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Anyone braving the crowds this holiday?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I haven' bothered skiing this week. I spent the past couple of days working with a fitter in Ellicottville on a new pair of footbeds. I haven't even ventured out and don't plan on it this weekend.

 

There seems to be a spike this year in the holiday crowds. Much worse than usual. I don't think I have ever seen crowds this large. It probably has to do with the fact that the thaw is coming and it's supposed to rain heavily through the weekend and everyone decided to converge mid-week. Holiday Valley had to set up overflow parking and bus people in on corutesy shuttles. The Mardis Gras lift was insane and the line for Yodeler literally strecthed 50 yards on each side. Whether it was steep or mellow terrain, there was a constant stream of riders coming off of each run, soemtimes literally within arms reach of each other. It's good that at least the safety yellow-jackets were directing traffic at the main intersections on the hill.

 

I noticed HV also tilted their cameras to divert the view from showing pans of the runs and lifts. The Yodeler lift line below ,shown from the left of the ledge, stretches at least 50 yards on two sides. It has to be a good 30 minute wait.

 

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post #2 of 29

Skied back in the late 60"s early 70"s at HV alot and remember when they had a T Bar lift on Yodler  on the weekends there were 30 minute waits.  You could look up the hill and see nobody coming down we already did I guess and were in line.

 

They could probably use a 6 pack lift on Yodler?

post #3 of 29

I've skied 2 days up at Stevens Pass in the last week, it's been crowded, but I've seen worse.  You can stay away from the bulk of the crowds if you pick the right lifts and trails at Stevens, too, so it hasn't been that bad I don't think.

 

Edit: As long as you get there early enough, that is.  Both days I've talked to random people on the lifts and the lots have been getting full sometime before 10am, and people have had to park about 5 minutes down the road and get bused back up to the ski area.  Ran into one guy on Tuesday who got there at 9:45am and at 11:15 he was finally getting his first run in because of waiting for shuttle buses.

post #4 of 29

Full lemming day today at Bristol (warm temps, sun and snow in backyards in Rochester) and to make it worse, they had problems with the new Galaxy detach and had to shut it down. I would have skied longer (quit about 12:30) but even the singles line for the main quad was 10 minutes or so.

 

Actually, I'm glad they seem to be having a great Christmas break-more $$$ in means more improvements for next year and it's good for the industry to have lots of new or returning from long layoff skiers. Things will be back to normal next week.

post #5 of 29

skied xmas eve and xmas, left before holiday rush, It was quiet and I am sure that this week is crazy

post #6 of 29

Skied at Magic (VT) today, and we once had to wait for a whole 45 seconds!

Seriously, though, there was no way I was going to any of the big well known places this week.

I don't suppose there are any odd little places that no one goes to down by you. 

 

(P.S.  to the Magic crowd -- didn't mean to be anti-social, just didnt get around to attempting a meet-up in time to do any good.  Maybe next time.)

 

post #7 of 29

I waited in my first line yesterday in Aspen,  It was really windy and the gondi was running slow. The line was almost 4 minutes and I thought I was going to have a heart attack right there.

I had heard there were some lines out at Snowmass, but Aspen and Highlands have been pretty much line free.  Even the free cat for the bowl seldom had a wait.  Skiings been great, with more snow today!

post #8 of 29
I skied Holiday Valley yesterday (12-30) and it was a ZOO!! Conditions were good except for the usual crappy grooming that is the norm at HV, but the slopes were very crowded. They had parts of several slopes closed for either races or race training. Skiers and boarders were flying all over the place. Considering the recent tragic event in WY, I was nervous all day, keeping my speed in check, watching the slope in front of me like a hawk. I never felt comfortable except for a few runs on Ego Alley with no one else on it. Skiing the Wall (pretty decent conditions) was pretty entertaining as under skilled skiers and boaders were sliding and tumbling down all over the slope adding an exra level of difficulty for anyone actually trying to ski it.

The scariest moment of the day was when I was skiing down Maple Leaf just as I came over the last rise and down the final pitch, there was a kids ski class doing a drill across the entire narrow slope. After a brief "Oh shit" moment, I shaved some speed, threaded the needle and wondered what the ski instructor was thinking doing that on such a crowded day, as the class was completely obstructed till you came over the rise, one that many catch air on. It reminded me of what happened in WY. It disturbed me to the point of wanting to stop and talk to the instructor, maybe I should have but decided to mind my own busininess as the young instructor probably wouldn't have listened to this old coot anyway.

I am glad I survived.

