowded mountains. Heck, come to think of it, I didn't have any problems with this at Whistler, either, except for the lady who lost her snowboard (pre-strap days) and the thing shot down a bowl for over a 1000 vertical feet. Thank goodness no one was in the way, but man you should have seen the look on her face (the joy of walking a half mile after runaway equipment)!

And as someone else just mentioned- bringing a novice down Cupp when there's no one on it is no big deal... USUALLY. I think a lot of the common sense we have is just from skiing/boarding most of our lives. People that go out a couple times a year simply don't get it, or they don't care. It's like the folks that use the shoulder to pass when they can't get an open passing lane- they don't care what other people's safety is so long as they get to do whatever it is they want.

So there's probably a combo of all this going on- folks that don't care that other people might be injured or worse by their actions, folks who don't understand the common courtesy of the sport because they don't do it enough, folks that harass their kids into runs they don't belong on, and so forth. If the mountain is crowded, all you need is one person in a hundred (or even fewer) to do this and suddenly the mountain becomes extremely dangerous.
johnfmh2
December 30, 2004
Member since 12/28/2004 🔗
3 posts
I installed a new router at home, which messed up my DCSki account. Anyway, I created a new acct. called Johnfmh2. Hopefully, Scott will eventually figure out what is wrong...

I see a Yin and Yang to skiing this year in the Mid-Atlantic. On the one hand, you have places like Snowshoe, Whitetail, and 7 Springs that are pulling out all the stops, and spending huge sums of money to open ample terrain in what has been a very warm winter thus far. On the other hand, many closer in places and resorts like T-line and CV, which are usually a good bet by now, don't have much to offer. So, everone is flocking to the few resorts with decent terrain offerings and avoiding the other places. This has meant virtually empty slopes at T-line and CV and huge crowds at Snowshoe. Snowshoe, in other words, is a victim of its own success. Blow snow and people will come. This is just an observation, not a criticism.
JohnL
December 30, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
Crowded slopes in the Mid-Atlantic is not a recent trend. I remember dodging crowds on the slopes at Whitetail, Seven Springs and Snowshoe over 10 years ago. I've heard the Pocono areas are even worse for crowds. While you may have the occasional reckless or clueless sliders, the danger and stress is mostly in having too many sliders on too little terrain. Unless we are willing to pay 100 dollar lift tickets, I don't see the skier density decreasing. I have to disagree a bit with Roger Z. (I'm not allowed to agree with you 100 percent. ) Just about every area (Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, West) has crowded sections of the mountain that are a human rodeo. Fortunately, you can generally avoid those sections, but often the layout of the mountain channels skiers of all abilities into a trail or two to reach a lift or to exit the mountain.
JR
December 31, 2004
Member since 01/1/2003 🔗
276 posts
A couple comments as I come back into contact with a computer.

1. I went on Tuesday and still can't half walk today. Well worth it I might add especially since Walmart has powered wheely things to ride in now

2. It is NOT ok to take beginner-intermediate kids on Cupp on Wednesday if it isn't crowded. I don't care if your rich and rent the whole Western Territory to yourself. Why is it so hard to stay within your ability. There are plenty of slopes on both of the other faces to build your skills. If you can't ski upper ballhooter with great confidence you NEED to stay off Cupp. Make the move to Widowmaker too. That way if you don't have it quite mastered you only have to fall a few hundred vert feet. I just don't get it. And I don't know what lower cupp used to be like but on Tuesday it was a black diamond thru and thru. Even when it starts to feel like its leveling out as soon as you step out of your turns and head down the mountain you pick up some fierce speed. Its steeper than it looks and people need to respect that, crowds or no crowds.

