KLMCedric From Belgium, joined Dec 2003, 794 posts, RR: 24 Posted (5 years 3 months 14 hours ago) and read 911 times:
Have you as a European ever been skiing to the US/Canada. How would you compare slopes and resorts to the ones in the Alps.
Have you as a American/Canadian ever been skiing to Europe, how would you compare to home?
Curious about your findings.
I intend to go ski to Whistler and somewhere near Lake Tahoe next year.
PS. For our Ozzies and Kiwis I'm also curious about skiing in NZ, and how it compares to the Alps.
I've been skiing once or twice a year for 24 consecutive years now. Almost all of these trips have been to the french
alps, and I must say that the "les 3 vallees" domain remains my favorite by far. It's just so huge!!
TUSaadvantage From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 160 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 14 hours ago) and read 901 times:
I live in AZ and often go skiing in the White Mountains of AZ, which are pretty high at about 12,000 ft, but don't always have a lot of snow. Sometimes my family goes to Durango, Colorado or somewhere near Salt Lake City. While Salt Lake City is a very dull place, the ski areas near by are pretty awesome. The powder is really dry, the views are great (maybe not alps great), and the terrain has a lot of variety. I've never been to Whistler in winter, but I do hear it is a pretty huge ski area that gets more snow than almost anywhere else in North America.
In 2005 I went skiing at a ski area near Queenstown (i think it was Coronet peak or something). It wasn't quite as large as a US or Euro resort, but it was very cool. Absolutely no trees and stunning views of the area. The snow suddenly stops just below the ski area and suddenly the mountains transition into countryside that looks like its been taken from England. Cool experience, even if it doesn't compare skiing wise really to Whistler or something.
LOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 months 14 hours ago) and read 898 times:
Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 1): Myself never understood the desire to ski or for that matter any sport that involves winter.
I never understood why people post in threads they absolutely dont have anything to do with...for the first time this year SD.
I have been snowboarding on both sides of the pond...as a dual citizen. Switzerland (Laax/Flims) and Keystone/Breckenridge, Colorado are my usual outings. I am going again to Keystone from March 22-25 so looking forward to it.
I find both are good, the lifts are superior in Switzerland by far. The runs just depened where you are. That being said, I think its easier to find a spot in the USA with less people than in Europe. That being said secondary costs are also much smaller in the USA.
Im not a fan of the French Alps for I have found alot of rude people, bad service and conditions to not be as good as in Switzerland/Italy.
There is such a vast amount of places to go in the USA that its hard to point your finger to one place and say this is how it is everywhere.
I ski every year in the Dolomite's in Italy. We just returned on 2/14/08. My only issue is the way the line up at the lifts. It is a mob scene with no crowd control what so ever. It makes busy days very uncomfortable. The type of behaviour that I have seen there would never be tolerated in the U.S.
I have also spent some time in Switzerland I never had any issues there.
The price of the Dolomite Super Ski package is still a good deal, and I love being able to ski from one village to another, something you can't do in the states.
Dtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 months 14 hours ago) and read 885 times:
By the way, maybe a bit off topic, we are thinking of skiing Argentina this August. I was in Bariloche in January a few years ago and have always wanted to ski there. Anyone have any background info on South American Skiing?
Luv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 11957 posts, RR: 51 Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 months 14 hours ago) and read 882 times:
Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 8): By the way, maybe a bit off topic, we are thinking of skiing Argentina this August. I was in Bariloche in January a few years ago and have always wanted to ski there. Anyone have any background info on South American Skiing?
Contact MD11junkie he lives there and is a wealth of information about his Country. I was in Bariloche years ago though not there for the skiing. Absolutely beautiful to say the least.
MaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 15751 posts, RR: 48 Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 months 13 hours ago) and read 859 times:
Quoting KLMCedric (Thread starter): Have you as a European ever been skiing to the US/Canada. How would you compare slopes and resorts to the ones in the Alps.
Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 5): Im not a fan of the French Alps for I have found alot of rude people, bad service and conditions to not be as good as in Switzerland/Italy.
