Expert Terrain- Why Wait?????
Every year it seems that the ski resorts wait until they've made snow and opened all of the beginner and intermeiate slopes before they start blowing snow on the exprt slopes. But how many beginner slopes do beginners need in order to have fun? And aren't the only skiers chomping at the bit to go skiing early in the year expert or upper intermediate skiers? If the ski resorts want to attract SKIERS, then they should start blowing snow on the expert slopes right after opening a few begginer runs and an intermediate runs. Does anyone else feel this way? If so, please respond. I'm gonna make a proposal to the GM of Snowshoe that they blow some snow on Cupp Run and open it in time for the demo weekend. If an advanced skier wants to demo skis, he or she really needs to demo the ski on expert terrain.
Your reason makes a lot of sence for opening advanced terrain early. It's generally the die hard who is in search of the earliest turns, and it is usually intermediate to advanced skiers who buy the first lift passes. However, advanced terrain is not essential for the demo process. Give me a intermediate hill with a decent length runout and it very easy to get a pretty good feel for a demo ski. As a matter of fact I prefer demoing on intermediate terrain if I can get the skiis to speed then go through various drills where the I can really get a feel for its' capabilities.
But to each his own.
We had this discussion last year. It came down to a few reasons, if I remember right:
1) 85% of the market is beginner or intermediate, so you cater to them first;
2) even advanced skiers need to warm up at the beginning of the season, so skiing less difficult runs the first time out isn't so bad;
3) beginner runs are generally shorter and thus take less effort to cover;
4) beginner runs are less steep so you can use a thinner base to get them open;
5) a lot of expert terrain can't get open without opening intermediate and beginner connectors anyway (think Whitetail for instance);
6) if you were a ski resort owner in this region, would you want to have one expert run open from a mid-station (like at Wisp)? Think of all the folks that would ride the lift up in spite of every warning sign you could provide. Better safe than sorry.
Actually number 6 is my own guess on the matter- wasn't part of the discussion last year.
I don't think you need to petition Snowshoe's GM. The last few years Snowshoe HAS fought hard to open Cupp Run quickly. I can remember riding Cupp on December 7th 2 years ago. I have also seen comments from Snowshoe staff that it takes close to a week of consistent cold for them to get the whole run opened. We haven't had that kind of weather lately. Cup is like 3 or 4 of the greens put together, as it's so wide and long.
I would think that it may be a few more days before Snowshoe tries many blacks. The warm weather really hurt everyone as most places have lots of bare spots or a small base. But I will give it to the Snowshoe snowmaking crews - once they decide to open the slopes for skiing, stuff opens FAST!
You have to think too a puke patch in the middle of Shays or Cupp is pretty dangerous, most people hit it at warp speed (except for the gapers, pickers and wedgers mind you), hitting a bare spot would be lethal.
What RogerZ says is very true - especially the part about beginners and intermediates. Yes, the advanced skiers are the ones chomping at the bit to ski early, but numbers-wise, skiers of that caliber are few and far between. The vast majority of skier visits is by never evers and others relatively new to the sport. The ski areas KNOW that advanced skiers will come - but the real market is in the beginners. Also, ski trails are interconnected and getting to the advanced terrain requires opening the beginner and intermediate runs first. Finally, with limited snowmaking capabilities (compared to mother nature), ski areas can only concentrate on one section at a time. So what they do does make sense. Hang in there, FULL ski season's almost here for the Mid-Atlantic.
Totally agree. Most skiers this early in the season will go for the trails with guaranteed snow. I certainly do... Skiing Shays with that little snowcover can be like driving in Bangkok at rush hour...
I will finally make it up for first year tracks on the weekend of the 17th. Welcome change from the Katrina scene...
Been watching Tlines webcam off and on today; groomers running, they've got way more base than 7 springs.
Why Wait?? Open er up.
One additional item that may have a bearing - it's fairly typical for ski-in/ski-out real estate to be clustered on the beginner trails. Think Salamander at T-line, and Boomerang/Village Trail at 7 Springs.