Go to a big fancy place like the Whistler Olympic Park and you will find beautiful ski trails interspersed with beautiful snowshoe trails, all winding through the forests, carefully maintained and mapped out.
Unfortunately, we do not have the same resources, land, and snow for our snopark. But it all works out! As I’ve skied the trails as the snopark, I’ve been continually impressed with how careful the snowshoers have been. Thank you!
Broadly speaking, skiers really love to ‘kick-and-glide’ down those neat parallel ski tracks. The neater and smoother and cleaner they are, the more that skiers like them. So it is really a nice thing to do if you don’t mess them up with snowshoe tracks.
When the trails are groomed with the Pisten Bully, there is usually a set of tracks down one side. The center of the trail is nominally for skate skiers (who like a wide, flat, smooth trail) and the idea is that snowshoers go down the opposite side of the trail from the parallel tracks. When the snow is soft, that is really appreciated. After a couple of days of rain and freeze/thaw and you can barely see your snowshoe crampon marks, it really doesn’t matter!
Even on ungroomed trails (White Salmon after a big snowstorm), if three or four skiers set a track out the trail, it sets up and can make a really nice ski trail, both for their return trip and for future skiers. The skiers should do it off to one side of the trail – and then it would be very gentle of the snowshoers to not mess it up. Now if the skiers wander all over the place with their tracks, it’s pretty hard to leave them untouched!
I’ve also seen skiers skiing down the nice trail made by snowshoers at White Salmon. While I will usually set a new trail down the side, not everyone does that. 1) don’t worry about what happens to the ski tracks, 2) hopefully you can feel good about the fact that the skiers liked the nice broken out trail left by the snowshoers. Thank you!
Thanks again for thinking of the skiers!