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Best scenery @ a ski resort

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
I really love mountain scenery and just getting out in the middle of it is one of the great joys I get from skiing. Coming from the eastern US I don't see enough of the big mtn variety. I'm curious as to what people believe are the most scenic ski resorts they've been to? If you care to offer some suggestions, maybe pick a couple US and a couple non-US and give brief rationale. Thanks.

For me: In western US (only been to CO, NM, UT) I'd say the view of the Maroon Bells off the backside of Aspen Highlands, CO was really nice; in eastern US a pretty day at Wildcat, NH is hard to beat. In Europe the view of the Matterhorn from streets of Zermatt, Switzerland is amazing, seems to blot out a third of the sky. View of Eiger and other mtns around Grindelwald in Jungfrau region of Switzerland will also blow you away.
post #2 of 76
many places come to mind.

view of the lake from heavenly may be a cliche, but it's still easy on the eyes.

and i always enjoy the view on a clear day when downloading on chair 1 @ baldy.

(about the only place i've skied that stands out as NOT having much of a view is park city, utah.)
post #3 of 76
Mt. Bachelor has great views. From the main ski slopes you have a wonderful view of the Three Sisters and the surrounding wilderness areas. From the summit you have a great views of numerous Oregon Cascade mountains and central Oregon.
post #4 of 76
In the east, Holiday Valley NY has great scenery for such a small resort, especially when there's fresh powder
post #5 of 76
Alyaska is great, from the inlet to the mountain ranges.

Lake Louise is also pretty.
post #6 of 76
Le Massif when the ice in the river breaks up.
post #7 of 76
Big Sky/Moonlight, come'on Rio, you're being modest! The views of all the ranges including Lone Mountain is incredible.
post #8 of 76
The most scenic (and initially scary) moment in my life was on Mt. Adams (WA), many years ago. OK, it's not lift served, but it's certainly an area people often ski.

One morning a friend and I had climbed up to about the 9000' level and woke up to low level clouds a few thousand feet below us. These clouds completely obscured the flatlands, but it was crystal clear above, with the beautiful tops of the nearby PNW volcanoes (Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainer) poking through the cloud layer.

Then Mt. St. Helens exploded.

After we realized we weren't in direct danger, weren’t downwind from it, and we finally collected our wits, the scene before us was like one from the primordial earth. With the huge cloud of smoke boiling and towering up from Mt. St. Helens, and seeing only the tops of the low lying clouds below us, I half expected to see a dinosaur or two lumbering up the slope towards us out of the clouds.

It was a sight I'll never forget.

Tom / PM

PS - Considering well known, easy-to-get-to lift served areas, the views around Alta and Snowbird are certainly nothing to sneeze at (at least in my humble opinion).

PS #2 (in edit) - At the other end of the spectrum, a photo of Mt. Kato (MN) that was posted here a year or two ago had to be one of the worst photos of a ski area I have ever seen. Three lifts, perfectly parallel to each other, went over utterly monotonous terrain to the top of this little 240 vert. foot ridge, which was populated entirely by lift shacks and radio towers. Nothing against Mt. Kato, but someone must have a better picture of the area than the one I remember.
post #9 of 76
Originally Posted by Ron
Big Sky/Moonlight, come'on Rio, you're being modest! The views of all the ranges including Lone Mountain is incredible.
The views from Big Sky & Moonlight are great and on par with Mt. Bachelor but Mt. Bachelor is still my favorite for sentimental reasons.

Bridger Bowl has great views from the Ridge of the Crazy Mountains, the Absaroka/Beartooths (the largest collection of mountains over the 10,000 feet in the continental US) and the numerous mountains surrounding Bozeman.....well worth the hike even without taking in to consideration the great skiing up there. BYOB.
post #10 of 76
For the resorts I have been to:
In Europe
Zermatt - the Matterhorn has to be the most photogenic mountain in the world.
Above Wengen, the view of the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau

In North America
Lake Tahoe
Le Massif (got to agree with Comprex about the view of the St Lawrence)
plus for Cross-Country, the trails in Yellowstone.

