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The Top 10 Ski Resorts In North America For 2015
1. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming — PAF: 99.0
We have crowned Jackson Hole as the preeminent place to ski not only in the
United States, but also within the whole of North America. More skiers are
finding out that Jackson is the right place for more than just the hucker/
powder set. Jackson established a record for its skier visits last year with
563,631, a 12% increase compared with the previous season. Despite that
uptick, Jackson has not yet become a place where overly crowded lift lines,
outside of the tram on a powder day, should be expected. Consider that
Jackson’s record year for visits still only comprises about a third of the
visits that the mountains at Breckenridge or Vail see in a year.
Even with the addition of Canada to our rankings, the tram at Jackson Hole
remains the finest ski lift at any of the resorts we consider. It scales 4,
139 feet in 9 minutes while carrying 100 passengers. The tram operator
selects the music played through its ceiling speakers, although it’s a near
certainty that a day riding the tram will bring some Rolling Stones, AC/DC
and, on rare occasions, Frank Zappa.
Classic Jackson moment: Led Zeppelin filling your ears while the tram skims
the treetops above Tower 3 Chute, snow hammering at the windows, erasing
your last set of tracks.
Unlike most ski resorts and ski towns, summer is the big tourist season in
Jackson with people pouring into Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, which
means plenty of lodging is available, close to the resort, for prices lower
than you might see elsewhere. The tradeoff, of course, is that a flight
into Jackson is going to cost more than a flight into Denver or Salt Lake
City. That being said, the resort is an easy 35-minute drive from the
airport in Jackson, which makes it one of the easier airport-to-mountain
commutes in North America. And with direct flights from most major hubs in
the U.S.—Chicago, New York, L.A., San Francisco, Dallas, Denver, and more—
Jackson has the best ski-town airport in America.
As for the resort, big plans for more lifts in seminal locations, beginning
next winter (2015-2016), will keep things fresh. The Teton lift, on which
construction has begun, will take skiers to a ridge near the crags area, a
spot that currently requires a hike via bootpack to access. As with any lift
expansion at any ski area, there exists spirited opposition to the move.
You can further peruse the Web to read more commentary on the matter, but
know that much of the invective is over-charged and unfit for reading by
intelligent people. As the caretakers of the Pure Awesomeness Factor, we
understand why Jackson is making the move, and we also understand why some
people aren’t happy about it.
Skiers tend to forget that ski resorts are businesses, something that has
been made all the more clear during the last several years (see Vail/Park
City spat and sale). Jackson, in our estimation, is one of the more
responsible stewards of the spirit of skiing. They’ve expanded their
operations while staying true to the thread that made the place great before
the Four Seasons ever showed up.
To be clear, we love the Four Seasons, especially the Handle Bar. And we
also love the guys drinking Ranier tall boys on the snow in front of the
Mangy Moose. The mingling of these two dynamics makes Jackson what it is.
Staying on the infrastructure topic, we’re more excited for the lift that
will come after Teton, for the winter of 2016-2017. Jay Kemmerer, who owns
the resort, told us in August that he has plans to install a second gondola
that would embark from near the base of the current gondola and follow a
path up and further north, touching down near the base of Casper lift. This
would alleviate much of the line pressure seen on big mornings at the
current gondola, and it would give skiers seeking blue intermediate terrain
an easier, swifter journey to the mountain’s main stash of such runs.
Anything that gets people up the mountain and out of the fracas at the
bottom quicker is good by us.
Jackson continues to produce bumper years of snow during this last decade,
with the biggest years coming 2008-2012. It has not at any point seen the
kind of drought that has stricken the Sierras during several different years
or even much of Colorado in 2011-2012. That could be dumb luck, but
historical powder probabilities, which can be seen here, tell us Jackson is
a pretty good spot to camp out for a high quality dump.
The Place to Stay: Hotel Terra—the first LEED hotel at Jackson, is in a
plum spot, a two-minute walk from the tram.
