Trivia #20 - Published 13 March 1996
Greetings from THE COLORADO SKIER
This is part of a series on Skiing and Ski Area TRIVIA. It is posted separately from our companion series on "LOST SKI AREAS", "THE COLORADO SKIER - SKI NEWS", and "TCS LISTS". Check 'em out.
A. The Colorado Skier newsletter has been nominated to be the "Official Skiing Newsletter of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games." There were no other applicants in this category so we were offered a bargain rate of $2,000,000. We are still thinking about it.
B. Some of the data in this post was obtained from "THE WHITE BOOK OF SKI AREAS", which is copyrighted by Inter-Ski Services, Inc.
1. *** NEW *** TRIVIA QUESTIONS
a. Name three or more SKI AREAS which have operated under THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. b. Name two U.S. SKI AREAS owned and operated by American Indians. c. At which SKI AREAS are the following ski trails located? 1) Apollo, Mercury, Gemini, Discovery, Vanguard 2) Apollo, Mercury, Splashdown, Scrub, Telstar d. Name the SKI AREA GONDOLAS located East of the Rockies. e. Nostalgia Question - Name the two FARTHEST SOUTH ski areas in the 48 U.S. states
BONUS ONE: A very FAMOUS PERSON was seriously wounded during WWII while serving with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy. WHO?
BONUS TWO: Which THEME PARK was the SECOND LARGEST to close? Hint, it was located in the southeast and not near a big city.
BONUS THREE: (One of our favorite trivia questions) In 1911, 60% of the gasoline sold at retail was purchased at "STANDARD" stations. So, Federal Gov't trustbusters ordered STANDARD OIL broken up into several regional companies. Each new company could only use the "Standard" brand name in their own assigned territory. For example, Standard of Iowa could sell "Standard" brand gas in Iowa, but not in Texas.
Soon, the various regional "Standards" realized that in order to expand nationwide, they would have to change their names. Standard of Texas changed their corporate name to Texas Petroleum and sold gas under the name "Texas Pee". Texas Pee was one of the first companies to combine gasoline stations with restaurants. Who can forget their famous slogan: "Eat Here and Get Gas". But we digress.
We know five of the former regional Standards now operating under new names. Four are among the biggest oil companies in the U.S. HOW MANY FORMER "STANDARDS" CAN YOU NAME? Hint, Standard Oil used the colors red, white, and blue in their logo and the surviving companies do as well. (That should rule out "Gulf Oil"!)
2. TRIVIA 19 ANSWERS
a. When and where (in the U.S.) were the first single-chair, double, triple, quad, detachable quad, covered detach quad, and six-pack? ANSWER: Single - SUN VALLEY, ID 1936; Double - BERTHOUD PASS, CO 1947; Triple - BOYNE HIGHLANDS, MI 1963; Quad - BOYNE MOUNTAIN, MI 1964; Detachable Quad - BRECKENRIDGE 1981; Covered HS Quad - VAIL, CO 1985; Six-pack - BOYNE MOUNTAIN 1992. GUESSES: SCOTT M (VT) and JAN-ERIK (OR) got 4 of 7 but TOM (MA) got 5 of 7 correct. b. Which is (are) the OLDEST U.S. ski areas in continuous operation? ANSWER: SUN VALLEY, ID (1936) [See Section 3.0] GUESSES: There were 5 votes for Sun Valley, 3 for Suicide Six, and 2 each for Cranmore and Stowe - all great choices. c. Name the farthest NORTH conventional ski area in CANADA. ANSWER: Whew! Tough one to research. There are areas so remote that they list radio telephone rather than land line phone numbers. One area is 14 miles north of Thompson (MAN) on the Spirit Lake Rd. Our