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Most Disappointing/Surprising Ski Resorts - Page 2

post #31 of 242
This topic is really cool and I have given it a couple of days thought before I decided to reply. I have been skiing for thirty years now and have had the priviledge of skiing more than my share of areas in the West and in Europe and I can honestly say that I have never been disappointed. Skiing is what it is and I have never been let down by that magical feeling of combining gravity and snow. That said, I don't think I have ever had "surprising" experience at a particular ski resort, but I would like to share my favorite experience at a resort. Back in the late 80's I had the opportunity to ski in the Folgaria region of Italy and it was totally different than any ski experience I ever had in podunk Idaho. The concept of ski circus' was unheard to me and I was fascinated by concept Mom and Pop's little T-bar up a small drainage and the vast number of choices one had once reaching the top. Ski along this ridge to this chute and then ski down to this Mom and Pop lift to access this bowl. The freedom was awesome!!! The sheer number of choices combined with the quaintness (basket lifts that one had to take off ones skis and chase and climb into after the basket came around the bullwheel, T-bars, these were all strange things to the Idaho hick) I remember fondly to this day! Sunshine and friendly attractive people are instant recollections of Fondo Grande and Fondo Picolo, as well speaking to locals more fluent in German than I was. I always found this ironic considering this was Italy, but considering this once part of Austria I guess it is not that significant. Now that my son is becoming a proficient skier I hope to someday share this special area with him, I just hope that world circumstances will allow us to do so safely without fear of harm just because one is from a particular country.
post #32 of 242
As I read through this thread, two examples came to mind, and both are in the state of New Mexico. ..Like most others here, just the thrill of being out on the mountain is enough to 'mask' everything else, but there are always exceptions.

Pajarito was the most delightful surprise I can recall. The day was filled with highlights that all came as distinctive surprises when compared to expectations. I was lucky enough to visit at a time when there was plenty of snow and good preservation characteristics on the mountain. ...I can't recall ever leaving a place with a greater feeling of getting 'more than I bargained for'.

Red River is at the other end of the spectrum. I can't recall skiing any other ski area where I felt EVERYTHING I encountered that day was substandard in relation to expectations. I know they must have better days with enjoyable conditions, but the day I was there I couldn't find anything positive about the area other than the lovely setting for second homes in the town below.
post #33 of 242
Originally Posted by checkracer
I have considered all factors which determine my skiing and this "model" is the best I could find.
It might sound sad but I don´t go skiing to be surprised somewhere. I go to places where I know what to expect because it´s either training or some ski testing. I should be sitting at home with my hip replacement and a knee far from fit but I ski quite a lot. I know my limitations and I can appreciate the value of still being able to do what I do. This means I can´t afford the luxury of skiing in conditions which don´t suit me. Both the hip and the knee have a limited life and I want to use the time I still have - to use it the way I need and not to be surprised. I don´t have time any more to spend it skiing differently than I want and need. That´s the only chance for me to make the best of my skiing.
It´s a choice of mine (the circumstances considered) and one which I prefer.

I may be thinking differently in my next life. I don´t think I will be lucky enough to be a skier again (maybe a rat or something like that) but just in case I would I promise you to become a skier frequenting your resorts and eager to enjoy lots of surprises. Could I appoint you my personal guide then?
Till the end of my present pathetic skiing career I will have to stick to the good resorts I know.
Thanks for your concern. I´m simply less typical... Sorry to have bothered you all with details of my semifunctional body influencing my skiing. :
Well, given those physical limitations, I'd have to agree that your approach makes more sense.

Hell, sounds like you're lucky to still be skiing at all. Party on
post #34 of 242
Originally Posted by Yuki
Never met a hill I didn't like.

Some, I just liked a little less than others.

That's my mindset too. However, to elaborate...

