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The Ten-States Challenge

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Daydreaming while stuck in traffic on the way back from the hill last night. Here's the challenge.

You can only ski in ten US states for the rest of your life. And only at one resort in each state (eg, ten total resorts, each in a different state). Nowhere else. No Alps, no Canada, nuffin.

What are your choices?

 

First my States, in no particular order:
1. Utah
2. Wyoming
3. Montana

4. Colorado
5. New Mexico


Those are the easy ones

 

Then:
6. California
7. Washington

Now getting a little harder:

8. Oregon

9. Idaho

Then I'll throw in:

10. Vermont. Now I know what you're saying. Maybe there's better skiing in, I don't know, Nevada. Or Maine. Or Arizona. Well, I'm sticking with Vermont here.

Now the hard part.

 

Resorts:

Utah. Right off the bat, we get into  a question of definitions. Are Snowbird and Alta one resort or two? I'm going to make this one hard on myself and say they're still seperate resorts. I love Alta,even though I've skied more at Snowbird. If I go with the heart, it's a choice I could end up regretting. And what about Solitude? And Snowbasin. Argh. I'm going with Alta.

Wyoming: Jackson Hole.
Montana: With all due respect to Whitefish, Bridger, et al, there's really no choice, is there? I've never skied any of them. So the only challenge would be Big Sky vs. Moonlight, but in this case, given the latter's somewhat uncertain future and the shared pass, I'm going to call them a single resort and take the easy choice. Big Sky/Moonlight.
Idaho: I've only skied at McCall, and only for a race years ago. Idaho guys, are you going to crucify me if I take Sun Valley? Just haven't really done my homework here.
New Mexico: Taos.
Colorado: Very tough. First off. If I take Aspen, does it include Highlands? Does it include Snowmass? Because with all three, plus the town, I think that's the route I'd take. My gut is that Aspen and Highlands is a fair combo, but I can't have Snowmass too. Hmm. Telluride? Great town right on the mountain. Crested? Place I've skied and really liked. Winter Park? Steamboat? Utlimately, if you give me Aspen and Highlands together, plus the town, I've gotta go that route.

California: I've never skied California, incredible, really, as I've spent a lot of time there. So this inevitably is a Squaw /Alpine Meadows/Kirkwood thing, right? I think I'm going Mammoth. Tahoe guys: let me have it.
Washington: I love Crystal, so this is an easy choice, right? But what about Baker (never been)? All that snow. Hmmm. A surprisingly tough choice. Baker.
Oregon: Bachelor.
Vermont: I'm going Mad River. I learned to ski there. I learned to ski powder there. I learned to ski bumps there. I learned to drink with a fake ID there. But I'm tempted to go against my heart and choose Jay Peak. More snow. Maybe much more snow. I won't though. MRG.

So, there you have it. Tough call on Colorado. Impossibly tough call for California. Toughish calls for Washington and Vermont, too. And I'm admittedly clueless about Idaho. Also, kind of a tough call on the tenth state, could've been one of the other western states, or even Maine (Sugarloaf).

Now, weigh in...

 

post #2 of 29
ok here goes although have not been any where but New England and Utah
 Utah : Alta,  just like the stuff off the Supreme chair too much, Snowbasin is a very close 2nd  though
 Wyoming: Jackson Hole  someday I'll get there
 Colorado :Crested Butte sounds good
 Alaska: everything is big there isn't it?
 California: always liked looking at the Squaw trail maps and dreaming
 Montana: from stuff here on Epic Bridger sounds pretty cool
 Washignton: don't really know anything about the ski area but they do get snow
 Vermont: tough one MRG or Stowe, I'll go with Stowe only because they have 3 lifts that can get you to the goods vs. 1 for MRG
 Maine :  no contest the Loaf
 New Mexico: Taos
post #3 of 29
 I have only skied in 6 US states (Maine, Vermont, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Oregon) but this would be my list.

Wyoming: Jackson- What can I say, great hill. Just got back. Would love to hit it on a Powder day.
Utah: Snowbird- My favorite American hill.
Colorado: T-Ride - Have only been to Vail and BC in Colorado. I don't think i would return to either of these places but the southern part of the state seems interesting.
Montana: Big Sky: Been meaning to make the 6 hr drive down to Bozeman. I think Big sky offers the most variety of the 3 area resorts, but once I ski them, my opinion might change.
Washington: Baker- Can't go wrong with all that snow!
Oregon: Bachelor- My sister lives in Bend. I really like that town and the snow on the hill is great. I can get my steeps elsewhere.
California: Mammoth- Mammoth or Tahoe? Haven't been to either but I am more attracted to Mammoth.
Idaho: Sun Valley- The trees in the North part of the state look nice, but those long fall line runs at sun valley would be interesting. I can get my powder fix elsewhere.
New Mexico: Taos: haven't been, but is it really contest?
Vermont: Stowe- My favorite hill in NE.


