Steep Couloirs and Flatspin 360s - Skiing and Boarding 22-23

bigq

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Looks amazing @uncannymanny !

Did you ski Blackcomb Glacier? I want to check it out but from the trail map I can't figure out how to make it back to a lift after you have made your way down.
 

uncannymanny

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Looks amazing @uncannymanny !

Did you ski Blackcomb Glacier? I want to check it out but from the trail map I can't figure out how to make it back to a lift after you have made your way down.
Yup, pictures 3-5! You Take the T-bar from the top of Glacier Express. You come out on the Glacier Road trail. Follow the boundary line around the trail map.
 

GoJeff!

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Yeah, it was kind of funny that we do this weird descent and then there is an article about another group doing the same thing in the LA Times the next day.

I don’t personally know Andy Lewicky, but I’ve read his blog for years. He does some very cool trips locally and in the Sierras. I did email after the article to let him know they had the second descent of Lukens. Actually, it would have been fun to meet up on top.

At Mammoth right now in this soon-to-be-record snowpack. It is crazy. Multiple lifts are below snow level, and there are doable lines that have never existed before.

This is my daughter exiting a *second story* door at the place we are staying. Supposedly there is a hot tub somewhere out that way.

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Bowhemian

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Last night conditions were soft, mushy, and very slow. Pats is somewhat steep, but it gets pretty flat as you get towards the bottom. The flat spots were stupid slow. The mushy stuff made it hard to turn and it didn't take long for me to get worn out. My shortest night of the season by far, didn't even ski for 2 hours. I also had my first big wipe out. First run, about 200' into it. Making a turn and one ski got caught in the mush, twisted me a bit, and down goes Fraser! A bit of a yard sale, as I lost both skis, both poles, my hat and my googles. At my age, stuff like that hurts. And I am sore today.

Pretty close to wrapping up the season for me. Pats Peak is supposed to close next Sunday.
All told, I skied 12 times. 11 at Pats, 1 at Ragged. Roughly 123 miles according to my ski tracks app. I have had a ton of fun getting back into it.

edit: corrected total miles
 
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Kliq

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I feel like if you skiied twelve times, even at a smaller mountain like Pat's, you should have covered a lot more than 23 miles. Something might be up with your app.
 

Bowhemian

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I feel like if you skiied twelve times, even at a smaller mountain like Pat's, you should have covered a lot more than 23 miles. Something might be up with your app.
Good catch! That is a typo-should be 123. Stupid fat fingers.
 

Preacher

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Sun Valley was fucking awesome. We were on Bald Mountain all week. They got like 4 feet or so of snow the week before we got there (on top of the feets they got earlier). Plus, another 20+ inches fell our first two days on the mountain. Tickets were stupidly expensive ($190 per day). Luckily, my wife and I got a 50% discount since both of us are active duty military. I really wish I had brought my other set of skis that are much more suited for powder. Not sure what I was thinking. My wife had my primary skis with her in Cambridge that I had been using all year in NE. Meanwhile, my powder skis sat in my garage in Texas. Just so much fucking snow. I think we’re going to try to squeeze one more weekend (Easter) at Sunday River. We each have a voucher for a one day pass. And then it’s on to the Far East.

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GoJeff!

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Sun Valley was fucking awesome. We were on Bald Mountain all week. They got like 4 feet or so of snow the week before we got there (on top of the feets they got earlier). Plus, another 20+ inches fell our first two days on the mountain. Tickets were stupidly expensive ($190 per day). Luckily, my wife and I got a 50% discount since both of us are active duty military. I really wish I had brought my other set of skis that are much more suited for powder. Not sure what I was thinking. My wife had my primary skis with her in Cambridge that I had been using all year in NE. Meanwhile, my powder skis sat in my garage in Texas. Just so much fucking snow. I think we’re going to try to squeeze one more weekend (Easter) at Sunday River. We each have a voucher for a one day pass. And then it’s on to the Far East.

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Awesome. Sounds like a perfect trip.
 

bigq

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Whistler Blackcomb was fantastic! More specifically Blackcomb was fantastic. I'm not sure if the pictures will do it justice but Blackcomb Glacier was amazing. I caught early lifts and spent the morning there on Saturday. The conditions were perfect. There were several inches of new snow from the night before (light and fluffy) and for whatever reason (maybe because it's late in the season) there were not a lot of people up there. Without working too hard I was finding mostly fresh tracks until noon when I bailed for lunch with aching quads. I'm not sure if there were heavy winds the night before or maybe it was due to cumulative accumulation from a couple of days but the snow depth was mid shin well above my boots and my skis fully disappeared from view for long stretches.