Physicsman - Awesome story about Mt St Helens - I saw it about a year after it blew and there were still puffs of smoke rising from the caldera.
post #11 of 76
Ok I HAVE to get to switzerland one day. I need to see the Matterhorn. Oh and awesome story PM. I've been to Flagstaff a few times (never skied Snowbowl though. I was there in the summer) and the views of the San Francisco Peaks are awesome however they say if you catch it on a clear day you can see the Grand Canyon from the peak - cant beat that!
post #12 of 76
Originally Posted by PA Ridge Racer
......however they say if you catch it on a clear day you can see the Grand Canyon from the peak - cant beat that!
Unfortunately, you catch a slight glimpse of the far edge....and even that might just be your mind playing tricks on you. The view from the top does have a stark beauty to it. If the air is clear you can see for miles.
post #13 of 76
Thats it? Thats a big disappointment then. I was thinking, from what I have read, you could see more of it. But yeah theres nice scenery anyway.
post #14 of 76
post #15 of 76
Originally Posted by PA Ridge Racer
Thats it? Thats a big disappointment then. I was thinking, from what I have read, you could see more of it. But yeah theres nice scenery anyway.
Its like looking at any hole from a distance. You can see how wide the hole is but you have no idea about its depth or what's in it.
post #16 of 76
Lake Louise;

post #17 of 76

Favorite View

Telluride - See Forever from the top of lift 14. 12,250'
post #18 of 76
I have to agree with the comment about Maroon Belles behind Snowmass being so awesome. Whether the view is from Elk Camp, Aspen Highlands, or the easily accessible gondola station on top of Aspen mountain, it is one that is hard to beat anywhere in the continental US.

PM's story is one of a kind, and does bring up the issue of weather conditions. I have always felt that anytime you get above low hanging clouds where you can see pristine peaks protruding through that delicate fluffiness, it will be magic. I have only seen it a half dozen times or so, but whether it has been the Canadian rockies, the high Sierra, the Elborz, or the high country of Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah; it always leaves an impression that 'normal' mountain scenes just don't seem to be able to stack up against.
post #19 of 76
There's something to be said for the views found at ski areas located above desert locales... Brian Head, UT and Santa Fe, NM come to mind. Red rocks, green trees, and white snow are a nice combination.
post #20 of 76

Santa Fe?

works for me.

photo by "Jersey L'Orange"
post #21 of 76
It's hard to say which I prefer between Sunshine Village and Lake Louise in Banff. Both are amazingly beautiful. I'd probably give the edge to Sunshine Village because it's at a higher elevation and you feel like you're on another planet. Here's the picture I have as my wallpaper:


In the U.S., I like Alta. I haven't skiied Tahoe, but it was pretty in the summer.
post #22 of 76
I can't think of a view I didn't like. But here are a few that immediately come to mind:

Jackson Hole in January during an inversion, when there is a bank of clouds below you and the jagged tips of the mountains are peaking through. You feel like you're floating above the world. And then, as the clouds recede, more and more of the mountains are visible until you see the narrow flat plain that’s spliced by the winding Snake River. And it hits you how wild everything is here still. Jackson and its surrounding wilderness are part of the 1.7-million-acre Bridger-Teton National Forest and adjacent to Grand Teton National Park, so there's little impact left by man.

I agree with Telluride, the contrast between red rock desert and snow-covered granite peaks is breathtaking.

Big Sky when you're either looking into the backcountry or looking up from the village at towering Lone Peak.

Marmot Basin, Jasper National Park, Canada, when you look anywhere. Again, being surrounded by a national park is pretty awe-inspiring because everything is so vast.