maps all show the highway ENDING at Thompson! Anyway, for a decent sized area we have picked POWDER KING at Mackenzie, BC. A vertical of 2071 ft, triple chair and T-bar. SMITHERS is close behind. There are two small areas at Fort St. John (BIG BAM) and Dawson Creek (BEAR MTN) which appear in some guides. The real winner may be MYSTERY MTN in Manitoba (250 ft, T-bar and 3 Pomas) where the real mystery is how to get there! In the East, SMOKEY MTN and SNOW GOOSE, both in Labrador, are 3 degrees further south. GUESSES: Both SKIP (VT), and JAN-ERIK (OR) picked SHAMES, near Terrace, BC (probably because "The White Book" showed it at the wrong place on the BC map - snicker, snicker). d. At which SKI AREAS are (were) the following ski trails located? 1) Wizard, Merlin, Cauldron, Spellbinder, Witch, Broomstick 2) Wizard, Sorcerer, Wand, Hocus Pocus, Witch, Broomstick ANSWER: 1) HAYSTACK, VT and 2) MAGIC MOUNTAIN, VT. GUESSES: No one got Haystack (!) but 5 of you guessed Magic Mtn. e. Name the five U.S. SKI AREAS with the LARGEST VERTICAL DROP (measured from the top of the HIGHEST LIFT to the bottom of the LOWEST LIFT). ANSWER: 1) BIG SKY, MT * 4180 5) HEAVENLY VALLEY, CA 3500 2) JACKSON HOLE,WY 4139 6) STEAMBOAT, CO 3485 3) ASPEN HIGHLANDS, CO 3635 7) SUN VALLEY, ID 3400 4) SNOWMASS, CO 3612 8) BEAVER CREEK, CO 3340 * Cannot be skied top to bottom w/o riding a chairlift. GUESSES: SCOTT (VT) and JAN-ERIK got 5 of the top 6. Very good! Some folks confused BIG SKY with BIG MTN. SQUAW, which is huge (in acres & lifts) only has 2850 ft of vertical. A-BASIN has the highest top elevation but only 1650 ft of vertical.
BONUS ONE: Puzzle: SILVERCREEK is a medium sized ski area (vertical drop 1000, 3 double chairs) a few miles north of WINTER PARK, CO. Recently it was sold. WHO BOUGHT IT? (multiple choice): a) STEAMBOAT, b) Grand County, c) the current management team, d) a Brazilian couple, e) Ted Turner, f) WINTER PARK. ??
ANSWER: The answer is "d)", a Brazilian couple named Antonio and Marise Cipriana. They own an airline in Brazil and are hoping to bring skiers from Brazil to SILVERCREEK to learn to ski. [Wait till they learn that they have to build an airport first!]
GUESSES: No one got it right. Most guesses were for Grand County. TED (VA) picked "Ted Turner for $300, Alex".
BONUS TWO: Who among you has skied at the most (permanently) CLOSED SKI AREAS while they were open? (We can claim only Ski Broadmoor, Geneva Basin (CO) and King Ridge (NH) - not even Berthoud Pass)
ANSWERS: We were surprised at the paucity of answers. JACK N (MT) was the easy winner with six, all in CO. (Joshua did not respond)
SUMMER (Fall?) BONUS: Which amusement park is generally considered to be the largest U.S. "THEME PARK" ever to have closed. Hint - it was located in or near a large East Coast city.
ANSWER: "FREEDOMLAND", in the Bronx, NYC. This park operated from 1960 to 1964. The park was laid out like a map of the U.S. There were seven themed sections: Old NY, Old Chicago, Florida/space, New Orleans/Mardi Gras, Great Plains, Old Southwest, and San Francisco. The Great Lakes were real ponds, with boat rides. Some of the rides were later moved to CEDAR POINT (Buccaneer Pirate ride), and GREAT ESCAPE (Danny The Dragon and The Tornado ride). BTW, the Freedomland gondola (1960) looked just like the Von Roll gondola at Disneyland (late 50's).
GUESSES: Only BILL HERY (NJ) got it right - he has a brochure, even. There were guesses for "Americaland" and "the one in NYC". Everyone else guessed conventional amusement parks (not theme).
