What is the conventional definition of vertical drop? How is True-Up Vertical different? The conventional definition of "vertical drop" is more rudimentary: it is the elevation at a mountains highest point minus elevation at the lowest point but does not take into account the skiability of all the terrain in between. True-Up Vertical is similar, but also considers the all of the terrain of the mountain and will limit the measurement based on the vertical that is commonly skied. Why is knowing the True-Up Vertical more meaningful in your mountain research? Basically, True-Up Vertical is meant to be skier's perspective on mountain height, not a topographical view on mountain height. A resort's topography might occupy a 3000 ft vertical drop, but if the mountain terrain flowed in a way where you would never actually ski that full amount, then that 3000 ft measurement isn't representative of what you would experience. True-Up Vertical asks the question - what is the typical full amount of drop that you would normally ski, run after run, when you go to visit that ski resort.
Taking into account this data input, we cross this metric with the number of trails on the mountain creating a measure of "Vertical distance per trail." Obviously the more vertical distance per trail, the greater the challenge of the mountain on average. The results of this metric yield this top four names: Wildcat Mountain, Loon Mountain, Cannon Mountain and Attitash Mountain.
Taking all of this data, we compiled an overall "Total Challenge Rating." - a relative measure of how challenging a given mountain is relative to its sample (or peers in this case). These ratings basically correlate well with our general thoughts of these mountains as well as thoughts from others who have also skied these mountains while staying with us or somewhere else. With Wildcat being number one, the key drivers were the makeup of the mountain, the Vertical Distance and the the skiable acres per trail (being more narrow on average). Sunday River go high marks with the number of challenging trails (they have 135 trails) as well as the high percent towards advanced and expert trails. Bretton Woods, number three on the list, rated highly as the weather is more volatile in this region compared to others and like Sunday River, featured an overweight of advanced and expert trails of the total number of 97 trails at their location.
So how does one use this indicator? Well, if you want a tough day on the slopes, on average and you are staying at our place or in the relative proximity, then this ranking can give you an idea of how tough or easy your day will be. We realize that this indicator does not take into account the level of challenge in regards to the terrain parks or how tough the tree skiing is - there is no actual data on that anywhere. From reviews of guests who have stayed with us, Bretton Woods offered great tree skiing in the past relative to Attitash and others in the area. Wildcat has some pretty tough moguls the last time we were on the mountain. Further on Wildcat, a strong wind/snow hit us while we were there hurting visibility. Lastly, some reviews from our guests said that one New Years the wind and weather at Cranmore was so extreme that it made skiing very unenjoyable - based on my weather numbers though, there is no way to measure such!
So there you have it. Rating system number one posted. Feel free to send along comments if you agree or disagree. We hope to have the next rating out in the next day or two - basically a measure, using the math, of enjoyability of a given mountain. More to come.
from the Author
Welcome to our blog. Here you will find unique insights on the Mount Washington Valley and things to do while you are staying with us. You can also follow us on twitter @mccartyseasons for the latest updates of the condo as well as the rest of the surrounding area.