Top Ten Most Challenging Resorts in North America (another list) - Page 2

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  1. #11
    I don't think it is hard at all to know which areas are the most difficult. If you want to quantify it, spend some time with caltopo with the slope angle shadding on comparing areas.



    I think Sugarloaf's Hells Gate area when the snow is on probably holds up well in the East for on map terrain.

  2. #12
    I have heard that about Hells Gate at Loaf. I haven't had the opportunity to ski it. I guess last year would have had some prime opportunities.

    Am I correct that it requires a hike out and back up to Bracket? It's on their map, but isn't something with traditional lift serviced access.

    Sent from my XT1565 using AlpineZone mobile app

  3. #13
    Taos should be on this list IMO.

    My home hill isn't and that's fine with me.

    I agree about that Loaf stuff that shit was scary but fun scary.

  4. #14
    Thinking about it more, a challenge is something different for each person. Maybe going through trees where linked turns are 2 or 3 or moving slow is a challenge enough, while dropping in off a cornice and skiing/hucking rock gardens is more fun and challenging for others, and then there are steep bump runs that challenge. I have been to Kicking Horse, you come off any of the spines on the top part of that place and it is scary stuff knowing that if you lose it you are in trouble and it is ranked just above Smuggs - they do not even compare. Now, where the East gets amped up is when the surfaces get very hard or scraped off which increases the challenge by a lot. Weather, conditions, terrain, crowds are all factors and each day can be different - for example skiing Cannon when it is windy, cold and the trails are boiler plate is challenging.

    Overall I would have preferred an East Coast list and a Western List.
    2012-2013 (39)
    2013-2014 (36)
    2014-2015 (51)
    2015-2016 (47)

    2016-2017 target - 50

    If you take what the mountain gives you, you will always have fun!

  5. #15
    That UN list and discussion is pretty superficial. I’ve been to about 85 ski areas in North America and a few in Europe too. Other than those of you who have spent months at each place and have enough skills to ski every square inch, we are all guessing at this and I wouldn’t presume to rank in specific order…but of the places I’ve skied in North America these have some serious steeps: Jackson Hole, Taos, Squaw, Snowbird, Whistler-Blackcomb, Alta, Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands, Breckenridge, Kirkwood, Sugar Bowl (Palisades). Most of these have tons of double blacks and/or some extreme stuff that could seriously kill you. I have not skied some other candidates such as Big Sky, Crested Butte, Telluride, Sunshine Village, and Kicking Horse.
    While I’ve been to all major North East US ski areas except Bretton Woods, I don’t know them as well as many of you. For steeps, no particular order: Stowe, MRG, Killington, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Smuggs, Cannon, Whiteface. Only time I was at Jay the upper mtn was closed

  6. #16
    The top 10 not in order must include: MRG, Sugarbush, Smuggs, Stowe, Killington, Jay, Cannon, Wildcat, Sugarloaf, Magic.. I would also entertain Whiteface but that would be 11. Just MO.
    2017/18 =
    2016/17 = 31
    2015/16 = Depressing
    2014/15 = 28
    2013/14 = 27

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by heiusa View Post
    I have skied at every ski area in VT, and Killington and Jay Peak are head and shoulders above any other are in terms of challenge.

    At Killington you have the following double black diamond runs (12) ; Devils Fiddle, Outer Limits, Vertigo, Superstar, Ovation, Escapade, Cascade, Flume, Downdraft, Double Dipper, Big Dipper, and Conclusion, plus many more single blacks. That does not include the many glades on the map and off the map.
    Half of those ski almost the same though (also Superstar is a single black). K generally doesn't have the sustained pitch and/or technical difficulty that I think really challenging terrain needs. Like Conclusion is what, a thousand feet of pitch, less? Same for Vertigo, it's got the headwall and that's about it. Maybe it's just my familiarity with K talking, but I feel like as long as you have the skill and strength to keep yourself from french frying down the hill it's hard to get on a trail at Killington and find yourself in real trouble. There's few of the chutes and turns where you gotta commit to holding it together without a bailout point.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by heiusa View Post
    I have skied at every ski area in VT, and Killington and Jay Peak are head and shoulders above any other are in terms of challenge.

    At Killington you have the following double black diamond runs (12) ; Devils Fiddle, Outer Limits, Vertigo, Superstar, Ovation, Escapade, Cascade, Flume, Downdraft, Double Dipper, Big Dipper, and Conclusion, plus many more single blacks. That does not include the many glades on the map and off the map.


    While I love skiing at Mt. Snow, Okemo, MRG, Sugarbush, Smuggs and Stowe, they do not offer the quantity and variety of retain that Killington and Jay offer.


    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL. Stick to K you gaper! Every trail you listed is a joke.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Keelhauled View Post
    Half of those ski almost the same though (also Superstar is a single black). K generally doesn't have the sustained pitch and/or technical difficulty that I think really challenging terrain needs. Like Conclusion is what, a thousand feet of pitch, less? Same for Vertigo, it's got the headwall and that's about it. Maybe it's just my familiarity with K talking, but I feel like as long as you have the skill and strength to keep yourself from french frying down the hill it's hard to get on a trail at Killington and find yourself in real trouble. There's few of the chutes and turns where you gotta commit to holding it together without a bailout point.
    Yeah, and they are all pretty wide, right? I don't know...it's all so subjective, but if it's wide open, I think it has to be like big mountain chutes and rocks and crap to be really extreme. Like you said - no fall chutes and what not...

    I think of the toughest East coast trails as narrow and windy and rocky - I suppose Goat is the epitome of that. And the toughest east coast skiing is steep and tight trees, like Goat woods or Deliverance at Jay...

    But having said that - skied K-ton for the first time in like 20 years last season. Conditions were strange - it was march and most of the place was brown. But OL was open....holy hell, that trail....that's a damn intimidating, steep-ass thing! It was fun to remember how scary that trail was as a kid - still delivers the adrenaline.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by heiusa View Post
    I have skied at every ski area in VT, and Killington and Jay Peak are head and shoulders above any other are in terms of challenge.

    At Killington you have the following double black diamond runs (12) ; Devils Fiddle, Outer Limits, Vertigo, Superstar, Ovation, Escapade, Cascade, Flume, Downdraft, Double Dipper, Big Dipper, and Conclusion, plus many more single blacks. That does not include the many glades on the map and off the map.

    Jay Peak is the closest thing we have on the east coast that compares to skiing out west.

    While I love skiing at Mt. Snow, Okemo, MRG, Sugarbush, Smuggs and Stowe, they do not offer the quantity and variety of retain that Killington and Jay offer.
    I would have to completely disagree with you on this. The only true difficult trails at Jay peak that are non glades are Face chute and green beret and you are looking at a top 400 vertical of skiing of those. Killingtons double blacks are all the same, wide open with really no natural features to the trails at all. I would go with Sugarbush, Mad River, Cannon and Sugarloaf for having the best variety of double blacks. Name a trail a killington that can compare with Liftline & Rumble at Sugarbush, paradise at Mad River, DJ tramline & Middle hard scrabble at Cannon or upper bubblecuffer at Sugarloaf.

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