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Best Intermediate areas to ski in the east & west, and why

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, opinions anyone?
Please supply some reasons.

Thanks
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post
Well, opinions anyone?
Pretty much all of Summit County Co (Keystone/Breck/Copper/Vail). Mostly flat/mellow....

L
post #3 of 22
I don't know about in the West, but here in the East, I like Okemo. Why? Simply put, it's got the best groomed conditions. They know how to do craft quality snow. The trails aren't too overwhelming, they have alot of crusing runs, and there's always an easy way down from the summit. For the full-range intermediate, theres always something you can challenge yourself with at Okemo.
post #4 of 22
Some more demanding areas like Alta also do a good job of providing a easier way down from every lift. Don't shun more difficult resorts IMO.

Michael
post #5 of 22
I’ve been to about 50 US ski areas including a lot of little East Coast hills. That leaves out many big names that would score strong in the groomer dept. Let’s face it, almost all ski areas try to offer lots of intermediate terrain to appeal to customer base. The biggest ski areas often offer the most intermediate terrain, along with some of the best expert terrain. Having said that, there are a few fairly big ones I’ve been to that definitely slant more towards experts and might not be so entertaining for less aggressive intermediates, including Ajax, Aspen Highlands, Taos, Kirkwood, Snowbird, Whiteface, large parts of Sugarbush and Cannon.

Of the mtns I’ve visited, some of the best for intermediates included:
East: Killington, Okemo, Stratton, Mt. Snow, Smuggs, Sugarloaf, Wildcat, Waterville
West: Snowmass, Vail, Winterpark, Loveland, Park City MR, Heavenly

My personal favs: West: Snowmass - some of the longest, widest, buffest groomers I've ever scene. East: Wildcat - not the biggest place, just the best, most interesting upper-intermediate terrain in the East IMHO.

There are many others I haven’t been to that have popular groomer terrain including: Steamboat, CB, Durango/Purgatory, Telluride, Deer Valley, Northstar, Bachelor, W/B, Big Sky, Grand Targhee, Bretton Woods, Loon, Sunday River, the lower 3/4th of Jackson Hole. Sun Valley is said to have some of the best upper-intermediate terrain. This list could go on and on.
post #6 of 22
Hunter Mountain in the Catskills. It has something for all abilities. And when they get no snow...they blow. More than any other place around. The west side has some of the steepest runs on the east coast, well about 3 but they will entertain you for a while. Steep bump runs like racers Edge and Lower K-27 are great for tiring you out as well. Plus a ton of smooth groomers.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MassHat View Post
I don't know about in the West, but here in the East, I like Okemo. Why? Simply put, it's got the best groomed conditions. They know how to do craft quality snow. The trails aren't too overwhelming, they have alot of crusing runs, and there's always an easy way down from the summit. For the full-range intermediate, theres always something you can challenge yourself with at Okemo.
I agree 100%

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeski View Post
Hunter Mountain in the Catskills. It has something for all abilities. And when they get no snow...they blow. More than any other place around. The west side has some of the steepest runs on the east coast, well about 3 but they will entertain you for a while. Steep bump runs like racers Edge and Lower K-27 are great for tiring you out as well. Plus a ton of smooth groomers.
Huntah would not be my top suggestion for the Catskills..Windham and Bellayere are both better for intermediates, better terrain.
post #8 of 22
Of the areas I've skied (about 30), the following stand out (in no particular order):

-Deer Valley (true fall lines, great grooming)
Snowbasin (long, interesting runs)
-Vail (big variety, lots of easy blacks, great frontside rolling cruisers)
-Breckenridge (lots of easy blues, good vibe)
-Sun Valley (one of the best, if not the best, natural ski mountains in North America if on the higher end of the intermediate scale--should have good hard snow skills, don't ignore the green runs here, they would be intermediate anywhere else)
-Grand Targhee (one of the best places for an intermediate to learn powder skiing)
-Northstar (most of the mountain is skiable to intermediates with a lot of easy blacks)
-Blackcomb (great variety of long cruisers, don't miss Franz's Run at neighboring Whistler)
post #9 of 22
Here in Maine I would say Sunday River. It is what I call an intermediate mountain through and through.

Have not been out west.....yet. Utah in 3 weeks!!

I have to chuckle when people talk about grooming. IMO, ALL mountains do a nice job grooming!! And I love a nice groomed run.
post #10 of 22
I would subtract Killington from jamesj's list. It is, however, good expert terrain.

