Speaking of the brink of winter, what's your favorite brink on a ski trail? I mean a trail that starts right off with its steepest headwall, challenging you to take the plunge. A modest one might be Upper Competition at Berkshire East; a legendary one might be Paradise, is it, at Mad River Glen? I speak only from hearsay about that one.
Even easier trails can have brinks, as seen by less proficient skiers. Like the first pitch on Blastoff at Sunapee, which earns the trail a diamond though the rest is a nice cruise. I remember skiing Kennebec at Big Squaw, a lovely intermediate run, with some friends of my sister a long time ago. We came to the top of a modest headwall halfway down, and one of the girls peered over and said, "It's a cliff!" To her it was, of course.
Some brinks are just the prelude to 1000 vertical feet of hard work, but others you can dive straight down and regain control when it flattens out. Nominate, and describe your favorite brink.
One that is overlloked from a list like this is the very top of Glen Ellen (Sugarbush North). As one goes to the right at the summit, the trail is flat. However, you are on an "arete-style" ridge with significant drop-off to the left and right. This is not inherently a problem on a bright clear day, but when I was there a few years ago in pea-soup fog (so thick I couldn't see my own ski boots when I looked down) it was a bit scary: even finding the trail while making that traverse was not obvious.
OOOO, good topic, mapnut! This topic instantly brought two mental pictures to the fore. One is at Stowe (perhaps it is Starr, as already mentioned). I don't know the name of the run, but it is off the top-near a waffle haus, and I don't really remember if it was a cliff...all I remember is that it was covered in thick boilerplate, and it looked like a cliff at the time. The other (which I did NOT take) was at the top of Aspen Highlands. It was one of the Steeple Chase runs. I remember standing at the brink, and looking down. I could not see the trail because it cut back UNDER me!!!
K27 at Hunter fits well in this catagory. So steep at the top you can sometimes stand on the edge, look down, and your skis stick straight out. Then the 43 degree pitch. Then the runout into F Lift. Alot of Catskill ski areas have trails steep on top, with the pitch lessening toward the base. Plattekill, Windham, Belleayre, Cortina, Scotch Valley, Highmount, and HunterOne have these similar set ups. Or did have before closing.
The other (which I did NOT take) was at the top of Aspen Highlands. It was one of the Steeple Chase runs. I remember standing at the brink, and looking down. I could not see the trail because it cut back UNDER me!!!
The Steeple Chase runs are awesome. I remember not only going down them but stopping a little ways down and looking back up at others who had not accompanied me down. It is literally a wall and the chairlift crossing above it looked way up there. It's really not that bad a ski though because the snow is generally so good. Alot of the drops in the west are easier because of the snow. Anything thats steep and icy or full of rock hard VW bumps tends to send me scurrying in another direction. It's not the steepness that gets me but the snow conditions.
One is at Stowe (perhaps it is Starr, as already mentioned). I don't know the name of the run, but it is off the top-near a waffle haus, and I don't really remember if it was a cliff...all I remember is that it was covered in thick boilerplate, and it looked like a cliff at the time.
I checked the trail map; it wasn't Starr, it was (appropriately so) Waterfall. ...Frozen Waterfall!
I have to agree with the previous comment about susquehanna at Elk...I learned to ski there and i used to adhere to what I called the "25 ft. rule" (getting no closer that 25ft. from the edge) because I was so terrified of accidentally that run. I'll never forget watching people go over the side and disappear.
I think the biggest factor here has to be the sheer adrenaline rush
Here are a few that come to mind:
FIS @ Sugarbush
East Fall @ K
Lover's Leap @ Vail
Werner Cute @ Taos (a narrow opening between the trees gives way to an elevator shaft)
All the black runs off the Tram @ Snowbird
EAST: Rumor @ Gore (just flat out scary...esp. b/c you know its icy...)
WEST: Corbett's Coloir @ JH (the most famous anywhere perhaps)
Posted: Oct 31, 2008 - 5:32 PM GMT
Edited: Oct 31, 2008 - 5:32 PM GMT
east coast, rumor at gore for sure, as icy as it is, 2 years ago I went midweek when they winch groomed it and was one of the most fun steeps i have ever skied. west coast, the slot at squaw valley. fun very steep chute.