Needing a place to move to. I have been in Tahoe for a few years, and where that would be my number one choice, it just ain't gonna happen, unfortunately. Sooo... where to go instead? I really want to step it up to the next level and skin a lot. I have only been out there for about four years, but have a solid base. I like the snow pack in the sierras, as it seems to offer pretty great conditions all season long. Any suggestions?
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The mountain was almost lost a few years back, but the rally was made and it seems on solid ground. A very relaxed atmosphere and a nice lodge. Excellent crowded weekend escape from Sunday...
Where in the country to live for a great backcountry town?post #1 of 446/10/10 at 4:48amThread Starterpost #2 of 446/10/10 at 7:28ampost #3 of 446/10/10 at 7:43ampost #4 of 446/10/10 at 8:34ampost #5 of 446/10/10 at 9:00ampost #6 of 446/10/10 at 9:14am
The PNW has the best year round touring opportunities and the biggest backcountry scene in the country. If that's what you want. Had my first powder day this year in early September. The snowpack at 5000' is still sitting at 10+ feet.
Which reminds me...I haven't skied in almost 10 days. Better get after it tomorrow.post #7 of 446/10/10 at 1:23pm
Utah has the worst BC skiing in the world, so don't go there.
Yea, go to Colorado, so you can sit around all winter waiting for the snowpack to stablize! Than cry when there is nothing close to Sierra Corn Skiing in the spring in Colorado. Sounds like a great BC place to live for you!post #8 of 446/10/10 at 8:32pmThread Starter
really? i had no idea the pnw saw that kind of snow. where exactly would this be? mt. hood? bend, or?
alaska... could one live there and make enough money to support herself and her dog? because AK would be neat. that terrain is amazing. but where in AK to live?
Edited by penny4028 - 6/10/10 at 8:46pmpost #9 of 446/10/10 at 10:08pm
If you are thinking Alaska, the closer to Girdwood the better. Alyeska is the center of the ski world up there, but if lifts don't matter all the towns in South Central AK are in or near the mountains. The hikeable back country available form there is larger than a lot of European countries.
Anchorage, 1 hour away, will have the most jobs because it is the biggest city. If I were young and wanted to go there for the skiing would look for a job at Alyeska resort. If you look for it there is always work. There used to be a number of mountaineering and alpine clubs up there, they would be a good source for you. www.mcak.org this would be a place to start.
Go with some money to get started, no matter where you go. Good luck with whatever choice you make.post #10 of 446/11/10 at 8:19ampost #11 of 446/11/10 at 8:37amThread StarterQuote:
I think AK will be really nice as well. Leaning towards Girdwood AK. How I long for Tahoe though. There truly is no place like it in this world, it is the ideal place for someone like me to live. I made some mistakes there, and am paying for it. But hopefully the mistakes will open a new door, and hopefully that door will lead to new and exciting things, like skiing in Alaska! And who knows, they say time heals all wounds. Even the really bad ones, like knee surgeries and broken hearts.post #12 of 446/11/10 at 9:55am
Alaska??? Considering the elevation (Girdwood is about 200 ft. above sea level), weather, and winter darkness factors, IMO there are much better choices for a bc ski base.
Within 1.5 hours of Durango there are 4 passes that you can drive to on the highway (two at 10,000 feet, and 2 at 11,000), not to mention Telluride, Silverton Mt, Purgatory and Wolf Creek ski areas. In addition, the bc access to the La Plata Mts. is 30 min. from town. Also, instead of the maritime (PNW) gray sky winters, we get lots of sunshine. Snowpack is smaller and less stable in the Southern Rockies, but the weather is like being on another planet compared to the PNW. I know, I've lived in both places.
The other option is looking for a place you can bc ski right from your back door, but then you are talking about living at elevation, which means farther from civilization (like Silverton).post #13 of 446/11/10 at 11:18am
Yeah, we don't ski at 10k except in midsummer because everything up there is covered in 2000' of ice.
And remember, sunshine comes at a cost - we get nearly three times as much snow as Purgatory, so when you guys are playing on your alpine slides, we're still skiing down to our cars at 4000' in July. It's more like Tahoe than anywhere in the rockies is, except the summers aren't so blasted hot. Season starts much earlier than Tahoe as well, we had 200" by Turkey day this year.
