Lists #5 - Published 15 Aug 1995
Greetings from THE COLORADO SKIER
This is part of a series on Ski Area Info. It is posted separately from our companion series on "THE LOST SKI AREAS OF COLORADO (et al)", "THE COLORADO SKIER - TRIVIA", and "SKI AREA NEWS". Check 'em out.
THE COLORADO SKIERpresents
THE TCS LISTS - EDITION #5
EDITOR'S REMARKS: A. For those of you who missed the JUNE issue of the TCS newsletter - not to worry, there wasn't one. Sorry about that. B. This edition of the TCS newsletter represents an anniversary of sorts. This is the first edition of our Fourth year of publishing "The Colorado Skier" on the Internet. The very first edition was posted on 15 July 1992. C. You would think that with all this experience and our retirement that we would be picking up the pace on publication frequency. Not so. The first year we published 39 editions, 2nd year 16, and the third year, only 10. Hmm. The newsletters have been getting longer, tho. The first year it was 5 or 6 pages and now it is more like 11 or 12. (Hope they have been getting better as well?) D. Some of you were concerned or at least confused about our signoff in the last issue: "TCS (deceased)" Actually it was just an old joke. Retired military types are referred to as: "General (Ret) Robert E. Lee" or "Admiral Horatio Hornblower (retired)". We used the latter form in the previous issue and then changed it to "deceased" to see if you were paying attention. This idea came from the "famous" comedy team of "Lohman and Barkely". They were morning drive-time DJs on a chicken-rock station (KFWB, Los Angeles) back in the late 60's, early 70's. They had a large cast of characters including a "deceased" Admiral; Louise, their "battery of operator"; and Farmer Maynard who kept his chickens in a "bloodless coop". Some day we will find the whole list. 1A. THE GREAT "SKI AREAS I HAVE SKIED" CONTEST We ask you to send us the total number of (lift-served) ski areas you have skied, the number of areas with verticals over 1000 feet, and the number of states (and provinces) skied. The current results (including Boris, Natasha, TCS, PC Jr, and Sissy): Total Areas States, Provinces, Skier State Areas > 1000 Countries ________ _____ _____ ______ ___________ Joshua NH 171!! - 15,1,3 * Jan-Erik OR 87 ! 84 11 Mark K NY 73 65 17 * Tom Moore MA 68 55 13 * Judith MD 65 41 17 Jim B MD 60 54 14 Carol B MD 59 53 14 Al CA 57 52 16 * Jon Z MA 57 47 14 Alecia P IL 55 39 12 * Ron P IL 54 39 12 * Tom Hanson CO 54 35 11 John W VT ? 53 42 11 Paul T NH 53 50 9 * Carlson CA 49 39 11 Dan K CA 49 46 - * Mike Regan MA 48 44 8 BORIS CO 46 44 9 John K MN 45 32 12 * Ted MA 44 33 8 20 David R NY 44 29 10 * Karl UT 42 26 14 Hugh NZ 41 39 10 > TCS CO 40 38 7 Paul M MN 40 10 ! 7 * NATASHA CO 39 37 9 Dave L NY 39 34 7 * Gregg T NJ 39 34 - * Bill Hery NJ 38 37 11 Eric NY 38 - 9 James K CT 42 39 11 * Verney TX 38 25 7 Larry OH 38 21 8 Scott R CO 36 35 11 * Jeff B LA 35 33 6 * Keith MA 34 26 8 Michael UT 34 - 12 Steve K MA 33 31 8 Chuckie B CO 33 29 6 Nick CA 32 28 7 * 40 Steve Hult. CO 31 26 5 Curtis MD 31 21 12 Dennis CO 31 22 6 Steve ? CA 31 - 9 Earl CA 30 28 7 Crispin OR 30 20 12 * Matthew TX 30 30 6 * Dave N Ont 29 22 10 Bill W CA 28 24 4 * George CO 28 18 8 Kent PA 28 16 9 Scott MA 27 26 5 Richard CO 27 23 5 Doug S CA 27 22 7 * Benjie CA 26 25 8 * SISSY NH 25 22 5 Danny PA 24 19 8 Harry IL 24 19 8 Leo CA 24 17 7 Marcus Scot 24 16 7 60 Jim FL 26 13 5 * Ned MD 24 19 7 Rob ? 23 22 6 Phillip MA 23 20 6 * Steve Harris MA 22 20 5 Bridget AZ 21 19 10 * Bill C CA 20 - 9 Judy P MD 20 10 6 * Rick CO 18 18 4 Wiley CO 18 16 5 * Mike S TX 15 13 7 - PC Jr - CO 14 13 2 Steve P OH 13 9 5 Kevin M CA 13 13 4 * Chris VA 10 8 5,0,2 * Robert OH 9 5 4 76 [* denotes a new or updated entry since the last post] Note: JAN-ERIK wondered if the "171" posted by JOSHUA was a moving target. We think not. Joshua has already skied at every ski area in New England and unless he gets out of his rocking chair and starts traveling, his "bagging" career is over. Meanwhile Jan-Erik is going to mount a serious attack. It will include a trip to New Zealand this summer and then some "standards lowering" trips to the itty bitty areas of the Northwest including Warner Canyon and Loup Loup. JUDITH is taking a different approach. She is reviewing her list to see if she can "add" a few more areas. (No, Judith, MARY JANE is NOT a separate area.) [Watch out for TOM. He just keeps on skiing.] 