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One Day Ski Wonders

jimk

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One Day Ski Wonders

Recently I was thinking over the list of approximately 85 ski areas I have visited and realized there were about 20 that I only skied one time. Even if it's just for a day, sometimes you make an instant connection with a mountain and for whatever reason it's memorably good; conditions, terrain, company, or maybe you just woke up on the right side of the bed - I think of these as my one day ski wonders. Here's a short list of some of my better one-and-done ski experiences:

Black Mtn, NH: pretty darn interesting. Lots of short, but steep little drop-offs all over the place. Crazy thick glades of the ski it if you can variety. Very atmospheric throw-back vibe to the design of the trails, lifts, and base area.
4de23aae3719d.jpg

Mt Abram, ME: a lot of similarities to Black Mtn above. Dirt cheap fun. Very quiet weekday skiing. Would like to get back in better conditions to get the most out of the steeper runs and glades.

Brighton, UT: all the terrain is served by a handful of high speed chairs allowing you to get a nice taste of the area in just one day. A lot of hard blue/easy black runs falling in my ability sweet spot. Very scenic area and the Millicent terrain can quickly get highly technical in a double black diamond way. Same great snow as more renowned Alta/Bird.
brighton, millicent terrain.jpg

Alta, UT: just one day here is a travesty. There are super accomplished people that ski it for a lifetime. Nonetheless, even a superficial sample of this mtn's beauties will be relished by an adventurous tourist. It's a gorgeous place and I was helped by having a local guide for a few hours in the morning. The terrain ranges from inviting to intimidating and everything in between. High Rustler is epic, Catherine's Area is sublime:
alta Cathrine's Area.jpg

Sierra at Tahoe, CA: I caught a foot of fresh powder here during my one and only visit. Two friendly locals befriended my son and I on a weekday and spent about three hours showing us a great time on all kinds of off-the-map terrain. Good snow, good terrain, good company made for one heck of a lasting impression! Only thing, if I ever went back I'm not sure I could top this day:)
Copy of huckleberry bowl.jpg

Sugar Bowl, CA: For some reason this one sticks out as my favorite one day wonder. It was a beautiful sunny day with good conditions and a considerable, but tolerable crowd. Possibly the best 1500' vertical mtn I have ever skied. Terrain ranges from fun and easy to unforgivingly extreme, but straightforward for quickly getting your bearings. Good lifts/lodge/parks infrastructure, fascinating and long ski history with a strong racing and Walt Disney connection. This mtn is nominally the closest good Tahoe ski area to the SF Bay area. If you're ever out there on a business trip or something and only have one day to ski - check out Sugar Bowl. It would be worth the effort.
sugarbowl.jpg

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What impressions can you get of a ski area in a day? What memorable take-aways do you have from a single visit to a ski area, recently or perhaps many years ago?
 
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Tin

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Whaleback... awesome little spot that was very steep and had some great looking trees. Unfortunately it's way away from everything but if I was in the area or passing by I would hit it again.

Mt. Ellen on the $6.50 day....no comment.
 

dlague

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We have several one timers but that is primarily due to deals and ski area tagging - we have skied about 40+ ski areas in the Northeast and some of the one timers have been due to skiing it the first time this year - Stowe, Dartmouth Skiway, Suicide Six, Magic. Of those four two will definitely not be one timers any longer (Stowe and Magic). Other one timers are Shawnee Peak (got a good night skiing deal), Abenaki (small rope tow), Mount Snow (comp ticket), Mount Sutton and Mount Orford (need to get passport updated), Attitash (not interest in returning), Whaleback (comp), Pico (RSNE 2 fer). Of all of those, I would like to revisit Pico, the Canadian resorts, maybe Shawnee Peak and Whaleback just to support them.
 

thetrailboss

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Wow, I feel badly you could only spend a day at Alta. Same with Brighton. Most of the places on your list are worthy of many days. I find that major resorts you only get your pinkie wet on the first day.

I know quite a few places that you can do in a day and then probably be done. Assuming of course that everything is open and conditions are primo.

My list of "one day wonders" in the Northeast that I've skied and think that one day gave me a good taste would include:

Blue Hills
Ski Ward
Nashoba
Wachusett (possibly)
Pats Peak
Lyndon Outing Club
Cranmore
Middlebury College Snow Bowl (maybe)

For the west coast I'd say

Homewood
Wolf Mountain/Skyline Base

And the exotic:

Hillend, Scotland (dry skiing)
 

mriceyman

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For the east I would have to say platty just because i caught it on the worst day last year with fog and rain. Snow was plentiful but couldnt enjoy it.
For out west the one time ive been it would be kirkwood. Was with a bad group and didnt get to enjoy the whole mountain.


