If there is an ugly gray road cutting across the mountainside, right through the otherwise flawless ski run, that's where the concept of a road gap comes in. A road gap is a ramp that allows skiers to literally jump the road and continue on down the slope. There are many considerations in building a road gap.
Trying to gather snow by hand can be tedious and wear you out before you even strap on your skis. Consider using a front-shovel excavator or a bulldozer (or, if nothing else, a bulldozer blade attached to the front of an ATV) to gather all of the snow just off of the roadside. John Deere manufactures such a piece of heavy equipment (see Resources).
You must then shape the gap into ramp form. Use a good snow shovel, such as a Wovel shovel, to shape the snow into a ramp that rises up to its highest height right at the roadside. Use the shovel to pack the snow densely, flattening it into ramp shape. You may want to strap on your skis and ski sideways down the ramp to give it that extra packing and remove clumps of snow from the surface of the ramp.
The final gap-building phase is testing it. This entails being sure the way across the road is clear, then strapping on your skis and heading a few feet up the mountain. Finally, ski down the slope just enough to propel you almost to the top of the ramp, then stop there. If the ramp feels solid, it should be ready to go.
Article Written By William Jackson
William Jackson has written, reported and edited professionally for more than 10 years. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, high-level government reports, books and online. He holds a master's degree in humanities from Pennsylvania State University.