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Best bet for "starter" powder?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

So... I had a very nice week teaching a family of skiers this week. They got into a little powder and I'd say just might be hooked. They were asking today about where  they might go to get more. Whistler for example. My question is what resort would you send them to. It has to be booked well in advance, so don't give me any watch the weather and book last minute. You could book next years' trip today knowing when the school holidays are. Hard core terrain is not needed. Where would you send them?

post #2 of 29

Alta

post #3 of 29


1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Alta



2.  Snowbasin (Strawberry side)

post #4 of 29

Wolf Creek, CO. There's a reason they don't need snow making capabilities. It doesn't hurt that the place is nice and cheap, too!

 

I've heard Grand Targhee, WY gets tons of snow, too. I haven't experienced Alta, but I've heard great things.

post #5 of 29

Agree with others, since your stipulations include powder and not watching the weather, Alta seems to be the no-brainer. Grand Targhee is another good bet.

 

I'd also throw Powder Mountain in the mix, nice mellow terrain to get comfortable in powder and a pretty good chance you'll see some even if it hasn't snowed lately.

post #6 of 29

D.  All of the above.

 

JF

post #7 of 29

#1 Targhee.

 

#2 Far Northern UT is (I think) better than LCC or Park City for those who are looking for a gateway drug to a real pow addiction. Snowbasin, Powmow, and Beaver Mt get almost as much snow as LCC, its still light and very user friendly. Snow typically comes in smaller dumps (12-20" not 30"+) which is actually better for those just learning. More mellow terrain. Less traversing to get to uncut snow than LCC. Less competition, no feeding frenzy, snow lasts a week or so.

 

#3 If its an elnino year then perhaps somewhere in So CO like Wolf Cr.


Edited by tromano - 2/19/11 at 4:00pm
post #8 of 29

In Utah Brighton and Snowbasin, lots of chances of finding some days after a storm at Brighton

post #9 of 29

Targhee! Check out this sight, it will also help you choose: http://www.bestsnow.net/

 

I try to explain to my friends that either don't ski or are groomer-guys how once you taste the pow, it ruins your life! I sure could use a fix right now...

post #10 of 29

Wolf Creek CO

No, I take it back,  Too much of the powder is trees.

Maybe the Targhee suggestion above is right.

 

You definitely want a lesser-known place, that doesn't have enough terrain to bring in the powder-loving crowds.

Never been to Durango (Purgatory) but maybe?

 

Or one of the lesser-known Montanna/Idaho places?  What's the name of the place Volant Addict skis?

post #11 of 29

F alta really, awesome resort but gets tracked out faster than anything else ever. The feeding frenzy, the traverses, the bad exposure, and the fact its so freaking crowded

 

 

1. Beaver Mountain, utah

2. Grand Targhee, Wy

3. Powder Mountain, Utah

4. Snowbasin, Utah

5. Solitude/brighton, Utah

6. Deer Valley, Utah

7. Whitewater, BC

 

 

BTW why wouldnt these people just book a private cat or heli cost is really no object, they can book a private cat/heli and get all the untracked without ever competing for it or working for it. not all heli runs are steep.....

post #12 of 29

Alyeska

post #13 of 29

Statistically, I'd say head to SLC and then weigh the options once on the ground.  I enjoy Alta/Snowbird, but the good terrain does get tracked out quickly in most cases (exception being if you're already up the canyon and the road gets closed, or in days after the storm when they stage openings of certain areas).  But seriously, I have learned over the years that SLC is the safest bet most seasons.

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

I think that "no feeding-frenzy" is key. Trees are not a problem. Probably a plus as long as they are easy trees.

post #15 of 29

Niseko, you can ski powder 13 hours a day here. January is probably the most reliable time of year for snow.

post #16 of 29

 

Sorry if I repeat what others have said.

Best by far I've ever been to for this type of experience would be Powder Mountain, UT.  Especially if they have to go during a holiday period.  It's rarely crowded and there are up to 7000 acres of mostly blue square and single black diamond ungroomed terrain serviced by lifts, snowcat, and shuttle bus.  The place is simply too big, with too little traffic, and a low uphill transport capacity to ever get fully tracked out.  It's got a non-glamorous Mom and Pop vibe, so if they are expecting a fancy Vail-like base village it might not be their cup of tea.  Think Mansfield base lodge, not Spruce Peak base.  There is moderate priced lodging in the vicinity. Also, not far from Snowbasin, a great hill for intermediate-advanced lift served cruising and moderate angle pow opportunities.

 

If they have the bucks for slopeside lodging at Alta, then that's a fine choice too and has quite a bit of green, blue, and single black diamond terrain, along with the renowned steeper stuff, but could be a lot busier during a holiday period.  Also, if they like a more upscale experience with good Utah snow record they might consider staying at the modern village at Solitude.  It's a good bet for light to moderate crowds during holiday periods and has nice intermediate terrain and there is moderate angle terrain in never groomed Honeycomb Canyon for learning powder.

