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October 3, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,551 posts
An interesting site www.skimaps.com has had a test page up for the past six months or so. Anyone know the status of the site? (Hopefully they haven't run afoul of any intellectual property issues like some other sites on the net.)

For those who aren't familiar with the site, as the name suggests, it had trail maps for most ski areas. One-stop shopping. You could also find old trail maps of areas; fun to remember how the mountains used to be.

October 3, 2003
Member since 03/30/2004 🔗
16 posts
yea i noticed that - I thought i had forgot the correct address or something....
Scott - DCSki Editor
October 3, 2003
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,249 posts
SkiMaps.com was a very useful site, and I hope it will be back soon. DCSki has had past collaboration with SkiMaps -- several of DCSki's authors have contributed stories to SkiMaps in the past. I believe the site was started by student(s) at the University of Maryland, and was then purchased by a company that tried to commercialize the site (at the height of the Internet craze), branching out by adding editorial stories, etc. in addition to trail maps. I can tell you that it's hard to make a ski web site a profitable venture - I think DCSki is still around because that was never the goal. Generous local advertisers help cover the fixed costs of the site, but myself and DCSki's other writers have separate full-time jobs that pay the mortgage -- we just love writing about and evangelizing one of our favorite sports. I fear that SkiMaps had trouble finding an optimal business model, but hopefully they're just retooling for the winter season.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 4, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,986 posts
Skimaps began to suffer as web-based ski map technology started changing. When it started, SkiMaps could download jpeg images of trail maps from various ski resort sites. Today, however, resorts often post FLASH, and other types of multi-media maps. These new maps cannot be easily converted to a jpeg and posted on a central site. Hence, as the maps on SkiMaps got older and older, it became less and less relevant, and its clients began going directly to resort sites for maps rather than relying on SkiMaps.

DCSki, by comparison, does not live or die by a single service such as snow conditions or resort profiles. Rather, it's an online community where like-minded snow sports enthusiasts from a common lattitude and longitude gather to swap tales about our favorite advocation. DCSki is not simply about Mid-Atlantic resorts. It's about how one survives as a skier in a region not very well suited to the sport.
No skier in his right mind would voluntarily choose to live in DC. We're here because of our day jobs, and we're trying desperately to continue our favorite hobby and not get fired, divorced, or broke in the process. Anyone in our town who does more than 7 ski visits a year has accomplished something to brag about.

In Denver or Boston, you can get to 2,000 foot vertical slopes in under 3 hours drive. Even New Yorkers have a vast array of nice choices under 5 hours from the city. Here, we have to drive between 3.5 and 6 hours to ski locally during the shoulder seasons or to experience powder conditions during warm spells in the main months of the season. That's a big committment for slopes that in most cases cover less than 1,000 feet of vert.

The DCSki forum and the articles help people decide whether such journeys are worth it. In the past, I've decided to ski or not to ski on Sunday because of what people on the forum wrote late Saturday night.

For ski trips longer than 3 days, DC is a place where skiers have a mindbogling number of difficult to get to and expensive options to choose from. Do I drive to Snowshoe or Southern VT or do I fly West or even to Europe?

The DCSki community spends more time on planes, trains, and automobiles than nearly any other major community of snow sports enthusiasts in the world. We are not necessarily rich but we know that we need to save our pennies and vacation time to travel vast distancees for epic powder and vertical.

It's great to hear back from people about where they liked traveling to the best. Can someone comfortable with terrain at Snowshoe handle Vail? How difficult is it to get from DC to Park City? Are the lifts at St. Anton more or less crowded on weekends than the Whitetail Express? The further afield reports answer these and other questions.

Finally, because DC is filled with journalists, military, foreign diplomats, government, intl. business types and others who travel to strange places as part of their normal work. We occasionally get reports on truly bizarre skiing venues like New Zealand or Slovakia or hard to get to places in the U.S. like Taos or Mammoth. That keeps life interesting.

Great site Scott. I hope it continues for a long time.

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 10-04-2003).]

October 14, 2003
Hi all --

Just some quick info since the topic has come up ... Skimaps.com has been through a change of hands very recently and will be back on line this fall. Keep checking over the next few days... the site will be back along with other good news.


The skimaps.com guy

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

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