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Powder day lift preference?

Cheese

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Do you prefer a HSQ offering a quick reward for showing up early even though the powder will be tracked out by the masses in an hour?

or

Do you prefer a slow lift where powder lasts longer?

I was originally assuming that the same number of fresh powder runs would be made either way but if there are reasons why more fresh runs are made using one or the other lift speed, please share your thoughts.
 

Cornhead

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I prefer 15" of Maine Champagne, high speed lifts, and everyone on the eastern seaboard stuck at home because their states have declared they would arrest people for being on the road, as happened at the AZ Summit this year. :smile: Powder days? They seem few and far between of late, at least locally.
 

xwhaler

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Personal opinion is the slow/long lifts gives the legs a nice break from the powder slayage just incurred
 

deadheadskier

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I'll take the High Speed Lift. I mean isn't the capacity per hour the same between a HSQ and a Fixed Grip at around 2400 skiers per hour?

Outside of extreme instances like the MRG Single or the Castlerock Double with really low capacities, I don't think there's an appreciable difference in snow preservation at most areas. I know Smuggs defends their double chairs to preserve the snow and they may have a point with Madonna and it's limited terrain. I'd still like that mountain better if it had a triple up Madonna and a HSQ up Sterling resulting in smaller lift lines.

The best one can hope for on a powder day is that road conditions are so bad that the masses can't get to the mountain.
 

Edd

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When my girlfriend worked at Cranmore I caught a good number of pow days there (4 miles from her place). There's a slow triple and an HSQ that both terminate at the summit. When there was pow and I was skiing lookers left of the mountain I didn't bother with the HSQ and I welcomed the break on my legs. That lift is in the running for slowest in North America. Never a line on it.
 

riverc0il

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Fixed grip because almost all of the best terrain is primarily serviced by fixed grip. Notable exceptions include the Forerunner at Stowe (but getting up at 4am to get there for first chair just isn't my cup of tea) and Cannon with the Tram (but I generally avoid the tram, I only hit that first on a powder day because it opens first). Smuggs, MRG, Magic, Saddleback, Jay.... I'm on the fixed grip because that is the terrain I want to ski or because they don't have HSQs.
 

St. Bear

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Fixed grip because almost all of the best terrain is primarily serviced by fixed grip. Notable exceptions include the Forerunner at Stowe (but getting up at 4am to get there for first chair just isn't my cup of tea) and Cannon with the Tram (but I generally avoid the tram, I only hit that first on a powder day because it opens first). Smuggs, MRG, Magic, Saddleback, Jay.... I'm on the fixed grip because that is the terrain I want to ski or because they don't have HSQs.
Wildcat? And now Burke?
 

riverc0il

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I actually don't like Wildcat because of that HSQ. Nice in the spring. Otherwise, too much traffic and not enough terrain for the traffic at the top of the mountain. Nice side country though, that must be nice on a pow day.

HSQ at Burke just means the powder goes that much faster. Might be a good thing if you make first chair and want to leave by noontime. Burke is an exception to my general rule of thumb, though.
 

deadheadskier

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I actually don't like Wildcat because of that HSQ. Nice in the spring. Otherwise, too much traffic and not enough terrain for the traffic at the top of the mountain. Nice side country though, that must be nice on a pow day.

HSQ at Burke just means the powder goes that much faster. Might be a good thing if you make first chair and want to leave by noontime. Burke is an exception to my general rule of thumb, though.

Love the Wildcat lift, wouldn't trade it for a fixed grip or anything else. It does get skied off quick up top, but IMO it's worth it to grab 2000 vert runs where after you've gotten beyond the top skied off third of the mountain, the place opens up and there's plenty of good snow to finish out the run.

How much faster do you think the powder goes with the Burke lift? I pointed out earlier in the thread that the hourly lift capacity of a fixed grip quad vs a HSQ is virtually the same. I suppose in a no liftline situation, the terrain would get chewed up faster with a HSQ, but at capacity, the downhill skier density is going to be the same.
 

kingdom-tele

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How much faster do you think the powder goes with the Burke lift? I pointed out earlier in the thread that the hourly lift capacity of a fixed grip quad vs a HSQ is virtually the same. I suppose in a no liftline situation, the terrain would get chewed up faster with a HSQ, but at capacity, the downhill skier density is going to be the same.

you should spend a morning trying to keep up with the local powder deprived. the capacity isn't the issue. those guys/gals are skiing an extra 3+ laps per hour. its like rabbits on meth with skis.

it goes faster.
 

riverc0il

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I pointed out earlier in the thread that the hourly lift capacity of a fixed grip quad vs a HSQ is virtually the same.
This type of thing gets tossed around all the time and it just isn't as simple as that. Different lifts run at different speeds and the Willoughby was damn slow, even for a fixed grip quad. The equation assumes neither lift stops but we know that fixed grips stop far more often than high speeds. The equation also assumes full capacity and lines all day long, open until close.

But that just isn't the case, especially at a place like Burke. Early bird pow hounds like me are going to chew up untracked almost twice as fast as we already do on that new high speed lift. I could get as many runs as I used to take all day well before noon time now. Suggesting powder isn't going to go quicker at Burke with a high speed lift is a crazy notion. Because it isn't going to just be me out there, every single powder hound is going to get in twice as many laps in half as much time. But like I said, I'm getting their for first chair if that is my selected destination on a pow day. No skin off my nose if I've already had five untracked laps (when I'd be lucky to get 3 before) by the time the 10am crowd rolls in wondering where all of Burke's legendary long lasting untracked went. But so is every other first chair skier...
 

riverc0il

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its like rabbits on meth with skis.
I love the visual image I get with that one. That is poetry, KT.

