Vail Daily Letter: Too well groomed
Vail, CO Colorado
Last weekend I was skiing down Poppyfields. As I shredded the fresh powder, a siren blares. Heads up! Ten snowcats coming through! I waited for 10 minutes to let the cats pass by. After they were done, 85 percent of the run was what Vail calls the perfect corduroy.
After the roaring of the diesel engines died away, I continued on my way down to Cloud Nine. Oh, yeah. That’s groomed, too.
After looking through the grooming report, I saw that Vail grooms between 1,300 and 1,600 acres per day. There are 5,289 acres on the mountain, and the majority of that snow should remain untouched.
I’m an experienced skier, and groomed terrain is too easy. There are still lots of natural runs, but I would enjoy more of it. An example would be Big Rock Park in Blue Sky Basin. It’s only partially groomed, but the powder is skied out very fast. Not many beginners get to the Back Bowls. They stay on the front side, and that’s where all the grooming should be.
Don’t all the people on vacation come to Vail for that fresh Colorado champagne powder? The only stuff that people can ski anywhere but Colorado is groomed spring snow on the East and West coasts. The Rocky Mountains are the only area in the U.S. that gets our special blend of snow. We should take advantage of this and not groom the majority of the runs.
I know Vail executives will deny it, but most people these days want to ski powder!
Instead of letting the ski patrol go ski when they get 2 feet of powder, they have to go fire up the snowcats and ruin all of the amazing champagne powder.
Austin Shaw, Highlands Ranch
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