Essay 4 Ski Mountain Revised - Stephen Kramer Cornell...

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Stephen Kramer 5/12/06 Cornell University Writing Seminar Essay # 4 - Ski Resort A ski resort is an attempt by man to control the landscape. Located in a mountainous region, ski resorts alter the existing natural landscape to create a human playground within a beautiful natural setting. Skiing and snowboarding have become enormous industries not only because of the thrill of gliding through the snow, but also as a result of the opportunity to experience the mountain environment. A ski area is a recreational center built by man within close proximity to the natural surroundings of a snow covered mountain. Ski areas are generally located in high mountainous areas in order to obtain optimum snow coverage and challenging terrain. However, every major ski resort has been heavily transformed by man. Typically, one or more chair lifts or other modes of transport have been constructed to bring thrill-seeking skiers and snowboarders rapidly to the top of the mountain. These mechanical methods of transporting humans range from rope tows used on short slopes (usually beginner hills or "bunny slopes") to four-seat chair lifts. Larger ski areas tend to use gondolas or trams for moving larger numbers of people across greater distances. In addition, ski lodges have been constructed at or near mountain peaks in order to provide warmth, shelter and other amenities, such as food service. Another example of man’s attempt to control the natural landscape is avalanche control. In Jackson Hole, Wyoming, one of the country’s largest ski resorts, the ski patrol, consisting of ski resort specialized personnel, engage in daily avalanche control. Explosions can be heard in the morning before the lifts open, as members of the ski patrol shoot cannons and drop explosives on specific areas of the mountain in order to cause avalanches before the skiers arrive. Without avalanche control efforts, skiers and snowboarders would risk causing avalanches, given the natural conditions created by layers of snow. Obviously, experiencing an avalanche first-hand can result in serious
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injury or even death. In addition to avalanche control, the ski patrol imposes access restrictions to prevent skiers and snowboarders from leaving the ski area’s boundaries. Further, major ski resorts contain different types of trails that have been cut into the mountain. For business reasons, a ski area must provide terrain to attract potential customers of varying ability. Trails are cut by removing trees and rocks. Trails for beginners are constructed with less pitch and are generally groomed by special machines
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Essay 4 Ski Mountain Revised - Stephen Kramer Cornell...

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