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Which resorts are the "least awesome" for beginners?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

After reading the thread on best green runs ... http://www.epicski.com/t/146380/which-resort-has-the-easiest-greens-a-beginner-zone-question ... it occurred to me that the opposite question might be fun: Which resorts are the "least awesome" for beginners?

 

I don't spend much time on greens, so my opinions are probably flawed. But here goes...

 

Silverton - obviously

Vail - very expensive, and many of the greens seem to be catwalks

Wolf Creek - it wasn't made with beginners in mind

Sun Valley - only because the greens on Seattle Ridge are the steepest I've ever seen

Mount Lemmon - if you've ever been there, you know

post #2 of 23
Whitefish. If you're a real beginner, you'll be confined to some slow lifts: Magic Carpet, chairs 6, 9, and maybe 3. They are not easy to transit between if you're still unable to skate. The lift to the top has no green terrain leaving it, even if there is a green trail "for you" on the back -- you'll have to survive the Ant Hill. The Ant Hill is one of the most crowded parts of the mountain and its aspect means that any day other than sunny it has "flat light" for most of the day. By the time the sun has moved, it's all bumped up. Add in our famous fog and it'll send beginners into panic mode. So, you're confined to the Base Lodge area. Because it's South-facing, the snow is more likely to be a mess except in January and February. Right now, chair 9 is closed for the season.

We're great for intermediates, but not beginners.
post #3 of 23

I would throw in Aspen/Ajax but it might not count since the other mountains close by have excellent beginner terrain.

post #4 of 23

What level/type of beginner are you talking about? I think this can make a big difference and general statements can often be wrong for many individuals

 

Personally, I think Vail can be pretty good for many beginners. Adult never-evers can take a 3 day lift/lesson package that is less expensive than 2 all day lift tickets (which, as you imply, have seen huge inflation over the years and now stand at $175/day). I think the quality of Vail instructors tends to be good overall and it can be really fun for them to go to the top of the mountain and ski some easy greens. The beginner yard at Golden Peak has a nice progressive layout to it (including some carpets just for the kids ski school and others open to everyone), while the Lionshead learning area is up on the mountain with nice moderate terrain (but a bit bigger jump when it comes time to leave that area).

 

OTOH, Copper has a great Ski University Program for Adult never-evers on appropriate terrain and good segmented green area that offers some nice ways to progress up for kids and adults who can ski easy greens+.. HOWEVER, I think their never-ever kids carpet area in West Village is terrible and wouldn't recommend any1st time kids take a regular group lesson at Copper for this reason alone (along with the high turnover among instructors who usually teach this product).

 

I think it is also important to factor in other things that people like to do while on vacation and factors that may or may not lead them to return to skiing. i.e. for wealthy people used to good restaurants, places like Vail and Aspen can offer them what they are looking for. There are many people who may like but not love skiing and in many larger families, it is not uncommon to find a member or two who could take it or leave it. When selecting a ski destination, its good if everyone can find something that makes them happy.   

post #5 of 23
Snowbird
post #6 of 23

Kicking Horse.    As a beginner you have 1 cat track from the top and 1 lift on the lower half of the mountain.     Even if you graduate to blue fast, it doesn't improve much especially in low snow years.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSchoolPros View Post
 

What level/type of beginner are you talking about? I think this can make a big difference ...

Good point. The "easiest greens" thread was started by someone who seemed capable of navigating green slopes without falling, so that's what I was thinking. Not the never-ever types (who probably represent a very small percentage of this forum's population). My own belief is that the worst case is when the best green runs are below black runs and tend to have lots of very fast (and not always proficient) skiers zipping about.

 

I agree with Snowbird (especially if we are considering après-ski activities).

 

Also was thinking PCMR and Canyons, but I haven't been there enough times to really say.

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 50kVert View Post
 

 

Also was thinking PCMR and Canyons, but I haven't been there enough times to really say.

 

Both of those (well that overall resort now) will generally have one super-easy blue within each pod, so at least there's hope for beginners to have some larger terrain experience within the scope of a ski week or so.   
 

post #9 of 23

I'll throw in the criteria that there are resorts where the green runs are not obvious from the parking lot.  Pull into Alta's Wildcat lot and you are faced with High Rustler and Collin's Face; probably not confidence-inspiring.  Squaw is another one where the best green runs are high up and tucked away.

 

As far as the Snowbird reference in post #5, I've heard instructors say that Big Emma is the finest teaching run in the USA.