1B. MY FIRST SKI AREA STATE SKI AREA SKIER YEAR COMMENTS CA Heavenly Valley Jan-Erik 1984 CA Lassen Earl - area closed CA Mammoth Mtn Nick P 1966 age 11 - no clue CA Mountain High Dave - CA Papoose Bill W 1963 merged > Squaw CO A-Basin Rick 1966 CO A-Basin Ned 1972 CO Berthoud Jack N 1945 new oldie CO Ski Broadmoor PC Jr 1975 area closed CO Cooper Hill > TCS 1964 age 8? CO Geneva Basin Chester 1982 CO Loveland Jeff B 1977 CO Silver Hills John N 70's area closed CO Winter Park Jeff 1964 2 yrs old? CO Winter Park Marc 1970 CO Winter Park Steve K 1974 IL Four Lakes David G 1963 IL Holiday Park Ron P 1974 area closed MI Alpine Valley Dennis - MI Caberfae George 1966 MI Nub's Nob Steve H 1971 MI Pine Mountain Jim 1964 MI Porcupine Mtn Harry 1979 MI Sylvan's Nob Tom Moore 1970 MN Afton Alps Kent 1973 MN Buck Hill Paul 1961 Earliest? No! MN Wild Mountain John K 1985 NC Wolf Laurel Amie - NH Mt. Cranmore Denis 1954 old fossil! NH Waterville Valley Mike 1982 30 NM Pajarito Verney 66-67 NM Sierra Blanca Jim B 1976 NY Altamont ?? Ric 1946 barrel staves? NY Beartown Gregg T 1961 age 7! NY Belleayre Mark K 1964? NY Greek Peak Phillip 1984 NY Hunter Mountain Bill H 1969 He feels old NY Maple Ski Ridge Paul T 1963 NY Silvermine Eric 1956 area closed NY Victor Constant Dan K 1968 (West Point) PA Seven Springs Steve P 1986 UT Snow Basin BORIS 1968 VA The Homestead Beth 1960 started young? VA Wintergreen Mark A - VT Bolton Valley Bill A 1977 VT Hogback John W 1979 area closed VT Killington Judith 1964 VT Killington Curtis 1987 VT Mt. Snow Kevin M 1988 VT Stowe Wiley G 1955 VT Stowe (?) Steve H - (Not sure) WI Tyrol Basin Carlson - WY Jackson Hole Lisa 1987 WY Medicine Bow Bridget 1973 (now Snowy Range) BC Le Jeune Lodge Marcus 1972 area closed ONT Craigleith Crispin 1967 2.5 years old QUE Edelweiss Valley Leo 1974 age 10 FRA Valmorel Chris 1992 a newbie 58 2. UPSIDE DOWN SKI AREAS - Park at the top and ski down KIT CARSON, CA SUNRISE, CA ARAPAHOE EAST, CO (closed) HOLIDAY HILLS, CO (closed) SUNDOWN MTN, IA CHESTNUT, IL INDIANHEAD, MI SHANTY CREEK, MI BLUE KNOB, PA JACK FROST, PA HOGBACK, VT (closed?) KING RIDGE, NH (closed) SNOWSHOE, WV WINTERGREEN, VA LE MASSIF, PQ ALSO-RANS - Park in the middle and ski down or ride up TIMBERLINE, OR BEAR VALLEY, CA HAYSTACK, VT SUGARLOAF, ME 3. TCS TRAIL MAPS a. Here is the latest count from our growing (thanks to you guys) collection: [Note: we count only one map per year per ski area] TOTAL US MAPS/BROCHURES 1045 TOTAL SKI AREAS 216 TOTAL STATES 29 Most AREAS, by state: CO - 36, CA - 34, VT - 19 Trail MAPS by state: CO - 396, CA - 150, NM - 90 Maps for CLOSED areas - 23 TOTAL CANADIAN MAPS/BROCHURES 42 TOTAL SKI AREAS 25 TOTAL PROVINCES 3 STATE BROCHURES 97 REGIONAL BROCHURES 20 OLDEST BROCHURE - MT BALDY, CA - 1957 AREA WITH MOST MAPS/BROCHURES: TAOS, NM - 29 [Note: Counts do not include a big bunch just sent in by RON (IL) which we are still inventorying. Thanks Ron.] b. NOT JUST PAPER, BUT LIVING BREATHING SKI AREAS. We should like to point out that we don't just log and file the brochures and maps you send us. We study each one very carefully. If a map is for a "new" area (new to us) we try to get familiar with the terrain and lifts. If it is a new map in a series of maps we review it in concert with the others to determine "When did they expand to South Peak", or "When was the first quad added", etc. One of our goals is to be able to look at any map (without labels) and identify the ski area. We realized how far we have to go to meet that goal the other day when we spent several minutes trying to find the gondola at KIRKWOOD and then finally realized that the gondola we were thinking of is at NORTHSTAR! Oh, well. Practice, practice. Another only