Quandary examines snowmaking and selfie taking
December 5, 2015
How do the Nordic centers get snow?
Much like the rest of Summit's winter-sports abodes, the Nordic centers here turn into a gun show for the season — well, at least a couple of them do. Just like the ski resorts, which rely heavily on man-made snow, the Breckenridge and Frisco Nordic centers also like to make their own.
These Nordic centers really have all of the fun toys to make a snowfield out of a beach any time they so please. First, they use a snowmaking system to create massive piles of white gold, which they then use loaders, trucks and snowcats to maneuver.
Obviously, relying strictly on the natural stuff would be a hit-or-miss proposition, as snow can be a fickle master. While one month might see record fall, the next could be drier than that turkey your in-laws made last month. It is also not very cooperative and tends to fall willy-nilly with little regard for where it is wanted. This old goat was thinking that the snow plowed from Summit's roadways could find its way to the Nordic centers for a little extra boost, but Therese Dayton (owner of the Frisco and Breck Nordic centers, along with her husband Gene) quickly pointed out the diabolical nature of this snow.
Occasionally, the plows in Breck might take a little fluff off a side road for one of the Breck center's ski-through tunnels, but that's as close to the trails as the plows get. You see, while it might come down from the skies all driven and pure, by the time your Subaru rolls over it a couple times and the plows pile it up for transport, it has become less snow and more everything else. The rocks, gravel and other harsh elements on the roads would then find their way onto the center's meticulously groomed trails, leaving you with a lovely cement mix to try and glide over, and hopefully not fall into.
Imagine the scavenger hunts you could have though! I think we could invent a whole new class of Nordic sports, if ya'll were just a little more adventurous (a real problem here in Summit). Points would be awarded not only for the fastest time through the course, but for the most crap pulled out of the snow. Think about the sponsorships: This pair of nasty long underwear brought to you by… Alright, maybe there are some issues, but aren't winter sports all about innovation?
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Can I take my drone and make some epic footage on the ski resorts?
While I appreciate your brand recognition and need to be in front of a camera, the slopes might not be the place for it. In case there was any doubt, Vail Resorts does indeed have a drone use policy, which basically boils down to 'no, you can't use it.'
The finer points of the policy state that drones are not allowed for recreational use at all on — or above — any of Vail's properties.
Why, you ask? Because they said so. Safety is the major concern as a drone just adds a whole new layer to the accident possibilities on the slopes. I mean think about it: What would be worse than a slope full of gapers? A slope full of gapers and sky full of drones, no doubt. Oh, the horror! Not only will you get cutoff, but your anger-laden tirade will then get blasted all over YouTube.
Besides that fact, I'm sorry, but unless you're unloading with a switch double cork 900 on the halfpipe, do you really need to be on film? I mean, let's face it, chances are you aren't going to look as good on film as you do in your head, so why not leave the slope montages to the Warren Miller crew and get back to perfecting those pizza slice, French fry techniques that might still be a little evasive.
If you do suffer from selfie addiction, don't fret, at the lodge you are more than welcome to turn your poles into a selfie stick and shutterbug yourself until Narcissus himself pushes you into a snow bank.
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