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Steamboat v. Utah - Page 2

post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

I don't understand what the kick about tree skiing is.  Frankly I find it dangerous.  Not that I'm afraid of it, or haven't spend many hours skiing in and around trees, but I just don't what the allure for targeting tree skiing is.  The trees cause ruts to build up between them and you always have to worry about catching an edge or letting the speed get away from you, and getting seriously hurt.  Spending a short time each day in the trees is fine with me, in fact its' mandatory. But I wouldn't want to push my luck.  Like that Steamboat Powder Cats video, I don't understand why I would ever want to expose myself to skiing tight trees like that for more than just a short period of time . Like I said, I'm no WUS and am usually the most adventurous in my group, by far!



The reason Steamboat's trees are so hyped are that they're not tight at all: they're spaced perfectly for making turns in. There are tighter trees too, but a lot of the best areas (Shadows, Closet) are just made to tear through without too much worry of mental damage. Plus, Steamboat's runs get tracked out in a hurry and there's really no choice but to go all trees all day.

 

I've always found a more serene, natural quality to tree skiing that can't be replicated on runs. Less (hopefully no) people, more solitude, quiet, etc. Plus it's an extra challenge weaving in and out of trees. The ruts definitely suck, but trees are really best on or near a powder day. Once it's a big mogul field littered with thick trunks, I agree: stay away.

post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

I don't understand what the kick about tree skiing is.  Frankly I find it dangerous.  Not that I'm afraid of it, or haven't spend many hours skiing in and around trees, but I just don't what the allure for targeting tree skiing is.  The trees cause ruts to build up between them and you always have to worry about catching an edge or letting the speed get away from you, and getting seriously hurt.  Spending a short time each day in the trees is fine with me, in fact its' mandatory. But I wouldn't want to push my luck.  Like that Steamboat Powder Cats video, I don't understand why I would ever want to expose myself to skiing tight trees like that for more than just a short period of time . Like I said, I'm no WUS and am usually the most adventurous in my group, by far!

 

 

first your own personal biases usually override facts.

 

Tree runs are the safest runs on the mountain. sure there are minor bruises every once in while, but the speeds most people are willing to go in trees is alot less than what they will do on open run, let alone blue groomer. Your perception is far from reality here.

 

tree runs are the last places on the mountain to have powder snow after a storm, they are also the last places on a mountain to have shaded mid winter snow. At snowbird especially if your not skiing trees you are missing out on 50 percent of the mountain. also Gad 2 tends to have the best snow on the mountain.

 

You old skis were sucky tree skis. Cambered skinny skis are the toughest skis to ski tree on because of their precision. You want a lose ski that lets you slarve though trees and doesnt catch on ruts. My skis laugh at ruts cause I never feel them. Your new skis should make skiing the trees much easier.

 

you dont wear a helmet. a helmet will stop the minor hits to your head that will be sure to happen skiing in the woods.

 

Tree skiing for me is seeing how good I am skiing. Its purely reaction skiing because there is no time to think and to keep the flow going it forces you to commit to stuff you cant really see. I am also laughing at you saying the steamboat video was tight trees. I am pretty sure the powdercat's own guides would not have an easy time spending a day with me here at stowe. You have not seen tight tree till you have seen uncut vermont woods.

 

 


 

post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

After reading the OP's follow-up about wanting challenging, steep terrain: it's a no-brainer--go to Utah. Snowbird and Snowbasin (especially bird) are two of the most challenging resorts in the state, and both would be on your "haven't skied" list. Snowbird is stocked with steep terrain, and at Snowbasin you'll find it concentrated on either side of the mountain. John Paul and the connection to the tram are basically like exclusive lifts for black/double black skiers that never have a line (I think there is one blue at the top of John Paul and none up the tram). And Strawberry's got a ton of great terrain serviced by its own gondola.

 

Not sure why Steamboat is on your list, you'd be better off with Crested Butte, Telluride or any number of other resorts in Colorado.

 

 

I agree but I suspect the OP will be like a huge portion of the skiers that show up at the Bird.  They heard it was challenging and show up and find that they are barely able to ski it.  They can watch lots of great skiers rip the mountain from their lift ride up but then they hack their way down the mountain.  I've never seen a mtn that humbles (including myself) so many people who think they are CORE.  

 

You can have a blast at the Bird...but be prepared to find that you are a hack.  I see lots of survival skiing when I am at the Bird....of course I also see lots of serious rippers and not much in between.

 

But the OP can't go wrong with any of the choices he/she has listed.

post #34 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

After reading the OP's follow-up about wanting challenging, steep terrain: it's a no-brainer--go to Utah. Snowbird and Snowbasin (especially bird) are two of the most challenging resorts in the state, and both would be on your "haven't skied" list. Snowbird is stocked with steep terrain, and at Snowbasin you'll find it concentrated on either side of the mountain. John Paul and the connection to the tram are basically like exclusive lifts for black/double black skiers that never have a line (I think there is one blue at the top of John Paul and none up the tram). And Strawberry's got a ton of great terrain serviced by its own gondola.

 

Not sure why Steamboat is on your list, you'd be better off with Crested Butte, Telluride or any number of other resorts in Colorado.

