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Outside Magazine’s 2012 Ski Resort Rankings

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Since Ski Mag put out their resort rankings, we’ve had our disagreements over the numerous mountains we love and hate. Very interesting that they combine East and West (Stowe over Jackson? Tremblant over Aspen? ). A quick glance at this listing seems much more in line with our opinions, with Squaw taking the top spot (arguably the most challenging mountain in the West).

 

http://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/north-america/The-40-Best-Ski-Resorts-in-North-America.html?177165891

 

1.       Squaw Valley

2.      Vail Ski Resort

3.      Whistler Blackcomb

4.      Canyons Resort

5.       Mammoth Mountain

6.      Steamboat Ski Resort

7.       Park City Mountain Resort

8.      Telluride Ski Resort

9.      Lake Louise Ski Area

10.   Breckenridge Ski Resort

11.    Big Sky Resort

12.   Snowbird

13.   Heavenly Ski Resort

14.   Sun Valley Resort

15.    Deer Valley Resort

16.   Stowe Mountain Resort

17.    Winter Park Resort

18.   Beaver Creek Ski Resort

19.   Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

20.  Copper Mountain

21.   Crested Butte Mountain Resort

22.  Northstar California Resort

23.  Mont Tremblant Ski Resort

24.  Killington Resort

25.   Sugar Bowl Resort

26.  Aspen Mountain

27.   Kirkwood Mountain Resort

28.  Revelstoke Mountain Resort

29.  Snowmass

30.  Big White Ski Resort

31.   Panorama Mountain Village Resort

32.  Keystone Ski Resort

33.  Bear Mountain

34.  Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort

35.   Aspen Highlands

36.  Grand Targhee Ski Resort

37.   Alpine Meadows Ski Resort

38.  Buttermilk

39.  Alyeska Resort

40.  Mount Bachelor Ski Resort

post #2 of 32

Wow.  Whitefish didn't even make the list???  Those marketing types need to get to work.....

post #3 of 32

^^ Ditto with Schweitzer.  Funny how lists can vary so much.  Obviously, criteria and readership make a difference.

post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

Since Ski Mag put out their resort rankings, we’ve had our disagreements over the numerous mountains we love and hate. Very interesting that they combine East and West (Stowe over Jackson? Tremblant over Aspen? ). A quick glance at this listing seems much more in line with our opinions, with Squaw taking the top spot (arguably the most challenging mountain in the West).

 

 

So this survey was based on challenging terrain?

post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedToSki View Post

So this survey was based on challenging terrain?

 

No, it’s not. The usual mix of terrain, snowfall, amenities and scenery, but they also put some weight into environmental efforts.

 

Squaw clearly was the favorite in the “Hardcore resort” thread, so in that regard, Epic and Outside are on the same page, but they still have their fair share of head scratchers. 

post #6 of 32

They (Outside) apparently like us for beer festivals, though, so it's not that they've never heard of us:  http://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/north-america/The-Top-10-North-American-Beer-Festivals.html  

 

As for head scratchers...Buttermilk?????  

post #7 of 32

I guess they really do mean "resort"!! Alta not in the top 40!

post #8 of 32

Yeah #6, apparently having the Yampa valley Medical Center a snowballs throw away counts!  They didn't mention the Converted Black Surburban Ambulance is a sweet way to roll to the ER  biggrin.gif

post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

They (Outside) apparently like us for beer festivals, though, so it's not that they've never heard of us:  http://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/north-america/The-Top-10-North-American-Beer-Festivals.html  

 

As for head scratchers...Buttermilk?????  

 

I thought the same thing.

At least it was rated below Aspen Highlands by a couple spots!!

post #10 of 32

I think this is the first time I've ever seen Panorama on anyone's top list.  Funny, they called it a "smallish" resort even though the vertical is close to 4,000 feet and terrain is about 2800 acres.

 

Buttermilk is known for it's terrain parks, and hosts the Winter X games, so that must appeal to some Outside readers.

 

Bear Mt?  That's the head-scratcher.  I dunno, proximity to S Cal?  

 

If they're adding weight to environmental efforts, Stevens Pass won the National Ski Areas Association award for 2012, and has been a the previous 3-4 years.  

post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

 

Bear Mt?  That's the head-scratcher.  I dunno, proximity to S Cal?  

 

 

 

It has a 250 member ski patrol?   I've never seen a list that used patrol size and proximity to a hospital as a criteria?

 

Personally,  I'd take a small pro patrol over a giant volunteer force.

post #12 of 32

No Taos either.   OK by me.roflmao.gif

post #13 of 32

I like PC DV and the Canyons well enough, but better than anything in Aspen?  This list is different.

post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

 

No, it’s not. The usual mix of terrain, snowfall, amenities and scenery, but they also put some weight into environmental efforts.

 

Squaw clearly was the favorite in the “Hardcore resort” thread, so in that regard, Epic and Outside are on the same page, but they still have their fair share of head scratchers. 


Jackson was the favorite in that thread; Squaw was number three.

 

Like SKI's list, this one is a reflection of the publication's aim more than anything. SKI knows its demographic of ski tourists and goes straight at them. Outside seems to want to attract everyone - from the NYC banking executive that plans a heli or Everest trip once a year to the full-time mountain bum that skis 150 days, works as a ski/fishing/raft/climbing guide and runs ultramarathons. And when you have such a convoluted demographic, you get convoluted lists.

 

Powder had the best list this year.

post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

 

No, it’s not. The usual mix of terrain, snowfall, amenities and scenery, but they also put some weight into environmental efforts.

