EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › despite resorts 'opening early', what is the minimum base for snow that you need before venturing out?
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despite resorts 'opening early', what is the minimum base for snow that you need before venturing out?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

sure sure, many resorts are 'opening early', but what do you consider to the bare minimm for a decent base before taking your out your skis, so you're protected against any bare spots or rocks etc?

 

Would 100cm (or more) be sufficient... or does it depend? While I'm itchin' like everyone else to get out there, it's not going to be at the cost of damaging or unnecessarily roughing up my skis (i don't have any crappy ''rock'' skis, either)  

 

I ask as when I picked up my skis (from a tuneup) at my local ski shop a few days ago and was waxing on about how Cypress was opening, the clerk shook her head and said ''I hope you're not taking those newer skis up with you if you go..."

 

Both my local mtns are open today: Cypress has a 75cm base and Whistler, which opened yesterday, shows a base (as of now) of  93cm.

http://cypressmountain.com,

http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/weather/snowreport/index.htm

 

post #2 of 26

Was surprised when I saw Cypress were opening, although it's only select runs on Black where they have most of the snow making geared. Required base varies from place to place I guess and is impacted by the terrain under the snow - a slope managed in the summer and cleared of large rocks, small trees etc is going to be able to operate with a much smaller base, even down to only 30cm. Certainly in Whistler, if you stick to the open runs, you'll be fine I would think. Probably Cypress too. But if you care about your bases don't even think about going off piste especially below the treeline. Just get out there...

post #3 of 26

I hiked Killington when an October storm dropped probably 40 cm or so on it.  The slopes were pretty groomed and the snow was heavy, so it wasn't an issue at all.  In fact, I left wishing I'd brought by nicer, bigger skis as with my smaller, narrower rock skis I found my self sinking into the cement and there wasn't any chance of damage in the end.

post #4 of 26

January is my answer.  This is the time of year when I start to get real excited about the upcoming ski season, but it isn't until January when I venture out.  I want plenty of snow and unless we get lucky on the East coast, December isn't too good.  Late December, possibly, but I don't even fantasize anymore about hitting the slopes before December 20, but usually January.  Then I want to go constantly!

post #5 of 26

Historically, I have found that most areas in the Rockies really need at least 48" to be skied with relatively minimal risk to your skis or body.This is particularly true for the "steeper" runs or mountains that require the leaving of "roughage(rocks, logs, etc.)" to prevent the snow from sliding.

I usually ski Alta/Snowbird most Thanksgivings, and have found that even with a 48" base, you had better be looking out for your bases/edges. In addition, with the multitudes of skiers hitting the limited skiing area, the base gets skied off very quickly.

Now if you are just looking to ski the beginner/intermediate runs, they will generally have sufficient snow with somewhat lesser amounts.

post #6 of 26

I think here the piste is usually fine when it's 30 inches or even less, but off piste?  No guarantees there.  I wait until January for most ungroomed areas unless I can see something's had a lot of traffic and it looks fine even when it has not just snowed.  I really think you need that heavy traffic inspection so that when it does snow, you'll know what's probably fine.  I have no grasp of how deep the resort would have to claim for that to happen here, more of a feel for the number of small trees littering the slopes of the off piste areas.  Once they get to a remembered speckling, then they're ready. I'm guessing that is well over 36 inches.  

post #7 of 26

Most resorts lie about the base.  About  the only reliable thing you can do is keep a pair or two of rock skis for the days when you are in doubt.

post #8 of 26

If the snow is brown, don't go down.

post #9 of 26

If you're worried about dinging your skis, you've got your priorities out of whack.  The worst that is probably going to happen is you're going to get a few nicks in the base or on the edges.  Obviously you could do much worse but if you use  your head you'll be fine.  Stay on the groomers for the most part and you'll be fine.  The fact that someone would skip a month of skiing to save their bases boggles my mind.  

 

If you're really worried about it get a cheap pair of skis, they aren't hard to find. 

post #10 of 26

All my skis are rock skis. Even with 300 inch base there are gonna be rocks poking through, some of them are quite large.

