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Is powder/tree skiing in the east overrated?

Griswold

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All this talk about driving 5+ hours just to get a few "untouched" runs with mountains opening new terrain after the storm has me wondering, is powder really that great? I'll also include tree skiing in because people mostly ski trees to ski powder (or fresher snow). Don't get me wrong, I like skiing in powder. But would I wait hours in the cold for first chair while spewing the annoying phrase "there's no friends on a powder day", hell no. Most people I see skiing powder suck at it anyway, so it's hard to imagine they aren't just kidding themselves saying they love it. These same people, I bet, all have what they believe is their own secret powder stash in the trees on "their" own mountain. Nothing like someone who can't ski powder well on an open trail bushwhacking just to get 3 consecutive turns together in trees that are way too tight in their 110 underfoot water skis. But hey, it's "their" stash and they will protect those 3 turns and harass anyone who thinks to post its location or suggest narrower skis on the Internet! I'll take soft moguls on a sunny day in the spring any day over a powder day. Anyone else agree???


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Griswold

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Haha, not quite but it doesn't matter how I do in power. How many people waiting in a lift corral on a powder day for the lift to open can actually ski powder well? I would argue less than half. So the question is how many of these people are sucked into the powder hype when they would actually enjoy a groomed trail more? The same goes for the off map tight trees. How many people who guard these so secretly can actually ski their own stashes well? Again, I think a small percentage.


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NY DirtBag

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but I won't disagree about 50% of people that can't ski it. The worst is when I see people who can't snowboard in it. What is the point of living after a display like that. Immediate seppuku should be required. (to be fair, usually its because they are on 150 park rat boards with their stance super wide, but i digress)
 

kingslug

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Well, I still applaud those that know they suck in powder but continue to try it rather than take refuge on a groomer. Its the only way to get better at it. I'm good in it for sure but no way compare to my friends out west that can rip it at full speed. Even a few inches can transform the place from rock hard to at least something fun to slide around on. And true Eastern tree skiers are the best in the world. They have to be. Its so damn tight in there that mistakes can be fatal. Theres nothing like bottomless powder, and we don't get that condition much around here. Try heli skiing for that. You can't even step out of your skis..you'll sink up to you nose.
 

jimmywilson69

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The OPs opinion couldn't be more off base. As a skier who lives in PA and spends 80-90% of his skiing days in PA, I'm not terribly awesome at skiing in Powder or trees. Better in Powder on a cut trails than trees, of course, but I am not expert at either. I think skiing powder and trees is pretty great on the east coast. Lots of great tree runs and plenty of great "powder" days. Yes its about fresh snow in the trees, but since I don't ski them all that often, I enjoy being in the trees anytime there are is deep enough cover to make it enjoyable. Who friggin cares if I can't ski the trees fluidly. I am having a good time, and could really care less what anyone else thinks.
 

tumbler

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Isn't it about having fun? I don't care what the douche bag on the lift wearing his backpack with avy shovel and probe thinks about me and how I look skiing. GFY.
 

bigbog

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....Need to take off your virtual headset, leave your cellphone someplace and start spending more time enjoying the natural outdoors...not just bumpfields!
tumbler's....backpack with avy shovel and probe:lol::lol:
 
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drjeff

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The reality is that *most* of the people who show up to ski in a storm in the East, would likely find the experience much more enjoyable if they waited 24 hours until a bunch of the snow was groomed out giving them a soft packed surface. Most average skiers and riders struggle in powder due to the combo of poor technique and equipment not well suited for the powder.

Add in the tightness of most New England trees, and for most people, they may talk about having skied/ridden such and such a run during/after a storm as the greatest thing since sliced bread, but in reality they struggled, and knew they struggled and just didn't want to admit it because video clips they've seen of someone, with the skills and equipment to handle it very well, ripping New England trees in powder, looked like so much fun....
 

tnt1234

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No, it's not overrated.

Who gives a damn how anyone skis whatever the conditions? I'm not out there to impress you, and I hope to hell you aren't trying to impress me, because I promise I'm not watching or caring.

I'm out there to enjoy the mountain and the snow.

If you like first chair, go for it. If it's worth it to you to get up early, then that;s the answer - it's worth it to you. If you enjoy skiing in powder, regardless of your ability, I'l' give you a high five in the line, because I enjoy it too. You like the trees? Me too - see you there. Your ability to string together turns has no impact whatsoever on my enjoyment, and I hope the reverse is true for you.