Good surprises/experiences (sorry for repeating others) Wildcat NH - since the entire character-filled mtn is accessible by the one top-to-bottom high speed quad, you could call this place one of the finest single trail pods around; Loveland CO - nice sampling of everything Colorado is famous for, except crowds, expense, and long drive to get there; Kirkwood CA - skis bigger than any 2000' vert hill I've been to, good snow, good challenge, good vibe; Snowbird UT - lives up to its rep, I think of the Wasatch as the pocket Alps, but with better snow and only 30 mins from airport; Snowmass CO - the ultimate intermediate skier's paradise, Aspen Highlands CO - the final chair to the summit is a true spectacle for those visiting from the flatlands, Ski Santa Fe NM - could be one of the neatest destinations in the US for a long weekend by a mixed group of skiers and non skiers - fascinating cultural/art/shopping/culinary atmosphere near good skiing; Smugglers Notch VT - is not just for families, fun varied, uncrowded terrain with convenient base village makes lack of high speed lifts unimportant.

Less good experiences (with caveat: based on limited exposure to each): Whiteface NY - takes lucky conditions or a whole lot of testosterone to enjoy this place; Waterville Valley NH - bland, repetitive, straight down the fall-line runs, enjoyed the Schwendi Hutte; Park City UT - terrain rather like a large Eastern ski area, but nonetheless town is good base for a Utah ski vacation; Heavenly CA - great views, but busy and disjointed.

Like many things in life, the quality of a ski experience can depend on specific conditions or personal mood during a given outing. I can have a blast with good friends and good snow on a 500' vert hill in Virginia. I had a surprisingly fun day cruising at Stratton VT on a weekday with a bunch of burly guys, while not having as much fun with same group the next day at similar Mt. Snow VT - go figure. Enjoyed great on-slope explorations of Killington VT in late Feb with my young children, other times been caught in a frigid madhouse there. Found frustration at Jay Peak VT on a day they inexplicably refused to open the tram to renowned upper mtn terrain. Skiing while ill at Taos NM and Sugarbush VT left me with less than great memories of either of these highly reputed mtns.

As long as I can still buckle my boots I've got to believe the best ski day is yet to come.

PS: I grew up skiing Blue Knob PA and had season pass there for about 15 years. No surprise to see a few favorable comments on it. Facilities are terrible, but terrain is the best south of NY when they've got some natural snow.
post #35 of 242
Originally Posted by checkracer
(ii) negative = disappointments:
Based mostly on one-time experience, hence not representative but still the impressions I have.

St. Anton, Austria (during WChs 2001):
Nor much time to ski, not much snow, crowded. I was as a reporter there, not skier.
Isn't this akin to saying "I went biking in France last week but it was a big dissapointment didn't get much biking in. You see there was this bloke in a yellow jersey cycling with all his mates and loads of people at the side of the road were cheering them on."
post #36 of 242
Bump. Let's keep this great thread going. I need the insight, since, in 25+ years of skiing, I've only been out west once (Steamboat) and Europe once (St Moritz), both more than 20 years ago.
post #37 of 242
Let's see.. surprised:
Copper continues to surprise me. Every season someone shows me something I haven't skied.

Big Sky surprised me. It was a last minute trip and the first time I ever skied out west. We were there for a nice storm.

Keystone continues to frustrate me over and over again. I ski there a few times a season because it's in the my backyard and I can trade comps for it. Just when I think it will satisfy my lowered expections it finds strange and new ways to disappoint me. Perhaps on a powder day there would be parts of the mountain that would be decent, but why would I go there on a powder day? I love the strategy for the Outback: take a bunch of mediocre, intermediate runs and let them get bumped out so you can put a black diamond on the map.

After 5 years of trying to get down there, I finally made it last year. I really expected more, but perhaps the average snow conditions were responsible for that. Overall, my impression was someone took a very cool mountain town and wrecked it by putting in a ski resort. It could be worse; it could be owned by Megaski Corp. Some day I'll go back down there and spend a few days in May - I bet I'll fall in love with the place.
post #38 of 242
Although I'm approaching AARP status and have been skiing just for the last 12 years, the one mountain that will always hold the top pick for me would be Taos. The better skier you are the more you enjoy this great mountain. Truely and enchanted area. Stay in the town of Taos and enjoy the artist commune along with great food and locals...

