Originally Posted by Finndog
//V- if you have been a life-long "out west" skier, you are not going to be very impressed. If you are looking to stay within day trips- conditions are only one thing that you will have to get used to!
lack of vert
lack of good terrain
more "bad" skiers/boarders
no tree skiing (good that is, unless you go way up north, which actually takes longer to get to than flying to Steamboat, Vail or Utah)
Most importantly, the east does not really get Powder, the vast majority of snowfall within 4 hours of NYC has a much higher moisture content then what you are used to. We get snow more like "seirra cement".
Any "powder" we do get is long gone by the end of the day it falls.
Get used to "frozen granular" and "variable" conditions
BTW- mgpp- machine groomed packed powder, this really means blown snow that has been skied, groomed , thawed refrozen and then groomed, Rarely is it like "out west" where its groomed powder with the top couple of inches still loose and soft.
My advice, go west!
That's not altogether true or fair (but in Nj-Mountain Creek certainly deserves all of those charges!!).
1. Crowds-On weekends with 4.5 hours of NYC or 2.5 of Boston or 1.5 of Philly-yeah, crowds can be miserable..however---if you are a good skier-simly locating yourself on the lifts that serve primary expert terrain do a lot to mitigate this--case and point-in a week or two when Mt Snow is fully up to snuff-you can hang out at the Northface lifts on a saturday with no lines and bash bumps till the cows come home--same thing at Hunter West. (Those two places being the worst for saturday urban crowds). You won't find Gore, whiteface, Sugarbush, etc all that crowded on anyday. And Killington actually does a good job of dispersing it's crowds. Small places
Sunday tends to be much better-especially sunday afternoons. And of course no place is crowded during the week.
2. Rudeness: hmmm, some places absolutely get an aggressive crowd of punks (young and old). Mountain Creek, Hunter on the weekends, Mount Snow and Killington being the worst offenders. Smaller places do better. Sugarbush, Jay, MRG have always seemed to have a friendly crowd too me anyway. Maine areas too. Heck, the man is living in NYC-he can handle a few ski punks and rude lifties.
3. Lack of Vert: 2000 feet is the standard east or west (yeah yeah Jackson's got 4000, 'Bird over three etc-dude, you never ski it all at once-Jackson you hang on the top 2000 until it's time to go drink--) Stowe serves up an honest 1800-2000 in a shot, so do a few other places-you'll miss the more dramatic pitches of the serious wwestern mountains, but the vert can be found.
4.Lack of Good Terrain-well, right now that's a problem-but in a normal year by mid season--I'd say you'd find wonderful terrain that'd make J Nobis happy at many ski areas in the east.
5. No Powder-here's a secret-on snow days-go to small ski areas in the Catskills (Plattekill, Belleayre) or Massachusetts (Berkshire east)-seriously-you'll find fresh cold snow for days ofter a dump--it does happen--last year B-East opened with 18inches fresh and we found unbroken runs two days later. But of course-it ain't wasatch snow (but what is??).
6. More Bad Skiers? Boarders-that depends where you ski--might be true at mountain creek-I saw a lot of substandard skiing in the glitzy resorts of Summit County, too--But I've often been impressed by the caliber of skiers too--even on saturdays at killington--and like I said-stick to the hardest terrain and you'll shake the bad skiers and all of the boarders).
7. No Tree Skiing_ That's Just not true-- More often than not-almost every ski area north of Albany-Springfield serves up some decent tree skiing terrain (some very surprising) and some areas have absolutely awesome trees (central and northern Vermont do have a monopoly in these parts). but even more southern areas like Mt. Snow has some great glades (as does Gore, oh-and Burke).
Look-the big mountains of the west rule-that's why we get on planes and fly to them, I know that-but the east can be great too---NYC may not be the best launching point to sample it however, but none the less in a week or two make a journey a little further north-it'll be worth it. Or just go mountain biking in Ringwood--that's good too.