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5 year Western skier moving to PA - what skis do I need??

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

After living in Salt Lake City for 2 years and skiing the 'Bird for 2 seasons, and then living here in Bellingham for 3 years and skiing Baker for 3 seasons, my job and family considerations are moving me back to my homeland - the east coast. Will be set up in Pottsville, PA, which is near to Jack Frost/Big Boulder, Blue Mountain, etc. So, obviously my ski gear needs are going to change massively.

 

These past few seasons, I've run with Line Influence 105's (179cm) as the daily driver and Atomic Automatics (179cm) for pow days. I also have a pair of fairly beat up Dynastar Slicers (169cm) that I'll run early season when it's rocky and thin. I don't think any of these are thin enough to be a daily driver in PA - it's been more than 5 years since I've skied there, but I remember the ice.

 

So my question - what do you guys recommend as a daily driver ski for the conditions in PA? My initial thought is something around 80mm waist, but I'm not sure if I should go even narrower and get a real trench layer, since I already have the odd softer days covered with the Influence/Slicers. The Autos will probably sit in the closet waiting for Western trips :( 

 

The next question is, what length? I haven't bought groomer skis in so long, I don't have a good idea of how short to go compared to my longer, more heavily rockered boards. For reference, I am 5'8" and around 140-145lbs, strong level 7 skier, possibly edging into 8.

 

Thanks in advance for any help, folks!

post #2 of 57
Do you like mogul runs? The resorts you mention have some nice ones, as well as Elk Mountain, which I'm surprised you didn't mention. I've been trying to learn to ski these to make my days more varied. I've skied the Poconos with 83-88 mm all mountain skis, but I'm not a strong high-speed carver, so others will probably give better guidance.
post #3 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLTL View Post

Do you like mogul runs? The resorts you mention have some nice ones, as well as Elk Mountain, which I'm surprised you didn't mention. I've been trying to learn to ski these to make my days more varied. I've skied the Poconos with 83-88 mm all mountain skis, but I'm not a strong high-speed carver, so others will probably give better guidance.

 

I always forget about Elk, mostly because I've never been there before. Need to though. It's a little further from where I'll be living than the ones I mentioned, but still under 2 hrs.

 

Yeah, I definitely enjoy mogul runs, although I can't see myself slamming moguls all day - I'd want to mix it up. I see my days skiing out there being largely carving, mixing in moguls and trees for flavor when available (I do understand that tree skiing is few and far between in the area).

 

And since you mention that you're not a high-speed carver, I'm not an ex racer and I've skied resorts with tons of snow the last several years, so it's probably safe to say I'm not either. I'd like to get better though.

post #4 of 57

Hey- welcome back. I do the majority of my days at Elk, Montage, Camelback & Blue. My "daily drivers" for the past 3 years have been 169cm Salomon Q-90s (really 88mm). I'm considering going narrower next season, but at the same time never really felt like these particular skis felt too "fat" really...

post #5 of 57
Elk has a nice demo day usually the first Friday after the New Year. Maybe worth your trouble to wait and try out before buying. Paging @Living Proof
post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLTL View Post

Elk has a nice demo day usually the first Friday after the New Year. Maybe worth your trouble to wait and try out before buying. Paging @Living Proof


good call!

post #7 of 57
Thread Starter 

Definitely a solid idea on the demo days. Will definitely consider that - though it might be tough if I come across a screaming deal! That being said, it sounds like you guys generally slide around on skis with waists in the 80's so I should probably be OK if I lean toward something in the low to mid 80's.

 

Slightly off topic, but related question wrt which mountain to ski. Looks like a season pass at JFBB for someone under 30 (which is me) runs $400 and gets you unlimited access to 5 mountains in New England as well (Hunter, Mt Snow, Crotched, Attitash, and Wildcat). Is this a no-brainer or should I spring for one of the mountains in the area with more vert (Elk, Blue, Montage)? I've skied JF in the past (like 10 years ago) and remembered liking it, but my recent experience in the area is nonexistent. I'll be about an hour from JFBB and Blue, 1 hr 20 min from Montage, and around 1 hr 45 min from Elk.

post #8 of 57

I have skied most of the mountains you talked about skiing and I do not own anything over 77MM and I just purchased a 76MM 2015 - 2016 Head Rally.  Looking forward to using them on the east coast hard pack (what you westerners call ICE)  and from what I have been reading the 2016 - 2017 Head Titan at 80MM is better for the up coming season.

post #9 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle-A View Post
 

I have skied most of the mountains you talked about skiing and I do not own anything over 77MM and I just purchased a 76MM 2015 - 2016 Head Rally.  Looking forward to using them on the east coast hard pack (what you westerners call ICE)  and from what I have been reading the 2016 - 2017 Head Titan at 80MM is better for the up coming season.

