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Where is the longest, steepest lift served skiing in North America?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I haven't skied everywhere in the US or Canada, so I'm curious. I'm always looking for new places to go, to challenge myself.

So what I'm asking here, where are the longest, steepest, single shots in NA? And of course- I'm thinking of keeping my skis ON the snow most of the way down...

One that I have skied alot-
Kirkwood, West Shore Chute, measured 50 degrees, 1000'single drop. It's slightly OB off CH 4. Easy enough to get to, and easy access back to the chair.

Inquiring minds want to know!!!!

:
post #2 of 36
As I understand, Blackcomb Mountain is the winner with 5280 vert, followed by its neighbour Whistler Mtn at about 5000 vert. These are about 1000 vert higher than the next contenders. There are routes from the top which minimize or pretty much eliminate time spent on cat tracks or flats on the way down. I'm not sure the vert of individual runs, but there are plenty over 2000 vert, with challenging enough terrain to humble most anyone.
post #3 of 36
GORP's "resort-accessible" steeps

NOTE also the "10 unheralded" and "five expert only" lists with the above...

[ November 05, 2003, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #4 of 36
Thanks ryan sharing that link.

Besides those listed there are other drops at a number of western resorts that are as steep and often don't have trail map names. But those are certainly classics. I've never skied any of them yet and haven't plans to since I'm not one of those amused by super steeps entertainment or challenge. For me short safe steeps are fine.

Hangman's at MM has a cheater entrance at the side but if one drops right over the cornice it certainly rates. And if you fall there, you'll funnel right through the rocks. On the flat top of the ridge below the gondola building, the last few feet to the brink of Hangman's slopes over slightly. The prevailing wind is usually over the brink so even looking over the edge makes me acrophobic.

A couple years back I topo measured Big Couloir at Big Sky and it was the steepest long inbounds named run at any NA resort I've meaured. -dave

[ November 05, 2003, 11:14 AM: Message edited by: dave_SSS ]
post #5 of 36
For long, continuous steep runs from personal experience.

http://www.alpental.com
post #6 of 36
Don't have much experience and I'm not sure if steep or long is more imporant but it seems like two of the best would be jackson hole at 4000 and snowbird at 3200 where you can ski some steep stuff nearly top to bottom.
post #7 of 36
1: Turner Mountain, Libby, Montana

2200' of vertical
Absolutely constant 45° for the entire vertical.

Tough to beat that, no matter how big Whistler might be

2: Taos (what? did people forget that taos existed or something?)

3: Killington (only for longest. The juggernaut trail is 10 miles long, and the longest lift served trail in north america, and it sucks horribly. I 've never made it down the whole thing. I always bail because it's so damn boring!)

4: Silverton (duh!)

5: Mad River Glen - not really the biggest (2000'), not exactly the steepest (nothing beyond 52°, at least not in bounds), and definately not the longest. But the rise of the single chair is equal to its run, which equals an average pitch of 45° for 2000 vertical feet. How do ya leave them off the list? I couldn't in good conscience.
post #8 of 36
I think it might be Aspen Highlands with the most vertical of any place in the USA, could be wrong. There's a chair there that hangs you out over nothingness and scares the Bejesus out of you.
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by saddlebackattack:
3: Killington (only for longest. The juggernaut trail is 10 miles long, and the longest lift served trail in north america, and it sucks horribly. I 've never made it down the whole thing. I always bail because it's so damn boring!)
Better be sure your skis are waxed too. I skiied the whole thing once when I was a kid. I think there was more skating than skiing.
post #10 of 36
Nothin'.

[ November 06, 2003, 07:38 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #11 of 36
Never Ski Wisconsin.
post #12 of 36
Looks like most of you didn't read Ric's question very carefully.

He asked "... where are the longest, steepest, single shots in NA?" Sounds to me like Whistler, Taos, etc. don't answer the question. I think we're talking about one or two connected "trails" here.

The longest, steepest, single shot I can think of right now would be the Couloir Extreme at Blackcomb which my kids forced me to ski last year at the end of a very long day. Tower Three Chute at Jackson also sticks in my head as making my spinchter pucker uncontrollably a few times.