3. I beg to differ on the "can't have fun on a busy slope" idea. It was pretty darn fun. And besides, Cupp wasn't really that crowded until the bottleneck at the bottom and the endless lines of people standing around at the old midstation. Other than that it was pretty open if you chose your line right.
Roger Z
December 31, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Yeah JohnL is right that every mountain has its crowded sections, it just seems as if on a percentage basis there are more crowded areas per acre here in the Mid-Atl than in many other places. Given that our ski areas are smaller, that shouldn't be too surprising for us... but it does make the beginner wandering around on Cupp or freestylers getting air all that much more dangerous, and therefore it also means that there probably needs to be tighter management of slopes in the Mid-Atl than we currently have (read: more ski patrollers and courtesy patrollers). I don't really want to see more patrollers around but if safety is an issue and people don't understand the rules very well, there aren't a lot of other solutions.

JR, I've got a question for you (and for everyone). You mentioned that it's never ok to take a beginner or intermediate down Cupp. Fair enough. But where does the beginner or intermediate go when they want to start stepping up their skills a little? I think that's part of the "too little terrain" problem around here; skiers and riders have to upstep a level or two to improve which often means having people bumbling around on a slope when you'd rather not have them there. What's a person who's learning to do if there are some slopes they ought never go on, no matter how uncrowded it is?
tromano
December 31, 2004
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Johnfmh2,

The winter has been pretty warm so far. And there is a deffinate dicotomoy. It really seems that the whole goal of 7S, Shoe, and Snowtime resorts, was to be fully open (or as much as possible) by Xmas. It makes sense since the XMas holiday week is a huge time of buisness for the local places. Any resort that can open a lot of terrain is going to get more buisness because all the people who want to ski will have to go there.

In addition the success and branding builds on its self. For example if snowshoe gets the reputation that they are open, even in the bad years. Then that will greatly improve their brand image and people will rely on them more than say a timberline. This is important becuase a longer trip to a destination resort requires planning weeks in advance to book accomodations etc.. this is ofter befre the weather outlook for a season is known.
tromano
December 31, 2004
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
RogerZ,

The east is bad for crowds because you have a ton of people smaller mountains, narrower trails, and less acreage to ski on for the number of lift tickets they sell. Its just arithmatic. Sociologists talk about the north-eastern megalopolis. They imagine Boston to DC as one huge city with 50 million people. Thats how it is in someways. Look at the beltway compared to the interstates in the mid west. When I go visit family out there they are like look at all the trafic. All I see is wide open highway. Its jsut a difference of perspecive. More enforcement is a good idea to a point.

To answer your other questions. If you want to be very terrain based, there are 5 levels of skier. Never Ever, Green, blue, black, and double black. Its probably not a good idea to ski more than one level above what you are comfortable with. A never ever is only safe on greens because they ahve no comfort level yet. If you are comfy on greens then, its ok to tackle a blue, but a black will probabbly be too much for you. I realize this is totally simple and dumb, but it seems to be a good rule of thumb. A person who is learning is jsut that, learning. Puting them in a situation for which the are unprepared has a number of probably consequnces, most of them bad. If you can't deal safely with the conditiosn then why ski? You are just asking to get hurt. It will probably happen anyway eventually by accident, but don't set your self up for failure. Not to mention on a crowded slope, if you take a massive spill its likly that you will cause a "pile up" and hurt others as well.

Quote:

Yeah JohnL is right that every mountain has its crowded sections, it just seems as if on a percentage basis there are more crowded areas per acre here in the Mid-Atl than in many other places. Given that our ski areas are smaller, that shouldn't be too surprising for us... but it does make the beginner wandering around on Cupp or freestylers getting air all that much more dangerous, and therefore it also means that there probably needs to be tighter management of slopes in the Mid-Atl than we currently have (read: more ski patrollers and courtesy patrollers). I don't really want to see more patrollers around but if safety is an issue and people don't understand the rules very well, there aren't a lot of other solutions.

JR, I've got a question for you (and for everyone). You mentioned that it's never ok to take a beginner or intermediate down Cupp. Fair enough. But where does the beginner or intermediate go when they want to start stepping up their skills a little? I think that's part of the "too little terrain" problem around here; skiers and riders have to upstep a level or two to improve which often means having people bumbling around on a slope when you'd rather not have them there. What's a person who's learning to do if there are some slopes they ought never go on, no matter how uncrowded it is?


