November 04, 2005 Features & Images » Feature Story

First Person: Doug Forseth 

Upping the ante

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We’ve had a bit of snow up there, not too much (as of mid-October, ed.), but you could really see it on the runs because there weren’t as many things sticking out of it. (This will) help us get going quicker on more of the mountain.

Another part of the terrain changes is some of the physical things we’ve done, contouring and things like that we feel will really improve the ski and snowboard experience.

We’ve always done this, but I think people are really going to notice some changes this year.

Starting on Blackcomb, and the Blackcomb Glacier, when you leave you have to sidehill or cut through the boulder field. We’ve improved that route down and across the boulders to where the rescue road comes in, from the bottom there to as high as… where the Saffire Bowl comes in, which gives us a good 1,000 vertical feet.

Pique: Was that something you were always planning, or was it in response to last year’s conditions on the lower mountains and the fact that the glacier offered better snow?

DF: That was something we were planning to do anyway. The upper part (of the glacier) has always been a great skiing experience, but getting out is a challenge. Another improvement we’d like to see is to try and improve the rescue road out, make it wider… but that’s going to be difficult and expensive. We’re going to do it, but right now we’re not sure how.

The work to build a route out of the glacier cost about a quarter million dollars.

At the top of Jersey Cream, it’s always been very crowded, so what we’ve done is open that area up. Rather than have people jammed in that tight little area, there will be room to meet and pull off to the side, and it will create a better and safer experience for our guests.

On Easy Out, at the corner coming off Expressway… it was a bit of a sidehill, and we’ve leveled that out. That’s beginner terrain, so we made it easier for beginners to use that trail area.

This seems like an obvious thing, but in the Terrain Park we’ve actually built some of the features out of dirt and materials, so it will take less snow and effort to get that opened. We could have the park open on the first day if we have enough of a base to make it safe, but if not we’re hoping for a record opening.

Pique: Was that a Whistler-Blackcomb idea?

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