Serious Vert

Topics of a general nature regarding snowsports, which don't easily fit into one of our other Liftlines categories. This is also the place to post Letters to the Editor.

Re: Serious Vert

Postby soulskier » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:07 pm

Marc_C wrote:
rfarren wrote:In defense of soulskier, you started this thread with:
Marc_C wrote:Sooo, what does the phrase mean to you? What do you feel constitutes "serious vert"? Which areas have it? Which don't?

Soulskier is simply stating what it means to him. What I think of as serious terrain or vert is different than my wife, or even others on this thread. Should he not express that? Granted, he expressed it with a little snide remark towards Geoff, but what would be the internet without comments like that, it's nothing we all haven't done on this forum before.

Exactly my point, and soulskier can certainly define "serious vert" however he pleases. But slagging someone twice because they used example terrain that doesn't fit his definition, prior to stating his definition, sorta crosses that line into elitism, where he is applying his personal values to someone else - something that you and others have mentioned. A trait that may not be useful when attempting to get others to support your cause.

As far as snide remarks, we've all hurled and received our share of daggers and hand grenades, but no one should ever be surprised at being called on it. :-P


There is a big difference between liking steeper ski terrain and being an elitist. Just because I prefer steeper terrain, not some low angle slope, doesn't mean I am applying my personal values to someone else. The thread is entitled Serious Vert.

Some might consider a guy who works in an office with 20+ people, of which 75% want a heated chairlift, as well as spends two hours eating lunch at Deer Valley an elitist.

As far as my snide remarks to Geoff, I continue to take my fair share on this board, including from him, so what's the problem?

And for my attempt to get support for our cause, we have plenty (did you see the recent article by ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports?) and are receiving more daily, including several seasoned ski area professionals that are on board. In fact, one ski veteran in particular told me they love reading the ski resort model is dead thread on this very forum, and find it funny how clueless some posters are in defending the current state of affairs. I also know that we will never have the support of some and we accept that. We also know that until MRA has it's first lift installed and powder run under our belt, there will continue to be lots of nay-sayers.

Back to the original post, my definition of serious vert would be a run that enabled me to get to 4th gear or higher, and stay there for a bit. Also, having a nice leg burn when doing a top to bottom on the aforementioned run would make it serious vert in my book.
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby EMSC » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:28 pm

soulskier wrote:Back to the original post, my definition of serious vert would be a run that enabled me to get to 4th gear or higher, and stay there for a bit. Also, having a nice leg burn when doing a top to bottom on the aforementioned run would make it serious vert in my book.[/color]


I understand what you intend here, but I guarantee my 'baby legs' start to burn before yours :wink: . Basically, that's still a very subjective definition that only means something to you personally, since only you know which terrain lets you get to 4th gear and how long it takes for you to get leg burn.

Or are you intending a sliding scale definition such that a novice that gets into their 4th gear and for them to get leg burn is also skiing serious vert?
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby soulskier » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:46 pm

EMSC wrote:
soulskier wrote:Back to the original post, my definition of serious vert would be a run that enabled me to get to 4th gear or higher, and stay there for a bit. Also, having a nice leg burn when doing a top to bottom on the aforementioned run would make it serious vert in my book.[/color]


I understand what you intend here, but I guarantee my 'baby legs' start to burn before yours :wink: . Basically, that's still a very subjective definition that only means something to you personally, since only you know which terrain lets you get to 4th gear and how long it takes for you to get leg burn.

Or are you intending a sliding scale definition such that a novice that gets into their 4th gear and for them to get leg burn is also skiing serious vert?


Sure we can make it a sliding scale. Maybe the thread should include that in the title?
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby Marc_C » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:57 pm

soulskier wrote:There is a big difference between liking steeper ski terrain and being an elitist. Just because I prefer steeper terrain, not some low angle slope, doesn't mean I am applying my personal values to someone else.

It does the minute you insult someone over their definition, even if only a minor jab.

soulskier wrote:Some might consider a guy who works in an office with 20+ people, of which 75% want a heated chairlift, as well as spends two hours eating lunch at Deer Valley an elitist.

