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Hardcore top ski area rankings - North America (WITHIN BOUNDARY) - Page 2

Poll Results: Hardcore top ski area rankings - North America (WITHIN BOUNDARY)

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 25% of voters (85)
    Jackson Hole
  • 19% of voters (64)
    Snowbird
  • 12% of voters (42)
    Alta
  • 10% of voters (35)
    Big Sky
  • 5% of voters (19)
    Aspen Highlands
  • 13% of voters (46)
    Squaw Valley
  • 4% of voters (16)
    Mammoth
  • 3% of voters (13)
    Kirkwood
  • 9% of voters (30)
    Crested Butte
  • 10% of voters (35)
    Taos
  • 11% of voters (38)
    Whistler-Blackcomb
  • 1% of voters (5)
    Fernie
  • 1% of voters (5)
    Sunshine
  • 1% of voters (4)
    Winter Park
  • 10% of voters (35)
    Silverton
  • 9% of voters (31)
    Telluride
  • 3% of voters (12)
    Snowbasin
  • 2% of voters (9)
    Stowe
  • 4% of voters (15)
    Mad River Glen
  • 8% of voters (27)
    Other
331 Total Votes  
post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Just for balance my "other" would be Tuckermans.. not lift served, but counts as "in bounds" to me.  The biggest flaw in a poll like this is how many  gapers like myself toss votes around to places we've never actually skied... YET but really really want to.

 

 

In what world is Tuckerman’s  Ravine “In bounds”? Come on man! It’s a 3 hour hike from the nearest ski resort.

 

The moment we start talking about OB, there’s literally thousands of options that need to be considered. 

post #32 of 61

I selected 5 resorts.  The only place I voted for that I haven't been to is Silverton.  And despite being from the east, no eastern ski area came close to getting one of my votes.

 

A bit curious about the whole Jackson Hole thing. I've been there, and aside from Corbets Couloir, and maybe some parts of the Headwall and Casper Bowl areas, JH is at best consistently challenging, but not hardcore.  If you included out-of-bounds, that's a different story.

 

I haven't been to Kirkwood, but isn't the Cirque considered out of bounds or "permanently closed" by the resort?  Isn't that area what largely makes up it's hardcore reputation?

post #33 of 61

FWIW I only voted on areas I'd actually been to, so only cast a few votes.

post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoss View Post

A bit curious about the whole Jackson Hole thing. I've been there, and aside from Corbets Couloir, and maybe some parts of the Headwall and Casper Bowl areas, JH is at best consistently challenging, but not hardcore.  If you included out-of-bounds, that's a different story.

 

Yep - you're right about The Cirque at Kirkwood being out of bounds because it's avy prone, so that's a good point.  On the flipside, I don't know how someone could not vote for Squaw considering almost all of it's famous terrain/lines are located inbounds and much of it far more "hardcore" than Corbet's.

post #35 of 61

Taos, Telluride, and especially Crested Butte deserve more credit

post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

This poll is an epic fail.  Putting aside many of the non votes for Telluride, Crested Butte, Squaw and Aspen Highlands... how do you *not* select Silverton?


Silverton is more epic fail than hardcore.

 

Allow me to explain, the terrain in Silverton is ho hum compared to the local backcountry BUT it is stellar for a patrolled ski area.

 

The glaring shortcoming at Silverton is the guided season versus unguided.  The parties that follow their guide are herded down in a powder farming sequence.

 

Picture a group of skiers out for the day, they hear what run they take.  BC protocols are one skier at a time on one side of  the run, if a rider loses a board EVERYONE waits for them to get it together. 

 

Repeat ad nauseum.

 

If for some reason Aaron Brill were to open the slopes to unguided skiers like real ski resorts do, then they would be selectable.  They could require skiers buddy up, or make the guided rules a bit more powder friendly, but as it is now, locals love to bitch and moan about Silverton's current policy.

post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

 

Yep - you're right about The Cirque at Kirkwood being out of bounds because it's avy prone, so that's a good point.  On the flipside, I don't know how someone could not vote for Squaw considering almost all of it's famous terrain/lines are located inbounds and much of it far more "hardcore" than Corbet's.

 

Could't agree more on Squaw. Easy choice for me. Only been there once but I was instantaneously sold on the terrain. And that was only from what I saw that day.

post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoss View Post

I selected 5 resorts.  The only place I voted for that I haven't been to is Silverton.  And despite being from the east, no eastern ski area came close to getting one of my votes.

 

A bit curious about the whole Jackson Hole thing. I've been there, and aside from Corbets Couloir, and maybe some parts of the Headwall and Casper Bowl areas, JH is at best consistently challenging, but not hardcore.  If you included out-of-bounds, that's a different story.

