Please read before you complain about groomed Gandy

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Please read before you complain about groomed Gandy

Postby BushMogulMaster » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:29 am

With the recent grooming of Gandy Dancer, and the subsequent onslaught of frustration from the mogul skiing community, I'm going to go out on a limb and play devil's advocate for a moment.

<ski industry rant>

I know a lot of us love Gandy with perfect lines. And we all get frustrated when it's groomed. I know WP's grooming supervisor, Ron, personally, and he's a great guy with worlds of experience. While I would prefer an ungroomed Gandy (primarily for the reason of having a lower-angle option at the Jane for intermediates to learn on), everyone has to remember that there are lots of factors that go into these decisions. Pressure comes from all sides, and you're damned if you do, damned if you don't when you're sitting in the decision-making chair. I've spent my share of time in that chair. Ron and I agree that you know you're doing alright when your stack of complaints equals your stack of compliments. In this case, I suspect Ron will get as many pats on the back as he will gripes from us bumpers. In addition to guest feedback, he has to consider inter-departmental requests from ski school and ski patrol, as well as his own superiors. As all of us in resort ops, Ron will take the input he gets from all of those sources, and make the best decision he can.

In sum, it's one trail. There's no mounting conspiracy to groom all of the bumps (I just spent an hour in Ron's office yesterday catching up). Would it be better to pick another trail to groom, and leave Gandy bumped? I think so. But if you're going to gripe, please at least make a case for leaving Gandy bumped because it allows intermediate skiers to learn. Otherwise, you'll come across just as whiny and annoying as all the folks who want MJ groomed wall-to-wall. There must be at least 600 acres of bumps at MJ. Argue the case for the budding intermediates, not the case for us poor mogul-starved bump fanatics. And be respectful. Dialog and discuss. Ron will talk to you any time. These guys are always under the gun from some "special interest" skiing group, so try to make a non-impassioned, rational argument. What I found as a grooming supervisor was that, if I groomed a trail, it was suddenly everyone's favorite bump run, and I shouldn't have groomed it. But if I let it bump up, suddenly it was everyone's favorite cruiser, and I should groom it immediately. Just put yourself in Ron's shoes a minute before you present an argument.

</ski industry rant>
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Re: Please read before you complain about groomed Gandy

Postby mitch236 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:49 pm

Since you bring this up, I'd like to state that as a budding mogul enthusiast, I enjoyed skiing Gandy until it was groomed. With some help, I was able to find "More for your money", a combo of three trails that are all manageable for the beginner bumper. From my perspective, if mogul skiers want to continue to have great trails and options, they need to keep growing the number of skiers capable of skiing bumps. Maybe Ron could find a trail that has very little slope angle and have some employees/skiers make moguls happen so total beginners can learn. I can tell you from my personal experience that learning how to ski moguls (at least at my age - 58) was one of the most frustrating activities I've ever encountered. I'm sure I would have progressed much faster if fear was removed. During Mogul Logic's camp last weekend, fear was the most often cited reason for not being able to relax in the bumps.

I love the challenge of bumps and am committed to ski them well no matter how long that takes (given the fact that I only ski about 10 days a year). I doubt there are many other skiers that would put in all the work to learn moguls when the easiest mogul slope is Gandy which can be very intimidating to the beginner bumper even if they can ski flats well.
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Re: Please read before you complain about groomed Gandy

Postby BushMogulMaster » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:59 pm

mitch236 wrote:Since you bring this up, I'd like to state that as a budding mogul enthusiast, I enjoyed skiing Gandy until it was groomed. With some help, I was able to find "More for your money", a combo of three trails that are all manageable for the beginner bumper. From my perspective, if mogul skiers want to continue to have great trails and options, they need to keep growing the number of skiers capable of skiing bumps. Maybe Ron could find a trail that has very little slope angle and have some employees/skiers make moguls happen so total beginners can learn. I can tell you from my personal experience that learning how to ski moguls (at least at my age - 58) was one of the most frustrating activities I've ever encountered. I'm sure I would have progressed much faster if fear was removed. During Mogul Logic's camp last weekend, fear was the most often cited reason for not being able to relax in the bumps.

I love the challenge of bumps and am committed to ski them well no matter how long that takes (given the fact that I only ski about 10 days a year). I doubt there are many other skiers that would put in all the work to learn moguls when the easiest mogul slope is Gandy which can be very intimidating to the beginner bumper even if they can ski flats well.


I agree, Mitch. I've been teaching beginning/intermediate mogul clinics for several years now. I've seen every type of beginning bumper. I've always gone out of my way to make sure we have low-angle bumps at every area I've worked at. In fact, it's a mission of mine - I even got the ski industry's leading magazine to publish my thoughts on the topic (see http://www.saminfo.com/article/speakout ... all-moguls). That's why I said: feel free to express your thoughts and concerns to WP, but make sure it's in the context of wanting to preserve low-angle bumps for beginners to learn on, rather than whining about taking away "our favorite bump run." And it would be nice if the Jane had an even mellower bump run than Gandy. But nothing suitable really comes to mind. I think the best solution for beginner bumpers is to ski Jane Trail, then cut into Gandy/Frenchman at the last mellow pitch for practice.

