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Who's got the best slopes?


Granted, it's a subjective question, but we figured it's worth asking just once as the base begins to build. The responses? Whistler, Killington, Keystone, the "T" places (Taos to Tahoe), and then some. In their selections, some folks gravitated to budgets, some to bumps, and some to their own backyards.

  • Mail from the Trail Archive

    Whistler, Whistler, Whistler
    Whistler, Whistler, Whistler. Think about it: Over 200 runs, tremendous peaks, trendiness without being Vail or Aspen, perfect conditions, and the glorious Canadian Dollar at 74 cents ($US). Four for three on everything!

    J.P. Boutros

    Whistler-Blackcomb has the most varied terrain, the most convenient base facilities, all for the most reasonable prices compared with other North American resorts. Most of the lodging is within walking distance of the lifts, and there is always snow at the top, even when rainy weather rolls through in the early part of the season. The ski school is also the best I've seen -- but with the unparalleled terrain to choose from, it is easy to find many different types of skiing in one day.


    It's a "T" thing
    I plan to ski Kirkwood near Tahoe. The snow is perfect. The facilities and lodging are perfect. The snow is perfect. The service is perfect. Did I mention the snow is perfect??

    John Lamoureux

    I like the "T" places. That is Taos and Tahoe, but for apres ski you can't beat Colorado. Never mind that French term. The French never heard of it.

    Andre D. McDonald

    Somewhere in Colorado...cute snowboarders
    Breckenridge, Keystone, A-Basin, Copper Mountain and Vail are all within a short driving distance from one another and offer world-class skiing for all levels of skier! Breckenridge is perfect for a family seeking a town atmosphere: charming Victorian buildings, a wide selection of restaurants and a myriad of activities.

    Leslie Schiller

    I am from and live in Denver and I think that the Colorado slopes are the best. They are all very unique and tend to cater to many different types of people. Aspen is good if you want that "old town" effect. Also Aspen has great shopping and the J-Bar, located in the historical Hotel Jerome. Vail has a more modern edge to it and the shopping is not as good as Aspen. Vail has devoted a whole mountain to snowboarders, which is really important because there are so many cute snowboarders. I love Vail the best of all the mountain towns.....The last ski resort that I will mention is Steamboat , which is one of the most beautiful places ever and definitely worth checking out. Just remember: What they have out there in Vermont are hills and if it isn't over 14,000 feet then don't waste your time. Enjoy the season.

    Siobhan Higgins

    For the money (tow ticket prices), I think Colorado's Keystone resort has the most variety of slopes -- from gnarly black diamond bumps to long smooth intermediates and even night skiing. The village is cool, has lots of apres ski and it is relatively close to front range home ports. Your tow ticket gives you access to Arapahoe Basin, just up the road if you want to try a higher elevation area, and you get access to Breckenridge with even more slopes and amenities. But for sheer excitement, nothing comes close to Jackson Hole in Wyoming. Getting off the European tram is an awesome experience. Most vertical feet, huge area size, Corbet's couloir, and the Grand Teton next door make Jackson a total experience.

    Doug Moench

    I have been skiing for 20 years and I wholeheartedly recommend the Steamboat Ski Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The snow depth and powder beat most areas in Colorado, as well as Utah or Wyoming. The tree skiing is by far some of the best in the world. It has big groomers for most people and new lifts this year to access the really interesting parts of the mountain that you used to have to hike to. It is a thousand times more friendly and relaxed than Vail or Aspen and much less expensive. Steamboat has the complete package!

    Ian K. Barnett

    It's already been a great year here in Colorado. Keystone and Loveland are beautiful, and I have skied at Eldora also, which was in fantastic shape for this early on in the season. Groomed conditions, no rocks, boring after a bit because of the limited terrain, but great for making the first tele turns of the year! Living in Colorado, my favorite place to ski locally is Vail for powder, Mary Jane for bumps and A-basin for late season festivities. However, Park City has always been my favorite all-around area.

    Bob King

    The wrong question
    One should re-phrase the question. "Who's got the best slopes?" should be followed by "what kind?" For example, The California Sierras, in my view, have the best (and most) steeps, and great trees too (lousy snow though). But when it comes to bumps, no one beats Colorado....Great runs (read Vail and Steamboat) do not a great bump run make. The next ingredient is enough great skiers (on long skis preferably) to cut a rhythm on the hill.