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Today was not so good at Whistler. I did several runs off of Harmony 6 Express and the visibility was really poor. The cloud cover was thick and it was difficult to differentiate between snow and sky and I could not make out the contours of the snow. I took things slow and cautiously as a result. Frankly it was more stressful than fun so I did a few runs on the lower mountain and called it a day.

I stayed in Whistler Village and really like the overall feel of the resort. Being able to walk to the gondola was a nice touch. Hope to bring my family for a trip next year. I will be back in Vancouver in late April. May bring my skis again then.
 
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MuppetAsteriskTalk

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My skis are Fischer Transalps, which are hand-me-downs from my friend who upgraded to something lighter. I have Salomon Guardian bindings, but am getting my hands on something lighter as well. Gear probably isn't the only reason why I am a slow-ass skinner, but it'll be nice to have less weight to haul. I've got Scarpa boots.
About a month ago I bought Fisher Transalp 86 carbon skis and paired them with the Fisher Travers CS boots and Marker Alpinist 10 bindings. Weighs significantly less than my old touring setup (which was also tech bindings, but a decade old) and skis better.
 
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Spelunker

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Sun Valley was fucking awesome. We were on Bald Mountain all week. They got like 4 feet or so of snow the week before we got there (on top of the feets they got earlier). Plus, another 20+ inches fell our first two days on the mountain. Tickets were stupidly expensive ($190 per day). Luckily, my wife and I got a 50% discount since both of us are active duty military. I really wish I had brought my other set of skis that are much more suited for powder. Not sure what I was thinking. My wife had my primary skis with her in Cambridge that I had been using all year in NE. Meanwhile, my powder skis sat in my garage in Texas. Just so much fucking snow. I think we’re going to try to squeeze one more weekend (Easter) at Sunday River. We each have a voucher for a one day pass. And then it’s on to the Far East.

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Huh, I was there the 18th-20th. Ibid and ditto. I get the feeling that amount of snow is a little rare there- that's the critique I always hear about SV- but the dumping they got was legit.

I know Dollar is the "beginner" mountain, but I was pretty surprised when I'd randomly take a green to traverse or get down: even *those* were full of ungroomed bumps. I can't imagine a beginner trying some of those.
 

Bowhemian

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Used my season pass at Pats Peak for the last time Friday night. Conditions were OK, but not great. Snow was a little mushy, but it was getting very firm and fast by the time I wrapped it up. It was tough skiing, my legs only let me go for ~3 hours. But that's OK. I did 13 separate trips to Pats, so the midweek pass was well worth it. My biggest problem was hitting the bar for a couple beers after each trip. That gets expensive. Next year I should be more disciplined-not sure that is going to happen though.

Heading to Loon on Thursday to wrap up the season.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Just did three days at Kicking Horse and one day at Sunshine Village. They haven't gotten puked on like some places out west, but they were fully covered and open and the snow was great. Kicking Horse has some insane terrain and the non-stop eye candy in the Canadian Rockies was ridiculous.
 

bigq

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Just did three days at Kicking Horse and one day at Sunshine Village. They haven't gotten puked on like some places out west, but they were fully covered and open and the snow was great. Kicking Horse has some insane terrain and the non-stop eye candy in the Canadian Rockies was ridiculous.
That’s fantastic. One of my coworkers lives not far from Kicking Horse and he has talked it up to me. I would love to get out there but it seems fairly remote.
 

GoJeff!

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That’s fantastic. One of my coworkers lives not far from Kicking Horse and he has talked it up to me. I would love to get out there but it seems fairly remote.
Glad you had fun at Whistler. Seems like you hit the glacier at the perfect time.

Interior BC has a lot of great resorts. None are as big and developed as Whistler, but they tend to be less crowded and offer some fantastic terrain. The negative, as you note, is that they are a pain to get to from the U.S.

Rogers Pass (between Golden and Revelstoke) serves as the unofficial dividing line for interior BC because it shuts down quite often.

The ones on the Golden side (Kicking Horse, Sunshine, Lake Louise plus Fernie and Panorama if you stretch the definition a bit) are pretty accessible from Calgary, via a long but stunningly beautiful drive. I like Kicking Horse the best of those, but there is fun stuff at all of them.

The Revelstoke side has Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Red, Big White, Silver Star and many smaller ones. I've been to Revelstoke many times for backcountry trips, and its always a huge pain to get there. You either fly to Kelowna (or Kamloops) which requires a connection plus a drive, drive 8 hours from Vancouver, or drive 6+ hours from Calgary and risk a Rogers Pass closure.