The other mountains would be Snowmass, great for family and terrain that intermed. will love along with areas that will challenge the best of skiers. Just a few peaks away is Aspen Highlands, expert terrain with one of the most awesome views in Co.
post #39 of 242
Best that I've been to:
Big Sky, MT. Size, no crowds.
Mammoth Mountain, CA. (Finally, went there for the first time this year and saw what I'd been missing out on. You have to see for yourself.)

Resorts I just like a lot:
Alpine Meadows, CA. - size, views, friendly kind of place
Kirkwood, CA. easy access to different terrain
Mt. Bachelor, OR.- situated in the high desert country; its expanded terrain and reliable snow pack.

Biggest Surprises (in a pleasant way)
Red Mt. B.C., Canada Not a large area but great terrain, a little retro and a friendly kind of place.
Mt. Baker, WA ditto usually LOTS of snow
Schweitzer, ID nice mid-sized area
Snowbowl, AZ nice when there is snow
Sierra at Tahoe, CA retro, laid back, with nice trails
Mt. Snow, VT. not on the same scale with Killington and Stowe, but fun.
49 degrees North, WA retro, laid back with long trails for a small area

There is no ski area that I would refuse to go to again. However, ski areas that I have not been not overwhelmed with include:

Killington, VT - the fog, the crowds.
Northstar, CA -the village gauntlet you have to negotiate to get to the lifts, candy wrappers and cans dumped from the ski lifts etc., so-so trails.
Silver Mt. ID- Only single point of access via gondola from parking lot, short trails.
Timberline, OR- limited, mediocre terrain, but hey, you can ski in July.

Some other nice places I've been to that didn't quite make my lists above:

Heavenly, CA.
Squaw Valley, CA.

Beaver Creek Colorado
Brekenridge, Colorado
Copper Mt., Colorado
Keystone, Colorado

Brighton, Utah
Deer Valley, Utah
Park City,Utah

Stowe, Vermont

Places or specific ski areas that I would like to someday visit:

Sugar Bowl, California
Sunday River, Maine
Taos, New Mexico
Mad River Glen, Vermont
Grand Targee, Wyoming

Hokaido, Japan
Are, Sweden
New Zealand

Edited: thought of some more places that I would really like to visit.
post #40 of 242
GOOD: On a local, NJ level, I would say Elk Mountain in PA. Just a great little mountian that seems to make the most of what they have. Yes, they could use another quad! Going west, I still go out to Beaver Creek the week before Christmas every year for a ski school. It has always had good conditions for that time of year and yes, I do enjoy good food from venison chops at Beano's to the buffalo burgers and local micros at the dusty boot (great fries too!) The village is all decked out for Christmas and it is very festive. The Hyatt is outstanding with excellent service and ski-in/out and since it's still pre-season, you can get some great deals, most hotels are 30-50% off. If you go the first week of December you can hang with the pros at the Brids of Prey world cup races.

Bad: Hated K-mart! Don't really care for Hunter MTN either. This one's for Phil- Yes, although I ski there because it's close, Blue Mtn. The mountain that could be so much more if it was managed correctly! 1100' but poorly run and groomed by the hellen-keller grooming team
post #41 of 242
Disappointed: Squaw Valley. Excellent terrain, to be sure, but gosh it gets tracked out quick, and I felt a bit of a bad, overaggressive vibe while there. I've gone there maybe half a dozen times, at least, but still haven't had a good day there, yet.

Vail. I think the $15 parking did it, the ugliness of the village, and somehow it just felt too large, too confusing, and a bit too impersonal to quite appreciate it.

Pleasantly surprised: Whistler. Yeah, I've been terribly lucky with the snow, 9 days, 8 of them powder days, over three seasons. Great village, great terrain, spreads out the crowds quickly, and it seems to exceed my expectations, which are pretty high for a place like that.
post #42 of 242
Velly intrestin' ...

