Slope "Improvements"
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wgo
June 29, 2004
Member since 02/10/2004
1,262 posts
I really enjoyed skiing at Wintergreen last year - only 45 minutes away from Charlottesville, so it's great for a quick half-day during the week. One fun little slope they had in their highlands area was the Turkey Chute - it was a fairly narrow run that was under the Highlands triple, seperated from Lower Wild Turkey by tree. You could enter the run with some pretty good air off a lip, and then make narrow turns until the run reconnected with wild turkey. Being surrounded by trees on left and right gave the run a nice feel.

Anyway, thank to "improvements" that took place this summer the run no longer exists. According to the trail map the trees seperating Lower Wild Turkey and Turkey Chute are gone - it's just one big wide run now (of course they are still marked as seperate runs on the trail map...).

Can anyone think of other instances where something like this happened? Someone needs to let ski area mgmt know that "wider" does not always equal "better"
JohnL
June 29, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
You're preaching to the choir on this one.

Wider trails can handle more skiers, are accessible to more skiers and probably are more efficient for snowmaking. Unfortunately, they generally have the personality of the Beltway. I started a similar thread recently on unimaginative trail design.

I recall someone mentioned here that Dark Side of the Moon @ Canaan was widened years ago, converting a trail with interspersed narrow and wide sections into an open boulevard. I've never skied it, so I can't give a first hand opinion. Virtually every ski area in New England has had some trails widened and re-landscaped.

I don't get upset about changing a trail in a high-traffic area for safety reasons; but keep the trails off the beaten track untouched.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
June 29, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
"are more efficient for snowmaking."

No! Narrow trails hold snow better--the shade from trees (especially Spruce) keeps the sun from the melting snow.
JohnL
June 29, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
"are more efficient for snowmaking."

Good point about the shade. I was reasoning that perhaps half the number of stationary snow guns would be needed to cover one very wide trail versus two narrow trails. Same trail surface area divided among fewer trails is probably easier. Maybe not.

I'll sleep in a Holiday Inn Express tonight and let you know the answer tomorrow. [Wink]
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
June 29, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
John:

Sustainable Slopes calls on ski resort owners to cut narrow slopes because they are more efficient from a water and energy perspective than wide slopes. From a business perspective, however, you may be correct. [Wink] It may be more cost-effective to cover a large bowl with fixed guns than to constantly move wheeled guns from slope to slope.

I agree with you that narrow slopes are a lot more fun to ski. They "narrow" your options and in so doing, improve your skills. Trails like OTW at T-line only give you about two-three lines to choose from under certain conditions. I like that! [Cool]
Roy
June 30, 2004
Member since 01/11/2000
609 posts
I try to stick to narrow trails as much as possible. I call them trees. They really force you to make your turns and they don't have to worry about the snow melting alot (but they do have to worry about coverage).
JohnL
June 30, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
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