3. THE OLDEST U.S. SKI AREAS (With powered lifts)
We have proposed SUN VALLEY (1936) as the oldest continuously operating ski area in the U.S. There are other worthy candidates - which are your favorites? We intend to be more re-active than pro- active in this matter. Suggest an area and we will research it.
A few of you said: "The first ski lift was at SUICIDE SIX; SIX is still open; end of story". Well, actually, the first U.S. ski lift was a rope tow (1934) at GILBERT'S FARM, "near" SIX. Bunny Bertram opened Suicide Six in 1937. We have seen a picture of the plaque honoring the first lift. There are no lifts or buildings in the picture. So, next time you are staying at the Woodstock Inn, sometime between the five course lunch and high tea, pop on out to the sign in your Lexus and check it out. Send us pix.
RICH, the Nordic Ski Director at TEMPLE MTN, NH, says that Temple is celebrating their 60th anniversary as a ski area this year. That's pretty old. Here is what our 1940 reference says: "expert descent on Temple Mtn; good cross-country terrain; floodlighted for night skiing; TOW PLANNED" (our caps)
MT. CRANMORE cranked up the infamous SKIMOBILE in 1938. What lifts did they have before that? lst STOWE chair - 1940. Rope tows?
Here are some others: Gunstock/Belknap 1938 Cannon - Tram in 1938 Monarch, CO 1939 Sugar Bowl, CA 1939
4. TRIVIA FOLLOW-UP
a. ERRATA (i.e., corrections of our goofs) All 3 of the following screwups occurred because we wrote parts of the newsletter from memory rather than look things up. The great trivia expert apologizes.
1) TIMBERLINE - We listed 3 Colorado ski areas which have terrain above Timberline (11,700 ft): A-BASIN (12,450 ft), LOVELAND (12,280), and BRECKENRIDGE (12,213). Several of you suggested WINTER PARK and COPPER MTN. You are correct. We couldn't visualize any terrain at WINTER PARK without trees. "Lunch Rock", at 11,200, (top of Mary Jane) has trees. However, we have never skied Parsenn Bowl, it tops out at 12,060, and it is definitely treeless.
The top of the B1 and E lifts at COPPER (with sparse trees) is about 11,800. But the M (Storm King) surface lift (which we have never ridden) goes right on up from there (part way up Copper Peak which is 12,441 ft). And S lift (which we have ridden) also climbs above the trees to near the top of Union Peak at 12,313 ft. Copper gives their top elevation as 12,313. BTW, for some reason, COPPER has always claimed that the top of B1 and E lifts is 12,200 ft. But, if you measure UP either lift pair (B, B1 or F, E) from the bottom, or measure DOWN from M lift, it comes out closer to 11,800 ft.
We looked at some other ski areas that come close. [BTW, after reviewing all of the data we think that Timberline in Colorado is closer to 11,800 ft than 11,700. It is easy to find trees at 11,700, e.g., at SKI COOPER, but there are no trees at 11,900.] Other close calls: The top of The Outback at KEYSTONE (just above tree line) is 11,980. CRESTED BUTTE is sparse at 11,875. We can't visualize the tops of SNOWMASS and TELLURIDE but they claim 11,835 and 11,890 ft respectively. MONARCH is the oddball. They still have trees at 11,850. FWIW, SUGARLOAF, ME (at 4,237 ft) claims to be the only ski area in the Northeast with terrain above timberline.
2) MT WASHINGTON (6,288 ft) is the highest mountain in the NORTHEAST, not the EAST, as WILEY (CO) reminds us. MT MITCHELL, NC reaches 6684 ft. We have been to the top of Clingman's Dome, the highest point in TN, at 6,643 ft. Timberline is high there so a tower takes you above the trees for a view. The day we climbed the tower we couldn't even seen the bottom of the tower for the fog!