The Place to Eat: Spur Restaurant & Bar—the grass fed organic Wyoming beef
burger has risen to the top of the meat-on-bun hierarchy of northwest
Wyoming, which is a feat. The dry aged buffalo sliders are also worth your
2. Alta, Utah — PAF: 97.8
Most skiers consider Alta holy ground. Snowboarders know the place to be the
den of all heathen activity, as they remain barred from its snow-bound
steeps, chutes and bowls. A silly lawsuit is now trying to spring the gates
open for one-plank riders, but we’re betting that one of the skiing
industry’s quirkiest and best places will be able to keep this particular
oddity of its operations alive.
Skier-Snowboarder spats aside, Alta continues to do what it does best:
collect snow from nearly every cloud that passes and collect the hearts of
each skier who visits. Snowbird, which resides next door, just to the west
of Alta inside Little Cottonwood Canyon, benefits from Little Cottonwood’s
microclimate as well, but not to the degree at which Alta does. Because it’
s at the very end of the canyon, the end of the funnel, historical snowfall
records show that, with an annual average of 540 inches, Alta tends to get
17% more snow than does Snowbird, although both resorts are elite in that
Skiers can spot plum lines in every direction at Alta, which is one of the
main reasons the place appeals to so many people. Getting to those great
shots—and finding the others that can’t be seen—is the challenge of the
place. You can see those epic strips of white way up on High Rustler, but
can you find the right traverse, the right side-stepping ledge, that right
stretch of green matting over mountain rock scree, to get your planks
pointed down that powder-filled notch in the trees? It’s hard to do, but it
gives you a mission. With every trip made to Alta, you can hope to crack
open another puzzle, another stash that you’ll commit to permanent memory.
For old fashioned fun, small hucks and stashes, we like skiing the Supreme
lift. You won’t find any prolonged stretches of powder here hours after a
storm—most of the terrain is easily accessible, but if you’re willing to
grind through a few trees and wiggle past some rocks, you can get two to
three turns at a time in fresh snow, even a day or two after the last storm.
Alta gets more powder than anywhere not in Alaska, but it also turns into
something of a racetrack on big days.
The best days I’ve ever had at Alta, some of the best days of skiing in my
life, have been in early December and late April, when tourists haven’t
sniffed the place or have long since left for the season, and when many
locals have their skis still stashed in the attic in favor of mountain bikes
and golf clubs. Powder in December and April, really, tastes sweeter than
it does in February—like catching a giant trout in an unnamed stream in
South Dakota. An uncrowded Alta with piles of fresh snow is better than heli
-skiing. And a lot cheaper.
The Place To Stay: There are some sweet digs—in the form of private homes
and condos—just west of Alta toward Snowbird. Try VRBO and Airbnb.
The Place to Eat: Straight out of your backpack. While on the chairlift, of
course. There’s no such thing as friends on a powder day; nor is there such
a thing as stopping for lunch. And you’re not missing much at Alta, food
3. Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia — PAF: 94.1
Bringing Canada into the PAF rankings has been met with expectations in some
corners that 2015’s best ski resort list would become dominated by one
particular province in Canada. The legend of British Columbia’s inner snow
belt—it’s the Rockies, bro, but further north!—felt like it might
dominate our annual conversation on skiing.
Looking this year’s list up and down, it’s clear that the Canuck takeover
didn’t quite come to pass, although BC resorts do hold two of the top ten
spots. And here we have the resort that many favored to win the new, unified
North American PAF belt. The name Whistler evokes images of twin mountain
hulks, blasted by coastal range snow, limitless stretches of terrain and a
vertical drop that’s double that of other highly-ranked resorts. Whistler
has become something of an obsession with casual skiers; it’s legendary for
its stats and a location that’s just foreign enough to be exotic but just
close enough to seem accessible. And then there’s the ski magazines, with
their unending curtseying toward this twin-mountain ski hill. People who don
’t know Keystone from Snowbird will tell you: “I really want to go to
Whistler—that’s the place.”
