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Help With My Dream List

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Here's the deal: I have been skiing for 41 years. I fancy myself fairly expert in most conditions. I dislike ski places with large crowds and lots of shopping and apres ski action. I figure if I've got enough energy left for apres ski, I haven't skied hard enough. I like smaller, challenging areas that don't have all the glitz. I've skied all over the Pacific Northwest and have made a good dent on interior BC. I'm looking for some good smaller areas in the Rockies and/or the Sierra for a trip. I looked at Snow Bowl and some other Montana places that seemed promising. Any overlooked gems out there that are not linked up with destination resorts? I don't need creature comforts beyond a bed and food.

Please, share your wisdom!
post #2 of 19
Silverton or Snow King? Silverton gets a lot of deserved press, but I think Snow King in Jackson is pretty nifty and relatively unknown (how many local ski hills have that many double blacks?!) In Colorado, I'd say Loveland, Monarch, and Durango Mtn Resort (Purgatory) are decently sized and offer great terrain.
post #3 of 19
Simple choice: Grand Targhee
post #4 of 19
I take it you've already been to Silver Mountain?
post #5 of 19
Powder Mtn in Utah....I haven't been there but from what I've read, Silverton has to be the single most difficult "ski area" in existence.

I had a blast at Snow King with over a foot of fresh powder....
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by rquick
I take it you've already been to Silver Mountain?
Do you mean Silver Star? Yes, I've been there. I liked the back side. Lots of good steep stuff.
post #7 of 19
You mentioned some promising places in Montana and I want to make sure you have Discover Basin (near Anaconda) on your list. It's one of my favorite places. Down home with nicely pitched runs on the front side and wicked steeps off the back. I have many wonderful memories from my days spent skiing there.
post #8 of 19
I think rquick was actually referring to Silver Mountain located in Kellog, Idaho. It would be on your way to Montana if you take I-90.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by lifer
I think rquick was actually referring to Silver Mountain located in Kellog, Idaho. It would be on your way to Montana if you take I-90.
Thanks for setting me straight. I've been raising 2 kids and have not been able to stray far from home. They're now old enough that I can start taking off and living my ski dreams a bit. Idaho is about 300 miles from here and now it's getting withing reach, finally.
post #10 of 19
Hit Kirkwood, just south of Lake Tahoe if you can make it down there. Forget about Heavenly and all the other destinations, Kirkwood attracts all the hardcore Tahoe locals and has the best and most snow by far of the Sierra. Ranked up with Squaw as far as steeps go, and with a small, uncrowded and relatively undeveloped base village you wouldn't be disappointed. Look them up at
post #11 of 19
The most interesting I can think of would be to take a trip to the southern rockies and concentrate on Silverton Mtn, Wolf Creek, Taos, and Pajarito.
...All with differing personalities, and certainly not on the 'radar screens' of the big advertisers.
post #12 of 19

Second vote for Wolf Creek

The place is great. Secluded, high altitude, tons of snow, great terrain. Not a hotel, condo or chalet in sight. No lodging at the ski area, just one tiny day area. Slow lifts, nice steep hike to terrain and killer views. We stay in Southfork, theres not a single traffic light in the town. One restaurant, "The Hungry Logger." How can you go wrong with a name like that? If youre actually looking for civilization try Pagosa Springs on the other side of the pass...but who needs civilization!?
post #13 of 19
A road trip through Southwest Montana would be very doable from where you live and would be a blast. Here is a thread I wrote for people heading to the ESA this year. If you have time I would add Maverick Mountain outside Dillon, Lost Trail south of Missoula and Showdown near White Sulphur Springs to the list of possible places to try.
post #14 of 19
I second the Grand Targhee nomination. The snow is great and you have a lot of it to yourself. With the deals they run, the slopeside lodging is also quite affordable.
post #15 of 19
I spent a couple of days at a small place just outside of Red Lodge, MT, called Red Lodge. Mostly intermediate terrain, but there was one steep drainage that I had practically to myself the whole time. They were talking about puttin in a lift on the mountain's back side, which looked pretty inviting too. Seemed like everyone there except for me and my friend were locals. Plenty of cheap lodging and a decent bar or 2 in town.

Targhee is fun, hell it is a great place, and it has a steep enough pitch to have fun, but I wouldn't call it a great mountain for an expert.
post #16 of 19
How about Bridger Bowl MT, Alpine Meadows CA, Wolf Creek and Loveland CO.

Larger but not quite destinations yet: Snowbasin UT, Big Mtn MT
post #17 of 19
Whitewater and Red Mountain in interior B.C. Sugar Bowl in north Lake Tahoe/Truckee area. Brundage Mountain, Idaho maybe? Just get a listing of western ski areas and look for the ones with the fewest high speed chairs and least slopeside lodging.
post #18 of 19
I was going to mention the two glademaster led with but I assume you may have already hit them. You might want to try castle near Pincher Creek Alberta and near Fernie as well. A little further afield for you but worth it from all reports.
post #19 of 19
For some serious skiing you owe it to yourself to try Europe. I know the exchange rate is not in your favour at the moment but here are a few places to put on your dream list:
La Grave, Alagna, St Anton, Chamonix, Verbier.

All of these offer you some seriously challenging skiing (you will need a guide for sure) at three times the vertical you get at Silverton. Yes, I tried Silverton last season and got bored after 2 days.
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