I've lived in Girdwood as well. It's a very good choice - really amazing amounts of BC access. Much lower population though and a bit harder to pick up good partners overall.post #14 of 446/11/10 at 11:51am
Mudfoot is right!
Alaskan weather absolutely sucks compared to Southern Rockies; it is big and raw, like its' mountains. Girdwood will have shorter daylight hours for a couple of months in the winter, and way longer from April on. The base of Alyeska is at about 200' but timberline is about 2000', the latitude compensates for the altitude. Alaska is: harsh, raw, unforgiving, huge, ugly, incredibly beautiful; and the next day it something else.
Anyone who loves the out of doors and has thought about Alaska ought to go, especially the young. It has been populated by people looking for something, most of whom were running away from something else. You will love it or hate it there is no middle ground, but there is no way to know unless you go. Alaska is a place of new starts, it is "the last frontier".
Be aware that it is also the end of the road, it is a very long drive to any place else from Alaska if you don't like it.post #15 of 446/11/10 at 12:14pmpost #16 of 446/11/10 at 1:04pmThread Starter
You all are such an amazing wealth of information. The thing is, I'm not all that young (30 this fall!). I'm not running from anything, I'm running to it... skiing! My days of running from things are over. This is proactive problem solving: the problem being finding a new place to live.
I don't need tons of people or fancy places to go, just a place I can live, i can work, I can walk my dog, and go for a ski. The instability of the semiarid climate of CO is a concern. The variance of how storms roll in, and how the temperature gradients vary make for an unpredictable, potentially unstable snowpack. Whereas I noticed the maritime climate storms would come in warmer and wet, allowing the temperature gradient from the old snow to the new snow be quite small. Also the warmer air of the maritime climate seemed to allow for a snowpack that was more uniform. This would draw one to the Sierras, PNW, or AK. Or, am I totally off on all of this?
Anyone for Bishop, CA? The Eastern Sierras are amazing, I just know so little about them. Although what Stranger said about AK sounds enchanting. But it is quite far away and requires making a commitment. I do have a dog, and I'm sure she won't like that trip at all. But she's a trooper and would be just fine.post #17 of 446/11/10 at 1:58pm
I'm not sure I would put as much emphasis on snowpack. Everywhere has issues. Weather, elevation, daylight, etc. and you just learn to deal with them?
Bishop would be OK, or maybe June Lake? Drive down this weekend and hit the pass and check it out! There are lot's of really nice places. I hope you find somewhere YOU like!post #18 of 446/11/10 at 2:16pm
I don't know much about living in Bishop, but you are right about the mountains around there. Mammoth is just up the road if you get the urge for some ski town action. Bishop is not really in the mountains, but I think you would find some like minded people there. What about work? Do you have something to offer a small community like that?
AK is the big time. I think it's a place you would go after you have gained a lot of mountaineering experience. I think that for most of the year it wouldn't be that great (dark, wet & mosquitoes).
PNW has tons of snow & great mountains, but it is wet & gray much of the time.
Utah, like Colorado can have a sketchy snow pack but the snow quality is great & there is a pretty big ski mountaineering community. Salt Lake City is not really a mountain town, but there are other places to live.
Montana, Wyoming? Cowboys & cold, but lots of mountains.
British Columbia? Awesome, but where would you work?
My vote would be for Bishop.
If it is pure solitude & backcountry you are looking for, the possibilities are endless. If you have the funds, take a huge road trip for a year & then decide.
JFpost #19 of 446/11/10 at 2:22pmQuote:
For a resort skier, maybe. For a BC skier, snowpack and stability are what it is all about. Penny is quite correct, maritime snowpacks allow for safer conditions on wider variety of slopes for a longer season.post #20 of 446/12/10 at 7:38am
I agree, but what you gain in safety, you give up in snow quality. Maritime snowpacks are more stable because the snow generally has twice the moisture content of the flakes in Rockies. When BC skiing you often spend 90% of your time climbing. If I drag my bod uphill for a couple thousand feet I am looking for a good pay off (i.e. sweet powder and sunshine whenever possible.) There are always trade offs.
