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Is powder/tree skiing in the east overrated?

Smellytele

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People sometimes confuse powder with other types of deep snow. Skiing 12" of powder is a lot different than 12" with a wind blown crust on top or 12" of slop (sierra cement). Pure soft blower powder is not that hard to ski in.
 

Lefty4514

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This thread is good stuff. So forbidden to say that powder is anything but amazing. I like skiing in powder and some of my most memorable days revolve around a powder day. But I also agree that there are plenty of other ways to get thrills with skiing like some good bumps or just ripping down a freshly groomed trail. Skiing (or bushwhacking)in trees days after a dump just to get some snow that goes over your boot toes even when you can barely link a turn or two together without stopping to duck branches is pretty dumb IMO but that’s the east coast. With many threads talking about these stashes I can see where Griswold is coming from.

On the topic of ski width, wide skis are obviously easier in nearly all powder situations. But I do agree that the fascination of wide skis as daily driver on the east coast confuses me since there don’t seem to be enough deep days to justify it. I own pair of Kendos and twister mogul skis, and have demoed a bunch of wide rockered skis and can say that the mogul skis are my fave skis in nearly every snow condition with the exception of powder (not just when skiing moguls either). Maybe it’s older school style and its obviously just my opinion but the lightness and playability can’t be matched. Maybe the light and narrow skis will make a comeback.....
 
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Griswold

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I'm glad at least one or two people (kind of) agree. I guess I'm just a little bitter because it amazes me how a 6 inch powder day in the east can turn people into such A-holes. I've had people blatantly cutting me in line, seen arguing and near fights, all for a few runs in a little powder? People out west must laugh at how ridiculous it all is. It also amazed me last year how many people would go straight to the paradise woods first run rather than an untouched ripcord. Why not go into the trees after the trails are tracked out? Some of my favorite moments at sugarbush last year were on powder days when people in line early for the Bravo realized it was on wind hold then would make a mad dash up the hill for the valley house chair like idiots, their powder dreams crushed. They probably were going to use the first chair to ski woods too tight for their ability anyway instead of an open trail.


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abc

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I guess I'm just a little bitter because it amazes me how a 6 inch powder day in the east can turn people into such A-holes. I've had people blatantly cutting me in line, seen arguing and near fights, all for a few runs in a little powder?
People can be uncivilized in ANY situation. I see them all the time on the highway. So I'm not surprised when it happens on the mountain. I've seen people cutting lift lines even NOT in a powder day.

People out west must laugh at how ridiculous it all is. I

It also amazed me last year how many people would go straight to the paradise woods first run rather than an untouched ripcord. Why not go into the trees after the trails are tracked out?
Not just gapers do that. Not just in the east either.

I was with a group of pretty good skiers, many of whom live in the west, and are NOT powder virgins, in Whistler no less! The lead guy went straight to the trees! I bailed immediately, went down the groomer with untracked 10", ALONE!

So, "no friend on powder days" indeed. Especially if your "friends" have different priority than yours.

But really, none of that bothers me. I'm out there to enjoy the powder. How others enjoy it or not, ski it well or not, is their business!
 

Hawk

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Gris, I guess you can chalk it up to the fact that everybody is different. I am first in line on many days when it snows. Some days I ski a trail first some days I ski woods. Just last year on a foot plus day I went over and skied Bear Claw first on the Paradise wall. If you know the trail then you know is gets cleared out after the first few people so being first is awesome. But where I chose to ski is part of my mindset and I look at people that ski trails mostly and don't like woods as people who are missing out. It's all good, we are just different and neither should looked at in terms of quality. It's just who we are.
 

gregnye

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While I certainly love powder skiing I also think the obsession with Powder has gotten to be too much. Ever since the marketing of wider skis I see more and more people trying to ski groomers with super wide skis with dull edges. This is the east coast. You can't just get a powder ski and expect it to be enjoyable for the other days when it's groomed or ice.

Now I'm college aged. And even here amongst the college ski community the obsession is ridiculous. Some of my friends straight up said that they won't go skiing with me anymore at a ski resort unless its powder (their argument being that lift tickets are too expensive anyway and it's not worth it). Instead they would rather skin up Mount Washington, only getting one run in but the argument being "quality over quantity"

The way I see it, a good skier is one that is able to ski in all conditions. Powder, Ice, Slush it doesn't matter. I also believe that "a day skiing is better than a day at home".

I really think the major reason behind the new powder obsession is that people buy wide skis as their primary ski and these skis don't really have good edges. So these people show up when the lift opens and quickly leave after noon when the powder starts to go away.
 

crank

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I'm glad at least one or two people (kind of) agree. I guess I'm just a little bitter because it amazes me how a 6 inch powder day in the east can turn people into such A-holes. I've had people blatantly cutting me in line, seen arguing and near fights, all for a few runs in a little powder? People out west must laugh at how ridiculous it all is. It also amazed me last year how many people would go straight to the paradise woods first run rather than an untouched ripcord. Why not go into the trees after the trails are tracked out? Some of my favorite moments at sugarbush last year were on powder days when people in line early for the Bravo realized it was on wind hold then would make a mad dash up the hill for the valley house chair like idiots, their powder dreams crushed. They probably were going to use the first chair to ski woods too tight for their ability anyway instead of an open trail.

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It's no different out west. Snowbird on a powder morning is like a testosterone fueled feeding frenzy.

Sometimes skiers head into the trees because there is more snow and it is less windblown in there. Having said that, I was skiing a big storm at Stowe a few years back and my friends kept traversing out of bounds which entails a PITA traverse and then a walk up 108 back to the gondola. I was kind of beat after 4 runs and told my buddies I would just meet them later for lunch. I skied a couple feet of untracked straight down the regular trails and stayed in bounds the rest of that day. On the other had I once spent an entire day lapping Jay's side country past Timbukto mainly because getting into the trees got us out of the wind and increased visibility during the storm.
 

bdfreetuna

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Having said that, I was skiing a big storm at Stowe a few years back and my friends kept traversing out of bounds which entails a PITA traverse and then a walk up 108 back to the gondola. I was kind of beat after 4 runs and told my buddies I would just meet them later for lunch. I skied a couple feet of untracked straight down the regular trails and stayed in bounds the rest of that day.

Angel Food is classified Top Secret bro, we don't mention that on the internet.

Joking aside it is a great place to ski on a powder day.
 

Scruffy

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Try Alta on a powder day if you want to see a A-hole frenzy. Powder on piste is a gamblers game, that's why some head for the woods straight away, and some for the open slopes. It's anyone's guess where it will be untracked for that very short period of time at any popular resort. If you want untracked, skin, or take a copter or cat up; or go to a place like Powder Mountain, where you can get untracked for days after a storm. If I'm not skinning, I personally, like the leftovers at resorts. On piste, Chowder is more challenging to ski and less stressful to obtain these days. Sure I'll take lift served untracked when I can get it, but I'm I going to kill myself for the hunt, not any more--been there, done that. It all turns to shit soon anyways, might as well enjoy the left overs.
 
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