A few years ago I was standing in the Vasa parking lot bemoaning the trail conditions with a long time acquaintance of mine. It was early March. A four wheeler had just destroyed a section of trail about 4k long. With no new snow in the forecast, that section of trail was likely done for the year.
I was angry, my acquaintance, was irate. “How could anyone be so incredibly selfish and mean spirited”, he said. “To destroy something for hundreds of people just so you can have a few minutes of fun!”.
I probably shouldn’t have spoken the next words that I did, but it was one of those moments everyone’s had. I felt them coming out and it was too late to stop it.
“I’m surprised you’re upset. After all, for years I’ve watched you skate down classic only trails downstate without giving it a second thought.” He angrily replied that it’s not the same at all. That the guy who vandalized the Vasa trail was in a truck intentionally doing damage. When he skated across classic tracks, he was still skiing.
I replied that from a classic skiers perspective, there’s no difference at all. When you skate across classic tracks you ruin it for hundreds of skiers, just so you can have your few minutes of fun.
We haven’t spoken since.
I was reminded of that moment today when a couple of skiers decided to skate across the classic only trails at Huron Meadows. The tracks had been in fantastic condition in the morning. By afternoon, they were almost unskiable. Ski trails vandalized by one of our own! I can actually accept it a lot easier when the damage is done by an inconsiderate motorized vehicle driver.
For the record, any time you skate on a trail that is double track set and there isn’t a skating lane, you are a vandal. It doesn’t matter what your reason is. “The skate trail wasn’t groomed.” “The skate trail was too windy.” “I was tired of doing the same old trail.” It doesn’t matter, you’re no better than the guy who ruined the Vasa trail.
There’s nothing stopping you from putting on a pair of classic skis and enjoying the trail the way it has been set up. Remember that the next time you decide to ruin the day for hundreds of other people—You are a vandal!