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NorthStar at Tahoe Vs SnowBird - Moving from one to the next

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I began snowboarding last year and have put 4 trips in. 1 to Canyons in Utah and 3 at Northstar for a total of about 20 days of snowboarding. On this last trip I got good enough that there was not a run at Northstar that I did not feel comfortable getting down with ease. I don't go super fast down the blacks but I do down the blues at northstar as I feel more in control there.

 

Now a friend wants me to go with him to snowbird. My concern is I have heard it is much steeper and difficult than most mountains even the ones out west.

 

Has anyone snowboarded both and can give me an assessment of whether given me recent experience at Northstar ready i am ready to board snowbird?

 

thanks in advance

post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtomega View Post

I began snowboarding last year and have put 4 trips in. 1 to Canyons in Utah and 3 at Northstar for a total of about 20 days of snowboarding. On this last trip I got good enough that there was not a run at Northstar that I did not feel comfortable getting down with ease. I don't go super fast down the blacks but I do down the blues at northstar as I feel more in control there.

 

Now a friend wants me to go with him to snowbird. My concern is I have heard it is much steeper and difficult than most mountains even the ones out west.

 

Has anyone snowboarded both and can give me an assessment of whether given me recent experience at Northstar ready i am ready to board snowbird?

 

thanks in advance

Wow. TOTALLY different places. Snowbird is a fantastic place and like with any ski resort, there is a variety of terrain for EVERY level skier. Don't worry, go have fun and explore your limits. 

post #3 of 24

Snowbird really doesn't have much variety for every level. The trail map looks like there's plenty of variety, but it's a truly poor mountain for intermediates or beginners.

 

The mountain has a lot more steady pitch than others, and many intermediate trails are nothing more than graded cat tracks that wind down that pitch. It can be a frustrating and dull place for intermediates. It's also not the first place I'd go if I were just getting comfortable on black terrain, either. I've never been to Northstar, but judging by its trail map and reputation, it's not a great warm-up for Snowbird. 

 

For more details, just try searching the forum for "snowbird for intermediates" or something like that. There are many threads detailing how poor of a choice Snowbird is for non-advanced skiers and riders. 

 

That said, stay in the valley and you can always go somewhere else - Brighton, Solitude, Park City and every other UT resort are all better options if you don't feel up to Bird. 

post #4 of 24

Check out Snowbird Secrets. Co-written by the man himself, Jackson HogEn. I will see if I can get him to chime in here. If you are skiing (pretty much) everything at Northstar, you will have fun at SB. 

post #5 of 24

Snowbird's spring pass goes on sale tomorrow for $499,  which is an incredible deal for three months of skiing.  Quit your job and get a cheap room in the valley.  In three months, you'll push your skill level further than twenty years of weekly trips.

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtomega View Post

I began snowboarding last year and have put 4 trips in. 1 to Canyons in Utah and 3 at Northstar for a total of about 20 days of snowboarding. On this last trip I got good enough that there was not a run at Northstar that I did not feel comfortable getting down with ease. I don't go super fast down the blacks but I do down the blues at northstar as I feel more in control there.

 

Now a friend wants me to go with him to snowbird. My concern is I have heard it is much steeper and difficult than most mountains even the ones out west.

 

Has anyone snowboarded both and can give me an assessment of whether given me recent experience at Northstar ready i am ready to board snowbird?

 

thanks in advance

Here is the deal, all "black" runs are not created equal. There are black runs at Northstar that are blue or heck green runs at the 'Bird. Snowbird is a serious mountain with big time terrain, Northstar isn't in the same league.

