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Skip King wrote:

> [...] another local
> example - Risky Business on Spruce Peak was a black diamond
> when I got here; it was essentially a blue square trail with one
> headwall near the top - a bit too challenging for most people
> comfortable with blue square terrain, and the shortness of the pitch
> made the trail a yawner for black diamond fans.  In that case,
> some regrading to soften that pitch was done, and the trail was
> downgraded from black to blue.

Skip, I know you aren't responsible for this any more than I am, but this is
what disgusts me about modern skiing, and in general about modern society.
If it's slightly difficult, instead of working to develop our abilities, so
that we can handle it, we change the difficult section so that it can be
"conquered" with our present skills.  Since most black diamonds aren't too
challenging (provocative I know, but if you watch skiers scrape down black
diamonds at Mt. Snow, you'll quickly notice that a minimal level of
technique is required), I would think that most intermediate skiers could
handle a short steep pitch with a little effort.  In fact it would be good
for them.  Better to start with a short steep pitch, build confidence and
skill than to skid down a black diamond and not enjoy the run.

While my blood boil is still boiling, I am reminded of a former girlfriend
from college, who insisted that it was incumbent upon ski areas to remove
all potential hazards from the skiers' reaches.  Thus, entirely seriously,
she and another friend advocated pushing back the trees 25-50 feet from the
trail!  She rejected the notion that skiing was a sport that should have
inherent risks.  Incidentally, my only serious disagreement with her.

Ben K.

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