Edit: I forgot about alaska....but I am pretty happy with the list.
Edited by manchester81 - 2/22/10 at 4:43pm
post #4 of 29
Well, I'm already 59 so I have fewer years left in me than I've already skied.  I've already skied most of the resorts in Michigan (where I started), Ontario Canada, California, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.  My goal is to be skiing when I'm 70.  When I hit 70 I will re-evaluate and see if I want to be skiing when I'm 75.  With those qualifiers, my choices would be:

Utah:  Deer Valley.  Remember, I'll be old and blue cruisers may be all I'm interested in.  And being pampered.  And no snowboarders.  Definitely my first choice given the rules.
Colorado:  Beaver Creek.  See above.  Vail is a close second, always loved it there.
California:  Mammoth, mostly because I've only skied there once, at the very end of the season and gave up after three days of skiing in slush.  I'd still go to all of the other resorts in Tahoe for the views, even if I couldn't ski there given the rules.
Wyoming:  Jackson Hole.  I can sit in the bar and listen to all of the steep and deep exploits and remember when I did that.
Idaho:  Never skied Sun Valley, perhaps I'll make it there one day.
New Mexico:  Taos.  See Idaho.
All the rest:  Not really interested, definitely nothing east of the Rockies.
post #5 of 29
Vermont- Killington/Pico
New York- Whiteface
Colorado- Breckenridge
Montana- Big Sky
Utah- Snowbird/Alta
California- Mammoth
New Mexico- Taos
New Hampshire- Cannon
Wyoming- Jackson Hole
Hawai'i- For a bit of a change of scenery ski the tops of the Volcanoes when they get snow, then hit the beach for the ultimate apres ski activity.
post #6 of 29

Must be a slow day in the office...

Utah - Snowbird/Alta
Colorado - Vail/Beaver Creek (is that 1 or 2 resort? Alta/bird is more likely a single resort since one can SKI from one to the other, V/BC is more of a stretch...)
Wyoming - Jackson Hole (where else?)
New Mexico - Taos (duh!)
California - (this is a tough one, choosing between Mammoth/Squaw/Heavenly..) Squaw for the view!
Navada - Mt. Rose (cool, laid back little place that has a lot to offer!)
Montana - Big Sky (I'm sure it's great) 

Idaho - since I've not been to Sun Valley, I'd pick Grand Taghee which I have been and love.
Oregon - Mt Bachelar

Washington - Baker? Never been there so base on reputation only

 

I may change my mind about Colorado after next week (1st taste of Telluride)

post #7 of 29
If you know it and love it, you ought to know it's in Wyoming?

Here's some places in Idaho to pick from: 

Bogus Basin   
Brundage  
Lookout Pass   
Magic Mountain   
Schweitzer Mountain   
Silver Mountain
Soldier Mountain   
Sun Valley   
Tamarack

Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post

 

Idaho - since I've not been to Sun Valley, I'd pick Grand Taghee which I have been and love.

post #8 of 29
Vermont - Stowe
Utah - Alta
Wyoming - Jackson Hole
Colorado - Telluride
New Mexico - Taos
Montana - Big Mountain
Idaho - Sun Valley
California - Heavenly
Washington - Mt. Baker

Why, I don't know.  Never been to most of them other than Alta, Telluride, Stowe, and my home mountain. 
post #9 of 29
Utah - TheBird
Wideopenining - Jackson Hole
MT - 3 sided coin says, Big Sky
NM - Taos
CO - Snowmas, big is good but a tough choice
CA - Mammoth, big is good
OR - Mt Hood, summer skiing happens
ID - Sun Valley, actually a tough choice with Schweitzer
WA - Crystal Mt, home mt is kind of like Jackson, there are runs but you ski areas
VT - Stowe, never been there but it sounds like a good idea


 
post #10 of 29
This challenge is too easy. There aren't that many states with good skiing in the country; 10 is almost a no-brainer. Make it five, include Canadian provinces and then you really have to think.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 

Joe: fair enough, but I don't think all of them were easy. CO is a tough one, as is CA.
Tom: love your thinking on Jackson.
tylrwnzl: Hawaii an interesting call, but how did New York sneak onto that list?

How could I have forgotten Alaska? Ooops.


Next up: Alps version.

post #12 of 29
The resort half isn't necessarily easy, just the state half. Cool topic though. Should have listed my picks in the last post.

Here's my top 5:

Wyoming: Jackson Hole
Utah: Snowbasin
BC: Kicking Horse
Washington: Baker
Montana: Bridger Bowl

Expanded to 10....

NM: Taos
Alberta: Sunshine 
Colorado: Silverton
California: Kirkwood
Vermont: Stowe

Sticking with just states, I'd throw in --

AK--Aleyeska (though I'd rather just do heli or backcountry)
ID--Schweitzer

Largely places that I'd like to try rather than ones that I have ridden.
post #13 of 29
Mr Prickly, please choose whatever ten places you'd like.
Just let me know with a fair amount of time in advance before you actually decide to embark in this. I need to save money to do that (or maybe a bank robbery or two...upps, disclaimer for the law enforcement :I'm joking).
Any place would be okay with me, having been in none.
I'll just say that MRG and JH, are two places I'd really like to be. Don't know why, but the names are luring me there...
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
You'd love the Hobacks at Jackson Hole, that's for sure!
post #15 of 29
 I love it that so many people have picked Mt. Baker but have never been there.  I would suspect that most would enjoy Crystal Mt., WA more.  It's much larger with a higher base giving it better quality snow much of the time and it has much more vertical.  The terrain is varied and spectacular.

