If You Want Big Air, Pull My Finger - Ski and Ride 23-24

graffam198

dog lover
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2007
1,890
Reno, NV
Snow's been nice and soft here in Colorado thanks to a series of storms that's brought our snowpack back to life. It's absolutely dumping in the southern mountains (Wild Creek, Purgatory, etc.) tho it's not really in the cards to get down there this year. Missus and I will take a few days off next week to do a little trip to Monarch - real old school mountain - so looking forward to that as just a nice time away with the wife.

I'm extremely, extremely happy tho as yesterday I got my little guy out on some real slopes for the first time ever. He's 2 so we're mostly just getting him used to the idea of being in gear and getting out, and he has a blast. My wife made a short little reel capturing the moment: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3KElOoMktxWT_RP6Bv9NKYaseb1K7qXV500l00/

Kiddo skied for a solid hour and still wanted to keep going even as he was basically falling down with tiredness as we were walking back to the lodge. Leave 'em wanting more. Best day of my life.
Dude, some of my FAVORITE ski memories are the kid(s) on the leash. It's so fun! Pro tip, next year lose the leashes and just use your poles. It works better. Took me until the 2nd kid to figure that out...

Love Purg. My wife's BFF lives at Silverpick and pre kids we would go and lurk for a super cheap ski-trip. They would drop me off at the resort and then go have the day to themselves. Solid arrangement. Last trip though I was sitting on plane, watching them load baggage. My bag, check. Wife's bag, check. My skis? No. They went onto a different cart and zoomed off into the ether. Something wild about watching your stuff go elsewhere with no ability to be "excuse me, I believe my shit is not being loaded..." Of course it was pre-kids so I had like 8 pairs of skis so it didn't matter...
 

Zososoxfan

Member
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Jul 30, 2009
9,375
South of North
For you 2-plankers out there, a blogger I follow, Bob Lefsetz, organized a discount on Peak Skis:

LINK

Not sure how accurate some of the premises the author assumes are, but figured I'd pass it along. It's $100 off and free returns for 30 days--including usage. So basically it's an extended demo package. Cheers!
 

GoJeff!

Member
SoSH Member
May 30, 2007
2,088
Los Angeles
Just returned from a week of touring in British Columbia. Went to a small, rustic hut with 6 friends and skied the crap out of the continental divide north of Golden. Good times.
78378
78377
 

GoJeff!

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May 30, 2007
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Los Angeles
Looks like fun. My friends in Vancouver were telling me recently that they need more snow. Looks like you had plenty of it near Golden.
There was a massive warm spell a couple of weeks ago that caused wet slides all over. On the heli in I was thinking there was nothing to ski, but the upper elevations stayed cold and then we got snow to cover the frozen layers down low. Certainly low tide compared to other years, though.
 

Zososoxfan

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Jul 30, 2009
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There was a massive warm spell a couple of weeks ago that caused wet slides all over. On the heli in I was thinking there was nothing to ski, but the upper elevations stayed cold and then we got snow to cover the frozen layers down low. Certainly low tide compared to other years, though.
Trip looks super cool, thanks for sharing!

I'm really interested in learning about mountaineering--does fresh snow on top of frozen layers below make for stable avvy conditions?
 

jezza1918

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Jul 19, 2005
2,945
South Dartmouth, MA
Borrowed a friends set up and did my first ever skinning session in Nebraska Valley/Stowe yesterday. While I can barely walk today, totally worth it. Looking forward to getting myself the equipment and avoiding lift lines and traffic the next few seasons here!
78401
 

graffam198

dog lover
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2007
1,890
Reno, NV
Borrowed a friends set up and did my first ever skinning session in Nebraska Valley/Stowe yesterday. While I can barely walk today, totally worth it. Looking forward to getting myself the equipment and avoiding lift lines and traffic the next few seasons here!
View attachment 78401
Get a guide and get a lesson. Your legs will still burn, but burn less! There is a lot of great/easy technique to make your uphill easier. Simple things like smaller strides and keeping your toe down. It's such a great adder to traditional downhill, glad you had fun!
 

jezza1918

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,945
South Dartmouth, MA
Get a guide and get a lesson. Your legs will still burn, but burn less! There is a lot of great/easy technique to make your uphill easier. Simple things like smaller strides and keeping your toe down. It's such a great adder to traditional downhill, glad you had fun!
oh this was guided by a good friend and expert. telling me when to change the settings on my rear binding, etc. not sure i wouldve made it otherewise - Crazy how much of the stuff I take for granted after alpine skiing for 37 years, such as stepping into a binding, made me feel like a beginner again yesterday
 

graffam198

dog lover
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2007
1,890
Reno, NV
Trip looks super cool, thanks for sharing!