 

 

I agree but I suspect the OP will be like a huge portion of the skiers that show up at the Bird.  They heard it was challenging and show up and find that they are barely able to ski it.  They can watch lots of great skiers rip the mountain from their lift ride up but then they hack their way down the mountain.  I've never seen a mtn that humbles (including myself) so many people who think they are CORE.  

 

You can have a blast at the Bird...but be prepared to find that you are a hack.  I see lots of survival skiing when I am at the Bird....of course I also see lots of serious rippers and not much in between.

 

But the OP can't go wrong with any of the choices he/she has listed.



I am almost positive that I will not find that I am "barely able to ski it".  I will definitely be able to ski most of the terrain there and well at that.  I'm also positive when trying to ski the more challenging terrain I will find myself "trying to make it down".  When I'm trying to make it down tho I connect jump turns and make it as fluid as possible.  I might not rip it up and carve up the the steep terrain but I'll make it down.  I'm also sure it will humble me.  Maybe so I can get an idea of what the mountain will be like, can you compare some of the toughest terrain at snowbird to the tougher terrain at alta?  Thanks

post #35 of 36

I am almost positive that I will not find that I am "barely able to ski it".  I will definitely be able to ski most of the terrain there and well at that.  I'm also positive when trying to ski the more challenging terrain I will find myself "trying to make it down".  When I'm trying to make it down tho I connect jump turns and make it as fluid as possible.  I might not rip it up and carve up the the steep terrain but I'll make it down.  I'm also sure it will humble me.  Maybe so I can get an idea of what the mountain will be like, can you compare some of the toughest terrain at snowbird to the tougher terrain at alta?  Thanks

Most of the black terrain at Snowbird is just like the black terrain at any other western resort or most eastern resorts.  But there is a ton of double blacks, which are usually quite easy to avoid if you just exercise a modem of caution.  There is not death defying terrain in every corner, but there is lots and lots steep terrain, in innumerable permutations and variety.  Of course, I've made most of my trips in February, when there is no ice, ever.  After March 1st you run the chance of hitting the thaw freeze cycle which can turn the hill into a very dangerous place!

Just look at the map. it's a black paradise.

http://www.snowbird.com/imagelib/trailmaps/trailmap_snowbird.pdf

Here is what sets Snowbird apart.  - The Cirque - the ridge that splits the front side of the resort into two valleys.  There is very steep skiing found off that ridge.

The two bowls. Mineral Basin and Little Cloud Bowl.  Mineral Basin has more features and is a bit larger than Little  Cloud, both have a few steep spots, but both in most places are quite doable for any experienced skier w/o ANY risk of a serious fall.  (less so for MB with some tricky cliff areas).

The third feature is the top to bottom steep skiing over most of the entire face of the mountain, and that includes the backside MB.

Alta has many of the same features, but has teacups not bowls.  Much of the serious skiing needs a traverse, but there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.  Also, Alta has more sun exposure problems than Snowbird does, the snow gets crappier quicker in more places than Bird.(more of a factor after March 1st)  Another problem with Alta, is that there is more necessary runout and less variety possible on most journeys down the mtn. And Alta has only 2,000ft of vert while Bird has 3,000. However, all that about Alta is something you would never even notice, until you had many trips to both resorts.  It's a great resort by any standard with tons of skiing, it's a legend for a reason, and it gets just a little more snow than Snowbird.  At Alta you are likely to find someone skiing in a snowflake sweater from the 80's and the real altagirls have pigtails.
 


Edited by SnowbirdDevotee - 12/2/10 at 11:24am
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcl116 View Post

I am almost positive that I will not find that I am "barely able to ski it".  I will definitely be able to ski most of the terrain there and well at that.  I'm also positive when trying to ski the more challenging terrain I will find myself "trying to make it down".  When I'm trying to make it down tho I connect jump turns and make it as fluid as possible.  I might not rip it up and carve up the the steep terrain but I'll make it down.  I'm also sure it will humble me.  Maybe so I can get an idea of what the mountain will be like, can you compare some of the toughest terrain at snowbird to the tougher terrain at alta?  Thanks

 

I think his post was a good one.  Not saying anything about anyone in particular but in general I think his post is right on. You need solid technique, fitness,  AND experience sking 35-45 degrees to be comfortable at the bird (by alot of experience I mean a season (+) at a big mountain, not a few weeks of vacation). If not -- it is easy to get worked and get intimidated by the scope of the terrain and limited by how little you will be able to ski confidently with out fear.   

 

As far as a comparison... of alta vs. Bird.

 

At alta most of the challnging expert terrain is at most about 1200' in a single shot becuase of all the traversing involved to get to where you want to be. They also tend to be smaller lines. This is comparable to most moutnians back east. So it something most vistiors are used to. At the bird its more like 3000-1500' in a shot. So once you are are down 1200' and saying to your self ok this run should be over soon, in reality, its not even half over. Also the style of terrain is somethign most easterners are not used to, skiing  a big open face with limited landmarks to guide them down. Visually the light feels flatter and you are more prone to vertigo. More volume of the terrain is 40 degree slopes at bird than at Alta. And there is not much mellow intermediae / advanced off trail runs at the bird. And the ammount of narrow cat tracks is more vs. the wide cruisers at alta.

 

 

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