 

I haven't been to Kirkwood, but isn't the Cirque considered out of bounds or "permanently closed" by the resort?  Isn't that area what largely makes up it's hardcore reputation?

I'm glad someone brought this "permanently closed" issue up.  The problem with using competitions as evidence is that many (most?) are held in those areas -- which aren't really "in-bounds" in my book.

 

And its true that nearly all the extreme "jackson hole" pictures you see in magazines are actually backcountry (or at least sidecountry, which still isnt inbounds).  [Not that there isn't plenty in-bounds that's over my head, but let's be accurate.]

post #39 of 61

Why not simplify and restrict the poll to lift-served terrain? (Yes, I'm bone lazy!)

post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimintokyo View Post

Why not simplify and restrict the poll to lift-served terrain? (Yes, I'm bone lazy!)

You do that and you may as well take Taos and possibly Squaw off the list. Everything hardcore at taos requires a hike. I have never skied Squaw but it's my understanding that a large portion of the famous terrain requires at least some hiking.

post #41 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

You do that and you may as well take Taos and possibly Squaw off the list. Everything hardcore at taos requires a hike. I have never skied Squaw but it's my understanding that a large portion of the famous terrain requires at least some hiking.

 

Nope.  Short traverses in some cases.  Or skiing straight down KT-22 to the fingers.  Plenty of other examples at Squaw too.

 

1000


Edited by JayT - 10/31/12 at 1:20pm
post #42 of 61
Quote:
If for some reason Aaron Brill were to open the slopes to unguided skiers like real ski resorts do, then they would be selectable.  They could require skiers buddy up, or make the guided rules a bit more powder friendly, but as it is now, locals love to bitch and moan about Silverton's current policy.

Given Aaron's resources, the steep terrain and brittle San Juan snowpack, I think his guided policy is quite understandable.  One set of unguided bozos gets wiped out in an avalanche, the whole operation might get shut down.

 

I doubt threre's an area in North America with as much easily accessible crazy terrain inbounds as Squaw.

Quote:
Why not simplify and restrict the poll to lift-served terrain? (Yes, I'm bone lazy!)

I would say in-bounds (not closed to the public like Kirkwood's Cirque) and accessible within ~15 minutes or so from a lift.  For the inbounds but major hikes like Highlands Bowl, Kachina Peak my preference would be to give some kind of partial credit.  Yes you can ski those places, but few people will be doing it more than once a day.  Whereas at Squaw, Jackson, Snowbird, Whistler you can ski consistently steep terrain all day long.

 

I will also put in my usual 2 cents for snow conditions.  Crested Butte no question has a ton of gnarly terrain.  But all of it is open once in a blue moon.  Usually none of it is open until sometime in January.  The advance booked skier who wants to ski the "hardcore" terrain should (assuming booking at an appropriate time of the season) IMHO have a reasonable expectation that it will be covered and skiable.

post #43 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

Given Aaron's resources, the steep terrain and brittle San Juan snowpack, I think his guided policy is quite understandable.  One set of unguided bozos gets wiped out in an avalanche, the whole operation might get shut down.

 

I doubt threre's an area in North America with as much easily accessible crazy terrain inbounds as Squaw.

I would say in-bounds (not closed to the public like Kirkwood's Cirque) and accessible within ~15 minutes or so from a lift.  For the inbounds but major hikes like Highlands Bowl, Kachina Peak my preference would be to give some kind of partial credit.  Yes you can ski those places, but few people will be doing it more than once a day.  Whereas at Squaw, Jackson, Snowbird, Whistler you can ski consistently steep terrain all day long.

 

I will also put in my usual 2 cents for snow conditions.  Crested Butte no question has a ton of gnarly terrain.  But all of it is open once in a blue moon.  Usually none of it is open until sometime in January.  The advance booked skier who wants to ski the "hardcore" terrain should (assuming booking at an appropriate time of the season) IMHO have a reasonable expectation that it will be covered and skiable.

mammoth also has steep terrain that is "lift accessible", meaning, just get off and hit it, and lots of it.   As does Jackson hole.  

post #44 of 61

I've visited ten of the resorts on the list and selected five.

 

When I checked the Winter Park box I was thinking only about the Jane side.  It's steepest, gnarliest terrain would barely garner a mention were it contained by the boundries of many hills on the list but if you're a hardcore bump skier, no other hill deserves mention.

post #45 of 61

I've done a lot of these too but only voted 1 for other - for 10 votes I should have voted at least 6 more times for other if that's how it works - plus throw in a few on the list 

post #46 of 61

How do you define a hardcore area?