JohnL
December 31, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
Quote:

I beg to differ on the "can't have fun on a busy slope" idea. It was pretty darn fun. And besides, Cupp wasn't really that crowded until the bottleneck at the bottom and the endless lines of people standing around at the old midstation. Other than that it was pretty open if you chose your line right.




Dude, are you the same @#$%^@^%&@! who started this thread with his top 10 rants of crowded slopes? And now you are acting all innocent and above the fray? Sorry, I'm not gonna let you off easily.

(Forgive my rant cuz this is the second NYE in a row that I caught a nasty, nasty head cold and can't go out skiing. Maybe tomorow if I rest up enough. )

Z-Man,
Agreed. The difference in skiing the Mid-Atlantic slopes (and the rest of the East) versus the West is generally the difference between driving I-95 in Maryland and I-I don't know where I am in Montana. But more and more people are moving out West, so the elbow room out there will be a lot less than it is today.
JohnL
December 31, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
Next time I ski down Cupp Run or Extrovert or Bold Decision or Gunbarrel, I think I'll start snow plowing half-way down. If someone starts ranting at me, I'll figure it's a DCSki poster.
Roger Z
December 31, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Quote:

The difference in skiing the Mid-Atlantic slopes (and the rest of the East) versus the West is generally the difference between driving I-95 in Maryland and I-I don't know where I am in Montana.




Based on what you said about populations, I'd go one further than that. Imagine now taking I-95 in Maryland and locating it somewhere up in "I don't know where I am Montana" and moving the smaller state highway from Montana out here to replace I-95, lack of snow removal included. That's one difference between skiing in the Mid-Atl and skiing out west. Fewer people and bigger mountains versus many, many more people and smaller mountains.

You know there are fewer people in Montana than there are in Fairfax County? Even though the west is growing rapidly, they're a long, long way off from becoming another megalopolis. And they probably never will, considering how much land is owned by the feds and how little water there is to sustain a large population.

Does anyone have any experience skiing the Tahoe region on a peak winter weekend? That's a place with 10 million people close by but fairly big mountains. I'm wondering how the crowds- and more importantly, the out-of-controlness that we're ranting about- compares out there on a peak weekend compared to around here.

Oh yeah and thanks for the post about skier ratings. Sometimes it can be a tough call figuring out what's just a little over your head versus a lot (because of our conditions discussions that we've had before). In that respect, I try to give some folks the benefit of the doubt about whether they really belong on a trail or not- maybe they made a mistake and will get off asap- but then there are others who are clearly being dumb.
snowcone
December 31, 2004
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Tahoe comments:

We've done Tahoe twice and both times it's been great. Heavenly can get crowded on the California side ... especially their ever so mild greens and some of the easier blues .. but the Nevada side up by Orion and Dipper was wonderful; light traffic and plenty of room to do wide fast turns. Squaw, on the other hand, was a mob scene. Even thought there seems to be more actually acreage at Squaw, the slopes were packed with just about every type of skier from never-evers falling all over to some high speed KKs zipping thru. I do have to say that Squaw Patrol seemed to latch unto the dangerous players quickly and get them under control. We were only there for a week each time so didn't have enough days to try Kirkwood, etc. ... next time.
JR
January 1, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003 🔗
276 posts
Hey, my original post started with a rant and ended with happier thought, ie how much fun I had there amidst all the chaos. You can have fun and still see some serious issues with this region can't you?

If everyone complaining is a dcski poster than there were a heck of alot of us there on Tuesday riding cupp.

I actually meant no Beginner/Lower Intermediate should be on cupp. Sorry about that. Although I really don't think people should try Cupp until they can tackle shorter runs like Widowmaker and Choker confidently. It will allow them to grasp the steeper pitch, typically icier conditions, and occasional moguls of expert terrain. There were people on there that would look sketchy on skidder.

