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Best runs in North America

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Here is your chance to speak up for you favorite runs and share some of your experiences with the rest of us.

Please feel free to nominate your favorite runs for best run on the continent. The nominees will be put into a poll to determine what are the best runs based on our membership response.

The categories are:

1.Beginner run for learning

2.Beginner run for cruising

3.Intermediate run for cruising(groomed)

4.Advanced run for cruising(groomed)

5.Mogul run

6.Challenging Expert run

7.Serious powder run

8.The extreme!!

Please feel free to comment on other categories if these don't fit your viewpoint!
post #2 of 20
Alright, I'm not so good at remembering the names of the runs, but I'll give it my best.

5.Mogul run - Mary Jane. 'nuff said.

6.Challenging Expert run - Most of the stuff off the Supreme Lift at Alta. The Cirque at Snowbird.

7.Serious powder run - Hobacks at Jackson. Wildcat Area at Alta. Ok, anything in this picture, and the same distance to the left!

8.The extreme!! - S&S @ Jackson Hole. 70 foot drop into a tight chute, makes Corbet's look like a easy run! Its the only one that I can think of that many people have seen, most of this kind of stuff is not in the main areas of ski resorts (at least that we can get to).

Its the chute on the left of this picture, the right is Corbet's. You will need to check with the ski patrol before thinking about skiing it.

[ August 09, 2002, 01:18 PM: Message edited by: AltaSkier ]
post #3 of 20
1.Beginner run for learning
Xscape Snozone indoor slope, Milton Keynes

2.Beginner run for cruising
Borsat - Val d'Isere (take it all the way down on Verte to La Daille) Espace Killy piste map

3.Intermediate run for cruising(groomed)
Start at the top of Showcase on Blackcomb glacier. Stay high to the right, make your way along the track, then down Rock N Roll, and keep going till you hit Merlins bar at the base. (A great end-of-day run)

4.Advanced run for cruising(groomed)
Sleeper on Mary Jane - not too steep, but good fun.

5.Mogul run
-Alta, while Mary Jane has some of the best, my favourite is Pioneer Express Trail (Winter Park)

6.Challenging Expert run
West Headwall, Vasquez Cirque, Winter Park. (well, it's the most difficult run I've ever done!)

7.Serious powder run
Favourite (not particularly difficult) off 7th Heaven on Blackcomb

8.The extreme!!
Aiguile du Midi, Chamonix (haven't done it yet, but maybe one day)

Sorry for not sticking to North America.

post #4 of 20
Originally posted by Wear the fox hat ?:
1.Beginner run for learning
Xscape Snozone indoor slope, Milton Keynes

3.Intermediate run for cruising(groomed)
Start at the top of Showcase on Blackcomb glacier. Stay high to the right, make your way along the track, then down Rock N Roll, and keep going till you hit Merlins bar at the base. (A great end-of-day run)

7.Serious powder run
Favourite (not particularly difficult) off 7th Heaven on Blackcomb
Don't believe him folks.

1. Is a nightmare after one lesson when the 'snow' becomes deep gloop and then is further chopped up by ski boots and tobogganists. And it's too steep.
Best in UK You betcha!

3. Blackcomb glacier. Be prepared for a leg burner on the traverse (high and on the right). The track is ok unless it's icy or hardpack. A narrow track full of intermediates reduced to trying to snowplough (doesn't work) The track to Excelerator is a boring (definitely cruising)cat track shared with snowboarders. ROCK & ROLL is worth it and Guitar Doug at Merlin's makes you forget all your troubles.

7. Watch the hidden rocks. Foot deep powder and a double 9" core shot. The trees down to 7th Heaven Chair are great in powder for upper intermediates; 50yds then a widening followed by more trees etc. Not long enough individually to eat too much bark. Mostly tree tops so just smell the pine.

4. Expert Cruiser: Tuck the Dave Murray and recover in Dusty's.

5. My favourite Mogul run is Arthur's Choice at Whistler on Blackcomb mountain. It's in the trees so no cheating.



Seppos on Whistler mountain. Unfrequented under the gondola (unpisted). For the nutters it also gives access to Tower 27 jump. That's banned. I have seen a snowboarding jacket hanging from the top of one of the trees. Check it out from the Whistler Gondola.


'A line' when it is open just below Olympic station on the way back to Whistler there's an entrance to the trees by a birch tree on the left. Not marked except by two poles and often closed. Not on map. A luge track with rollers. Best for kids. All (adults and kids) should wear helmets and adults can take off on the rollers. Just make sure the track wasn't turning left or right at that moment!! Continues over the piste into the trees on other side (changes its name).

