or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › What is the best “Tier 2” resort in the Western US?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is the best “Tier 2” resort in the Western US? - Page 4

post #91 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


So that makes it simple.  Other than Bachelor and Crystal, are there any other Tier 2?  I have good friends who live in southern OR so have considered going out to visit during ski season.  They are season pass holders at Mt. Ashland, but that's clearly Tier 3 (when it can open).

 

Mount Hood Meadows and Timberline both easily qualify as Tier 2, I think. Even though there's limited lodging at Timberline and none at Meadows, they are both huge areas (acreage and vertical) with five high-speed detachables each--easily Tier 1 skiing infrastructure, but without the dining & lodging to really make it there.

post #92 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
 

With great respect.

And then there is Sun Valley, the original tier 1 resort in North America. If you invent the chairlift you should get special kudos.

 Yes though Idaho is a Rocky Mountain state and not a Pacific one, which is why I didn't include it in the PNW discussion.

Quote:
 Other than Bachelor and Crystal, are there any other Tier 2? 

 

By the OP's definition:

 

Quote:

 Tier 2 Resort: Not as much terrain as Tier 1. Significant lift infrastructure, but perhaps only one or two high-speeds. Some on-mountain food options. Typically less expensive that Tier 1. 

Stevens Pass, Mt Baker, and the Snoqualmie areas (and maybe Mission Ridge) fall somewhere inbetween 2 and 3. These have 1000-1500 acres in bounds, some high speed lifts, and multiple base lodges. White Pass has one small mid-mountain lodge and almost 1500 acres, and even a condo complex on the highway near the base, so by this definition could maybe be a tier 2. Though it feels pretty sleepy.

post #93 of 105
Quote:
What are some of your favorite tier 3s along those pathways?

CA  Yes to Bear Valley.  Maybe Homewood, which I haven't skied yet.   Mt. Baldy has great terrain quality when it has snow, which hasn't really been since 2010.  My favorite "second line" area at Tahoe is Mt. Rose, but with 2 high speed lifts it;'s probably a Tier 2 by this thread.  June Mt. is a 3 despite high speed lifts because it's such an afterthought these days.

 

OR/WA  Is Mt. Baker a tier 3?  Probably and if so clearly the winner of the PNW with its copious snow (most years) and very challenging terrain, though short vertical.

 

UT Sundance, Powder Mt. for the time being.  Terrain not that interesting at other possibilities IMHO.

 

ID Definitely yes to Brundage.  Out of the way is what makes a lot of these places attractive.  It's one of the best places anywhere for non-competitive intermediate powder skiing in well spaced trees.  Silver Mt. is a moderately interesting 3 despite an access gondola.

 

SWCO  Durango is a Tier 2 (high speed lift, resort infrastructure).  Isn't Wolf a 3 until it gets a high speed lift? Monarch, Sunlight, Powderhorn are moderately interesting 3's.

 

NM  Apache is probably a 2 (gondola, resort town nearby in Ruidoso).  Sante Fe is a moderately interesting 3.  Pajarito is interesting by reputation though I haven't skied there.  Other places have a reputation of being very flat.  The one I've skied, Sandia, certainly is.

 

AZ Snowbowl is a 3 until it gets lift upgrades.

 

MT is the US hotbed of interesting 3's.  Snowbowl and Discovery have some kick-ass terrain.  Lost Trail and Lookout are great powder stashes.  I haven't been to Turner, but it obviously qualifies.  Bridger is a 3 by the OP definition.

 

But the undisputable best Tier 3 mountain in North America is Castle Mt. in Alberta.  Maybe it's not tier 3 with 2,800 continuous vertical, but in terms of lifts, base infrastructure and skier visits it otherwise fits the definition perfectly.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 4/12/15 at 4:40pm
post #94 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

 

SWCO  Durango is a Tier 2 (high speed lift, resort infrastructure).  Isn't Wolf a 3 until it gets a high speed lift? Monarch, Sunlight, Powderhorn are moderately interesting 3's.

 

 

Wolf has two high speed lifts. Raven (2006)  and Treasure Stoke (2013). Bonanza is also slated to become high-speed (no timelines yet). it seems the stuff that feeds into the base will get high speed lift access, but the powder day meat and potatoes will be accessed by fixed grip.  All the lifts proposed/installed in the Alberta area will be fixed grip, and if the pass expansion is approved that would be fixed grip as well- plan is to use the current Bonanza lift for that.

 

What arbitrary category it belongs in I don't really care about...

post #95 of 105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

UT Sundance, Powder Mt. for the time being.  Terrain not that interesting at other possibilities IMHO.

 

With its extensive terrain, a high-speed lift, and snowcat access, I think Powder Mtn is Tier2. If I had to pick a Tier2 location in Utah for one day, I'd take Powder Mountain (with Solitude coming in a close second).

