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Minimum Vertical Rise

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys,
I'm just looking to see what everyone feels is a minimum amount of vertical rise for them to consider a resort to be good. For instance, I've read a lot of good things about Mt Rose on these boards, but the vertical is only 1800ft.

Personally, I would say a resort should have at least 2000ft of skiable vertical. What do you think?
post #2 of 25
Guess it depends on your geography and how desperate you are!!

Some folks *Cough*Fox*Cough* even ski INdoors!
post #3 of 25
post #4 of 25
I think we've discussed this before, and the conclusion was- it depends.

I'd take a lift that served up 800' of steep, consistent, fall line over 1600' of flatness. So, it's not only the quanity, but the quality.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by zion zig zag
I'd take a lift that served up 800' of steep, consistent, fall line over 1600' of flatness. So, it's not only the quanity, but the quality.
But, you wouldn't likely travel very far to a resort that had just 800' of steeps.

So assume the terrain is good and steep (or treed or whatever kind of terrain you like), what is the minimum vert.
post #6 of 25
Yeah, def. depends where.

If I'm driving 2 hours each way or less, anything with snow is fine.

4+ and I want 1500'-2000'

Plane trip demands 2k+.
post #7 of 25
I think 1600 would have to do it, but you know a lot of advertised vertical isn't really skiable vertical. Most resorts measure from the lowest lift to the highest summit. Those two points could be on different peaks and not connectible. Also, many that are skiable as the full advertised vertical require two lift rides to get back up to the top again. So, when I say 1600, it would have to be easily repeatable vertical, not the advertised statistic.
post #8 of 25
I usually have to stop for breath after about 300 feet of vert, so the ideal would be 300 ft. Then I could get back on a lift and catch my breath on the way up. Small is beautiful.
post #9 of 25
1000' would do it for me (Deer Valley) if it has a nice susatained pitch, but more is better
post #10 of 25
As many have said before, I'd take a smaller vertical w/ the right terrain & snow combo over big vert. I know I'm an unashamed Alta homer, but I'd take that 2,000 (2,500 from the top of Baldy) over Whistler/Blackcomb's 5000+ vert anyday, especially since the last 1/2 is pure slop anyway.

BTW jgiddyup: DV has a maximum sustained vert of 2,000' from the top of Bald Mt. to the bottom of Mayflower.

post #11 of 25
Mad River's 1950 is pretty good. The whole thing skis, plenty big enough to kick my sorry a$$.

Jiminy is 1100 and it's all groomed out. High speed lift lets you get lots of vertical but not much can happen with that scale. It really is quite dull. 1100' of terrain would be a good time.
post #12 of 25
Originally Posted by FRAU
Guess it depends on your geography and how desperate you are!!

Some folks *Cough*Fox*Cough* even ski INdoors!

Who are you calling "desperate"?

Open all year from 8am to 11pm, always a steady temp, just below freezing...

50ft of vertical.
post #13 of 25
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe
Mt Rose on these boards, but the vertical is only 1800ft.

Personally, I would say a resort should have at least 2000ft of skiable vertical. What do you think?

Your right Mt.Rose sucks, little bitsy place. Two High speed Sixer's that only take 3.5 Min to get you up that 1800Ft. Ski into the chutes and look down between your skis @ 1500Ft of 50+ Deg pitch clear to the bottom. Not a single flat spot to obstruct the view of where you will slide too when you fall.

And a couple of groomers that go strait down 1800Ft Almost a waist of time? Only takes a little over a minute to rail to the bottom.

post #14 of 25
Yeah MTT, Mt Rose sure sounds like a lousy place to ski. Is there any way to pick up that place and plunk it down here in Western PA, snow and all? I doubt I'd ever leave the state.

Joe, the thing I look for when wondering how a big vertical drop skis is the number of lifts you need to ride to access all of that vertical.
post #15 of 25
I agree, Mt Rose is horrible, how can they sleep at night knowing they are ripping people off all Sept for those $299 season passes Tahoe resorts in general have smaller verticle (even KT-22 is only 2000 feet), but the terrain, as well as lots of high speed lifts seems to make up for it. I personally love Whistler too, but it's true that I rarely ski the lower mountain, so to say it has 5000+ feet of verticle isn't really true. One of the the things I love about Sun Peaks in BC is when conditions are right, you can ski the entire 2900ft of verticle in one long black diamond run.

Long is good, good snow is good, high speed lifts are good (or bad, depending on how I feel that day), steep/interesting terrain is good, way to hard to generalize.
post #16 of 25
That depends. Silverado chair at Squaw is only about 1000 feet, but if you cannot come down from the terrains under it, what good is it?
post #17 of 25
Living in a vertically challenged part of the ski world I can make fun out of a mtn with only 600' of vertical for day trips, but ideally 2000' or more is preferred when I make more ambitious ventures to New England or out West. Typically most of us think - the more vertical the better, but in reality most big resorts ski in 1000-2000 vertical chunks due to natural terrain breaks or lift infrastructure economies. It can often be awkward to strive for more. Off the top of my head, however, I can recall pleasant memories of skiing sizable verticals repeatedly from one ski lift at places like Aspen/Ajax Mtn CO (gondola), Snowbird UT (tram), Killington VT (Skyeship gondola) all in range of ~3000', and Kirkwood CA (Wagonwheel or Cornice chairs), Wildcat NH (high speed quad), and Stratton (gondola) all in range of ~2000. Could come up with many more fine examples if I pondered longer.

