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Northeast: do you prefer "powder" or groomers? - Page 4

post #91 of 183
Well, here at Whitefish, they're restricted in the amount of water they are allowed to use. Once the snowmaking ponds are empty, that's it. Water rights are not a big issue in the East like they are in the West.

Although, thinking back, I think I remember Camelback in PA having an issue with this at some point. In spite of the fact that the place is only like 125 acres.
post #92 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Well, here at Whitefish, they're restricted in the amount of water they are allowed to use. Once the snowmaking ponds are empty, that's it. Water rights are not a big issue in the East like they are in the West.

Although, thinking back, I think I remember Camelback in PA having an issue with this at some point. In spite of the fact that the place is only like 125 acres.

 

It can't just be that it is available. It costs a LOT of money and energy to run snowmaking equipment and I don't think the Eastern resorts would do it if there wasn't some need to do it.

post #93 of 183
Correct me of I'm wrong, but in terms of acreage, aren't most eastern areas much smaller? Making significant coverage possible? Plus a greater percentage of the land is privately held, meaning less red tape on installing permanent piping. We only have the guns you wheel around, I don't think I've noticed any permanent pipes with the overhead sprayers.

Beyond that, skier density is definitely a factor and more places in the East are commutable from metro areas.

How many x-thousand acre areas are there in the East?
post #94 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

Ok, so I apparently don't get it. I always thought the snowmaking infrastructure on the East Coast was due to limited amounts of snowfall. Thus my surprise at seeing how much snow Jay Peak gets.

 

In Colorado, even the resorts with the biggest snowmaking operations (Loveland and Keystone come to mind) only have the infrastructure to blow snow on less than 50% of terrain. Many resorts have snowmaking provisions for one run (Purgatory, Wolf Creek (not even one run, spot only), Sunlight). A few (Ski Cooper and Monarch) have ZERO snowmaking capability.  Keystone is the only area in Colorado I know that has snowmaking on advanced runs (Go Devil and Last Hoot, and I could even be wrong).

 

Purgatory, Sunlight, Ski Cooper, Keystone, Breck, Sunlight, all the Aspen areas, Powderhown all get less snow than Jay Peak, have less of a snowmaking operation, and operate at least December-April, with many opening for Thanksgiving.

 

So what's the deal? I understand thaw cycles come into play here, and I suspect that higher skier density does too, but there seems to be a glaring disconnect with most East Coast areas beholden to snowmaking on almost the entire mountain, while some get more snow than a lot of major western mountains.

Thaw cycles are the deal. We can get the snow, but the problem is having it stick around for as long as it does out west. I took this picture at the Stowe stake a little more than a month ago. Mind you this is above any lift accessed terrain, and is fairly sheltered. The season total snowfall up to this point was probably at least double what is seen on the ground here.. But that is a total guess on my part. If someone has that data please share.

 

post #95 of 183
That stick wouldn't indicate to me that Stowe has thaw issues. Ours was 115 inches a month back, Stowe's looks like 84 inches. Both plenty of snow.
post #96 of 183
Quote:

Originally Posted by clubsudz View Post

 

 

 

When skiing powder out West I found that my fall line (I think that's the correct term) is straighter.  The fact the snow slows you down just means you don't have to do such wide turns to slow down ...  So even on the blues, blue-blacks and blacks you can take fewer turns and you don't build up as much speed.   Agree with everyone about how it can be tiring so as I've gotten older I ski fewer bumps and enjoy more groomed slopes.  The nice thing out in Colorado is the areas often groom just 1/2 of the slope so once the bumps are beating me to death I can pop out and cruise down the slopes.

 

The other big difference of skiing out East vs out West is the amount of time actually skiing ...  With a vertical rise of 1,000 feet out East it's a lot of chair time and not as much skiing.  Out West you can work your way well up the mountain and spend most of the day skiing. 
 

 

Couple notes:

 

1. The fall line is the line that points downhill at the steepest angle. It's not something that changes depending on HOW you ski or turn. It's a non-changeable (except by geography/geology, and if we are being pedantic snow/drifting), specific feature of a specific face/area/aspect as viewed from a specific starting point. What you're referring to is your "line," which crosses the fall line unless you're traversing. You could say, "out West I spend more time in/near the fall line."