Well, as it turns out, it is quite a place. Good enough to be No. 3 on our
list. The British Columbia snow machine, however, isn’t quite as ferocious
as its reputation. According to data compiled by Mr. Crocker, BC is a decent
place for snow, but the BC mountain that scored highest for snow with
verifiable data, Whitewater, ranks behind all four Utah resorts in the
Cottonwood Canyons, Alaska’s Alyeska, Tahoe’s Kirkwood, Wyoming’s Grand
Targhee and even a couple of resorts in Colorado. It’s fun when data leads
us to unintuitive conclusions.
The vastness of Whistler’s terrain means it has more than one distinct snow
profile, which is why we assigned Whistler and Blackcomb separate snow
scores (the Whistler peak has conditions that are slightly favorable to
those of Blackcomb). In addition to the distinct peaks, the 5,000-foot
vertical drops—about a mile—give each mountain distinct microclimates of
their own. While it can rain at the base and snow at the top of many Western
and Eastern mountains, this phenomenon has assumed a regular cadence at
Whistler. Warm storms barrel in from the Pacific, burdened with moisture
that stays below 0 degrees Celsius only at the highest elevations of
Whistler, giving village-bound pedestrians an annoying commute to the lifts,
but rewarding their heartiness with fresh lines toward the top.
Whistler’s terrain is as varied as its snowfall, which is one of the
reasons it rightly holds so much appeal to so many kinds of skiers. The
Jackson/Squaw set can be satisfied here, as can those skiers who prefer to
cruise blues and pop into the woods for a couple of hundred feet of
adventure at a time. There may be no better place, in fact, in all of North
America for cruising terrain. Long, meandering blue runs etch the faces of
both mountains, giving intermediates sustained runs of length that, in North
America, can only be found here and at Revelstoke. That by itself sells
many people on this place.
Many people. That can be a theme at Whistler, especially during holidays and
the prime months of February and March. It would seem that so much acreage
could never be filled in with enough human bodies to be called crowded. That
’s half true. The quantity of Whistler’s terrain does guarantee that quiet
, sparsely traveled spots can often be found, but even people who ski the
woods alone have to get up the mountain somehow. Whistler’s lift lines can
grow cantankerous on weekends when much of Vancouver and half of Europe seem
to be here.
The mercurial weather can give visiting skiers disparate experiences from
one day to the next. The resort does get a good quantity of snow, more than
400 inches a year, but the quality of precipitation can vary greatly, which
knocks down both Whistler and Blackcomb’s total snow scores at ZRankings,
although both scores still place within North America’s top strata.
Snow or rain aside, Whistler’s popularity gives its mountain village an
electricity and a density of action that doesn’t exist at any other ski
resort. Dance clubs that evoke Las Vegas’ biggest parties, bars spilling
over into the pedestrian-packed streets, dozens of high quality restaurants
filled to capacity. New Zealanders and Austrians, each with a distinctive
flair for après ski, have imprinted the Whistler village landscape with
their flair for the bombastic. Those who enjoy the 5 p.m. crush at St. Anton
will love the scene at Whisler-Blackcomb.
4. Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Utah — PAF: 93.o
In its tram, Snowbird has perhaps the second best ski lift in North America,
behind the Jackson tram. The Snowbird version is blessed by geography,
being positioned in topographic wrinkle called Little Cottonwood Canyon that
helps produce copious amounts of snow from seemingly benign weather systems.