I really didn't mean to start such a negative post so much as just to make an observation. That's why I included my overall positive experience. My final thoughts on this are.

1. I talked to some people from around Wintergreen that said their black terrain required skiers to make 6 parrallel turns at the top in order to get approval from patrolers to continue down the black terrain. Why can't they set up an area similar at snowshoe or one where you get your ticket stamped if you link some turns in front of professionals. Then anyone ith a stamped ticket can go on the Western Territory.

2. Off the Wall, or the Drop one, is fenced off with a small entrance at the top and a sign that reads something like "you'll lose your ticket if you are on here and shouldn't be." I've been with lower experts that questioned whether they should do it and I've heard numbers of people at the top decide not to do it based on that sign. If they would have threatened to take these people's $65 lift ticket they'd think twice, especially if it meant their ticket AND their kids ticket.

3. Although I saw lots of patrollers, they were clearly overwhelmed. It took all of them to tend to fallen skiers/boarders. I didn't once see any of them chase down an out of control skiier or say anything to them at the lift. Its hard to single people out in such a crowd so that's why I think the pre-expert terrain test is in order.

4. I like numbering my points.

5. I had a blast on Tuesday. I repeat, I had a blast. But the people that got hurt and their families did not. My stepdad saw an article in the paper that said a 13 year old died on Cupp over the weekend. I feel like it wouldn't take Snowshoe too much effort to make that slope much safer. Its obvious that you can't expect everyone to use common sense so you have to step in somewhere.
tromano
January 1, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
"My stepdad saw an article in the paper that said a 13 year old died on Cupp over the weekend. I feel like it wouldn't take Snowshoe too much effort to make that slope much safer. Its obvious that you can't expect everyone to use common sense so you have to step in somewhere."

Honestly that is the pits. Is there any additional information? I hear of kids 16, 17 years driving cars and stuff getting killed. I think everyone in Montgomery county where I grew up knew a kid who was killed in a trafic accident where they drove and killed them self or another kid in the car with them. Now its on skis too. And at a younger age, Jr. High school. Is there any additional news about this kid? This is exactly the kind of thing that should be talked about more to get people to stop and think.

JR,

If you really want to change things you could always let your money do the talking. As you said other resorts have better policies. And from the pics johnfmh posted the slope at TLine are uncrowded. Write a letter to SS if you really want to let 'em know.
JR
January 1, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003 🔗
276 posts
Yeah, it is pretty rough to hear things like that. The article said he had a helmet on. Some guys on the lift said they were there when it happened and that he was cut off and forced into the trees. I feel for his family and friends as well as everyone involved.

I guess what got me worked up about all this is that when I was in my early teens me and my friends were the ones skiing over our ability for bragging rights. I never once thought of how dangerous it really was. I needed somebody enforcing common sense on me just like so many need now.

My cousin went on a 4H trip to Canaan 10 years ago or so and his friend got run off the trail and broke his back i think. Now he's paralized. That was kind of a wake up call for me on just how dangerous things can be.

I know the feeling about car accidents. I've lost a cousin and had another have a VERY close call in car wrecks in the past 2 years. Again, I was the guy driving fast when I was in High School, acting like I was invincible. I just feel like we're given alot of freedom as kids without much education, especially with skiing. For kids to have their parents drag them on a black diamond is like the parents telling them its no big deal when it most definitely is.

As for writing Snowshoe, I was planning on dropping them a letter next week. I've written them before and they seem very interested in customer input. Hopefully they'll do something in the near future.
JohnL
January 1, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
JR,

Just busting your chops.

Sorry to hear about the fatality @ Snowshoe.
kennedy
January 1, 2005
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Well I had a great day Thursday at Whitetail. Broke out the big gun and let it fly. That said there was the inevitable wedging 8 year olds in the park. Nothing is more frustrating that setting up on your line and gunning for the hit only to have a knee high wedge into your path and roll over the take off. Now I that said I did see one dad bring his kid in. The kid could barely wedge, no joke, and having read and posted on this board I decided I better live up to it and say something. So I nicely mentioned that if his kid is a beginner then this isn't the safest place for him to be. The reply?

