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Old 08-13-2012, 06:15 PM
 
162 posts, read 223,753 times
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Ya but I am still looking at your suggestions.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:16 PM
 
162 posts, read 223,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogmama50 View Post
If you purchase Vail's Epic Season Pass, currently $659, you can ski Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, A-Basin, Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar whenever you want for the 12/13 season. If you plan on 6 or more days at any of the hills it can be a good deal. Vail Season Pass | Vail Ski Passes & Ski Pass Deals | Vail.com
Seems like a great deal. I'll check out the link.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:22 PM
 
162 posts, read 223,753 times
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Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
define "best" ...

is it a large area of expert terrain?

is it lots of ungroomed deep steep powder skiing days?

is it having a destination resort base area coupled with good or great skiing?

is it having a good ski school to help advance your skills?

is it the apres ski ambiance, things to do in the resort ... dining, bar hopping/partying ... quality accomodations?

and so forth. If you look at the aggregate ratings of the industry publications, you'll find Vail is fairly consistently at or near the top; it's a very sizable ski facility and it changes very rapidly from its near capacity crowds on weekends to very accessible (read: generally almost no lift lines at all) during the mid-week when the front range skiers have gone home except during the holiday weeks (Christmas, New Year's, or Spring Break). My favorite Colorado ski area, able to more consistently deliver a good product than many other places.

The Utah ski resorts near to SLC have similar virtues. And some other Colorado ski resort towns are well placed to deliver a quality product.

Please note that A-Basin isn't a resort like the others you've listed. Outside of a very high altitude, often very cold in the winter months small ski area, there's a parking lot. Not much else. The other places are comprehensive resort towns/facilities. The only time I ski A-Basin is at or near the end of a season when the temps are warming up so that the resorts have shut down for the season but skiing is still available at A-Basin. Usually, we wait until the crusty stuff has softened in the later AM hours to enjoy the slopes. A-Basin very famous for the "beach" party scene, which is the sunbathing at the base area by the parking lot.

While I've enjoyed a few days at Steamboat Springs ... a true ski resort town ... I'd mention that in 30 days of skiing there through the years, I had only two absolutely "died and gone to ski heaven" days where the powder in the glades was fabulous and endless. Couldn't get enough of it, it was incredible. But the other 28 days were a less than wonderful experience with poor snow conditions or weather. You had to chase around the mountain to find where the snow was OK or the conditions got back to being fun instead of survival on the mountain. For me, the place wasn't a great value ... and I was comp'ed for my next to the hill lodging and lift tickets most of those days from an industry friend. I could fly up to Steamboat Routt County in a very short time compared to driving, so it was a decently accessible location.

Sorry, I'm looking at your suggestions. By "best" I meant a high rated respectable resort with difficult terrain and lack of partying/drinking. Nice well rounded resort.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:24 PM
 
162 posts, read 223,753 times
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Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
Are you planning on just going to a certain part of the west like Colorado or Wyoming or Montana or California or are you looking for the best ski areas for over the whole expanse of the West?

What's the best also depends on what type of skier you are and what you're looking for. Personally, I like no-BS ski areas with steep terrain---I prefer somewhere like A-Basin over a big tourist area like Vail. However, if you're looking for a place with all high speed quads you can chill in some fake Swiss ski village and get a drink after a day of skiing--A-Basin isn't the place to go.

All the resorts above though are good places to go in their own right, though I've never been to Big Sky. Jackson Hole is an amazing place to ski--it's got great steep terrain and huge vertical as far as long runs. Personally my favorit though is Snowbird with the combination of that and Alta next door you've got the best mix of good quality snow and terrain in the country in some ways. I've always like the convenience of the Utah resorts since you've got a good mix of local's mountains like Brighton and Snow Basin mixed with high class places like Deer Valley and Park City mixed with Alta/Snowbird and so on. Plus it's easy to stay in Salt Lake City and just drive up to the different canyons every day.

Out in California--I'd say Kirkwood and Mammoth Mountain are my favorites--and after that Squaw Valley and neighboring Alpine Meadows. You get more snow than the Rockies but it can be heavier, but at Kirkwood and Mammoth the higher elevation and location closer to the east slope of the Sierra results in drier snow.