I've skiied primarily in the Rockies and West, both in the US and Canada, but I've also skiied in Les Trois Vallees. Based on Les Trois Vallees only, I'd say it was competitive with Western resorts in terms of facilities, runs, and lifts. The food could obviously be light years ahead of anything you'd experience in the West. On the downside, with the exception of the starred MIchelin restaurant, the service was decidedly...errr...French. I'd say 99 times out of 100 everyone at any US/Canadian resort is happy to be there, loves their job, and anticipates your needs sometimes before you even know you needed anything. At Les Trois Vallees, we had to go on a scavenger hunt to find bath towels. And that was one of the better "service" experiences we had.
ZBBYLW From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1923 posts, RR: 7 Reply 12, posted (5 years 3 months 12 hours ago) and read 840 times:
If you come over to Whistler, I must suggest a day trip (bit of a drive) to Mt Baker, its about an hour across the border in the US of A. This is my favourite mountain BY FAR. It is a smaller mountain but often has a base over 400cm (right now they are at 465cm at the peak.) When its raining in Vancouver, quite often the 24 hours snowfall is around 20-30 cms... One day two seasons ago overnight snowfall was over 50cms. If you love powder this is where you want to go.
Kmh1956 From Bermuda, joined Jun 2005, 3324 posts, RR: 8 Reply 13, posted (5 years 3 months 7 hours ago) and read 814 times:
Living in Bermuda, needless to say I don't get a lot of chances to ski..unless it's water-skiing (and no, thanks, doens't appeal!) so the only experience I have is when I was in North Conway, NH waaaaay back in 1978. Februsry,1978 to be precise...anybody old enough to remember the blizzard will remember that week in February...great skiing (apparently) in northern NH....
Never having skiied before, I thought I'd give it a shot. I spent the better part of the day a) "skiing" down the bunny slope in a crouched position with 4-year-olds passing me at about 65mph and b) lusting after my ski instructor, who later introduced me to his partner, Roger.
I will never ski again.
'Somebody tell me why I'm on my own if there's a soulmate for everyone' :Natasha Bedingfield
Arrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2582 posts, RR: 2 Reply 14, posted (5 years 3 months 7 hours ago) and read 810 times:
Having just got back from three superlative days at Whistler/Blackcomb, I can say you wouldn't be making a mistake by heading for these two side-by-side mountains. The terrain is spectacular -- especially the Blackcomb Glacier -- with more than 5000 vertical feet elevation drop -- At one time that was the biggest vertical drop in North America - not sure if it still is.
This year (last year, too) snow conditions are about the best you could get -- but there are no guarantees on that score and I talked to more than one disgruntled tourist who was tired of skiing in a constant blizzard -- loved the powder, but would like to have been able to tell which way was up and which was down. Last three days were mostly sunshine.
Next year, they are opening up a new gondola that takes you from the top of Whistler Mountain to the top of Blackcomb -- save the long ski down if you feel like switching mountains during the day. It is 4.4 km long, with the longest span between towers at 3 km. Height above the valley at midpoint is 415 meters, and apparently one of the gondolas will have a glass bottom!
MaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 15751 posts, RR: 48 Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 787 times:
Quoting Arrow (Reply 14): Having just got back from three superlative days at Whistler/Blackcomb, I can say you wouldn't be making a mistake by heading for these two side-by-side mountains. The terrain is spectacular -- especially the Blackcomb Glacier -- with more than 5000 vertical feet elevation drop -- At one time that was the biggest vertical drop in North America - not sure if it still is.
I'm pretty sure Whistler/Blackcomb might actually be Heaven.
In the Wine country (Mendoza province) you have Las Lenas, Penitentes, and Vallecitos. For international visitors Las Lenas and Penitentes would be your choice,
- Las Lenas has so many slopes and night time skiing, top-notch restaurants, clubs, plus the jet-set feel, and the price too has that feel!
- Los Penitentesis popular specially with snowboarders but it has a lot of different types of difficulty levels in skiing also.