Skiing at Snowbird can be a wonderfully diverse affair, with legitimate
steeps mingling with winding groomers right from the top of the mountain all
the way to the base. The mountain has a European ambience to it, a rawness
not often experienced at big resorts in North America. One decidedly
continental touch: a tunnel, bored straight through the mountain and
outfitted with an airport-style conveyor belt, shuttles skiers from the main
side of the resort to the southern terrain on the backside. It’s the kind
of thoughtful, and expensive, infrastructure often seen at resorts in
Switzerland or Austria. Anomalously for an industry in a phase of corporate
consolidation, Snowbird, like Jackson Hole, doesn’t operate from an MBA
playbook; it’s independent and, after being held privately by Dick Bass
since 1971, was sold in May to the Cumming family, the erstwhile owners of
Park City Mountain Resort.
Some of our favorite terrain at Snowbird is far to the skier’s right,
toward the resort’s boundary line with Alta, where chutes and random
stashes of untouched snow reward intrepid types who traverse away from Chip
’s Run. More secret pockets of snow reside right below the tram’s path, up
the gut of the mountain. It takes a little moxie to find these spots, and a
lack of fear of tight spaces and rocks. For a resort that gets plenty of
traffic with a major metro so close, Snowbird hides its treasures well.
On the backside, which still seems new to us even though it’s been open 15
years, there is more southern exposure which can spoil the snow during warm
spates in the Wasatch. We like to get far to skier’s right on the back,
skirting the cliffs and the edge of the forest, hunting for deep snow that’
s gone unnoticed. As you look even further down the canyon here, you can see
all of the new terrain for which Snowbird’s new cat skiing operation has
access. It’s is a nice, cheaper alternative to heli-skiing, and the cat can
keep cranking even when weather has grounded the choppers. We were lucky
enough to get a peek, and a few rides, with the cat operation last winter,
while we did a little touring up from the cat road to reach some couloirs
and chutes. We’re looking forward to getting back.
As for non-skiing items, we always have to give props to Snowbird’s Cliff
Lodge. Some of its rooms need a little updating, but the building remains
one of the preeminent on-location ski hotels in North America, its concrete
and glass facade rising to meet the steep walls of Little Cottonwood Canyon.
The Place to Stay: The Indomitable Cliff Lodge
The Place to Eat: Dining options aren’t numerous, but breakfast at The
Forklift, just steps from the tram, is the best morning meal we’ve found at
any resort. If the Oatmeal Brulee is on the menu when you get there, order
5. Alyeska, Alaska — PAF: 91.2
Of the mountains in our top 10 list, Alyeska gets the fewest number of
visitors and has very little in the way of commercial encroachment on its
mountain. In a fortuitous combination, it also receives more snow than any
other resort on this list outside of Alta. Following a loose rule to find
less people plus more snow will generally lead to good results when planning
your next ski trip. And while most people can’t afford to drop $10,000 on
a week-long heli trip to Alaska’s rugged coastal ranges, Alyeska offers a
nice alternative. Skiers get access to some of that legendary snowfall while
spending some winter days in the northern reaches of our planet where
everything is a bit wonkier—if you ski in the spring, the lifts will turn
until 7 p.m.
With such regular snowfall, visitors who give Alyeska five days on the
mountain will likely see a dump and get to ride Alyeska’s tram and well-
placed collection of high-speed lifts in a race to consume as much powder as
is possible on a resort day. If that’s not enough snow for you, there is a
rather convenient option available at Alyeska: heli-skiing out the backdoor
within the Chugach, the most legendary mountain range in the world when it
comes to skiing big lines and powder. Even if you haven’t heard of the
Chugach, you’ve seen it. Nearly every ski movie during the last 20 years
includes generous cuts of stars ripping GS turns town 50-degree expanses of
powder that seems to be impossibly suspended on mountain faces that can go 3
,000 or more feet vertically.
Skiers in Alaska needn’t worry about an initial bad night or two of sleep
because of altitude. The bottom of Alyeska’s runs are just a short walk
away from the edges of the Cook Inlet, which being part of the Pacific Ocean
, sits at sea level. So most visitors will be sleeping at an altitude that’
s the same or even less than that of where they came from. Alyeska’s base
elevation of 250 feet puts it at 300 feet below Chicago. This also means
that hikes around the mountain’s peak, at 3,939 feet, won’t challenge
skiers’ lungs and cardiovascular systems the way every other mountain in
the West does. So don’t fear the bootpack. It will just be like a flight of
stairs back home.
