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Another sad way to make money by Mountain operators


Ernie00
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From Mont St-Sauveur a hill in Québec. www.mssi.ca

"Access to SNOPRK05 - Mont Avila Snow Park will now be supervised, at all times, by a patrol. The Park will be accessible to qualified skiers and snowboarders that have purchased the «Park Pass». The main purpose will be to limit access to Mont Avila Snow Park in order for the Park to be safer to all users.

The «Park Pass» will be available at the new MSS/AXIS Boutique located at Mont Avila. Cost is $10 (taxes included). Anyone wanting to use the Snow Park will have to read and sign

a release of liability form before buying the «Park Pass». "

What's next a taxe for carvers because the carves we make are too deep? Charge for parking ?

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with that park pass do you still need to buy a lift pass if all you want to do is ride the park and walk back up to do it again?

not to excuse the resort for being greedy but this park pass idea may have been forced on them through insurance companies. I know insurance rates skyrocketed last year at our club because of the pipe and park. I think they almost levelled the park. They settled on single file access, mandatory helmets, no inverted aerials and only open when an attendant was on duty. Resort management all over will probably jump on this park pass fee to help defray the cost of rising insurance rates if they haven't already considered it.

as for parking there are many resorts with preferred parking available for a fee.

I sometimes wonder about the trenching we do. I've seen skiers fall because of my trenches, and have heard the grumbling in the lineup about me ruining the runs. Some of it is in jest but I think not all. Springtime trenches can be huge and the Mon-Fri day crowd where I ride is mostly an older group of not so strong skiers.

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Guest rick ferguson

I would have to disagree with you on this as a sad way of making more money, I think charging $7.50 for a crappy hot dog sucks!, but anyway's back to the topic. I am not a park rider but I'll dab on some entry level stuff, Kirkwood, which I favor, has several parks of various levels, the superpark (the one with house sized jumps) requires the same, form and a fee of $10.00. If you really think about it, over the course of a season, what's $10.00? If you average even only 20-25 day's in the park, that comes to .50-.40 cents a day to help keep us rookies out. Not that $10 keeps us all out, but it atleast keeps me on the small stuff.I'm not willing to shell out the money just to go split my mellon open! Since resort's are going "BIGGER" this help's cover the extra's

such as medical services and park maintaince. Before parks , resorts did'nt have to spend as much on labor and buy the pricy

equipment to build them. Do you know how much a superdragon cost's to buiid a 15'-18' sided pipe? Around $200k. If the resorts did'nt have to keep buiding 'em bigger than the resort down the road, maybe the money could have bought extra grooming staff and machines!:)

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Originally posted by rick ferguson

I would have to disagree with you on this as a sad way of making more money, I think charging $7.50 for a crappy hot dog sucks!, but anyway's back to the topic. I am not a park rider but I'll dab on some entry level stuff, Kirkwood, which I favor, has several parks of various levels, the superpark (the one with house sized jumps) requires the same, form and a fee of $10.00. If you really think about it, over the course of a season, what's $10.00? If you average even only 20-25 day's in the park, that comes to .50-.40 cents a day to help keep us rookies out. Not that $10 keeps us all out, but it atleast keeps me on the small stuff.I'm not willing to shell out the money just to go split my mellon open! Since resort's are going "BIGGER" this help's cover the extra's

such as medical services and park maintaince. Before parks , resorts did'nt have to spend as much on labor and buy the pricy

equipment to build them. Do you know how much a superdragon cost's to buiid a 15'-18' sided pipe? Around $200k. If the resorts did'nt have to keep buiding 'em bigger than the resort down the road, maybe the money could have bought extra grooming staff and machines!:)

I couldn't agree more with Rick on this one. I ride the superpark at Kirkwood and at first I thought the same way as Ernie... but after riding at the superpark for 3 years, I've realied that this is just a smart idea for the advanced freestyle parks. Those jumps are large (35-80ft) and the rails are intense. There are tons of random people who watch us in the park and think "I can do that" and decide to "try" a few jumps - and then go an get themselves hurt. Or they'll do something stupid and cut off another rider and get someone else hurt...

To those of you who don't ride park, it sounds like an oxymoron, but you need to learn proper park etiquette and safety before riding the larger jumps. If you don't know what that means... it means you haven't learn it yet! :) Many people who are in the park/pipe don't know it either and they are dangerous - to themselves and others.

By forcing the person to think ahead and get a separate pass (really... $10 for the season is a nominal fee), you filter out all the novices that just don't realize that these jumps are not for them. With the addition of the ski/snowboard patroller, you get added safety as he/she will be able to make sure people are following proper park/pipe safety and etiquette and/or teach them (since it pass down by word of mouth from veteran to novice).

So the money is nominal, especially compared with how much money it costs them to build the park, and to pay the guy to check passes and patrol the park for safety.

Update:

Here is a link to a map of the park as you can see... all the jumps are big ramp jumps and the rails in the park are *extremely* difficult. You can imagine some park-neophyte trying a jump and then running into a a rail... or worse... sneaking in and trying to jump off the side of the jump (which I disapprove of for anything bigger than 25 ft) and probably cutting off some expert rider on his approach... leading to diaster.