Rick G
post #9 of 29

Mt. Baker has been only moderately crowded.  Lift line waits are 5 minutes or less. Great conditions and quite a few people, but the place has so much uphill capacity that it handles crowds well.

post #10 of 29

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post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

I skied Holiday Valley yesterday (12-30) and it was a ZOO!! Conditions were good except for the usual crappy grooming that is the norm at HV, but the slopes were very crowded. They had parts of several slopes closed for either races or race training. Skiers and boarders were flying all over the place. Considering the recent tragic event in WY, I was nervous all day, keeping my speed in check, watching the slope in front of me like a hawk. I never felt comfortable except for a few runs on Ego Alley with no one else on it. Skiing the Wall (pretty decent conditions) was pretty entertaining as under skilled skiers and boaders were sliding and tumbling down all over the slope adding an exra level of difficulty for anyone actually trying to ski it.

The scariest moment of the day was when I was skiing down Maple Leaf just as I came over the last rise and down the final pitch, there was a kids ski class doing a drill across the entire narrow slope. After a brief "Oh shit" moment, I shaved some speed, threaded the needle and wondered what the ski instructor was thinking doing that on such a crowded day, as the class was completely obstructed till you came over the rise, one that many catch air on. It reminded me of what happened in WY. It disturbed me to the point of wanting to stop and talk to the instructor, maybe I should have but decided to mind my own busininess as the young instructor probably wouldn't have listened to this old coot anyway.

I am glad I survived.

Rick G



I always try to give a ski school class a wide birth but the "snake dance" that they like to do accross the entire width of a run is downright dangerous. It is usually young, not too experienced level 1 instructors teaching the young kids who do this.

post #12 of 29

I've been braving the crowds as they are mainly flatlanders that stay on the lower lifts & spend more time in the lodge then on the slopes.  What I'm not braving is the -10 degree weather the past two days.

post #13 of 29

If it wasn't a holiday I'd be out there, sub-zero or not.  I'm more afraid of crazies than cold.  My daughter is up there working with the Race Camp kids and tells me to stay home.  However, any time I've looked at the webcams it doesn't look so bad.  I guess it's the quality of the crowd more than the quantity.

post #14 of 29

I'm with the OP.

 

See ya next week.

post #15 of 29

I went skiing at Calabogie Peak last Tuesday, despite my left leg not being ready and just coming along for the ride.  It was interesting as the first hockey stop I did on my left leg didn't turn out too well and I had to quickly pivot around to stopping with the right leg forward.   I spent most of the time on the green runs with my son and a friend.  I also went for one slow run on a black with my friend; just to make sure I didn't get in trouble I sideslipped the steepest 20 feet of the run.  Last run of the day, (and yes those unaware people felt the need to point it out as we were mounting the lift with 5 minutes until closing), with few enough skiers left on the hill that my son decided he could successfully avoid them, he decided to go down a black (high falls) and I had trouble keeping him in site, due to slower skiers getting between us.  Son managed to ski around everybody, but at the bottom in order to ski around the crowd he had to steer way off into the rough.  I'll have to get him to work on his hockey stop; it's kind of hard to make a gliding wedge turn uphill on High Falls, and it's kind of hard to keem the young'uns on the bunny hill.

 

Lift lines were long, snow coverage was scant, but we had a blast, and my charley horse benefitted from the little exercise it got.

 

I was hoping to demo some fat carvers, but they didn't have their demoes at the hill yet due to insufficient coverage, so I got to see how the other half lives on floppy rentals.  The rentals aren't so bad at slow speeds, once you resign your self to the fact they won't turn on ice and will skid a hard turn where a better ski will arc.  They also make skiing fast a little more exciting.

post #16 of 29

Snowboarded/skied the hill nearest Boston of 1000 vert or more Christmas Eve and the following Wednesday. I was planning to ski the nearest 1000ft ski hill to Washington DC today, but I had jet lag from by trip :) and slept all day. Heading up to Whitetail for New Year's Eve night skiing soon. Wish me luck. No guts, no glory!

 

I used rental gear both days at Wachusett and wore a regular winter coat, not a ski jacket. Tonight I'm planning on wearing rain pants with lots of dried road salt on them. If it's an us vs. them thing, I'm one of "them". eek.gif

post #17 of 29

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The bottom looked like that.. But the black runs a from the top looked like this!

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post #18 of 29


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

The bottom looked like that.. But the black runs a from the top looked like this!

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I could deal with the crowd.