And I like the wording of powder deprived. It is crazy on those days when it has been a while. You can really feel the tension in the air waiting for that first run when you haven't had much pow lately. Not referring specifically to Burke, any where. You just want to get as much as you can as fast as you can on those days. I've felt it, I seen others feeling it. It is go go go!
 

deadheadskier

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This type of thing gets tossed around all the time and it just isn't as simple as that. Different lifts run at different speeds and the Willoughby was damn slow, even for a fixed grip quad. The equation assumes neither lift stops but we know that fixed grips stop far more often than high speeds. The equation also assumes full capacity and lines all day long, open until close.

But that just isn't the case, especially at a place like Burke. Early bird pow hounds like me are going to chew up untracked almost twice as fast as we already do on that new high speed lift. I could get as many runs as I used to take all day well before noon time now. Suggesting powder isn't going to go quicker at Burke with a high speed lift is a crazy notion. Because it isn't going to just be me out there, every single powder hound is going to get in twice as many laps in half as much time. But like I said, I'm getting their for first chair if that is my selected destination on a pow day. No skin off my nose if I've already had five untracked laps (when I'd be lucky to get 3 before) by the time the 10am crowd rolls in wondering where all of Burke's legendary long lasting untracked went. But so is every other first chair skier...

For Burke; a non-capacity powder day situation.

But, everything else you describe wouldn't matter at a hill like Stowe where on a powder day, there's a liftline the moment the mountain opens. The demand to ski powder is so great there, their lifts open earlier than anywhere else in the Northeast. The effect of Fixed Grip vs HSQ at Stowe would be minimal. There's a line to start the day, the lift capacity is the same.

Arguing how often a fixed grip stops vs. a HSQ is somewhat trivial and non-measurable. Not saying it doesn't exist, but you can't put a metric on it that's going to quantify fewer fresh lines.

While this type of thing gets tossed around and it's not so simple, I'd argue that it isn't so simple to quantify how much worse and quickly a mountains terrain gets hammered by high speed lifts than it does fixed rips like most fixed grip homers would lead you to believe. ;)

and if you're a first chair skier, why wouldn't you want the fastest lift possible? You just said you'd get in twice as many runs before the crowds show up at 10. Are you suggesting you'd prefer a longer/slower ride and fewer runs for yourself to save some powder for the masses? ;)
 

deadheadskier

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you should spend a morning trying to keep up with the local powder deprived. the capacity isn't the issue. those guys/gals are skiing an extra 3+ laps per hour. its like rabbits on meth with skis.

it goes faster.

good for them I say. If I were skiing Burke first thing in the morning, I'm there to ski, not to spend 12-14 minutes on the lift. Get me on the lift as quick as possible and up the hill as fast as possible, so I can chew that pow up. I guess I'm a bit less courteous than you and Riv and don't want to smell the coffee and take in the views at a leisurely pace all morning. I want to lap that goodness as fast as possible.

Perhaps the main difference is our ski day preferences? I rarely if ever ski 8 hours in a day. On average, I ski closer to five to six. On a pow day, I want to be on the lift at 8 and if by 1 the place is tracked out, but I've got 20 great runs in, I'm good. If I'm at a place like Smuggs, and I've waited 15 minutes a lift ride to get in 15 good runs skiing all the way until close? I walk away feeling like I had some great skiing, but I spent way too much time waiting in line for the lift. I'd rather grab 20 great runs in 5 hours than 15 great runs in 8.
 

riverc0il

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As I've noted twice in this thread, no hair off my non-existent beard about Burke powder days and a faster lift. I'll get my fill. It will just happen in 4 hours instead of 7. I've never once cried foul about the new high speed at Burke, I've commented positively about it consistently. And I never commented negatively about Wildcat's quad, it is a good quad, I just like it better in the spring when the summit skis better and conditions don't go to shit in an hour. Won't hear me complaining about Cannon's Quad. I'll bitch about Jay's quad only because of location and wind. I'd rather ride the forerunner than the double unless the line is such that the double would be faster. I'm hardly a fixed grip homer. As stated in other threads, I do prefer that locations with low downhill capacity (i.e. not a lot of trail options) stay fixed grip. And I think fixed grip chairs generally have the best terrain options at most areas (still waiting for a call out on that with my exception of Stowe...).

You talk about equating a fixed grip to a high speed -- you toss that out there -- and then say that a part of the equation is trivial and non-measurable? Defend your position or abandon it. Don't respond that I proposed something that can't be measured and trivialize it, while disregarding my other point regarding non-capacity, and not defend your own point. You didn't qualify effects on powder, I don't know what the difference actually is, that really can't be measurable. But you don't need to measure capacity vs reality... we KNOW "capacity" means open to close lines and no stops and we KNOW that few areas (especially Burke) have that situation.

You threw out a fact, I called it suspect, and that is your response? C'mon...
 

riverc0il

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We have pretty similar MO's DHS... I get out there for first chair and I'm happy to call it done at 1pm. I ain't smelling the flowers, I'm charging hard and fast. I'm not arguing against HSQs. As I wrote:

"Burke is an exception to my general rule of thumb, though."
 
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