Originally Posted by prickly
Not bad, particularly adding in the need to have a pair of touring skis, extra points for that. But I'm still not seeing what I was looking for. Powder, crust, crud, ice, slush, all in the same week(end?). Must be someplace with more variable conditions than what we've seen so far.
Well, I apologize for being blatantly partisan but I think Jackson Hole comes as close to being an "all-ski mountain" as you'll find in the US.
To qualify for this game, I think first your ski resort needs a lot of vertical, which we certainly have - 4,139 feet worth (which, somewhat depressingly when compared with you Euros, is only 1,261 meters
It helps if that vertical starts from a somewhat lower elevation (our base is 6,311 feet) so that you consistently get a significant temperature range from bottom to top.
Another factor is aspect and terrain variability. As a matter of fact, I think aspect is almost the top criterion if you're looking for variable snow conditions. Here at Jackson, we have an incredible variety of bowls, ridges, gullies, glades, and faces. Some are north-facing, some are south-facing, and lots are in between. That means that the wind, the sun, the temperatures, and the snowfall all affect different parts of the mountain in vastly different ways. If you want variable conditions, you can certainly find them here.
Another factor is snowfall. If your goal is variable snow conditions, it really helps if your ski resort gets a lot of snow during the course of a season. We logged over 600" last year and that qualifies as a lot of snow for most anywhere.
Lastly, our theoretical all-ski mountain should have great groomers and - ideally - those groomers should be relatively lightly-traveled so that you can let the skis run. A great carving ski doesn't really come alive until you can let 'em run on a long, open, impeccably-groomed run. We have a lot of those in Jackson.
We also have three separate terrain parks and an enormous half-pipe for the twin-tips in your quiver and we have arguably the largest and finest hike-to and skin-to out-of-bounds skiing in the United States. So, a quiver-heavy nut can easily use huge fat skis, mid-fats, twin-tips, caving skis (edited to add that I obviously meant "carving", but the idea of a "caving" ski has me pretty intrigued now
), and backcountry gear at Jackson Hole and never feel that any of them are very far from their ideal environment.
I really like this hypothetical question because it highlights all the things I love about the Jackson Hole ski resort. I like skiing all the strange and "exotic" snow conditions we get here and I love how the "right" ski for a given set of conditions can amplify the enjoyment.
As for other resorts, I think Snowbasin comes closer to this kind of versatility than any other American resort I've skied.
And while I haven't skied there, I'm guessing that the Sella Ronde in the Dolomites of Italy would qualify as well. You can ski 360 degrees completely around an enormous mountain by riding lifts and skiing the flanks of the Sella Massif. I looked over at it two summers ago from the top of the Arabba
aerial cable car and it just looked amazing. I wanna go do that: