The 2006 AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge: SKI SUNDOWN (Their First Challenge!!!)

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  1. #1
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Exclamation The 2006 AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge: SKI SUNDOWN (Their First Challenge!!!)

    Chris Sullivan, Mountain Operations Manager Ski Sundown has agreed to take the 2006 Alpine Zone Challenge!!! This is your opportunity to ask questions, offer suggestions, or say some praise to the men and women behind the scenes of the Northeast’s Ski Areas. Please post some suggested questions in this thread and we'll select ten to present for official responses.



    Also please don't be offended if we edit/change your question for grammar, tone, or some other minor thing. In order to get in all of the questions we MAY merge some questions but we'll do our best to keep the substance of your question. If we don't get your question in, feel free to post a follow up after we get the results...we are encouraging the representatives follow the threads.

    As always, please be respectful of Chris and keep it civil. Also, please refrain from asking specifics about skier visit numbers, financials, demographic information, etc. Sundown needs to be discrete about certain information.

    We are honored to have Chris participate in this challenge, and it is their first Challenge, so please take advantage of this opportunity.

    Ask away!

    Sundown’s Profile
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  2. #2
    Greg's Avatar
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    Nice! Been waiting for this one. Here goes:

    Let's talk moguls! I would like to first applaud you guys for the mogul run set up on Nor'easter this season. I know for a fact that several AlpineZone Members visited Sundown specifically to ski this run. There was a thread containing 79 posts, spanning 8 pages, this season about it so there is indeed interest. Personally, I estimated I skied Nor'easter 70+ times and really enjoyed it a lot this season. Despite Sundown being a feeder hill that focuses on learning, I feel offering a consistent expert mogul run can definitely attract local advanced skiers who are looking for a challenge close to home. A well done bump run is also useful for teaching upper intermediate skiers that want to take their skiing to the next level. I feel in many ways you accomplished this on Nor'easter this season.

    However, there is room for improvement. Specifically, I think there are better trail options for a seeded bump run. I realize the number of routes down the mountain is limited, but the obvious choice is Gunbarrel. I also understand that Gunny is often used for races and race practice, but my impression is it's wide enough to offer a top to bottom seeded bump run on skier's right while leaving perhaps 2/3 of the trail on skier's left groomed for races and cruising. This also provides a way for those over their heads to bail out of the bumps. This would allow Gunbarrel to return to its former claim-to-fame as CT's best mogul run (read: marketing value).

    In my mind, the next logical choice would be Temptor (a "double-black"). While not as steep and long as Gunbarrel, it's a better choice than lower Nor'easter (a relatively short blue). As I understand it, the reason for seeding bumps on Nor'easter was so Ski School could utilize it in intermediate lessons to teach mogul skiing and Temptor's double-black status was thought to be too intimidating. I think this can be overcome by allowing a single groomer pass on one side of a bump run on Temptor. This will provide an escape route as well as letting those who are unsure scope the run before committing. After that long-winded preface, here is my question: What are your thoughts on these ideas/suggestions?

    Sorry for wordy comments/questions, but this is something I'm truly passionate about. As an aspiring recreational bump skier, I found having a good bump run so close to home extremely helpful for letting me practice and improve. You've appeased the park rats with a pretty impressive terrain park on Stinger, now let's give the bumpers an awesome run! While Nor'easter this season was 'good', I think you guys have the talent and terrain to offer a bump run that is truly 'great' next year. I'm sure we can get a group together to help ski it in...
    Last edited by Greg; Apr 12, 2006 at 12:44 PM.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  3. #3
    as an addition to gregs question, which i agree with 100%, i would also like to inquire about the mogul comp. you used to (try) to have in march. Is this something you would consider trying again in the future? I realize the last 2 times it was on the calender of events it was cancelled due to weather but it is something that would be of great interest to many.

    I would also like to thank your team again for the bumps on noreaster. I probably would not have skied at Sundown at all this year had those not been done. I managed 4 trips specifically because of that.

  4. #4
    I returned to Sundown this year for the first time in over a decade. While I was happy to see an impressive terrain park, it was disappointing that it took over what is arguably the best run at Sundown - Stinger. Are there any plans to move the park to Nor'easter or Canyon Run, or does the length and "look at me" value of the Stinger location make that untenable?

    Also, are there any plans for terrain expansion, say to skiers' left of Gunbarrel or between Gunbarrel and Stinger? I ask b/c with Stinger now occupied by the terrain park, fully 1/3 of your expert terrain is off limits to those skiers who simply want to ski.

  5. #5
    Greg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Woodsman
    I returned to Sundown this year for the first time in over a decade.
    Didn't know you hit Sundown this season, Tinny. Too bad, we could've hooked up for some turns...

    Great questions.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg
    Didn't know you hit Sundown this season, Tinny. Too bad, we could've hooked up for some turns...

    Great questions.
    Well I was stuck at my parents' house with my ski equipment the weekend of the big storm, so I had to take the opportunity when it presented itself.

  7. #7
    bvibert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Woodsman
    Also, are there any plans for terrain expansion, say to skiers' left of Gunbarrel or between Gunbarrel and Stinger? I ask b/c with Stinger now occupied by the terrain park, fully 1/3 of your expert terrain is off limits to those skiers who simply want to ski.
    Damn, you took my question. Seems like you could open a decent trail inbetween lifts 1 and 2 that dumps out at the bottom of exhibition, and/or at the old mid-station. Also, as mentioned, it seems like you could do something to skiers left of gunny, above sunnyside. Maybe a dedicated terrain park with its own surface lift?

    My second question has to do with your website. I see that you now have a forum setup for the terrain park guys, why not add catagory for the rest of the mountain? It might be a good way to get feed-back on the rest of the mountain and generate some interest.

    My last question has nothing to do with skiing. I've seen in the terrain forum that there is some interest in opening up Sundown in the Summer for mountain biking. How serious of an idea is that? Sounds like a pretty big undertaking, but I think it would be worth it. Are there any other ideas for off-season activities there?
    Brian

  8. #8
    Greg's Avatar
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    Do you ever allow skiing under lift one (the yellow triple)? If there's enough natural snow, it seems like that could be skiable, although some of the chairs get pretty low in spots. Have you ever thought of grading that so there is enough clearance to open it as an official trail? I suppose the lack of natural snow most years limits making this worth it and you can't really install snowmaking on such a narrow liftline. Again, a new trail that that winds between and partially follows the two triple liftlines could be cool though.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  9. #9
    Greg's Avatar
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    Can you give us a history on "The Horn", the traverse trail that runs between Stinger and Gunbarrel under the lifts. Do you ever open it anymore?

    Probably by the time you get to these questions the April Freestyle Camp that's going on this week will be over. How did it go? Did you receive a good turnout? Is it something you plan to continue? How seriously would you consider a mogul camp?
    I ski double black diamonds.

  10. #10
    Greg's Avatar
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    The Stinger Terrain Park was indeed impressive this season. What feedback did you receive on it? Were most people glad it was moved off of Gunbarrel and put on Stinger? Personally, I think Stinger is one of the mountain's best trails with a good balance of pitch and character. As a non-freestyle skier, the park there this season was somewhat of a disappointment. I understand it's a big draw, but perhaps as Tin Woodman points out, there is a better location for it? Canyon Run is a also a great run, but I would bet most people would be willing to sacrifice that to get Stinger back.
    I ski double black diamonds.

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