Skiing Terrain

 

ski glade

If you’ve ever skied on a big mountain before, you might be wondering how these resort owners and developers manage to tame and cultivate such a wild mountain. This is quite a valid question as some of the runs on these mountains are very incredible. From having chairlifts that are high speed that rapidly transport you up the mountain to very pleasant runs that allow you to casually cruise down the mountain, ski resorts are kind of a marvel of the intersection between nature and human development. This article will discuss below some of the aspects of mountain grooming.

Terrain features

Moguls

What is surprising about moguls is that they can form in different ways. One way is the natural way. After a lot of fresh snow, skiers going through the same path down the mountain can carve little depressions in the snow, creating large mounds of untouched snow. If this pattern continues, then moguls can naturally form. The other way is through artificial placement of snow or mountain so that moguls will appear after any kind of snowfall. Either way, moguls are a great way to challenge your skiing abilities.

Cliffs

A lot of the time, cliffs happen naturally. They are usually just part of the mountain’s formation. However, steeps are usually patrolled and tested by a ski resort to determine how safe they are. For example, some cliffs are completely safe to ski off of with proper training. Others have a nasty landing or will put the skier directly in a glade, which can be dangerous.

Glades

Glades are swath of trees or a small forest that you can ski through. Oftentimes, these are just patches of trees that a skier will just happen upon. However, sometimes these glades can be too thick for skiers to navigate. In this case, sometimes the mountain will choose to hire a commercial tree company in order to thin out the glade and make it skiable. Obviously, this can depend heavily on the budget that the trail run has been allotted. As a result, it’s important for the trail designers and maintainers to know what’s the cost for land clearing. Finally, even though resorts desire to feature glades on their mountain, they know that they have to respect nature and be sure not to harm ecosystems or certain coniferous trees on the mountain. In fact, many trail run designers are trained about proper care for fruit trees (the fruit being the pine cone for coniferous trees) so as to be good stewards of the environment.

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