I guess my overall recommendation would be to set aside a decent chunk of time if you plan to head to the interior. It's hard to make it work for a few days, but there's lots of fun to be had for a week or more.
 

Hildy

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This is a bit of a tangent, but one of my favorite Instagram ski accounts skis in interior BC, and it has piqued my interest. Meet Gary the cat.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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That’s fantastic. One of my coworkers lives not far from Kicking Horse and he has talked it up to me. I would love to get out there but it seems fairly remote.
For Kicking Horse, you would fly to Calgary, and then it's about 2.5 hours to drive. This takes you right past Sunshine, and Lake Louise (in the Banff area), which are also glorious with big terrain.

Revelstoke has great terrain on the upper mountain, but the lower 2/3 of the hill is often in a thaw/freeze zone, and the conditions in that zone are usually less enticing than the upper mountain. Almost every time I've been there, you just ski the upper mountain and usually ride the gondola down to the bottom when you're done.

Silver Star was my home mountain for 10 years, and it has everything you'd ever want except high end expert terrain and tree skiing. This keeps the hordes away, but unless you really are someone who needs to be ripping the hardest terrain most runs, you will find everything to enjoy great skiing, including plentiful, dry powder, at any of the Okanagan resorts (Silver Star, Big White, or Apex near Penticton) You can fly to Kelowna from Vancouver or Calgary, and be at any of those resorts about an hour later. These places still have some good expert terrain, just not a lot of alpine bowl, or upper mountain trees. I would share chairlifts every year with people who told me they used to go to Whistler, or Banff, or Colorado, but once they came to the Okanagan, found good skiing, with lower crowds, lower prices, good snow, etc., they stopped going to the other places and kept coming back there. Silver Star and Big White have mid mountain villages, which mean basically every accommodation is ski in/out. Sun Peaks is outside of Kamloops and is in the same league. By East coast standards, these are BIG resorts. I think they all clock in at around 2,500 ft. vertical, and over 3,000 acres. So while they may not compare to the biggest, baddest Western resorts, you will probably still have the time of your life.

In Southeast BC are the Kootenays, with places like Red Mountain and Whitewater. Both of those places have better expert terrain (incredible tree skiing) than the Okanagan, but are a little harder to get to. You could fly to Spokane and drive 2.5 hours to Red, or a little further to Whitewater. Even further east are places like Panorama, Fernie, and Kimberley, where you'd either drive a lot or fly into a town called Cranbrook through Vancouver.
 

InstaFace

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Silver Star was my home mountain for 10 years, and it has everything you'd ever want except high end expert terrain and tree skiing. ...
Thanks, out of curiosity, where would you find good tree skiing out there? Not anything extreme, just something where you can feel a bit lost in peacefulness among the trees, like you're in Narnia, and also have to think a bit about how to navigate. That's always my favorite part of Vermont skiing, when it's good (which is rare but not never), and I've found similarly wonderful glades in Beaver Creek, Deer Valley, Canyons, etc. I've thought about BC but would want to get a sense for what's a good fit.


Speaking of which, just got back from a long weekend at Vail. It was very... okay. There were two kinds of terrain: icy semi-bumps that had thawed and frozen, and groomers. The groomers were fun! But we only found something resembling powder at two places in the entire resort (one of which was Outer Mongolia bowl, which is a huge PITA to get to and an even bigger one to get back from). And my conditioning isn't what it was pre-covid, so going down all those bowls scraping around every turn (or rattling over every bump) took a ton out of me. I guess central CO got a lot of snow earlier in the winter, but I wasn't really prepared for those conditions out there. It sure wasn't how the Sierra Nevadas are looking right now. Just makes even more of a farce of the stupid prices they're charging right now, over $200 rack rate with $160 even for a buddy pass.
 
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Sausage in Section 17

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As mentioned at the bottom of my post, both Red Mountain in Rossland, or Whitewater near Nelson are stellar tree skiing destinations. I would rate both of them a tick above Revelstoke as far as their tree terrain goes. Revelstoke’s tree terrain is so focused around two lifts that it gets tracked out quite quickly, or you have to be willing to traverse to a far distance over, ski down, and make the same traverse back to the lift to find the less tracked lines.

In Kicking Horse and Revelstoke’s favor, their peaks are higher, and the snow conditions on top are more often very good. The lower elevations in the Kootenays can sometimes mean that off piste terrain becomes inaccessible if it thaws or you are between storms. This year was a good year, so snow conditions stayed fresh all around. But if it thaws significantly at any point, the woods are essentially out of bounds until you get a good new dump. It’s hard to know for sure what’s going to happen if you book your trip two months in advance, but mid January is usually the snowiest time to go.