There seems to be a pattern concerning Intrawest Resorts ... basically they are not good. Or at least, not skier's mountains ...
post #43 of 242
Jay Peak, VT - I had heard the hype, but still did not beleive it till I went up there. The onyl reason I went was because I thought I was moving west and wanted to ski some places on the east coast before I left. Didn't hurt that I hit it on a day with a foot of new snow. The wind keeps the tourons away.
Mount Rose, NV - Hit this one on a crappy snow day, but still had fun. Less crowded than other areas.
Powder Mountain, UT - Hitting this little gem, with afordable lift tickets and food on a day with a foot of new snow was one of the highlights of my year 2 years ago.
Brudage, ID - Good terrain for such a small area. Down to earth feel with cheap lift tickets.
Bogus Basin, ID - Same os Brundage but a little bigger.
Holiday Valley, NY - The biggest little mountain I've skied. Cheap lift tickets (I'm sensing a trend here).

Alta/Kirkwood/Jackson/Vail/Silverton/Breck/Steamboat/Targhee - Hard to classify these as surprises, because I knew what to expect, but I love them all.

Heavenly - Crappy lift layout, less snow than other Tahoe areas.
Park City - Diddo
Snowshoe - Not so much dissapointed in the mountain, but the direction it is heading. IW sucks.
Sierra at Tahoe/Northstar - Visited on bad days, it was icy, crowded from the holiday weekend, and I did not see much terrain of intrest there. A lot ofthe runs looked very similar.
Snowbasin - It just didn't rub me the right way. I didn't like the terrain, the snow and I could not find any people skiing there that I would call good. It botheres me when I go to a mountain and I don't see any experts.
Crestted Butte - If there's not enough snow to open the bowls, it feels like an eastern mountain. It's really cold and they should have built it where Irwin Lodge is. I would still like to go back in a year where they have good snow.
post #44 of 242
Originally Posted by DangerousBrian
Isn't this akin to saying "I went biking in France last week but it was a big dissapointment didn't get much biking in. You see there was this bloke in a yellow jersey cycling with all his mates and loads of people at the side of the road were cheering them on."
A nice comparison. I like it!
That´s also why I wrote I was not there to ski. Otoh, fact is that the first week did not have enough snow. I did an interview with Alphand and Zurbriggen who participated in some Carlsberg VIP race at the Rendlbahn. The moment I went a bit higher where there was no snowmaking I found myself on a narrow trail with lack of snow and rocks protruding.
Normally as a skiing visitor I would have tried other parts of the resort and most probably have found something better.
For me it was a disappointment although it was not very typical and the circumstances were very specific.
post #45 of 242
Originally Posted by snowcone
Velly intrestin' ...

There seems to be a pattern concerning Intrawest Resorts ... basically they are not good. Or at least, not skier's mountains ...
I don't know about that..Mammoth is a tremendous place too ski--and it is unquestionably a skier's mountain (and a biker's mountain!). Also, Copper Mtn was the only place I enjoyed during lastt seasons trip to Summit/Eagle County. Both intrawest Joints.

Which Brings Me to my Fav. Surprises and Biggest disappointments


Summit/Eagle County!!! Breckenridge--the Killington of the West!--Bad snow, lame terrain. A-basin-I wanted to love this place badly---but the snow was crappy, and the terrain limited...even the vaunted extreme terrain only adds up to a few hundred acres (the whole joint is only 400-500 acres) of skiing, I've heard others call it the alta of Colorado-I guess they've never been to Alta!--though, I did love the vibe (and cost) of the place. I hear it's the cat's meow for spring skiing. Vail-sure there was some great skiing (Lover's Leap area in the Blue Ski Basin comes to mind-and the bumps on high line) but on the whole it's a hell of a lot of groomer-cruisers...That weren't even well groomed...at almost 80 bucks a ticket and 15$ to park I figured it'd have Deer Valley like opulence and super creamy well tended groomer runs--but instead it reminded me of Mt Snow- Also, Something no one ever mentions about Vail's vaunted back bowls...They're all south facing--they get horrible exposure and except for powder days (when -I admit they must be glorious!) they are chowder/glop thigh burn fests! It was funny, even with some snow, and a nice day there was no one skiing the bowls...after two runs we found out why..YUCK!!! Exposure often counts for more than available terrain and it's the BANE of vail!

