Which US Resort?
OK Boarders after your advice, experiences and knowledge of US resorts.
This Winter we are heading to the US for the first time. Been everywhere in Australia as we are from Oz, been to Canada, Switzerland and Japan. We know very little of the US Resorts.
Our Criteria for Selecting is mostly based on Powder quality and volume, then things like Price, ski-in Ski-out (or easy walking access), village/town. Don't care about night life or much in the way of off mountain activity.
Basically it's all about the Powder and steeps, having coming off the last two trips to Niseko Japan with there is a lot to live up to.
So which are the best resorts? Why?
What is the best month to go for enough base AND fresh powder?
bring all mtn decks unless booking cat/heli
if you want to be guaranteed pow, go back to Japan or probably revamp your expectations. Our mountains have their own characters, which include pow, but not like "here is 6 weeks of pow" like in Japow. West coast, east coast or in between you need to luck into it or live here. Typically feb-april is your best bet.
The last 2 years we had 50inch weeks in may to close the season.
It seems like the east coast gets screwed the most on the regular, but locals will tell you some of the deepest baddest spots in the land are tucked up in VT.
West coast can get deep dumps and has huge mountains.
CO, UT and the central mountains tend to get snow more consistently in smaller amounts, but on good years this often leads to deep powder days every day even with only 3-5" snow reports.
Top 3 choices (that I would pick based on your parameters)
Silverton (only 1 lift, nature of mtn basically guarantees pow but you will work for it and ride where told[guided])
If you want pow and have dollars, book a cat trip (monarch, steamboat, etc), guaranteed pow unless we go into a drought.
Are you getting a rental car? Will it have AWD/4WD? Budget? Is ski in ski out mandatory?
As for timing, you'll want to be here between mid february to late march for the best window to score.
IMHO.....use your money to do a heli trip or cat trip and forego the resorts. I'm sure the resorts will stretch your cash a bit further but if your looking for lines of untouched pow find the guide operation to fill your cup.
For the eastern US, Jay Peak would be my fave to fit your parameters. For the west I'd think Baker would be the best bet. I haven't been to any Western US resorts FWIW...
edit: Where in Canada have you been? I think our snow can be more consistent in certain places...
While personally I've only done Aspen (was lucky - had an awesome powder week, ski in ski out at Snowmass, cheap deal), I hear great things about Steamboat and Jackson Hole amongst many others.
Apparently Mt Baker gets the most snowfall in the US on average?
Baker owns the record for the most snowfall in a season at a ski area in North America.
It comes with the caveat though. They will get a shit ton of snow and then it will warm up to above freezing and you'll get rain, or a serious melt off. It is a pretty great place though and if you hit it when it's on, it's full on. Whistler is not far away either.
You might be able to find a place in Glacier, about 30 minutes down the road, or more likely in Bellingham. Washington ski areas do tend to have cheaper lift tickets (reasonable) and lodging tends to be less expensive when compared to the mega resorts like Jackson Hole, Colorado, and other Western spots.
powder quality and volume... when it goes off, its great...all dependent on the temp and precip
steeps... yes but some steeps are only doabe with good snow/powder
terrain...generally tight and technical, certianly places to billygoat
when/month...last half of Feb and first half Mar, usually at least a 200" base
Caveat...Baker is a locals mountian...unpredictable for a traveler who either gets skunked or has some of the best riding in their life...if they survive :dropjaw: The snow conditions are highly variable and changes with...elevation, time, temp. When it goes off it can be great but challenging due to flat light and low vis, challenging terrain, deep pow, tree wells and in-bounds avy. But if raining...well its wet and heavy, if cold and no new...its glazed concrete, it can be white out puke at the top and raining at the bottom.
Keystone Colorado is incredible. The bowls, especially Bergeman, are super fun and there are a lot of fun trees everywhere too. Tons of Ski in ski out, NO crowds, I still can find fresh tracks out there for weeks after a big storm. Super sweet village plus a coffee shop called inxpot that is probably the best place to eat breakfast at in the U.S.
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