The Softening of Society

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snoloco snoloco
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The Softening of Society

It has been discussed elsewhere in the forum, but I figured I would consolidate it here and it is a good way to kill some time in the off season.

I'm sure everyone has noticed that society seems to softening when it comes to many things.  My example is Action Park.  Back in the day, it was the most dangerous park in the world.  It still is today, but less so.  Despite the danger, it is by far the best waterpark out there, and the only one where you actually need to be a good swimmer to go on certain rides.  Even the rides where you don't need to be a good swimmer are actually thrilling, unlike most water slides.  They are built into the mountain and are one of a kind.  They are more like whitewater rafting experiences than water slides.  None of the water is heated at Action Park.  For that reason, the water is 50-60 degrees in one spot, and 60-70 in most of the others.  Only in a few spots does it become the 80 degree bathwater that you find in most waterparks.  So many people have complained about cold water at other parks that they have installed heaters, but not Action Park.  Why anyone would complain about the water being too cold is beyond me.  The whole idea of a waterpark is to COOL OFF in the summer, not to go in a hot tub.  Also, the element of danger is still at Action Park.  If you don't follow all the safety rules, you WILL get hurt.  Still, Action Park is this thing where maybe you get hurt, but you have the time of your life doing it.  It is the only park that I, or someone I know has gotten hurt there.  Still, so many people will never experience the joy of Action Park because they are too worried about some cuts and bumps.  What happened to "no pain no gain"?!  So many kids also never experience it because there are too many overprotective parents that seem to want to wrap their kids in bubble wrap.  My mom knows someone who won't let their kids go to Action Park because it is too dangerous.  Also, read any of the bad reviews of Action Park and you will see that people are complaining harshly about needing to carry a tube up a flight of stairs to get to the waterslide.  REALLY, MAYBE YOU SHOULD STAY ON YOUR COUCH THEN.  Maybe Action Park should keep a couple of these at the entrance like at the supermarket and have sherpa service at the rides to carry tubes up to keep these lazy couch potatoes happy.


Needless to say, I love Action Park for the reason that there is a bit more adventure there than at so many other parks.  I will continue to go there at every chance I get, and any slobs who can't carry their tubes, or walk up the stairs can stay home which means shorter lines for me.

I know that I have been called a fat lazy slob on this site and I am not top physical condition, or the toughest skier on the planet.  Still, there are many people who are much worse, and our future is screwed as a result.  Does anyone else have any examples/rants of an overprotective, lazy, or softening society.
I've lived in New York my entire life.
skimore skimore
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Re: The Softening of Society

snoloco wrote
  Does anyone else have any examples/rants of an overprotective, lazy, or softening society.
snoloco says:
 
 July 16, 2014 at 4:45 pm  
 

Grooming on Stielhang is a great thing. That trail with no grooming was a ski destroying death trap with boilerplate ice and rocks everywhere you went. Grooming will imporove that trail drastically. It can still be left ungroomed on powder days when it would actually be skiable with no grooming. I would much rather have a groomed trail than a closed or dangerous trail.
PeeTex PeeTex
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Re: The Softening of Society

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Certain parts of society are softening, some are not. My grand daughter and I hiked Giant last weekend, or I should clarify that, I hiked it, she jogged it. At 14 she loves to run up the mountains. As she has been staying with me the last few weeks she is up every morning, runs for an hour and then does another 30 minutes of planks and sit ups.