I'm really interested in learning about mountaineering--does fresh snow on top of frozen layers below make for stable avvy conditions?
Not necessarily. There is a ton that goes into this. Day one, fresh on frozen = nightmare. Think of water on glass. Doesn't take much angle to make it slide. (Fun fact, that is why avalanche danger in Japan is so wild. Bamboo, being so flexible, lays down instead of standing up as an anchor. Consequently, it acts as a great "Slide")

The best way to think of snow is like a layer cake. Every storm creates a new layer, sometimes multiple! on the deposition of the snow. And the interaction between those layers is what causes instability. If you have a frozen layer, and it dumps a very cold storm on top of it, there is minimal cohesion. (Especially if cloudy!). The snow doesn't have enough energy to reorganize the crystals into a more cohesive bond and instead of getting angular, they grind against eachother into round shapes. These round shapes between layers act as ball bearings. Add some pressure and the layers then shear apart.

Sometimes these weak layers are higher in the snow pack and easier to find. Sometimes they become "persistent" weak layers, which means they don't "Heal". they just lurk.

Now, if it is a warmer storm, you have a little more energy, a little more moisture, you might get some more bonding, but not necessarily. Then you have to factor in a ton of other factors. Wind loading, slope angle, slope aspect, below snow anchors, shifting winds, solar radiation, etc.

Honestly, the snow science part is my favorite. I love the touring, the downhill, but the science behind it and all the things that make up the snow pack are what really get me excited.
 

graffam198

dog lover
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2007
1,890
Reno, NV
oh this was guided by a good friend and expert. telling me when to change the settings on my rear binding, etc. not sure i wouldve made it otherewise - Crazy how much of the stuff I take for granted after alpine skiing for 37 years, such as stepping into a binding, made me feel like a beginner again yesterday
EVERY TIME. I learn something new every time I go out. Those AT bindings were such a nightmare the first time! And there are so many schools of thought on your platforms! I go with one guy who will tell you that if you use your risers you are doing it wrong. More kick turns! (of course sometimes you can't, not enough space, whatever). Other people just set em and forget em. Then when you put ski crampons on the game changes again. It's a lot of fun
 

GoJeff!

Member
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May 30, 2007
2,088
Los Angeles
I'm really interested in learning about mountaineering--does fresh snow on top of frozen layers below make for stable avvy conditions?
To add to what @graffam198 said, frozen layers can be good or bad depending on what else happens.

In our case, we had very light snow on top of the rain layer. While the bonding was poor, the snow was unable to easily slab or have much energy when it did (d1 to d1.5 size avalanches, which are pretty unlikely to bury anyone). As a result, our avy danger was mostly low all week. The avy danger we did face was not due to the rain event, but rather wind slabs up high. In fact, in the bunny track photo, we turned around soon after because of wind slab avy danger and didn't make it up to the Lyell icefield that day.

The ice layer did make for some spicy skiing down low:

 

graffam198

dog lover
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2007
1,890
Reno, NV
To add to what @graffam198 said, frozen layers can be good or bad depending on what else happens.

In our case, we had very light snow on top of the rain layer. While the bonding was poor, the snow was unable to easily slab or have much energy when it did (d1 to d1.5 size avalanches, which are pretty unlikely to bury anyone). As a result, our avy danger was mostly low all week. The avy danger we did face was not due to the rain event, but rather wind slabs up high. In fact, in the bunny track photo, we turned around soon after because of wind slab avy danger and didn't make it up to the Lyell icefield that day.

The ice layer did make for some spicy skiing down low:

Looks like the bunny turned around too :p . Super cool photos and trip though!

