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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 12:46 PM
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Washington looks fantastic, but it's also very bi polar. There resorts there are very low elevation. 4k ft is a high base area for out there. Considering that most resorts in the West are at least 6k ft or higher (>9k at a lot of Colorado resorts) it leaves Washington susceptible to rain. For what ever reason, January seems to be a popular month for this. I had a trip planned last season to go ride the backcountry out there in mid January. They got nuked in December and it looked like the trip was going to be great. Then it rained for two weeks straight right before I was to come out and basically washed away everything. So I canceled. As it turns out, March though later in the season was a great month there. Looking back at the past years, that is Washington's money month. So if you plan a trip there, I would go then. Baker is near Bellingham I believe and looks to be the spot in Washington. Stevens, Alpental, Hyak, and other spots are closer to Seattle, which is a fantastic city.

And what in the world have you heard about Jackson Hole? They had a decent season last year, and that resort is a crown jewell of American ski resorts. Of course, it's gnarly. Few other resorts can compare to the crazy cliffs, chutes, and other lines found at Jackson. Squaw Valley comes to mind and Crested Butte. Utah has a few that come close. Jackson is a resort that looks like it was hit with a shotgun with "Cliff" loads. Their new cable car opens this season too.

Another place you might want to check out is Aspen. It's definitely the best ski party town in the US and you've got four resorts there each with it's own flavor. Highlands for steeps, Ajax for urban riding, Snowmass for a bit of everything, and Buttermilk for park. Of course it's a little pricey, but deals can be found. Aspen Classic passes go on sale in September for something like $149. 4 days at that price. Not sure if you can get them out of state or not, but it's worth investigating.
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