 

I'd be more pissed off that my black runs looked like that.

post #19 of 29

Mt Bachelor 12/30/2010 at the bottom
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

nw.jpg

 

Mt Bachelor 12/30/2010 under the Skyliner (between the Dentist Way and park) and Canyon run

IMAG0225.jpg IMAG0227.jpg

 

post #20 of 29
We skied at Seven Springs (Pennsylvania) all week. Not very crowded. I was often able to ski right onto the lift, or wait only briefly. The only lift with significant wait (10-15 minutes at times) was the high-speed 6-pack that goes from the front side to the North side.
post #21 of 29

Just got back from a week at Park City.  I don't think we ever waited 5 minutes for a lift. Usually 1 or 2 minutes.  While riding the lifts I noticed that at least 90% of the skiers were on the same green runs.  The rest of the mountain was empty.  You could ski any blue or black run and have at most 3 other skiers on the same run. Most blacks, you would be alone. I saw nothing like the photos above (though that was my nightmare before the trip).

post #22 of 29

Skied Keystone yesterday-really not very crowded. Pretty much skied onto the chair (Outback) with no lines.Could have something to do with the sub zero weather. 1st time there when it was fully opened-not too impressed, although the snow was pretty decent except for south facing slopes (very crusty underneath). Hiked the South Bowl a few times to get the blood flowing-about a dozen turns then a long runout. The 5 dollar cat wasn't running.

post #23 of 29

New Year's Eve at Whitetail was nice. Uncrowded and warm enough to prevent icy conditions. They had live music, fireworks and a torchlight parade. I left early though and rang in the new year on a hospital bed with a broken arm. Happy New Year!

post #24 of 29

I skied 7 of the 10 days (I'm taking tomorrow off to miss the traffic back to Denver).  I skied 4 days at Copper, and the longest I waited for a chair was about 15 seconds.  Copper has been pretty much deserted, particularly yesterday and today when the high was about zero.  I've not seen so many unoccupied chairs as I did today in my memory at Copper.  I have a Copper pass to ski there during the holidays when the lesson pass is blacked out at Breckenridge and for when I get tired of skiing Breck.  It's great for us skiers that Vail Resorts has won the pass  wars; Copper is usually relatively deserted.

 

I also skied three days in Utah, 2 at Snowbird and 1 at Snowbasin.  I took private lessons, so never had to wait for a chair, tram, or gondola, but the crowds appeared to be thin enough that the wait would've been pretty inconsequential anyway.  

 

In my opinion, there is great skiing to be had during the holidays.  You just have to know where to go to minimize the crowds and maximize ski time.

 

Mike

post #25 of 29

What crowds? I've been Big Sky all week and no lines to speak of and no crowds on the mountain. Toady was a beautiful day following about two feet of snow over the past week few days and half the chairs were empty at almost every lift.

post #26 of 29

I am good with the holiday crowds. Bring it on.

 

Means my local hill is making $$$. Means my local hill will be here next year. Means I will ski midweek with *nobody* else on the hill now and forever.

 

Yea, it was a zoo yesterday and the day before, but today-New Years day......I think half the people skiing were patrollers. Eight to ten inches of fresh. Had a great day at a VIABLE resort. Semi-bad weather and other's hangovers made for an excellent day for me and a friend.

post #27 of 29

We went to Loveland on Wednesday, and it was a zoo, for Loveland.  I was grumbling about the line on lift 6 (longest I've ever seen) when my wife timed the actual wait - 4.5 minutes.  We're so spoiled....  I heard that they had the most skiers ever on Tuesday (5000).

post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

I skied 7 of the 10 days (I'm taking tomorrow off to miss the traffic back to Denver).  I skied 4 days at Copper, and the longest I waited for a chair was about 15 seconds.  Copper has been pretty much deserted, particularly yesterday and today when the high was about zero.  I've not seen so many unoccupied chairs as I did today in my memory at Copper.  I have a Copper pass to ski there during the holidays when the lesson pass is blacked out at Breckenridge and for when I get tired of skiing Breck.  It's great for us skiers that Vail Resorts has won the pass  wars; Copper is usually relatively deserted.

 

I also skied three days in Utah, 2 at Snowbird and 1 at Snowbasin.  I took private lessons, so never had to wait for a chair, tram, or gondola, but the crowds appeared to be thin enough that the wait would've been pretty inconsequential anyway.  

 

In my opinion, there is great skiing to be had during the holidays.  You just have to know where to go to minimize the crowds and maximize ski time.

 

Mike



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post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

Mt. Baker has been only moderately crowded.  Lift line waits are 5 minutes or less. Great conditions and quite a few people, but the place has so much uphill capacity that it handles crowds well.



Moderately crowded for the most part, but a new record for the ski school. The lack of fresh snow kept the expert areas uncrowded, but the sunshine kept the beginner areas about the most crowded we've seen. Fortunately, it's no comparison to most of the country.

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