3) PARKWAYS - The Bronx River Parkway was actually built in 1923, not the 30's. Also it was the "Mt. Vernon" parkway, not the "George Washington", which was built in DC in 1930 (now part of Geo Wash?). And, as reader CHRIS (VA) points out they are both in VA, not DC. Picky, picky, picky.
So, thanks to John, Andy, Wiley, Crispin, Carl, Thomas, Chris, Chester, David, and Alan for bringing these anomalies to our attention. At least we know you are reading every line. :-)
b. TRAIL MAPS ARE US - While we were researching the elevations at COPPER MTN, we combined two piles of trail maps, updated our records, and determined that we have a trail map or brochure (or both) for EACH of the 24 years (1972 to 1995) that COPPER has been open! We can say that about no other ski area. For new readers: We collect trail maps. We would love to receive your contributions to our collection (now numbering about 1200 maps for 250 ski areas). The older (e.g., 1970 Stowe), or more obscure (e.g., 1995 Mt Holly), the better. Ask MARK for our street address. We can trade for our duplicates or send you postage, if you like.
c. OWNER/FOUNDERS - A while back we said that DAVE MCCOY was probably the only person to develop a ski area and still be owning it and running it today (MAMMOTH). Here are some of your suggestions:
The SLUTZKY Brothers were helping to build HUNTER MTN, NY when it got into financial trouble so they took it over to protect their investment and still own and operate it.
ALEX CUSHING and WAYNE POULSEN co-founded SQUAW VALLEY. It was a corporation from the start, but CUSHING still is involved as a stock holder and operator.
PRESTON SMITH founded KILLINGTON and is still involved.
EVERETT KIRCHER founded the "BOYNES" (MI) and his kids still run them.
ERNIE BLAKE discovered, built, owned, and operated TAOS until his death and now a son runs it.
MICKEY COCHRAN and the Cochran family founded COCHRAN, VT.
Other possibilities: KILLEBREWS (pere & fils) - HEAVENLY VALLEY, DICK BASS at SNOWBIRD, TOM CORCORAN at WATERVILLE VALLEY.
d. TERI GARR - We expressed surprise at Ms Garr playing a secretary on STAR TREK. Well, first the trekkies responded, then a full-fledged Trekker (Kathleen, FL, who claims not to be obsessed). The episode was called "Assignment Earth", first telecast 3/29/68. It involved time travel back to the sixties where Teri playing ROBERTA LINCOLN, secretary to GARY SEVEN played by Robert Lansing. The show was supposed to be a pilot for a new series but it never happened. Oh yes, guys, it was episode number 55 (we play the trivia game, too!)
e. WALLY WORLD - We asked what REAL amusement park stood in for fictional "Wally World" in the first Lampoon "Vacation" movie. Of course, it was "MAGIC MOUNTAIN", in Valencia, CA. [Which is now "Six Flags Magic Mountain" in Santa Clarita, CA. They moved it? Actually, they moved it to Wisconsin next to a lake for the TV show "Step By Step"!] BTW, TIM (CA) and BILL (CA), knew the answer.
5. LOST SKI AREA FOLLOW-UP
a. LOST NEW HAMPSHIRE will never be completed. JOSHUA came up with a list of four hotels in the Jackson region which had rope tows: SHANNON DOOR, WILSON COTTAGES, THORN MTN, and EAGLE MTN HOUSE.
CURTIS (MD) found a magazine article listing old ski areas near Plymouth, NH, which included: HUCKIN HILL, MT PERO, FRONTENEC, and WENDY'S SLOPES. Our 1940 reference lists: HUCKINS HILL, MT PERO, FRONTENAC, and WENDY'S SLOPE. Pretty close match, eh?
b. STILL OPEN - We were reading an article about the man who (alone) inspects all the (145) ski lifts in the state of New Hampshire. He mentioned that he inspects small, OPEN, rope tow areas at: MOUNT PROSPECT (Lancaster), KANCAMAGUS (Lincoln), MONADNOCK CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE CENTER (Jaffrey), and LISBON OUTING CLUB (Lisbon).
