|Originally posted by Lisamarie:
All things are relative. Coming from New England, a whistler green can be like some NE blacks. On the other hand, a green whistler trsil can get so freakin crowded that its easier to ski a blue. BTW, at fernie, nothing is TRULY green for a new englander, despite the trail markings!
Woah hold up a sec here. Don't sell New England Short. There's a big difference between the super-popular "McSkiing" New England ski areas, and the areas that lay claim to suberb terrain.
I'm sure a green circle at whistler would be a blue square at Loon Mountain, or even a Black Diamond at Bretton Woods or Waterville Valley. However, a few areas here in the east are devoid of true novice terrain, and as such have way underrated novice runs. Magic Mountain, Wildcat Mountain, Mad River Glen, Saddleback Mountain, Sugarloaf/USA, Plattekill, and Cannon Mountain all have green circles that would rate as Blue squares at many western areas, and black diamonds at a few.
I can't speak to Whistler from experience but I can compare the east with western areas I have skied.
At Wildcat the "Polecat" trail would easily rate a black diamond at Deer Valley, and a blue square at Vail or Aspen.
At Magic Mountain the blue square "Wizard" would rate as a black diamond almost anywhere.
At Mad River Glen (voted #3 on the continent for challenge last year in the annual "Ski readers survey" behind Alta and Jackson Hole) Any Green Circle would be a Blue Square at every other area, and every single blue square would be rated at least a black diamnd most places. The blue rated "Quacky" would likely be a double black diamond at many places, even out west.
Naturally the stereotype of the "eastern ski area" is that the snow is always rock hard, the people are always rude, and all the trails are easy. But That's only true at places like Loon, Okemo, Mount Snow, etc... jam packed to the gills with long island mechanics and factory workers, all sporting Jets and Giants starter jackets... the ultimate definition of what's sometimes called a "gaper." Most new england mountains are chock full of flannel wearing backwoods types (just like out west), who bring their kill/catch of the day into the lodge for lunch. These mountains are steep and rough, with true expert runs ranging from 30° at a minimum to the steepest at 63° (Cannon's "Tramline"). The people are supremely friendly, the type who will not only stop to help dig out your car in a 3' storm like the one southern Vermont had last night, but will flag down other drivers to help too. Those mountains are littered with well formed moguls, super-tight trees, and killer steeps. Do you really think that Donna Weinbrecht, the DesLauriers brothers, the Egan brothers, Billy Kidd, Bode Miller, Kirsten Clark, and others could really have learned their craft on the bunny hill? I highly doubt it. New England stands tall alongside anything else, saving only in elevation.