The Castle on Blackcomb.
A medieval castle in the woods with two slides, a portcullis type entrance and a rampart. Fun for kids and adults. Quietest in the week. Manic at weekends with hundreds of laughing kids.
post #5 of 20
We are just nominating lift-served and in-bounds? Because otherwise probably 6, likely 7 and *definately* 8 are off-piste!
post #6 of 20
Thinking of favorite steeps, (not a winter picture but one of only ones I can find right now) has me fondly remembering Saddleback mountain in SW CO where we did a LOT of skiing because it was in our front yard.

This photos is taken from near our house at our familys old ranch at the base of Wolf Creek pass. Thats US-HWY 160 you see dividing the ranch property.

We could snowmobile up the backside behind the face you see, and then just have to hike for 10 minutes (straight up) to access the peak and then pick a descent on the front side that you see in this photo. We explored most of those chutes and faces over the years.

Rode slides down a couple of them, took some tremendous tumbles, some hero runs and had a lot of dangerous fun.

One incident: A friend (now retired instructor) once was traversing above the "pyramid" (upper right hand side) and slipped and fell probably 200+ft (really! -- look at the size of that face!) into 5ft of really steep powpow at the base of it which then fractured and slid *fast* another 500 ft down until where you see the trees get really dense.

We **KNEW** he was dead, and were talking about where the body must be when we suddenly see his head (tiny below us) pop up out of the snow and he stood up and was fine. (Later said it was "kinda wild"). That was one of many stupid and/or Epic moments I wish we had on film just from Saddleback.

Oh . . . sorry for rambling, feeling nostalgic for the years living at the Ranch now!

post #7 of 20
I'm going to make this a little interesting by confining it to the Los Angeles area.
1.Beginner run for learning
The Inspiration area at Big Bear Mtn. is long wide and flat. Add to that some learning terrain features, a poma, magic carpet, and decent rental boots & skis, and you have an ideal learning situation.

2.Beginner run for cruising
The top of Mtn. High East has excellent green runs. Being at a decent altitude, beginners don't have to cope with the crappy snow conditions often found on greens. Really nice view. Unfortunately, I think that it is going to be a terrain park next season.

3.Intermediate run for cruising(groomed)
Silver mtn. at Big Bear Mtn. May be too steep in spots for alot of inters, but the great snow conditions and lack of crowds make up for that.

4.Advanced run for cruising(groomed)
Geronimo at Big Bear mtn. Generally terrible snow conditions, BUT you can easily reach terminal velocity here. Give in to the temptaion to straightline it. Watch out for heelside slipping snowboarders on the lower part.
Runner-up: Rattlesnake at Snowcrest. Steep and narrow with the fall line changing 4 times, it is truly nutty fun. Tough to look good on.

5.Mogul run
Face of Waterman, at Mt. Waterman. A long and sometimes scary catwalk keeps intermediates and most snowboarders out of the top half. There you will find a true rarity: big bumps on a 45 degree slope that are NOT panic bumps. Easier than they look. Hey, even I can look good on them! A northwest exposure means pucker bumps in the morning, ego bumps in the afternoon. Bonus: the bumps go right into the liftline, for even more excitement.

6.Challenging Expert run
The whole chair 1 area at Mt. Baldy is chock full of great lines. Surprisingly steep, especially the south facing runs, which are seldom open because, well, they face south. :
7.Serious powder run
South bowl at Mt. Baldy. Keep traversing to skier's left until you find freshies. May require a bit of uphill on the return trail. A relatively sheltered bowl with lots of trees mean the snow stays good for a couple of days after a storm.
Runner ups: Out of bounds areas at Snowcrest. For some reason, Snowcrest gets the lightest snow in the LA area. A definite difference, but you have to walk back up hwy 2 to get back to the lifts, unless you can thumb a ride.

8.The extreme!!
There is some hike-to stuff at Baldy that could qualify, but if you really want to scare yourself, consider going to Mtn. High West on a holiday weekend. Top to bottom hits and sliders featuring scraped ice, and massive crowds made up of 90% teenage novice snowboarders with urban attitudes. A new high speed quad shoots the pucker factor up even higher. Yikes! :
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
All inbounds skiing and designated as a ski run by the given ski area. I don't see how we can keep it manageable otherwise. --This isn't intended to highlight the 'wildest' places we can come up with, but poll the group for an indication of the best places out there. Hopefully there will be something to be learned from it.

THANKS!! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #9 of 20
I like the topic Feal, not sure I can decide myself - but will enjoy reading it.

