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Natural Snow Trails

Groom Natural Snow Trails


  • Total voters
    48

Puck it

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I love natural snow trails but got to thinking about this after skiing Vista and Upper Hard at Cannon Sunday. I feel that sending a groomer on these would help preserve and lengthen the skiing of these trails.

Thoughts.
 

St. Bear

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I voted for Only After Thaw and Freeze, but I think they should also be groomed before a large snowfall is expected. I read on here a while ago that that's what Sugarbush does with Castlerock, only groom it before they expect a huge dump.
 

drjeff

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Mount Snow has adopted a combo of a) when there's enough snowpack and b) when it's needed philosophy towards grooming natural snow trails. I can't complain, since as much as I love skiing on the natural snow surface, there are sometimes when you find some unexpected corduroy and it turns out to be a very fun change of pace! For example, last Saturday I went looking for some natural snow bumps, so I figured that I'd hit up Uncles, Ledge and Jaws. They had actually groomed all 3 overnight. Made it kind of fun to some trails that i'm so used to being bump runs as a cruiser as a change of pace!

Plus sometimes it's just good snow management to be able to push some snow into areas that are either already thin, or they know are thin and will hasten the meltout when spring temps eventually arrive!
 

mlctvt

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I hate when right after a storm they groom 80% of the mountain. I love skiing crud, it's so much better than boring groomers.
I understand grooming to preserve the snow but couldn't they wait a few days before doing that?

I was at Sugarloaf last week when we received 19" of snow. I was riding the lift with a couple on the powder day and they made the same comment. They said "tomorrow this will all be groomed out so you'd better enjoy it today". In defense of Sugarloaf they groomed less than what many other areas do. On many trails they groomed a machine pass or two down one side and left the other side alone. Plus many natural runs weren't groomed at all. My home mountain Mount Snow grooms way too much in my opinion.
 

C-Rex

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I love natural snow trails but it's more because the natural features of the trail are still present than the surface condition. My big problem with groomers is that resorts tend to groom all the fun out of a trail. A trail with lots of rollers and other features ends up a flat, smooth super highway. Lame.
 

Puck it

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No grooming please. Dodging a rock or two is part of the fun.

That is true but there comes a point IMHO that a run by a groomer will extend the trails skiability. I am by no means saying I like corduroy. This is just purely for keeping the trail skiable.

Vista, Upper Hard and Mid Hard are examples of this at Cannon.
 

St. Bear

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That is true but there comes a point IMHO that a run by a groomer will extend the trails skiability. I am by no means saying I like corduroy. This is just purely for keeping the trail skiable.

Vista, Upper Hard and Mid Hard are examples of this at Cannon.

I've been at Wildcat during long snow droughts. You get huge bumps with dirt in the troughs.
 

Puck it

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I've been at Wildcat during long snow droughts. You get huge bumps with dirt in the troughs.

Exactly like Mid Hard. Right now Upper Hard has to be skied on a narrow band of snow on the right side before the turn and then the left side after. A groomer could push the snow around keep the trail open longer.
 

BenedictGomez

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I'm not going to vote, only because my answer would be, "it depends".

Nine times out of ten, I'd answer "Groom only after thaw and freeze", but in very snow poor years "Groom periodically to preserve snow pack" is necessary or you'll never have natural snow trails that year, and if it's a year with a lot of snow, I'd answer "No groom".

That what makes Platty so good, when they got snow the natural trails are awesome.:smile:

What makes Platty so good is that 90% of the place is natural now trails.
 

skiking4

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You gotta groom after a bad freeze-thaw pattern. Makes the trail disgusting.
 

Nick

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I've had some of my most fun in dense woods where you can only eek in a few turns before you need to back out of a shrub or a bush.

I seriously find straight groomers boring as hell for the most part. Even very steep ones.

I'm thinking as my wife's skiing improves to pick up tele gear so I can try that while she skis down greens / blues so I can give myself somewhat more of a challenge .....
 

Puck it

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I've had some of my most fun in dense woods where you can only eek in a few turns before you need to back out of a shrub or a bush.

I seriously find straight groomers boring as hell for the most part. Even very steep ones.

I'm thinking as my wife's skiing improves to pick up tele gear so I can try that while she skis down greens / blues so I can give myself somewhat more of a challenge .....


It has nothing to do with difficulty. It is purely keeping the run open longer.
 

timm

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Nobody is talking about turning runs into boring "groomers", just occasional pro-active maintenance on natural snow trails. MRG might be famous for natural snow and limited grooming, but just ask them how their season would have gone last year without the groomers to help preserve what little base there was.
 

deadheadskier

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I think for a place like Cannon and the trails you mentioned, it probably makes a fair amount of sense to groom just prior to a storm. I don't think it makes sense when there's no snow in sight because the skiable days gained would be minimal.

For a place like Stowe and a natural snow trail like Chinclip, I never want to see it groomed. The trail is open 80+% of the season as is. If it gets crappy during a freeze/thaw or snow drought, chances are it will only ski crappy for a week or two at most.
 

Scruffy

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For a place like Stowe and a natural snow trail like Chinclip, I never want to see it groomed. The trail is open 80+% of the season as is. If it gets crappy during a freeze/thaw or snow drought, chances are it will only ski crappy for a week or two at most.

Exactly!! More places should adopt that philosophy. That said, a mountain as to do what it feels it needs to to appease it's clientele.
Some mountains are known more for their challenges rather than their puff. That said too, a place like Hunter doesn't have a lot of terrain to leave au-natural; lower K and upper xover being the exception, but they are short, not really a full run. ( Anna, when she is open, but even Anna will get the roll once in a while )
 
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