slightly less realizable goal is to obtain a trail map or brochure for EVERY operating area. (We are currently at about 45%.) Tom Moore suggests that small areas "you can see from the parking lot" probably don't have trail maps. That's true - but they frequently have BROCHURES - something to spread their name, location, phone number, etc. For example, we have brochures for BRADFORD and METHUEN, MA and for SKI BROADMOOR, CO, which are (were) all pretty small areas. BTW one BROADMOOR brochure DID have a trail map showing its four trails. SNEAKY TRIVIA: Anyone know the names? c. DATES - Surprisingly, not all brochures and trail maps are dated. We have a penchant for dividing everything into percentages, so: 50% of the brochures are clearly labeled as to year on the front cover. 10% have the dates on the inside above the lift ticket prices. Another 20% require a little review. They may have a copyright date ("8/89"), a period of Inclusion after the airline info on the back page ("prices good from Nov 73 to April 74"), or a period of Exclusion for the lodging packages ("package prices not available from 22 Dec 78 to 4 Jan 79"). The next 10% are the hardest. We try to find a special event ("Junior Worlds 20-28 Feb 81"), or repetitive weekend events. With a consistent set of paired dates, a calendar will reveal the year. And then there are the 10% where all of the tricks fail. Maybe we can identify a new lift or trail but that only works if we have maps for adjacent years. Sometimes we just give up and assign a range of years. WOLF CREEK is absolutely the worst. They never date and never build new lifts. [Thanks to some of you who have included dates on trail maps you have sent.] d. WHAT DO WE NEED? - We are often asked that question, but you are apparently tired of hearing the answer "everything". Well, we don't have maps or brochures for any area in Rhode Island, Connecticut, West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Ohio, Illinois, Ontario, PEI, Newfoundland, Manitoba, or Saskatchewan. In New England we have no maps for DARTMOUTH SKIWAY, TEMPLE MTN, or SUICIDE SIX. And, a big prize, to fill in a gap, would be a 1976 trail map or brochure for TAOS. 4. TRIVIA FOLLOW-UP a. RON SWOBODA - We mistakenly said that he was a DH for the Mets. Not true. Baseball didn't have a DH in Swoboda's era AND the NL has never had a DH. We misquoted BRUCE. Shows you how much we know about baseball! In our entire 39 years we have seen only about 15 major and minor league baseball games compared with 200 each big time college and pro football and basketball games. b. STORMS? JOHN (MA) says that (in addition to STEAMBOAT) PATS PEAK, NH has trails named after "storms". We checked and found: Breeze, Zephyr, East Wind, Whisper, and Puff! Must be indicative of the relative difficulty of Pats Peak vs Steamboat! OK, to be fair, we also found Cyclone, Tornado, Hurricane, and Twister. Thanks, John. c. A TALE OF TWO CITIES - Last time we noted with surprise that the Canadian cities of FT. WILLIAM and PORT ARTHUR had disappeared from maps. SNEAKY TRIVIA: Why? Answer: The two cities merged and became THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO! Unusual, we think. Only MARK (Montreal) knew that answer and he also gave us a rundown on the Lost and Current ski areas in the vicinity. [TCS Presents: "The Lost Areas of Ontario" - coming in 1997.] d. "TWO-WAY CHAIRS" - BILL (CA) points out that altho the Clipper chair at DEER VALLEY does crest a ridge and continue down the other side, there is no provision for riding it back up - there is a parallel, but separate, bunny chair (Homestake). Also, while studying trail maps we noted that one of the two "two-way chairs" at HEAVENLY VALLEY has been converted to a triple and the little circles indicating loading points seem to be further apart. So maybe two chairs (Patsy's and Waterfall) replaced one. Two folks have indicated that the gondola at LUTSEN, MN runs "up" both ways. OK. Our trail map is indeterminate. e. OMAHA, Queen City of Eastern Nebraska - What is it famous for? We'll get to