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3rd Death at Hunter this season on Hunter North (ignore it Funky)

John9

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Never seen trenches like that. That would worry me more than the pipe or unpaded snow gun tower.
 

da-bum

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I'm not a big Hunter fan, or Hunter skier, for that matter. Only been once this year, but it has grown on me, despite the fact it looks more like a strip mining operation than a ski hill. Their snowmaking prowess is undeniable, and in lean snow times they can be counted on to provide a better product than any other hill in my vicinity, preferably on a weekday. But even weekends aren't unbearable. Someone may knock you out of both of your bindings, they have, but it's a given. I was looking forward to skiing the new terrain.

It's a shame Peak dropped the ball on the North pod. It's hard to attribute three deaths, so far, in one season, on one pod, on bad luck. There must be something inherently dangerous about these trails. The fact they were tagged blue trails initially is mind boggling. Aren't they suing the company that did the work on them for being too steep? Maybe instead of blue squares they should have had signs that read.

WARNING! This trail is supposed to be a blue square. We were too stupid to realize the terrain was too steep to be a blue square when we designed it. To add to our stupidity we designed off camber turns into the trail. Falls may very well result in sliding off the trail into the trees. If you are not confident in your ability to stay upright, you might want to ski another trail.

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The off camber turn on twilight threw me off in the begining, especially when that general area is where one is going the fastest, and making wide turns, there would be instances where one is heading right-ward toward those trees, and the turn back toward the left is off-camber. That is why I resorted to ski overlook more, even though the steep part is much longer. On overlook, I could bomb that run without worrying about running into obstacles if I slide on the ever present ice. I only have to worry about those crazy sized whales at the bottom the steeps.

But now, with twilight, I can just not make those large right turn towards the trees, but just head left. I gain much more speed, but off-camber or not, that large left turn isn't going to cause me to lose my edge. Its over before I know it.
 

drjeff

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The off camber turn on twilight threw me off in the begining, especially when that general area is where one is going the fastest, and making wide turns, there would be instances where one is heading right-ward toward those trees, and the turn back toward the left is off-camber. That is why I resorted to ski overlook more, even though the steep part is much longer. On overlook, I could bomb that run without worrying about running into obstacles if I slide on the ever present ice. I only have to worry about those crazy sized whales at the bottom the steeps.

But now, with twilight, I can just not make those large right turn towards the trees, but just head left. I gain much more speed, but off-camber or not, that large left turn isn't going to cause me to lose my edge. Its over before I know it.
So basically what you're saying is that you are regularly skiing terrain beyond your ability level and at a speed at which you can't adjust for obstacles (both natural and man-made) around you.

Something outlined in the liability statements we all sign before being given a season pass or is printed on the back of a paper ticket for instances just like this.

As for the trail rating thing. Trail ratings from area to area (or even within the same area in instances) are about as consistent as boot flexes from manufacturer to manufacturer. They only give a relative indication of something at that area, and have plenty of variability from within.

One thing the ski industry may want to look at in the future, is something akin to what much of the golf industry has evolved too with the number of tee markers/boxes per hole. It used to be only 3 markers (women's, men's and championship basically the equivalent of beginner, intermediate and expert trail ratings) now many golf courses have added 2 to 3 or more sets of tee markers to allow for easier or more difficult in between, or in some cases shorter or longer options than the old 3 tee system used to be.

As much as the ski purist in me would hate to see say a single green, a double green, a green blue, a blue, a double blue, a blue black, a black and a double black signage adopted as an industry standard to further clutter a trail map, given that very few seem to want to address the other factor which is that a significant percentage of skier deaths are from the younger male demographic and very often are caused by people skiing beyond their control/ability for the current conditions, the industry may have to take a long look at how to try and over regulate/warn a small subset of the total number of skiers and riders, who stereotypically may not ski/ride in the most sensible way more often than other demographics.

This is definitely a complex issue, as well as one that stirs up emotions. And if we want some trails (of whatever rating given to them) with some interesting terrain features such as some pitches and double fall lines and curves in the trail routing verses just a homogenized constant pitch straight down the mountain 10+ groomer width wide boulevard, then that does mean that those skiing/riding it have to use a degree of caution, and do so every run. That doesn't always happen for sure....

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Tdizzle

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I was up there yesterday and noticed that they took down all of the trail signs for Twilight. They just had one lollipop that had "experts only" hand written in marker on it. The conditions were amazing! I rode most of the day over there because the rest of the mountain got too sticky.
 

Vaughn

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So basically what you're saying is that you are regularly skiing terrain beyond your ability level and at a speed at which you can't adjust for obstacles (both natural and man-made) around you.

Something outlined in the liability statements we all sign before being given a season pass or is printed on the back of a paper ticket for instances just like this.

As for the trail rating thing. Trail ratings from area to area (or even within the same area in instances) are about as consistent as boot flexes from manufacturer to manufacturer. They only give a relative indication of something at that area, and have plenty of variability from within.

One thing the ski industry may want to look at in the future, is something akin to what much of the golf industry has evolved too with the number of tee markers/boxes per hole. It used to be only 3 markers (women's, men's and championship basically the equivalent of beginner, intermediate and expert trail ratings) now many golf courses have added 2 to 3 or more sets of tee markers to allow for easier or more difficult in between, or in some cases shorter or longer options than the old 3 tee system used to be.

