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Europe or US? Where has better skiing overal?

Poll Results: Where has better skiing overal.... Europe or US?

 
  • 68% (11)
    Europe
  • 31% (5)
    US
  • 0% (0)
    The same
16 Total Votes  
post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I'm aware if you live in the UK, europe is going to be a lot cheaper to get to... but where has the best skiing in your opinions?

post #2 of 29

:popcorn

post #3 of 29
Killington,VT
That's where lots of UK skiers go in April. They get good deals.
post #4 of 29

Depends how you define 'better'.

 

Europe is the clear winner if you want resorts that allow high mileage days for confidant intermediates without yo-yoing the same few runs.

 

But where resorts like Alta and Vail score are the days with powder skiing.

 

I have skied for 30 years in Europe and can only remember a handful of good powder days.


Edited by TQA - 1/13/15 at 5:23pm
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Not sure what you mean, sorry.....

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

:popcorn

Not sure what you mean, sorry.....

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickz View Post
 

Not sure what you mean, sorry.....

 

He means he's getting ready for a p*ssing match between the pro-Europe crowd and the pro-US crowd. Kind of like the east vs. west arguments that have gone on in the past.

post #8 of 29

Personally, if it was equally expensive and time-consuming for me to get to the Alps or the Rockies/Wasatch, then I would probably do 3 trips a year in the Alps and 1 in the Rockies/Wasatch.

 

In my first couple of years in Europe, I would have been more in favor of US resorts because I hadn't learned how to deal with the bad visibility you can get above tree line in the Alps, as well as the many dangers of skiing off piste. The US resorts are better in terms of visibility (because most of the terrain is below tree line) and in terms of ungroomed terrain with avi control and marked hazards. But now, I'm more familiar with European resorts and bad visibility doesn't bother me much anymore.

 

So now, I prefer the Alps because they're bigger, the lift passes are cheaper, and most resorts have a wider range of food options on and off the mountain. They've also got more diverse crowds, which I like, and a lot of the towns are proper ski towns that are pretty nice.

 

I still do one trip a year in the US, but that's mainly because my mom and brother still live there and we usually meet up each year for a ski trip.


Edited by CerebralVortex - 1/14/15 at 6:30am
post #9 of 29

They're both great at their best and pretty lame at their worst. I think North America a better bet if you're planning long term due to the presence of trees, which aid greatly in visibility. But we've said this all before dozens of times.

post #10 of 29

Any skiing is good skiing and variety is the spice of life.  The mountain scenery in the Alps is truly spectacular.  I have been to the Alps several times, but only once for a ski trip.  On the ski trip I had great, sunny weather and good snow conditions and thoroughly enjoyed visiting 5 different Austrian ski areas around Saalbach and Zell am See.  I also greatly enjoyed experiencing a different culture.  In the US there is also great skiing and I am more familiar with traveling here and can do a ski trip for less cost and since I often pay for family members the affordability keeps me in North America.

post #11 of 29

Like apples and oranges - both are very good for you !

 

Advantages NA - tree/sheltered skiing, more orderly lift lines at peak times, more reliable snow, controlled "off piste" but still "inbounds", more convenient to major airports

 

Advantages Europe - Big resorts with variety of terrain, lift system, food, real towns, lift ticket prices, great piste/groomed skiing.

 

Disadvantages NA - public transportation mostly sucks, need to rent a car, expensive lodging and lift tickets, smaller areas, food not so great and pricey, air travel cost to/from... Jet leg

 

Disadvantages Europe - some long transfer times from major airports, need to pay flying from/to... Jet leg.

 

Overall, if taking a ski trip that is shorter than 6 ski days - stay at your side of the ocean. Everything longer than 8 days lower price in Europe makes difference even with the air cost included, especially with USDollar being strong vs. Euro.  Variety would keep you busy. If you ski alone - Europe, if you have larger group (family of 4 for example) stay on your continent.

 

They are all good.


Edited by goranmilos - 1/14/15 at 11:29am
post #12 of 29

Oh, I forgot to mention that I've actually had the opposite experience as TQA in terms of powder days in the Alps: I've had several over the last 5 years or so. For example, I was on the same off-piste course as the guy who made this Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_JfwqsgrnQ (powder-day footage starts around 3:50). We had a similar dump day the year before on that course, even on the same day of the week.


Edited by CerebralVortex - 1/14/15 at 6:40am
post #13 of 29

Buck Hill FTW!!! :yahoo:

post #14 of 29
Ambiance and scenery? Europe
Reliable snow quality? Western US.
post #15 of 29


Hi sibhusky.

I would disagree with "reliable" snow quality in Western US. I do remember, not too long ago, skiing in Vail, BC and Whistler and the snow quality was crap at best.

It's a gamble anywhere you go.

Cheers.

post #16 of 29
Not quality, reliable quantity. And you don't need insurance for ski patrol services.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nix View Post
 


Hi sibhusky.

I would disagree with "reliable" snow quality in Western US. I do remember, not too long ago, skiing in Vail, BC and Whistler and the snow quality was crap at best.

It's a gamble anywhere you go.

Cheers.


Mid January through mid March the conditions are pretty reliable.  Other times of the year which continent's resorts have the best snow making infrastructure on average??