 

The Titan looks awesome, I have been ogling it for like a week now haha. Half decent deals on it now too.

 

Do you ever get conditions where you wish you had a little more waist width, or do your carvers give you everything you need?

post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBumGolfer View Post
 

Definitely a solid idea on the demo days. Will definitely consider that - though it might be tough if I come across a screaming deal! That being said, it sounds like you guys generally slide around on skis with waists in the 80's so I should probably be OK if I lean toward something in the low to mid 80's.

 

Slightly off topic, but related question wrt which mountain to ski. Looks like a season pass at JFBB for someone under 30 (which is me) runs $400 and gets you unlimited access to 5 mountains in New England as well (Hunter, Mt Snow, Crotched, Attitash, and Wildcat). Is this a no-brainer or should I spring for one of the mountains in the area with more vert (Elk, Blue, Montage)? I've skied JF in the past (like 10 years ago) and remembered liking it, but my recent experience in the area is nonexistent. I'll be about an hour from JFBB and Blue, 1 hr 20 min from Montage, and around 1 hr 45 min from Elk.


After coming from where you were, I think you are going to find JFBB very underwhelming- but if you have the time/means to travel north a lot then it would be worth your while.

post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBumGolfer View Post
 

Definitely a solid idea on the demo days. Will definitely consider that - though it might be tough if I come across a screaming deal! That being said, it sounds like you guys generally slide around on skis with waists in the 80's so I should probably be OK if I lean toward something in the low to mid 80's.

 

Slightly off topic, but related question wrt which mountain to ski. Looks like a season pass at JFBB for someone under 30 (which is me) runs $400 and gets you unlimited access to 5 mountains in New England as well (Hunter, Mt Snow, Crotched, Attitash, and Wildcat). Is this a no-brainer or should I spring for one of the mountains in the area with more vert (Elk, Blue, Montage)? I've skied JF in the past (like 10 years ago) and remembered liking it, but my recent experience in the area is nonexistent. I'll be about an hour from JFBB and Blue, 1 hr 20 min from Montage, and around 1 hr 45 min from Elk.


How often do you think you would drive to Hunter?  All the way to NH for Wildcat?  Only weekends?  Hunter and Mt Snow are pretty crowded on weekends.  Don't know anything about JFBB, but my friends who are advanced skiers who live in that area prefer Montage or Elk.  If you are willing to drive a little longer, Plattekill after a storm is worth the effort.

post #12 of 57
Even when I skied the Poconos, JF/BB was too short. If the drive to Elk doesn't inhibit you, then go there. We were coming in every week from NJ, so we were at Camelback, but if Elk had been just a bit closer, that would have been my choice. Blue and Camelback both suffer from crowd problems. Blue would probably be the natural choice for you, but aaaagghh!
post #13 of 57
Thread Starter 
Yeah if Blue didn't have the reputation for massive crowds, it would be the obvious choice - but standing in 20+ minute lift lines is not my idea of fun haha.

The drive to Elk doesn't bother me so much as the ticket and pass prices - they're higher than Mt Baker, and Baker gets 600" of snow! Is it worth the premium compared to other hills in the area?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Even when I skied the Poconos, JF/BB was too short. If the drive to Elk doesn't inhibit you, then go there. We were coming in every week from NJ, so we were at Camelback, but if Elk had been just a bit closer, that would have been my choice. Blue and Camelback both suffer from crowd problems. Blue would probably be the natural choice for you, but aaaagghh!
post #14 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willyum215 View Post


After coming from where you were, I think you are going to find JFBB very underwhelming- but if you have the time/means to travel north a lot then it would be worth your while.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post


How often do you think you would drive to Hunter?  All the way to NH for Wildcat?  Only weekends?  Hunter and Mt Snow are pretty crowded on weekends.  Don't know anything about JFBB, but my friends who are advanced skiers who live in that area prefer Montage or Elk.  If you are willing to drive a little longer, Plattekill after a storm is worth the effort.

Yeah the 600' vertical at JF is definitely off putting. I'd probably not be traveling north much except on weekends (day job, doh!), and I have heard that those places get slammed on weekends.