In North America there aren't too many places where you can easily ski REAL big lift-served verts in the 4-5k range; Jackson Hole, Big Sky and Whistler come to mind, but I haven't been to those three. I have skied some places in Europe with comparable verts. Under the right conditions this is great fun and gives a wonderful feeling of freedom from the yo-yo syndrome of frequent lift rides between quick bursts of skiing many of us normally experience, but once you start talking those kind of vertical differences the significant variability in weather and conditions between summit and base can reduce the motivation or fun in making complete top to bottom runs on a repeated basis all day long. You wind-up spending much of your time where the best 1000-2000 vertical feet of snow lies or shortest lift lines are found.

Here are some more thoughts on the fun of big vert skiing/lifts:

Mt. Rose may "only" have 1800 vertical feet, but given the proximity to other sizable mtns around Tahoe I don't think their vertical drop should be a limiting factor for those who might visit that region. Whereas it might be an issue if visiting a comparably sized mountain such as Ski Santa Fe NM with a less dense concentration of big ski mtns nearby to visit on successive days.

Bottom line - it's all good.
post #18 of 25
For me, it comes down to lift ride times and terrain. ...Something loosely referred to as 'balance'. -- Well balanced ski areas keep you doing what you really enjoy rather than assisting you with the problems an unbalanced ski area presents.

There are many areas where the interesting skiing is well below the 2000' mark, but they draw skiers like summer sweat draws flies. ..I'm afraid the vertical comparison rarely produces an accurate indication of the skiing available.
post #19 of 25
I think Jamesj hit the nail on the head. You have to look at long verticals in combination with the experience. Too often, a resort bragging about long verticals is very snow challenged on the lower parts to be really considered as an optimum experience. Heavenly used to have a 4K' vert on the Nevada side, but abandonded the lower 1K' due to such poor conditions that that part of the mountain was rarely skiable. What good are those long runs if you pass through multiple types of snow/conditions? As good skiers, we always end up where the best snow/terrain is, and we often end up bypassing/overlooking all that long vertical.

Now here is a side subject, based on a few post above: what areas/lifts offer the most consistently good conditions, top to bottom. Those that you end up making long trips up & down bacause it is so good. Here's my list:

- Warms Springs side of Sun Valley (doesn't get a lot of snow, but is usually good top to bottom)

- Tram & Bridger Gondola @ JH (Only in Dec/Jan before sun aspect becomes an issue)

- Collins @ Alta (prolly the best snow top to bottom on the planet)

- Tram @ Snowbird

- Lone Peak, Big Sky

- Silver Queen Gondola @ Ajax

- Super B @ Copper

- Glacier Chaser @ Big Mountain

- Dreamcatcher @ Targhee

I'm sure there are more, but these seem to stand out as consistently good most of the time.

post #20 of 25
post #21 of 25
The vertical drop of the ski area is an indicator, but not an absolute rule. The areas with big vertical totals tend to have usable big vertical sections. It is indeed rare for Whistler to have good snow on the whole 5,000, but there are a whole bunch of interesting 2,000-3,000 skiable lines. And on my one week in Europe lower elevation snow wasn't great but I was still impressed by the quality of the 4,200 vertical of the upper tram at Grands Montets and the 3,000 vertical of the Tortin bowls at Verbier.

So it pays to know about the exceptions. Mt. Rose and Kirkwood have no continuous 2,000 vert fall lines, but the 1,000+ and 1,500+ runs are sufficently numerous and of such quality that few skiers would come away from either area complaining that "the runs are too short."

At the other extreme, most of Heavenly's fall lines are in the 1,000 range. The 4K run in Nevada that they removed was a very distinctive continuous run. IMHO they should not have removed it, but just left the old chair there for the occasions it was skiable. But instead they decided to be cheap and relocate it in 1982 to a higher but less interesting place (Galaxy lift) rather than put in a new lift.

I also agree with Jamesj and Powdr comments. I would add several 3,000 fall lines from Mt. Bachelor's summit. These require 2 lift rides, but both are on high speed quads so you can rack up huge verticals there.

I would actually view 1,000 as the minimum standard, as exemplified by the variety and quality of terrain serviced by Mt. Baldy's Thunder lift. But that type of situation is rare.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, sorry about the Mount Rose bashing...

Just out of curiousity, how long does it take for the East Bowl, and the chutes to get skied out?

As well, how often are the chutes open?
post #23 of 25
Mt. Rose Sucks
Go else-where Squaw is great and they have good sushi!! And a Starbucks And /And
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
MTT- Squaw? Yeah I was going to go there.

I think now I'm going to Mt. Rose and bring all my friends... Did I mention they're snowboarders?
post #25 of 25
Check out the Terrain Parks /

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