What I'd like to see for 06-07 season - Variety!!!
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August 19, 2006
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
I remember a conversation I had with one of the South's first Snowboard Instructors a few years ago. We were talking about the future of the Mid-Atlantic and the evolution of terrain...particularly terrain parks/liability but also general terrain management. We both agreed that we would see more terrain parks and more sculpting of terrain from resorts who are on top of their game. Let's face it here in the south resorts are not going to be able to open up new bowls or greatly expand their skiing experience...other than cutting another trail to relieve the overcrowded amusement park like feel that most resorts have on the weekends. But resorts can spice up their skiing experience by creativly grooming and sculpting their trails to add terrain variation. A single trail could be sculpted several different ways throughout the season quite easily and add excitement and enjoyment for guests.

I have designed and run terrain parks for half a decade and I have noticed some interesting things. Besides a few jumps, rails, and boxes I have always thrown in a couple rollers or whales to practice popping off of or to practice retraction and absorption or to give people their first taste of "not flat". What I noticed was skiers and boarders of all ages and levels loved rolling over the features as much as jumping or grinding them. People who would never hit a jump would run through the terrain park just to ride or ski over the rollers. Kid's would lead their parents through the terrain parks all day long. Lot's of times people ride or ski through terrain parks just to roll over the features or to ride or ski something a little off camber ...something that is not flat but is fun for all ability levels. Instructors would use the varied terrain to teach their students on terrain that wasn't flat. Skiers/boarders enjoy variety!

Lately their have been several articles posted on what's new at local resorts and almost all of them include expanded terrain parks(particularly the recent articles posted on what's new at Liberty, Camelback, and Shawnee). In recent season's we have seen huge terrain park expansion from all but one or two mountains in the south. Almost all mountains are encorporating smaller/beginner terrain parks, and making them a priority. Smaller mountains are beginning to realize they can spice things up by shaping the terrain they have already. I'd like to see more of this on more slopes-not necessarily technical terrain park features but simply fun terrain features that don't require day to day sculpting but are still fun to ski and ride for all levels(for example small rollers, whales, and off camber turns).

I hope to see more terrain sculpting and creative grooming in the south. It's more than the latest x-games extreme sports hype. It's a good way to improve the skiing experience and to keep things exciting and fresh. I'm not nessacarily talking about top to bottom boardercross runs or fifty foot tabletops on everyrun, but more along the lines of a small whale or roller, a cleverly placed bump field and varied terrain that can accomodate skiers/boarders of all levels.

This coming season I hope to see more resorts interested in placing a priority on the skiing terrain as much as the real estate. I hope to see more terrain variation, more bumps, and more creative grooming/creative not-grooming(powder) in the south!!!
August 19, 2006
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,067 posts
I agree, Tucker. Now to get Amos to allow more at t-line may be difficult. All I want are a couple of decent bump runs under the chairs there. I don't give a rat's behind if it's hard to keep snow on them, They just need to make the snow deeper in the first place. And yes, they used to blow under both lifts there, which, if was reinstituted in the future would provide this desired experience!
JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 19, 2006
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,974 posts
Terrain variety.
All makes good sense Tucker. If you can't add new terrain, remake the old terrain.
This March I skied at Okemo,VT with my kids. When I'm with them sometimes we stick mostly to intermediate terrain, which can be a little boring, but Okemo had some great parks and I really enjoyed passing thru them with my kids even though we weren't going for huge air or anything like that. One park was especially cool and high up on the mtn with great views. It was long too with tons of features like banked turns, giant jumps, rails, etc. Okemo is not known so much for super steep terrain, but they know snowmaking/farming/shaping and have produced recent Olympic medal quality park rats like Hanah Teeter.

Tucker, did I meet you at T-line lodge in early Jan with Jimmy?
August 21, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts

Tucker, did I meet you at T-line lodge in early Jan with Jimmy?

Jim, that was Adam, aka the professor .

Tucker, one of the things i like about snow sticks, allegedly going up on thunderdraft vs. the fan guns are they make lots of small humps instead of a few big ones. Problem still is that the groomer fleet is now too large at Tline, need to trade groomers with blue knob. I've always found the terrain variation at 7springs fun, they groom but don't plow everything flat first.
August 22, 2006
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Adding another terrain park here or there is cool, but a few things to consider. A park to be really succesful has to have more or less dedicated lift, wether it be a rope or whatever. Many resors could add to their terrian variety more broadly by adding rollers, banks, and other features on trails all over the mountain to spice things up. One of the things I like about the north face at 7S is all the rollers and little jumps that spring up arround the bowl area, finding them is alot of fun. I really like the jump off the bank on the skiers right off side of boulder run under TNF lift.

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

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