In the East, Paradise at MRG, Upper Skyward at Whiteface and Bubblecuffer at Sugarloaf come to mind.
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by Carvemeister:

The longest, steepest, single shot I can think of right now would be the Couloir Extreme at Blackcomb which my kids forced me to ski last year at the end of a very long day. Tower Three Chute at Jackson also sticks in my head as making my spinchter pucker uncontrollably a few times.
Couloir Extreme (Saudan Couloir, thank you)isn't even the steepest shot off that ridge.
The answer is Blackcomb, which has longer, sustained steeps (in-bounds and named on the trail map--check around Spanky's) than anyplace else in NA.
Some of the BS that's being laid around here stinks--MRG at 45 degrees from base to summit of the single?
Where did you say you buy your crack?
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Zehut:
Couloir Extreme (Saudan Couloir, thank you)isn't even the steepest shot off that ridge.
I don't think that's what I was trying to say. Seeing as I haven't yet skied every run in N.A. as you apparently have. I cannot give the definitive answer. Just my personal recollection as of 20:30 hrs. E.S.T. However, thanks for clarifying it for all of us. We can all move on now then. :

Quote:
...Where did you say you buy your crack?
Who you talking to? You care to be more specific?
post #15 of 36
But you have skied Blackcomb, non?
To list, as the steepest run you're familiar with, a run that's not even steepest at that particular area seems a little bass ackward.

Who you talking to, son?
post #16 of 36
Me? I'm talking to a self absorbed moron apparently.
Yawn. :
post #17 of 36
You're talking to yourself?
post #18 of 36
please.
post #19 of 36
I tried this thread with and without crack. It's better with crack.
post #20 of 36
Hey. what about Silverton?
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by vail snopro / ric reiter:


One that I have skied alot-
Kirkwood, West Shore Chute, measured 50 degrees, 1000'single drop. It's slightly OB off CH 4. Easy enough to get to, and easy access back to the chair.

:
For real 50 degrees? Did you measure this yourself, and how?

Notice that I'm asking on the pitch because I'm not sure. But on this point I'm telling, because I know: Ain't no way the steepest part of that chute is maintained for more than 700 vert, and even that's pushing it.
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by Lodro:
Hey. what about Silverton?
Nothing at Silverton made me pucker up, but many others in NA have done that to me:
*Big Couloir at Big Sky
*Garnet/Sapphire/Diamond Bowl at Blackcomb (I can't remember which is the first one off of Spanky's. Ruby Bowl is longer, but one of these was narrower and steeper. I just can't remember which one)
*Grand Couloir just around to your left as you get off the Peak chair
*North Chute at Snowbird
*I've skied JH for years, but I've never skied Tower 3. My friends say it's steeper and a little longer than Corbet's. I've never even seen T3 open. (I wouldn't put Corbet's on this list because it's too short and it's famous really only for it's hairball entrance.)
*Lenin at Big Sky. It's one of the longest, most sustained steeps I've skied in the U.S.
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by Lars:
I think it might be Aspen Highlands with the most vertical of any place in the USA, could be wrong.
Lars- Highlands is in 9th place in NA--slightly ahead of Timberline/Hood and Telluride. The North American verts are shown here: http://verticalfeet.com

[ November 07, 2003, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: endlessseason ]
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by ryan:
please.
How polite. :
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by Ugli Pupferknick:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by vail snopro / ric reiter:


One that I have skied alot-
Kirkwood, West Shore Chute, measured 50 degrees, 1000'single drop. It's slightly OB off CH 4. Easy enough to get to, and easy access back to the chair.

:
For real 50 degrees? Did you measure this yourself, and how?

Notice that I'm asking on the pitch because I'm not sure. But on this point I'm telling, because I know: Ain't no way the steepest part of that chute is maintained for more than 700 vert, and even that's pushing it.
</font>[/quote]Actually, I was going to mention that myself before I got distracted. 50 degrees is the figure thrown around at KW, but I'd bet the steepest part is no more than 400 vert. And I wouldn't be surprised if it were about 45 degrees.
post #26 of 36
Although I've skied ch4 for years, have never bothered to check that popular chute out since they opened that boundary. Just taking a quick look at the map, the first comment I have is that this is exactly the kind of BS heresay which usually is exaggerated that I was referring to. There is no way one can get anywhere near 1000 feet of steep out of anywhere on that terrain. I don't know where the chute is so wouldn't be able to make a map measurement without someone filling me in. When I start skiing in the next few weeks I'll ask since I know several skiers that regularly drop it in the spring.

Look for yourself below, read my post above and measure it.