They finally opened The Chutes at my resort last week. Coverage was pretty spotty up high. I managed to pop a ski (Don't ask, much shame) and had to hike up about 20' to get it. It was a little sketchy as I was postholing to ground in about navel deep snow. First time I've been kind of freaked out in a long time. Punching through that deep, with poor anchorage, just a tad sketch. Nothing as sad though as having one ski on, high step, seal up the slope, pole plant to grade, repeat for 20 minutes to go get a ski. I DO NOT SKI INBOUNDS TO HIKE DAMMIT!

Fun story though. Chose a different chute, slightly lower angle, slightly different aspect for the next run. I was stopped up top for no more than 15 seconds, picking a line. Guy pulled up behind me and asked if he could drop first. told him "Hey, no problem man, there is a ton of stuff lurking in there, so I'm just trying to save my base". He gave a dismissive hand wave and charged it. First turn, SCRAPE followed my a "F*CK". Next turn, BIGGER SCRAPE, louder "F*CKKKK". Third turn, SCRRRAAAAAAAAAPPPPPEEEEEEE followed by the loudest "F*****CCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK MEEEEEEEEEEE" I've ever heard on slope. I couldn't resist. Cupping my hands "TOLD YOU BRO".

I do appreciate him showing me "the way" though.
 

Zososoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 30, 2009
9,375
South of North
Not necessarily. There is a ton that goes into this. Day one, fresh on frozen = nightmare. Think of water on glass. Doesn't take much angle to make it slide. (Fun fact, that is why avalanche danger in Japan is so wild. Bamboo, being so flexible, lays down instead of standing up as an anchor. Consequently, it acts as a great "Slide")

The best way to think of snow is like a layer cake. Every storm creates a new layer, sometimes multiple! on the deposition of the snow. And the interaction between those layers is what causes instability. If you have a frozen layer, and it dumps a very cold storm on top of it, there is minimal cohesion. (Especially if cloudy!). The snow doesn't have enough energy to reorganize the crystals into a more cohesive bond and instead of getting angular, they grind against eachother into round shapes. These round shapes between layers act as ball bearings. Add some pressure and the layers then shear apart.

Sometimes these weak layers are higher in the snow pack and easier to find. Sometimes they become "persistent" weak layers, which means they don't "Heal". they just lurk.

Now, if it is a warmer storm, you have a little more energy, a little more moisture, you might get some more bonding, but not necessarily. Then you have to factor in a ton of other factors. Wind loading, slope angle, slope aspect, below snow anchors, shifting winds, solar radiation, etc.

Honestly, the snow science part is my favorite. I love the touring, the downhill, but the science behind it and all the things that make up the snow pack are what really get me excited.
This is awesome. I've never thought about the layers needed energy to bond, and the ball bearing analogy was an aha! moment. I really do need to get into touring.

Looks like the bunny turned around too :p . Super cool photos and trip though!

They finally opened The Chutes at my resort last week. Coverage was pretty spotty up high. I managed to pop a ski (Don't ask, much shame) and had to hike up about 20' to get it. It was a little sketchy as I was postholing to ground in about navel deep snow. First time I've been kind of freaked out in a long time. Punching through that deep, with poor anchorage, just a tad sketch. Nothing as sad though as having one ski on, high step, seal up the slope, pole plant to grade, repeat for 20 minutes to go get a ski. I DO NOT SKI INBOUNDS TO HIKE DAMMIT!

Fun story though. Chose a different chute, slightly lower angle, slightly different aspect for the next run. I was stopped up top for no more than 15 seconds, picking a line. Guy pulled up behind me and asked if he could drop first. told him "Hey, no problem man, there is a ton of stuff lurking in there, so I'm just trying to save my base". He gave a dismissive hand wave and charged it. First turn, SCRAPE followed my a "F*CK". Next turn, BIGGER SCRAPE, louder "F*CKKKK". Third turn, SCRRRAAAAAAAAAPPPPPEEEEEEE followed by the loudest "F*****CCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK MEEEEEEEEEEE" I've ever heard on slope. I couldn't resist. Cupping my hands "TOLD YOU BRO".