that. First tho, its contribution to ski trivia is as the birthplace of the chairlift. Here is the story. SUN VALLEY, ID was owned by the Union Pacific RR in the 30's. An engineer for the RR suggested an aerial ski lift after watching banana bunches being off-loaded from a ship via hooks attached to a cable. After considering the effects of the hook on ski parkas, designers decided to replace the hook with a chair. You have probably seen the picture of a prototype chair attached to an old car scooping up a volunteer (who eventually wore roller skates on a board ramp to simulate a sliding skier). In the background of the pic you can see railroad cars. For years we thought that was the RR yard at Ketchum, ID but it is actually the main yard at Omaha, which is the headquarters for Union Pacific. They have a RR Museum there and we have often wondered if the chairlift is mentioned. BTW, after the lift was installed at Sun Valley it was tested with only female "volunteers". One of the unhappy volunteers, Gloria Steinem's Mother, was heard to say: "NOW is the winter of our discontent". (groan) Well, the chairlift didn't make Omaha famous - what did? The two most obvious answers are "SAC Headquarters" and the "College World Series". There is also a very fine military aircraft museum in nearby Bellevue, a good zoo, and a mediocre amusement park. DEBBIE (CA) mentioned the World Series and CHRIS (VA) and KEVIN (CA), knew about SAC. Everyone else talked about steaks, corn, and Wild Kingdom. (We've had some good steaks there, but no corn.) f. THE GREAT TRIVIA DEFINITION - "Wonderful. Total BS, but wonderful." Well, that was the response given by someone named "Lettis" (who hasn't followed our rules about first names and home towns). We liked the "wonderful" but "Total BS?" No way! Most of the definition was accurate. (We may have gotten a little carried away with the messages on the rocks :*) Many thanks to JUDITH (MD) and JAY (NY) for defending our definition against the "Lettis" vicious and unwarranted attack. Here is the truth: "Trivia" really does come from "TRI" - 3, and "VIA" - way or road. "Trivium" means a place where three ways meet, or in general, a crossroads. Folks who met at the crossroads discussed small, insignificant (trivial) things. ["Do you think the rain will hurt the rhubarb? Not if it's in cans. Well, the cans might rust, ...."] The conversations were supposed to represent the common street talk, i.e., trivia. This is true. You could look it up. (and we did and some of you did.) Red herrings: Someone said that the crossword puzzle answer for a "Roman Road" is: "ITER". Actually, the OED says "VIA" is "way or road" while "ITER" is "way or path". To illustrate the difference: VIA - "I went to Vail via I-70". ITER - "I flew to DIA and took a van to Vail". In modern terms, one is like highway and one is like path or route. Someone else mentioned the division of liberal arts called "Trivium" (grammar, logic, and rhetoric). That definition actually came along in medieval times. Hey, we were talking Roman times. Pay attention! g. "LOST AMUSEMENT PARKS" - We asked where the third BUSCH GARDENS amusement park was formerly located. The answer is VAN NUYS, CA (a Los Angeles suburb). It started as a supplement to the monorail brewery tour, with gardens, a boat ride, a bird show, and of course a beer tasting pavilion. Then they added flume rides, and eventually a stage show. The price went from free to $5.25. In 1978 the rides were closed and the facility reverted back to the garden/boat ride. Then, in 1980, the park closed. Today only the brewery tour remains. Years of operation were about 1966 to 1979. DEBBIE (CA), and DAN (CA) knew this one. TED (VA) said "LA". (Louisiana?) Continuing with this theme: There was another "sea world" type of attraction in Calif complete with trained dolphins and whales. SNEAKY TRIVIA: Where, what was it called, and WHY did it close? h. BIJOU - SNEAKY TRIVIA: What CA ski area is located in a town formerly called "Bijou". Surprised that no one knew this. The ski area is HEAVENLY VALLEY and the town is now called South Lake Tahoe. i. CORRECTION: In our last formal trivia issue, we made a slight error with a ski trail name. The trail name should be: "And Tyler Too". The question is: Who is Tyler? "Tippecanoe" is unrelated. 