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Taos vs Snowbird

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I ended last season in Taos and plan on starting back up this year in Snowbird which I have never been to. I Know snowbird is suppose to be an advanced mountain should I worry about bringing a beginner? Any more so than Taos? Also any other thoughts or comments on the two mountains?
post #2 of 5
I've skied both and hope/plan to ski both again. I'm sure Snowbird has some beginner terrain. They have tons of intermediate in Mineral Basin. The one thing about the Bird, and I've said this enough to sound like a broken record, is that it just looks more intimidating and impossibly steep than any other mountain I've ever seen (seen a lot) from the base.

If your beginner is adventurous and not easily frightened then go for it. If you think it will freak them out... consider moving one hill up the canyon to Alta. Lots of steeps and lots of beginner friendly terrain with a softer look. Bonus: spend the bucks and buy the Altabird ticket - leave your beginner at Alta, ski over to Bird and come back later to reconnect.
post #3 of 5
snowbird doesn't have much for beginners. alta does though, and it's right next door. big emma is the only "real" green run on the front side, and it would easily be a blue at any other resort in the cottonwoods. there is some easier stuff in mineral basin too, but it requires a traverse through some black diamond terrain. take a look at their trail map, most trail maps exaggerate steepness, snowbird's minimizes it.
post #4 of 5
Taos and The Bird-fun mountains to compare-snowbird has the least really good beginner terrain of any mountain I've skied on...except one, and that one is TAOS! Snowbird also gets way more (and much more consistent) snow than taos, which helps smooth out the rough spots (Taos, aside from being impressively steep in every direction, also required more 'quick-stepping around pointy rocks' than anywhere I've been to...I love Taos, mind you, but it has quite a bit of rigor associated with skiing it well.

What other folks said about Alta is good advice, there's quite a bit more for beginners to enjoy over there and it is literally right next to Snowbird.

General Comparisons: At Snowbird, the best steeps do not require hiking...there is no equivalent to Kachina Peak! The steeps get open sooner at snowbird and stay open longer. There's more hustling at snowbird, Taos allows a more laid-back approach to getting the goods in a day of skiing. Taos is on average way sunnier. SLC and Sandy are no substitutes for taos (the town) and Sante Fe!

When both are covered in snow and everything is skiable (and yes I realize this is the case much more at snowbird than at Taos) I think Taos is a slightly better mountain...but only for 2.5 weeks out of every two years (last year was a pretty good year at Taos, right? ask locals about the year before, 30 inches...for the season!)

Anyway-you'll love Alta and The Bird just like everyone else-and If you spent a season at Taos, you'll be well prepared to get the most out those mountains as well.
post #5 of 5
I'd echo what others have said. I've only been at Snowbird 1 day and it was a day when visibility on top was very poor. My thought was that terrain in Mineral Basin would be nice for an intermediate if you could see it. Big Emma is wide but it's not really beginner terrain. IMO, it would not be a great place to take a beginner. Not been to Taos so can't compare. Alta has very nice beginner terrain off Sunnyside and Cecret in the Albion basin area. And many blues are just nice intermediate runs. Those off Sugarloaf would be quite good for those transitioning from green to blue. And once you're comfortable there a person can ski almost anywhere because Alta grooms a blue off every lift. Alta doesn't groom that much but there is some really nice beginner and intermediate terrain. I didn't see much of that at Snowbird. Again, this might not be a fair comparison. We started down Mineral Basin and I just couldn't see anything.
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