 

1. An area that has high consequence lines that seldom get skied, perhaps never by most of us?

 

or

 

2. An area that has a high percentage of expert terrain that is skiable most of the season?

 

 

I think maritime resorts tend to have steeper skiable terrain, ie.#1, but personally prefer to ski intermountain/continental resorts, #2, because IMHO, the skiing is good, more often?

 

1. Whistler/Blackcomb

2. Squaw/Alpine

3. Jackson

4. Snowbird/Alta

5. Aspen/Highlands/Snowmass

 

Silverton is a unique.  It's a great place, but your either hiking a ton or taking a heli to get to most of it.  Having to ski with a guide for the majority of the season and only being open three days a week kind of puts it into it's own category?

post #47 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

I've visited ten of the resorts on the list and selected five.

 

When I checked the Winter Park box I was thinking only about the Jane side.  It's steepest, gnarliest terrain would barely garner a mention were it contained by the boundries of many hills on the list but if you're a hardcore bump skier, no other hill deserves mention.

Winter park has AWESOME bump runs and the trees on each side are steep and deep!  not to mention parking right next to the lift.  

post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiddy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

I've visited ten of the resorts on the list and selected five.

 

When I checked the Winter Park box I was thinking only about the Jane side.  It's steepest, gnarliest terrain would barely garner a mention were it contained by the boundries of many hills on the list but if you're a hardcore bump skier, no other hill deserves mention.

Winter park has AWESOME bump runs and the trees on each side are steep and deep!  not to mention parking right next to the lift.  

 

When the MJ Chutes are open (Awe, Jeff’s and Hole in the Wall), I’m grinning ear to ear. Some really hard stuff there. 

 

That whole mountain has some trippy fall lines, wicked steep trees and a perennial favorite: The Mushroom Patch. 

post #49 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

How do you define a hardcore area?

 

1. An area that has high consequence lines that seldom get skied, perhaps never by most of us?

 

or

 

2. An area that has a high percentage of expert terrain that is skiable most of the season?

 

 

I think the most hardcore resorts have a mix of both.

post #50 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

 

When the MJ Chutes are open (Awe, Jeff’s and Hole in the Wall), I’m grinning ear to ear. Some really hard stuff there. 

 

That whole mountain has some trippy fall lines, wicked steep trees and a perennial favorite: The Mushroom Patch. 

When I lived in Denver we would hit Berthoud on the way *(100's) then ski all day at the jane, then hit Berthoud on the way back, (creek bed, floral, or telephone lines).  Miss it... 

post #51 of 61

I don't feel comfortable voting since I've only ever been to three of the places on the list. Dang, I've got to get cracking on my bucket list...

post #52 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

You do that and you may as well take Taos and possibly Squaw off the list. Everything hardcore at taos requires a hike. I have never skied Squaw but it's my understanding that a large portion of the famous terrain requires at least some hiking.


Couldn't disagree more with regard to Taos.  There is soooo much lift accessed gnar at Taos...Werner's, Pierre's, Valkyrie's Chutes, Bambi Chutes, the What Chutes, Pipeline, North American, Ernie's, do I have to keep going??  IMO, Taos should be top 3 in this poll without question.  The fact that we don't get nearly as much snow as Utah, Wyoming, Montana, etc. only makes us that much more hardcore.  Hucking 50+ footers into bottomless pow is cool and all but not exactly "hardcore".  This on the other hand...well you get the point.

 

1000

post #53 of 61

KHMR absolutely must be on the list. Great vertical, 65+ chutes, tones of drops, long season, many powder days. It does require 10 to 30 min hiking/traversing  to get to some epic terrain, but that must be part of hardcore. Red mountain has some of the best terrain too (probably the best to learn small air), especially if you include Robert's (hike to but inbound) and Grey mountain (soon to be lift served). These two mountains definitely more hardcore than most hills on this list.

post #54 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

 

When the MJ Chutes are open (Awe, Jeff’s and Hole in the Wall), I’m grinning ear to ear. Some really hard stuff there. 

 

That whole mountain has some trippy fall lines, wicked steep trees and a perennial favorite: The Mushroom Patch. 

Mosdef dig the Chutes but as chutes go they're no great shakes.

 

I know what you mean about the trippy fall lines.  I skied quite a bit there before I started venturing out to other resorts and I never really considered the weird aspects until the first time I skied Breck.  Wouldn't say that Breck is boring but I really miss that weirdness when the trails are cut straight down broad swaths of mountain.