"Oh he's not a beginner"

You have got to be #@$%&** me. He looks like a fricking donkey on rollerskates and you're sending him into the park telling me he's not a beginner. Dude you suck. well at least I tried.

On the upside I was hit the tables left and right and having a blast. I am ready for the pipe, bring it on baby.
SkiBumMSP
January 2, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004 🔗
224 posts
Quote:

"My stepdad saw an article in the paper that said a 13 year old died on Cupp over the weekend. I feel like it wouldn't take Snowshoe too much effort to make that slope much safer. Its obvious that you can't expect everyone to use common sense so you have to step in somewhere."

Honestly that is the pits. Is there any additional information?




This is all I can find about that accident at Snowshoe over the Christmas weekend. Sad, and I was skiing at 7-springs at the same time this happened. That link is "Google-cached" as the actual link wanted me to fill in some "registration form".
SkiBumMSP
January 2, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004 🔗
224 posts
Quote:

3. Although I saw lots of patrollers, they were clearly overwhelmed. It took all of them to tend to fallen skiers/boarders. I didn't once see any of them chase down an out of control skiier or say anything to them at the lift. Its hard to single people out in such a crowd so that's why I think the pre-expert terrain test is in order.




From personal experience, I can tell you that it is indeed not always easy to catch out-of-control skiiers. Often, by the time I see one, and can react to go after him, he is already far enough down that even going full-blast, I still cannot catch him. And if I finally do catch up, he is already down at the base and lost in the crowd in/around the lodge, or he already manage to get back on the lift.

Sometimes, especially on the more crowded days, we will stake out the slope and do some type of "speed control". We'll also do it if we get a lot of complaints from the general skiing public about out-of-control skiiers. It is often amazing how some of those kids who like to "tuck-n-run" suddenly decide they don't want to ski anymore when the patrol is out there watching the slopes like a cop watching for speeders on the highway.
SCWVA
January 3, 2005
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
JR,

SS Ski Patrol use to pull the less skilled skiers at the midstation. It really helped clean up Lower Cupp, but the midstation went away when the high speed quad was installed. Progress I guess. SS needs to do something, Cupp gets pretty crowded with novice skiers in the afternoon. I would be in favor of some type of test or qualifier run on Choker. At SS, I would guess that only 15% of the skiers/boarders could pass the test.

In regards to Dad's dragging their kids down expert slopes, I have four kids under the age of 8 1/2. Three of the four ski. My oldest has been skiing since she was 2 1/2. She can link numerous parallel turns and likes to play in the bumps. We take at least three long weekends trips to SS per year. As much as she has asked/begged, I have never taken her down Cupp. Not because it is an "Expert" slope, as it is not particularly steep, but because of it's length. Most of the younger, intermediate or out of shape advanced skiers get pretty worn out by the time they reach the steeper part of Cupp (Lower) which can lead to disaster. I will say it is tough to say no, when your kids say "I want to do a Black Diamond", but you have to say no for their safety and others. With this accident at SS, it should be a lot easier just to say no!
TOMF
January 3, 2005
Member since 11/17/2003 🔗
60 posts
I read two articles in the Elkins newaspaper--the Intermountain--about the boy who died after an accident on Cupp Run. Here is what I remember from the articles. The boy was 14 years old, from North Carolina. He was wearing a helmet. The accident took place the first day that Cupp Run was open. I think that was the Wednesday before Christmas. No details on the accident were provided. I think that nobody saw it happen. The article didn't say where on the trail they found the boy. He was evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Charleston, where he died 4 days later. Very sad. I hate to read or hear about accidents like this, and unfortunately we seem to have one or two per season in the mid-Atlantic ski areas.

Tom
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