 

2. The vertical rise argument you're making... makes zero sense. Unless you're hiking/touring, you get the same vertical skiing a 100 foot vert hill as a 10,000 foot vert mountain, assuming the chairs spin at the same speed. It's simple really: You must cover as much vert on a chair as you cover skiing back down. The only factors dictating how much vert you get are: speed of chair, speed of skiing, time spent waiting in line. A big vert mountain gets you fewer intervals of chair + skiing. Which means you get LONGER chair times and longer descents on each interval... but fewer overall descents. No doubt I prefer fewer long runs vs more short runs. But one vs. the other doesn't change the ratio of chair-to-skiing time. 

post #97 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Correct me of I'm wrong, but in terms of acreage, aren't most eastern areas much smaller? Making significant coverage possible? Plus a greater percentage of the land is privately held, meaning less red tape on installing permanent piping. We only have the guns you wheel around, I don't think I've noticed any permanent pipes with the overhead sprayers.

Beyond that, skier density is definitely a factor and more places in the East are commutable from metro areas.

How many x-thousand acre areas are there in the East?

 

 

the thing is most people simply are not good enough or smart enough to find the powder here, which on the open groomed runs last maybe for an hour and bumps runs maybe 1.5 hours. Then in the woods it last for maybe a half day on a weekend sometimes days during the week. 

 

someone like the OP is not finding any slopes I am skiing on nor would they would be fun. The disconnect of whether or not east coast powder exist or is good has to do with more with skill level and sense of adventure then the actually snow conditions.

post #98 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

the thing is most people simply are not good enough or smart enough to find the powder here, which on the open groomed runs last maybe for an hour and bumps runs maybe 1.5 hours. Then in the woods it last for maybe a half day on a weekend sometimes days during the week. 

 

someone like the OP is not finding any slopes I am skiing on nor would they would be fun. The disconnect of whether or not east coast powder exist or is good has to do with more with skill level and sense of adventure then the actually snow conditions.

 

 

You are a legend (in you're own mind)

 

It's great that you're back here...

post #99 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by twochordcool View Post

So I'm a relatively new skier but I'm addicted...I skied about 30 days since I started 2 years ago...

I skied Sugarloaf this year after a 14 inch or so "dump" and let me tell you - I thought skiing in that was a pain in the ass and a mother#u@er all rolled into one!

Between the bumpy uncontrollable ride and the fogging freakin' goggles, you may think I'm crazy, but let me tell you:

I think I prefer cruising groomed corduroy in sub 25 degree weather over skiing the "pow" (sic) in the northeast!

Perhaps west coast powder and east coast powder are two completely different things...I might prefer to ski powder over groomers out west - I wouldn't know, I have yet to experience that - but I think skiing grabby wet snow in the northeast kinda sucks!

Anybody else with me on this?!

You need to learn how to make short radius turns. Take a few lessons and focus on Short Radius Turns. Then go practise. Along with that, read on how to ski powder.

 

Once I learned short radius turns about 12 years ago, it opened up so much more terrain that I became comfortable with. Now with wider skis, and keeping my leg's closer together in powder, add in a little more speed, you can feel the skis come up on top of the snow.

 

My GF has been skiing also 2 years, she's 53y/o she's had 2 private lessons, the rest is all on me. I have her skiing the loose cut up snow and staying off the hard groomed surface. I told her you need to keep the skis turning which keeps them on edge. With both skis on edge you can glide thru the loose snow easier then skiing a flat ski. To slow down, finish your turn before you start the next one.

I also have her skiing steeps with confidance, It's great to see the smile on her face when we ski something just last year she said, NEVER too.

post #100 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

 

 

You are a legend (in you're own mind)

 

It's great that you're back here...

 

 

untill you are a legend in your own mind, you can never be legend in anyone else's.....

 

it is great that I am back here. :)

post #101 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Correct me of I'm wrong, but in terms of acreage, aren't most eastern areas much smaller? Making significant coverage possible? Plus a greater percentage of the land is privately held, meaning less red tape on installing permanent piping. We only have the guns you wheel around, I don't think I've noticed any permanent pipes with the overhead sprayers.


Beyond that, skier density is definitely a factor and more places in the East are commutable from metro areas.


How many x-thousand acre areas are there in the East?


the thing is most people simply are not good enough or smart enough to find the powder here, which on the open groomed runs last maybe for an hour and bumps runs maybe 1.5 hours. Then in the woods it last for maybe a half day on a weekend sometimes days during the week. 

someone like the OP is not finding any slopes I am skiing on nor would they would be fun. The disconnect of whether or not east coast powder exist or is good has to do with more with skill level and sense of adventure then the actually snow conditions.
My remarks were in relation to the snowmaking question, East vs. West. So your response, while part of the original thread, is totally unrelated.
post #102 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

 

 

You are a legend (in you're own mind)

 

It's great that you're back here...