Sunapee, in NH, is all intermediate all the time.
post #11 of 22
in the upper mid-west I'd have to say the stuff around ironwood mi like whitecap/powderhorn/indianhead are wonderfull intermediate areas.

just this year I've come to discourage people from visiting lutsen, they seam to have lost there way and have a far better opinion of themselfs then the rest of us, and they are charging way more then they are offering in return. just my 2cents
post #12 of 22
Big Sky -- Long cruisers from near the top to the base right outside the main chalet. No lift hopping. Just up and down. Plus a great variety of other long blues if you expand from the center. Lack of crowds and an easy mountain to get around on. And recently there is a joint ticket with Moonlight Baisin that (although I haven't skied there) even further expands the blue/green runs.
post #13 of 22
In the PNW (Pacific Northwest), I would definitely send you to Mt. Bachelor, for the following reasons...
- Most of the lift serviced area is not very steep... lots of groomers to pick and choose from
- Best lift system in the Pacific Northwest (something like 6 or 7 high speed quads)
- Near by town of Bend (central Oregon) has a lot of lodging and dinning options making Mt. Bachelor the best ski destination in the Northwest

In the spring you can ski Mt. Bachelor in the morning and play golf in nearby Bend in the afternoon. Of the major resorts in the PNW, Bachelor probably has the best snow
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave86 View Post
...making Mt. Bachelor the best ski destination in the Northwest...
for intermediates.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
for intermediates.
What other "Destination Resorts" are there in the Northwest?

I guess Sun Valley is the other one!

Colorado & Utah is not the West, IMHO of course!

Mammoth has some great groomers for intermediates.
post #16 of 22
East--

Okemo is probably #1 for most intermediate easily navigated terrain.

K-Mart? nah. Too many pain in the neck connecting trails, particularly if you don't know all the ins and outs. Some connections are either a black or a super-flat green trail making intermediates do a lot of hoofing.

Sunday River had great intermediate and low-advanced cruising terrain all over the place. It's at least as spread out as K-mart but you tend to ski less crap in between the peaks (Kansas excepted).

Loon and Waterville are majorly blue.

Sugarloaf has Tote Rd, the best blue trail on the east coast IMHO.

Wawa, why not. It's a great small-mid mountain for getting our for practice or just a few hours of fitness skiing once in a while if you live close.

Stratton is not my favorite by a far but I skied a double-black there last Monday that isn't as hard as some blue trails at Stowe; gotta inflate the egos of them rich NY doctoers, huh ;-)
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugrud View Post
Big Sky -- Long cruisers from near the top to the base right outside the main chalet. No lift hopping. Just up and down. Plus a great variety of other long blues if you expand from the center. Lack of crowds and an easy mountain to get around on. And recently there is a joint ticket with Moonlight Baisin that (although I haven't skied there) even further expands the blue/green runs.
Your comments on Big Sky have gotten me interested in it. How easy is it, just to get there? Seems like I've heard some where that its hard to get to.

What's the snow usually like in January?
post #18 of 22

Inter Areas

Inland PNW.. Schweitzer Mt. off Stella Chair a high speed 6 person chair. Loading area is within a building decorated in old mining equipment. 50 yards away is a place to eat on the hill - great baked potatoes with anything you want. All the runs are intermediate, long and fun (unless your name is Bonni). An intermediate and or his/her partners/family can spend the entire day here and enjoy. Good grooming and interesting runs. Also maybe the most important, the back side where Stella is located is always out of the fog that sometimes socks in the front side of the mt..
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
What other "Destination Resorts" are there in the Northwest?
My definition of Northwest includes Whistler and interior B.C. as well as Northern Idaho (Schweitzer). You might include Crystal Mtn. as well.

Frankly, I don't see Bachelor as a destination resort either since it is only a day use area. However, people plan their vacations to go to Bend and ski at Bachelor, so you can make a case that it's a destination area.

Also the first post said that it was the "best ski destination in the Northwest." Not destination resort.
post #20 of 22
Bachelor. sometimes called Mt Flature, offers six high speed quads mostly serving blue runs. In the spring the wide open trips off the back are wonderful adventures, and still manageable to strong intermediates.

Must be one of the reasons the town went from 25,000 to 75,000 in ten years.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
My definition of Northwest includes Whistler and interior B.C. as well as Northern Idaho (Schweitzer). You might include Crystal Mtn. as well.

Frankly, I don't see Bachelor as a destination resort either since it is only a day use area. However, people plan their vacations to go to Bend and ski at Bachelor, so you can make a case that it's a destination area.

Also the first post said that it was the "best ski destination in the Northwest." Not destination resort.
OK

Actually. I really like Bend! Have skied Bachelor a ridiculous amount. Lots of races there. I was skiing there over 20 days a year a couple years back. Had some stellar, groomed days and some amazing pow days!

And some of the most extreme ridiculous weather ever! 85 MPH winds, snowing blowing and goggles rimeing!
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
for intermediates.
Yes, you are correct. The thread is titled "Best Intermediate areas to ski in the east & west, and why" and Mt. Bachelor is the best destination resort in the PNW for intermediates.

For an advanced or expert skier traveling to the PNW, I'd send them to Crystal Mt. and then tell them not to expect much in terms of the amenities. (Crystal has excellent terrain and a decent lift system.)
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