As much as the ski purist in me would hate to see say a single green, a double green, a green blue, a blue, a double blue, a blue black, a black and a double black signage adopted as an industry standard to further clutter a trail map, given that very few seem to want to address the other factor which is that a significant percentage of skier deaths are from the younger male demographic and very often are caused by people skiing beyond their control/ability for the current conditions, the industry may have to take a long look at how to try and over regulate/warn a small subset of the total number of skiers and riders, who stereotypically may not ski/ride in the most sensible way more often than other demographics.

This is definitely a complex issue, as well as one that stirs up emotions. And if we want some trails (of whatever rating given to them) with some interesting terrain features such as some pitches and double fall lines and curves in the trail routing verses just a homogenized constant pitch straight down the mountain 10+ groomer width wide boulevard, then that does mean that those skiing/riding it have to use a degree of caution, and do so every run. That doesn't always happen for sure....

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using AlpineZone mobile app


This is dead on. A guy died after losing control on a black at Cannon last week - Profile. It's a steep, long bomber. It's nowhere near as hard as a black at Magic IMO but that's partly because it is generally groomed flat and much wider which offsets the steep factor. Speed kills, not technical difficulty generally. For example at Magic, I'm more likely to hurt myself bombing down the bottom of Black Line at 50 mph than falling off the rock bands at the top which is a double black trail. Waterville addressed this on the two blacks on Green Peak when I was there by having a little rope with a sign that basically said, no really, experts only.
 

njdiver85

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All this talk of "bombing" down a hill. If you are moving fast, AND actually making real turns where you're skis end up in a traverse at transition close to 90 degrees from the fall line, I'll call that bombing and in a good sense of the word. But this idea of heading straight down the fall line with only a hint of turn such that you continually pick up speed is just a recipe to eventually hurt yourself or someone else, because while you may think you have control,you most likely don't.
 

andrec10

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All this talk of "bombing" down a hill. If you are moving fast, AND actually making real turns where you're skis end up in a traverse at transition close to 90 degrees from the fall line, I'll call that bombing and in a good sense of the word. But this idea of heading straight down the fall line with only a hint of turn such that you continually pick up speed is just a recipe to eventually hurt yourself or someone else, because while you may think you have control,you most likely don't.

See it often enough.
 

da-bum

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So basically what you're saying is that you are regularly skiing terrain beyond your ability level and at a speed at which you can't adjust for obstacles (both natural and man-made) around you.

Something outlined in the liability statements we all sign before being given a season pass or is printed on the back of a paper ticket for instances just like this.

I am not skiing a terrain beyond my ability, but I usually ski near the limit of my ability, in terms of edging and completing a gs turn, even on blues like kennedy. I avoid skidding, sliding or slarving to control speed. Even on relatively narrow trails like Cliff, I would rather stivot and do gs turns than old skool my way down. That is why I mentioned that Peak's less snowmaking allowed the fencing on that trail to peak out, so its not like every right turn is on the edge of the cliff.

I am there on weekdays only, so I rarely deal with the crowd. So when I talk of bombing down twilight, outlook, racers, ike, its always pretty empty (usually zero skiers on the most challenging part). I usually plot my course while on top of the trail, looking down and seeing who's where on the slope and their current speed and ability, so I know where they will approximately be and avoid them, and avoid potential double or triple newbies that might end up side to side with their unpredictable turns when I reach them. On weekends, the beginners using the whole width of the trail, snowboarders sitting across on the middle of the trail, whales in random places, what's the point.
 

HowieT2

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Inadequate trail signage and young male ego/inexperience may very well be factors in these deaths. But neither of these issues are new or unique to hunter. Having 3 deaths on new terrain in a few short months is remarkable. This should be a “this is no boating accident” moment for the powers that be there. I haven’t skied hunter north, so I won’t speculate as to what the issue or issues are. But something is going on with those trails and they should be closed until whatever it is, is rectified.
 

legalskier

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Inadequate trail signage and young male ego/inexperience may very well be factors in these deaths. But neither of these issues are new or unique to hunter. Having 3 deaths on new terrain in a few short months is remarkable. This should be a “this is no boating accident” moment for the powers that be there. I haven’t skied hunter north, so I won’t speculate as to what the issue or issues are. But something is going on with those trails and they should be closed until whatever it is, is rectified.

I was there in early February on a very warm day- the rest of the mountain softened up nicely (too much in spots), but the North never did. That's the thing about north faces, as we all know here. Combine that with wide, long trails having a sustained steep pitch and you can get to top speed very quickly there. On Overlook there were young guys pointing their boards straight down while blasting by me. I prefer to make turns and stay in control so, apart from looking over my shoulder every so often, I really enjoyed those trails.

FullSizeRender(238).jpg
^ Overlook
 

jg17

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I was up there yesterday and noticed that they took down all of the trail signs for Twilight. They just had one lollipop that had "experts only" hand written in marker on it. The conditions were amazing! I rode most of the day over there because the rest of the mountain got too sticky.

The sign is still there, it's just behind the mound of snow that's been pushed down. From this morning:
20190316_103623.jpg
 

Keelhauled

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Dec 13, 2015
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The trenches are all over the mountain today. Seems to me like sloppy grooming.

Sloppy grooming is leaving a track mark here and there, or letting a little ridge of snow slip out the side of the tiller. Those trenches are plain incompetence. How did they even do that?
 
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