I do appreciate him showing me "the way" though.
I kinda love when people hotdog in front of me and then I just use their run to help guide mine. I'm a pretty proud rider but not proud enough to take some help along sketcher routes.
 

graffam198

dog lover
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2007
1,890
Reno, NV
It wasn't even the sketch, it was just all the obstacles. Snow snakes, land mines, etc. Really didn't want to mess my skis up (tools, not toys, I know, but still), or take a digger on a 45 degree slope (like I did 30 minutes prior). Tahoe has had a pretty dismal year, especially compared to last winter, so there just isn't great coverage. You can charge, but it won't end on the hill, you'll be charging your card to repair your bases and edges like crazy.

As an aside, looking for boot recs. My DH setup is a pair of Nordica Hot Rods. 125 flex, 99 width. 10 years old...Yes, I know. They are trash. So soft now. But they were the most wonderful boots I've ever owned. They are just so squishy now that they are probably a park boot. What are people rocking? Any love with the cable style boots? Stick with 4 buckles? I want to stay 120+ flex range but lange are out.
 

GoJeff!

Member
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May 30, 2007
2,088
Los Angeles
As an aside, looking for boot recs. My DH setup is a pair of Nordica Hot Rods. 125 flex, 99 width. 10 years old...Yes, I know. They are trash. So soft now. But they were the most wonderful boots I've ever owned. They are just so squishy now that they are probably a park boot. What are people rocking? Any love with the cable style boots? Stick with 4 buckles? I want to stay 120+ flex range but lange are out.
Ten years is a long time...
Just got a pair of regular-old four buckle Technica Mach 1s. They are a 130, slightly softer than the Lange 130 I tried, but stiffer than the K2 Recon 130 with the BOA closure. I barely buckle the first two buckles anyways, so I didn't have much interest in the BOA.
I have a high instep, and that where most of the fitting time ended up dealing with, but the three volume levels make fitting a bit easier than many other boots. They also have a lot of grindable/punchable areas on the boots for customization.
I've really enjoyed them so far.
 

graffam198

dog lover
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2007
1,890
Reno, NV
Dude, they were just the perfect boot. Comfortable from day 1. Held their shape amazing. Went through I don't know how many toe/heel pieces over the years. Finally had to scour the internet for the last set of replacements and knew their time was up. Breaks my heart to have to replace them, but we are way beyond a new liner will fix all.

I'll take a gander at the Technicas!
 

Zososoxfan

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Jul 30, 2009
9,375
South of North
I'll be attending a conference at Palisades April 14-18 and should get some turns in. Do we have any SoSH skiers in the Bay Area?? If so, please let me know if you're around then and want to carve!
 

Devizier

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Jul 3, 2000
19,886
Somewhere
Folks, I’m thinking of an NTN setup. I want to keep my local skiing fresh and interesting, and maybe do some back country in WV. Any recommendations for gear, where to purchase?
 

uncannymanny

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Jan 12, 2007
9,209
I'll be attending a conference at Palisades April 14-18 and should get some turns in. Do we have any SoSH skiers in the Bay Area?? If so, please let me know if you're around then and want to carve!
I’m looking for Tahoe dates. If it lines up I’ll let you onow

Just in case any of you are financially or otherwise capable of instant gratification...
View attachment 78844
Just came back from 4 days in Whistler riding shaved ice. Dumped 1.5 feet yesterday as I was leaving. Horrific timing (of course that much snow means Alpine lifts were closed yesterday anyway).
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
23,210
I was in New Hampshire all last weekend skiing on ice like a real man.
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
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Yup, I did three days at Cranmore, Bretton Woods and Wildcat respectively. Cranmore was a very warm day, probably in the low 40s, and as they say "tan more at Cranmore." But conditions were pretty decent, the whole mountain was open and the crowds were not too bad, given it was the back end of February vacation. I did eat it at the very end, bruising my tailbone which isn't what you want to do on Day 1 of a trip.

Bretton Woods was cold, temperature on the mountain in the single digits. The trails didn't ice over towards the end, which was nice. A lot of it was ungroomed, and it made for some rough rides. Bretton Woods famously has three ungroomed blue trails near the center of the mountain that will rattle your bones, and doing them in succession is always a fun challenge. Like Cranmore, pretty much the whole mountain was open. I did land right on my already-injured tailbone when my idiot friend took me out getting off the lift, which was fun.