Whether you like it not, he is right though. Stowe got a few dumps late in the week this year and come Saturday almost everything worth skiing in bounds was completely tracked out. At the same time there were runs requiring a 15-30 minute hike that held that same snow for close to 2 weeks.

post #103 of 183

On topic (Sibhusky):

 

Acreage in the East is indeed much smaller.  Guns are installed permanently, in that the infrastructure (water servicing, pipes) are a significant cost and are "constructed", though some guns are mobile.  Coverage is also very extensive across that acreage.  Generally speaking, resorts thrive on the metropolitan visitors crowd, and the runs are generally defined, which would lead to more skiers per area (not resort area.....run area).  There are obviously unmarked runs, but the comments about snow being "tracked out" is true, though funny, because only the locals and/or most hardcore look for powder stashes.  And we don't get dumps of snow in the east like the west does, for the most part consistently.  The large percentage of the visitors are not like the people found here on Epic; they are students, families, kids, recreational skiers that do it occasionally, so the snow gets compacted quickly.  We also don't get as much snow as the West (a few places, yes, but nowhere near like out West).

 

 

Off topic (others):

 

Easterners largely aren't "mountain people" like out west.  Anyone who says otherwise is ignoring the facts.  The population numbers don't match the geography.  The largest city in all of Vermont would barely crack the Top 100 here in Canada.  The entire population of the STATE of Vermont could easily fit into the CITY in which I live in Ontario.  Urban metro areas in the East are not mountainous; they're predominantly "flattish", which ties into the target demographic and recreational skier vs local argument.

 

 

Way off topic (Josh):

 

You needn't be a legend in your own mind to be a legend in someone else's.  You're mistaken.  Many, MANY "legends" and "heroes" actually think themselves to be ordinary people, yet other people find them extraordinary.  And yet someone can actually BE a legend in their own mind and nobody else cares.....why?  Because of attitude, not ability.  There's a world of difference, and hopefully one day you'll learn that.

post #104 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

Ok, so I apparently don't get it. I always thought the snowmaking infrastructure on the East Coast was due to limited amounts of snowfall. Thus my surprise at seeing how much snow Jay Peak gets.

 

...

 

So what's the deal? I understand thaw cycles come into play here, and I suspect that higher skier density does too, but there seems to be a glaring disconnect with most East Coast areas beholden to snowmaking on almost the entire mountain, while some get more snow than a lot of major western mountains.

 

First off, Northern New England resorts like Jay Peak, Stowe, and maybe a few others (Sugarbush, Sunday River, Whiteface/Lake Placid, Killington?) stay consistently colder and tend to get and hold substantially more snow than most other "East Coast" resorts.  (There may also be some resorts in this category way up in the mountains in WV/NC, but I haven't skied in the Mid-Atlantic.)  There is a huge difference between those resorts and the ones further south and at lower elevation.  For example, back in February "Nemo" dropped a good two feet of snow across most of New England.  But at my home mountain in MA it was raining a few days later.  Hard.  It probably got above freezing up north too, but not for nearly as long, and they didn't get as much rain.

 

That's really the difference: consistency of the climate.  It's just not gonna get above freezing very often somewhere like Vail or Snowbird in the middle of January or February, whereas getting multiple thaws each winter is common everywhere on the East Coast.  Sure, sometimes it snows in October in Boston.  But it also rains in December, January, and February.  At high elevations it typically stays below freezing all winter long, so you don't get as much degradation of the snowpack -- even if your total snowfall isn't as high, the base depths will be better, and it will be "packed powder" underneath rather than refrozen crud and glare ice.

 

At most of the EC resorts, unless you want to be completely at the mercy of Mother Nature you have to, uh, make hay when the sun shines (so to speak).  Especially in the early season.  Building a solid base of manmade snow pays off big when it helps the natural stuff stick better as it's falling and stay around later in the season.  Out West the natural snow's gonna stick and build up without any help -- you may need snowmaking in the early part of the season, or to build terrain park features, but you usually don't need it just to ensure coverage on a reasonable number of trails throughout the winter.

 

Edit:

 

just saw this:

 

Quote:
Urban metro areas in the East are not mountainous; they're predominantly "flattish", which ties into the target demographic and recreational skier vs local argument.

 

Downtown Denver is almost as flat as Boston/NYC and about as far from skiing (although the skiing you get 2 hours from Denver is WAY bigger than what you get 2 hours from Boston or NYC.)

 

Reno and SLC are actually very close to the mountains, but quite a bit smaller in terms of population.  Legitimately mountainous areas tend to be sparsely populated unless people are crammed in there with nowhere else to live (like in, say, Switzerland) or if it's been built up as a tourist area (in which case the year-round population tends to be small but it can increase a lot with visitors.)


