Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho
Toadman, you answered your own statement "...went to major ski resort..." Want powder, trees, good skiing on freshies don't go to the major ski resorts. For years at Tahoe on good freshie days I'd go to Diamond Peak and stay away from Squaw or Alpine, mid week best. Up here in PNW I go to smallish type areas and get some great lst tracks. Midweek if you're good you can still lst tracks till noon on week days.
I agree that fat skis have made powder easier to ski for the Great Unwashed, and that, as a result more of them ski it. I can recall when, at a major resort in Colorado, a dream dump would bring out many tourists who would flail down one run and then retire to the lodge to complain about the lack of grooming.
High speed quads and six-packs don't help any.
So, I also agree with Pete's assertion: Go to a smaller resort. In addition, learn to ski snow that's not perfect. Learn to ski snow that's a little heavier, learn to ski where the trees are tighter. Many skiers quit early if the snow is a little goopy; they come into the lodge and complain about it. Many of the self-declared hot shots on fat skis want open bowls and chutes because "I only go for the big
lines!" In fact, although they have a great time in those bowls and chutes (so do I), many of them can't turn accurately enough or control their speed well enough to ski the trees.
The place I usually ski these days only has two lifts. Some of the best stuff requires a long traverse. This greatly reduces the number of both snowboarders and skiers. The lifts are old, slow fixed-grip double chairs. This also reduces the number of skiers on the "good parts." And on many powder days, when the lift accessing the steeper terrain has a fierce lift line of determined locals, I go to the other lift, where all the beginners and intermediates are. The lift line is much shorter, because the skiers who favor that lift often find powder to be a difficult, frustrating experience. Further, those skiers don't even think
about skiing the trees in between the runs. But those tree lines are definitely steep enough to ski. Freshies all day, and I don't have to work too hard.
On such days, much of the "good stuff" is closed all morning, because the patrol is busy blowing it up. The local crowd skis what they can get to, and goes home, often by noon or 1:00. If you stick around, and the fates are with you, a rope on a traverse off the larger lift might get dropped at about 2. If the fates are really
on your side, the area behind the rope might have been closed all week. The boys with the big boards haven't touched it. Yay for me!!
Small areas (few survive in Colorado) = fewer skiers = more powder
A little side country doesn't hurt, either.