 

That being said, go have fun, but don't think that just because you can go down a black at Northstar, you can do the same at Snowbird. 

post #7 of 24

You might want to check out the snowbird grooming report  http://www.snowbird.com/lifts-and-trails/#trails to get an idea of what's available

Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between a groomed blue or black and an ungroomed one, especially for a snowboarder. Snow condition is also huge

Snowbird is a lot like Squaw in character.  Also keep in mind that next door is Alta, another advanced oriented area  but it does give you an option for more variety.  While snowbird might not be an ideal choice for a 20/d snowboarder you will certainly find runs you can handle--the question will be whether there's enough to keep you interested.  Given that you've gone back to Northstar 3 times and seem happy with that, I'd say you're easy to keep interested. 

post #8 of 24

To the OP - when you've been at Northstar, have you spent much time over on Lookout Mountain?  Those trails are closer to what you'll see at a resort like Snowbird.

post #9 of 24

The spirit of most of the reply posts is spot on to this old Snowbird hand. I live in Northstar's backyard, and it isn't anything like Snowbird, except that both mountains have lifts. But if you are avid, no place will get you to expert status faster than Snowbird. My best advice is to be humble - understand that big mountains like Snowbird exist to teach you something about yourself, not as objects of conquest. Go with the right attitude, but go! 

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

You might want to check out the snowbird grooming report  http://www.snowbird.com/lifts-and-trails/#trails to get an idea of what's available

Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between a groomed blue or black and an ungroomed one, especially for a snowboarder. Snow condition is also huge

Snowbird is a lot like Squaw in character.  Also keep in mind that next door is Alta, another advanced oriented area  but it does give you an option for more variety.  While snowbird might not be an ideal choice for a 20/d snowboarder you will certainly find runs you can handle--the question will be whether there's enough to keep you interested.  Given that you've gone back to Northstar 3 times and seem happy with that, I'd say you're easy to keep interested. 

My wife and I really enjoyed Alta when we visited five seasons ago. I was pretty much a solid intermediate back then and had a great time. But one problem for the OP is that he is a snowboarder. Alta does not allow snowboarders.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

To the OP - when you've been at Northstar, have you spent much time over on Lookout Mountain?  Those trails are closer to what you'll see at a resort like Snowbird.

Huh, Lookout Mountain isn't anything like Snowbird. They do both have trees and snow and chairlifts, that is where it ends.

 

Have you skied Snowbird? Read, JacksonNV's post that is my impression of comparing the two resorts, apples and oranges really.

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ske-Bum View Post

Huh, Lookout Mountain isn't anything like Snowbird. They do both have trees and snow and chairlifts, that is where it ends.

 

 

Of course it isn't.  Thank you, captain obvious.  wink.gif

 

My point was, did the OP at least go to some of the "steeper" terrain at Northstar because in terms of pitch Lookout is at least moving in the right direction.

post #13 of 24

I have skied Northstar 3 or 4 times and Snowbird a lot.  If you can comfortably handle everything at Northstar including Lookout Mt., you will have a ton of terrain at Snowbird to try.  That doesn't mean you will be able to handle everything there, but you are at least at a level where going there makes sense.

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SB77 View Post

I have skied Northstar 3 or 4 times and Snowbird a lot.  If you can comfortably handle everything at Northstar including Lookout Mt., you will have a ton of terrain at Snowbird to try.  That doesn't mean you will be able to handle everything there, but you are at least at a level where going there makes sense.

 

SB77, one time when I was skiing Snowbird with some locals, we would drop down Great Scott, or something in that area, then about maybe 3/4 of the way down cut a hard left and traverse onto the ridge and ski the Gad chutes or I think Machsnell. Anyway they were calling this move the "cool whip" is that a real name for that or just something they made up. I will tell you 12-15 of those and you are done, those guys could ski WELL and were funny as hell also. Good memories.  

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

 

Of course it isn't.  Thank you, captain obvious.  wink.gif

 

My point was, did the OP at least go to some of the "steeper" terrain at Northstar because in terms of pitch Lookout is at least moving in the right direction.

 

Oh okay...

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ske-Bum View Post

 

SB77, one time when I was skiing Snowbird with some locals, we would drop down Great Scott, or something in that area, then about maybe 3/4 of the way down cut a hard left and traverse onto the ridge and ski the Gad chutes or I think Machsnell. Anyway they were calling this move the "cool whip" is that a real name for that or just something they made up. I will tell you 12-15 of those and you are done, those guys could ski WELL and were funny as hell also. Good memories.  