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by karpiel View Post

All my skis are rock skis. Even with 300 inch base there are gonna be rocks poking through, some of them are quite large.


What he said^

 

Just get out there & ski.  You are gonna hit rocks at some point, might as well shed some tears now & be over it.

 

JF

post #12 of 26

12 inches is plenty just don't turn, go straight and ski like you're really light.   Actually bought $50 rock skis at ski swap and just use those.

post #13 of 26

I don't pay much attention to base depth. For, me it's how much of the mountain is open. It may be a little different out West, but as an Eastern skier where the mountains are relatively small and the snow largely manmade, I won't bother unless a third to half the mountain is open. It doesn't matter how much I've been jonesing for the season to begin, doing laps of the same one or two ribbons of snow gets boring pretty fast,

post #14 of 26
Every ski area is different, so it's nice to know the tendencies of wherever you're going to ski. At Copper Mountain, many of the locals will tell you that 40 inches is the magic number. Once the reported base exceeds 40 inches, you can count on great skiing almost everywhere within the resort. That's not to say that there will be no rocks, of course. Even with a 200" base, there will always be a 201" rock somewhere out there!

Best regards,
Bob
post #15 of 26

Out west I find total annual snowfall to more reliably predict worthwhile skiing.  100 inches on the year is the magic number to find a decent selection of black terrain with good cover on the open runs and ample off piste, albeit select, terrain.

post #16 of 26

silly question... If there's snow, you go.

post #17 of 26
Skis were made to thrash, otherwise we'd mount them on the wall. I know ski areas where there is no magic amount others well, Lookout was quite nice with 12" friday. Go get some cheap skis and hammer them. At least then when it dumps in january your legs are in shape.
post #18 of 26

I always say.... I didn't buy 'em to look at 'em.  Learn how to use a P-tex candle and some basic edge maintenance tools,  keep 'em waxed,  and SKI 'em!!!

 

AM.

post #19 of 26

Since going off the groomer, I had occasionally encounter rocks. Sometimes I'm able to dodge them, other times not so lucky. That's even in the middle of the season.

 

As long as a good portion of the mountain is open, I go. If the base is thin, it's just a different challenge.

post #20 of 26

At least in Tahoe right now, the question for me isn't how much base, but how many lifts will be running.

post #21 of 26

Simple: it's different everywhere.

 

There's places in Colorado I'd ski on a 16" base.  I wouldn't touch most of Utah with anything less than 40".  In Montana, there's places I won't go unless there's more 50".  But, it's highly variable and depends on the resort.  

post #22 of 26

As others have said, it all depends on what's under the snow.  The local molehills around here are covered with nice soft grass so you only need about 8 to 12 inches to ski on them and you don't even have to use your rock skis.  Bigger hills with bigger rocks need a bigger base.

post #23 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaSucks View Post

If you're worried about dinging your skis, you've got your priorities out of whack.  The worst that is probably going to happen is you're going to get a few nicks in the base or on the edges.  Obviously you could do much worse but if you use  your head you'll be fine.  Stay on the groomers for the most part and you'll be fine.  The fact that someone would skip a month of skiing to save their bases boggles my mind.  

 

If you're really worried about it get a cheap pair of skis, they aren't hard to find. 


This.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attacking Mid View Post

I always say.... I didn't buy 'em to look at 'em.  Learn how to use a P-tex candle and some basic edge maintenance tools,  keep 'em waxed,  and SKI 'em!!!

 

AM.



Another way of looking at it...

 

Skis are tools, not jewels.

 

They're meant to be used.

post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 

yeah and there is also common sense on how good a base you need too, before venturing out too imo...best quote to me as a guide: ''if there's some or alot of brown (my edit) then I ain't going down''...OR if I do decide to go down when it's brown then I'll buy a pair of older rock skis (another good suggestion)


Edited by canali - 11/24/10 at 4:44pm
post #26 of 26

Forecast is looking at another 75cm by Friday, so you just need to head over the border. Things should be somewhat decent. :D

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