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Is This The End Of The Trail Map?

Screen-Shot-2022-03-14-at-7.48.34-AM A passenger on the ski train to Winter Park, in Colorado, examines the resort’s trail map. (New York Times)

At ski resorts around the country, the familiar paper map is disappearing, as mountains push skiers to use apps and other digital resources. But some skiers are pushing back.

At ski resorts around the country, the familiar paper map is disappearing, as mountains push skiers to use apps and other digital resources. But some skiers are pushing back.

At the end of this month, the artist James Niehues will be inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, in recognition of the almost 200 trail maps he has painted over his 34-year career. Skiers from Mt. Bachelor, Ore., to Sunday River, Maine, and many points in between, have held his work in their hands as they try to find the easiest — or hardest — way down.

But perhaps not for much longer.

Ski areas are increasingly cutting back on the number of pocket-size paper trail maps they print and distribute. The reasons range from cost savings and environmental concerns to promoting resort-specific apps that offer a slew of interactive features in addition to digital maps. Last winter many ski areas didn’t put out the usual stacks of maps as a Covid measure, but the trend goes well beyond pandemic protocol.

At Southern California’s Big Bear Mountain Resort, “we haven’t printed pocket maps in two-plus years for both cost and pandemic reasons,” said Justin Kanton, a resort spokesman. Instead, the ski area directs guests to its app, the QR codes posted on signs around the area and the maps affixed to the safety bars on all of the quad chairlifts (a feature at many resorts).

 Read the full story at NYTimes.com

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