“Vail’s Flat Bruh”
The title of this post came from a caption of a satellite screen shot of EV I was emailed from a company called FatMaps, a UK based company, as they were pitching their avalanche safety and 3d mapping ski app and recruiting me to write the beta for it.
I had weathered some earlier bullshit from them but still was intrigued a bit as the app and satellite technology were cutting edge. The local guy Matt seemed pretty cool, who he represented turned out to be cheap, arrogant and out of touch with US skiing. But I thank them because up until this point EVI has lacked a cause and I haven’t been interested in posting the same shit about the same runs. Our cause? Repel the euro 3d satellite invasion into our local backcountry.
In preparation, I watched the movie Red Dawn 10 times last night, the original of course, not that remake crap. I’m ready.
Let’s say the tables were turned, and I had a company called Saucy Maps and I wanted info on our FatMaps homies local break. Being based in the UK, I assume that would be Mad Cow mountain in the Northern Snaggletooth range. I wouldn’t send them satellite images of their mountain with headers like “Your Mom was in Clockwork Orange” trying to get local knowledge from them.
The title of this post came from the caption of a satellite screenshot they sent me of what they thought was East Vail. I know the knock on Vail, I’ve heard it. I sure don’t need to hear it from someone who is trying to get my knowledge of an area that I like and is decidedly not flat. These people also needed to be told to put the trees back in the satellite relief images they had of East Vail to make it more realistic. For reals. Also, if you shift your satellites a little north there’s something called the Gore Range. Enough said.
Regardless of the application of this technology it is EVI’s opinion that EV skiing should never be for profit. And FatMaps can market the app for “safety”, but don’t kid yourself. Its for money. There is also a concern that this app will give inexperienced people a false sense of security by mapping “runs” in what is uncontrolled terrain, taking the place of experience, training and working a skill progression that allows a gradual introduction to an area. My question is when a Denver tech-savy at-risk youth grabs a float pack, pays 29.95 and snaps open a FatMap app, then comes out here and gets smoked is there a customer service 800 number they can call? Country code first remember…
I think the technology itself is cool. I think that in Europe where unmarked objective hazards lurk everywhere in massive alpine ski centers the route finding aspect is useful. And I’m sure the deal will appeal to someone’s ego enough that EV will get mapped. I’m personally not in a hurry for technology to demystify a unique and special area that deserves respect even from high-powered IMGA alpine guides with fancy technology. Who have never skied here.
See ya on the skin track.