Wildcat was a lot of fun. The subzero temperatures overnight turned it into a racetrack, but there was nobody else on the mountain for a Sunday, so it was easy to bomb down the runs. I'd never been to Wildcat before, and despite being a Vail resort, it really didn't feel commercialized at all and it was aided by having a low turnout. You're able to get a ton of vertical in at Wildcat, with summit-to-base runs and no-line to get on the lift back up. I did something like 20,000 feet in vertical in 4.5 hours, which is a lot for the East Coast. Wildcat is also just a beautiful mountain, it was a gorgeous day with clear views and you get some stunning looks at Mount Washington and the White Mountain National Forest. Also, since no one was there, you get these pristine moments of immaculate silence. If you pause for a second, you don't even want to breathe to break it.
 

GoJeff!

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May 30, 2007
2,088
Los Angeles
I book ski hut trips every year for my group. Last year we booked a second trip two years in advance because sell outs are so common a year out.
So this year I needed to book for 2026. I talked to one hut that we were interested in. 2026 was full. 2027 was full. 2028 had one opening, but it didn't work for us. So I just reserved for 2029. And now I'm freaked out that I have plans for 2029.
 

Sausage in Section 17

Poker Champ
SoSH Member
Mar 17, 2004
2,142
I book ski hut trips every year for my group. Last year we booked a second trip two years in advance because sell outs are so common a year out.
So this year I needed to book for 2026. I talked to one hut that we were interested in. 2026 was full. 2027 was full. 2028 had one opening, but it didn't work for us. So I just reserved for 2029. And now I'm freaked out that I have plans for 2029.
Have you checked these guys out before? A friend of mine in Kelowna and his family run it. You have to heli in from Valemount (not exactly near much), but you could drive there in ~ 6 hours from Calgary or Edmonton. Basically it is located on the top of the Continental Divide above Jasper National Park.

They have lots of availability for next winter.
 

GoJeff!

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May 30, 2007
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Los Angeles
Have you checked these guys out before? A friend of mine in Kelowna and his family run it. You have to heli in from Valemount (not exactly near much), but you could drive there in ~ 6 hours from Calgary or Edmonton. Basically it is located on the top of the Continental Divide above Jasper National Park.

They have lots of availability for next winter.
Haven’t been there but they are on the list. The lodge looks super nice.

I’ve been trying to mix up zones year to year. This year was Rockies/Cont divide, next year is Selkirks, following year is up north by Smithers.

How’s the terrain at Mallard?
 

Sausage in Section 17

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Mar 17, 2004
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How’s the terrain at Mallard?
I would love to be able to tell you! However, neither my wallet, nor my trashed 56 year old hip are up to it. I'll see if they can also replace my wallet when they do my hip!

What's on the menu in the Selkirks and up near Smithers? I know both areas well. I was never able to realize my dreams as a backcountry skier, but I know where some of the spots are around the Koots, and I lived for a year near Smithers, but only skied at their resort, Hudson Bay Mountain. Is it one of these? Smithers huts
 

GoJeff!

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May 30, 2007
2,088
Los Angeles
I would love to be able to tell you! However, neither my wallet, nor my trashed 56 year old hip are up to it. I'll see if they can also replace my wallet when they do my hip!

What's on the menu in the Selkirks and up near Smithers? I know both areas well. I was never able to realize my dreams as a backcountry skier, but I know where some of the spots are around the Koots, and I lived for a year near Smithers, but only skied at their resort, Hudson Bay Mountain. Is it one of these? Smithers huts
Battle Abbey in the Selkirks and Burnie Glacier Hut near Smithers.
 

Preacher

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Jun 9, 2006
6,654
Pyeongtaek, South Korea
I book ski hut trips every year for my group. Last year we booked a second trip two years in advance because sell outs are so common a year out.
So this year I needed to book for 2026. I talked to one hut that we were interested in. 2026 was full. 2027 was full. 2028 had one opening, but it didn't work for us. So I just reserved for 2029. And now I'm freaked out that I have plans for 2029.
I read this and was like, shit, 2029 is a long way out to be planning stuff but also not all that far away. And then I remembered I’m retiring in the spring of 2028. And now I just feel old.
 

