Mid-Atlantic Trail Design
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9 users
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JohnL
June 16, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
On the recent Tory Mountain thread someone commented that the trails looked like they were cut straight down the hill, with the slopes virtually identical to each other. (As much as you could tell from a satellite picture.) This blandness is true of a lot of local trails. The trail designers don't have much horizontal space to work with since the local mountains aren't too large and as many trails as possible are needed to absorb the crowds.

There are some notable exceptions. Cupp Run @ Snowshoe is probably the best example, with some twists and turns, various pitches and widths, and yet, it can still handle a lot of skiers. Barrett's Run @ Roundtop and Stembogan Trail @ Blue Knob have carnival-style twists in them, but they can't handle the same number of skiers as can Cupp Run. Extrovert @ Blue Knob also has an interesting design. You enter the trail via a cat track, it has a bit of a double fall line, two cat tracks cut across the trail in the middle, and there is a dog leg at the bottom. A lot of variation is packed into a relatively small space.

What local trails do people think have an interesting design? What trails do people not like as much since they are too much of a cookie-cutter design?
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
June 16, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
I think our smallish mountains have a lot to do with the generic design of some of our trails. Most designers do not want to sacrifice steepness for design. That's why we have so many trails that adhere almost religiously to the fall line. I can't say I blame them. I'd hate for Off the Wall or White Lightning to be less steep and more curvaceous, but I still yearn from time to time for trails like Perry Merrill or Lord at Stowe--one's that flirt with the fall line and yet still have steep areas and double fall lines. 7 Springs spent a lot of money trying to make the new The Giant Boulder trail interesting, but it's too short and not steep enough to be much fun. I'd rather play on the North Slope bowl than bother with Giant Boulder.

I agree with JohnL that only a handful of trails here come close to the Stowe ideal. Porte Crayon and Tory have the potential vertical for trails like Cupp. But for most mountains here, no amount of earth moving, dynamiting, and contouring can make up for lack of vertical. Hence, the Colorado style fall line trail has become ubiquitous.

Right now, however, I'd be happy to ski anything, not matter how straight. As long as it has snow.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
June 16, 2004
Member since 01/14/2004
2,645 posts
Another big reason for bunching lookalike trails in close proximity to each other is to ease snowmaking operations.
andy
June 16, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
I guess the the mtn itself dictates the variety of terrain.I think for small verticles the basin at SS is excelent & canaan vly has some interesting short runs.I was the one looking at the sat photos of tory & i hoped they could get a little inventive.Course the sat photos don't tell the best story
tromano
November 14, 2004
Member since 12/19/2002
998 posts
There are a number of trails at Wisp that have the "curvaceous effect" if you want to call it that. Eye opener, boulder. the back side of 7S has some as well all the way on skiers left.
David
November 16, 2004
Member since 06/28/2004
2,444 posts
Where can you find the sat photos of Tory??
Murphy
November 16, 2004
Member since 09/13/2004
618 posts
I believe this is it. It's actually called Job Knob on the maps.

http://www.terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?t=1&s=12&x=785&y=5379&z=17&w=2

Do you think it would be possible to develop that bowl on the southeast face of the mountain? 60% grade for over 800 ft.
Roger Z
November 17, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
The terrain on the east side of Job Knob (say it- "jawb knawb" it's more fun that way ) all drops about 2000 vert. Granted that puts you in some fairly low elevations for WV (2400 feet or so) but, man, forget steep. Sure I'd love steep but just having a run or two of 2000 vertical feet would be SWEET.
tromano
November 17, 2004
Member since 12/19/2002
998 posts
Re: JOB KNOB,

Am I the only person who is having trouble with this map? Where is the top of the hill? Where is the bottom? Is there a version w/ the lines of elevation? The whoel thing looks flat to me in the picture. I am not sure how you can see any height or judge steepness fomr this photo.
Murphy
November 17, 2004
Member since 09/13/2004
618 posts
Quote:

Am I the only person who is having trouble with this map? Where is the top of the hill? Where is the bottom? Is there a version w/ the lines of elevation? The whoel thing looks flat to me in the picture. I am not sure how you can see any height or judge steepness fomr this photo.




In the upper left hand corner of the page change Aerial Photo to Topo.
langleyskier
December 7, 2004
Member since 12/7/2004
824 posts
canaan valley has alot of excellent trails that are fun to play around with. Also, they have a nice meadows area that is very open when they have natural snow.

-But i do agree there is little variation in most local resorts.
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