 

If WP/MJ has any claim to hardcore aside from the bumps, it's gotta be the trees.  Really loved my days at Jay and Mad River Glen, Steamboat and Wolf Creek.  I've skied tons of great tree lines just about where ever I've been but the trees on Jane side and Park side are right there with the best, IMHO.

 

Mushroom Patch?  I've heard it doesn't really exist.  Yeah....pretty sure about that.

post #55 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Just for balance my "other" would be Tuckermans.. not lift served, but counts as "in bounds" to me.  The biggest flaw in a poll like this is how many  gapers like myself toss votes around to places we've never actually skied... YET but really really want to.

 

 

I'm guessing that maybe 30% of the folks voting here have actually skied every one of the ten resorts they voted for.. at least east coast folks. 

i refuse to vote in any hardcore polls....smile.gif

post #56 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

Mosdef dig the Chutes but as chutes go they're no great shakes.

 

I know what you mean about the trippy fall lines.  I skied quite a bit there before I started venturing out to other resorts and I never really considered the weird aspects until the first time I skied Breck.  Wouldn't say that Breck is boring but I really miss that weirdness when the trails are cut straight down broad swaths of mountain.

 

If WP/MJ has any claim to hardcore aside from the bumps, it's gotta be the trees.  Really loved my days at Jay and Mad River Glen, Steamboat and Wolf Creek.  I've skied tons of great tree lines just about where ever I've been but the trees on Jane side and Park side are right there with the best, IMHO.

 

Mushroom Patch?  I've heard it doesn't really exist.  Yeah....pretty sure about that.

 

Some of the lower bump runs off Challenger seem to twist and turn in different directions, or maybe the VW Beetle sized moguls just got lumped together on one side have made me bonkers.

The trees are top notch, only place I’ve found better is Steamboat, but there is some nicely pitched stuff all over the mountain. The patch? Just a hyped urban legend. beercheer.gif

post #57 of 61
Thread Starter 

This poll has been up for about two and a half weeks.  I thought it was supposed to automatically close after two weeks, but who knows?  It appears to still be open and changing by the minute.  As of 11pm on Nov 2, 2012 here's a recap of voting for the top ten hardcore ski areas in North America after close to 300 votes by a self nominated panel of Epicski's most respected skiers/boarderssmile.gif.  Just for grins I threw in the October 2012 top resorts ranking from Ski Magazine voters.

 

            EPICSKI                                                                                   SKI MAGAZINE

1. Jackson Hole 22%, 67 votes                                                      1.  Whistler-Blackcomb

2. Snowbird 16%, 50 votes                                                            2.  Deer Valley

3. Squaw Valley 12%, 38 votes                                                     3.  Vail

4. Whistler-Blackcomb 11%, 35 votes                                            4. Park City

5. Alta 10% 31 votes                                                                    5. Telluride

6. tie                                                                                           6. Jackson Hole

Silverton 9% 28 votes                                                                   7. Sun Valley

Taos 9%, 28 votes                                                                       8.  Snowmass

Big Sky 9%, 28 votes                                                                      

9. Crested Butte 9%, 27 votes                                                      9. Beaver Creek

10. tie                                                                                        10 Canyons

Telluride 8%, 24 votes                                                              

Other 8%, 24 votes                                                               

Anecdotally, the top "other" hardcore ski areas by number of shout outs:

Kicking Horse (4)

Crystal Mtn (3)

Arapahoe Basin (2)

Red Mtn (2)

Sun Valley (1)

Bridger (1)

Revelstoke (1)

Ajax (1)

 

Thanks for voting.  Now get out there and do the real thing next Tuesday!  It's your patriotic duty.

post #58 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

 Just for grins I threw in the October 2012 top resorts ranking from Ski Magazine voters.



It's actually not too different when compared to Ski's "terrain challenge" sub-ranking.

1. Jackson Hole
2. Snowbird
3. Alta
4. Taos
5. Whistler
6. Crested Butte
7. Big Sky
8. Telluride
9. Mammoth
10. Aspen Highlands
post #59 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by biny View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

 Just for grins I threw in the October 2012 top resorts ranking from Ski Magazine voters.


It's actually not too different when compared to Ski's "terrain challenge" sub-ranking.
1. Jackson Hole
2. Snowbird
3. Alta
4. Taos
5. Whistler
6. Crested Butte
7. Big Sky
8. Telluride
9. Mammoth
10. Aspen Highlands

I have been to Alta several times and well,,,, I guess I just don't agree with it being in the top 10 on terrain challenge....   INHO

post #60 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiddy View Post

I have been to Alta several times and well,,,, I guess I just don't agree with it being in the top 10 on terrain challenge....   INHO


Ditto. Bird is better.

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