The Place to Stay: The only best choice is Hotel Alyeska, helicopter out the
back, ski lifts out the front.
The Place to Eat: Ride the tram to Seven Glaciers.
6. Revelstoke, British Columbia — PAF: 89.4
Revelstoke is a bizarre railroad town that bumps against the eastern shore
of the Columbia River, its waters already hulking from mountain snowpack
nearly a thousand miles before it gets to Portland, Oregon and, beyond that,
the Pacific. It’s also the place where the largest new North American ski
resort in 30 years has been built.
Revelstoke gives skiers adventures on multiple fronts: excellent terrain,
great inner-British Columbia snowfall and an exotic geographic location that
can stymie even the best travel agents. We got to Revelstoke with a flight
to Calgary and a five-hour drive though the Canadian Rockies, with stop offs
at Banff and Lake Louise. Other routes include flying into British Columbia
outposts like Kamloops or Kelowna, both of which still leave a 2.5 hour
drive to Revelstoke. Those airports aren’t exactly O’Hare or LaGuardia, so
flights can be expensive and irregular.
So why put a new megaresort here, in a spot that makes Whistler seem urban?
Skiers understand when they finally make it up the gondola, with a 5,600-
foot vertical drop below them and a vista framed by a winding Columbia River
and the bristling Selkirk range beyond. The place’s remoteness means there
’s little competition on the slopes. We ripped fresh corduroy for thousands
of vertical feet, crossing only our same tracks on some of the side runs.
There is no resort in North America whose groomers can bring as much burn to
a skier’s thighs as those at Revelstoke.
Steeper, less tame terrain waits in other pockets of the resort. The
northern latitude of the resort’s location helps preserve snowfall that
averages about 350 inches a year, which, for British Columbia’s inner snow
belt, is average rather than superior. But it’s enough to keep runs flush
for most of the season. Bigger snow totals can be found in the close-by
Selkirk Range, where the resort owns and runs a substantial heli-skiiing
operation in Selkirk Tangiers.
The Place To Stay: Anywhere far from the railroad tracks, which hum with
horns and activity all night.
The Place to Eat: Pound a Clif Bar in the morning and just get after it; we
didn’t find any eats worth crooning about, but we’re sure we missed some
gems—so let us know what you find.
7. Vail, Colorado — PAF: 87.7
Vail remains the best bet for skiers flocking to central Colorado, the most
popular concentration of ski resorts in North America. With 5,289 acres, the
place is bigger than anywhere else in the Top 10 not called Whistler, and
it sports the best snow profile in the middle belt of Colorado. The only
places better for snow in the state are Silverton (no beginners allowed);
the far-flung Wolf Creek, a wonderful, but remote place in the southwest
part of the state whose terrain is inferior to that of Vail; and, with
respect to snow preservation, Winter Park, but Vail gets more snow.
This resort is the centerpiece of a $3.1 billion (market cap) public company
in Vail Resorts that keeps growing, every year ingesting more flagship
resorts. With the addition of Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort in Utah,
Vail Resorts now has a cornered the most commercial market outside of its
previous holdings, even if it ruffled some feathers while doing it. Vail
already has industry giant Breckenridge in Colorado, as well as Keystone and
Beaver Creek—and a growing portfolio on the West Coast, with Heavenly,
Northstar and Kirkwood. Each of these resorts gets folded into Vail’s Epic
Pass, which has become a value that’s hard for destination skiers to ignore
, especially if they’re New Yorkers, Chicagoans or Texans taking more than
one trip out West during the winter. The rival Mountain Collective Pass is a
worthy alternative, however, that gets skiers two free days plus discounts
at Jackson Hole, Snowbird and Aspen, among others.