- Vallecitos is nice but is a more family oriented resort, and for beginners. Being close to the Greater Mendoza metro, it gets really packed weekends in the winter.
In the Comahue region (Neuquen province), you have Caviahue, Batea Mahuida, and Chapelco.
- Caviahue has TONS of snow and open space, the Nordic and country-skiing capital of the country. It also has gorgeous world class natural hot spring baths in nearby Copahue, with a huge Spa resort.
- Batea Mahuida is very new, oriented as a 'natural' resort, about people enjoying the forests, mountains and lakes in a winter setting. It is run by the Puel Sovereign Nation Reservation.
- Chapelco is the star resort of this region, with everything you want in skiing near the city of San Martin In The Andes, which itself is beautiful and foreigners love the town for it's Argentine feel, plus it has great nightlife and of course girls. Lanin National Park, with it's forests and the volcano is also a major national tourist attraction close to the resort.
In the Lakes region (Southern Neuquen, Rio Negro, Chubut provinces), there's Cerro Bayo, Cerro Catedral, Robles, and La Hoya.
- Cerro Bayo is in the quaint mountain town of Villa La Angostura on the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake. It used to be a modest resort but it really has upgraded and might be the most underrated of all resorts, which might be good as the crowds are not as bad as in Bariloche, on the other end of the lake.
- Cerro Catedral has always been the ski capital of Argentina, at least for Argentines. It's another world class resort like Las Lenas, so everything you might want to do is there to do. It is super-modern and the queue time has been supposedly been brought down to almost 0 with tickets that are detected even in your wallet by radiowaves. It has tons of slopes and new dedicated areas for freestyling and snowboarding.
- Robles Is in the same spot as Cerro Catedral Resort, and supposedly you can actually use your Cerro Catedral pass to get into Robles, and viceversa. Both these resorts are in Bariloche, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Argentina and South America. The city itself has lots of chocolate factories, a German-Swiss feel, and some of the best night clubs in the Western Hemisphere.
- La Hoya is near Esquel, in Chubut province. It has also all the snow activities and a very famous ski school, many call it the most friendly learner's resort, why many beginners go there to learn. Esquel is in the western edge of the Welsh Country, so in the town you can sit down to have Welsh teas and cakes.
In the Extreme south you have Mina Uno (Santa Cruz province) and Cerro Castor (Tierra del Fuego Province).
- Mina Uno is the least known resort, in southern Santa Cruz. Here the ski season is significantly longer, but the winters can be quite harsh. It has retained it's basic but confortable infraestructure. It looks how most resorts in Argentina looked 20 or 30 years ago. Great for snowmobiling.
- Cerro Castor in Tierra del Fuego, as with everything in that province, is the southernmost ski resort on Earth. It's base is at 200 meters above sea level, so that makes it virtually unique. It is the newest resort in the country so it is all modern. I hear it has the best powder snow in the world, because the temperatures there are so constantly cool (and they never warm up a lot melting the snow, or go down fast, freezing it too quickly), and because Patagonia is the cleanest environment in the world, it is the least polluted snow too. So the quality of snow is a huge draw. The days are REALLY short in the winter, so a lot of night time skiing is done.
Two proposed new ski resorts could be built, Manantiales in San Juan Province (would be the northernmost resort in the country), and another around El Calafate, Santa Cruz.
[Edited 2008-02-27 09:15:13]
My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
Zkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4739 posts, RR: 10 Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 733 times:
Quoting KLMCedric (Thread starter): PS. For our Ozzies and Kiwis I'm also curious about skiing in NZ, and how it compares to the Alps.
I just had a month skiing at Big White, BC, Canada... Loved how much powder and how light and fluffy it was! Skiing knee deep through it as if it wasn't even there! Meet some Euro friends while there (Swiss, Swedish, UK) and they all thought it was way better snow than back in Europe although they did say that Europe can be pretty big with lots of high altitude stuff. Also the tree skiing was new to me but a lot of fun!
