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On Fri, 2 Feb 2001 13:22:13 -0500, Scott Mortimer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>So how tall was the cliff the guy jumped?  Sounds pretty cool to me.

If its the same tracks that Jerm, Matt, and I spied on Monday afternoon
(and they would pretty much have to be) it doesn't seem like the actual
cliff drop at the top of that line would be too terrible given soft snow
and lots of it.  Casual guesstimate would be 10-15', which is still a
little beyond comfort.  It appeared, that as reported, the guy made
3 or 4 turns, then gingerly sideslipped to skier's right and used the
scrubby pines as hand holds to get down to the runout.  A venerable and
valid technique, if not the most enjoyable to watch nor the safest.  Not
exactly the best line in the world either, put worth a golf clap for
creativity and and even larger golf clap for the exposure, steepness, and
kahones required.

>Last year at the peak of the snowpack I snowshoed with a buddy from
>the top of the gondola over to Teardrop (by the quad).  With 6 or 7+
>feet of snow there are some really cool looking cliffs that are
>jumpable/skiable up there, not my cup of tea but I'd like to see
>someone else do it.

Interesting route.  I'm sure you got some stunning views and some nices
spindrift in your face from the westerly winds.  FWIW, you probably already
know this but the top of Teardrop is accessed pretty easily from the quad,
I'd dare say in the half the time or lees it would take to get there from
the Gondola.

As for Mansfield 50' cliffs, I'm sure that they exist and are huckable at
certain times of the year, but why risk broken tib-fibs, femurs, hips,
skulls, etc. for something that requires so little skill?  I know, sticking
big air landings is kewl and all but at what price?  Sure the images are
very cool but I do have a problem with the implied suggestion that dropping
through the air (whether flipping, jibbing, spinning, or not) is the
pinnacle of skiing/boarding talent.

There are plenty of more sane drops around Mansfield to keep adrenaline
junkies satisfied.  Hopefully the pictures from Matt's camera will show a
few.  Jerm backed off on at least two particular drops that day that had
him salivating.  They both had at least one aspect to them that sent up a
serious caution flag.  I suppose that's the attitude one must have to live
to ski until a ripe old age: if something's not right, or it just isn't
worth it, back off.  Conversely, you often have to push yourself to
improve, go outside your comfort zone to find the greatest rewards.  A bit
like the old Serenity prayer mantra: "... and the wisdom to know the
difference."

-Jim B.

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