Doing research, man I really wish I was closer to Blue Knob. 1000' vertical with solid terrain, and a $360 season pass? Sign me up.
post #15 of 57
I have a love/hate relationship with Blue, more love now that I'm skiing the blacks more consistently, never get to Camelback, and ski JFBB once or twice a year for early season openings. JFBB is where I started skiing so have a soft spot for it. Elk is just the best, but +3hr drive for me. Montage is okay, but too far. I've been visiting Killington, Sunday River, Mount Snow, and Sugarloaf for longer trips.

I see a lot of the Head's as mentioned above and Rossi Experience up to the 88's.
post #16 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBumGolfer View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willyum215 View Post


After coming from where you were, I think you are going to find JFBB very underwhelming- but if you have the time/means to travel north a lot then it would be worth your while.
Yeah the 600' vertical at JF is definitely off putting. I'd probably not be traveling north much except on weekends (day job, doh!), and I have heard that those places get slammed on weekends.

Doing research, man I really wish I was closer to Blue Knob. 1000' vertical with solid terrain, and a $360 season pass? Sign me up.

Yep, BK is fun.  There are many reasons why the Mid-Atlantic DCSki/EpicSki Gathering is often at BK.

 

Have you factored in night skiing at all when thinking about a season pass?

 

As for the price of a season pass in the Mid-Atlantic, that's just supply and demand at work.  If demand didn't exist at existing prices, we wouldn't be talking about weekend crowds.

post #17 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Yep, BK is fun.  There are many reasons why the Mid-Atlantic DCSki/EpicSki Gathering is often at BK.

 

Have you factored in night skiing at all when thinking about a season pass?

 

As for the price of a season pass in the Mid-Atlantic, that's just supply and demand at work.  If demand didn't exist at existing prices, we wouldn't be talking about weekend crowds.

 

Haven't thought much about night skiing - but that's only because it just doesn't exist out here. Night skiing would be sweet as an option to get up on the odd weekday.

 

Yeah, I totally get the reasons for the price, especially since they have to spend a lot of cash blowing snow where areas like Baker have the luxury of not having to worry about it.

 

Honestly, I'm starting to lean away from JFBB as an option despite the free access to other resorts. I can't see myself making the long drive to Hunter too often - maybe 3 or 4 times in a season, tops - and a trip further north would likely only be a one time occurrence. Plus I'd need lodging, which the pass wouldn't help much with.

 

I guess the next question is, do most people in the area go season pass or you float around and hit different mountains?

post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBumGolfer View Post
 

I guess the next question is, do most people in the area go season pass or you float around and hit different mountains?

You might take a look at the regional thread from last season.  Could try asking the question there and see if folks who posted in the thread are paying attention.  Most likely there will be a new thread for 2016-17 but not until late summer or early fall.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/142542/pa-de-sonj-2015-2016-thread

post #19 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

You might take a look at the regional thread from last season.  Could try asking the question there and see if folks who posted in the thread are paying attention.  Most likely there will be a new thread for 2016-17 but not until late summer or early fall.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/142542/pa-de-sonj-2015-2016-thread

 

Thanks man - I'll take a look and see what I get.

 

Leave it to me to derail my own thread! I return the topic back to skis themselves as I originally intended. :D

post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBumGolfer View Post
 

 

The Titan looks awesome, I have been ogling it for like a week now haha. Half decent deals on it now too.

 

Do you ever get conditions where you wish you had a little more waist width, or do your carvers give you everything you need?

Make sure it is the 2016 - 2017 because it has been upgraded for next season.  The 2015 - 2016 was not as good from what I have read.  I have not had any conditions that would make me want a wide ski here in the east.

post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBumGolfer View Post
 

 

Thanks man - I'll take a look and see what I get.

 

Leave it to me to derail my own thread! I return the topic back to skis themselves as I originally intended. :D

 

Hey @SkiBumGolfer... welcome back to the Ice East Coast! Three things :

 

1) From Pottsville, you could consider heading southwest to hit one of the Snowtime resorts - Liberty, Whitetail, or Roundtop. Roundtop is the closest, and least crowded, but also not tall. Still a nice little resort. Whitetail is busier and taller. Liberty is short too but has some variety. And there are sometimes some fellow EpicSkiers (me included) around those places on a weekend if you're looking for folks to ski with. I skied at one of those places most Fridays last winter.