One of my favorite things about tree skiing is being away from people who worry about who can ski what, how, and why.....Just get out there in the quiet and ski....love it.

Heartbroken not to be in VT this weekend. God damn it.
 

tnt1234

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The reality is that *most* of the people who show up to ski in a storm in the East, would likely find the experience much more enjoyable if they waited 24 hours until a bunch of the snow was groomed out giving them a soft packed surface. Most average skiers and riders struggle in powder due to the combo of poor technique and equipment not well suited for the powder.

Add in the tightness of most New England trees, and for most people, they may talk about having skied/ridden such and such a run during/after a storm as the greatest thing since sliced bread, but in reality they struggled, and knew they struggled and just didn't want to admit it because video clips they've seen of someone, with the skills and equipment to handle it very well, ripping New England trees in powder, looked like so much fun....

Just because you struggled, doesn't mean you didn't have the time of your life.

But yes, skiing trees in deep, untracked snow is very, very difficult.
 

abc

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I’m not sure what the OP mean by “50% struggle” in powder.

Let’s be real, 80% of skier struggle a bit on the groomer! That doesn’t stop them from having fun!

You don’t have to ski it “well” to enjoy it. As long as they’re not falling down ever 5 feet, most people are enjoying the snow.

Powder is actually easier than groomer. You can get away with all sort of poor technique. That’s why you see so many peoples skiing it “poorly” yet grinning ear to ear! They’re having a hell of a good time they never had on groomers.

People “struggle” in powder partly because they don’t get enough chance to ski it. The only way to get used to it is ski it more often, every chance one gets!
 
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56fish

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No, it's not overrated.

Who gives a damn how anyone skis whatever the conditions? I'm not out there to impress you, and I hope to hell you aren't trying to impress me, because I promise I'm not watching or caring.

I'm out there to enjoy the mountain and the snow.

If you like first chair, go for it. If it's worth it to you to get up early, then that;s the answer - it's worth it to you. If you enjoy skiing in powder, regardless of your ability, I'l' give you a high five in the line, because I enjoy it too. You like the trees? Me too - see you there. Your ability to string together turns has no impact whatsoever on my enjoyment, and I hope the reverse is true for you.

One of my favorite things about tree skiing is being away from people who worry about who can ski what, how, and why.....Just get out there in the quiet and ski....love it.

Heartbroken not to be in VT this weekend. God damn it.

"Don’t be dumb like me......knee+ deep snow, on a decent pitch at 3000’ is surfy........knee- deep snow, on not-so-decent pitch at 2000’ is post-holy.
Think of that on the way up"
;)"....


I posted above on FB after experiencing the best and worst that snowboarding & mountains offer. Didn't get hurt. Wouldn't change a thing. Will do again. :beer:
 

skiur

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Powder skiing sucks!!! Everybody should stay home on powder days and wait until it gets groomed out the next day. I will make the sacrifice of tracking it up so that it is safe for everyone else to ski it. If you see me at the bar at the end of the day buy me a beer for doing everybody the service of making the powder safe and skiable for people like the OP.
 

WWF-VT

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The reality is that *most* of the people who show up to ski in a storm in the East, would likely find the experience much more enjoyable if they waited 24 hours until a bunch of the snow was groomed out giving them a soft packed surface. Most average skiers and riders struggle in powder due to the combo of poor technique and equipment not well suited for the powder.

Add in the tightness of most New England trees, and for most people, they may talk about having skied/ridden such and such a run during/after a storm as the greatest thing since sliced bread, but in reality they struggled, and knew they struggled and just didn't want to admit it because video clips they've seen of someone, with the skills and equipment to handle it very well, ripping New England trees in powder, looked like so much fun....

This might be applicable to what you experience with *most* people at Mount Snow. I hit a few mid week powder days at Mt Ellen last season including Storm Stella and can tell you that the people lined up for the 8 AM first chair don't need or want to wait for 24 hours and a grooming to ski a "soft packed surface".
 

Glenn

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I depends to a certain degree. Is it worth a multi hour drive go get in maybe 6-8" of powder runs on a weekend vs. 12"+ of powder on a Tuesday?

Powder is fun because it happens so infrequently in the east vs the west. I remember being at Alta years ago. We were having breakfast at the Gold Miner's Daughter and were going crazy because it was snowing: "There's like 8-10" of snow out there! Holy crap!" Our waiter just kinda shrugged: "Pretty typical...we don't get excited until it's 18" or more."
 
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