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End of paper trail maps?

PAabe

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It would seem to me that reprinting, repainting, or generally putting up more of the big outdoor maps at the tops of lifts and intersections would be a pretty inexpensive and effective job, even if they do get beat up after a few years. I do agree those are easier to use than paper maps, and am surprised by some areas that have little to no physical map boards posted anywhere.

Also, what's with the trend lately of replacing the nice James Niehues maps with uglier generic versions?
 

deadheadskier

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It would seem to me that reprinting, repainting, or generally putting up more of the big outdoor maps at the tops of lifts and intersections would be a pretty inexpensive and effective job, even if they do get beat up after a few years. I do agree those are easier to use than paper maps, and am surprised by some areas that have little to no physical map boards posted anywhere.

Also, what's with the trend lately of replacing the nice James Niehues maps with uglier generic versions?

Vail doesn't want to pay James for his work nor do they want the printed map expense.

My main issue with no printed maps is my kids love them. I did too as a kid. They're a nice souvenir when you visit a new mountain for the first time.

I agree that the big top of lift maps are the best for picking your route. Looking at the maps on a phone app while on a chair sucks
 

JimG.

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All it is going to take is a skier injury or death due to a loss of cell coverage resulting in a skier going down the wrong trail and you will all see these idiots printing and distributing trail maps again. I for see them being handed out with every pass purchase.
 

2Planker

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Last edited:

RH29

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I got James Niehues book as a birthday present this year. It's got most of the trail maps he's done (sadly the new MRG one is not in it) and a full explanation of how he makes maps, among other things. Such a shame that the new "VistaMaps" are taking over - they all look so uniform, bland and honestly ugly. The colors just aren't right.
 

Hawk

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It's so much easier using a physical map than pulling out a cell phone and looking at the little screen, dealing with the touch sensitivity with gloves, and all that.
BG nails it here. Also at larger resorts it is hard to get a sense of the routes accross a whole resort on a small screen. The paper maps are a must for first time visits and people not entirely familiar with the resort. In Europe it would be entierly impossible with the size of the areas.
 

deadheadskier

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My seven year old tonight. He rearranged his ski map bulletin board to make room for the Loon trail map he will pickup on Friday. We are starting our season there.

Vail back to offering print maps again?

I really hope so. Collecting trail maps is such a thrill for children
 

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deadheadskier

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I'll also add that having a Season Pass with the biggest picture you can fit on the pass should be the standard. Someone needs to impress this on the RFID pass companies.

The sport is about making memories, especially for kids, and some of my most vivid skiing memories as a child were going to get my pass picture taken with my dad and collecting trail maps when we visited new areas.

Technological advancements shouldn't rob kids of such fun stuff
 

Newpylong

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I'll also add that having a Season Pass with the biggest picture you can fit on the pass should be the standard. Someone needs to impress this on the RFID pass companies.

The sport is about making memories, especially for kids, and some of my most vivid skiing memories as a child were going to get my pass picture taken with my dad and collecting trail maps when we visited new areas.

Technological advancements shouldn't rob kids of such fun stuff

This is also true. Every November we would go to Brodie and wait for hours in the basement of the main Base lodge waiting to get our pictures taken and passes made. Back then they had to print the Polaroids out, cut your face out, glue it onto the card stock which has your info on it then run it through the laminating machine lol.
 

AdironRider

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I think you are seeing vistamaps because Nihues isn’t taking on more ski area work. He is completing the work he has been contracted to do then moving on.
 

Granite1

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If I'm at a ski area I don't know well, sometimes I follow skiers that I think are a local-you can often tell who they are-or ski instructors that are out free skiing. They know where the goods are. If I'm riding on a lift with an instructor or ski patrol, I'm always asking them where I should ski. I hardly ever use a trail map while skiing, but I do study them a lot at home-both paper and web sites-even ski areas that I've never been to but would love to ski someday.
 

SteezyYeeter

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trails maps are so fun to collect and i agree, vista maps are garbage. i know that james niehues has retired which is quite unfortunate. the only other mapmaker i can think of is kevin mastin. he's not as good but better than vista maps imo. he's painted whiteface and keystone. https://www.kevinmastin.com/kevin-mastin/
 
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