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Whitefish. If you're a real beginner, you'll be confined to some slow lifts: Magic Carpet, chairs 6, 9, and maybe 3. They are not easy to transit between if you're still unable to skate. The lift to the top has no green terrain leaving it, even if there is a green trail "for you" on the back -- you'll have to survive the Ant Hill. The Ant Hill is one of the most crowded parts of the mountain and its aspect means that any day other than sunny it has "flat light" for most of the day. By the time the sun has moved, it's all bumped up. Add in our famous fog and it'll send beginners into panic mode. So, you're confined to the Base Lodge area. Because it's South-facing, the snow is more likely to be a mess except in January and February. Right now, chair 9 is closed for the season.

We're great for intermediates, but not beginners.

 

I think this is one of the reason my 10 year old didn't like Whitefish much.   He loved the lift 2 area however.  Likely due to the more mellow and well groomed runs like Hibernation.  He HATED the ant hill when it was pounding snow.   

post #11 of 23
I hate the Ant Hill. He's in good company.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post
 

I'll throw in the criteria that there are resorts where the green runs are not obvious from the parking lot.  Pull into Alta's Wildcat lot and you are faced with High Rustler and Collin's Face; probably not confidence-inspiring.  Squaw is another one where the best green runs are high up and tucked away.

 

As far as the Snowbird reference in post #5, I've heard instructors say that Big Emma is the finest teaching run in the USA.


Every large mountain has good terrain for teaching beginners.  However that doesn't mean that ski resort is a good place for a group/family that includes beginners would enjoy spending a ski vacation there for a week.

 

Taos can be a good place to learn to ski because of the Taos Ski Week.  But I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner who isn't going with an advanced skier who really wants to ski Taos.

post #13 of 23

Big Emma is a great teaching run for intermediates. For never-evers Snowbird is horrendous. I know because I had to teach my kids there this year (taught 25yrs). They are comfortable on Snowbird blues NOW, but the process was tough going. Even Alta is a lot better, because the entire Sunnyside area is pretty flat. There's nothing like that at Snowbird.

 

An example of a great never-ever slope is Snowshed at Killington. THAT is a great place to teach beginners IMO.

post #14 of 23

Revelstoke has a 13km/8mile cat track green run that beginners and intermediates hate because it is too long and too narrow. Revy also has the Ripper Chair that was built for intermediates but it only has 2 intermediate runs plus the lower half of the lift line and you must ski an exposed fairly easy black diamond run off the top of the mountain to get there and a ski/skate cat track to get back to the front side of the mountain.

post #15 of 23

If a beginner asked for a destination resort recommendation based on the MCP locations, I would steer them away from Jackson Hole, Taos, and Snowbird.

post #16 of 23

Don't visit Mt. Baker.  While there is some nice beginner terrain, it's quite limited and segregated so that it would be difficult to keep a party of varying abilities together.  Not much in the way of blues either.  In fact there is limited and marginal grooming, generally.

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoccerNMTB View Post
 

 

An example of a great never-ever slope is Snowshed at Killington. THAT is a great place to teach beginners IMO.

That was my introduction to skiing.  IMO though it's a good beginner slope, but the flatter shorter one next to it is better for first timers.  Snowshed requires at least the most basic comfort on skis (snowplow, etc).

post #18 of 23

Mad River Glen. Only has one partially groomed green area (birdland), but the Birdland lift doesn't run all the time. So without that, not much to do but take the long winding Easy Way trail down the mountain. 

post #19 of 23
Mt. Bohemia. "No beginners allowed"
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconMeCrazy View Post

Mt. Bohemia. "No beginners allowed"

 

It was only a matter of time... 

post #21 of 23

Snowshed might be the best bunny hill on the planet....... Rams Head pod not bad either.

post #22 of 23

Although Whiteface in the NY Adirondacks has a separate beginner area as well as a few short greens near the main base, there are better places to go for people driving north from southern NY state.  The Bear's Den lift is ancient and very, very slow.  When it's not a good snow year, the greens open relatively late.  The ski school is good for locals.

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post
 

Snowshed might be the best bunny hill on the planet....... Rams Head pod not bad either.

Highly debatable on that one. I just spent almost two full days on the Snowshed trail pod doing a PSIA exam. Granted, the terrain was somewhat more limited than typical, but the way the main Snowshed slope is graded with rollers, it's like they designed it to cause blind crashes from people stopping below rollers and out of control skiers smashing into them from above. The British school groups were there at the same time, and it was a little terrifying. 

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