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  1. #1
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    Vermont Life Magazine Article on Backcountry Trimming

    http://vermontlife.com/current_issue...il-cutting.htm

    An interesting, if biased, article here. While we all wait for the cold temps to return, this should be interesting grist for the mill.

  2. #2
    Interesting article. Good points.

  3. #3
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    Really? I didn't think so. I thought the author identified what he perceived to be a problem, and decided to write an article in support of that position. He should have first asked whether it's a problem at all, or at least should have investigated where the problem is really coming from.

    The only areas where there is an issue is in and directly adjacent to ski area boundaries, so I'd submit that if we are to seek solutions, the starting point must be the ski areas themselves. How are you going to organize the amorphous "backcountry skiing community" when the entire raison d'etre of cutting BC lines is to have the powder for yourself? Is is the "backcountry skiing community's" fault that Bill Stenger bulldozed a path out to Big Jay, essentially inviting every wahoo to hike on out there? Or how about the manner in which his mtn ops team has cut glades that are so widely spaced that they become mogul fields you could drive a truck through? Is it the "backcountry skiing community's" fault that Sugarbush has done nothing to limit access to or regenerate clusterf*cks like Paradise Woods? How can the "backcountry skiing community" be exclusively to blame when ski resorts are actively promoting and marketing off-map skiing in and around their boundaries (and this year in and around other resorts' boundaries)? Why is that backcountry skiers get a bad rap when it's SB itself which has come in this summer and taken out VASTLY more trees than those same backcountry skiers thought needed to be trimmed on runs like Gangsta's Grotto, X-Mas Tree and EpSteins?

    IMO, MRG is the only place that holds the high ground in this discussion, and even there they are still seeing the effects of long-term neglect of this issue prior to implementation of their policy (witness the landslide on Paradise this summer).

    It's definitely an interesting issue, but the author has it completely backwards.

  4. #4
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    Personally I think that the Jailhouse Chute at Jay is a pretty bad example. Those two guys were certainly not the norm I would think. I also think that the problem is not that wide spread as the article may lead you to believe. Not yet at least. There are so many angles and considerations to this topic that it hard to get a handle on it. As for myself, I would be a hipocrite to say that I have an issue with the maintianing of lines. I ski them all the time and I am also guilty of the occasional removal of downed trees and branches. There will always be the few that ruin it for the rest and there will never be a common ground between the hardcore environmentalist and the avid woods skier. In the end the more people you put in the woods, the more chance that areas will be expanded. It's just the nature of the game.
    Trouble with you is the trouble with me,
    Got two good eyes but we still donít see!

  5. #5
    How does "Vermont Life Magazine Article on Backcountry Trimming" thread survive in the Sugarbush forum?
    a) Lostone is skiing at Killington;
    b) it is started by Tin W;
    c) barkbiter is sleeping on the job;
    d) all of the above

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk
    Personally I think that the Jailhouse Chute at Jay is a pretty bad example. Those two guys were certainly not the norm I would think. I also think that the problem is not that wide spread as the article may lead you to believe. Not yet at least. There are so many angles and considerations to this topic that it hard to get a handle on it. As for myself, I would be a hipocrite to say that I have an issue with the maintianing of lines. I ski them all the time and I am also guilty of the occasional removal of downed trees and branches. There will always be the few that ruin it for the rest and there will never be a common ground between the hardcore environmentalist and the avid woods skier. In the end the more people you put in the woods, the more chance that areas will be expanded. It's just the nature of the game.
    Agreed. Jailhouse Shoot, rather than being emblematic of the problem, was much more just a case of two drunken hicks going WAY out on the tail of possibilities. Given the publicity of the case and the seriousness of the actions, I'd be extremely surprised if anything close to that happens again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gone.skiing
    How does "Vermont Life Magazine Article on Backcountry Trimming" thread survive in the Sugarbush forum?
    a) Lostone is skiing at Killington;
    b) it is started by Tin W;
    c) barkbiter is sleeping on the job;
    d) all of the above
    What, you don't ski the slack country at SB Gone.Skiing? I don't know.....I have seen some pretty good videos of you as evidence. They did not mention SB but the story does pertain to what we see at SB. Hell It may have an impact on us someday.
    Trouble with you is the trouble with me,
    Got two good eyes but we still donít see!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gone.skiing
    How does "Vermont Life Magazine Article on Backcountry Trimming" thread survive in the Sugarbush forum?
    a) Lostone is skiing at Killington;
    b) it is started by Tin W;
    c) barkbiter is sleeping on the job;
    d) all of the above
    guilty as charged.

  9. #9

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    Tin,

    On this subject you are not informed! Sugarbush leases land from the USFS under a special use permit and everything we do it either initiated or blessed by them. Our new lines are part of a new forest management plan that they feel is good for the longer term health of the forest and which we feel makes for better skiing and riding opportunities for our guests. We also discuss with them where they feel that they want regeneration to take place. With respect to Paradise Woods that may indeed be something they want in the future. Interestingly, if you look at photos taken a few decades ago, you will see that this area was more open than it is today. Mad River Glen operates on their own land, others operate on State Forest land, and we and Mt. Snow operate on USFS land. Despite what you imply our landlord and we are both concerned about mainatining the long term health of our forest land, and we are operating under an approved plan of doing that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by win
    Tin,

    On this subject you are not informed! Sugarbush leases land from the USFS under a special use permit and everything we do it either initiated or blessed by them. Our new lines are part of a new forest management plan that they feel is good for the longer term health of the forest and which we feel makes for better skiing and riding opportunities for our guests. We also discuss with them where they feel that they want regeneration to take place. With respect to Paradise Woods that may indeed be something they want in the future. Interestingly, if you look at photos taken a few decades ago, you will see that this area was more open than it is today. Mad River Glen operates on their own land, others operate on State Forest land, and we and Mt. Snow operate on USFS land. Despite what you imply our landlord and we are both concerned about mainatining the long term health of our forest land, and we are operating under an approved plan of doing that.
    Win -



    As ever, thanks for your contributions here. I understand that SB and Mt Snow are unique in the restrictions they face. I've even gone so far as to read the newly minted forestry mgmt plan - an impressive piece of work to be sure. Where I question priorities is with respect to things like roping off tree islands on Murphy's Glade, Sleeper, Lower Moonshine, Paradise, Lower Domino and Sunrise. Is USFS approval required for such a tiny step? That doesn't seem rational to me, though admittedly no one has accused the Federal govt of being rational lately so I don't know. Another matter of priorities is with respect to those larger regen zones. While expanding terrain is approved under the new plan, and the USFS is in concurrence, the new Forestry Mgmt Plan also admits to some poorly executed and measured actions taken under the previous version of same (which in all fairness was inked prior to your arrival), so it seems that simply having the USFS imprimatur isn't necessarily consistent with good forest health. I guess that, as a lover of the outdoors and skiing, it's just depressing to see the ongoing destruction of the trees on the aforementioned runs, the ever-widening nature of Ripcord (especially where it intersects with Paradise) and FIS, and trees killed year after year by snowmaking. When the first step to come out of a plan to address these ills is the cutting down of more trees than those glades' original creators thought necessary, perhaps you can understand my confusion and, at times, frustration. I trust that you and your team have every intention of being good stewards of the mountain and I'm just wondering when we're going to start seeing outward reflections of that as are so clearly evident at your neighbor to the North.

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