Only if said person teases or insults others who don't. Are the folks at Snowbird who pay an extra $7500 / year for a Seven Summits pass upgrade (which allows lift line cutting privileges on all lifts including the tram, use of a private club, and other perks) elitists? What if they're willing to write a $20K check to buy shares in some MRA area?

[Sidebar: I happen to know a well-off retired couple that love MRG, fully support the coop, ski there most of the time (including all the legendary gnarly stuff), and own 4 shares. Last season they decided to spend a week in Aspen 'cause they'd never been there. They stayed at the Little Nell and had elegant 90 minute lunches and fine dining dinners. Their room was $1800....per night. The point is, it's really not stretching credibility or imagination for a well-off, what some might consider an "elitist" skier to also want to buy into an MRA-style area.]

soulskier wrote:As far as my snide remarks to Geoff, I continue to take my fair share on this board, including from him, so what's the problem?

I really don't care.

soulskier wrote:In fact, one ski veteran in particular told me they love reading the ski resort model is dead thread on this very forum, and find it funny how clueless some posters are in defending the current state of affairs. I also know that we will never have the support of some and we accept that. We also know that until MRA has it's first lift installed and powder run under our belt, there will continue to be lots of nay-sayers.

That's something that you and s/he don't quite get - you're misinterpreting the comments here as defending the current state of affairs. In actuality, as others have said, while there's positive support for the concept of MRA niche ski areas, many don't feel that you're being completely realistic about the economic analysis. That's something that should be addressed before you request that people support your cause.
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby flyover » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:05 pm

What the hell is fourth gear in the context of skiing? I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm really not sure what is meant by the term as applied to the subject of this thread.

Is it mph? Heart/respiration rate? Adrenaline load? Elation? Skiing near the upper limits of one's abilities? I don't have a clue.

If I'm slamming down one of those endless bump runs at Mary Jane, am I in fourth gear? What if I'm really acing some of Bohemia's tighter, steeper trees for all 900 vert? Is it possible to get into fourth gear in a constricted chute without dropping it straight? Or, is fourth gear only achieved in treeless, untracked, relatively unconstricted high-alpine terrain? For that matter, I ski exclusively free-heel. Is fourth gear achievable without a fixed heel? Is fourth gear achievable after 40? 50?

I think I remember (i.e. feel free to correct me with citation to actual facts) reading that before his first Olympics, Bode Miller's trainers strapped a heart monitor to him and were surprised to discover that on slalom runs his heart rate peaked IN THE STARTING GATE, suggesting that for at least one uber-skier it just might be possible to be in fourth gear standing still.
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby soulskier » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:24 pm

Marc_C wrote:That's something that you and s/he don't quite get - you're misinterpreting the comments here as defending the current state of affairs. In actuality, as others have said, while there's positive support for the concept of MRA niche ski areas, many don't feel that you're being completely realistic about the economic analysis. That's something that should be addressed before you request that people support your cause.


Prior to anyone supporting "our cause", there will be detailed plans, including financials to be examined.
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby soulskier » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:26 pm

flyover wrote:What the hell is fourth gear in the context of skiing? I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm really not sure what is meant by the term as applied to the subject of this thread.

Is it mph? Heart/respiration rate? Adrenaline load? Elation? Skiing near the upper limits of one's abilities? I don't have a clue.

If I'm slamming down one of those endless bump runs at Mary Jane, am I in fourth gear? What if I'm really acing some of Bohemia's tighter, steeper trees for all 900 vert? Is it possible to get into fourth gear in a constricted chute without dropping it straight? Or, is fourth gear only achieved in treeless, untracked, relatively unconstricted high-alpine terrain? For that matter, I ski exclusively free-heel. Is fourth gear achievable without a fixed heel? Is fourth gear achievable after 40? 50?

I think I remember (i.e. feel free to correct me with citation to actual facts) reading that before his first Olympics, Bode Miller's trainers strapped a heart monitor to him and were surprised to discover that on slalom runs his heart rate peaked IN THE STARTING GATE, suggesting that for at least one uber-skier it just might be possible to be in fourth gear standing still.


