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Alpental vs Other Ski Areas

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm going into my third season of skiing and plan to take a couple of trips outside of Washington State this season and try the next level of challenges. I had a season pass at Alpental last year (just got one for this season) and feel reasonably comfortable skiing all inbounds areas from Chair 2. Some snow conditions make for considerable challenges, but I'm willing to try anything inbounds anytime there.

I'm wondering how I'll cope with the more challenging terrain at destination ski areas like Jackson Hole, Squaw, Whistler, Alta, Snowbird, Telluride, Taos, etc.

How does Alpental compare in terms of challenges to the better known, expert-friendly ski areas?
post #2 of 4
I think Alpental's Chair 2 is excellent preparation for skiing anyplace. If you can ski that, including Adrenalin, Breakover, etc., don't worry about the terrain anywhere else. Snow can only get so steep and then it slides, and the chutes shouldn't get narrower than a sideslip path. Don't get too cocky though. Even superman should watch for rocks, ice, and trees. Also, if nobody else is skiing a run you aren't familiar with, I would postpone that one.

Havens [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #3 of 4
I'm a fellow Alpentalic, and as far as terrain and technique go, Chair 2 is good prep for just about anything. (you hit both the Edelweiss Bowl & International sides right?)

The real diff is going to be the sheer length of the runs that you'll see at a large resort like Whistler/Blackcomb. Alpental is about 2200 feet from top of 2 to the base lodge, and it's faily steep the whole way so the runs don't go on forever.
At Whistler/Blackcomb, the vertical is a mile, and it's not as steep on average as Alpental for most of it, making for 30-60 minutes runs easy. There are slots/coulors that are no steeper than Upper 'Nash/Adrenaline, but are easily 10-15 times longer.

Just making you aware of the larger scale that is typical of the Rockies.

Been to Crystal Mountain down by Mt Rainer yet? It's a good WA place to get a feel for the scale of the larger resorts I've skied.
Do a couple of top to bottoms at Crystal and you'll see what I mean.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
TomK,

Thanks for the info, gives me a good sense of what to expect. I've skied both sides of Chair 2 quite a bit. I tend to go to the Edelweiss side more, but started to get more comfortable with the entry to Upper International (was often the most intimidating part for me) by the end of last season. I finally learned to just go for it and make the first turn right away. The narrow part near the top of Schluct on the Edelweiss side is tough when it gets icy and Upper International is tough when it gets bumpy and icy like December of last year when it was dry for a while.

I have skied Crystal a couple of times. Skied Campbell Basin in spring conditions to skiers left off of High Campbell chair and everything off Rainier Express and Green Valley. Campbell Basin was challenging.

I'm glad I'm in a lot better shape this year than the last several. If I'm going down chutes 10x the length of Alpental, I'll need all my anaerobic fitness.
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