c. BRUCE (CO) keeps bringing up "THUNDERHEAD" near Haverill, MA. He patrolled there in the mid-sixties and recently walked thru the area. Nothing left. We have absolutely no record of this ski area. [Not to be confused with BRADFORD which is still open.]
d. PIKES PEAK - GEORGE (city, George?) posted a question about reviving this closed area. Someone who answered the post confused the area with SKI BROADMOOR which isn't even on the peak. For the record, our data base contains 8 (eight!) "Lost" ski areas on or near Pikes Peak. Seven were real and one was planned. A record for one mountain? Maybe not. At the request of a reader we are now researching the ski areas on MT HOOD, OR. The current Mt. Hood list, including open areas, and name changes, stands at 13.
e. MICHIGAN - MATT has asked us about some lost areas in MI. Now, how about helping us, Matt? Are the following ski areas still Open?: Hickory Hills, Micheway-Au Sable, Missaukee, Mott Mtn, Mt McSauba, Mt Zion, Mulligan's Hollow, Petosky, Sheridan Valley, Ski World, (Mt) Holiday. (Any other readers from Michigan?)
f. BOSTON HILL(S) - is located on Hiway 114, just south of No. Andover, MA. Two Field Agents have checked it out. STEVE H (MA) has hiked up the back side from the Charles Ward Reservation. JOHN (MA) drives by and stopped to look it over. He says that the old sign (now promoting an archery range) says "Boston Hills" (with the S). Both field agents reported that the chairlift is still standing.
g. PALOMAR MOUNTAIN, CA - JIM (CA) reports that from a hiking/running trail which parallels the road to Mt Palomar, the former ski area is visible across the valley to the left (west). [I'm confused, Jim. The Mendenhall Valley is to the east, not west. ??]
h. TOM wants to know if we plan to do the Lost Ski Areas of MASS. Yes, around 2000, or 2004! We figure Vermont will take 2 years, to 1998. Then it is only fair that we do a Midwest state, say MI, or WI, finishing in 2000. Then it would be MA or ME, whichever one you want first. If it's ME, then MA would be in 2004, after NY in 2002. All this assumes we are doing Lost Western areas in parallel. BTW, MA has 64 lost areas (so far) for 7th place among all states.
6. SKI AREA NEWS
a. SCOTT and MELISSA of Marietta, GA have been hitting the major ski areas of the southeast. This summer they checked out CLOUDMONT, AL which is located on a golf hole. The challenge was to avoid the flying golf balls! They returned in February to ski. The golf course was still open, minus one hole! Scott clocked their uphill rides at 35 seconds and downhill at 45 on 150 ft of vertical - no lines. BTW, we ran out the numbers: Assuming 9 to 4 (they quit at 3), 1 hour for lunch, and an occasional rest, we calculated 180 runs and 27,000 feet of vertical! Not very likely. How many runs did you actually make?
On another trip the pair visited SKY VALLEY, GA. Similar area. Here, you had to remove your ski boots in the cafeteria, so as not to harm the golf course clubhouse carpets! When do you do SCALY MTN, Scott? And, any trail maps?
Hey, Scott, how about checking out the "Lost Ski Area of Atlanta". VINING'S RIDGE operated during the late 70's using an artificial surface. 140 feet of vertical and 1 Poma Lift. It was located west of I-75 and east of I-285, off Vining's Road. What's there now?
b. DEATH BY STUPIDITY - There have been 7 avalanche deaths in CO so far this season. None inbounds and none on a highway. 3 skiers, 2 boarders, 1 hiker, and 1 snowmobiler. At least three were "suicides". One guy went ALONE, with no transceiver, into a known avalanche chute near Vail, during avalanche conditions. Another went ALONE into the backcountry. They found his tracks leading into a slide. Two guys showed up to do chutes near A-BASIN. Only one brought his transceiver so he didn't take it. They triggered an avalanche. One was buried and the nearby rescue teams took two hours to find him, not quite in time. A transceiver probably would have saved his life.