 

2) I ski an 81 width ski (intermediate skier). I think anything right around 80 or lower would be suitable, but as is the trend, even on real hardpack days I'll see people out on > 90mm width skis.

 

3) @marznc is actually female ;) 

post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBumGolfer View Post

 

I guess the next question is, do most people in the area go season pass or you float around and hit different mountains?


I definitely like to float around personally, I know I would get bored pretty quickly otherwise.

post #23 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post

Hey @SkiBumGolfer
... welcome back to the Ice East Coast! Three things :

1) From Pottsville, you could consider heading southwest to hit one of the Snowtime resorts - Liberty, Whitetail, or Roundtop. Roundtop is the closest, and least crowded, but also not tall. Still a nice little resort. Whitetail is busier and taller. Liberty is short too but has some variety. And there are sometimes some fellow EpicSkiers (me included) around those places on a weekend if you're looking for folks to ski with. I skied at one of those places most Fridays last winter.

2) I ski an 81 width ski (intermediate skier). I think anything right around 80 or lower would be suitable, but as is the trend, even on real hardpack days I'll see people out on > 90mm width skis.

3) @marznc
 is actually female wink.gif  

Doh! My apologies, @marznc!

Yeah, I figured that the right around 75-80mm area would be perfect. I figure for the compromises I'd make going to something 85-90mm, my other skis cover that area well already so might as well get something that really slays firmer conditions.

And thanks for the southern area resort reco's! I'll have to check those out, not super familiar with that area.
Edited by SkiBumGolfer - 6/2/16 at 7:44am
post #24 of 57

I picked up  2016-17 season pass at Blue in late February for $500.  They let you ski out the remainder of the current season with it, so It's already paid for itself since I did a lot of spring skiing. I'm 30 minutes from Blue and they have night skiing every night until 10pm.  Since I'm an intermediate working very hard to progress, the sheer time on snow that this afforded was a huge benefit. You just have to avoid Friday nights when the school clubs show up. (shudder) and peak Saturdays. From late Feb on, I don't think I waited more than 3 minutes on a lift line, even on weekends, but then, we had a terrible season so few day-trippers were going to pay full price to ski mashed potatoes. I liked having the pass, since it made it worthwhile to show up even on sketchy-condition days without being out $60. Most of the time, the skiing was just fine (I mean, by Poconos standards) and it was worth the trip.

 

I also got the PEAK pass for next year, but that's because I have family in VT and get up there quite a bit. Combined with JF/BB, it seems to makes sense but again, I'm just learning, so I'm looking for time-on-snow more than total vertical or expert terrain.    

 

(Regarding the PEAK pass, I like that Crotched Mtn. has late-night skiing on weekends, so you can drive up to VT and get some skiing in Friday night).  

 

EDIT: Btw, a ton of people recommended the Volkl Kendo for PA skiing when I was asking around.  90mm and great edge grip.  Might be worth a demo.

post #25 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sallycat View Post
 

I picked up  2016-17 season pass at Blue in late February for $500.  They let you ski out the remainder of the current season with it, so It's already paid for itself since I did a lot of spring skiing. I'm 30 minutes from Blue and they have night skiing every night until 10pm.  Since I'm an intermediate working very hard to progress, the sheer time on snow that this afforded was a huge benefit. You just have to avoid Friday nights when the school clubs show up. (shudder) and peak Saturdays. From late Feb on, I don't think I waited more than 3 minutes on a lift line, even on weekends, but then, we had a terrible season so few day-trippers were going to pay full price to ski mashed potatoes. I liked having the pass, since it made it worthwhile to show up even on sketchy-condition days without being out $60. Most of the time, the skiing was just fine (I mean, by Poconos standards) and it was worth the trip.

 

I also got the PEAK pass for next year, but that's because I have family in VT and get up there quite a bit. Combined with JF/BB, it seems to makes sense but again, I'm just learning, so I'm looking for time-on-snow more than total vertical or expert terrain.    

 

(Regarding the PEAK pass, I like that Crotched Mtn. has late-night skiing on weekends, so you can drive up to VT and get some skiing in Friday night).  

 

EDIT: Btw, a ton of people recommended the Volkl Kendo for PA skiing when I was asking around.  90mm and great edge grip.  Might be worth a demo.

 

Thanks. That's a sweet deal on that pass if you got to hit the spring skiing too! I've skied Blue before (5-6 years ago) and I remember enjoying the vertical (for the Poconos of course), but hating the crowds. 