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Hey Lonerider, would you care to expand on the rules of the park?

I don't know them and so I'm probably in the "dangerous to himself and others" category. I avoid rails and pipe, and do nothing but straight airs, but I can handle small-mid sized tables (20') on my alpine rig and a bit bigger when riding softies.

Other than waiting in line at the drop and clearing the landing zone, is there anything else I should be watching for?

Mark

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As much as I hate being told what to do and where I can and can't ride, I think it's an okay idea. I wish I could just say "don't be a moron, take some responsibility for your own actions". Unfortunately that's not the realistic situation these days on the mountain that I call home.

When a rider approaches a tabletop and three more drop in RIGHT behind him/her, leaving 4 people flailing for space in mid-air, someones gonna get seriously messed up. I witness this crap in the park all the time - people stopping to hang out on the backside of a tabletop, hidden from the riders hitting it, people not having any clue whether there's a person laying hurt in the runout and jumping anyway. I'm usually a weekday rider, but every saturday I went out last year, there was an ambulance carting someone away. It was almost a joke, when you hear the siren, it means the park is full.

Like I said, I would rather take responsibility for myself, but the park at my home mountain is out of hand. I'd like to see them segregate the park areas into beginner terrain, intermediate and advanced just like the trail system. Charge that $10 fee, I'll pay it, no problem, as long as it thins out the kooks. There will always be people overextending their abilities, but at least the whole mountain won't be riding through the park area. This is in NJ, mind you, so this is probably the worst of the worst. Just my opinion though. (rant over)

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after a visit to the Avila website I realised the $10 is a season park pass. I'd have to agree with rick and lonerider. across the season $10 is insignificant. It's not a money grab as much as a way of controlling who really wants to go there (pay a bit) and sign or have parent/guardian sign. Mom or dad is now acknowledging the danger on paper.

My previous mentioning of rising insurance rates due to snowpark accidents still stands.

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Originally posted by Mark.Andersen

Hey Lonerider, would you care to expand on the rules of the park?

I don't know them and so I'm probably in the "dangerous to himself and others" category. I avoid rails and pipe, and do nothing but straight airs, but I can handle small-mid sized tables (20') on my alpine rig and a bit bigger when riding softies.

Other than waiting in line at the drop and clearing the landing zone, is there anything else I should be watching for?

Mark

Mark, it isn't quite "rules" but important guidelines to help avoid situations like the ones Erik J just mentioned. There are actually quite a few guidelines on etiquette and safety... but I'll stick with the etiquette ones first. Most of them are sort of common sense (such that *if* everyone was smart, it would just be intuitive and you wouldn't need to bother), but being a little more rigourous with the protocol saves everyone a lot of time and aggravation.

Waiting in line at the drop is key as some people will try to cut across from the side and cut off people from the main drop off point. If you are dropping from the side, shout and not only make it clear that your "dropping in" but also get the other people's "recognition" that you are dropping in (they should nod or wave you on). This is PARTICULAR important for people jumping off the sides of jumps. (UPDATE: this following paragraph refers to the previous situation of something approaching a jump from the side of the trail and not coming straight from the drop in spot). The person who is uphill (and usually more speed) has the right of way... if you hear a shout and someone is come down fast behind you, it's your job to get out of the way (note that this person maybe breaking some other rule to get into this situation, but in general... it is usually caused by the downhill person going too slow and/or crashing).

Don't get inline unless you are ready to go, once you get to the front of the line, you have to go because you are blocking people. Sit/stand off to the side and in the back if you want to wait. There are often two lines of approach for park run (left and right) or two sides of the pipe... peopel should naturally alternate and make sure to vocally shout "Drop Next" or ask "Who is next?" to pre-establish who is going to be taking the next run... this avoids two people trying to start at the same time, and confusion as to who is to go next (keeping the lines going smoothly). You might feel "loud" for being so vocal, so offer the next slot to someone else before taking your own run so you don't seem greedy. Again all the verbal declarations are only necessary when it's crowded and there a lot of people who don't know what to do.

Wait until you can see the previous rider ride away from the first jump and go over the second jump at least before starting on your run (for pipe... wait for to be 3-4 hits down the pipe) This will insure that you don't run into him/her even if they are going very slowly (keep checking ahead to make sure they don't crash on later jumps). If it looks like someone did crash... explicitly hold up the line and tell other people to wait to make sure the landing is clear. You can even shout something like "CLEAR?!?" to get the person to move out of the way.

If there are two lines in the park (like a run of jumps on the left, or a run of jumps on the right) take *extreme* caution when carving across the to the other line to make sure you aren't cutting someone off behind you. True, the person probably "should" have given you more room... but he probably didn't think you were going to weave all over the run. Remember he (uphill rider) technically has the right of way in the park.