An avalanche also came down the left side of the LOVELAND BASIN parking lot. It buried some maintenance buildings, a bus, and employee vehicles but no one was injured.
c. VAIL is MONEY. Vail has built a private day lodge on private land in Game Creek Bowl. It costs $20,000 to join and $200 a month for the privilege of eating lunch among your peers (served by illegal aliens, a big problem nowadays at Vail).
Vail is planning a new base lodge at Golden Peak. It will have a much expanded cafeteria, a nursery, lockers, and room for the ski school desk and offices, ski patrol, etc. To help pay for the new building there will be five condos on the upper level. AND, there will be PAY parking in an underground garage. Can you and I pay to park there? As if! Vail is selling private parking spaces for $30,000! For this you get one parking space, plus lockers and showers. You receive your money back after 30 years (no interest). Are they selling? Yes, so well that Vail raised the price to $45,000! If that is too much for you, for only $15,000 you can get a non-reserved spot - available for you if there is any room left.
d. SAFE SPORT? - In December there was a serious lift accident at WHISTLER, BC. A chair clamp came loose on the "QUICKSILVER" YAN-built detachable quad. The chair slid down the cable and knocked 3 other chairs to the ground. One person was killed and 11 were injured. One of the injured later died. Investigators could not determine the reason for the accident. Weather was ruled out and YAN said there was no mechanical failure (Huh?).
Some of you (thanks for your reports) indicated that the chairlift remained closed pending determination of the cause. That would seem to present a major skier handling problem for Whistler. We believe that QUICKSILVER was the ONLY lift out of the CREEKSIDE base. And, the only other "out of base" lift is the gondola from the village. Must be really crowded in the morning.
Meanwhile, several YAN HS quads in Vermont were shut down in early March while cable clamps which developed fractures were replaced. Sound similar? Well, the Vermont ski lift inspector says it is a coincidence. "The cause of the Whistler incident has not been determined and the clamps might even be different." Sure.
We used to like YAN. They were the first ski lift company to bring "bullwheel loading" chairlifts to Colorado. We are reminded, however, of the 1985 accident at KEYSTONE where one of the bullwheels on a YAN lift (Teller triple) actually fell off the axle. The resulting ripple in the cable knocked several (60) skiers from their chairs, with 45 injuries. The lift was repaired, renamed (Ruby), and still exists. However, Keystone has not subsequently bought another YAN lift. In fact, in 1986, they removed the 2 year old YAN gondola and replaced it with a VON ROLL system. Curious. [Von Roll must be the "lift doctors". After the gondola accident at VAIL back in the 70's, Von Roll was brought in to repair and upgrade the BELL gondola system.]
e. SAFE SPORT II - A very unusual accident occurred with the "Sheer Bliss" chairlift at SNOWMASS. One of the towers actually fell over. The only injuries were two folks near the tower who bailed out when their chair came close to the ground. This was a 20 year old RIBLET double chair. There must be hundreds like it. Of course, they are all being inspected for cracks. Usually failures occur with the hanger/wheel mechanisms, or an occasional chair weld, or bolts holding the tower to the base. But an actual metal failure? Think of the design problem: How strong must it be? OK, double it. Big deal, easy solution. No one in the industry can remember this ever happening before. Try not to think about it.
f. MYSTIC MOUNTAIN, PA - is a brand new ski area in southeast PA at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort near US 40 and Rt. 381. This would be the first new ski area since WHITETAIL, PA. Thanks to CURTIS (MD) for bringing "Mystic" to our attention. He says the chair is labeled "xxxxx Garaventa". We are guessing the blank is "CTEC". [Is there a relationship between CTEC and Garaventa, Kathy? And what does CTEC stand for?]
g. MARGINAL AREAS - are small ski areas that don't show up in guide books or snow reports. It is hard to determine each season which ones manage to open. We are happy to report that CRANOR HILL, Gunnison, CO did open this year. Poma, rope, 262 ft vertical and NO snowmaking.
h. VAIL - has announced that it will replace the Lionshead Gondola (Bell, 1969, 6-person) with a 12 passenger model. That sounds like a Poma, but actually it is a "GARAVENTA-CTEC". There will be new top and bottom terminals.
i. LATE CLOSINGS - VAIL has moved their closing date back from 21 Apr to 1 May. BRECK will keep Peak 8 open weekends thru Memorial Day.