Downunder in NZ we don't have trees on our skislopes but Australia has bush on theirs. They are low altitude and tend to get pretty slushy snow and not much of it.
In NZ the South Island gets pretty good snow and does get a lot of powder days (I think the Austrian Ski Team uses NZ for their summer ski training). The North Island ( www.mtruapehu.com ) is quite different... Skiing on a bigass volcano with volcanic shutes etc to explore... lift accessed glaciers...weather isn't the greatest (ski 3 days take a day or 2 off coz of weather vs Big White, Canada where it was open every day for the month I was there!). But on a sunny day after fresh snow its just amazing! In NZ I'd recommend the South Island (Treble Cone is the biggest and probably the best). Remarkables at Queenstown are pretty amazing and Cardrona is pretty cool too... Concrete (I mean Coronet) Peak has amazing views and is good with fresh but otherwise as I suggested its hardpack.
One place that you didn't mention is Japan.... Japan is great!!! Especially Hokkaido... Dry, deep powder, uncrowded slopes and about as cheap as you'll get for a developed mountain (about 25-40 euro's for a day pass), Hokkaido is quite cheap too (the stories of Japan being expensive relate more to Tokyo etc)... They brew Sapporo beer up there and there are places that do all you can eat&drink steak and Sapporo beer in 90 mins (I think) for about 15 euros.
Niseko is one of the main places... Teine is a smaller but another good place thats easy to access from Sapporo. Have a thought or two about Hokkaido...
BristolFlyer From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 2136 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 731 times:
Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 11): Without a doubt American service/convenience is superior to European service on average.
Absolutely. Service is great at the US and Canadian resorts I've been to, not so in Europe. Also costs - in my experience European resorts take advantage of a captive market and charge really high prices for food and drink, whereas f & d in on-slope restaurants in the US and Canada is very reasonable (and very good). Considering the Euro is so strong against the dollar I plan on heading stateside!
I've been to Whistler twice, it's flippin awesome! The Blackcomb Glacier is great.
Zkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4739 posts, RR: 10 Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 724 times:
Quoting Derico (Reply 17): - Cerro Castor in Tierra del Fuego, as with everything in that province, is the southernmost ski resort on Earth. It's base is at 200 meters above sea level, so that makes it virtually unique. It is the newest resort in the country so it is all modern. I hear it has the best powder snow in the world, because the temperatures there are so constantly cool (and they never warm up a lot melting the snow, or go down fast, freezing it too quickly), and because Patagonia is the cleanest environment in the world, it is the least polluted snow too. So the quality of snow is a huge draw. The days are REALLY short in the winter, so a lot of night time skiing is done.
Be worth checking out!
As for the best pow... well depending on who you talk to, Utah in the US, Siberia heli-skiing or Northern Japan has the best pow. These 3 because they get air flowing in from the jetstream that is cold and the surrounding air is dry meaning that the snow that falls is dry and fluffy.
Sabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 683 times:
Quoting KLMCedric (Thread starter): Have you as a European ever been skiing to the US/Canada. How would you compare slopes and resorts to the ones in the Alps.
Yes. My best friend and me have been to the Lake Tahoe area approx. one year ago because my aforementioned friend has family there and we can always stay there for free. We've always been there in the summer but last year we decided to go there in the winter because both of us are snowboarders and skiers. It was pretty awesome, the amount and the "quality" of the snow was definitely better than in all the European ski-areas I've been before (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and France). It was also less crowded and the people were pretty cool to party with at night (not the usual drunk Germans every night at the bar).
BNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3156 posts, RR: 13 Reply 25, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 644 times:
Skiing or snowboarding in Australia I wouldn't bother.
I went to Japan at the end of 2006 for 5 days and it was fantastic. Great snow long runs without too many people; food was good; and Japan is not as expensive as it once was.
Wouldl love to try Lake Tahoe sounds good without being too cold. Japan is good for Australians as its on the same time zone so no jetlag to get there and its only an 8 or 9 hour flight compared to 12-13 to the US.