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Best Resort to Ski Powder - Page 2

post #31 of 454

Sorry you lack of ability to ski high moisture content snow prejudices you.
 

post #32 of 454

I'm not sure if you were trying to dispel or reinforce the impression of ignorance and arrogance. If you were trying to reinforce it, good job.

post #33 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

Lol...  Ok, so let me get this straight... 

 

If it isn't less than or equal to 5% blower, it isn't powder.

If it didn't happen above 10k feet, it isn't powder.

If it didn't happen in the big 3 ski states, it isn't powder.

If it wasn't a resort with an average over 400" it isn't powder.

If it isn't skied out within an hour, it isn't powder. 

If it wasn't done at some swanky big-name place, it isn't powder. 

 

Thank the lawd you cleared this up for the rest of the skiing world.  We were totally in danger of enjoying ourselves there for a minute! 

 

Just throwing some standards out there. The OPs question is “Best Resort to Ski Powder?”, so we may as well try answering the question with some sort of guidelines, or this just becomes “my mountain is better than yours” pissing match.

 snowfight.gif

 

I’m basing my opinions on my idea the resort should plenty of snow (350”+), 1000+ acres of terrain, reliable weather patterns and high quality snowfall (less than 10% content). From there, look at the terrain and estimated skier visits and figure where you’ll have the fewest amount of people with the best chance for finding the goods, hence my Grand Targhee/Wolf Creek/ Silverton reasoning.

 

If we hear some different guidelines from the OP, cool, let’s get to work and see if there’s really an “answer” to this million dollar question…

post #34 of 454

I suppose this thread is looking for tips on where to find powder, lots of it and few people. I posted the stats for Baker but gather from comments the secret is out and it's too crowded now. Back in the day of 66mm 203 toothpicks it was never crowded as only the skilled skiers could get the goods. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining but I guess fat skis have changed all that. Besides which I moved to the East Kootenays. 

But I digress. If you want a decent chance of fresh tracks and light Rocky Mountain blower all day you need to look at Castle midweek. Yes it's windy and yes the slow old top lift sometimes closes but season after season we get the best deep snow deserted skiing experience at Castle and that's comparing to Fernie which is no slouch for powder. We have passes for both and prefer Castle. Plus our midweek pass only costs $375.  Just look at any Youtube of Castle and you will see what I mean.   

post #35 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

 

Actually a lot has changed about Magic in the past few years.  You should give it a try, you'd be amazed what a half a decade, thousands of hours of work and a dedicated army of people can accomplish :).  All the things we liked have pretty much stayed the same, but the infrastructure and upkeep are lightyears ahead of where they were even a few eyars ago. 

 

Hey - I'm a 1/30th owner of a share in Magic from the TGR efforts of a few years back, so I should show up and mention that I own this hill biggrin.gif.

 

Maybe it was you who made the "Don't Stratton Magic" bumper stickers some years back - see it everyday on the inside of my tool box cover when I pull in the garage.

 

Anyway, afaik, the Red chair is still doing it's thing, albeit gussied up by the fine efforts of you and the multitude of other volunteers. Now that the kids are gone from the northleast it's doubtful I'll ski there again, but Magic will always be a really fond memory. Remember well when my (then) 11yo, when lead-on by some mountain yahoo in the gondola at Flatton asked collectively "what's the best mountain in VT", and he yelled out "MAGIC!" - proud Dad (and silent gondola).

post #36 of 454

This thread just reinforces why if you are serious about powder you should get serious about back-country skiing.  Millions of mountains of untracked with nobody competing.  The concept of a day of untracked resort powder has pretty much been killed by fat skis. The last few years I've started hearing not so funny phrases like "the powder hour at Alta," which has historically been one of the best spots for light lift served untracked on the planet.  These days unless you have local knowledge, luck, or both, resort untracked is becoming a very limited thing. 

 

I've skied all over, including quite a bit in Canada and the PNW, and for my money if you want the goods via lifts the average of 500" a year (just under 42 feet!) of 7% average moisture content snow in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons is hard to beat.  Sure you can hit epic days almost anywhere if you are in the right place at the time, but if I am going to bet on hitting deep light powder I will always put my money on the Wasatch.

post #37 of 454
Thread Starter 
Does seem like the guys in Castle and places like Powder King are still getting a lot of lift-served powder. But even me, city dweller with a pass, I get lift-served pow too, sometimes it's just a question of what you're willing to go through to get it.
post #38 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

Hey - I'm a 1/30th owner of a share in Magic from the TGR efforts of a few years back, so I should show up and mention that I own this hill biggrin.gif.

