Catch of the Day - Hardest Trail in the East
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JimK - DCSki Columnist
September 28, 2005
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts
For those fans of the steep and deep there's a pretty interesting thread covering this subject on Epicski.com right now. One guy is even posting slope steepness stats down to the tenth of a degree for many famous Eastern expert runs. But as we know, snow conditions, trail width, bumps, trees and other factors all come into play besides just sheer steepness.
Thread: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=29735&page=1&pp=30

Here's a photo taken at the entrance to Rumble, a tough, narrow run in the steep Castlerock trail pod at Sugarbush, VT. Fresh, young legs come in handy here: http://image58.webshots.com/158/8/20/85/394482085rAcIQd_fs.jpg

The line between "natural/ungroomed" trails and true backcountry terrain gets blurred at places like Mad River Glen ski area in Vermont. I guess if you can get there from a lift without a lot of hiking it qualifies as a "trail"?? This shot of Paradise at MRG depicts a fairly conventional looking expert trail, but unseen hazards such as cliff bands bisect the area: http://community.webshots.com/photo/260653519/260653519UNKlsX#

More in-bounds, but all-natural Eastern terrain; Face Chutes near the top of Jay Peak, VT: http://community.webshots.com/photo/299232570/299278150OyvLhv

In recent years Cannon Mountain, NH has officially (albeit rarely) opened some tough terrain under and near their Aerial Tramline. Here's a shot of some guys roaming around this stuff with a serious vertical drop to Interstate 93 below: http://community.webshots.com/photo/300503683/300503683KbLvcs
Another shot of certifiably sick glades visited by this group: http://community.webshots.com/photo/300542278/300542278OaMCrx I'm impressed with any snowboarder that can maneuver through this sort of long, steep, tight, bumpy glades.
Their semi-inbounds excursion occurred in the vicinity of the lift line shown in this shot from Cannon tram base: http://community.webshots.com/photo/296383748/296387198QTaaGz
Chad
September 28, 2005
Member since 12/12/2000
270 posts
hey great pics. the first sugarbush link isnt working though. can you re-post?
jimmy
September 28, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
Chad, copy the link and paste it in ur address bar. These pictures, WOW!
JimK - DCSki Columnist
September 28, 2005
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts
Quote:

hey great pics. the first sugarbush link isnt working though. can you re-post?




TRY: http://community.webshots.com/photo/394482085/394482085rAcIQd
click on "view full size" for better quality.
JohnL
September 28, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
The pix of Rumble is actually the side of Liftline under the Castlerock lift. Rumble is a very tight run in the trees and is probably the most &*^%%&%#@&* marked trail I've skied in the East. The picture doesn't even begin to convey the challenge of Rumble.

Paradise at MRG is a great, great trail, but unless you duck into the woods, the only section that makes the trail "extreme" is a 8 foot waterfall jump. Since the trail gets a lot of traffic, the landing area for the jump can get pretty nasty. I found this out the hard way one time and sprained my ankle.

Face Chutes doesn't look too bad in the picture - looks like it was taken during a good snow year. They were closed the only times I was at Jay Peak. Looking up at the Chutes, they looked pretty exposed. I guess the snowpack was different when I was there. If you fell, it looked like you would get skewered on the stunted trees. Plus the route finding up there looked nasty; plenty of lines ended in small ledges with no apparent landing areas. All of this in full view of the Tram and the Green Mountain Express.
Roger Z
September 28, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Jim- that photograph you posted of Paradise at MRG is actually a picture of Fall Line, a narrow twisty little run to the skiers left of the single chair. Sits in-between the insanity that is Paradise and the rest of the mountain.

The tram line at Cannon is now open for skiing. Having ridden the tram before, I've got to say that the top few hundred feet look especially nasty- narrow, treed, rocky. Blue Knob in a bad mood, in other words.

I'm surprised that the rock slides at Whiteface don't get more press than they do. They were opened a few years back and have pitches approaching 45 degrees, sustained. Gore has also opened some nice double-ds, but the steepest points only last 50 feet or so (kind of like Gunbarrel but slightly longer).
BushwackerinPA
September 28, 2005
Member since 12/9/2004
649 posts
I still have yet to ski at Cannon but the other three runs were great fun. Jay peak IMO is has the best vertigo factor from my skiing experinces. Getting in to the face chute right underneath the tram requires hop turning down some pretty narrow and steep mini chutes. Once you get in there if you are as lucky as the first time i skied it, the snow and experince can be ungodly good. I got to ski the face chutes firsts track after a 3 foot storm april of 04, still the best skiing I have ever done, and second best ski day of my life.

BTW the steepest pitches at whiteface are only 36.5 degree in the slides.

Also i will report on Whiteface and Gore when i go there. At Gore i will get the full insiders tour from the people who mine the garnett out of it. I have heard "rumors' and "Lies" ae pretty good.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
September 28, 2005
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts
Thanks for keeping me honest guys. I've got cartography/photogrammetry way long time ago in my background, but as you can tell many of my comments about narrow field of view webshots photos are just guesstimates based on the photographers comments and/or data contained in the photos or associated photo albums. It's pretty cool that between our collective experiences somebody can almost always verify any of this on-slope stuff.

Here's a not-so-great shot of The Slides at Whiteface: http://community.webshots.com/photo/394480161/394485719CqicGO
Signifcantly more impressive shot (steep rocky stuff to right of trails): http://community.webshots.com/photo/78147708/78149451HIlnNF
MadMonk
October 2, 2005
Member since 12/27/2004
235 posts
Whomever made the remark that besides an "eight-foot waterfall drop" the trail at MRG isn't that extreme had me laughing. That's like saying, "Besides the right hook, getting punched by Mike Tyson isn't that bad."

I can see me going off the waterfall and hitting a piece of blue ice that shoots my skis out in front of me thus causing me to skid the rest of the way down on my bum ... or until I hit a tree; sweet merciful tree.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
October 5, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004
2,170 posts
Quote:

Jim- that photograph you posted of Paradise at MRG is actually a picture of Fall Line, a narrow twisty little run to the skiers left of the single chair.




Correct. Fall Line is a great trail too!
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