 

The more I think about it, and hearing you mention the PEAK pass again, the more I think it might make sense to get it - and use it when I don't want to drive too far and I just want to go slice some laps on the weekends, since Jack Frost is closest - and then shoot out to Elk/elsewhere on day tickets when my fiance wants to come, family visits, when I want a little more terrain, etc. Being under 30, the PEAK pass is only $399 for me, and with the pass price at Elk being almost $800, on the $400 difference there I could probably ski at least 5-6 days elsewhere, which would provide me the flexibility to go hang with other Bears, family, friends, etc at other ski areas. Plus I'd have full access to Hunter and the NH/VT areas.

 

EDIT: And yeah I've heard lots of people recommend the Kendo. My only hesitation is at 90mm it's not all that different from my ~100mm skis and I'm not really buying a ski for the firmest conditions I'd encounter that way. If I go around 80mm, I'll have the hard snow trench layer I need, while having the softer days covered on the roughly ~100mm boards.

post #26 of 57

I would add to your current skis a narrower hard snow biased all-mountain ski (like a Head Supershape or Fischer Progressor) or a non-FIS SL race ski.  Either would be good on the firm groomers that are typical for the east.

post #27 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH View Post
 

I would add to your current skis a narrower hard snow biased all-mountain ski (like a Head Supershape or Fischer Progressor) or a non-FIS SL race ski.  Either would be good on the firm groomers that are typical for the east.

 

Thanks. I've been looking at the Supershapes (Titan and Rally) but hadn't really looked into Progressors. Any other models you'd recommend looking into? I'm only just getting re-caught up in the arena of hard snow skis after spending several years riding surfboards! :D 

 

EDIT: A few other models I've been seeing/considering while reading the internet reviews: Kastle FX 84, Volkl RTM 81/84, K2 AMP Rictor 82XXTi, Head Rev 85 Pro/Monster 83, Fischer Motive 

post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBumGolfer View Post

Doh! My apologies, @marznc!

Yeah, I figured that the right around 75-80mm area would be perfect. I figure for the compromises I'd make going to something 85-90mm, my other skis cover that area well already so might as well get something that really slays firmer conditions.

And thanks for the southern area resort reco's! I'll have to check those out, not super familiar with that area.

No problem.  Now you know why I didn't make any ski recommendations. :)

 

For what it's worth, for skiing in the Mid-Atlantic I've been sticking with relatively narrow widths.  Meaning in the 70s.  Note that I'm petite so my all-mountain skis are 88 underfoot.  For me, 100mm is what I rent when I'm lucky enough to catch a powder storm during trips out west.  I'm Level 8 (of 9).

post #29 of 57
I spent decades skiing at Camelback before moving to Montana and currently own the K2 AMP Rictor 82 xTi. I would definitely ski the ski back East. I bought it because the last two seasons have been less than stellar here and there has not been a single day on it that I said "wrong ski" other than a day where no snow was forecast and it dumped. I think I changed at lunch time that day, but the ski is fine until you get above ankle deep. Around then it becomes more work to ski as it's fairly stiff. Great edge hold at a 1/3 bevel. Not racer stable at speed, but stable enough for me, and very turny, so good on steep ice. Write-ups say it's okay on moguls, but I confess to not looking for moguls. I would not take it in most of our treed areas here, but it is okay on more open trees where the snow density/depth isn't too bad. Like every K2 I've owned, it is fairly impervious to chop. Its forte is steep groomed ice.

I'm about the same level skier as you, and same height. But, older, heavier, female, skiing for 45 seasons. I'd recommend 177 as the length. Mine are shorter, but you being younger and probably faster, I think you'd like the 177 better.
post #30 of 57
Thread Starter 

Interesting on the length there @sibhusky - my first inclination would have been closer to 170 since I ski my super rockered fatties at 179. But then, when I ski my 169 Slicers, they do feel kinda short, so you may be on to something there. The Rictors definitely sound like they would be a solid choice.

 

@JimH I was just looking at Progressors (800/900/F18/F19) and Supershapes (Rally and Titan) and it seems that the Progressor 900/F19 has a reputation for being pretty darn stiff and a little unforgiving. Similarly for the Titan, but less so. Would it be more advisable to go to the 800/F18 or Rally for a lighter advanced skier like myself (5'8", 140ish)? It sounds like the 900/F19/Titans would be monsters on groomers but maybe not as versatile for the occasional bump run, glade, etc. I may need a demo once the season rolls around.

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