5. BUILDER'S EMPORIUM - In this regular feature we discuss lifts, groomers, skis, bindings, boots, poles, even lift tickets. a. BENJIE (CA) asked about the strange looking "Castlerock chair" at SUGARBUSH. JOHN (VT) replied. Old, very slow double chair with overhead motor in a little building. The towers are the old "lattice" (erector set) type. Wow! Haven't seen those in years. A-BASIN had them until KEYSTONE bought them and replaced all the lifts. John can still recognize a bent tower from an accident. b. DOUG (CA) describes the MAMMOTH people mover (YAN). Very small subway type cars. Powered by a big rubber band! Actually he said there is a vertical rubber belt which seems to power the cars by friction. DAN (CA) points out that there is only one car and the system only runs from the main base to chair 2, at present. c. GATEWAY ARCH, St. Louis - Has a unique "lift" to transport tourists from the base to the top. Visitors ride in a car much like those on very large Ferris wheels. The car hangs from a pivot which allows it to change angles. The car is moving vertically at the base and horizontally at the top. This transportation system was built by PLANET Corporation, Lansing, MI. They mostly build materials handling systems (e.g., conveyors) for the automotive industry. Oh, BTW, Planet was co- founded by our very own Father. We worked there one summer. d. SNOWMAKING - DAVID (NY) is familiar with the quite necessary snowmaking at ski areas in the East and wondered if areas in the West were much into it. The answer is yes, very much so. It would be easier to name the major ski areas that don't have snowmaking than the ones that do. Some smaller areas in Colorado, have always depended on snow making, either for security (e.g., LAKE ELDORA) or to guarantee an early opening (e.g., LOVELAND). The other areas (in CO) bit the bullet after the drought season of 1976/77 when, for example, BRECK didn't open until mid-Jan. SUN VALLEY used to open in mid-Dec. Now with serious snowmaking, they open before Thanksgiving. Some areas like MONARCH, WOLF CREEK, and TIMBERLINE just don't need it. KEYSTONE is generally considered to have the most snowmaking capability in the country. e. MORE STUPID TRIVIA - When we said that the Royal Gorge Tram (CO) is flat, with a zero degree rise, we knew someone would remind us of the Roosevelt Island Tram in NYC. Someone did so we watched our TV guide for the movie "Nighthawks". In that movie, a terrorist highjacks the tram. In a few weeks, the movie came along and, as we suspected, the tram cars rise from ground level to the first tower, travel across the river to the other tower, and drop back to ground level. Not quite a flat ride like the gorge (which has no towers). However, the net elevation gain in NYC IS zero. (OK, a real nit, but the trivia research was fun!) 6A. SKI AREA NEWS - SPRING AND SUMMER SKIING a. SNOWBIRD - For two trivial reasons (which we are too embarrassed to reveal), we did not track SNOWBIRD this Spring. They were open weekends thru June and closed on 4 July. Thx, BRUNO. b. MT HOOD MEADOWS - Also stayed open thru June, according to Field Agent JAN-ERIK. c. "THE CONTEST" (or `blink if you dare') - It was generally expected that the "late spring" ski areas would all close on 4 July. However, just before the 4th, A-BASIN announced they would stay open "until August". The gauntlet had been dropped! SQUAW VALLEY quickly announced that they would stay open weekends thru July. MAMMOTH closed on 4 July but then realized that Squaw and "The Legend" were still open and so Mammoth re-opened on 10 July. The battle had been joined. When the battle smoke had cleared, SQUAW had been eliminated. They only made it thru one weekend (8, 9 July). Apparently the problem was lack of customers, not lack of snow as they sadly announced that altho you could ride the tram