7. BUILDERS EMPORIUM
a. BIG SKY - We kidded the new tram as being for a handful of extreme skiers and PR types. One reader said how about the summer tourists? Sounds good, but probably not. From the main ski area base, it takes a gondola ride AND a chairlift ride just to reach the bottom of the tram. A little daunting for Aunt Emma from Iowa. Compare that to the top to bottom tram ride at JACKSON HOLE or SNOWBIRD or even better, the gondola right from downtown at ASPEN.
b. HELL'S GATE AIRTRAM, BC - (found this and the next one while researching the lost gondola at MT. NORQUAY) Located north of Hope near Boston Bar in the "Hell's Gate" canyon area of the Fraser River. The tram (looks to be around 30 passenger) travels from one canyon rim across the river and down to a convenient snack bar and gift shop.
c. PRINCE RUPERT, BC - Check this place out on a map. It is 400 miles past nowhere! Several guidebooks mention the scenic summer GONDOLA ride up MT HAYS. They also say: "also great skiing in the winter" but never mention the name of the ski area. Some ski references (circa 1978 to 1983) mention the "RAINBOW LAKES SKI CLUB" ski area with an ACCESS GONDOLA. Prince Rupert is known as the "Rainbow City" - for an unfortunate reason. To make a rainbow takes RAIN - there are rainbows every day of the year!
d. REVIEW - One of the guidebooks we used for BC research was a "Baedeker". The word "Baedeker" is synonymous with "guidebook" in some dictionaries. Baedeker says the gondola ride up Mt Hays takes 4 HOURS! Baedeker also called the Hell's Gate tram a "funicular" (which is a cable railroad)! Moral: Never trust a Baedeker.
a. WRONG, FUNNY, or ODD - As we read many, many books and articles about skiing we often find strange statements and we have started taking notes. Here are some examples:
o A new chairlift was described as being "very steep, rising 1200 ft in a length of only 1400 ft". Now that WOULD be steep! Wrong. o The AMI snow report listing for SUNDANCE, UT in January had the annotation "Film Festival". That's nice, but the film festival is actually in PARK CITY, not Sundance. Odd. o An article in the COS paper about the heavy snow in the mountains this year had the following quote: "Steamboat Springs: As of Tuesday evening, the mid-mountain base was 201.75 inches". No way! No ski area in Colorado, even Wolf Creek, has EVER had even close to a 200 inch base. Wrong. (We think they meant the total amount of snow which had fallen at midway for the season) o In a Minneapolis ski club trip report (trip to TAOS, NM) the club Veep told how he introduced other club members to "sophipeias"! He probably meant "sopapillas". Not too many Mexican restaurants in the Midwest. Funny. o In a "Mountain Tram" article the author stated that trams can climb slopes as steep as 100 degrees! Wrong. He probably meant 100 per cent. (That would be 45 degrees.) o We have a collection of skier figurines. One is a gnome doing a parallel traverse across a snowy slope. We noticed that he (or she) [due to the long, heavy, white beard, we couldn't tell if it was a He or She] had his downhill ski and downhill shoulder AHEAD of the uphill ski and shoulder. Wrong, Funny, and Odd.
b. THE STRATOSPHERE TOWER climbing 1000 feet into the smoggy LAS VEGAS sky will have a "tram" ride traveling part way up one of the tower legs. The tram car will be shaped like a gorilla and will appear, from a distance, as if a giant gorilla is climbing the tower. And who says that Las Vegas has no class!