* this all pertains to inbound, lift serviced skiing. At any of these areas, there is easily accessible, back/slackcountry options to find untracked powder, assuming it is there to be had. All these places have cat skiing options nearby as well. But make sure you check the statistics on avalanches in BC this year. It’s been a bad year.
 
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InstaFace

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As mentioned at the bottom of my post, both Red Mountain in Rossland, or Whitewater near Nelson are stellar tree skiing destinations. I would rate both of them a tick above Revelstoke as far as their tree terrain goes. Revelstoke’s tree terrain is so focused around two lifts that it gets tracked out quite quickly, or you have to be willing to traverse to a far distance over, ski down, and make the same traverse back to the lift to find the less tracked lines.

In Kicking Horse and Revelstoke’s favor, their peaks are higher, and the snow conditions on top are more often very good. The lower elevations in the Kootenays can sometimes mean that off piste terrain becomes inaccessible if it thaws or you are between storms. This year was a good year, so snow conditions stayed fresh all around. But if it thaws significantly at any point, the woods are essentially out of bounds until you get a good new dump. It’s hard to know for sure what’s going to happen if you book your trip two months in advance, but mid January is usually the snowiest time to go.

* this all pertains to inbound, lift serviced skiing. At any of these areas, there is easily accessible, back/slackcountry options to find untracked powder, assuming it is there to be had. All these places have cat skiing options nearby as well. But make sure you check the statistics on avalanches in BC this year. It’s been a bad year.
Thanks! Had missed that aside first time around. Yeah looking at the map around Revelstoke, they seem to have some great mountains right there and they're only using a piece of it. Bunch of other mountain peaks next to theirs, I wonder why they're not expanding into them. Meanwhile, Kicking Horse is using them, but hasn't built lifts to service them - looks like half their terrain requires some hiking to get over one ridge and sometimes two.

Red Mountain is definitely getting a lot out of having only 8 lifts. Looks very efficient use of it all, and they're on the Ikon. That's definitely on my list now, thanks.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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Thanks! Had missed that aside first time around. Yeah looking at the map around Revelstoke, they seem to have some great mountains right there and they're only using a piece of it. Bunch of other mountain peaks next to theirs, I wonder why they're not expanding into them. Meanwhile, Kicking Horse is using them, but hasn't built lifts to service them - looks like half their terrain requires some hiking to get over one ridge and sometimes two.

Red Mountain is definitely getting a lot out of having only 8 lifts. Looks very efficient use of it all, and they're on the Ikon. That's definitely on my list now, thanks.
One of the good things about the Kootenays is also one of the bad things...since it's off most beaten paths, they've never been able to reliably attract the crowds and money that would help with the things I bolded. Red's main chair is a fixed grip, 30 year old triple that takes 20 minutes per ride. Efficiency in their case means not spending to replace old lifts and keeping the powder untracked by limiting how many people can actually get at it. Revy and Kicking Horse get big city traffic doing day or weekend trips from Calgary, but the Kootenays are too far away from Calgary, Vancouver, Seattle, etc to attract or keep mobs of visitors. So their resorts have more of a local, funky, old timey feel. think Mad River Glen or Magic Mtn., not Stratton or Stowe.

With Revelstoke, until 15 years ago, it was just a community ski hill that went from the bottom of the valley up about 1000 vertical feet. It was really just a local hill for kids to learn to ski on, and had no aspirations of being a resort. But then they put a 3500 ft. vertical gondola further up the mountains, and put two chair lifts above that into the high alpine terrain that exists up there. The dilemma with a lot of skiing in Interior BC is, if you build it, will they come? in Revelstoke‘s case, they have come, and there is a master resort plan to expand to the adjacent peaks, but these things take time, and that sort of development is expensive when you’re already making money, I guess. But eventually, I think there will be other lifts.
 
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uncannymanny

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Just spent the last couple days at Mt Bachelor. Dumped from Monday night to Tuesday afternoon. Today the sun was out in the morning before the weather rolled back in and I finally got to ride the Backside Bowls. My confidence is sky high right now and I probably shouldn’t have done it alone but it was totally epic. This run and Blackcomb Glacier are the best times I’ve ever had on skis.

I can’t attach the video that I took before I went down this gully, sadly.

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uncannymanny

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Video screenshots!

Tuesday still dumping. Usually Bend gets more “Colorado” type snow being high desert, but this stuff was more like Cascade Concrete. Super heavy and loved to grab your tips. My quads kill from sitting backseat the entire day.

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Backside after the first descent. Ice planet.

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GoJeff!