That's what I can think of for the etiquette part. For safety... there's obviously a lot... but the main thing I think is check out the jumps BEFORE you go over them. If you took a jump for the first time and crashed short/long... that's completely your *fault* for not scouting out the jump before hand. If you are a veteran freestyle rider... you usually can judge the jumps based on the aerial inspection and watching a few other riders go before you. But for everyone else... "ghost" the run first - that means just do a mellow run through... going around the jumps to check them out first. Sure you might seem "lame" but it's even more lame to crash and have to get sledded down the slopes (closing the park for like 30 minutes).

All of this is and more (talks about snow conditions and speed) nicely covered in Todd Richard's Trick Tips Vol 1: Park and Pipe Basic as I mentioned before. You can buy it at Second Spin (Mark you can come drop by my place and borrow the DVD if you want).

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the rules and control are common here in Japan. I find it rather nice to KNOW that you will have the line to yourself and won't have to dodge some grom and that your landing won't have some twit squatting there after he's blazed in to take a hit from outside the park and made himself into a yardsale

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Originally posted by lonerider

The person who is uphill (and usually more speed) has the right of way... if you hear a shout and someone is come down fast behind you, it's your job to get out of the way

Why this break in normal hill etiquette? Many of your other rules are obviously geared the other way round - waiting for a jump to clear, waiting until someone is 3 or 4 hits down the pipe, establishing clear precedence in the lineup. I think no matter what, the downhill person has the right of way. If you crash into someone, it's your fault for not making sure it was clear, even if the other guy is a tool for being too slow or whatever.

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Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill

Why this break in normal hill etiquette? Many of your other rules are obviously geared the other way round - waiting for a jump to clear, waiting until someone is 3 or 4 hits down the pipe, establishing clear precedence in the lineup. I think no matter what, the downhill person has the right of way. If you crash into someone, it's your fault for not making sure it was clear, even if the other guy is a tool for being too slow or whatever.

I think I phrased it poorly, the except you quote is in reference to the situation discussed in the previous sentence (I guess that should be one single paragraph)... the situation is basically when you have someone who is starting halfway down the park run like if some crashed, went to the side... and is trying to get back into the run (or they skipped a jump, or cut into the park from the side).

In this situation, they are not suppose to cut off someone coming down the run who already has enough speed. It's like merging back onto a highway... the person in back is responsible for not rear-ending the person in front of him... *except* when he is cutoff by someone from another lane.

Basically... if you as triyng to aim for a jump from the side... make sure that the path is clear before you go, and let anyone coming down from above pass by first. It is the same rule when you are riding a traverse that crosses another trail, you are partially responsible for not blindsiding someone coming down the slope.

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Originally posted by ARCrider

I've seen skiers fall because of my trenches, and have heard the grumbling in the lineup about me ruining the runs. Some of it is in jest but I think not all. Springtime trenches can be huge and the Mon-Fri day crowd where I ride is mostly an older group of not so strong skiers.

Tell them you'll stop making trenches when they stop making moguls :D

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Originally posted by Ernie00

Charge for parking ?

Every Japanese resort I've been to charges 1000 yen for parking (about US$10). Another nasty trick is the way that the only access to some resorts is via an expensive toll road (the road is probably owned by the resort). You can pay US$20 per day in these bullsh1t charges before you even pay for your lift ticket.

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Fees and charges we have in Japan are crazy.

Last year I spent roughtly $60 a day for highway tolls for a trip equivalent to driving from LA to Big Bear. Diesel is $4 a gallon and regular gas is almost $5 a gallon.

Once you get to the resort it is anywhere from $10 to $20 for parking.

Then an additional $10 (refundable) for the lift transmitter on top of the usual $40-50 lift ticket price.

Gate training cost about $15 a day when shared with over 20 people.

The $10 fee to use a snowpark mentioned by Ernie00 doesn't seem like all that much.

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Originally posted by Miltie

Fees and charges we have in Japan are crazy.

Last year I spent roughtly $60 a day for highway tolls for a trip equivalent to driving from LA to Big Bear. Diesel is $4 a gallon and regular gas is almost $5 a gallon.

Then an additional $10 (refundable) for the lift transmitter on top of the usual $40-50 lift ticket price.

The $10 fee to use a snowpark mentioned by Ernie00 doesn't seem like all that much.

hence the reason I tend to take the train or do tours, I like the lift token/transmitter thing it's a whole lot better than having to show a lift ticket...makes life easy

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"Do not stop where you cannot be seen from above."

It's part of the regular code, but it goes double when in the park. It's chock full of big opaque things that people jump off of regularly. :)

Queuing up and making sure the previous rider gets away from the jump are also key.

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There are two parts of Surf/Skate culture that have come into park snowboarding, one is the from surfing and that's the 1st up owns the wave which is the whole wait in line thing...number two is from skateboarding and it's the ever dangerous "Snake Session". Snaking a wave can get you knifed in some breaks however not snaking a run skateing usually means that you are a wall flower as no one is gonna wait and let you go...you just have to charge...sessioning a 1/2 pipe is fun, someone bails and 3 or 4 tails slap the copping...usually at least 2 drop-in and who ever goes hardest usually stays in...this attitude has transitioned to snow in a bad way unfortunatly.

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