FlexFlexerson

Member
SoSH Member
Folks, I’m thinking of an NTN setup. I want to keep my local skiing fresh and interesting, and maybe do some back country in WV. Any recommendations for gear, where to purchase?
This probably isn't super helpful, but AMR in Breckenridge, CO is run by an NTN junkie. I don't run the setup myself (although I've bought AT stuff from them over the years), but my old man does and he's been loyal to their gear and recc's for years now. Dave is the owner, maybe you can get him on the phone and pick his brain. He doesn't bullshit and only carries gear that he personally vouches for, so anything he suggests will be good advice, imho. There's probably less convoluted ways to get advice, but hey, it's something.
 

graffam198

dog lover
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2007
1,890
Reno, NV
Gorgeous day in the backcountry today. Tahoe got 100” out of this last storm and it did not disappoint!

We did 3 runs, 2100 in vert. Breaking trail was no joke

Mostly consolidated but there was a graupel layer about 135cm down. During our tests no reaction but with a shovel you got shear across the entire layer!!! Spooky being in a pit while the highway crew is shooting bombs to get the mountain to slide.

Obligatory photo of me and my buddy topping out
 

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GoJeff!

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May 30, 2007
2,088
Los Angeles
Gorgeous day in the backcountry today. Tahoe got 100” out of this last storm and it did not disappoint!

We did 3 runs, 2100 in vert. Breaking trail was no joke

Mostly consolidated but there was a graupel layer about 135cm down. During our tests no reaction but with a shovel you got shear across the entire layer!!! Spooky being in a pit while the highway crew is shooting bombs to get the mountain to slide.

Obligatory photo of me and my buddy topping out
Nice. Tried to go sun locally but got skunked by the San Gabriel Mountains ski truism: “there is never enough snow to ski, and if there is, the road is closed”. Plow man wouldn’t even take a bribe.
I’ve seen photos from the eastern sierras of the snow stripped by that wind. Crazy stuff.
 

Zososoxfan

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Jul 30, 2009
9,375
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Got back from Steamboat, CO yesterday and had an amazing 4 days of riding at the Boat. 2 Colorado Bluebird days before serious dumps on Sunday and Monday. Sunday my crew went hardest, diving into awesome steep tree runs across Mahogany Ridge, Pony, Storm, and all the lifts over there on Skier's right. On Monday, we had to check out before hitting the slopes and the crew was dead set on going to Strawberry Hot Springs in the afternoon, so we didn't get as much vert in the soft pow, but after 4 days straight of riding it probably kept me from injuring myself. We also went to Winter Wondergrass shows every night, so this was full on 96-hour sprint. The whole thing was surreal and I'll try to post a video of the snow falling during a concert which is wild!
 

uncannymanny

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Jan 12, 2007
9,209
Heading to Snoqualmie for the first time to ski Alpental (mostly) if anyone has any recommendations.

Super jealous of all you CA folks! I came back from Whistler on the day the storm of the year started and couldn’t justify to my better half hitting any of the dumps we got in OR this past week.

I think that’s my last trip to Whistler for a long time. It’s so fucking expensive.
 

Zososoxfan

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Jul 30, 2009
9,375
South of North
Heading to Snoqualmie for the first time to ski Alpental (mostly) if anyone has any recommendations.

Super jealous of all you CA folks! I came back from Whistler on the day the storm of the year started and couldn’t justify to my better half hitting any of the dumps we got in OR this past week.

I think that’s my last trip to Whistler for a long time. It’s so fucking expensive.
Last I read almost all of the fresh snow got blown off by 100+ MPH winds.
 

Sausage in Section 17

Poker Champ
SoSH Member
Mar 17, 2004
2,142
Heading to Snoqualmie for the first time to ski Alpental (mostly) if anyone has any recommendations.

Super jealous of all you CA folks! I came back from Whistler on the day the storm of the year started and couldn’t justify to my better half hitting any of the dumps we got in OR this past week.

I think that’s my last trip to Whistler for a long time. It’s so fucking expensive.
It's cheaper, drier snow, and lots of fun in the Okanagan. Apex, Big White, Silver Star, or Sun Peaks up in Kamloops are all great BC options. Or Red, Whitewater, or Revelstoke if you can drive a few hours more.