My home mountain, Jay Peak, VT, on a clear day--that would be April most likely, but maybe a frigid 20-below day in January!--when you can see 360 degrees: Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks of NY, Stowe, Sugarbush and MRG, Camel's Hump, The Presidentials in NH including Mt. Washington, Burke Mt., Lake Memphramagog, and Owl's Head, Mt. Sutton and Montreal in Quebec.
post #23 of 76
Oh, and anywhere in the Cottonwood Canyons of Utah.
post #24 of 76
I love the views from most places.

If I'm skiing, it's all good, seriously.
post #25 of 76
Thread Starter 
Enjoying comments. Concur with jamesd; desert&snow views impressed me at Ski Santa Fe. Took note of the other suggestions like telluride, le massif, banff (great shot of sunshine village). I'm resolved to visit all; if not in this life, maybe the next.
post #26 of 76

I'm just kind of surprised...

...no one has mentioned Telluride?

The view as you come into town-proper is pretty amazing.

Edit: oops - I just noticed a couple of you *have* mentioned Telluride. As Emily once said, "Never mind".

post #27 of 76
"For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!"

The most beautiful mountain in the world is the one you are skiing right now!
post #28 of 76
hey rquick,

banff looks like it rocks ! getting above the clouds, lots of trails, isolated. all good, but how long is the ride up the lift to where you can actually start skiing ? and how long does the line get to get on the one lift up to the mountain get ?(looks like it may take 30 minutes to get from the base to the trails.
and last, can you ski all the way down to the base ?
post #29 of 76
There is a view of Hurricane Ridge from the observation area on the northern tip of the Olympic Penninsula that is absolutely stunning. Lying south across the valley is the aforementioned horseshoe shaped range with glaciers and crags galore. To the north across the water you can see some of the San Juans and Vancouver Island. Back east on a clear day, Mt. Ranier with the Cascades marching up into Canada. It is breathtaking. To add to the attraction, over the ridge behind the observation area is a small(from what I could see) ski area with a tbar that I would love to check out some winter if it is still operational. I couldn't tell since I saw it in the summer. If anyone knows the name of it or if it is still operating I would appreciate a heads up 'cause I would make a point of getting there the next time I skied in the PNW. Hill looked smallish, but in that locale size would hardly matter!


p.s. The view on one of those rare bluebird days from Mary's Nipple at Grande Foggee(Targhee) of the the backcountry and the Tetons off the backside of the resort doesn't suck either.
post #30 of 76
Originally Posted by joel
There is a view of Hurricane Ridge from the observation area on the northern tip of the Olympic Penninsula...
I presume you mean the Hurricane Ridge observation area, not some beach down at sea level that happens to stick out a bit further north than the rest of the peninsula?

In any case, if you liked the view from the Hurricane Ridge observation area, go about about 5 mi E of Port Angeles, and then head south on the Deer Park / Blue Mountain Rd. Go all the way to its end (ie, past the primative campground), and then walk the remaining one or two hundred vert feet to the very top of the ridge. From there, you can look down a steep chute that seems to go right into the ocean, and if the weather is right, there will be clouds below your feet, being driven vertically up the chute towards you by the prevailing winds. Depending on your tastes, clouds moving vertically instead of horizontally can be either exhilarating or vertigo-inducing.

Vertigo or not, I consider the view from this point better than what you see from Hurricane Ridge, and a wonderful place to commune with nature, but my personal opinion is that these views are not quite as good as some of the other places that people have mentioned in this thread. IMHO, the other mountains seem "far away" from either Blue Mountain or Hurricane Ridge. I like my mountains up close and personal.

BTW, the Deer Park Road is much less developed than the "Hurricane Ridge Road" and is long (17 mi) and very curvy (no RV's, etc.), but it's definitely worth it. Also, its a great way to get away from all the turons on Hurricane Ridge.

Tom / PM

PS - Sorry for the minor thread detour - Deer Park / Blue Mountain is not a lift served ski area, but lots of people skin up the road in the winter and have a blast playing in alpine environment at the top.
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