c. WHAT WE THINK - 1) We are happy that Witless Houston has become an actress - anything that will keep her from singing.... 2) Quote without comment: "If you really want to torture me, sit me in a room strapped down to a chair and put Mariah Carey on. Over and over again. That would be eternal hell for me." Cameron Diaz, actress (e.g., The Mask). [Lest you think we only pick on soul sisters, our latest unfavorite is Shania Twain.] 3) The worst aspects of nepotism can be defined in just two words: "Tori Spelling"
d. THE SLOPE - JUDITH and RICK remembered "The Slope" (bar) in Vail and Rick says there were versions in Aspen and Breckenridge, as well. They remember other films shown there such as Roadrunner cartoons, and the infamous "Bambi Meets Godzilla" (a classic).
9. FROM THE MAILBAG
a. TED (VA ) wonders if anyone besides him has problems with the SIZE of the TCS newsletters. Not really. Of the 4 or 500 readers, only TOM has mentioned it crashing his own reader. Perhaps, Ted, your system has a size limitation to keep you from downloading porn pictures. How big a file can you handle? For the record, the last newsletter (SPEC.2) was 12.2 pages/36,200 bytes (plus header) long.
b. Thanks to ERIC (NY) for alerting us to the SKI PATROL MAGAZINE article about the history of TRAMS. And thanks to EARL (CA), for actually sending us the article. A lot of neat stuff. The NYC tram was built by VON ROLL and the cars hold 125 (we already knew that the CARS were built by CWA, thx to Eric). The Italian tram firm "Agudio" (CANNON) was introduced. Good data but we thought that the writing style was a little weak. It wasn't written by a professional writer, but rather by an "EE", no less, who happened to spend time in Europe and ride trams. Jeez, amateurs. [We see a hand up. Your question? Us? We have a BSEE from MSU; why do you ask?] ;-)
c. QUICK AND DIRTY
o Michael - ACE is at: PO Box 8226; Chicago, IL 60680 o Chris - We can find no data on the Taconic Parkway in NY. o Kathy confirms that the Keystone gondolas don't carry people thru the tunnel. o Bill - RCA, yes, AEGIS, no; it was BMEWS. (Also: 2:30 to Frisco) o Doug - We left our number on your machine. You didn't call. We would like to help.
d. Several reader questions on Lost Ski Areas will be addressed in our next issue, LOST 21.
e. Two folks asked if we had a list of Ski Area Web pages. No. Sounds like a fun project, tho.
f. BEN (WA) observes that he and JIM (MD) both have "blown knees". He wonders how may other TCS readers have the same affliction. ??
10. CAR TALK
a. JIM (FL) says that as long as there are cloverleafs (CW travel) there will have to be traffic circles (CCW travel). The reason: to even out tire wear!
b. 4WD VEHICLES account for about 25% of the car sales in Colorado but account for 40% of the winter accidents. The reason? Everyone driving one thinks they are invincible - but they aren't. 4WD means very little on a freeway or mountain road - its main advantage is getting up steep driveways or thru snowy parking lots. And they don't stop any better. Even 2WD cars have four wheel brakes. And, some part-time 4WD vehicles don't have differentials on the front axle so the use of 4WD can actually CAUSE skids in sharp turn, icy situations. So beware and be careful.
c. THE VAIL ROUNDABOUT - Part of a "Get To Know Vail" quiz: "When approaching the roundabout you should:
1) Speed up to 45 mph so as to not impede traffic. 2) Come to a complete stop and wait for the light to turn green. 3) Enter the roundabout at a moderate speed, while extending the middle finger of your right hand so as to let other drivers know your intentions." (The answer, of course, is "3")
a. Please provide your CITY NAME (and YOUR NAME) when FIRST writing to TCS. (New informal rule - specific questions will be answered only from folks with identifiable names and towns.)
Cheers from The Colorado Skier (Member I.S.H.A.)
"And that's the ski world in a nutshell - an appropriate receptacle." TCS (borrowed from Stan Dunn)