It's all a matter of discipline and what you want out of life and how hard you are willing to work for it. Read a good biography of Teddy Roosevelt and see how you can set your own physical destiny.
Don't ski the trees, ski the spaces between the trees.
campgottagopee campgottagopee
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Re: The Softening of Society

In reply to this post by skimore
skimore wrote
snoloco wrote
  Does anyone else have any examples/rants of an overprotective, lazy, or softening society.
snoloco says:
 
 July 16, 2014 at 4:45 pm  
 

Grooming on Stielhang is a great thing. That trail with no grooming was a ski destroying death trap with boilerplate ice and rocks everywhere you went. Grooming will imporove that trail drastically. It can still be left ungroomed on powder days when it would actually be skiable with no grooming. I would much rather have a groomed trail than a closed or dangerous trail.
bwahaaaa  
MC2 5678F589 MC2 5678F589
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Re: The Softening of Society

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I went to the US National Whitewater Center outside of Charlotte, NC and it was the most sanitized, soul sucking place I've ever been. Everything should have been fun (ropes courses, obstacle course, rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing, etc.), but the safety talks for everything, equipment checks, lines, crowds, storage lockers, concrete, automatic raft return conveyor belt, and security were ridiculous. They successfully took all of the adventure out of some pretty adventurous activities.

But you're right. That's what people seem to want. Every time you say Stratton is better than Mad River Glen, you're saying that a safer, sanitized version of the sport is better than the wild, free version of the sport. I understand that, merely by riding the lift, I'm not truly experiencing the raw, gritty form of skiing practiced by our ancestors, but ski lifts are awesome inventions.

I guess there's a spectrum. Some people only have good ski days when they earn their turns on remote peaks. Others are perfectly happy riding high speed quads and skiing the most manicured slopes. I'm fine with everything as long as it all remains available. When places start putting up too many rules, enforcing tiny infractions, grooming all the adventure away, or generally treating grown adults like children that have to be babied, then we have a problem.

That's why I'm troubled by California closing hiking trails because they're too dangerous. Once we start catering to the idiots, the pearl clutchers, and the overly protective moms, that's when we lose the stuff we originally liked about these outdoor pursuits. At that point, a whitewater rafting trip becomes just another amusement park ride.

Like I said, I have no problem with the availability of sanitized outdoor experiences, I just don't want every experience to be like that.
Harvey Harvey
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Re: The Softening of Society

WOW. Yes.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
Highpeaksdrifter Highpeaksdrifter
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Re: The Softening of Society

In reply to this post by MC2 5678F589
mattchuck2 wrote
I guess there's a spectrum. Some people only have good ski days when they earn their turns on remote peaks. Others are perfectly happy riding high speed quads and skiing the most manicured slopes. I'm fine with everything as long as it all remains available.
This right here. ^^^

As long as  individuals are free to choose the type of recreation they want why should anyone care what others choose.

There's truth that lives
And truth that dies
I don't know which
So never mind - Leonard Cohen
PeeTex PeeTex
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Re: The Softening of Society

In reply to this post by MC2 5678F589
MC2,
You cite the CA example, instead of closing the trail, should they charge for rescues? We have the same issue in the Adirondacks? Maybe we should debate causality. If we only provide convenient safe access does that create a dependence?  Why do I need hiking boots and water if some ranger will bail me out if I sprain my ankle or get thirsty?
Don't ski the trees, ski the spaces between the trees.
MC2 5678F589 MC2 5678F589
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Re: The Softening of Society

Ugh, do I have to debate the rescue topic again? I think I've said my opinion on that stuff before when we were discussing those Killington rescues (I don't like the idea of people paying for their own rescue, but I also don't like the idea of idiots and a-holes just blindly striding out into the wilderness with a bottle of Gatorade and a pair of flip flops).

I don't think that we "create a dependence" with sanitized experiences and easy access (actually, I think some of these places are great at introducing new people to the outdoors). I just feel like we should still have the option of going to places where there are dangers in difficult lines, excitement in unknown variables, and consequences to bad decisions.
Harvey Harvey
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Re: The Softening of Society

I remember when we skied upper middle lower hardscrabble at Cannon.  It was icy bumps with frozen dirt troughs and piles of loose soft snow from a dump the night before.  I could see someone saying conditions were awful.  We certainly didn't have to be there as there was better coverage to be found. But man it was fun, once.  Actually it was fun the second time too.

"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
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