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Yeah looking at the map around Revelstoke, they seem to have some great mountains right there and they're only using a piece of it. Bunch of other mountain peaks next to theirs, I wonder why they're not expanding into them. Meanwhile, Kicking Horse is using them, but hasn't built lifts to service them - looks like half their terrain requires some hiking to get over one ridge and sometimes two.
Both are community ski hills that were expanded with government assistance/investment. They are laid out much differently from any U.S. resort--they basically put in a huge top-to-bottom gondola at each, and then only added 1-2 other new lifts. You end up skiing a lot of vertical in fewer runs--they can both be really tough on the legs, and pretty limited if only the top is skiing well. They can also be fantastic and much less crowded than anywhere their size.

Revelstoke is really remote for a major ski area. When you are in the lift line, it seems like almost everyone is either local or skiing Revelstoke as a pre or post day of some heli/cat/touring trip. It definitely gets busy on a good day, but I would not be surprised if the resort as a whole runs deep in the red. Kicking Horse might do a bit better, but I can imagine expansion investment is not as easy a decision as it would be at a major U.S. resort.

Also, the side country at Kicking Horse is really (those are very short hikes) accessible, but it is out of bounds and not to be taken lightly. Two people were killed in an avalanche this year on Terminator 2.5, which is just beyond the boundary line on lookers left.
 

Quintanariffic

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worth noting that the original developer of Revy went bankrupt and the place was on life support for a bit until new financing/ownership stabilized the situation. There is definitely an elaborate master plan with lifts contemplated on both sides of the currently developed terrain but I suspect they’ll be pretty deliberate in executing it given their experience.
 
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Zososoxfan

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What don't you like about your XV? That's exactly the terrain I love to ride mine in but I'm on my Burton Flight Attendant more often these days because it's got more camber for steeper terrain. Personally I'm less focused on powder since that's a ton of fun with almost anything under your feet and I'd rather have more performance in chop or on chalky snow. That said, if I know it's going to be good I'm usually on the XV (gratuitous pic from early Feb when we got dumped on). When I was back East I was on a Fish and I loved it because it was great at wiggling through trees, so maybe consider something along those lines or a Never Summer Harpoon/Swift? Something tapered with a hybrid rocker.

I haven't personally been on any of your options but I've got a Gnu Mullair and was unimpressed with its durability. My home mountain is really tough on gear but it held up very poorly

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[snip]
The mountain has much more vertical relief than most places, and as a result skis really differently. It will often be raining at the bottom and dumping up top.

I think of it as three zones: top, middle and bottom. Bottom gets skied the least, as it is usually wet or heavy snow, but is occasionally great when a storm comes in cold. There are tighter trees near the bottom, and ungroomed slopes can be tricky (and long) if the snow underneath is crappy.

The mid zone is great for snowy days or low visibility. Great trails, great trees, some really challenging stuff but also some big cruisers and playful areas.

Top is above treeline, and is best for sunny days or at least decent visibility. There are some really challenging sections on both peaks, but also spectacular views and wide open skiing.

[snip]
Yeah, it was kind of funny that we do this weird descent and then there is an article about another group doing the same thing in the LA Times the next day.

I don’t personally know Andy Lewicky, but I’ve read his blog for years. He does some very cool trips locally and in the Sierras. I did email after the article to let him know they had the second descent of Lukens. Actually, it would have been fun to meet up on top.

At Mammoth right now in this soon-to-be-record snowpack. It is crazy. Multiple lifts are below snow level, and there are doable lines that have never existed before.

This is my daughter exiting a *second story* door at the place we are staying. Supposedly there is a hot tub somewhere out that way.

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Just did three days at Kicking Horse and one day at Sunshine Village. They haven't gotten puked on like some places out west, but they were fully covered and open and the snow was great. Kicking Horse has some insane terrain and the non-stop eye candy in the Canadian Rockies was ridiculous.
Just realized I didn't have this thread on 'watch', and I had a lot of posts to catch up on! Love that everyone's sending (it! and) their pics!

@Icculus , the XV has treated me real well over the past few seasons, but it's a crazy-stiff board, and I have the 159, which is really too long for me at 5'7'', 155 lbs. It's super catchy but I pretty much exclusively ski out west (+ South America) so I'm not too worried about ice. I'm starting to ride switch more and more, which is super helpful for tight technical lines (I'd love to get good enough for couloirs). And while the XV is super quick edge to edge and I've learned to utilize that feature, it's still a bigger heavier deck for whipping around.