I've lived in B.C for going on 15 years, and I've skied one day at Whistler. I think most people find once they've tried the Interior, there's no reason to go to Whistler.
 

uncannymanny

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Jan 12, 2007
9,209
It's cheaper, drier snow, and lots of fun in the Okanagan. Apex, Big White, Silver Star, or Sun Peaks up in Kamloops are all great BC options. Or Red, Whitewater, or Revelstoke if you can drive a few hours more.

I've lived in B.C for going on 15 years, and I've skied one day at Whistler. I think most people find once they've tried the Interior, there's no reason to go to Whistler.
No doubt. I think that’s going to be the group’s replacement for the yearly Whistler trip.
 

ugmo33

Member
SoSH Member
May 6, 2016
168
Hey All, I'm an East Coast skiier and I'm dreaming up a trip for March 2025 to try to find some real powder. It seems like there is a lot of combined experience on here so I'm wondering, any advice on where the best best is for finding untracked powder? I've been thinking of Alta but I'd love some other ideas. Bonus points if its in a fun area for my non-skiing wife...
 

uncannymanny

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SoSH Member
Jan 12, 2007
9,209
Bonus points if its in a fun area for my non-skiing wife...
Alta/Snowbird probably aren’t too fun for the non-skier (there’s nothing else out there). Some suggestions:
* Banff (absolutely lovely town)
* Jackson Hole (can be pricey)
* Park City
* Aspen (very expensive)
 

Zososoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 30, 2009
9,375
South of North
Hey All, I'm an East Coast skiier and I'm dreaming up a trip for March 2025 to try to find some real powder. It seems like there is a lot of combined experience on here so I'm wondering, any advice on where the best best is for finding untracked powder? I've been thinking of Alta but I'd love some other ideas. Bonus points if its in a fun area for my non-skiing wife...
The likely answer is either in Colorado or Park City. The best towns/villages with ski resorts IMO are Aspen, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Steamboat, and Park City. Jackson Hole is awesome but it's hard to get to, is extra cold, and is expensive like Vail. Telluride is another option, but also hard to get to. Whistler's village is amazing and they get dumped with tons of snow, but it's very far and the snow can be heavy (not trying to set off a debate here, just my $0.02!).

Aspen is probably the best resort/town combo, but it's stupid expensive. But if you can swing it, it's very hard to beat Snowmass. I've only been once but I'll never forget it.

Vail is the ritziest of the rest, but for terrain, food and bev, and non-skiing activities, it's hard to beat. Beaver Creek is not far from Vail and is a little more family-friendly and sleepy. Breckenridge also isn't far, and is Vail's rowdier little brother. Think X Games, even though it's not all like that.

Steamboat is amazing (just got back) and kind of checks all the boxes. If you go, I highly recommend going to Strawberry Springs too!

Park City is probably the most convenient of all, since you can likely fly direct into SLC and be at Park City in about an hour. Great town too.
 

GoJeff!

Member
SoSH Member
May 30, 2007
2,088
Los Angeles
Here is total snowfall and number of snow days for major resorts.
Of the areas listed, Alta has no town, while Palisades and Mammoth are not classic ski towns. Revelstoke and Big Sky are also pretty limited.

The data is reported by each mountain, so there is some bias there. For example, all the Canadian resorts list relatively more snow days, which I bet is because they measure in centimeters so more trace storms "count."

Jackson 423 74
Palisades 398 50
Alta 383 64
Mammoth 335 46
Whistler 327 84
Aspen 302 65
Breckenridge 295 75
Steamboat 287 68
Park City 279 56
Heavenly 277 41


Big Sky 260 68
Vail 249 67
Revelstoke 242 90
Telluride 214 47
Crested Butte 208 52
Lake Louise/Banff 206 81
Sun Valley 173 47
 

Zososoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 30, 2009
9,375
South of North
To be clear, if you want to maximize chances of pow and good pow, the Cottonwoods in Utah are pretty much beyond compare. But they can be hard to access and there isn't much else to do there as you're literally in a canyon. Perhaps you guys can stay in Park City and you can commute to the Cottonwoods from the East for ski days?