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European alp skier wanting to know east coast/west coast differences

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I keep reading east coast and west coast, how skis are suitable for one area and not the other, what's this all about? Please excuse my ignorance but I've only skied in europe

post #2 of 15

East coast in general is lower altitude, less and wetter snow, narrower trails and less vertical.  Best skis for the east are racing or good carving skis (frontside).  Rockies are high altitude, more and drier snow, wider, sometimes bowls/trees, and generally more vertical.  Wider skis are better for flotation even in packed powder conditions.  West coast snow tends to be wetter and heavier.

 

Skiing in the Rockies is my personal favorite for snow and terrain.  Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho probably the best.  Huge differences in the areas and you will hear all sorts of opinions on the best place to ski.  My personal favorites are Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Copper Mountain, Telluride for various reasons.

 

There is some great skiing in New England but it is a different experience than western skiing.  Also like Mt. Bachelor, Mt Rose, and Kirkwood on the west coast. 

 

Bill

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Its bit like Europe then in the fact we have high alt resorts and low alt resorts, I never ski low alt resorts as the snow isn't guaranteed, we also have glacier skiing, many of you USA peeps skied Europe?

post #4 of 15

Skied Tignes/Val D'Isere early season on the glaciers. The alps are similar to most of the Intermountain West in the US (note: this is a broad, sweeping generalization I know). East coast is similar to lots of low-elevation places like you mention, or like parts of Scandanavia. Not much off piste due to poor snow and thick trees

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Val D'Isere and Tignes, what a place, i love it there, we have loads of great skiing in the Alps, The three valleys, The Milky Way in Italy, loads and loads, Also ive had friends mention to me in the States your accomodation generally isn't near the slopes and you have to take buses to get there, Any truth to this? 

post #6 of 15

Depends on where you go.

 

 

post #7 of 15

I just moved to Munich from the U.S.

 

Been to Hochzillertal/Hochfugen a couple times now. Found some off-piste trees... but miss the glade skiing from back home...

post #8 of 15

East  (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York & Quebec) - tends to have firmer snow. 

West (Colorado, Utah, etc.) tends to have softer snow and more of it. So wider skies in the west for more float in the powder, narrower in the east for better edge engagement on the firm stuff. 

 

But there are many exceptions - it can get quite firm at a western area if there's a lot of ski traffic & it hasn't snowed recently; and soft snow does fall in the east.

 

 

post #9 of 15

on average about 8000 ft of altitude

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossymcg View Post

I keep reading east coast and west coast, how skis are suitable for one area and not the other, what's this all about? Please excuse my ignorance but I've only skied in europe



 

Geology. Weather. Size of the mountains... see Geology. Think 'Hinterzarten' vs. Andermatt.

post #11 of 15

It's not just altitude. The snowiest places are down at 5000' - not up at 12,000'. It's the influence of the pacific, the orientation of the ranges, the seasonal wind patterns and altitude.

 

Truth is, it's not west coast and east coast either. It's east coast, midwest, rockies and west coast. Most of what gets talked about as west coast by the east coasters is really rockies. Real west coast skiing is better than that.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

hey come on guys, you're not going to start killing each other are you, like the east coast/west coast rappers?

so where do you all recommend me to ski if i flew the pond for some winter fun?

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossymcg View Post

so where do you all recommend me to ski if i flew the pond for some winter fun?

 

It depends on what you like. 

 

  • If you like narrow icy runs and large crowds, then go to the north east (Killington, Tremblant, et al).
  • If you like small hills (<200 meter vertical drop) and small crowds, head for the midwest. (Boyne, Lutsen)
  • If you like heavy wet thick snow then go to the west coast. (Whistler, Mt Hood)
  • If you like large crowds and expensive accomodations, go to Colorado (Vail, Aspen)
  • If you like steep and deep powder and don't mind Mormons, go to Utah.

 

 

 


 

 

 

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Mormons? never met one before, what do they ski like? but utah sounds most inviting

post #15 of 15

Small crowds, friendly locals, and game heads on the walls, go to Montana.  

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