Skiing 2014-15

GoJeff!

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May 30, 2007
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Los Angeles
Anyone getting skiing/snowboarding in?
I've had a couple days so far in the local (for LA) mountains, and am heading up to Mammoth this Saturday for a week. It's looking like (finally) a good snow year after the last three or so bad seasons. Getting excited for a snowy year.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Jul 2, 2006
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We're in Salt Lake and snow has been a bit uninspiring so far this year.  I got one day at Brighton last week and we'll probably hit Alta this coming Saturday.  No snow forecast between now and then. :(
 

Sausage in Section 17

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Mar 17, 2004
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B.C. is totally struggling so far. I heard Whistler had to close for a while last week.
 
Usually we don't have to worry too much about freeze/thaw up at the base of our hill (at 5,000+ feet), but after some early season snow there was a rain event up there and now it's groomers only on a minimal base. Reminiscent of many Eastern ski days of my youth.
 
The long range winter forecast for the PNW is not a great one, warmer and drier than average. I am trying to lower expectations, but hope I'll be surprised.
 

Rook05

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Jul 18, 2005
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I can't believe I hadn't skied a pair of rockered skis until today.

Central Mountains here in Colorado have been getting some decent snow since Thanksgiving, and it's supposed to dump over the next few days. Just in time for me to be dragged to various holiday parties back in Boulder.
 

VORP Speed

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Apr 23, 2010
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I'm hitting Tahoe over the holidays....will be in Northstar/Squaw/Alpine Meadows area. Other than a couple weekends at Squaw years ago, am not really familiar with these. Anyone here have any thoughts about best spots to hit?
 

VORP Speed

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GoJeff! said:
Are you asking which areas to hit or where to go at each? What kind of terrain are you after?
Both, but I guess more which areas are better overall so we don't waste too many days poking around the wrong area. Black/double black type of terrain. Especially bowls, glades, interesting stuff.

If it were up to me, I'd cruise on big open blues all day, but I made the mistake of getting my son into skiing while he was young and now I'm forced to chase him around the big boy terrain.
 

Al Zarilla

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Dec 8, 2005
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VORP Speed said:
I'm hitting Tahoe over the holidays....will be in Northstar/Squaw/Alpine Meadows area. Other than a couple weekends at Squaw years ago, am not really familiar with these. Anyone here have any thoughts about best spots to hit?
Those are the big 3 in the North Lake Tahoe area. Northstar is the most "family" and least challenging, followed by Alpine and then Squaw. If you venture down to South Lake Tahoe (better gambling, buffets) Heavenly Valley is the biggest and the best. Kirkwood is very challenging, but it's off the beaten track.

In the SF Bay Area, we've had a great deal of rain, several inches, in the last week. That usually translates to a few feet of snow at the upper elevations at Tahoe. For some reason, that hasn't happened. Where'd the storms go after they went through here? Beats me.
 

wibi

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Jul 15, 2005
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barbed wire Bob said:
I'd guess Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Big Sky and Jackson Hole received 19" an 16", respectively, during the last 48 hours and it's snowing now.
 
Utah resorts are getting hammered too.  Most had to not open today due to avalanche conditions as a function of the massive snowfall
 

GoJeff!

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May 30, 2007
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VORP Speed said:
Both, but I guess more which areas are better overall so we don't waste too many days poking around the wrong area. Black/double black type of terrain. Especially bowls, glades, interesting stuff.

If it were up to me, I'd cruise on big open blues all day, but I made the mistake of getting my son into skiing while he was young and now I'm forced to chase him around the big boy terrain.
I'd agree with al zarilla on the ranking, but squaw and alpine are vastly better than northstar for steeps. They are also better than heavenly.

At squaw, steeps are off of kt22, granite chief, and Siberia if hike-to terrain is open. I'm at mammoth right now and it has been very warm, so steeps might be ugly from melt freeze until the next storm, hopefully on wed night.
 

Rook05

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I'd agree on sticking with Squaw. It was the most memorable for me out of those three. Lots of steeps, and you can reenact Lane Meyer's famous run. The downside is that the upper lifts seemed to close a lot on account of wind.

If you're looking for something different, Homewood is on the south end of the lake. It's smaller and more of a local spot (at least it used to be), but has some of the best ski slope views of the lake.

I haven't skiied Heavenly, but I've been told there's a lot to traversing to get around.
 

loafnut

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Jul 18, 2005
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I used to live there. For big boy terrain and snow:

Squaw>> Kirkwood> Alpine>> Mt Rose>Sugar Bowl> The rest

I wouldn't waste my time with northstar. Heavenly is busy and only worth it for the view. Sierra is fine but unremarkable. Homewood has a cool vibe but just isn't steep.