Enough of that financial claptrap.
Vail has wonderful things to offer skiers on its backside. Skiers on
weekdays and in January and late in the season can lap up dry stashes of
snow that get delivered at a just-steep-enough pitch that’s ideal for
powder and crud crushing. Some of our favorite places to stop on a powder
day include the trees off of the Game Creek lift and some hidden shots off
of Orient Express. Many of the best pure fall lines funnel to Chair 5, High
Noon Express. Go here first; when it’s mined out, spread to the other areas
. There’s fun terrain off of Blue Sky Basin, but keep your speed up for the
cat track run-out at the bottom.
For skiing extras—lodging, diversions, etc.—few resorts can compete with
Vail. Its lodging runs the gamut from the best, most well-appointed, like
the Ritz-Carlton, to well-used condos that will take a full complement of
college kids and come out no worse for wear. There are two main base areas
that have basically merged into one giant village at this point. If you’re
staying in the village, you needn’t trouble yourself with a car rental. Get
a shuttle up from Denver International and keep your vacation simple. A day
trip to ski Beaver Creek can also be done via shuttle and is very much
worth it, especially for kids.
The Place to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton Vail, of course.
The Place to Eat: Hammer a German pancake at The Little Diner.
8. Telluride, Colorado — PAF: 84.7
This mountain/town combination is a unique and seminal place that all skiers
should journey to at least once. Ambience, scenery, an elite ski town and a
uniquely easy-to-get-around experience coalesce to make a visit to
Telluride a top experience in skiing.
One caveat: Telluride has the lowest cumulative and dump-expectancy snow
scores within our top 10 list. The resort’s snow preservation
characteristics are rather strong, with 50% of its slopes facing north and
most of its terrain sitting above 9,500 feet. But it’s not as prone to
dumps as the other resorts on this list. But, just like anywhere, everybody
has different experiences. We’ve skied in good storms at Telluride more
than once.
The oldest runs on the mountain remain some of our favorites: steep,
unrelenting and true fall lines take skiers from the ridge that forms the
spine of the resort all the way into town, where a cold beer at a legitimate
townie bar is only steps away. All of Telluride sits below you, the end of
its box canyon far to your right, as you go from one side of a wide groomer
to the other—or hammer your way down some of the longest bump runs in the
west. You should ski it: Plunge, a groomer that can take you to town as fast
as you want to go. You may take to the air if you’re not careful; Plunge
is one of the steeper groomers we’ve skied outside of Golden Eagle at
Beaver Creek (when it’s groomed and not bumped up).
The best thing about these town runs is that, especially in the case of
Plunge and the black and double diamond bump runs near it, there’s almost
nobody on them, as most town-going skiers opt for one of the few more mild
options down to the streets. We recommend avoiding these cat track routes.
Stick to the straight stuff.
Telluride probably doesn’t get enough credit from the Bro crowd for what is
a legitimate collection of extreme terrain. The mountain’s upper reaches
feature rocky chutes and couloirs fanning off of Palmyra Peak. Some of this
terrain requires a ridge-line hike or some bootpacking plus some ascensions
of fixed steel stairs, but it’s all worth it. The Gold Hill Chutes can be
reached by traversing off of a lift, and they’re as ski-movie worthy as in-
bounds, non-hike terrain gets.
Getting to Telluride is getting easier, via the airport in Montrose, which
from Telluride is about an hour drive, chock with stunning vistas. Daily
directs for most of the season come in from Denver, Chicago, Houston and
Dallas, with directs once or twice a week from San Francisco, Los Angeles,
Atlanta, Newark and Phoenix.