 

I have not been to Grand Targhee, but it has a rep for lots of powder and moderate angle terrain with low crowds.  Has a small amount of slopeside lodging and would not be far from additional skiing at Jackson Hole.

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

F alta really, awesome resort but gets tracked out faster than anything else ever. The feeding frenzy, the traverses, the bad exposure, and the fact its so freaking crowded

 

 

1. Beaver Mountain, utah

2. Grand Targhee, Wy

3. Powder Mountain, Utah

4. Snowbasin, Utah

5. Solitude/brighton, Utah

6. Deer Valley, Utah

7. Whitewater, BC

 

 

BTW why wouldnt these people just book a private cat or heli cost is really no object, they can book a private cat/heli and get all the untracked without ever competing for it or working for it. not all heli runs are steep.....


Theyre not hooked enough for the heli yet. Need a gateway drug. Come to think of it, how is Revelstoke? Bling accomodations, huge vertical, probably good snow, and there could be a "gateway" heli or cat a few days into the trip.

post #18 of 29

Bush's list looks pretty good to me. I'd add Powder King, Shames, Smithers, etc.

post #19 of 29

I'm seconding Bush's suggestion of a cat.  I learned more in a day of cat skiing at Aspen than I've learned in several years of hit-or-miss inbounds powder skiing.  The cat offers repetition, and virtually anywhere inbounds is first hit or miss on whether there is any powder and second likely to be tracked out in short order.  Not much chance for repetition inbounds, in my experience.

 

I had a great experience at Big Sky a couple of years ago at an Epic Ski Academy.  We had day after day of deep pow.  But we also had a lot of runs in crud, where different tactics and technique are required.

 

So, I really endorse the cat idea.  You can find cat operations close to major resorts.  That way, you can do a day or two of cat skiing working on the powder skiing package of tactics and technique while having the lesser expense of resort skiing to round things out.

 

Mike

post #20 of 29

Book the cat at Ruby Mountain Heli-Ski.  Their cat terrain is very mellow and they are an awesome bunch of folks to deal with.  If you want it to be a lesson rather than just a cat skiing trip, let them know and I'm confident they can accommodate you.  www.helicopterskiing.com.  Let me know if you need a couple more people to fill the cat, I'm absolutely confident I can find a couple for you if needed.  ;)

 

San Juan Ski Company out of Durango - they're a 100% cat operation and have some really great terrain.  Surprisingly affordable and great folks.  Let them know you're just learning to ski pow and they'll hopefully head towards some of their mellower stuff.  http://sanjuanski.com/

post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

I'm seconding Bush's suggestion of a cat.  I learned more in a day of cat skiing at Aspen than I've learned in several years of hit-or-miss inbounds powder skiing.  The cat offers repetition, and virtually anywhere inbounds is first hit or miss on whether there is any powder and second likely to be tracked out in short order.  Not much chance for repetition inbounds, in my experience.

 

I had a great experience at Big Sky a couple of years ago at an Epic Ski Academy.  We had day after day of deep pow.  But we also had a lot of runs in crud, where different tactics and technique are required.

 

So, I really endorse the cat idea.  You can find cat operations close to major resorts.  That way, you can do a day or two of cat skiing working on the powder skiing package of tactics and technique while having the lesser expense of resort skiing to round things out.

 

Mike


Cat + Aspen sounds pretty damn good.

post #22 of 29

Ha Ha Ha. Like I'd tell.

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post




Cat + Aspen sounds pretty damn good.



It was.  beercheer.gif

post #24 of 29


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post




Cat + Aspen sounds pretty damn good.


Pearl runs a really nice operation and since it's owned by ASC, they run it like an amenity instead of a profit center.   If the skiing isn't good, they don't go, because they don't need to worry about paying the bills. 

 

With four different resorts, there's plenty of terrain for all types on a powder day.  Buttermilk's has a really mellow expert side, Tiehack, that is absolutely empty.  My wife goes there on powder days and gets untracked at 3pm. 

post #25 of 29

Monarch, they can ski the trees in Mirkwood and then hire the cat to do some cat skiing in the backcountry.

post #26 of 29

Another cat option is Steamboat Powder Cats. They offer different level trips (expert, intermediate) to accommodate everyone. Had a great time with them last year! And Steamboat was a fun place to ski as well.

post #27 of 29

What time of year are they thinking about?

post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

What time of year are they thinking about?


Week before Christmas.

 

 

Just kidding... mid-February.

post #29 of 29


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post




Week before Christmas.

 

 

Just kidding... mid-February.


Whew!

 

That's a pretty good time to come here.

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