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All the boarder-nay/boarder-yeah talk seems to take
on a familiar life cycle:
-One person gets on a rants a bit about the damage
boarders do to the snow, the lifestyle aspect, etc.
-Several people might mildly agree with some points
but point out that its the person not the tool
-A few more folks talk about how snow-sliding is
snow-sliding and snowboards can broaden your skills
and fun factor (a sentiment with which I fully agree)
-Even fewer folks get on and actually point out
some substantive about differences between skiing and
boarding in terms of learning,technique, and inherent
physical aspects of the sport that can be viewed
subjectively from a skier's point of view as either
mildly negative or neutral in terms of an on-mountain
experience, but also point out the incredible things
a two-edge slider can do that a four-edge slider
can't easily replicate
IMHO, JSpin, Beetnik, Skip, and Denis all fell into
this last category with substantive comments, not to
say that all the other comments weren't useful as well

At long last, here's my humble submission: As much as
many of the MRG faithful preach about the damage done
to the snow and mogul fields by boarders, the thrust
and intrinsic value of the ban is that a unique skiing
atmosphere exists on Mt. Stark that would change
substantially with the addition of snowboards.  I've
never skiied at Alta or any of the other places that
ban boarding, but I'm guessing that the rationale is
similar. ("Alta is for Skiers")  Nothing against
boarding, but it changes the atmosphere, and like it
or not, and purist status or not, atmosphere counts.
In terms of on snow effects, both skiers and boarders
scrape snow with equal ill-effects, boarders just manage
to do it with a more dramatic SCRAAAAAAPE!!!! in the
process.  The only effect I've noticed to make a
substantive difference is that in higher water content
powder or even borderline heavy snow, its much more
enjoyable to ski a tracked up glade at MRG than at
Jay Peak, where many a talented boarder attack the
woods.  Boarders pack snow in these conditions, where
skiers tend to simply chop it up.  Given my druthers
I'd rather ski chowder than packed chowder.  Gee,
its really not that substantial a difference after all,
huh?
Hoping to improve my boarder and tele skills someday,
but never wanting to "waste" a day that I could have
spent on skis,
Jim B.

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