The direct flights make getting a family to Telluride even easier. Once the
entire squad has reached town, it’s as low-maintenance a ski vacation as a
family can have. Town, Mountain Village (it’s own municipality) and the ski
resort are all reachable via heavily-ridden public transportation
infrastructure: the Telluride Gondola accounts for about 2.25 million
passenger rides a year, runs from 7am to midnight and, best of all, it’s
The Place to Stay: Inn at Lost Creek—with new management perfecting the
guest experience and a Mountain Village location just steps from the gondola
and the main workhorse chairs of the resort, the Inn is tough to beat, even
though Telluride has a plethora of plus lodging.
The Place to Eat: The Butcher & Baker Cafe—for breakfast, make your way to
Colorado Avenue and order the Cafe’s breakfast burrito, the best take we’
ve had on this ski town staple. If you’re looking to go berserk and don’t
mind a big check: eat a proper dinner at Alpino Vino. There are two sittings
, and if you miss the only snow coach up—it leaves from the mid-point of
the gondola at Allred’s—you won’t be showing for your reservation at 11,
996 feet.
9. Grand Targhee, Wyoming, PAF: 83.7
Any place with a snow score as high as this place—No. 4 best snow in North
America—simply can’t be kept out of the top 10. It’s kind of like Alta,
with more run-out within its terrain (fewer prolonged steeps), but, unlike
Alta, it’s not easy to get to. Many visitors make their way over from
Jackson Hole, via a steep drive up and down Teton Pass, up through the Idaho
towns of Victor and Driggs and then, finally, just barely back into Wyoming
. It’s about 75 minutes of driving, if weather is clear.
The Alta comparison works, too, because in spite of development finally
finding some traction on this side of the Tetons, Targhee remains a sleepy
place with few frills. Alta is also free of frills, but there’s many days
when it can have monstrous lift lines—not at Targhee. The snow comes in
copious amounts at this place because it’s basically getting many of the
storms that hit Jackson Hole—a place where snow totals usually top 400
inches—but Targhee gets more out of the same clouds. Much like the
relationship between the Cottonwood Canyons on the Salt Lake side of the
Wasatch compared with the Park City side of those mountains. Park City,
being leeward, simply gets less snow from the same systems.
There’s enough terrain and lifts to keep the most ambitious skiers busy—
especially if there’s fresh snow to be played in, and that’s the case more
often here than almost anywhere.
The one demerit that Targhee’s natural conditions come with: fog. Just like
the snow funnels up the foothills and canyons into its slopes, a stubborn
fog can settle in for lengthy spates, making groomers nearly unnavigable.
Sticking to the trees gives skiers and riders the only antidote for this
depth-perception robbing moisture.
That said, there’s plenty of blue bird powder days at Targhee, and while
that kind of thing draws in locals from Driggs and all the way down to Idaho
Falls, lots of snow stays preserved all day, especially if it’s a weekday.
The Place to Stay: Our crew has always day tripped from Jackson, but there’
s more and better options, by the look of things, every year.
The Place to Eat: In this neck of the woods, the backpack Clif Bar gets
replaced by the Tram Bar, a higher quality energy bar that’s made locally—
but is now available in far flung metros such as San Francisco, Chicago and
New York.
10. Mammoth Mountain, California — PAF: 79.2
Our sole representative from the state of California, Mammoth manages to
hold on and make our list thanks to its sprawling acreage, good vertical,
solid snowfall, and an elevation that’s 2,000 feet higher, at base and
summit, than many of its peers in the Sierras. That fact helps Mammoth dodge
some the unpleasant precipitation (rain) that can afflict some of the
resorts closer to Lake Tahoe. It also keeps snow colder, precluding it from
turning into the kind of unforgiving frozen caramel that can stymie skiers
in the morning at many California mountains.
Mammoth accepts the Mountain Collective pass, giving that program a neat 50%
of our top 10 best ski resorts list, which is remarkable. For skiers
looking to make two or more destination trips during the winter, the
Mountain Collective makes a strong case to be part of the overall
consideration. Vail Resorts’ Epic pass also should be factored in, as it
affords skiers full access to a large swath of resorts.