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=10&n=4283311.99936261&e=757331.000308913 &datum=nad83
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by endlessseason:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Lodro:
Hey. what about Silverton?
Nothing at Silverton made me pucker up, but many others in NA have done that to me:
*Big Couloir at Big Sky
*Garnet/Sapphire/Diamond Bowl at Blackcomb (I can't remember which is the first one off of Spanky's. Ruby Bowl is longer, but one of these was narrower and steeper. I just can't remember which one)
*Grand Couloir just around to your left as you get off the Peak chair
*North Chute at Snowbird
*I've skied JH for years, but I've never skied Tower 3. My friends say it's steeper and a little longer than Corbet's. I've never even seen T3 open. (I wouldn't put Corbet's on this list because it's too short and it's famous really only for it's hairball entrance.)
*Lenin at Big Sky. It's one of the longest, most sustained steeps I've skied in the U.S.
</font>[/quote]Tower 3 is no big deal. Are you sure you're not thinking of somewhere else at JH? It's about like Alta Chutes: steep but nothing puckery.
http://www.jacksonhole.com/mountain/pics/upper_map.jpg

At W/B, Couloir Extreme is quite steep, and so are the bowls off Spanky's, but West Cirque is the steepest thing I found in-bounds. The entrance is not quite a Corbet's level of pucker, but it's darn close because of the rocks exposed by everyone sideslipping in. The chutes on the other side of the Peak chair are also very steep, but usually with less scary entrances.

Where's North Chute?

Nothing at Kirkwood is more than 600-700' of steeps -- the whole mountain is only about 1800' top to bottom.

The US doesn't really have the sustained steeps like you get in the Alps.
post #28 of 36
Spats- Yeah, it probably isn't Tower 3. Since I've never skied it, I don't know what to call it. It's a run just under the tram dock that's never been open when I've been to JH. Years ago I skied with a couple of really good skiers who showed it to me. They said it was the scariest run they had ever done.

And I agree about Kirkwood. I was very surprised at how small Kirkwood was--both in height and in acreage.

North Chute at the Bird is just below tower 4 near the top. If you're standing at the top entrance to Silver Fox (not the side entrance) it is the run at the far left that is between Silver Fox and Rat's Nest/Hanging Bowl. It is ALWAYS roped with a yellow closed sign, which, according to a patroller I've skied the run with, means different things on different days. Most of the time it really means closed, but on some days it's there to keep out the kinds of riders who used to end up needing rescue.

The icy granite in the middle of the narrow run (at the top and again about a quarter of the way down) is extremely dangerous as it is often hidden below a scuff of new snow. People have died in that chute. Because the run features cliffs and rocks which cross the fall line as the run funnels left, catching an edge on a rock just below the snow surface could be the last mistake of your life. I will never ski it alone.
post #29 of 36
Spats "Nothing at Kirkwood is more than 600-700' of steeps"

That's true for regularly opened terrain. Each March the North American Freeskiing Championships are held at Kirkwood in The Cirque. The top is about 9700 and where the gradient eases up is 8400 for 1300 feet of steep rock garden playgrounds.

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=38.6715&lon=-120.057&s=24&size=l&symshow=n&datum=nad83&layer=DR G25

Given the numbers of high end skiers and boarders at the resort which are attracted to gnarly terrain, there has been increasing calls to open The Cirque up somehow. Problem is of course that mistakes there could be lethal. On that count it is no worse than say a Big Sky's Big Couloir so it wouldn't be breaking new ground industry wise here in the USA. In any case they'd need to allow access when conditions were manageable via some kind of screening process. I am guessing when the resort finally crawls out of its chronic financial ills that such might happen.

The other comment about the Alps versus USA is similar. Of course there are OB areas throughout our big western mountains that are super steep and long. Just nothing at resorts. In the southern Sierra accessed from US395 are a number of long steep, you fall youbedead chutes. -dave
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by Spats:
... At W/B, Couloir Extreme is quite steep, and so are the bowls off Spanky's, but West Cirque is the steepest thing I found in-bounds. [/QB]
West Cirque is generally considered the steepest "run" at W/B. (46 degrees). Actually, the top part of the Blowhole is steeper (49 degrees, 64 degees on the 'high entrance'). The steepest 'run' used to be "Calvin and Hobbes", but that was never really a run, and is now considered permanently closed.

If you go just a little past the gates, there are lines on Flute and Disease Ridge that are over 50 degrees -- not to mention DOA.

BTW -- the steepest bowl over Spanky's ladder is Diamond Bowl.
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