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FOSM Reponse to Letter of CBMR Director of Planning (CB News, 1/15/10)
 
FOUR SEPARATE CONFLICTING SETS OF SNODGRASS TERRAIN DATA
 
CBMR appears unsure of what the Ability Level Terrain Distribution would have been on Snodgrass Mountain. During 2009, they presented at least four separate, conflicting sets of Snodgrass terrain data, as noted in the table below. CBMR's 1/15/10 letter in the CB News repeated the acreages shown in their 12/18 09 CB News advertisement, but both of these conflict with CBMR's Snodgrass Light presenations, the official Master Development Plan (MDP), and the Snodgras Expansion Proposal Letter they submitted to the USFS in 2009. MDP Table 6-5 provides the official terrain data.
 
CONFLICTING TERRAIN DATA
 
2009 Snodgrass Light Presentation*
12/18/09 CBN Ad & 1/15/10 letter
2009 Snodgrass Expansion Proposal Letter - Attachement 1**
2009 MDP Table 6-5***
Beginner/Novice
54
55
31.7
54.9
Low Inter + Intermediate
123 (total)
116 (total)
28.4 + 117.5 =
145.9 (total)
5.3 + 98.0 =
103.3 (total)
Advanced
74
50
43.3
49.7
Expert
25
56
55.5
68.7
Total
276
277
276.3
276.6
*CBMR's 2009 "Snodgrass Light" and "MDP" presentations and "snodgrassfacts.com FAQ" each include this data.
**Mathematical error in the "Total" line is CBMR's.
***Totals derived by adding individual ski runs
 
Many Terrain Expansions, but Minimal Increase in Skier Visits:
Why Would 276 Acres on Snodgrass be Different?
 
The amount of skiable acreage available on Snodgrass versus CB Mountain is a side issue. The real issue is that terrain expansions have failed to appreciably increase Skier Visits. As FOSM has repeatedly stressed, the Colorado ski industry has implemented 13,000+ acres of terrain expansions, including 4,000+ Interemediate acres, since 1995/96. Yet Skier Growth has been only 0.31% per year. In spite of the fact that every Colorado resort has expanded, virtually all of that slow-visits growth occurred at three Front Range/I70 corridor resorts--A-Basin, Beaver Creek, and Breckenridge--that offer heavily discounted season passes. There is no reason to believe that a hard-to-get-to, 276-acre expansion on Snodgrass would attract more skiers when 13,000 additional Colorado acres have failed to meaningfully increase visits.
 
Snodgrass Would Have Provided Little Intermediate Terrain
 
Furthermore, the proposed Snodgrass expansion would not have provided an "overabundance" of Intermediate terrain, as CBMR claims. Table 6-5 of the MDP (pp 110-113) lists Slope Length, Slope Are, Average Grade, Maximum Grade, and Ability Level for every run on CB Mountain and every run proposed on Snodgrass. A little time with Table 6-5 and a calculator shows that there would have been only 98 Intermediate acres on Snodgrass. Most of the Intermeidate runs would have been both shorter and steeper than Intermediate runs on CB Mountain.

The length of the average Snodgrass Intermediate run (1967 ft) would have been as short as those in the Prospect and Gold Link lift pods (1997 ft and 1966 ft). Since CBMR said they "don't expect this short section of [Prospect] Intermediate to be utilized by many skiers", it is unclear why they claim that runs of the same length on Snodgrass, more than 45 minutes from the Base Area, would attract more skiers.

Snodgrass' five longest Intermediate runs would have been about as short as Bushwhacker under the Teocalli Lift. Four of those five "long" Intermediates would have been as steep, having the same 45% slope angle and "Double Blue" Rating as Upper Keystone on CB Mountain. CBMR has said that typical intermediate skiers feel "pure terror" on steep Upper Keyston. If all Snodgrass' steep, 45% Intermediates are deducted from the 98 acre total, there would have been only 37 "average" Intermediate acres on Snodgrass.

CBMR has repeatedly claimed that the terrain on Snodgrass would transform their ski product and attract more skiers. Their own MDP establishes that the terrain on Snodgrass would have just been a smaller, shorter, steeper version of the terrain on Crested Butte Mountain that they repeatedly proclaim to be inadequate.
 
CBMR Has Colorado's 5th Fastest Skier Visit Growth Rate!
 
CBMR's letter included a lengthy list of improvements CBMR has made to the CB Mountain since 2004. CBMR is to be applauded for implementing those upgrades which earned them Colorado's 5th fastest skier visit growth rate since 2004, beating Aspen, Copper, Durango, Keystone, Steamboat, Vail and Winter Park.
 
CBMR Has USFS Approval to Implement Upgrades on CB Mountain
 
CBMR Has approval from the USFS to implement additional, badly-needed upgrades to CB Mountain including: additional intermediate terrain and gladed intermediate trees; 4 upgraded chair-lifts and one new lift; additional restroom and restaurant facilities (both of which are currently deficient on CB Mountain); and elimination of long-standing, dangerous bottlenecks.

2009 Friends of Snodgrass Mountain • Contact Webmaster