    Randy Rentschler

    Meanwhile, back East
    Killington is unbeatable. I have spent several vacations there and will continue to return. The week before Christmas you will find that they offer terrific prices, the slopes are uncrowded, and you simply cannot top their diversity of skiing terrain.

    David S Knepper

    Killington has the best slopes in the East. It has very demanding expert trails such as Outer Limits, which I foolishly tried to ski, as well as an outstanding array of intermediate trails. Specifications-wise, it has a very large vertical rise, chair lift capacity, snow-making capability and easy highway access.

    Van Jabagjorian

    Big Tupper Ski Area in Tupper Lake, New York is one of the best family ski areas in the East. My wife and I and three kids always find our trips to Big Tupper to be a friendly and challenging experience. Expanded snow making now covers most of the mountain, making conditions excellent. They also pride themselves on being the first ski area with a $49 ski/stay package (started in 1994). It's the "jewel" of the Northeast.

    Jules Callaghan

    If Alberto Tomba went...
    Oregon offers some of the finest skiing in North America. Timberline ski resort is open year round and is home to the U.S. ski team in the summer. If you like miles of vertical skiing, Mt. Bachelor near Bend, Oregon is world famous for its finely groomed trails and top of the mountain summit chair. Alberto Tomba recently visited Bachelor for U.S. skiing tournaments. Lodging and apres skiing are easily accessible and highly recommended.

    Tom Avery

    All about Squaw
    I think the best resort in the country is Squaw Valley USA. I have skied at almost every ski slope in the country, and none can match the combination and quality of runs found at Squaw. Whether you are a beginner, or advanced, you will find runs that suit your need at Squaw.

    Ryan Tabibian

    That Utah powder
    For the best all-around skiing experience, nothing can beat Alta, Utah. The terrain is wonderfully diverse, the resort has a simple charm, the snow is the best in the world, and the lift ticket prices are extremely reasonable. Other resorts I will frequent this year are: Solitude, Utah (great terrain, great snow, few crowds); Deer Valley (super cruising runs); Mad River Glen, Vermont (the best skiing experience in the East); Sugarbush, Vermont (best all-around ski area in the East); Pico, Vermont (fun area, not as crowded); and Wildcat, New Hampshire (retro charm and great terrain).

    Rudi Riet

    Until you have laid tracks in fresh waist-deep Utah powder, you cannot appreciate real powder skiing.
    Kent Estep

    Every year we ski in Taos Ski Valley, except last year when we had an incredible skiing experience in Park City, Utah. I would recommend Park City to anyone looking for unexplored trails, miles of powder and a very pro-tourist atmosphere. Often in Colorado in particular, you get the feeling you're intruding on a native's land, or worse, a celebrity's land. There's no attitude in Park City and there's also not the hyper-annoying New York/L.A. celebrity wannabes you get in Aspen or Vail....

    Thomas Turvey

    By far and away, the best place to ski in the U.S. is the Wasatch Front of Utah. World class resorts abound with the very best in accommodations, facilities and, best of all, the greatest snow on earth. For those desiring a true resort experience, Park City and Deer Valley offer everything the skier could ask. If you're more inclined for "steep and deep," Snowbird offers unmatched challenges. Add other resorts like Alta, Solitude, Brighton and Sundance (Robert Redford's place) and you have a variety within 40 minutes of each other. Passes are available to ski between several resorts all in one day. With the proximity of Salt Lake City, any entertainment option is available, from the NBA to opera to ballet. Although I live in Reno at the base of the Sierra Nevadas and Lake Tahoe, I still find Utah is best.

    Stephen Loosli

    From Chamonix to Cervinia
    Chamonix, France is a beautiful small town tucked away in the French Alps. The town has shuttle access to five different mountains in the Chamonix Valley. Each of the five mountains offers something unique for different levels of skiers. I was very happy staying at the Croix Blanc. It's centrally located and very affordable. Courmayer, Italy is a 20-minute drive through the Mt. Blanc Tunnel. If the weather is nice and you are an intermediate or better, don't miss the Vallee Blanc. It's awesome. A guide is well worth the $50 you'll spend -- some of the areas could be dangerous. I wouldn't recommend making the trip if the weather isn't very good. The trail is miles long and descends 9,000 feet. There is a lunch spot about half way down. Don't miss it. We set up our trip through Swiss Air (SwissPak). The trip was smooth. I wish I could say the same about my French. ;-)

    Todd Gill

    We recommend Cervinia in Italy, as it is on very high ground and always gives you fantastic snow conditions. And the beer is nice as well.

    Henrik & Rene

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