While Baker has more snow than anywhere it is usually heavy.  It's base elevation is only about 3500' and it has 1500' vertical over 1000 acres.  Baker's terrain is interesting and challenging, but it confuses first timers with a very strange layout.  It can be great when the snow is good, but Crystal is much more reliable.

Full disclosure: I'm a Baker local.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

 I love it that so many people have picked Mt. Baker but have never been there.  I would suspect that most would enjoy Crystal Mt., WA more.  It's much larger with a higher base giving it better quality snow much of the time and it has much more vertical.  The terrain is varied and spectacular.

While Baker has more snow than anywhere it is usually heavy.  It's base elevation is only about 3500' and it has 1500' vertical over 1000 acres.  Baker's terrain is interesting and challenging, but it confuses first timers with a very strange layout.  It can be great when the snow is good, but Crystal is much more reliable.

Full disclosure: I'm a Baker local.
 

That was the punch line. P is right about Baker vs Xrstal.
post #17 of 29
Absolutely. They should go to Crystal. Our snbow is super heavy, the terrain is hardly more interesting than Vail and the backcountry is way overrated.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Baker's one of those places that just sticks in your mind as a spot you've got to hit. Never been, and hard to see how I'm going to get there now. I have been to Crystal and loved the mountain.
post #19 of 29
To be straightforward, I've skied Baker 50+ days for 20 years now. Sure, the snow is heavy at times, there's no 2000' fall lines, it's hard to get to, and the layout kinda sucks.

But it's still my top mountain. Hell, I had 16 powder days in by Thanksgiving this year. And I have to dispute the idea that Crystal has better quality snow. Crystal is higher, but it's also further south and doesn't have the geography that puts the worlks deepest snow on Baker. There are times that Crystal has better snow, there are times that Stevens has better snow and there are times that Baker has better snow.

Crystal rocks, and it's probably true that most people would like it better. Crystal is bigger, has more lift capacity, has more open lines. Baker is funky, and much of the best stuff is a) hard to find or b) out of bounds. Bring your A game, because the good stuff often involves traversing the top of a cliff, dropping a 3' wide chute for 20 feet, then 6 turns of 45 degree trees before opening out.

So come on down Prickly and get a tour of the goods.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post

Idaho - since I've not been to Sun Valley, I'd pick Grand Taghee which I have been and love.

 

Sorry, but Grand Targhee is actually in Wyoming.  Granted, it is only by a couple of miles, but it is actually across the line!

Perhaps a bit of trivia for folk.

Mike
post #21 of 29
Why not Whiteface? It's got the 10th biggest vert in all of the US and has some great downhill terrain, when even if it is usually covered in ice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

Joe: fair enough, but I don't think all of them were easy. CO is a tough one, as is CA.
Tom: love your thinking on Jackson.
tylrwnzl: Hawaii an interesting call, but how did New York sneak onto that list?

How could I have forgotten Alaska? Ooops.


Next up: Alps version.

post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill View Post


So come on down Prickly and get a tour of the goods.
Wow, OK. You offer babysitting too, I assume?
post #23 of 29
Someone should start another thread: "If you had to pick one and only one place to ski in the contiguous United States for the rest of your life what would it be?"  (Perhaps only the answer of those who have skied both east and west should count?)

I know what my answer would be.  Do you?
post #24 of 29
Yes, but my answer wouldn't count.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTripodi View Post

Someone should start another thread: "If you had to pick one and only one place to ski in the contiguous United States for the rest of your life what would it be?"  (Perhaps only the answer of those who have skied both east and west should count?)

I know what my answer would be.  Do you?
post #25 of 29
Heck.  Answer anyway.  I'm curious.
post #26 of 29
You mean something like this?

www.epicski.com/forum/thread/84915/one-ski-town-for-the-rest-of-your-life
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTripodi View Post

Someone should start another thread: "If you had to pick one and only one place to ski in the contiguous United States for the rest of your life what would it be?"  (Perhaps only the answer of those who have skied both east and west should count?)

I know what my answer would be.  Do you?
post #27 of 29
Rio, thanks for the link.  Good reading.  But I mean forget about living there.  Just concentrate on the mountain whether one must fly there or drive there or not etc.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

 I love it that so many people have picked Mt. Baker but have never been there.  I would suspect that most would enjoy Crystal Mt., WA more.  It's much larger with a higher base giving it better quality snow much of the time and it has much more vertical.  The terrain is varied and spectacular.

I really should make a trip to Washington....
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTripodi View Post

Heck.  Answer anyway.  I'm curious.

Big Sky/Moonlight Basin if I only get to ski one resort I want the most terrain/snow/vert I can get. So Big Sky would have to be the choice. Hopefully someday I'll at least get to ski there.
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