For those who aren’t driving from Southern California—a large chunk of
Mammoth’s clientele—getting here continues to get easier. In addition to
regular flights from San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, the Mammoth
Lakes airport will welcome in Saturday service from Denver on United. Now
Midwesterners and East Coasters, if they’re curious enough to make a trip
out of it, can check out what is a decidedly West Coast mountain, more so
than the Tahoe resorts. If those Eastern visitors don’t want to commit an
entire week, they can make a connection in San Francisco on either end of
their trip.
But just as with Tahoe, flying over the Rockies to get to California skiing
isn’t a play we’d recommend exercising often. But Mammoth is enough of an
unknown for people looking to add to their resort count that it should be
part of the equation if, for whatever reason, travelers were eschewing Utah,
Colorado and Wyoming.
That said, the best play at Mammoth is to ski it on the weekdays as it does
get considerable traffic on the weekends as snow fiends who aren’t
interested in the weaker mountains closer to Los Angeles migrate north to
its slopes.
The Place to Stay: Lots of good options, naturally, with the SoCal set
around, but The Westin Monache Resort is excellent.
The Place to Eat: On the mountain, hit up McCoy Station for a burger and hit
the slopes before the coma hits.
Christopher Steiner is a New York Times Bestselling Author of Automate This,
How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World, and the founder of ZRankings, which
ranks the 220 best ski resorts in North America using more than 30 factors.
发帖数: 94654


【在 q*c 的大作中提到】
: http://www.forbes.com/sites/christophersteiner/2014/11/18/the-t
: The Top 10 Ski Resorts In North America For 2015
: 1. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming — PAF: 99.0
: We have crowned Jackson Hole as the preeminent place to ski not only in the
: United States, but also within the whole of North America. More skiers are
: finding out that Jackson is the right place for more than just the hucker/
: powder set. Jackson established a record for its skier visits last year with
: 563,631, a 12% increase compared with the previous season. Despite that
: uptick, Jackson has not yet become a place where overly crowded lift lines,
: outside of the tram on a powder day, should be expected. Consider that

发帖数: 241
发帖数: 5415
你不是snowboarder么?这是准备poach alta的节奏?

【在 x********e 的大作中提到】
: 下个周末马上要去滑排名1,2,4的山拉!
发帖数: 3431


【在 q*c 的大作中提到】
: http://www.forbes.com/sites/christophersteiner/2014/11/18/the-t
: The Top 10 Ski Resorts In North America For 2015
: 1. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming — PAF: 99.0
: We have crowned Jackson Hole as the preeminent place to ski not only in the
: United States, but also within the whole of North America. More skiers are
: finding out that Jackson is the right place for more than just the hucker/
: powder set. Jackson established a record for its skier visits last year with
: 563,631, a 12% increase compared with the previous season. Despite that
: uptick, Jackson has not yet become a place where overly crowded lift lines,
: outside of the tram on a powder day, should be expected. Consider that

发帖数: 7994
发帖数: 17993

【在 x********e 的大作中提到】
: 下个周末马上要去滑排名1,2,4的山拉!
发帖数: 17993

【在 R**i 的大作中提到】
: 下个周末马上要去滑排名1,2,4的山拉!
发帖数: 17993

【在 R**i 的大作中提到】
: 下个周末马上要去滑排名1,2,4的山拉!
发帖数: 6482

【在 q*c 的大作中提到】
: 女神你们是跟三楼的帅哥们一起的?
发帖数: 2135

【在 R**i 的大作中提到】
: 下个周末马上要去滑排名1,2,4的山拉!
发帖数: 716
Yeah, been to #3 & #4
发帖数: 17993

【在 b*******e 的大作中提到】
: 三楼是男ID?
发帖数: 17993

【在 R**i 的大作中提到】
: 下个周末马上要去滑排名1,2,4的山拉!
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