But just a point, in case the "wildest places we can come up with" was a response to my previous ramble . . . that was my *FRONT YARD*, I can come up with much wilder places, that was a great place but I talked about due to nostalia as much as anything as I pointed out in the response.
post #10 of 20
Will name two places on the upper end of the questions in the U.S.A.

Lest we forget . . . the steepest (averaged over whole mountain) lift served area in the United States is Taos, NM. So that might cover a couple of the catagories.

Then - powder is measured not just by how much you get, but by how quickly it gets tracked out. Wolf Creek, CO gets huge snow and no crowds - except on holidays like everyplace. And even then it is unique because most high snowfall areas have a major population center nearby, and lots of hardcore local skiers tracking things up quickly. Wolf Creek has a tiny local population, and nearly all its business comes from flatlanders who can't handle steeps with powder.

So when you get several inches or feet of fresh . . . and be skiing fresh tracks all day, in fact midweek the steeps still won't be tracked out for *several days*, pretty different from the racing to get some fresh tracks which what happens on big snow mornings at nearly every other ski area.
post #11 of 20
6.Challenging Expert run



You either know the run, in which case no further explanation is needed or you don't, in which case no explanation will suffice.

[ August 10, 2002, 08:10 PM: Message edited by: nakona ]
post #12 of 20
3a. Intermediate run (any type)

Blackcomb glacier. The glacier itself is mainly intermediate pitched terrain, but ungroomed. There are many steeper approaches in, though (e.g., via Spanky's ladder, etc.). The runout at the end is boring, but the glacier is so fun it makes it worthwhile!
post #13 of 20
2) Beginner run, cruising: Homerun @ Park City
You get to ski from the top to the bottom, and it's wide with a gentle pitch.

3) Intermediate cruiser: Stump Alley @ Mammoth
Fun City. Good warmup. Couple nice rolls in the carpet

4) Advanced Cruiser: Franz's to Lower Franz's @ Whistler
You can get some real speed, fly a few rollers and end up Creekside for a beer or two before heading back up.

5 and 6) From the top @ Mammoth
Steep and bumped. See you in the spring.
post #14 of 20
From my limited CO & UT experience (no offense but I cant include any Socal runs/ areas)
The categories are:

1.Beginner run for learning-Easy Street-Solitude

2.Beginner run for cruising-See above & Crooked Mile @ alta(mom lovs it)

3.Intermediate run for cruising(groomed)-sneakys-Snowmass

4.Advanced run for cruising(groomed)-Grizzly downhill @ snowbasin

5.Mogul run While I feel there is no such thing as a good mogul run, Aspen-Ridge of Bell. good bumps made by good skiers (caveat, may have gone to hell now that the sideways people can go)
& all of Birds of prey @ Beaver

6.Challenging Expert run: Sod buster-Aspen Highlands

7.Serious powder run-Greely- Alta

8.The extreme!!-Inbounds & patrolled?,
Aspen Highlands bowl. Pick a line
post #15 of 20
OK I'm afraid I am going to be seriously non-conformist. Hope you don't mind. The problem is, I know the best run on the planet and it features in almost every category with the exception of the beginner ones.

Kicking Horse Mountain, top to bottom, has the most varied terrain I've ever skied in one resort, let alone a run serviced by one lift! From the top you can take your choice of steep and deep bowl faces, tree lined ridges or rocky billy-goat madman kind of stuff (oh, there's also a 10km blue all the way down).

Through the mid section of the mountain you can go for wide open waist deep powder fields (champagne powder, face shots every turn etc), narrow (ie jump tunr narrow) corridors through the forest, or open corduroy motorway cruisers.

There is so much on the mountain that every taste is catered for. I recommend that you check it out soon. This year there's a new lift opening up, giving access to even more great skiing.

post #16 of 20
Originally posted by Johnny Boy:
Kicking Horse Mountain, top to bottom, has the most varied terrain I've ever skied in one resort, let alone a run serviced by one lift!

I'm there: February 17 and 18.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the good posts guys!! Here are the ones I have noted to be in the poll:

1.Beginner run for learning - Snowflake, Monarch Ski Area, Colorado
(Real good snow, natural bowl type ski area with the beginner area center stage, and most of the lift served skiing returning to the beginner area.)

2.Beginner run for cruising - Ute, Sunlight Ski Area, Colorado
(Very good sweeping run with options for many variances in the terrain, or just an easy run down the mountain.)

3.Intermediate run for cruising - Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Village, Alberta
(Top of the world feeling, consistently crisp snow, and a location in a national park that keeps the crowds at bay.)

4.Advanced run for cruising - Ptarmigan, Lake Louise, Alberta
(Plenty wide, good pitch, and well groomed for all the speed a junkie needs.)