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ScottySkis

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Wildcat.i ski it one or two days when i was a child on vacatiin at Loon. i loved and een dying to get ack some time soon.
 

Mapnut

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I'm going to commit heresy by saying I did one day at Hunter and most likely won't be back. I always thought I didn't like the layout of the mountain, but they had a late-season $25 ticket and the mountain is named after me, so why not try it? The diamond trails were all slushy moguls, ugh, and I was skiing terrible. I didn't like any of the blue trails (Belt Parkway was OK, not as crowded as its rep, but 3 runs were enough).Otherwise, it wasn't the mountain's fault. I quit at 2 and did enjoy the pond skimming, then took a walk at North Lake Park.

Another single day was at Plattekill, which I did enjoy. But for me to do the extra driving distance I'd need an incentive, like someone to meet up with. Also I was lucky with the conditions that day, the steeps were all groomed. If they had all been mogulled, I might have had the same problem as the Hunter day.
 

Savemeasammy

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Hopefully I will be able to return some day, but for now Kirkwood remains a one day wonder for me.

If a place is good enough, it doesn't remain in the one day only category.


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MadMadWorld

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Fernie was definitely my favorite one day wonder. Would love to visit that whole area again. Amazing views with some of the most incredible terrain
 

Cannonball

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Mt Baker. March 1998. On our way from Seattle to Whistler we heard that the road to Baker was going to open for the first time in weeks. They had just crushed the snowfall record and had been unable to open until then. We took an unplanned detour and hit Baker for a solid half day. That was one day, 16 years ago, and I still think about it all the time.
 

Nick

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Awesome thread idea. Before AZ, my scope of mountains was very limited. I mean,we just did either Killington or Mount Snow. Now, I've had the chance to explore quite a bit more, and I really love trying different variety and checking out the vibe of different mountains.

MRG was awesome. Sugarbush was awesome. Cannon was really fun but I didn't get that same connection immediately. Maybe I need a better powder day.

Magic is the same way.

Next year I hope to hit up lots more as this year's skiing was so much impacted by the birth of my daughter on new years day. I'll follow this list to see where to go next :)
 

jimk

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Hopefully I will be able to return some day, but for now Kirkwood remains a one day wonder for me.

If a place is good enough, it doesn't remain in the one day only category.


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LOL about last statement!
I've got six days from two visits to Kirkwood. Awesome place. Falls into the category of the more you ski it, the more you like it. :spread:

I'm going to commit heresy by saying I did one day at Hunter and most likely won't be back. I always thought I didn't like the layout of the mountain, but they had a late-season $25 ticket and the mountain is named after me, so why not try it? The diamond trails were all slushy moguls, ugh, and I was skiing terrible. I didn't like any of the blue trails (Belt Parkway was OK, not as crowded as its rep, but 3 runs were enough).Otherwise, it wasn't the mountain's fault. I quit at 2 and did enjoy the pond skimming, then took a walk at North Lake Park.

Another single day was at Plattekill, which I did enjoy. But for me to do the extra driving distance I'd need an incentive, like someone to meet up with. Also I was lucky with the conditions that day, the steeps were all groomed. If they had all been mogulled, I might have had the same problem as the Hunter day.

I think the trick with Hunter is to do it on a weekday when conditions are good. Of course, just about anywhere will be enjoyable in that scenario. :flag: The geography of Hunter is a trip - all those rocks they cut the trails through. The shoulder of the mtn between the front and backside is a huge rock wall that can only be transited horizontally via those "parkways".
 

Smellytele

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On vacations I tend to ski multiple ski areas for one day each so here we go with a list:
West:
Snowbird
Alpine Meadows
Sugarbowl
Mt Rose
Taos
Durango*
A-Basin
Vail

East:
Titus*
Gore
Dartmouth Skiway*
Tenney
Stowe
Smuggler's
Bromley
Bolton Valley
Stratton*
Bretton Woods*
Pico

* wouldn't go out of my way to do again but if the right deal came up I wouldn't say no
 

4aprice

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Just had one this season. Got up to the Mt Washington valley and was able to hit Cranmore for a day. I enjoyed it, super glad I skied it but will probably never go back again. A true one hit (day) wonder. How about a one visit wonder because on that same trip hit Attitash for 2 days and feel the same way. Others include Wisp, Seven Springs, Cortina Valley, Ski Big Bear, Tenney, Nashoba, Powder Ridge. I could also make up a list of areas I've been to multiple times that I have no interest in going to again. (ie I went there to remind myself of why I didn't want to go there).

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 
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