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 


Mid January through mid March the conditions are pretty reliable.  Other times of the year which continent's resorts have the best snow making infrastructure on average??

 

I don't know how the snow-making infrastructure compares, but I do know that there are a lot more mountains with glaciers in Europe.

 

The size of the Alps isn't just great for the length of the runs you can do; it's also great for adjusting to the conditions. If it's too warm down low, then you can stay up high and still ski enough vertical to have fun. If conditions aren't great up high (i.e., very cold and windy), then you can stay lower down. On the bigger mountains, it's pretty common to see 10-15 C (18-27 F) temperature differences from top to bottom on a typical day. The big areas also often have faces pointing every direction, which helps when you're looking for snow that hasn't been affected by strong winds or sunshine.

 

So even in the early/late season, you can usually find some slopes with decent conditions. For example, last month I was at a resort that didn't have anywhere near enough snow at base level because of the bad early season, but I was still skiing in nice conditions up on a glacier.


Edited by CerebralVortex - 1/15/15 at 7:19am
post #19 of 29

Who's got better weed readily available?:p  I don't smoke, but if I were 18-twentysomething that would be a factor in my travel plans.

post #20 of 29

I grew up and learned to ski in the US NE at White Face (known as Ice Face by locals) and the Vermont areas, until my first trip to the rockies, which was mind blowing. Real light powder and lots of it. I´m now living in Europe and so have skied most of the Spanish Pyrenees as well as Andorra and have visited the Alps twice, the third Alps trip coming up in Feb.  

 

I would say if you live in central NA or the west coast, the Alps would be too far to ski unless you were going for two weeks or longer. The rockies and Canada have a lot of great skiing and much closer. From the US east coast it would be a toss up. My experience is that the US rockies have better snow as an average than many of the lower Alps areas. The higher you go in the Alps the better chance of good snow, where as the rockies on average have good snow throughout.  But the weather or a bad winter can change any and all of the average or normal conditions on both sides. Then there is the overall experience, which is completely different. Going to the Alps offers a bit of a cultural adventure outside just skiing, as you are visiting France, Austria, Switzerland or Italy. For many in the US that is an important part of skiing. And though any mountain range is beautiful when snow covered, the Alps darwf the rockies in size and scale.

 

Having said all that, I am looking forward to my next NA rockies ski trip. It´s the only time I can arrange ski trip reunions with my old ski buddies.

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Buck Hill FTW!!! :yahoo:


Whatabout Hyland?

post #22 of 29

What is going on with  Swiss Franc ? 

They just chased away a bunch of tourists from skiing in Switzerland.

post #23 of 29

If you want majestic scenery, quaint and picturesque towns and villages, and ambiance, Europe wins.

For me, though, the skiing is better in the US.  I love tree/glade skiing, though, and US ski areas have more of it.

 

I'll continue to travel to Europe, but I'm pretty sure I'll never take another ski trip there. 

post #24 of 29
It depends. US tends to have more efficient lifts and people management, Austria/Italy/Switzerland tend to have more atmosphere. US on-mountain catering tends to be cafeteria style., Austria/Italy/Switzerland will have more restaurants where you can enjoy a meal.
If a ski trip to you is only measured by how long your skis stay on the snow, US probably wins. If it includes apres ski and experiencing local food & drink, Austria/Italy/Switzerland.
If you are looking for group lessons, US wins. If you want the worst of both, choose France.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, very helpful!

post #26 of 29

Which continent fields the best ski racers?

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

If you want majestic scenery, quaint and picturesque towns and villages, and ambiance, Europe wins.
For me, though, the skiing is better in the US.  I love tree/glade skiing, though, and US ski areas have more of it.

I'll continue to travel to Europe, but I'm pretty sure I'll never take another ski trip there. 

I used to prefer tree skiing in the US. Then one day I skied an off-piste route that covered ~4000 ft of vertical which included some of that majestic scenery.

After eating lunch in one of those picturesque villages, my group went back up the same peak and skied another off-piste route the other direction.

For me, that kind of skiing is more fun.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
 
  • 66% (10)
     
    Europe
     
  • 33% (5)
     
    US
     
  • 0% (0)
     
    The same
     
15 Total Votes  

 

Is the snow always better on the other side of the pond?  It would be interesting to run dual and separate polls with only Europeans allowed to vote in one and only Americans allowed to vote in the other.

 

Or are people loyal to their land?  I'm surprised that Europe is winning here in this poll.  I would have expected Americans to vote US.  But, I voted Europe simply for the the deeper history of skiing in the Alps.  Also seems to have more stuff above the tree line.

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post

For me, that kind of skiing is more fun.

 

Groovy.

I've not skied off-piste in Europe, but I have skied plenty of on-piste at various places over there, and based on that, I prefer the actual skiing in the US.  

But hey, we're all different and all...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 
But, I voted Europe simply for the the deeper history of skiing in the Alps.  Also seems to have more stuff above the tree line.

 

I based my vote strictly on the on-snow skiing experience, so for me, that was the US.

Had I factored in other...uh, factors...the decision would have been a lot tougher.  A toss-up maybe?

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