and swim and play tennis, golfing and mountain biking would not be available until August - due to snow. Meanwhile, recognizing potential serious competitors, A-BASIN announced they might stay open until Labor Day. MAMMOTH responded by saying that the gondola was open for mountain biking and if you paid the fee ($20), they didn't care if you took up skis or board instead of bike. However, there would be no grooming or salting. So there we stood, with both areas actually open into August. [Note: A-BASIN closed after skiing on 10 August and MAMMOTH closed on 13 August.] In the past we have criticized KILLINGTON for their silly "spring skiing". One run, one trail. Then "thin and bare spots". Then "some walking required". Well, this year A-BASIN is singing that tune. In June - top to bottom skiing. July - top-half skiing. In late July: Carry your skis (or board) to mid mtn. Then hike down to the upper chair. Ride it to the top and ski down to midway. Cycle the 400 ft of vertical on muddy snow. At the end of the day, ski down as far as you can. Take off skis and walk down to the lower lift and ride down. Cost: $20 for 4 hours. MARK enjoyed it. 6B. SKI AREA NEWS - EXPANSION PLANS a. PURGATORY,CO - DR JOHN (Fort Worth) reports that chair #3 is being replaced by a HS Quad. And how would he know this? Why he was on holiday in Colorado, of course. [Only those of us in CO and TX know that Texans consider Colorado a Texas State Park. :*) ] b. COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO - Replaced two double chairlifts with a quad last season and planned to put them in Copper Bowl (new terrain) this summer. But then they decided to wait a year. And then the owner found some money and said do it this year. But it was too late in the building season. OK, maybe just one chair . Why not. So, unless they change their mind again, COPPER will install one double chair serving 830 feet of vertical and 700 "new" acres. [The area was served by snowcat last season.] The terrain is reached from the top of "R" lift. c. SNOWMASS, CO - For years, this area has been planning a major expansion onto "Burnt Mountain". The plans include a new base with gondola, more chairs and terrain, and lots of snowmaking. The delay has been in obtaining water for snowmaking. Last Spring a settlement was reached with all involved parties (including environmentalists) and the expansion plans were proceeding. We said "Stay tuned". (Did you stay tuned?) Ha! The tree huggers got the State to review the stream flow policy and they determined that the snowmaking water withdrawal would reduce the stream flow below that considered necessary to support winter fish life. Plans are now on hold. Stay tuned. (Rumors are that the "tree huggers" are not the Sierra Club variety but rather rich adjacent landowners of the NIMB variety.) Meanwhile, it's not quite Burnt Mtn, but Snowmass did open a new "Two Elk" base area with two quads which take skiers to the existing Elk Camp area. The big deal here is that the new base has parking and it's closer to town (Aspen). d. CATAMOUNT, CO - We heard a rumor that plans for this giant ski area near Steamboat Springs may have been canceled. ?? e. ADAM'S RIB, CO - In a golf course story we read that the Adam's Rib golf course was under construction. We don't think so. This years' controversy concerning Adam's Rib (different problem every year) is the wetlands disturbance for the golf course. It may never happen. This planned ski area may set or has set a record for longest planning time. It has been aplanning for over 20 years. f. KING RIDGE, NH - Last issue we reported that the owners had gone "paws up" and had turned the ski area and facilities over to the bank lender. The bank offered the area for sale and had one good offer from a potential operator. However, the bank decided to auction the facilities piecemeal instead, thinking they might get more money. So the bad news is that the area is being sold off and will not operate. The good news is that RAGGED MOUNTAIN and KING PINE each bought triple chairlifts and will be installing