 

Maybe it was you who made the "Don't Stratton Magic" bumper stickers some years back - see it everyday on the inside of my tool box cover when I pull in the garage.

 

Anyway, afaik, the Red chair is still doing it's thing, albeit gussied up by the fine efforts of you and the multitude of other volunteers. Now that the kids are gone from the northleast it's doubtful I'll ski there again, but Magic will always be a really fond memory. Remember well when my (then) 11yo, when lead-on by some mountain yahoo in the gondola at Flatton asked collectively "what's the best mountain in VT", and he yelled out "MAGIC!" - proud Dad (and silent gondola).

 

 

icon14.gif

 

I like all of this, and got a good belly laugh out of that last part hahaha

post #39 of 454

COBillsfan:  I was really just busting balls and having fun since it's a flawed poll anyways. 

 

 

 

If you really REALLY are into skiing pow you aren't going to a RESORT, you're heading to a ski area.  If you are going to a resort, it's probably to use a 1-up and hit the slackcountry from there a la Sillytude, etc.  The people that really love pow are touring anyways.   

 

 

 

I was just kind of laughing at your insistence that the best place to ski untracked all day would be a big name resort, which I would regard as the dead opposite of reality.  If I was going to try to ski pow I'd probably head to Idaho or Montana, followed shortly thereafter by smaller areas in great areas.     

 

Basically if it's not a "local's spot" you're doing it wrong and although big resorts can totally be a blast, they absolutely DO bank on your stereotypical views of where people THINK they can go to ski the most pow.  Hell, I go to Snowbird when I'm in Utah and while they certainly do have the sexiest terrain and the lightest snow I've ever seen accessed from a lift, their freshies get smashed in seconds so although it's numbers shatter Magic in every way possible, it could never compete with "little old Magic" in terms of how much uncut fresh you'll actually get to ski on an average pow day. 

 

But I digress, to each his own and if everyone thought like I did about these things my favorite spots would be overrun with pow-starved skitards and then I'd only be skiing as much pow as you ;) 

post #40 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

COBillsfan:  I was really just busting balls and having fun since it's a flawed poll anyways. 

 

But I digress, to each his own and if everyone thought like I did about these things my favorite spots would be overrun with pow-starved skitards and then I'd only be skiing as much pow as you ;) 

 

 

You’re certainly reaching if you’d call Wolf Creek and Targhee “big resorts”, but that’s for another day!

 

As I mentioned earlier, you’re on the extreme side of the things with Magic. 16,000 skier days a year is absolutely nothing, and I’m sure you can blast around there for a few days and find good snow. That’s the only way 200 acres can work for untracked powder.

 

Of course, the big resorts, depending on layout can still deliver. Someone earlier mentioned finding goodies in Whistler with ease. I’ve found great lines of powder 3 days after a storm in Steamboat.  Some folks swear by Vail , despite its crowds, for powder (lots of different aspects I guess??? ).  I’m sure there is an answer to the OPs question (with some guidelines of course), but we just don’t know what he’s looking for!

And I wouldn’t worry about us CO folks finding the goods, we’ve got much more to work with than 200 acres of Eastern hardwoods beercheer.gif

post #41 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

I'm not kidding.

I've been thinking about this after reading (and participating in) some of the back and forth on the Big Sky vs. Jackson threads.

Look, it's relatively easy to parse how much snow a resort gets (thank you Tony Crocker). But what's the best way to assess YOUR ability to get some of it (as a visitor)?

 

We need a formula based on, say, snowfall divided by skier visits or some such. My sense is that we could come up with a top ten list of best bets for visitors hoping for freshies ---  backed by data. And I'll bet the list will not exactly mirror snowfall rankings.

Your thoughts? 

Interesting concept.  Something like snowfall over the season times acreage divided by skier visits?  I certainly don't want to spend my time gathering all this data, but for Whitefish the answer would be 327 x 3000 / 294000 = 3.3  It'd be fun to see those stats anyway.

post #42 of 454

hmm...interesting formula, Sibhusky.  For Schweitzer:  300 x 2900 / 217000 = 4.01.

post #43 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

I suppose this thread is looking for tips on where to find powder, lots of it and few people. I posted the stats for Baker but gather from comments the secret is out and it's too crowded now. Back in the day of 66mm 203 toothpicks it was never crowded as only the skilled skiers could get the goods. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining but I guess fat skis have changed all that.  

