Thank you everyone for the input. Any suggestions on places in Washington or Oregon to go for expert terrain that would be better than Stevens, Alpental, Baker, and Crystal?
Originally Posted by Posaune
On the second point, we don't have Sierra Cement. This is the Cascades. It's Cascade Concrete, and you had better put that in your vocabulary before you get here, or you'll never hear the end of it.
I've heard others refer to Washington snow as Sierra Cement but I won't repeat their mistake again.
Originally Posted by MEfree30
I have visited the NW a few times but have only skied Bachelor...when deciding on where to live for skiing, I think you are better off comparing individual locations or sub-region rather than trying to compare the whole of the NW with the whole of the Rockies.
If it is all about the steeps, many would point you in the direction of Jackson Hole (although some NW natives might let you in on their favorite steeps). What other factors are important to you?
Length of ski season?
Amount of snow?
Quality of snow?
Amount of sunshine?
Amount of ski terrain/number of nearby resorts?
Type/Quality/Variety of ski terrain?
Cost of season pass(es)?
Ease of access of the resort(s) from where you will be living?
When deciding where to live to ski, often times non-ski factors come into play as well (but you did not ask about those)...
Edit to add: Others have told you why the Rocky Resorts are way more visited than the NW ski areas. This has an effect on where people end up moving to ski as well- people are more likely to move to somewhere they have visited before (and liked, have friends, have good memories, etc.) than picking someplace new from scratch that rarely gets talked about in a skiing context.
I've been to Jackson and I love Jackson for the skiing, but part of why I'm leaning towards the NW is because I want to be somewhere with a lot more forest, and I'd also like to be fairly close to a big city (Seattle; Wyoming has nothing like that), and I also like that I can drive a few hours to Hood or hike up Rainier and ski all summer. If I was concerned solely with skiing I likely would stay in Utah long term or move to Jackson, but if Washington is on par with the skiing I'll go there because I prefer it for non-skiing reasons.
>length of ski season
>Amount of snow
Very important that there's enough to ski the steeps and drops
>Quality of snow
Important, but not as important as having expert level terrain available
Doesn't matter at all
>Amount of terrain/resorts
I just want some good expert level terrain. Steeps, chutes, and the like
>Type/quality/variety of terrain
Might be somewhat of a factor but I live very simply in general so if I have to pay some extra money for a season pass its worth it
Not concerned with that
>Ease of access
I mostly want to be somewhere with a big city nearby, lots of forest and wilderness, great skiing (especially expert terrain), and mountain biking and outdoor stuff to do in general.
Originally Posted by Stranger
You might consider during a drought week in Utah come try the Seattle region if that is where you are thinking. The skiing is good (even if good can be a bit odd) but it is all 1 - 2 hours from the city. There is some very steep stuff often lift served, and it is quite capable of falling on your head. There is a very good reason so many foul weather gear companies are located here, people need it. Demo this place first.
There are a lot of very diverse parts to the Northwest. The North Cascades in WA are quite different than the OR Cascades. They hold little resembalance to the Bend area or Inland Northwest (Spokane region). Have driven to the top of Mt. Spokane on New Years Day and there was no snow (way less snow than in the Cascades). This picture is from the mid-mountain lunch room at Crystal in March and not unusual, look out the window not a slide. This is a very diverse place.
Thanks, and I am definitely planning to try to get to Washington this winter assuming work schedule and costs allow it. I'll probably try to hit Crystal, Stevens, and Alpental. As awesome as Baker sounds, I doubt I'll be living there at least in the near future because it's so remote so I might save it for another year.
Originally Posted by Lorenzzo
It's a good question. Northwest skiing is way better than Utah. To those considering a ski vacation in Utah, why not give the PCN a try? Less crowded, great mountains, lots of snow, the Mahres learned to ski there and it's truly beautiful. Did I mention it's less crowded? Also, the mountains are great and it's beautiful.
In summary, don't come to Utah, go to the Pacific Northwest.
No, just go to the east coast, it's the best skiing on the planet!
Originally Posted by Alpenglow
Vail Resorts has yet to buy any property in the PNW.
Which is the best reason to go there, of course.
Originally Posted by Stranger
Where is the Northwest?
Have lived 50+ years from Coeur D'Alene to Eugene to Alaska (the Northwest of the Northwest?), and I could not give you a definition we would all agree upon. On Epic that is not saying much, we have a hard time agreeing that it is Tuesday.
Think that we can agree the NW is huge and it is diverse. But where is it? Is Sun Valley, they do get sunshine there? Is Missoula, Calgary, Boise, Juneau, Northern California?
Just asking where, inclusively, we are actually talking about.
I know the Northwest is bigger than just Washington, but I'm primarily talking about Washington and maybe Oregon. If I do move to the NW I am thinking about making Crystal, Baker, Stevens, or Alpental my home ski area, but I'll wait until I've skied them to decide.
Originally Posted by JoeUT
The answers are there, you just need to open your eyes to them, Sh4d0w-san.
Valid point, I was just wondering if I was overlooking something.