them, hopefully this summer. No word on the land sale, altho there was that condo rumor. g. SUGARBUSH - Field Agent SCOTT M (VT) visited this area (South) recently and reported big time activity involving snowmaking. Pipes everywhere. No sign of lift towers, tho. h. SQUAW VALLEY - DAN (CA) wants to know why there are lift towers in the parking lot. You're asking us? We live in Colorado, how would WE know? :*) Here is a plan: After you see the towers, walk to a nearby building (preferably the tram building which we know is open). Find anyone who looks like a SQUAW employee. Ask them if the towers are for a new lift or a replacement lift and where will it be installed. E-mail the info to TCS. Then WE will tell YOU what is going on. Thank you. (Boy the noive of some people!) OH, BTW, since you asked, the KT-22 double chair is being replaced with a quad. Curiously, the double was purchased by a man who owns the land between Squaw and Alpine Meadows. Interesting! Stay tuned. i. ASPEN HIGHLANDS - Is located on a ridge. Not the side or sides of the ridge, but down the spine. The sides are too steep for skiing. Now, however, Highlands has announced long range plans to develop some of the steepest lift-served terrain in the country. They think it will be popular as patrollers have observed that some of the out-of-bounds terrain gets "moguled up" by mid-winter (!!). j. KEYSTONE - At the gondola base, the pay parking lots are now full of condos under construction. Does that mean the free lots will go to pay? And where will the shuttle busses stop? In a few years an entire village will be built. The gondola terminal will be moved to the village side of the river and a HS Quad will be added. 7. TID-BITS IN THE NEWS a. You will remember that PRINCESS DI was in VAIL during Xmas week. She spent five days skiing, taking lessons with the Vail Ski School, and eating out in public restaurants with very little trouble with the "paparazzi". This summer she was back in Colorado. She stopped briefly in VAIL and then moved on to Aspen where she stayed at the home of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. She (and her two sons) were seen river rafting and bowling (in the commoner town of El Jebel). b. The heavy spring snows meant big water for rafting this summer. At this writing, 12 folks have drowned in river boating mishaps, including 4 on commercial raft trips. That's about how many avalanche deaths last ski season. One skier killed inbounds (a very rare occurrence), a few (legally) out of bounds, some back country skiers, and some back country hikers. The most unusual death was of a snowmobiler playing "highmarking" with his wife. Each would race up a steep snow covered slope to see who could reach the highest point. The husband reached the highest point. However, he lost. c. Once again, J'ne Day-Lucore (Denver) won the running race up Mt. Washington, NH. Matt Carpenter (COS), who usually wins the men's race, was off running a real mountain (a fourteener) that week. d. There was so much snow that .... A KEYSTONE snow cat taking its normal route under the North Peak gondola actually hit a (empty) gondola car. Safety systems shut the gondola down and several diners (it was evening) and employees had to be evacuated by snowcat. 8. POTPOURRI a. COLORADO'S SECRET CODE - You folks who are planning ski trips to Colorado should know that CO has a new area code. It is "970" and it covers ALL of the major ski areas and their towns. [Note: Denver is still 303 and COS is still 719.] One problem is that middle "7". Most business computers are programmed to only accept three digit area codes with "zero" or "one" in the center position and will reject this new format. So be aware, and good luck. b. ROAD TO NOWHERE - In our travels around the country we have observed two traffic control devices that don't work. One is the "cloverleaf". It is fine for cars going straight or turning right but requires cars turning left to cross each others path. You won't see any new cloverleafs being built and old ones are being retrofitted with "flyover" lanes for left turns. In New England they have something called a "traffic circle". This torture device not only requires left turning cars to cross each others paths but requires all straight thru traffic to cross each others paths as well as the paths of all left turners! Total chaos! So no one would build a new one, right? Wrong! The town of Vail is building a traffic circle to replace their "four-way stop". What a dumb idea! All they really needed to do was put in a traffic signal. Vail is calling their circle a "roundabout", hoping to give it a sort of European cachet. Actually that is an English term and since when do we look to England for modern traffic control ideas? In France the roundabout is called "Le Miserable". In Germany it is "Der roundenrounden traffic gerschtoppen". In Italy it is "Thassa sama to you, Luigi". In Vail it will be called "DIA West". c. On "Mystery Science Theater 3000" there was an old (late 30's) short subject on SKIING. The narrator kept calling it "she-ing". When the narrator told the audience that the correct pronunciation IS "she-ing", one of the bots said: "You're fulla skit". (!!) 9. PARTLY PERSONAL a. PIKES PEAK - We did timing for the July 4th Pikes Peak Hill Climb again this year. This is a vehicle race up the toll highway running 13 miles from 9,000 to 14,000 feet. We won't bore you with all the details, just these three points: 1) This is supposed to be a test of man and machine against the mountain. This year, the mountain won. Two days of practice were canceled due to snow and the actual race did not go to the summit for the first time in 73 years. (We worked in ski clothes.) 2) The "Sunrayce 95" race for solar powered vehicles ran from Indianapolis to Golden, CO (Were you involved, George?). 20 of the cars were invited to run part way up the peak. Here was our chance to status the progress of this vehicle type. 3 vehicles showed up. One finished. One couldn't make it up the first grade and one conked out. Maybe it is unfair to expect developmental vehicles to climb a mountain - however, we saw hundreds of internal combustion powered vehicles that had no problem. (FWIW the car which did finish averaged 40 mph - faster than we could do in our Escort.) 3) The most spectacular vehicle in the race was an International truck (semi tractor) powered by a 2000 HP Cummins diesel. Great fun! Tim Taylor (The Tool Man) would have loved it. More power! b. 3.5 minutes of fame. As you probably know, our very own MARK writes and edits the Snowboarding FAQ. An outfit in Japan which teaches English via computer asked to use the FAQ in their curriculum. Permission was granted. c. MOVIE REVIEWS - We had to go see "Under Siege II" because it was filmed in Colorado. It really was. Scenes in downtown Denver, including Union Station. The rest of the action takes place on a train traveling along the Colorado River north of Vail. Other scenes are in a satellite control station in Colorado Springs (presumably in Cheyenne Mtn, but no reference). Still a lousy movie. We also saw "Apollo 13". Excellent! Ron Howard finally gets one right. First good movie since "Cocoon". We have a hard time accepting Tom Hanks in a serious role, however. His best work was on "Bosom Buddies" or maybe "Joe Vs The Volcano". ;*) 10. EPILOG a. Please provide your name and city name when FIRST writing to TCS. b. If you would like to be ADDED to the TCS E-Mail list, notify MARK at: firstname.lastname@example.org
c. Past TCS Newsletters are available on the WWW. The URL is:
Many thanks to CHESTER (at Copper Mtn) for setting this whole thing up. Also thanks to Art Smoot (AES Consulting, Denver) for providing server space for Chester. We suppose we should also thank MARK for working out some technical details with Chester. However, in one E-mail Mark said to Chester: "You and I can decide what works. TCS is clueless." Does that deserve a thank you?
d. Due next: "LOST.19" around 12 September.
Cheers from The Colorado Skier (Retired)
"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space." Suzy Kolber, ESPN (Extreme Games)