In Colorado my favorite resorts are probably A-Basin, Crested Butte, and Telluride--though Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Keystone, and other resorts are all worth a look. But I like the location on the Continental Divide and no-frills attitude of A-Basin, the steep chutes and tree-skiing of Crested Butte, and the spectacular location and general feel of Telluride(good bowls up high and nice steep runs right above the old Victorian mining town). Crested Butte and Telluride are fun towns, though Telluride is a little pricier/snobbier these days and Crested Butte is still a little funkier.

The Northwest where I live now isn't a marquee location, but if you go at the right time to Mt. Hood or Mt. Baker or Crystal Mountain or Mt. Bachelor can be just about as good as a lot of the rest of the west. But, it's more a local's experience, the weather is too variable to really be a destination unless you're looking to ski on a volcano in the middle of summer.
Great. I am going to give these all a good look.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:32 AM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,187 posts, read 7,076,841 times
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Here's another pass deal that just came up. Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson, Squaw, Alpine Meadows and Alta. The Mountain Collective Pass: Alta, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:05 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ny1964 View Post
I would rather have a difficult back county terrain than a typical groomed terrain.
You may already know this, but just a clarification: inside resort/ski area boundaries you have groomed and ungroomed/off-piste terrain. "Back country terrain" refers to skiing outside ski area boundaries, i.e. in terrain that is not patrolled or controlled for avalanches. Rocky Mountain snowpack is very unstable (with Colorado being the worst) and avalanches kill people every winter. If you do venture into the back country terrain here, make sure you have the proper knowledge, equipment, and a partner (not much use carrying a beacon if nobody is there to find your beacon signal) before doing so.

For challenging terrain, I'd go for (in no particular order) Snowbird/Alta or Jackson Hole.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:27 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,347,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzz View Post
You may already know this, but just a clarification: inside resort/ski area boundaries you have groomed and ungroomed/off-piste terrain. "Back country terrain" refers to skiing outside ski area boundaries, i.e. in terrain that is not patrolled or controlled for avalanches. Rocky Mountain snowpack is very unstable (with Colorado being the worst) and avalanches kill people every winter. If you do venture into the back country terrain here, make sure you have the proper knowledge, equipment, and a partner (not much use carrying a beacon if nobody is there to find your beacon signal) before doing so.

For challenging terrain, I'd go for (in no particular order) Snowbird/Alta or Jackson Hole.


I have skied both. I think that Jackson is more challenging than Snowbird/Alta. But both are great.

I would not do back country without a local guide.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:33 PM
 
162 posts, read 223,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzz View Post
You may already know this, but just a clarification: inside resort/ski area boundaries you have groomed and ungroomed/off-piste terrain. "Back country terrain" refers to skiing outside ski area boundaries, i.e. in terrain that is not patrolled or controlled for avalanches. Rocky Mountain snowpack is very unstable (with Colorado being the worst) and avalanches kill people every winter. If you do venture into the back country terrain here, make sure you have the proper knowledge, equipment, and a partner (not much use carrying a beacon if nobody is there to find your beacon signal) before doing so.

For challenging terrain, I'd go for (in no particular order) Snowbird/Alta or Jackson Hole.
Yea I know. I was referring to accessible back country. Much backcounrty is accessible by the resorts. I would never go alone anyway. I'd take the risk. I couldn't think of a better way to get killed than doing what I love. I do understand what your saying though. I am going to be very very careful non the less with whoever I am with.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:43 PM
 
162 posts, read 223,753 times
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I've also Skied in the Himalayas and Alps with locals "of course" Both without a resort so that is back country. I believe the terrain in both of those locations is more difficult and challenging than the Rockies anyway. I want to go the the Rockies. Just seems like more of a tourist trap with young weekenders. I really Ski for the thrill. To take risks. Most controlled runs at resorts are to short for my liking. I don't like heading up and the next thing you know 3 minutes later your at base. Longer controlled runs would be acceptable if backcountry were deemed "closed" or inaccessible. I've been looking at the stats of the suggestions everyone has been giving but non really have that long run expert terrain. Non sure if I will be able to find it.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:45 PM
 
162 posts, read 223,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogmama50 View Post
Here's another pass deal that just came up. Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson, Squaw, Alpine Meadows and Alta. The Mountain Collective Pass: Alta, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows
I'll check out the mountain stats first. I really appreciate the suggestions I am looking into this and the other one you gave me. If anymore pop up you mind posting a link up for me? Thanks much.
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