As many US skiers will know (I write from London), American resorts and airlines host numerous hospitality trips for the foreign press to encourage tourism. Most of my US skiing (Utah, Washington State, Colorado, Vermont) has been paid for out of my own pocket but when I was writing for magazines and papers I took a couple of these trips myself. Obviously, there's plenty of wining and dining ... with some skiing fitted in too!
Comparisons of snow between Europe and the US generate enough heated debate to melt the very snow that's under discussion. Europe has substantial glaciers that preserve high quality snow at altitude (though some major storms earlier this winter put down exceptional snow at lower levels) and the top resorts offer big vertical. In typical winters, several US states usually beat Europe for snow depth and quality. But, let's face it, no place in the world can ever 'guarantee' the best.
In that context, here are some interesting - and some would say provocative - remarks by a colleague, James Cove, who edits a ski news website called Planetski.eu. He complains of ...
" ... being told endless bullshit on press trips to North America became somewhat irritating after a while. North America had much to offer but most of the the resorts are small compared to The Alps , the snow is not better than the Alps and the food is nowhere near as good. And in The Alps we can all get on a lift without some goon making us get in a line and telling us how to do it. Awesome!"
His colleague Alf Alderson says ...
"Listening to the same bullshit as the editor [of Planetski] in the good ol' US of A - yes it can be a great place to ski but for God's sake guys cut the crap. Here's a classic example - I was on a chair at Deer Valley with a mate discussing the poor quality of the snow when the dude next to me pipes up "You obviously haven't skied here before!"
"Actually mate it's my third time and the snow has always been like this"
Stunned silence followed by the pithy remark "Well at least we know how to groom here, unlike Europe"
And for balance: http://www.planetski.eu/news/3695
Clearly, the US has had an unlucky winter for snow ... though I recall the slogan "best snow on earth" used to promote Utah.
But I'm intrigued by the phrase "endless bullshit". Is Epicski a refuge from it ... or is it a myth?
Does anyone know anyone who generates "endless bullshit" in the furtherance of US skiing? !