Edited by Matthias99 - 4/22/13 at 11:59am
post #105 of 183

Agreed.  Lower elevations and freeze/thaw in the East make a HUGE difference compared to the West.

post #106 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

First off, Northern New England resorts like Jay Peak, Stowe, and maybe a few others (Sugarbush, Sunday River, Whiteface/Lake Placid, Killington?) stay consistently colder and tend to get and hold substantially more snow than most other "East Coast" resorts.  (There may also be some resorts in this category way up in the mountains in WV/NC, but I haven't skied in the Mid-Atlantic.)  There is a huge difference between those resorts and the ones further south and at lower elevation.  For example, back in February "Nemo" dropped a good two feet of snow across most of New England.  But at my home mountain in MA it was raining a few days later.  Hard.  It probably got above freezing up north too, but not for nearly as long, and they didn't get as much rain.

 

That's really the difference: consistency of the climate.  It's just not gonna get above freezing very often somewhere like Vail or Snowbird in the middle of January or February, whereas getting multiple thaws each winter is common everywhere on the East Coast.  Sure, sometimes it snows in October in Boston.  But it also rains in December, January, and February.  At high elevations it typically stays below freezing all winter long, so you don't get as much degradation of the snowpack -- even if your total snowfall isn't as high, the base depths will be better, and it will be "packed powder" underneath rather than refrozen crud and glare ice.

 

At most of the EC resorts, unless you want to be completely at the mercy of Mother Nature you have to, uh, make hay when the sun shines (so to speak).  Especially in the early season.  Building a solid base of manmade snow pays off big when it helps the natural stuff stick better as it's falling and stay around later in the season.  Out West the natural snow's gonna stick and build up without any help -- you may need snowmaking in the early part of the season, or to build terrain park features, but you usually don't need it just to ensure coverage on a reasonable number of trails throughout the winter.

 

Edit:

 

just saw this:

 

 

Downtown Denver is almost as flat as Boston/NYC and about as far from skiing (although the skiing you get 2 hours from Denver is WAY bigger than what you get 2 hours from Boston or NYC.)

 

Reno and SLC are actually very close to the mountains, but quite a bit smaller in terms of population.  Legitimately mountainous areas tend to be sparsely populated unless people are crammed in there with nowhere else to live (like in, say, Switzerland) or if it's been built up as a tourist area (in which case the year-round population tends to be small but it can increase a lot with visitors.)

 

 

 

not more snow in denver though...... less on average and much less this year...

post #107 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post



not more snow in denver though...... less on average and much less this year...

Well, hopefully nobody is wanting to ski in Denver. It is on the lee side of the mountains in a semi-arid climate without a whole lot of vert.

For those debating snow quality, moisture content is not a standalone variable. You can Google 'dendritic snow growth' to get into snow microphysics. Without doing more research, and having read NWS forecast here for years, when the forecasters mention 'good dendritic show growth' in terms of the snow growth layer temp profile, we are in for some serious fluff. The extent to which this is a difference between lower altitude and higher altitude locations may be relevant beyond pure 'density'.

One would ever compare stone crystal structure purely on density if one were to lay down a 3D layer. How those crystals are formed and naturally pack together might tell a far greater story.

Said differently, powder may have more to do with the air between the crystal structures than the density of the crystal itself.

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/ctp/HISA/SnowMicroPhysics.ppt
Edited by NayBreak - 4/22/13 at 5:08pm
post #108 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


Well, hopefully nobody is wanting to ski in Denver. It is on the lee side of the mountains in a semi-arid climate without a whole lot of vert.

For those debating snow quality, moisture content is not a standalone variable. You can Google 'dendritic snow growth' to get into snow microphysics. Without doing more research, and having read NWS forecast here for years, when the forecasters mention 'good dendritic show growth' in terms of the snow growth layer temp profile, we are in for some serious fluff. The extent to which this is a difference between lower altitude and higher altitude locations may be relevant beyond pure 'density'.

One would ever compare stone crystal structure purely on density if one were to lay down a 3D layer. How those crystals are formed and naturally pack together might tell a far greater story.

Said differently, powder may have more to do with the air between the crystal structures than the density of the crystal itself.

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/ctp/HISA/SnowMicroPhysics.ppt

 

 

not more snow that most of the resorts even on average.... at least compared the North Green Spine.

post #109 of 183

It rains more in the east.

 

We done now? Cause there's a snowboard hater thread again....
 

post #110 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

 

not more snow that most of the resorts even on average.... at least compared the North Green Spine.

