Monday, January 31, 2011

Man-Made Skiing

I'm sorry, but I really do not understand this complete obsession with perfectly groomed terrain and man-made features.  Instead of skiing and riding what the mountain and mother nature have provided, for some reason the average skier feels the need to regrade, groom and build up snow features where there aren't supposed to be any.  What was wrong with the natural features that were there before?  Why is the idea to replace natural challenges with man-made ones?

For example, this past summer, Killington spent a fortune regrading certain terrain (both green, blue & black) so that they would hold snow better.  This means that they spent weeks with a bucket loader moving earth and taking a trail with a double fall line or an elevated section and making it into one flat pancake.  And someone has the nerve to nominate them for an efficiency award because now they have to make less snow!

Screw these man-made terrain parks with their perfectly manicures jumps & landings.  Whatever happened to hucking yourself off of a rock and landing on whatever was on the other side?  You HAD to be brave, you had to be a little bit crazy - and you had to ski a lot to (a) find the jumps and (b) not eat it into the tree or death rock right after the narrow landing zone.  Something about social darwinism is creeping into my head here...

And finally, how the hell is Outer Limits supposed to be the steepest mogul field in the east if it never has any moguls on it?  Oh excuse me, the entire left side was groomed but they left a section of MAN-MADE MOGULS on the lower skiers right.  Since when are skiers not allowed to make their own moguls?  Mouse Trap, Swirl, MTS, Vertigo - everywhere now there are these artificial moguls for people to ski.  And the best part - these technical features are marked off with lollipops suggesting caution and implying danger.  Skiing is an inherently dangerous sport!

I'm sorry, but the Beast and skiing everywhere have been completely neutered.  Maybe if they spent half as much time grooming everything flat and making artificial moguls skiing could actually be a sport again.  People would need to spend money on lessons, and once you learned how to ski you would stick with it.  I remember watching people struggle down O.L. as a kid - they weren't bummed out, they were proud of their accomplishment and spent all year bragging about it!  Now it's nothing.  No big Deal.  Anyone can ski - all you have to do is stand up.  All the challenge is gone.  It's so boring that I almost fell asleep today while skiing, almost...

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