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Best mountain for advanced skiers.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I notice that most ratings concerning the difficulty of mountains are made from expert's point of view.

Does this mean that a mountain considered the best for experts is also the best for advanced?

Do you have your own idea about what mountains in NA are best for advanced skiers or riders and what for expert ones?

Your opinions are much appreciated.
post #2 of 15
There is a W I D E variance in what people consider "advanced." Are you wondering for yourself? Tell us a bit about your skiing.
post #3 of 15
It really depends on, as U.P. said, your definition of advanced... and what kind of terrain you like.

As for are 'Expert mountains' also excellent for 'Advanced skiers'? Often... NO.

I feel that most advanced skiers would like a mountain with great snow, nice weather, long well groomed trails, some progressively harder off-piste terrain that a skier can 'work up to'. Basically lots of variety.

'Expert Mountains' pretty much just need good snow and challenging terrain, no variety needed.

Vail/ Beaver Creek get laughed at a lot by 'good skiers', but I don't think a better place exists if you are a 'game improvement' skier that wants to be assured of good conditions.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
By advanced I mean a fit skier who can make dynamic parallel turns (both carved and using some sideslipping) on most black runs in most conditions which include groomed, bumps, trees, powder, chowder, mb some crud and enjoy himself and the mountain while doing so.
As opposed an expert is some one who would also like to make decent drops, skis really fast and does everything than an advanced skier does but more fluently and with better style.
post #5 of 15
I think that most mountains can be enjoyed by advanced or expert skiers. However, mountains with truly expert terrain cannot always be FULLY enjoyed by advanced skiers, but there usually is plenty of other terrain that they can enjoy.

Truly expert skiers love Jackson, Taos, Kicking Horse, Big Sky, Whistler, Squaw, etc. Certainly, most advanced and a lot of intermediate skiers will also like these mountains, but, as mentioned above, they may enjoy other mountains more.
post #6 of 15
gravity is quite easy to obtain at Snowbird.
post #7 of 15
My top votes are for Jackson Hole and Taos. But Mammoth and Big Sky are pretty darn good too.

j
post #8 of 15
Jackson is pretty hard to beat for an advanced intermiediate skier who is looking to move up. There is a lot of terrian here that gets overlooked by most people. I hear from my students all the time that they would have never found the stuff we skied without me. Or that they would be scared to explore for fear of where they might wind up. An advanced skier with solid sideslipping, kick turn, and traverse skills can get in and out of some pretty fun terrain without being unsafe. If all else fails you could take a lesson or do some runs with Bob Peters.
post #9 of 15
IMHO, an advanced skier can ski just about any marked run, just not as well as an expert. If it's a good mountain for an expert skier, then it's a good mountain for an advanced skier. Intermediates who consider a black run a challenge, might not do so well at an "expert" mountain, unless they are very adventurous.
post #10 of 15
I consider myself a somewhat timid advanced skier, had been to Taos ans Squaw and thoroughly enjoyed myself. One of the advantage of many of these "expert" mountains are the vast amount of ordinary advance terrains for the non-experts to enjoy, without a lot of over-their-head intermediates blocking the path.

I'd echo what tetonpowderjunkie said. You really need to have someone to show you around, to fully enjoy those "expert" mountains.

If one is "adventureous", one can safely explore those mountains, SLOWLY. One does run the risk of getting "stuck" in terrain too difficult to proceed smoothly and quickly, or ended up hiking around cliffs and drop-offs, which eat into skiing time.

I'd add another critiria into what makes an advanced skier not an expert: experience. For example, my off-piste route finding skill is pretty non-existance. So a lot of times I didn't dare venturing into terrain I can't scout out from lift or open runs. That kind of experience would only come after skiing with people who know the place and eventually learn to read the terrain.
post #11 of 15
One of the reasons that I love kicking horse is that the chutes are right there. Plenty of expert terrain without hiking or local knowledge.

Of course the more you ski there, the more "hidden terrain" there is. Also the amount of side country is mind blowing.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
IMHO, an advanced skier can ski just about any marked run, just not as well as an expert. If it's a good mountain for an expert skier, then it's a good mountain for an advanced skier. Intermediates who consider a black run a challenge, might not do so well at an "expert" mountain, unless they are very adventurous.
At Jackson the best stuff is not really marked, or on the trail map. I meet guys during the summer who come out and want to know how many trails we have. It's a question with little meaning, as we ski the whole mountain. Every inch of it. It's not at all like I remember skiing in the east where we skied runs. Here we ski lines.
post #13 of 15
I was about to dismiss this thread and not really pay any attention to it, but there were some really good points brought up.

Namely, how do you advance beyond the instinct to follow the little black diamonds? Anyone can read a trail sign and trail map, but often the higher level of difficulty comes in navigating to a place where the trail signs don't have much meaning. It doesn't matter if you've never skied the place before, there's still a halfway decent chance you'll find whatever you're looking for on any given day.

Frankly, I don't how to get to that point other than ski a lot. There's a lot of 'safe' areas that'll help you along. Copper, Snowbird, and Aspen Highlands all come to mind. (And as a new fan of Silver Mtn I might add that to the list as well.) You won't get in serious trouble at any of them, but they might help you find an adventurous side of skiing.

I do find it a little naive to say just throw yourself at JH and see what comes out, but it does tend to be a lot of fun.
post #14 of 15
Again, it comes down to what you (advanced or not) like.

I like trees, so I put a premium on those above all other 'advanced terrain' features and thus, some notable 'advanced mountains', while I love them are not my favorites (Those being alta-snowbird and Taos, I love both those places but they favor the expert who loves steeps and chutes, -haven't been to Mammoth but I suspect it's the same.)

For me, I've enjoyed Heavenly and Steamboat more than other resorts for their trees (I also like bumps-so Heavenly is again high on my list).

And even at big expert mountains, I've found I like slightly different stuff than most 'experts' go for-While I love the steeps of the Snowbird Tram -I think I've had my best times at the 'bird skiing off the GAD 2 chair (those steep, chute-like bump runs near the chair are just wonderful-great place to spend a warm afternoon.

At Jackson Hole-I loved the trees on the Moran face more than any other area of that truly great mountain (and the most expert of expert mountains IMHO).

Heck, last year during my trip to Utah-I had my best day at Solitude (yep, solitude)-those tree covered chutes and runs along the near Honeycomb canyon ridge and off the powderhorn chair are exactly the sort of terrain I enjoy skiing the most (and we had great snow and sun that day!).

I guess what I'm saying is that once you skied enough to attain some level of expert (or we'll just say 'good skier'-expert is elusive) ability-you've also become discerning in your tastes and preferences and some places will cater to those very specific personal attributes more than others.

Rule of thumb-Pick places with lots of varied terrain, multiple exposures and good snow-easier said than done-and, I think it should be said that a true expert can make a great day out of just about any mountain (within reason, of course)


Liam
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Good input, Liam!
You seem to be unlike me a big tree-skiing fan. As for me I prefer wide open steep terrain with some freeride features like small drops, some trees and some chutes but nothing too tight.
But anyway this topic isnt about me it's more bout advanced mountains.
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