post #21 of 446/12/10 at 3:22pmThread Starter
Where I have not spent much time anywhere other than Tahoe (and the east coast, but the east seems to not be in this equation), I would say there were a fair number of fluffy powder days. That cold, early morning north facing snow that wonderfully suffocates you as you turn, as if you're dancing on clouds. Even just after a storm would hit, in Jan/Feb even March, the snow was powderrrrriffic! However, I say this having only skied powder in Tahoe. Perhaps other places its better? But I don't see how that could be. And oh how the sun would shine. Red noses and big smiles. There were days I went out and got one or two laps in early morning, then hopped back in the car, drove to Squaw, got in the KT line to stand with everyone else who had been standing there, literally fighting with each other, for the three hours (the lifts hadn't even opened yet, they just stood there while there was so much snow to be had). So while they were expending all that energy to get one more chair ahead, they could have their perfect, powder turns with no one around to fight for it except yourself. Point being, I think that the maritime conditions can offer great snow. But again, I have no experience with snowpacks in other climates.post #22 of 446/12/10 at 4:32pmpost #23 of 446/12/10 at 5:31pm
Mt. Baker Resort has lots of backcountry skiing. The snow there can be a little heavy though. There are a ton of skinners and hikers who catch some huge powder runs. Even the lift served areas have a backcountry feel. Plus, it's pretty cheap for a season pass. Oh, and the average annual snowfall is almost 700 in.
Edited by GLem - 6/12/10 at 8:41pmpost #24 of 446/12/10 at 7:35pmQuote:Originally Posted by GLem
Mt. Baker Resort is a backcountry resort near backcountry towns. The snow there can be a little heavy though. There are a ton of skinners and hikers who catch some huge powder runs. Even the lift served areas have a backcountry feel. Plus, it's pretty cheap for a season pass. Oh, and the average annual snowfall is almost 700 ft.
Mt. Baker is a ski area, not a backcountry resort. It does allow access to almost unlimited backcountry skiing and there are lots of folks who take advantage of that.
The average yearly snowfall is almost 700 INCHES, not feet. 700 feet of snow yearly would mean it snows about two feet every day for 12 months. Not likely.post #25 of 446/12/10 at 8:46pm
Oops. I meant inches. Thanks for the correction. To me Baker just seems backcountryish compared to other resorts. The people who seem to get the most out of such a big mountain do alot of hiking since the lifts don't cover very much terrain.post #26 of 446/12/10 at 8:48pmpost #27 of 446/13/10 at 7:54am
An important question in this is: what do you do to pay your bills?
Looking for great backcountry skiing is cool and all, but if you need to work then living somewhere that is condusive to what you do is kind of important.
Mt Baker is super-cool... try to earn a living there and it gets a little less 'cool'.
Nelson, BC would be #1 choice... but without a work visa, maybe not.post #28 of 446/13/10 at 8:02am
Again. why not back to Tahoe if your heart is there? It is a big lake and burned bridges can be rebuilt. There are also more chances for income be it ski related or even commuting to reno. Plus your go will love it.post #29 of 446/13/10 at 8:23am
I have to admit, I'm super-curious as to what the "burned bridges, knee surgery and broken hearts" is all about... (other than just another season in a ski town).
Is there a warrant or something?
I agree with Phil, you loved Tahoe, why wouldn't you go back to Tahoe?
... or go to Europe, lot's of friends of mine spend the second half of the season in Chamonix, I'd head there in an instant if I wanted unlimited touring and a super-mega-awsome collection of ski-weirdos to hang out with.post #30 of 446/13/10 at 10:35amThread StarterQuote:
There is a person there I hurt pretty badly (actually 2 people), and being in the same town is just too much. And ski towns are super small, especially the Tahoe ones. And people can be judgmental and they hold grudges, and being around that just wouldn't be fun right now. Perhaps in time, but this next season needs to be somewhere else. The problem is, i got bit wicked hard by the backcountry bug, and it is a top priority in my life, but all I know is Tahoe, so that's why I'm trying to find out through all the wonderful people on this site where to go instead. I want to be able to ski/bike/hike out my back door. And yikes, I don't think I could live in Reno (better known as Draino). Every time I would have to go there, I would try my best to hurry so I could leave. But I do need to earn a living, and I have a dog. I've learned through this forum of places I never would have thought about. So I am very grateful for all the ideas!
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