I ended up getting a Capita Navigator, but I did look at the NS Harpoon quite a bit. I also snagged some Rome Vice bindings (I wanted the Katanas bad, but they were out of stock at the time), so I'll get to try this setup next week at Beaver Creek. Speaking of which, it's supposed to snow on Friday and Tuesday, so things are looking pretty good, especially for an April trip when I was fully expecting the highlight to be pond skimming.

Re @GoJeff! 's post, Kirkwood is another mountain where rain at the bottom can mean (wet) snow at the top. Even at Jackson last month we ended up hovering in mid-mountain a bunch because the higher elevations had poor vis and frankly were too cold for others in my group (TBF it was -15 F). I definitely want to study the layout of Beaver a bit more before heading out there, as last year I tried to cover as much of the mountain as I could, but I left feeling like I missed a lot of the good spots.

That picture is batshit crazy @GoJeff!

I've read that Kicking Horse has some of the gnarliest terrain in NA. I'd love to go sometime, but I have other places that are ahead of it (Telluride, Big Sky, and Pallisades are my current top 3). I may try to hit Pallisades for MDW or Juneteenth though!!
 

GoJeff!

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I may try to hit Pallisades for MDW or Juneteenth though!!
I know I'm the annoying Mammoth homer here, but Mammoth blows away Palisades for late spring. It's much higher (the base lodge at Mammoth is the same elevation as the top of Palisades) and it almost all faces north, while Palisades has a lot of east-facing terrain. All the Tahoe guys start coming down to Mammoth once the roads are clear.

Memorial day weekend is always great (I'll be there if you come) and June will be amazing this year. Coverage for July and later will be pretty weather (mostly rain) dependent, but I'm crossing my fingers for some turns Labor Day weekend.
 

Zososoxfan

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I know I'm the annoying Mammoth homer here, but Mammoth blows away Palisades for late spring. It's much higher (the base lodge at Mammoth is the same elevation as the top of Palisades) and it almost all faces north, while Palisades has a lot of east-facing terrain. All the Tahoe guys start coming down to Mammoth once the roads are clear.

Memorial day weekend is always great (I'll be there if you come) and June will be amazing this year. Coverage for July and later will be pretty weather (mostly rain) dependent, but I'm crossing my fingers for some turns Labor Day weekend.
If I had a season pass this year I'd almost certainly be going. As it stands, it's a long shot, but it's a fun dream!
 

graffam198

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If I had a season pass this year I'd almost certainly be going. As it stands, it's a long shot, but it's a fun dream!
I would also say, as a complete homer, Palisades sucks. Long lines, lame terrain, low elevation, crazy traffic. Have to hike to anything good. You will spend as much time trying to get to the resort as if you drove down to Mammoth. Your other two are pretty legit though :)
 

Zososoxfan

Member
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Jul 30, 2009
9,375
South of North
I would also say, as a complete homer, Palisades sucks. Long lines, lame terrain, low elevation, crazy traffic. Have to hike to anything good. You will spend as much time trying to get to the resort as if you drove down to Mammoth. Your other two are pretty legit though :)
Frankly, I was going more from reputation than anything. Palisades is definitely lower on my list because I've experienced Sierra Cement firsthand and I'll take continental divide champagne pow any time (sorry guys), and it's also a lot closer to me in FL!

While we're on the subject, what are everyone's favorite resorts on the left coast (CA, NV, OR, WA)? My criteria are (in order): 1) annual snowfall, 2) annual snowfall!, 3) terrain, 4) accessibility, and 5) infrastructure.
 

GoJeff!

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May 30, 2007
2,088
Los Angeles
Frankly, I was going more from reputation than anything. Palisades is definitely lower on my list because I've experienced Sierra Cement firsthand and I'll take continental divide champagne pow any time (sorry guys), and it's also a lot closer to me in FL!

While we're on the subject, what are everyone's favorite resorts on the left coast (CA, NV, OR, WA)? My criteria are (in order): 1) annual snowfall, 2) annual snowfall!, 3) terrain, 4) accessibility, and 5) infrastructure.
Does BC count?
 

Preacher

Member
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Jun 9, 2006
6,654
Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Coverage for July and later will be pretty weather (mostly rain) dependent, but I'm crossing my fingers for some turns Labor Day weekend.
This blows my mind. We booked Easter weekend at Sunday River and I’m just hoping for some snow. Can’t believe how much you’ve been getting out west. New England didn’t have a great winter but I know some places have been getting some snow in the past couple weeks.
 