 

Yes, the good old days of endless untracked are long gone. People don't bother taking a "powder day"...they just go for the first hour, then go into work late. Unfortunately, that even goes for the high consequence lines and much of the slackcountry. First chair, the locals bomb toward their one line.

post #44 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Interesting concept.  Something like snowfall over the season times acreage divided by skier visits?  I certainly don't want to spend my time gathering all this data, but for Whitefish the answer would be 327 x 3000 / 294000 = 3.3  It'd be fun to see those stats anyway.

 

You may of cracked the code….

 

This seems like a great way to figure it out. I worked a few out …

 

Steamboat- 1.38

Vail- 1.11

Magic Mtn- 2.25

Wolf Creek -3.3

Breck- .46

A-Basin-.70

Crested Butte- 1.28

post #45 of 454

Just did Grand Targhee….

 

7.08. That's pretty strong!

post #46 of 454

Higher numbers would be "better" than lower numbers for this exercise.  In case anyone's wondering.  Of course, maybe skier visits need to be equalized by days somehow.  Because 200,000 spread over 150 days is less impact than if it's spread over 100 days.  Hmmm.

post #47 of 454

ok will play:  3 of my haunts. Skier numbers are fairly accurate (from a regional economic study) snowfall and claimed acreage open to debate

 

whistler  469 inches x 8,171 acres                                          /1.6 mill                =   2.39

kicking horse  360   x  2,800 acres (super bowl and fuez not in number) /150,000   =   6.72+

revy       500 inches x 3,121  acres                                         / 130,000               = 12

 

for others at least here are the skier numbers

fernie                  a lot x a lot                                    /385,000

red               also a lot x a lot plus 1000                    /115,000

w water         the most x not so much                       /66,000                                                 

post #48 of 454

And how to account for dumb luck? Because in all my CO and UT visits, I've never had anything even resembling powder. But I have in Sun Valley, which gets less snow than any other resort in the West.

post #49 of 454

Another thing to consider is where most skiers at a given resort/area ski.  Where is the traffic concentrated?  The formula is a nifty idea, but doesn't account for the fact that at some areas/resorts, the bulk of skiers stick to a few runs, leaving most of the terrain that isn't groomed wide open.  I've seen this at my local area Stevens.  450" x 1125 acres/400,000 skier visits =  1.265.  However for a smaller area, there is a lot of wide open area on the backside because (1) there's no beginner terrain and (2) there's only a few groomed intermediate runs and only a couple black runs that get groomed maybe once in a while. So on a day with new snow, of which there are quite a few, there's a lot of terrain to find untracked snow, even if it isn't the light fluffy variety.

 

Interesting article in Ski Canada Mag about Zermatt.  Apparently, most people go there to be tourists and shoppers, more so than actually skiing.  Those that ski apparently stick to the beginner runs, so that leave a lot of open terrain that doesn't get skied out.


Edited by DesiredUsername - 10/1/12 at 6:17pm
post #50 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Kirkwood's not a bad suggestion for Tahoe.  It's definitely a snow-hole compared to others in that region. 

 

Of the places I've visited I'd say Powder Mountain is a candidate because they get a good amount of snow and I think it takes a while to get tracked out because there is so much skiable acreage and they don't draw huge crowds.  Only thing, because the lift network is funky and much of the available acreage is flatish and fragmented you have to work for it and do a lot of roaming for good powder runs.

The problem with Kirkwood is that on a powder day, it's all tracked out by noon. However, humble Dodge Ridge still has fresh stuff three days after a storm. Mostly because Experts don't go there. It is a midsized family owned resort-considered a great resort for the intermediate to mid-advanced skier. Lacks the steeps of Kirkwood. Does offer lots of tree skiing, if you enjoy that sort of thing.

