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Multi-Resort Western ski trip....

LonghornSkier

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Jul 9, 2008
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257
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After skiing the Wasatch this year for the first time in 9 years, I’ve become really down on skiing the major resorts in the Western US.

Prior to the trip this winter, my last five trips west had been Montana SnowBowl/Lost Trail, Alyeska/Chugach Powder Guides Heli, and 3x trips to Canadian Rockies (KH, Louise, SV, Fernie, Castle).

For each of those options, there are cons: SnowBowl and LT are limited in size, Alyeska isn’t that great of a ski area beyond the upper 1000 vertical and CPG practically requires a second mortgage, and the Canadian Rockies can get semi-crowded (like, 15 minutes in the morning at the base on a weekend type-of-crowded) at times...

But they all sure beat waking up at 5:45 AM to get a parking spot at Alta by 7:30 and then waiting in my car for 90 mins for the lifts to spin. Or, alternatively, being able to get parking but waiting in line at Strawberry at Snowbasin for 45 minutes while using my free Epic days...

Anyway, rant over, looks like a really fun trip @Tonyr!
 

Tonyr

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
270
Points
18
After skiing the Wasatch this year for the first time in 9 years, I’ve become really down on skiing the major resorts in the Western US.

Prior to the trip this winter, my last five trips west had been Montana SnowBowl/Lost Trail, Alyeska/Chugach Powder Guides Heli, and 3x trips to Canadian Rockies (KH, Louise, SV, Fernie, Castle).

For each of those options, there are cons: SnowBowl and LT are limited in size, Alyeska isn’t that great of a ski area beyond the upper 1000 vertical and CPG practically requires a second mortgage, and the Canadian Rockies can get semi-crowded (like, 15 minutes in the morning at the base on a weekend type-of-crowded) at times...

But they all sure beat waking up at 5:45 AM to get a parking spot at Alta by 7:30 and then waiting in my car for 90 mins for the lifts to spin. Or, alternatively, being able to get parking but waiting in line at Strawberry at Snowbasin for 45 minutes while using my free Epic days...

Anyway, rant over, looks like a really fun trip @Tonyr!

Oh I get it, I hate waiting in long lines as well. I mostly went out in the afternoons and never had a problem with lines other than weekends. Last week when Alta and Snowbird were shut down for too much snow the lines at Park City were over an hour to get on the lifts in the mornings. By 1 in the afternoon when I was going out I'd get right on.

Thanks for the info on Alyeska btw. I've always wondered how that mountain was to ski.
 

LonghornSkier

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Jul 9, 2008
Messages
257
Points
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Location
Manhattan
Oh I get it, I hate waiting in long lines as well. I mostly went out in the afternoons and never had a problem with lines other than weekends. Last week when Alta and Snowbird were shut down for too much snow the lines at Park City were over an hour to get on the lifts in the mornings. By 1 in the afternoon when I was going out I'd get right on.

Thanks for the info on Alyeska btw. I've always wondered how that mountain was to ski.

Alyeska is fun to ski as an add-on to a heli/cat trip... And would be great to ski as your local resort if you lived in Anchorage (it's about 45 minutes from the city).

But, it's proximity to the ocean and low elevation mean that during most storms, it's raining at the bottom of the hill and snowing up top. As such, the skiing up at the top is great, but limited (especially when the hike-to stuff isn't open due to avalanche concerns-which is like 80% of the time) in terms of breadth... The skiing mid-mountain is fun but the snow is often concrete in that part.. And the bottom is a slushy mess.
 

Tonyr

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Jan 6, 2019
Messages
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Alyeska is fun to ski as an add-on to a heli/cat trip... And would be great to ski as your local resort if you lived in Anchorage (it's about 45 minutes from the city).

But, it's proximity to the ocean and low elevation mean that during most storms, it's raining at the bottom of the hill and snowing up top. As such, the skiing up at the top is great, but limited (especially when the hike-to stuff isn't open due to avalanche concerns-which is like 80% of the time) in terms of breadth... The skiing mid-mountain is fun but the snow is often concrete in that part.. And the bottom is a slushy mess.

Thanks for that info. It doesn't seem like a worthy cross country trip from NY. Sounds like I'd be better off trying Whistler instead if im going all that way out there.
 

thetrailboss

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NEK by Birth; Alta/Snowbird by Choice
I thought Targhee was more remote than Big Sky. Atleast Big Sky had a village with some nice hotels, shops, and restaurants. Targhee really has none of that, it was just a remote place to ski.
Oh, I see what you are saying. Agreed that Targhee has fewer amenities onsite. It is also at the end of the access road that leaves Driggs and civilization.
 

mikec142

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Jan 27, 2014
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Great report. Way to take advantage of the unique circumstances we find ourselves in.

I've only skied Jackson twice (only once recently) but did it mid-week and it was fantastic. Same thing for Alta...midweek and I loved every second. I too agree that the Canyons side blows away the PC side. Although I did like the terrain off of McConkey's.
 

dblskifanatic

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May 24, 2019
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Sounds like a dream trip! Nice reporting. My wife and I both work from home but never could pull off that much skiing. Nice that you can!
 

Tonyr

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Jan 6, 2019
Messages
270
Points
18
Sounds like a dream trip! Nice reporting. My wife and I both work from home but never could pull off that much skiing. Nice that you can!
Having the 2 hour time difference really helped, I stayed on east coast time the whole trip. Also I only skied 1 to 2 hours a day tops except for the weekends.
 
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Tonyr

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Jan 6, 2019
Messages
270
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Great report. Way to take advantage of the unique circumstances we find ourselves in.

I've only skied Jackson twice (only once recently) but did it mid-week and it was fantastic. Same thing for Alta...midweek and I loved every second. I too agree that the Canyons side blows away the PC side. Although I did like the terrain off of McConkey's.
The terrain off of McConkey's and Juniper are both really good but my favorite though is the 9990 lift.
 
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