Spelunker

Member
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Jul 17, 2005
12,622
This blows my mind. We booked Easter weekend at Sunday River and I’m just hoping for some snow. Can’t believe how much you’ve been getting out west. New England didn’t have a great winter but I know some places have been getting some snow in the past couple weeks.
Even in a lesser year, it still amazes me that you can ski Hood or Bachelor in August

Last year, on a road trip with a Boston friend, we left 100 degree Portland and drove up to Hood. When we got up there, and she saw all the summer kids with skis her mind was blown.

Flip side: terrifying video of a tree well rescue a few days ago, up on Mt. Baker (a place that, uh, gets a lot of snow). It turned out ok, but holy shit was there so much luck and then situational awareness to make it happen.

View: https://youtu.be/wQ8Kgb_XUkk
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
22,921
Pittsburgh, PA
That's intense af, what amazing luck for the guy, literally gets run over by someone who feels the hit, recognizes the situation, within the 5-10 minute window to save his life. Who goes tree skiing in snow that deep without some sort of buddy system? Darwin Award candidates, that's who.

Also, Google is pushing some article at me about a mandatory lesson in Colorado next year before you'd be allowed to ski or snowboard. Not seeing a ton of confirmation out there though, anyone heard anything?
 

bigq

Member
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Jul 15, 2005
11,664
Frankly, I was going more from reputation than anything. Palisades is definitely lower on my list because I've experienced Sierra Cement firsthand and I'll take continental divide champagne pow any time (sorry guys), and it's also a lot closer to me in FL!

While we're on the subject, what are everyone's favorite resorts on the left coast (CA, NV, OR, WA)? My criteria are (in order): 1) annual snowfall, 2) annual snowfall!, 3) terrain, 4) accessibility, and 5) infrastructure.
Based on your first two priorities I would recommend Kirkwood as the best of Tahoe in my opinion. The snow total there this season is approaching 700” and has exceeded 800” in past seasons. I would say it rates low on the scales of accessibility and infrastructure though. There are not a lot of options for staying right on the mountain, there is little there in terms of restaurants and nightlife and the mountain pass on 88 from South Lake shuts down somewhat regularly during heavy snow.

If you are considering BC I highly recommend Whistler Blackcomb. I don’t know how much annual snowfall is typical. They are reporting just over 300” this season. The terrain is fantastic and accessibility and infrastructure is outstanding. Also the US Dollar goes a little further in Canada.
 

Zososoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 30, 2009
9,375
South of North
Even in a lesser year, it still amazes me that you can ski Hood or Bachelor in August

Last year, on a road trip with a Boston friend, we left 100 degree Portland and drove up to Hood. When we got up there, and she saw all the summer kids with skis her mind was blown.

Flip side: terrifying video of a tree well rescue a few days ago, up on Mt. Baker (a place that, uh, gets a lot of snow). It turned out ok, but holy shit was there so much luck and then situational awareness to make it happen.

View: https://youtu.be/wQ8Kgb_XUkk
My goodness, that's harrowing. Just some rando picking the same line and having the right gear and training to save the day. Eff me. Is that inbounds?

I was at Beaver Creek the past week and I was a lil nervous ducking into all the trees. We got hit with 4-5 of fresh though, so hopefully nothing like that was in the realm of possibility.

Based on your first two priorities I would recommend Kirkwood as the best of Tahoe in my opinion. The snow total there this season is approaching 700” and has exceeded 800” in past seasons. I would say it rates low on the scales of accessibility and infrastructure though. There are not a lot of options for staying right on the mountain, there is little there in terms of restaurants and nightlife and the mountain pass on 88 from South Lake shuts down somewhat regularly during heavy snow.

If you are considering BC I highly recommend Whistler Blackcomb. I don’t know how much annual snowfall is typical. They are reporting just over 300” this season. The terrain is fantastic and accessibility and infrastructure is outstanding. Also the US Dollar goes a little further in Canada.
I've been to Kirkwood, and while the terrain is up there with the best of 'em, the wet snow and lack of accessibility and infrastructure make it a non-starter for family trips for me.
 

Zososoxfan

Member
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Jul 30, 2009
9,375
South of North
Just got back from Beaver Creek for 4 days of April skiing! We had 2 days of quintessential spring skiing--warm days starting with hard snow, that softened up throughout the day. Then a cold storm blew through and dropped 4-5 inches on Monday night (Tuesday was effin glorious) and a small refresh on Tuesday night.

The Beave really grew on me this year, as I did the same trip last year but felt the mountain was just not challenging enough for me. I was coming off an earlier season trip to Jackson this time around though and I was a lot more confident this past week, and there wasn't anything on the mountain that felt off limits. The one big exception was the stone creek chutes--they were open, but there were no tracks and I would've had to go alone. So I decided against that. I did get into the elk glades and man were those fun! I also did most of the gladed double blacks (Fuggadaboudit, Thresher Glade, Heads Up, Mystic Glade, etc.) and some of those were a blast. I really need to remember where I found some unmarked glades off greens/blues towards the bottom as those were really long and gnarly. I'll try to post some vid soon.