 

Go there midweek after a two foot dump and it'll be you and 100 locals.

post #51 of 454

dumb luck from my experience is about 1out of every 10 days - 1 in 5 when chasing snow  (plus or minus 12 days, 19 times out of 20)

post #52 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

Another thing to consider is where most skiers at a given resort/area ski.  Where is the traffic conenctrated?  The formula is a nifty idea, but doesn't account for the fact that at some areas/resorts, the bulk of skiers stick to a few runs, leaving most of the terrain that isn't groomed wide open.  I've seen this at my local area Stevens.  450" x 1125 acres/400,000 skier visits =  1.265.  However for a smaller area, there is a lot of wide open area on the backside because (1) there's no beginner terrain and (2) there's only a few groomed intermediate runs and only a couple black runs that get groomed maybe once in a while. So on a day with new snow, of which there are quite a few, there's a lot of terrain to find untracked snow, even if it isn't the light fluffy variety.

 

Interesting article in Ski Canada Mag about Zermatt.  Apparently, most people go there to be tourists and shoppers, more so than actually skiing.  Those that ski apparently stick to the beginner runs, so that leave a lot of open terrain that doesn't get skied out.

Maybe the way to account for this factor is by dividing by the claimed percentage of expert terrain.

post #53 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

Another thing to consider is where most skiers at a given resort/area ski.  Where is the traffic conenctrated?  The formula is a nifty idea, but doesn't account for the fact that at some areas/resorts, the bulk of skiers stick to a few runs, leaving most of the terrain that isn't groomed wide open.  I've seen this at my local area Stevens.  450" x 1125 acres/400,000 skier visits =  1.265.  However for a smaller area, there is a lot of wide open area on the backside because (1) there's no beginner terrain and (2) there's only a few groomed intermediate runs and only a couple black runs that get groomed maybe once in a while. So on a day with new snow, of which there are quite a few, there's a lot of terrain to find untracked snow, even if it isn't the light fluffy variety.

 

Interesting article in Ski Canada Mag about Zermatt.  Apparently, most people go there to be tourists and shoppers, more so than actually skiing.  Those that ski apparently stick to the beginner runs, so that leave a lot of open terrain that doesn't get skied out.

Maybe the way to account for this factor is by dividing by the claimed percentage of expert terrain.  (Although more expert terrain is good, more claimed on the website is bad).

post #54 of 454

sorry, posting on tablet =weirdness

post #55 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

Well throw any resort off the list right now.  The powderhound frenzyeffect will track out any resort in the first hour no matter how huge it is, a la Jay and MRG (which somehow does it with a single chair). 

 

Magic is a ski area that keeps the goods good for longer than any other around.  It's north-facing so the sun doesn't rape it.  There's more stashes than trails so there will always be a fresh run, and I've seen 3' midweek pow days where 30 people showed up.  With that kind of numbers, there is very little feeling of being rushed to the next line for fear that it's tracked out. 

 

Such a great place to get familiar with.  It pays such huge pow dividends.  Never found another place quite like it. 

This kinda captures that pow is weather, terrain, ability and skier-density dependent.

 

If you are in UT and an intermediate looking to have fun, Powder Mtn and Snowbasin are the two best bets overall during good snow.  Snowbasin is also good for a broad range of abilities and commitment tastes -- and so is Powder Mtn once you start using a new pair of glasses in how you look at things.   But, once of my best powder days ever was in the Catskills.  Not the best terrain, not the deepest snow, just a great fun day.  If you want good options and tolerable skier/rider density, basically the easiest answer for most people is head to SLC when the weather forecast is good, and pick a resort somewhere in the area that suits your taste. 

 

In terms of Mad Pow disease, it does also pay as other posters have said to look at a trail map.  For instance, Snowbird can be a zoo on a good day, but has easily accessed inbounds terrain that keeps fresh snow for a number of days, and also some of the steepest terrain there gets surprisinly little traffic and also preserves snow well.  Supplement good map reading skills with some social skills, and you'd be surprised what's right there at most resorts without even having access to stashes that are inbounds but on the down-low in terms of locals not mentioning them.

post #56 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoFunO9 View Post

dowork face it ue least coast powder is so wet and there is always glare ice underneath it. The skiers also suck. I mean all they can do is ski groomers on bunny hills.

 

you could never get light powdery snow on the least sucky coast like this

 

 

never could you get a face shot like this shot taken in whistler

 

 

 

never could you get a bluebird waist deep powder day like califonia

 

 

nor could you get the cliffs of jackson

 

 

 

And some people ski pow at Slowe EVERYDAY! rolleyes.gif and uses the same pictures over and over of a windblown stash from an icy berm, of apparently THE pow day of the past 3 seasons roflmao.gif


Edited by snofun3 - 10/1/12 at 7:13pm
post #57 of 454

Its all been said about where to go. 