Fourth gear is pretty fast, but not quite full speed. With rocker skis and the perfect conditions, there is now a 6th gear, but isn't used too often.
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:08 pm

I'm probably exposing myself as an amateur here BUT I see the concept of "serious terrain" and "at least 4th gear" as being somewhat contradictory. How many people are capable of descending High Rustler or MRG's Paradise in "4th gear" in anything other than deep powder conditions? If anyone had tried to descend La Vaute at La Grave (which even soulskier would consider serious vertical) in "4th gear" the day I was there, they would be DEAD.

Prior to anyone supporting "our cause", there will be detailed plans, including financials to be examined.

Fair enough. I for one will keep an open mind until I see more details. It's soulskier's rhetoric that has raised the red flags on that thread.
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby flyover » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:21 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I see the concept of "serious terrain" and "at least 4th gear" as being somewhat contradictory. How many people are capable of descending High Rustler or MRG's Paradise in "4th gear" in anything other than deep powder conditions? If anyone had tried to descend La Vaute at La Grave (which even soulskier would consider serious vertical) in "4th gear" the day I was there, they would be DEAD.


Thanks for making my point.

Even for "elite" skiers (and I'm using the term in the positive sense here), I only see 45 degrees and "pretty fast, but not quite full speed" computing under an extremely limited set of conditions: deep, untracked, deserted, and more-or-less wide-open. Such limited definitions of "serious terrain" and/or "serious vert" set up the skier who holds such definitions to be disappointed by the vast majority of some of the world's best skiing.

Now somebody fill me in on what it means to "go big."
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby Marc_C » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:43 pm

flyover wrote:Now somebody fill me in on what it means to "go big."

Something that is frequently associated with the phrases "Hey! Watch this!" and "Is the camera on?".
Coincidentally those phrases also immediately precede a surprisingly high number of ER admissions.
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby soulskier » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:11 pm

Here is an example of 4th gear potential and serious vertical.

Image
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby soulskier » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:13 pm

And consider this an open invitation to the board. If anyone is in Tahoe this winter, let's meet up for a few runs on KT-22, where even the second and third tier skiers are in 4th gear. You can see first hand the speed these days.
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby rfarren » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:44 pm

Marc_C wrote:
As far as snide remarks, we've all hurled and received our share of daggers and hand grenades, but no one should ever be surprised at being called on it. :-P


You really haven't become a full on member of this forum until you've gotten a picture diss given by Marc_C
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:41 pm

soulskier wrote:And consider this an open invitation to the board. If anyone is in Tahoe this winter, let's meet up for a few runs on KT-22, where even the second and third tier skiers are in 4th gear.

I nominate BobbyD. :lol:
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Re: Serious Vert

Postby rfarren » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:16 am

This thread has gotten funny. It started because in another thread I had said that Steamboat lacked "serious vert." When what I should've said was that the interesting terrain to me lacked serious vert. I found that area limiting in that respect, even though it was pointed out to me by those who have skied it more than I that Steamboat can have 3000 ft. of continuos vert. I just found it less steep and more limiting terrain wise compared to the places I have hit out west.

However, this:
soulskier wrote:
Image

just seems ridiculous as the baseline of what is serious vert. Granted that everyone has their own thing that makes them tick, this just seems like overkill. It looks to be at least 45 degrees if not steeper and quite dangerous, perhaps even DNFZ.

Personally, I'm happy with terrain that challenges me and is long enough so I feel satisfied by the run. I couldn't give it a numerical length like 2000 ft, or a grade like 30 degrees. It changes based on the snow conditions, and how technical a line is. It could be in the trees or an open bowl. It could be a mandatory cliff huck, or a tight chute. All these elements change my perception on how much I did in a given run, and affect how I feel about the vert being serious or not.

The reason Steamboat seemed to lack vert was because I found the trees too widely spaced for the grade, so it wasn't particularly challenging (powder conditions), and the better stuff, i.e. the chutes, literally had 200 ft of vert before they flattened out considerably. Frankly, it was the out of the chutes and that lame back bowl that left the perception that Steamboat was really flatboat. On a side note, I loved the the hot springs out there.
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