December 8, 2004
I see Roundtop has converted Exhibition to a terrain park this year. Fully 1/4 of its terrain now looks to be part of some type of snowboard park. Are they ever going to add new terrain for skiers, or must we go elsewhere?
terrain parks are also for skiers
I hang out in the terrain parks all the time. I can't do flips, twists, or grabs but I get some great air. I also don't sit around and wait for half an hour after the person in front of me jumps. I do wait and make sure they cleared but I don't stair at the jump trying to psyche myself out. Didn't the younger generation learn anything from advertising. Just Do It!
Hey everybody, ive got some fanatastic news. Terrain parks are SUPER EXCELLENT FUN! All the snowboarder dudes say that terrain parks are the "bees knees", and skiers like them too! But seriously, terrain parks can be great fun for both skiers and snowboarders. Just remember to use common sense and you will have a SUPER EXCELLENT FUN time.
Well I was just looking around webshots and looking at round top in particular before I came over here. I saw an interesting picture of ramrod slope. I have never been there before so I was wondering how hard the double blacks are there the picture didn't look to challenging but they never do. Here is the pic.http://community.webshots.com/photo/59715224/59717450CRQHTF
I've never been there either. Like you said, they never look as difficult in the picture as they really are. It appears to be similar to some of the blues I've seen out west but I might have a different opinion when standing at the top of it
At least it's fairly wide with no lift poles, trees, etc in the middle of it...
Ramrod is a fairly manageable single black diamond slope. The steep part is real short, but it will get your heart rate up a bit. It is probably as steep as Goosebumps at Seven Springs, but only half as long. There is another steep slope at Roundtop called Gunbarrel. It looks a little more difficult than Ramrod, but it wasn't open the last time I was there a couple years ago (which was the first time I'd been there since the 80s). Of the Lib/WT/RT trio, RT is probably the smallest mtn, so it's not a bad strategy to look for a market niche there by appealing to park rats.
Re Terrain Parks: I'm a skier and I think that the introduction of terrain parks has been a breath of fresh air for the ski industry. I won't do rails or other non-snow features to prevent damage to my gear, but jumps, spines, woop-de-doo's, etc. are a lot of fun. I may even try a half/quarter-pipe this year. Terrain parks can make a small local hill ski a lot bigger. I love playing with natural terrain features on normal ski runs; terrain parks are just snowmakers giving Mother Nature a helping hand.
From Roundtop's current trail map (http://www.skiroundtop.com/rtmaplarge.pdf), it looks like some of Exhibition will still be normal terrain for race course usage. (And presumably free skiing once the courses are taken down.)
Re Ramrod: Despite how it may seem from a picture, I agree with Jim K. that it would be a black at just about any ski area in North America. It's always been pretty icy (with some bumps) when I've skied it. The headwall is pretty steep for the Mid-Atlantic, so I'd label the trail a bit more difficult than "pretty manageable". I've heard that Gunbarrel is much tougher than Ramrod, but it has always been closed the few times I've skied Roundtop. I've heard both trails get really bumped up in the Spring. The main problem is that the headwall is way too short as Jim K pointed out.
I also don't sit around and wait for half an hour after the person in front of me jumps. I do wait and make sure they cleared but I don't stair at the jump trying to psyche myself out.
Right on! It is even more of a pain when a group of skiers/boarders gather before a piddly little jump on a trail. Unless it's a mongo terrain park jump or a cliff, you shouldn't stop and interrupt your run. Ski up to the feature, do a jump/trick, and then ski away and keep on turning. It requires more control and looks a lot more impressive. Trails are for skiing, not hanging out.
Gunbarrel's top is variable. The truly steep part-- the very top-- can get corniced up and lots of locals like to leap it. They're pretty responsible when they take the jump, they've always got at least one guy checking to make sure the slope is clear and holding off any jumpers if it's not, so I have no complaints there. Frankly, they're fun to watch.
So about ten or twenty feet of the top of Gunbarrel are the steepest skiable terrain I know of in the mid-Atlantic. Unfortunately, you can only get at best two or three quick turns in before you go into the not-quite-as-steep section, which although it's still got a nice pitch, feels downright flat compared to the upper part. Oftentimes Gunbarrel's upper pitch is just a continuous sheet of ice that it's best to just ski over and wait to turn until you're further down. Best days are after a fresh snowfall, when the run has been newly opened for the season, or in the spring thaw in March.
Last year one of the pitches in had developed a nice edge that I really enjoyed; it was good practice on hop turns and if you blew it, you were taking a six foot jump into a trough (which was kind of fun to do, too). I finally nailed the hop turns on one of my last runs of the day and took that confidence out to Lake Tahoe where I was able to put it to use in some chutes at Sugar Bowl. So even a twenty foot drop has some positive benefits for the biggies out west. Gunbarrel is definitely something everyone who thinks they are an expert needs to ski and needs to get good at.
I hear you there it seems everything is being covered with jumps and rails.
I skied RT 5 times in the last 2 years. Of the close to DC resorts it is the furthest but it can be worth it. It has some nice double black terrain and is a good alternative for higher level skiers looking for a challenge on days when BK doesn't have any terrain open.
I have always found both Gunbarrel and RamRod very tough. They are the two most challanging trails at the snowtime resorts and ammong the most difficult in the region.
I agree with most of the earlier descriptions of the terrain but I wanted to add... The important thing to note that I think the picture misses is that the trials start very narrow (only 15'-20' width at the top) until they get below the headwalls where they spread out. For point of refrence I think the headwalls are slightly steeper than anythign 7S has to offer. Both are very short (maybe 150' vertical for the headwall sections).
Both trails have been very icy each time I have been. Gunbarrel is the most unique enterance I have seen on a MidAtl trail. The entrace is usually shaped like a 20' wide half pipe or "U" and has very little room to turn for the first 30' or so. I guess this is where it gets the name. Gunbarrel has only been open on 50% of my trips. Ramrod is open more often.