Pleasant Surprises:

Copper Mountain-only a surprise because we skied it our last day in Summit/Eagle-it has a fine (and I think well-deserved) reputation as a skiers mountain. Frankly it saved the trip-we had a nice dressing of 4-6 inches fresh and it was just enough to liven this place up.--Great bumps everywhere--the many different exposed bowls (above treeline) lead to quality snow from 8:30 to 4:15pm--quite a show. Plus--it's not that expensive-we parked free and caught the nearby shuttle (which gives you the option of going right to the expert or intermediate or beginner terrain). 69 bucks wasn't so bad for a lift ticket..and get this in their uncrowded lodge we got a large shrimp and turkey wrap, a cookie and a gatorade for the normal price $7.50 (after fighting the crowds of vail for an $11.50 slice of crappy ellio's frozen pizza this was quite a pleasure...at least at deer valley the food my bye way expensive...but it's pretty good gourmet grub!

Powder Mountain: Hit this on a 16 inch powder Day when they had closed the road thru little cottonwood and we couldn't get to Alta--drove the extra hour to find one of the cheapest, best surprises in the skiing world. Fresh snow at 4:00--on a sunday! Unbelievable!
post #46 of 242
I seem to remember that there was a dump of over 6' for the second week of the 2001 WC. The Austrians had to call in the army to remove snow with shovels! It was a good week for Daron Rahlves, ...and Mario Matt, as well!
post #47 of 242

Copper Mtn, Colorado: Good snow, fantastic that the terrain is naturally separated by abilities, traverses weren't bad, the new villiage is pretty nice.


Tahoe / Heavenly: Had a hard time calling this a disappointment. Great terrain to tuck and fly. Got 5 feet of snow the week I was there (mid January 2005)....however...the mountain's full vertical wasn't 'functional' vertical. A pain in the butt to switch between California and Nevada. Mott and Killebrew are often closed. Great glades and great cruising terrain though. It wasn't as crowded as expected either.

Granite Peak, Wis.: Most vert. in the midwest, but the runout at the bottom of the runs was terrible. Good steep runs, but the pitch doesn't last for more than 100 yards. They did have a handful of chutes though. Slow, fixed-grip lifts other than the single 6-pack, which was CROWDED. Difficult to get to the other terrain other than the central section of the mountain. Extortionate lift ticket prices.
post #48 of 242
The Easy question:
What places have really surprised you in being much better than you had anticipated? Why?

Deer Valley: When I first skied there (1995), I expected everything to be low-angle and groomed to perfection. The grooming part is true (everywhere they groom) but there's a lot of really fun skiing there, particularly in the trees.

Bogus Basin: I've only skied there once (about 1975) and it was at night, but boy, did we have fun. I expected a wide, straight ballroom run but their lights made it possible to wander all over.

Snowbasin: I first skied there about 1980. I had heard almost nothing about it, so I had zero expectations. I skied it during a blizzard one day in January and there were - honest to God, Scout's Honor - three cars in the parking lot. I never saw another skier besides a couple of patrollers. It was one of my best days of skiing ever and I've loved Snowbasin on every trip since.

Jackson Hole: I had enormous expectations when I first skied here in 1969 and the mountain exceeded all expectations by light years. That opinion has never changed.

The Harder question:
What Resorts have left you feeling like mom forgot to pack a snack in your lunchbox?

Alta: I know it's blasphemy, but I just don't dig your mountain. Too many traverses, short pitches, and slow lifts. Don't bother trying to change my mind - facts and logic will not sway me. You've got great snow and the best location in the skiing world, but I'll pass.

Telluride: Prettiest town I've ever seen but the only time I skied there (roughly 1975), I thought the ski area sucked. You had to ride five different chairlifts scattered all over the mountain to get to the top. I know they've added lifts and terrain since then, but I've just had no desire to go back.

That's all.
post #49 of 242

Grand Prize: Vail - so much hype, so underwhelming. Back Bowls are probably the most over hyped, over rated "bowls" I've ever seen. Those aren't bowls, they are treeless drainages, barely tilted above intermediate pitch. So over crowded too.

Runner Up: Breckenridge - wind blown above the treeline. Everthing below sucks.

Honorable Mention: All the rest of CO's resorts not named Telluride or Silverton - not enough snow, way too many crowds, too Disneyfied.