Cheers.
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Re: Please read before you complain about groomed Gandy

Postby rondo320 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:59 pm

What's the problem with pleasing both camps by grooming only half the run?
This gives new bump skiers an escape path and groomer lovers can use half the trail and never have to endure a single bump.
Half a bump run is better than none.
Sure some runs are too narrow for this solution but most trails can handle this.
Since Mary Jane is only a small part of Winter Park, maybe the rest of Winter Park could get some terrain with bumps especially on beginner or intermediate trails.
This would allow new bumpers to not scare themselves to death on expert bump trails that are too steep to groom with no escape.
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Re: Please read before you complain about groomed Gandy

Postby Old School » Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:51 pm

Bradley's Bash on the Winter Park side is usually half bumps and half groomed. Perfect place to practice.
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Re: Please read before you complain about groomed Gandy

Postby BushMogulMaster » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:20 pm

rondo320 wrote:What's the problem with pleasing both camps by grooming only half the run?
This gives new bump skiers an escape path and groomer lovers can use half the trail and never have to endure a single bump.
Half a bump run is better than none.
Sure some runs are too narrow for this solution but most trails can handle this.
Since Mary Jane is only a small part of Winter Park, maybe the rest of Winter Park could get some terrain with bumps especially on beginner or intermediate trails.
This would allow new bumpers to not scare themselves to death on expert bump trails that are too steep to groom with no escape.


WP side does have some nice bumps, including lower-angle stuff. A lot of us just never see it, because it's hard to leave the Jane! But I definitely agree with half-grooming. It's a great way to please everyone, and something for which I would strongly advocate.
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Re: Please read before you complain about groomed Gandy

Postby Blake » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:12 pm

I think that everyone who can SHOULD ABSOLUTELY COMPLAIN about the grooming of Gandy and other runs on Mary Jane....

It is not just Gandy. There are others being groomed that didn't used to be groomed like Derailer and Railbender. While there may not be a "conspiracy" to keep grooming more and more, if you had asked them ten years ago, I am sure that there was no 'plan' then to groom the ones that are getting groomed 'now'.

It's not just the "low angle" runs. Did you guys not notice Railbender and Derailer? Or did you just think that they've always been groomed? Derailer is ALWAYS groomed on it's top half now and it used to ALWAYS be bumps. Railbender is ALWAYS half groomed along it's middle section now while it used to ALWAYS have bumps.

This year for the first time Gandy is being groomed consistently. In recent years they would only groom it once a month or less. Right now, they have consistently groomed it all month. I am sure that two years ago there was no "conspiracy" to start grooming that more either... yet now they're grooming it more.

I am sure that there is no 'set plan' to groom more runs, but I believe they will be slowly adding runs that are groomed on the Mary Jane side. I also believe that because of the direction this sport has been going in there are probably more people what WANT it groomed. I think our only chance is for EVERYONE to complain so that it SEEMS like the number of mogul skiers equals the number of skiers that want it groomed even if there are actually more of the people who want it groomed. The complaints don't even have to be made to just one person, they could be made in a variety of ways to people high up at the resort.

I have heard that they're getting more compliments about the grooming than complaints. I heard it directly from someone in the grooming department.
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Re: Please read before you complain about groomed Gandy

Postby BushMogulMaster » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:23 pm

Blake - I never said NOT to complain. I said complain for the right reasons. I'm on your side here. But they hear more than enough whiny bitching, and if it comes across that way, they won't pay any heed. Be respectful, be rational. That's all I ask, and that's the ONLY way you'll actually make an impact. Pissing off the people making the decisions isn't going to further the cause.

And what you said tends to be true. They do get lots of compliments when they groom. So if you don't like it, do make your thoughts known. But do it right, or they'll ignore you. And with good reason.
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Re: Please read before you complain about groomed Gandy

Postby BushMogulMaster » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:31 pm

And let me add: I'm trying to HELP you. As someone who's worked his way through the ranks of the ski industry, and who knows the management team at WP personally, I'm trying to HELP you achieve your result without sticking your foot in your mouth. If you think just whining to them about grooming 2 or 3 trails that they didn't used to groom is going to get you anywhere, I'm afraid you'll be sorely disappointed. Put yourself in their shoes. They don't understand mogul skiing as a standalone entity within the sport. To them (and to most ski resort operators) it's just one of many aspects of skiing, and at best a minority special interest. From their perspective, there's 600 acres of bumps at MJ, and maybe 100 acres groomed. How do you think it sounds for bump skiers to complain about the 5/6 trails they groom? You have to formulate your arguments carefully, or you'll do more harm than good.
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Re: Please read before you complain about groomed Gandy

Postby Blake » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:45 pm

I understood that you're trying to help and I think that all of your points are good ones.

...don't worry... I'm just making a really big deal out of the grooming thing because I didn't want anyone to hesitate to say something.

Comment cards sound like a good idea.
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