 

Amount of snow in Vermont doesn't matter, even northern VT, when compared to western resorts.  The lower elevation and the freeze/thaw does.  I've seen epic snow and snow pack depth lose absurd amounts in literally 2-3 days because of rain.  No western resort gets that type of thing; it's completely a non-issue.  Not for us easterners though.  Stowe and Jay might be the absolute most awesome thing ever discovered/produced on the East coast, and neither can compare to 80% of the resorts out west in terms of size, scale, snow quality, and snow pack depth.  The elevation, rain, and freeze/thaw kill Eastern snow.  Period.  

 

That pretty much sums up the whole discussion.

post #111 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

It rains more in the east.

 

We done now? Cause there's a snowboard hater thread again....
 

 

Where, where ???  duel.gif

post #112 of 183
post #113 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

 

Amount of snow in Vermont doesn't matter, even northern VT, when compared to western resorts.  The lower elevation and the freeze/thaw does.  I've seen epic snow and snow pack depth lose absurd amounts in literally 2-3 days because of rain.  No western resort gets that type of thing; it's completely a non-issue.  Not for us easterners though.  Stowe and Jay might be the absolute most awesome thing ever discovered/produced on the East coast, and neither can compare to 80% of the resorts out west in terms of size, scale, snow quality, and snow pack depth.  The elevation, rain, and freeze/thaw kill Eastern snow.  Period.  

 

That pretty much sums up the whole discussion.

 

 

and why are you still here then? just move. and stop complaining......

 

do not tell me about anything in your life that prevents it, because apparently it matter enough for you to complain about it.

post #114 of 183

As usual, you misconstrue opinions for fact.  I'm not complaining.  I'm simply stating facts that can be easily backed up by snowfall numbers, analysis, and even plain old anecdotal evidence from anyone who has skied in the East and West.

 

Further, just because western resorts have better snow doesn't mean I have to move there.  Also doesn't mean something's preventing me from going there, so you're implying I have some excuse, which I do not.  I choose to live where I live, and perhaps because there are other things more important to me in life here than snow quality.  In fact, I love Vermont, and Stowe in particular; I think it's a fantastic resort and would love to have the opportunity to ski there regularly.  But that doesn't change the issue that your comments are opinion, not fact.

 

Your entire line of comments are a simple (and mistaken) ad hominem argument.  You really should look it up.

post #115 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

Amount of snow in Vermont doesn't matter, even northern VT, when compared to western resorts.  The lower elevation and the freeze/thaw does.  I've seen epic snow and snow pack depth lose absurd amounts in literally 2-3 days because of rain.  No western resort gets that type of thing; it's completely a non-issue.  Not for us easterners though.  Stowe and Jay might be the absolute most awesome thing ever discovered/produced on the East coast, and neither can compare to 80% of the resorts out west in terms of size, scale, snow quality, and snow pack depth.  The elevation, rain, and freeze/thaw kill Eastern snow.  Period.  

 

That pretty much sums up the whole discussion.

Not.

You forgot the wind! Often makes you wish it had never "snowed". (yes Josh, it blows it into the trees)


Edited by Tog - 4/22/13 at 6:33pm
post #116 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post


not more snow that most of the resorts even on average.... at least compared the North Green Spine.

You mean the northern/central CO resorts typically skied from Denver? 5 of them exceed the average annual snowfall of Stowe and I suppose for good measure Jay as well.
post #117 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


You mean the northern/central CO resorts typically skied from Denver? 5 of them exceed the average annual snowfall of Stowe and I suppose for good measure Jay as well.

 

no place in colorado beat Jay this year.....

post #118 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

no place in colorado beat Jay this year.....

Yea...Wolf Creek was equal, the NorthCo resorts reported about what Stowe did.

Jay is reporting a 15-45" base. 0" in the last week.

A-basin is reporting 60" base, powder/packed powder conditions...with another storm going on right now, and that base report is low for the area.

Given it hasn't rained on our snow yet, has been well below freezing at night all month, and AB is open for another 50+ days at this point...what are we still comparing to a relatively low CO snow season?

I don't bag that you love it and that woods keep people out, it is just an odd comparison outside of those two factors, neither of which are quantitative.
post #119 of 183
I hate "snowfall" comparisons. They all use different ways to count it and start counting it. Due to thawing and blowing and raining, it also means squat. What counts is snowpack. And snowpack is only useful when you know what's being covered and what the consistency is of the surface. Basically, they're both just numbers with little use out of context.
post #120 of 183

So I guess all of the skiers in Colorado are going to move to Vermont now?

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