5.Mogul run - Paradise Bowl, Lake Louise, Alberta
(I'm not a moguls skiier, but it is longer than any mogul field I want to get on again!)

6.Challenging expert run - Never done one!
(The words expert and challenging bring to mind something steep with sierra cement all over it. -- Like KT-22 at Squaw Valley.)

7.Serious powder run - Crazy Horse, Grand Targhee, Wyoming
(At least that is what I think the run was. White-out with 15 feet visibility and hip deep powder so light there was no was I was going to ever get on top of it!)

8.The extreme!! - Delirium Dive, Sunshine Village, Alberta
(The name says it all!!)
post #18 of 20
Kicking Horse looks fun! Of course anybody who "KNOWS the best run on the planet" must have skied all the other millions of others . . . amazing! I'm jealous!
post #19 of 20
OK OK so maybe I was a bit rash, but it's the best run I've skied and I can't imagine how it could get any better.

Outside of that one, I've enjoyed the following (yes I know these are european runs but that's what I tend to ski. sorry):

BUMP RUN - The Wall in Avoriaz. Nicknamed the Widowmaker for good reason. Starts with a drop in of anything up to 6 foot, into shoulder high bumps on a steep pitch funneling into a narrow ski out - at which point you cross the border into Switzerland. Also - surprisingly enough - the Tiger at Glenshee can be a real knee popper when the snow is good.

POWDER RUN - outside of KH, if you go up Signal T at Val D'Isere and then the next lift up to the top, there is a great off piste powder all the way back down accessible by a short hike. I bumped into a local guy up there who showed me it. He kicked my ass all the way down before revealing he was 75. Hmm...

CRUISERS - There is a lot of cruisy type runs at Les Arcs but the red down from La Saulire skier's right at Courchevel is wide, steep and fast. Brings tears to the eyes.

EXTREME - go to Chamonix, spend a few extra euros and get yourself some top tickets for les grands montets. Pick a line, any line...


[ August 15, 2002, 04:08 AM: Message edited by: Johnny Boy ]
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
OK guys, here is what we have so far. There is still a lot of stuff not mentioned. If you see something that has been missed and would like to see it in a poll, feel free to add in.


Easy Street, Solitude, Utah
Inspiration, Big Bear, California
Snowflake, Monarch, Colorado


Crooked Mile, Alta, Utah
Easy Street, Solitude, Utah
Homerun, Park City, Utah
It's a 10, Kicking Horse, British Columbia
Mtn. High East, Mtn. High, California
Ute, Sunlight, Colorado


Andy's Encore, Copper Mountain, Colorado
Blackcomb Glacier, Whistler, British Columbia
Bull Run, Snowmass, Colorado
Franz's - Lower Franz's, Whistler, British Columbia
Showcase-R'n'R-Merlins, Whistler, British Columbia
Silver Mtn., Big Bear Mtn., California
Sneaky's, Snowmass, Colorado
Stump Alley, Mammoth, California
Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Village, Alberta


Dave Murray-Dusty's, Whistler, British Columbia
Geronimo, Big Bear Mtn., California
Grizzly Downhill, Snowbasin, Utah
Ptarmigan, Lake Louise, Alberta
Sleeper, Winter Park, Colorado


Face of Waterman, Mt. Waterman, California
Mary Jane, Winter Park, Colorado
Paradise Bowl, Lake Louise, Alberta
Pioneer Express, Winter Park, Colorado
Ridge of Bell, Aspen, Colorado
Upper Mountain, Mammoth, California


Chair 1, Mt. Baldy, California
C.P.R. Ridge, Kicking Horse, British Columbia
KT-22, Squaw Valley, California
Paradise, Mad River Glen, Vermont
Sod Buster, Aspen Highlands, Colorado
So Long, Alta, Utah
The Cirque, Snowbird, Utah
West Headwall-Vasquez Cirque, Winter Park,Colorado


Alberta Peak, Wolf Creek, Colorado
Crazy Horse, Grand Targhee, Wyoming
Greeley, Alta, Utah
Hobacks, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
My Blue Heaven, Kicking Horse, British Columbia
Seventh Heaven, Whistler, British Columbia
South Bowl, Mt. Baldy, California
Wildcat Area, Alta, Utah


Corbets Couloir, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
CPR Ridge, Kicking Horse, British Columbia
Delirium Dive, Sunshine Village, Alberta
Highlands Bowl, Aspen Highlands, Colorado
Mtn. High West, Mtn. High, California
The Ridge, Taos, New Mexico


[ August 18, 2002, 11:49 AM: Message edited by: feal ]
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