Silver Creek and park features
Got another one of those announcement emails from SS this evening. Here is the blurb on Silver Creek and it might not be to the liking of some folks (certainly doesn't give me the warm fuzzies) others will be in 7th heaven; notice the adjective 'all' ...
"Freeskiers and snowboarders will find plenty to get excited about this winter. A new terrain garden, along with a revamped Pro Park on Spruce Glades, is what you'll find at the Snowshoe Area. Just down the road at Silver Creek, a Super Park is waiting for you as we've added features to all the intermediate and advanced trails."
I can't remember where, but I've definately read that. Undoubtedly somewhere in these forums, because they're the only ski forums I frequent.
But after reading about wherever else it was posted, I thought it was a pretty crappy idea, and I still do. But it beats having to avoid the guys who decide to build their own little jumps on major trails.
Canaan Valley is calling you, snowcone she's calling you!!
I have to chime in as being intrigued by the whole idea. I'm not going to knock it 'til I try it. I know they did this last year near the end of the season but I didn't get a chance to experience it so maybe I'll try it this year.
I skied the blues and blacks at Silver Creek late last season and I noticed a few new terrain park features. They were fairly unobtrusive--not in the center of the runs. They did not attract large or annoying crowds. If that's how things are going to be this winter then I don't think they will detract much from the Silver Creek experience for traditional skiers.
I think it will change the experience at least a little bit. Slaymaker is being turned into an "X games" type downhill run. Scott did a great write up of it on the DCSki front page. It does bother me to hear of this, but as other guys have said, I won't knock it until I see it. I've always thought of Silver Creek as a hidden oasis, with typically better snow than Snowshoe (northern-facing slopes) and a significantly cmaller crowd.
From Scott's cover article (emphasis added):
The placement of one to four terrain park features on the wide and flat parts of Timberjack, Mountaineer, Cascade, Fox Chase, Laurel Run, Bear Claw, and Buck Saw trails.
Medium Size Aerial Features (Spines, Hips, and Tabletops)
Medium Size Rails and Boxes (Ride on Rails and Gap Rails)
Sounds like Snowshoe is trying to minimize the affect that the features will have on the trails. As long as crowds don't gather above the features, you should be able to ski the trails like a normal run and just hit the features mid-run without stopping.
I don't disagree with placing a few simple features on the wide parts of the trails, what I do object to is the fact that most boarder wannabes (a -good- boarder is a joy to watch) are going to sit down in the middle of the runs and impede traffic. They do that even without park elements, causing bottlenecks. I don't blame it all on boarders, beginner skiers skiing erratically are dangerous too, but the boarders seem to come in swarms and spread out across the fall line more than need be. Scott's article mentioned only the blue runs and Mountaineer which is already a terrain park; the new newsletter said all blues and blacks so that must also include Bear Claw and Flying Eagle; basically every run with the exception of the beginner greens. A 'Super' park for teens and uberteens it will be, somewhere to help your kid move up from green to blue, I have my doubts.
As mentioned, I guess all we can do is see what happens. Silver Creek has always been a family hospitable environment, My guess is that there will be some very unhappy parents expecting a child-friendly skiing experience but finding a 24 hour boarder party.
I skied Big Bear near Los Angeles a few years back (someone wrote an article on this mountain but I couldn't find it). Many runs on the mountain had terrain park features: a few kickers here, a rail there) and it made it fun for me. I don't do rails but the kickers were great especially after skiing the same run a few times.