Pro tip: Get your son a copy of squallywood for Christmas. It's a must for serious skiers at squaw. Take him to squaw and let him run wild. Bonus is squaw and alpine have the same owner now and might have a combined ticket.
 

VORP Speed

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Apr 23, 2010
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Thanks for all the feedback, guys. Really helpful.

I just looked and Squaw/Alpine do have a combined ticket. Hadn't realized that. Makes it even easier to just stick to those two. Here's hoping for a big dump over the next few days.
 

jschip1

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Jul 16, 2005
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For the Utah people, I've spent a little time up at Snowbird recently and it's not too bad. They get a few inches here and there to keep the snow a little soft. The upside of warm, dry winters like we've had is that the ski days are absolutely beautiful. Warm temps, clear skies, gentle breezes.
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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For those of you in the northeast, it doesn't get any better than what it's like right now. I did 4 days at Smugglers and Jay Peak last week, and everything was open and most of it fantastic. They just got another foot. The only other time I've seen conditions this good was early march 2007. I heard from a couple guys that sugarbush is also at peak quality.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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Mar 17, 2004
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Yeah, looks like this is one of those years where it's better in the East.
 
In B.C we've had decent coverage considering it was expected to be a warm, dry winter. We've had several decent dumps, but quite unusually, each time right after we've gotten snow, within a week we get an inversion where temps go up above freezing all the way up to 10,000+ feet. During the first 5 years I was here that happened maybe once each winter. This year everything keeps thawing and re-freezing. The groomers are scrapey, and anything not groomed is close to useless. Extended forecast says it's gonna stay warm....looking forward to our trip to Mexico in March, and then Spring...sigh.
 

graffam198

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Dec 10, 2007
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Reno, NV
Tahoe was a total waste this year. Rain at 7500', no storms to speak of, hot days. I barely got my pass paid for. There were a couple of good powder days, so long as you could avoid the rocks hanging out under the cover.
 

Gdiguy

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Jul 15, 2005
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loafnut said:
I used to live there. For big boy terrain and snow:

Squaw>> Kirkwood> Alpine>> Mt Rose>Sugar Bowl> The rest

I wouldn't waste my time with northstar. Heavenly is busy and only worth it for the view. Sierra is fine but unremarkable. Homewood has a cool vibe but just isn't steep.

Pro tip: Get your son a copy of squallywood for Christmas. It's a must for serious skiers at squaw. Take him to squaw and let him run wild. Bonus is squaw and alpine have the same owner now and might have a combined ticket.
 
The only thing I'll say about Heavenly for serious skiing (besides the really quite amazing views, I especially like the one into Nevada from the top) is that with a good amount of snow, the Mott's Canyon area is really quite fun (and easy to hang out in for a while if that chair is running).
 
Especially if you have some non-experts along, there's a lot more for them to do at Heavenly than at, say, Kirkwood.
 

graffam198

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Dec 10, 2007
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Reno, NV
loafnut said:
I used to live there. For big boy terrain and snow:

Squaw>> Kirkwood> Alpine>> Mt Rose>Sugar Bowl> The rest

I wouldn't waste my time with northstar. Heavenly is busy and only worth it for the view. Sierra is fine but unremarkable. Homewood has a cool vibe but just isn't steep.

Pro tip: Get your son a copy of squallywood for Christmas. It's a must for serious skiers at squaw. Take him to squaw and let him run wild. Bonus is squaw and alpine have the same owner now and might have a combined ticket.
 
I am biased, as I live at the base of Mt. Rose, but for me, that mountain is the best when the chutes are open. There is nothing as steep as El Cap in park anywhere in Tahoe. Also, the crowds are way more manageable, slope side parking (for free no less!), and a cheaper ticket. (When the roads are covered in snow, I can leave my house and be on the chair in 22 minutes)
 
I don't personally care for Alpine, especially post sale to Squaw. Lots of hiking for the "good stuff", and it really isn't that great. Also, Sugarbowl, while not large, gets a ton of snow. And if you trek over to strawberry fields, there are lots of untapped powder bowls.   For me, as a skier, Rose>Kirkwood>Sugarbowl>Squallywood>Alpine.  There are no other resorts... Homewood is really fun on a dump day though. Mellow terrain, west tahoe, more snow than anywhere else during a typical storm. The only reason Kirkwood isn't first is it is an hour and a half to get there on a shitty mountain road and power outages rule the day after a big storm.
 

wibi

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Jul 15, 2005
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Alta Ski Resort missed having a 100inch base for the first time since detailed snow records started being kept (1980).  The best they could do was a 95 inch base and that didnt happen until closing weekend when a massive storm rolled through Utah and dropped enough snow to get them close.
 
Dry dry dry winter in Utah this year which doesnt bode well for anything but a hot and fire driven summer