 

Squaw clearly was the favorite in the “Hardcore resort” thread, so in that regard, Epic and Outside are on the same page, but they still have their fair share of head scratchers. 


Jackson was the favorite in that thread; Squaw was number three.

 

Like SKI's list, this one is a reflection of the publication's aim more than anything. SKI knows its demographic of ski tourists and goes straight at them. Outside seems to want to attract everyone - from the NYC banking executive that plans a heli or Everest trip once a year to the full-time mountain bum that skis 150 days, works as a ski/fishing/raft/climbing guide and runs ultramarathons. And when you have such a convoluted demographic, you get convoluted lists.

 

Powder had the best list this year.

Maybe it was the pick up sticks way of ranking.  Throw all the sticks in the air, see which fall within some circle and then start picking them up, listing them in order.  

post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Powder had the best list this year.

 

I *really* disagree with that statement.  Powder's was possibly worse than SKI magazine's take.  I'm sorry, but any list that puts central oregon higher as an overall ski area than Truckee and Jackson / Teton should not receive praise.  And I say that with no disrespect to Bend, Mt. Bachelor or the rest of the region - I quite like it around there, especially for the amazing golf courses and microbrew, but c'mon.

 

All right - I'm no longer participating in resort ranking threads - it's fairly stupid.

post #17 of 32

Bear Mt. obviously should not be on the list. It is basically a giant terrain park that caters to young snowboarders from Southern California.

post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

 

I *really* disagree with that statement.  Powder's was possibly worse than SKI magazine's take.  I'm sorry, but any list that puts central oregon higher as an overall ski area than Truckee and Jackson / Teton should not receive praise.  And I say that with no disrespect to Bend, Mt. Bachelor or the rest of the region - I quite like it around there, especially for the amazing golf courses and microbrew, but c'mon.

 

All right - I'm no longer participating in resort ranking threads - it's fairly stupid.


I'm not sure if we're talking about the same list because the list I'm thinking of was specifically about powder (per person), not so much overall experience. It was discussed in this thread: http://www.epicski.com/t/113869/best-resort-to-ski-powder/180. Not perfect and some head scratchers, but at least there was some solid criteria and some logical (and not necessarily obvious) choices. No way was it worse than SKI's annual crap fest.

 

I agree, though, subjective resort lists are almost always stupid. Resorts don't really change from one year to the next, yet publications try to make fresh lists every fall. They're stupid by definition. 

post #19 of 32

List's are always a bit of a joke. But good for debates. I would be hard pressed to put a definite rating on the areas I ski. Other than saying that a half dozen are clearly near the top, the rest would depend on who was asking, what month they were asking about, and mainly, what I felt like that day. Ask tomorrow for a different answer. A lot like asking top 20 runs hard to pick only 20.

post #20 of 32

I don't know if anyone else is aware of the Powder Mag ski town "throw down".  Online voting and such.  Starts this week in Facebook.  There seem to be two matchups this week, Telluride vs. Summit County/Vail and Girdwood vs. Stowe/Smugs.  

 

Whitefish is up against Whistler at some point.  Somehow I think we'll lose.....   Even if one is measured by skiers per acre and the other is acres per skier (haha, resort's quote, not mine).  

post #21 of 32

what are they voting for ? best chance of fog? add Big White and make it a three way. 

post #22 of 32

https://www.facebook.com/powdermag

 

It's some kind of double elimination thing.  They pair up ski areas and the winner each week proceeds to the next round.  http://www.powdermag.com/stories/ski-town-throwdown/

 

post #23 of 32

too bad they didn't get all the good areas in to the mix.  

post #24 of 32
Thread Starter 

Why are they combining Santa Fe and Taos? They’re 70 miles apart.

post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post

what are they voting for ? best chance of fog? add Big White and make it a three way. 

 

I was thinking that Whitefish didn't make the list due to too much fog, until I saw Big White aka Big Whiteout on the list. Powder/skier/acre can't be part of the equation either because there is Lake Louise in the top ten with less than 200" snow per year.

post #26 of 32
Quote from the magazine:
 In our November issue, we used MIT graduate Groomer Gary’s algorithm to rank the top 32 ski towns in North America. Now, it’s your turn. We used that ranking to give each ski area a seed, just like March Madness. Then we put them in brackets.

More info:  http://www.powdermag.com/stories/ski-town-throwdown-matchup-preview/

post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

 

I was thinking that Whitefish didn't make the list due to too much fog, until I saw Big White aka Big Whiteout on the list. Powder/skier/acre can't be part of the equation either because there is Lake Louise in the top ten with less than 200" snow per year.

 

Agree.  I though the fog was bad at Schweitzer on the front side and then I went to Big White and found out of real fog was like.  The friends I was with had been there before so I skled watching  theirs back because if I lost contact with them I was gonna be lost.

post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

 

Agree.  I though the fog was bad at Schweitzer on the front side and then I went to Big White and found out of real fog was like.  The friends I was with had been there before so I skled watching  theirs back because if I lost contact with them I was gonna be lost.

The Gem Lake chairlift at Big White has some trees beside the runs so it is where everyone goes on a foggy day, creating lift lines when the resort is not really crowded and any fresh snow on runs accessed by that lift gets skied off real quick. OTOH the locals, skiing in the fog, have less competition for the pow.

 

I never recommend Big White to visitors to BC because other resorts in the BC Interior off better skiing with way less chance of fog.

post #29 of 32
So how would these results change now that maryjane is legal at Mary Jane? smile.gif
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski-ra View Post

So how would these results change now that maryjane is legal at Mary Jane? smile.gif

And when did that matter? biggrin.gif
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