EDIT: Oh, yeah how could I forget - Whistler/Blackcomb. How anyone can get over the horrendous snow conditions and list it as good is beyond me. Been numerous times, NEVER had good snow. In fact, it's the WORST snow I've ever skied.

EDIT: One more slight disappointment is Jackson Hole. It aways comes out short on the snow quality before/after I ski Targee. The contrast in quality is amazing.


Grand Prize: Grand Targhee - everytime I go, there is 24"+ of new snow, nobody on the mountain, and those that are aren't amped up over the new snow. Unbelievable beauty too.

Runner up: Las Vegas Ski Bowl - the fact that there is skiing near Las Vegas counts for the suprprise. Skiing was actually OK too (fresh snow during last year's big xmas cycle).

Honorable Mention: Sugar Bowl - best place to ski in all of Tahoe, in my opinion.
post #50 of 242
Great to see the varying opinions here and I would bet that conditions played a major role in peoples choices for areas they've only visited once. With that in mind here are mine


Heavenly: Great views but almost no real beginner terrain (affects the wife's enjoyment) and just didn't do it for me although conditions were good.

Snowshoe: For all the reasons previously mentioned although we get a great military deal and it's the best game in town for a 2 or 3 day midweek trip (wouldn't even think of it on a weekend).


Alpine Meadows: Expectations were high and it surpassed them in every way.
Powder mountain: Your own resort midweek
Squaw: similar reasons to Alpine but having the beginner area up top was great for the wife and the Advanced (not expert) terrain is fabulous.

We'll be giving Big Sky a shot this year and hope it ends up on the pleasant surprise side of the ledger.
post #51 of 242
The Good
Alta, the king of skiing in Utah What more can be said, groomers to hiking and every thing in between. Plus pay a few extra $$ get the Altabird Pass ski both Alta and Snowbird in the same day.

Targhee, all kinds of great terrian, and no people.

Deer Valley, the trees, and glades, and 90% of the public stays on the groomers. Busy at one part of the mtn, go over to Mayflower no body after lunch.

Brundage Mt, Id.
Another little hill but plenty of room to open it up.And NO POEPLE.

The Bad.
PCMR ,The steeps groomers are way to short. Trying to be another DV with all the grooming( crappy) as well as the food. Still get cold burgers, stale bread on sandwhiches. need better up hill transportation from base to top, bring back the 'dola'

The Ugly
Even though i now live a short 5 min drive from Boulder lodge,
Heavenly needs a better lift out of Boulder lodge.
To many flat cat tracks that one must take to get to someplace else. And WAY TO MANY PEOPLE!.
Mtn can go on wind hold often, with a 20 mile breeze, No easy way down to the Califorina Lodge at end of day.
post #52 of 242
Mammoth - I was expecting bad snow and unbearable crowds, but ended up with two feet of powder and manageable crowds. Mammoth has the best lift system of any mountain I've been on. The mountain is huge but it is incredibly easy to get from one side to the other.
Beaver Creek - I was expecting to be bored with the place, but found it to be quite fun. There was some steep stuff there that I couldn't touch.

Breckenridge - The snow stunk and alll the runs felt the same. We left after a few hours and spent the rest of the time at Vail/BC.
Whistler - I found the bottom half of the mountain to be virtually unskiable. I do feel I need to give it another chance, however, because I was very new to the sport at the time.
post #53 of 242
I am surprised by some the the responses in this thread. Many people are pleasantly surprised by DV, and dislike PCMR. No one really mentions The Canyons. To me, this is the best area in Park City for natural conditions, and one of the top three in Utah. It's huge, and has something to offer everone. Sure, Snowbird (my favorite challenging maountain in N. America) is steeper, Alta has better snow, and Snowbasin is less crowded; however, The Canyons has it all: steeps, good snow, great tree skiing, some really nice bowls and small crowds. I am happy to call it my home mountain!!!
post #54 of 242
Originally Posted by Canyons
....No one really mentions The Canyons. To me, this is the best area in Park City for natural conditions, and one of the top three in Utah... ...however, The Canyons has it all: steeps, good snow, great tree skiing, some really nice bowls and small crowds. I am happy to call it my home mountain!!!
To me, as I have said before, this place has two big drawbacks:

1) Poor exposure - You can really see it early and late season. While PCMR & DV have top to bottom skiing with no brown spots, I drive by The Canyons and there is mud all the way down the front face and dirt spots on all the runs that they carved out of the ridge lines. Why they would ever place their base area at the NE corner (facing SW) is beyond me. Even up higher, you end up skiing many of these SE/SW facing pitches to get around the mountain. Yes, the terrain up top is very good, but the real good stuff (OB) is too prone to avalanches to really enjoy (Square Top & Dutch Draw slide anually even with control work).

2) ASC owns the place - what an abomination of a company. I actually went there one summer to plunk down $$$ for a family season pass and no one was around to take our money. I walked around for 45 minutes trying to find anyone who would know where I was supposed to pay, and not one person knew. I went to PCMR and have never returned. They are so far in default on their loans, that I would worry about putting my money down and not having a place to ski that winter.
post #55 of 242
From the perspective of a middlin' intermediate who hasn't skied that many places.

Most disappointing: I agree with those who mentioned Okemo. We went expecting it to be terrific for us. Elbow to elbow crowded, glad I didn't have a wmd or you'd have been reading about me in the papers. Terrain seemed to offer little diversity with little that was challenging, even to us. There are probably some glades and bump runs that would kick my butt, but lots of Southern VT and NH resorts have more interesting terrain.

We were also disappointed in Deer Valley. Again we thought we'd like it better than any UT resort. Lots of nice groomers, great food, and gorgeous bathrooms but we like The Canyons much better.

Positive surprises:

Alta, Alta, Alta. Went there wondering if I shouldn't stay in Park City but left thinking I could die happy never skiing anywhere else. I'm not good enough to get the best of Alta, but the layout lets you venture a bit off the groomed blues into bumps and powder without getting in over your head. We will return.

The Canyons. Seems to get more mixed reviews than almost anywhere. We really liked it. Tons of intermediate terrain and lots of lines that were well beyond my ability to attempt. Downsides -- there are some flat runnouts in spots and learning your way around the area is a bit of a challenge.

Pat's Peak, NH. Not a very big mountain, somewhat flat runnouts, and lifts that could use an upgrade. Don't know why I like it but it just has a real good feel. Simply a friendly place to make a few turns.
post #56 of 242
Canyons and PC seem to be a love / hate for just about evryone. I like both. And can point out many flaws with both.

post #57 of 242
I will add another piece of Tramblaunt that I hated, that whole euro-village theme. I felt as if I was at a Disney version of a ski area, it was soo fake.
post #58 of 242
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
I will add another piece of Tramblaunt that I hated, that whole euro-village theme. I felt as if I was at a Disney version of a ski area, it was soo fake.
When I went to Tramblaunt for a family vacation Feb. 2004, I was fully prepared to hate it. I went because I thought my wife and daughter would enjoy the village. There are alot of problems with the place, too blue, Epcotish village, etc., but I had a better skiing experience then I thought I would. My son and I enjoyed the glads as well as the steeper terrain on the north side and there were certainly more then enough blues that we could all ski together on. I think it's ok for a family vacation.
post #59 of 242
Magic when there's snow - great terrain, true Vt experience.
Mad River Glen - best in the East.

Whistler - no thanks.
Gore Mt - weak
Whiteface - lacks terrain, beautiful views.
post #60 of 242
I wish when I did Utah, the Canyons hadn't jumped the gun and pretty much shut down. It had been a bad winter and they'd gone and sent all their lifties home or something. We had four feet of snow that week. Deer Valley was great, PCMR was great for the most part, Alta was outstanding, Snowbird stank due to fog and difficulty negotiating the place and arrogant snowboarders. But the Canyons was mostly closed. You had to ride down at the end of the day. The part that was open was terrific cruising, but basically the mountain had decided to close about a week early and got caught napping when this dump arrived. I think less than 25% was open.

No matter what you say about PCMR, tho, Park City the town is terrific.
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