Never heard that move referred to as the cool whip nor had my friend in the office down the hall who basically only skis Snowbird. That doesn't mean that lots of others don't call it that.  I have never done that long of a traverse out of the Cirque but will make a point to try it next time I am there (I am on the DL for the remainder of the year).

 

Traversing left in Peruvian Gulch is a pretty common move whether to get to the lower Cirque, Dalton's Draw, Mach Schnell or Silver Fox down lower.  The Gad Chutes are on the other side of the ridge dropping into Gad Valley.  

post #17 of 24

^^ Yeah, that was ages ago now, during the winter of....... Christ, I'm losing it...must be early to mid '90's, big winter could be 92-93. Love that mountain, though. Traverse didn't seem long at the time, might have my runs confused, I know we hit the Gad chutes a few times also. Last time I was there, the crew I was with, was focused on other parts of the mountain and Alta, so didn't ski that part of Snowbird. 

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses guys. To level set, I never boarded lookout mountain. Not because I was worried about the steepness. But just because the last two times I went to northstar the conditions have been so bad with no snow that the runs have been just bare and icy. I stay pretty much on the backside having fun there. In fact every time I have boarded it has been icy except for once when I had 2 feet of snow dump on me during the week. The powder made it much easier. And maybe I am way off base here but thats one of the reasons i thought I would be fine at Snowbird. I found powder boarding much easier than groomed/ice the one time I had powder and from what I have heard about snowbird it has the most powder. I figured if I can do blacks at northstar that are icy and hard as a rock than I could make it at least attempt powdery runs that are steeper at Snowbird.

 

Thoughts?

post #19 of 24

You will fun where ever you go. Are the steepest runs at the bird harder that Northstar. Sure. Does that mean you will not be able to ride any of it? Hell no. There is plenty of variety that you can ride and have a good time. Don't pay too much attention to the signage (green, blue, black) Go with your own comfort level. You know what you can ride. Take a day getting to know the terrain. Do a little scouting. And most of all have fun. 

post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 

Any favorite runs you recommend at Snowbird

 

 My favorite runs at northstar are powder bowl, follow me, challenger, iron horse and burnout
 

post #21 of 24
Snowbird is basically an if you can see it, you can ski it kind of place. My favorite areas at Snowbird are on the upper mountain generally including Mineral Basin, Little Cloud and the Cirque. Two good test runs to see what you are up for are Chips off the Tram or Peruvian Chair and Regulator Johnson off the Tram or Little Cloud Chair. Chips is marked intermediate and winds its way down the Peruvian Side of the mountain. In a number of places you can ski the steeper pitches rather than take the road around them to test your meddle. There are also short, steeper variations of the run like taking Phone 3 Shot near the bottom. Regulator Johnson is one of the easier black diamonds and again is a good test piece to try (also Mark Malu Fork off Road to Provo). In Mineral Basin try White Diamond or Blue By You to get up to speed.
post #22 of 24

i'm in alta as i write this- early morning coffee and reading a few threads... ive skied both areas. yes, northstar does not have the same challenging / difficult terrain of snowbird. that said,

i'd go to snowbird anyway and what i'd do is try to get in a small group or private lesson. the instructors are top notch, they will evaluate your boarding, give you a few drills and take you to areas that you'd never board on your own. have fun... and stay out of alta!  no boarders welcome.

post #23 of 24

I've skied both. As everyone has said, totally different. You will notice a huge difference in the average level of skill level. But if you are confident on everything at NS, you'll find plenty to entertain yourself with at Snowbird. There's a lot of stuff at Snowbird that is sort of hidden. That means going through gates. It would definitely be worth taking a lesson where they take you to some stuff that you might not find on your own. 

post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone. It should be entertaining at least. Going with a couple guys my skill level. So at least we may have some hilarious videos of us busting our way down the mountain. But at least it will be a good learning experience

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