 

This was an answer to favorite Tier3's. In Utah I'd pick Eagle Point if it was for one day. I think I'd go bananas doing consecutive days at Eagle Point. Beaver Mtn is also nice.

post #96 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by 50kVert View Post
 

With its extensive terrain, a high-speed lift, and snowcat access, I think Powder Mtn is Tier2. If I had to pick a Tier2 location in Utah for one day, I'd take Powder Mountain (with Solitude coming in a close second).

 

This was an answer to favorite Tier3's. In Utah I'd pick Eagle Point if it was for one day. I think I'd go bananas doing consecutive days at Eagle Point. Beaver Mtn is also nice.

 

PowMow is at best, Tier 3. Yes, it has a lot of (flat) terrain, and it has a (ONE) highspeed lift, (but lots of ancient fixed grips) and it has an (overpriced, 50 yard) snowcat ride (the snowcat at Keystone is 10 times as long and half the price). It also has the cheesy lodge (I know - "the vibe"), and the school bus that picks you up from going off from the cat.

 

At a GREAT Tier 2 (Snowbasin) they have fantastic, unflat terrain, great lifts, either gondi's of high speeds, fantastic lodges with great food. OK, no snowcat, but there's the tram to the top of the downhill run. As a Tier 2, PowMow can't hold a candle to Snowbasin. 

post #97 of 105

The above does not take into account the times I have been there when Powder Mountain had powder and lots of it while Snowbasin had dust on crust.  

post #98 of 105

Snowbasin is definitely a Tier 2 and Powder Mt. a Tier 3 for reasons stated by snofun3.

 

Even though Snowbasin is far from a busy area it has enough lift capacity that most of the powder will be hammered by the end of the first clear day after a storm.  Powder Mt.'s powder will be degraded by wind or sun before it's tracked out by skier traffic.  Knowing current weather and when it last snowed significantly are the keys to an optimal Powder Mt. experience.

 

In terms of snow I've been tracking in-season reports from Powder Mt. for 9 years and it averages a modest 12% more snow than Snowbasin.  They are close and get the same storms.  Lots of powder vs. tracked out I can believe. Lots of powder vs. dust on crust would be highly unusual.

post #99 of 105

Except in my personal experience on 2 different trips about 10 years apart. where Powder was getting 6-8" per day while Snowbasin was reporting 1 or 2" at most.  Alta was getting similar totals to Powder.  They may be close but when I have been in the region Powder got all powder and Snowbasin basically got skunked.  I would love to ski Snowbasin on a powder day but in my experience that is not easy.  Whenever I ski that region I try to keep my plans open and go where the snow is best.

post #100 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
 

Except in my personal experience on 2 different trips about 10 years apart. where Powder was getting 6-8" per day while Snowbasin was reporting 1 or 2" at most.  Alta was getting similar totals to Powder.  They may be close but when I have been in the region Powder got all powder and Snowbasin basically got skunked.  I would love to ski Snowbasin on a powder day but in my experience that is not easy.  Whenever I ski that region I try to keep my plans open and go where the snow is best.

 

Which would be Snowbird.

post #101 of 105
Quote:
Except in my personal experience on 2 different trips about 10 years apart

One's personal experience is rarely a valid guide to weather patterns.  In 140+ days over 30+ years I've experienced barely half of expected snowfall at Alta/Snowbird.  We're now getting up toward 40 months of data with Powder Mt. being 112% of Snowbasin.   The "real" relationship might be 120%, but it's not 150%.

Quote:
Whenever I ski that region I try to keep my plans open and go where the snow is best.

And nowhere is it easier to do that than in Utah.  Individual storms can vary widely from the long term relationships so it's easy to get up early, check the reports and act accordingly.

post #102 of 105

Scwheitzer Mountain in Idaho is a gem. Great Terrain and Sandpoint is a cool little town.

I went there this year in January for my first time. It was a bad snow year, but the terrain

is great. 

post #103 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

One's personal experience is rarely a valid guide to weather patterns.  In 140+ days over 30+ years I've experienced barely half of expected snowfall at Alta/Snowbird.  We're now getting up toward 40 months of data with Powder Mt. being 112% of Snowbasin.   The "real" relationship might be 120%, but it's not 150%.

And nowhere is it easier to do that than in Utah.  Individual storms can vary widely from the long term relationships so it's easy to get up early, check the reports and act accordingly.

 

This one's personal experience has nothing to do with data.   Often, neither do ski conditions.

post #104 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
 

 

Which would be Snowbird.

lol.  Sometimes perhaps.  The last time I skied Powder Mtn. the area that was getting the most snow in the region was Sundance.  

post #105 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
 

 

Which would be Snowbird.

 

For an hour, from what I hear. That matters too. Would you rather ski 18" for an hour, or 12" for two days?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › What is the best “Tier 2” resort in the Western US?