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Spring Skiing Spot...? Where would you go...? - Page 2

post #31 of 39

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
Can we please stop with these completely incorrect statements about Whistler's snow during the Olympics? Whistler had an amazing winter during the Olympics. Cypress, located in Vancouver and host of the bump events among others, had a poor winter. You aren't the first person to conflate the two, but it's really aggravating--especially since conditions at Whistler and the Vancouver hills are totally different.  

 

For the OP: Whistler in early April can be quite good, particularly if you stay at the top third of the mountain (the top 1800' or so). It was great this past year. Like others have said, weather patterns are anyone's guess this far out; best to hold off booking anything until we see what the forecast looks like.

 

They had to cancel several of the Alpine event training sessions and move a couple of the early events because it was raining.  At Whistler, not Cypress.  (Of course, then they had to cancel some more because it was snowing and visibility was bad.)

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/winter-olympics/7229652/Winter-Olympics-2010-mens-downhill-postponed-due-to-bad-weather.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/13/sports/olympics/13downhill.html

 

Quote:

...On the eve of the first race, Saturday’s men’s downhill, successive days of fog, rain and sticky soft snow prompted the cancellation of training runs and raised the prospect, or even the likelihood, that the event would be postponed one or two days. Racers weighed tactical or ski wax changes with an eye on a forecast for unsettled weather until Sunday. It rained most of Friday morning and into the afternoon, turning the snow on the race course soft and sometimes slushy. The lowest temperature overnight Friday and through Saturday was expected to be 36 degrees.

 

...

“I think we all knew this could happen; at least anyone who has been here before knew it,” the veteran American downhill skier Marco Sullivan said. “It’s not exactly a surprise. The downhill will go off eventually, and the best skier that day will still win.”

 

(emphasis added)

 

They do get a LOT of snow.  And they actually had a huge year overall in 2010.  But they're too close to the coast to have winter-like conditions in the spring.

post #32 of 39

We've spent Easter week at Mt. Bachelor for the past 6 years and have never been disappointed. The terrain is not as diverse as some of the other spring destinations like A-Basin or Snowbird, especially if the Summit lift is closed, but it's not bad. And I can't recall waiting in a lift line in 6 years!

 

There are no accommodations on the mountain but it's only 30 minutes from Bend and the drive is scenic and well maintained. Additionally, top end 2 bedroom condos can be had in Bend for $110 or less per night. Bend is a great little town with pretty good restaurants, mountain bike trails, hiking and the Deschutes Brewery.

 

 

post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by parkmonkey View Post

Live in Cali, will spend 50+ days in Tahoe, Squaw, NorthStar, Heavenly...

 

But in April when my 6 year old is out of school for 10 days, I want to go somewhere that isn't full of slush...which seemed to be the trend for last year in Tahoe...

 

Utah (Canyons) or Whistler....?  Which would you choose, and why...?


Canyons is closer, but Whistler is well Whistler... haven't skied either, and also will be towing around a 6 year old about to turn 7 with me... She is a good skier, and will have 40+ days of Free Ride Development under her legs for the season when we venture out.

 



Good god you're a lucky son of a gun.  That's all I have to add.

post #34 of 39

As many of you know I've analyzed this subject in some detail. http://bestsnow.net/fam_ski.htm

 

Also 23% of my personal experience is after April 1.  For consistent conditions in April Mammoth and Mt. Bachelor are the best IMHO. 

 

The recent Epic gathering in Summit County gave me a better look at those places.  Above 11,500  feet it stays mostly winter conditions in April even when it's sunny.  For us that meant 50+% of A-Basin and Loveland and about 20% of Breckenridge, which is as much terrain as overall it's a much bigger area.  Copper has a fair amount too, though I didn't ski there on this trip.  Though I like Vail's terrain and layout better than any of the above, warm weather transitioned virtually all the snow to spring conditions, which meant a fair amount of hardpack on one of our days there.  This observation is what makes me believe the altitude edge of the other places is important in April.

 

I skied Aspen Highlands on the way home.  Aspen and Vail have a similar elevation range and a very hard subsurface was evident all the way up the lifts under the ~5 inches new snow when I was there April 10.  Highlands Bowl was better, but that's a once-a-day trek for most of us. 

 

Alta/Snowbird have the same elevation range as Aspen/Vail.  They are a better bet in April because they are steeper (more shaded from the sun, like Pali at A-Basin) and get more snow.  But if you hit the awkward weather stage 2-3 days after the last storm there can be a lot of unconsolidated chewed-up powder that hasn't settled into corn yet.

 

The Whistler alpine is a good bet in April most of the time (I was there then in 1998).  If you don't like the slop at the bottom, you can download it.  The Olympic races were at low elevation, not in the alpine, thus much more sensitive to rain/warmer weather.

 

Sunshine's snow preservation is on a par with Loveland/A-Basin (latitude and temps offset lower altitude).  Backside of Louise is similar.  I would not generalize about "the rest of western Canada."  Lots of these places (Fernie, Red, Revelstoke, Big White, etc.) can have great skiing but they are low altitude, high proportion of sunny exposure, so I much prefer them midwinter and would not recommend in spring.

 

With a 6-year-old I'd keep it simple and drive down to Mammoth.  You've got another decade to show her the rest of the West.

post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

The recent Epic gathering in Summit County gave me a better look at those places.  Above 11,500  feet it stays mostly winter conditions in April even when it's sunny.  For us that meant 50+% of A-Basin and Loveland and about 20% of Breckenridge, which is as much terrain as overall it's a much bigger area.  C


Am I understanding you correctly that in April about 50% of A-Basin is still open, and about 20% of Breckenridge?  I'm surprised it would be that low compared to Sunshine Village, which is 100% open in April.

 

post #36 of 39

Breck and A Basin were still 100% open at that time.  Not sure what was meant by that statement.

post #37 of 39

He's talking about the percentage of terrain higher than 11,500 ft.

post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

Sunshine's snow preservation is on a par with Loveland/A-Basin (latitude and temps offset lower altitude).  Backside of Louise is similar.  I would not generalize about "the rest of western Canada."  Lots of these places (Fernie, Red, Revelstoke, Big White, etc.) can have great skiing but they are low altitude, high proportion of sunny exposure, so I much prefer them midwinter and would not recommend in spring.


Most of British Columbia's interior resorts close in early April due to a lack of skiers, not lack of snow. At Sun Peaks the height of the snow pack usually occurs in early March, but this past year with a ton of spring storms, the snow pack maxed out after the April 10 closing. The last two weeks of the season there were so few people at the resort it seemed like a ghost town.

 

post #39 of 39

 

Quote:
percentage of terrain higher than 11,500 ft.

Correct.

 

And yes I should have mentioned about those other places in western Canada that they close early in April due to inadequate local population base (similar situation to Crested Butte, Telluride, etc.)  But unlike those Colorado places which often are at their best near closing, normally many of these the B.C. places are highly variable by mid-March due to low altitude and sun exposure.  Most of Sun Peaks' advanced terrain by the Burfield chair faces south.  As we all know 2010-11 was an exceptional season, with March/April being perhaps the most exceptional part of it.  Banff/Lake Louise have a completely different climate, higher, colder and drier: far less likely to see midwinter powder but much more reliable in spring.

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