 

One thing not mentioned is when. The simple fact is skiing pow in the resort is all about timing. Any resort, no matter how remote, if you get  a big dump in the middle of a shitty season, that place will be tracked before noon.  Because all the locals have been hungry for pow and not gotten their fair share. But if its been a big season, later in the year, lots of locals will have their fill of pow and need to get on with other stuff, school, work, whatever and stop coming out for only 9" of snow or whatever.

 

All this talk about the feeding frenzy only applies about 3 months of the year at the big resorts. The other half of the season, you are golden. I have skied pow from bell to bell at Alta with no lines and no one hounding me on the high T. It was black friday 2 years ago.  Again week before Xmas 4, and 5 years ago.  Alta before Xmas week is very quiet few tourist, few locals skiing. 

 

After Mid March, about anywhere in UT (or well anywhere)  is very low pressue for pow skiing all day long. Snowbird is great for pow well into may. And at second tier places like beaver and pow mow lots of pow corns up before it even gets skied later in the season. 


Edited by tromano - 10/1/12 at 8:11pm
post #58 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Its all been said about where to go. 

 

One thing not mentioned is when. The simple fact is skiing pow is all about timing. Any resort, no matter how remote, if you get  a big dump in the middle of a shitty season, that place will be tracked before noon.  Because all the locals have been hungry for pow and not gotten their fair share. But if its been a big season, later in the year, lots of locals will have their fill of pow and need to get on with other stuff, school, work, whatever and stop coming out for only 9" of snow or whatever.

 

All this talk about the feeding frenzy only applies about 3 months of the year at the big resorts. The other half of the season, you are golden. I have skied pow from bell to bell at Alta with no lines and no one hounding me on the high T. It was black friday 2 years ago.  Again week before Xmas 5 years ago.  Alta before Xmas week is very quiet few tourist, few locals skiing. 

 

After Mid March, about anywhere in UT (or well anywhere)  is very low pressue for pow skiing all day long. Snowbird is great for pow well into may. And at second tier places like beaver and pow mow lots of pow corns up before it even gets skied later in the season. 

That's a good point. Some of my favorite powder days have been in November and April ... there have been more in April, of course, but even a few hours is pretty amazing in November. 

post #59 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

 

The average wannabe badass types don’t even dick around with East Coast. They know the goods are in the Rockies and Sierras.

 

 

 

You’re taking it to the extreme with Magic Mtn, 16000 skier visits is a single day at Vail, but I always say there’s a reason people ignore one mountain and ski others. I’m sorry, but we’re talking about powder skiing here, and a place that rarely cracks 200” doesn’t get a vote, especially when it’s a low elevation, rainy, icy and warm weather EC mountain.

 

 

 

It all starts with SNOW, and no EC place is getting it. That 3’ pow day you had must have been a great time, but that’s an absolute rarity, while its just another weekend storm at Grand Targhee, Solitude, or Wolf Creek. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

We're talking about skiing powder, not slop. Quality has to be a part of the discussion.

 

I'm sure there are exceptions (Full disclosure, I did not know Montana was that dry), but it would seem generally CO-UT-WY give you the best shots for "cold smoke" , and the lowest percentage of rainy days, and give you plenty of 350"+ mountains to check out.

 

From the temperture/water content link on Tony Crocker's site...

 

 

 

Total

Wet Snow

Months

 

 

Water to

Months:

with Rain:

 

 

Total Snow

15-20% Water

Over 20% Water

Alpine Meadows

 

14.5%

14.5%

16.9%

Mammoth

 

12.9%

19.1%

0.8%

Mt. Hood Meadows

 

15.7%

12.0%

36.0%

Stevens Pass

 

13.1%

26.5%

14.7%

Bridger Bowl

 

7.2%

0.0%

0.0%

Jackson Hole

 

9.3%

0.0%

0.0%

Snowbird

 

8.5%

4.3%

0.0%

Aspen

 

7.6%

0.0%

0.0%

Vail

 

6.9%

0.0%

0.0%

Taos

 

6.2%

0.0%

0.0%

Mt. Washington

 

17.6%

37.5%

35.0%

 

 

In a thread so full of win, you post this... th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #60 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoFunO9 View Post


never could you get a bluebird waist deep powder day like califonia

 

 

Cool pictures, but that isn't powder.  That's pretty wet snow to be breaking off in helmet sized chunks.

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