I also was really jazzed with my new board/binding setup. I just got a Capita Navigator 155 and paired it with Rome Vice bindings and the result was a really playful ride that was able to handle my aggressive technical style, while still offering good float. The one area it was lacking was speed/glide on flat terrain, but some of that was likely due to just going with the factory wax and wet snow spring conditions.
 

FlexFlexerson

Member
SoSH Member
Just got back from Beaver Creek for 4 days of April skiing! We had 2 days of quintessential spring skiing--warm days starting with hard snow, that softened up throughout the day. Then a cold storm blew through and dropped 4-5 inches on Monday night (Tuesday was effin glorious) and a small refresh on Tuesday night.

The Beave really grew on me this year, as I did the same trip last year but felt the mountain was just not challenging enough for me. I was coming off an earlier season trip to Jackson this time around though and I was a lot more confident this past week, and there wasn't anything on the mountain that felt off limits. The one big exception was the stone creek chutes--they were open, but there were no tracks and I would've had to go alone. So I decided against that. I did get into the elk glades and man were those fun! I also did most of the gladed double blacks (Fuggadaboudit, Thresher Glade, Heads Up, Mystic Glade, etc.) and some of those were a blast. I really need to remember where I found some unmarked glades off greens/blues towards the bottom as those were really long and gnarly. I'll try to post some vid soon.

I also was really jazzed with my new board/binding setup. I just got a Capita Navigator 155 and paired it with Rome Vice bindings and the result was a really playful ride that was able to handle my aggressive technical style, while still offering good float. The one area it was lacking was speed/glide on flat terrain, but some of that was likely due to just going with the factory wax and wet snow spring conditions.
Glad the Beave was a good time! Sorry we didn't connect this time around, I ended up getting a rib injury a couple weeks ago so I grounded myself for a bit. Glad the Elk Glades were still open, such great terrain.
 

Preacher

Member
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Jun 9, 2006
6,654
Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Skied Friday and Saturday at Sunday River. Friday afternoon was a bit slushy but it firmed up Friday night and Saturday morning was fantastic. It was my wife’s favorite conditions of the season (including our week in Idaho but she’s not a big fan of powder). She was flying down the mountain and just wanted to keep doing runs. Normally, we ski at a fairly leisurely pace but not on Saturday. Anyways, there was a lot more coverage than I was expecting even in the woods. Only 5 lifts running as they continue trimming staff. We got to watch pond-a-pooloza (folks trying to skip across s pool of water while wearing goofy outfits).

We had a good season and skied in states my wife had never been before. This was our 6th season skiing together and we’ve been having a ton of fun. I think we’ve skied together in like 6 different states and 7 different countries. It’s been a blast.
 

petefungtorres

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
760
Portland, ME
Skied Friday and Saturday at Sunday River. Friday afternoon was a bit slushy but it firmed up Friday night and Saturday morning was fantastic. It was my wife’s favorite conditions of the season (including our week in Idaho but she’s not a big fan of powder). She was flying down the mountain and just wanted to keep doing runs. Normally, we ski at a fairly leisurely pace but not on Saturday. Anyways, there was a lot more coverage than I was expecting even in the woods. Only 5 lifts running as they continue trimming staff. We got to watch pond-a-pooloza (folks trying to skip across s pool of water while wearing goofy outfits).

We had a good season and skied in states my wife had never been before. This was our 6th season skiing together and we’ve been having a ton of fun. I think we’ve skied together in like 6 different states and 7 different countries. It’s been a blast.
So awesome to hear it! I was hoping the wind yesterday wasn't a downer. It was really good today at Sunday river as well. Still plenty of coverage and it softened up nicely. My wife and I did the sunrise service at the top of North Peak today, which was really gorgeous. @bigq - I have no reservations recommending a trip, just make sure and make sure they are doing weekday operations before you make the trek if you are coming on a weekday
 

Zososoxfan

Member
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Jul 30, 2009
9,375
South of North
Glad the Beave was a good time! Sorry we didn't connect this time around, I ended up getting a rib injury a couple weeks ago so I grounded myself for a bit. Glad the Elk Glades were still open, such great terrain.
Sorry to hear that, I hope you're doing better. Something about ski vacations makes it seem like the whole thing is super rushed and hectic. The kids definitely add to that dynamic but I feel the same way about my advanced skier (i.e., no kids) trips too.