Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of It?

Topics of a general nature regarding snowsports, which don't easily fit into one of our other Liftlines categories. This is also the place to post Letters to the Editor.

re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of It?

Postby riverc0il » Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:10 pm

The latter half of this thread's Subject is precisely how to work your skiing if the former section of the thread is not open for debate. As Tony pointed out, nothing here in the East can compare with the best locations of the West. But dedication, a little research, and willingness to be flexible and ski the areas that get the best snow can "make the best" of a region that is not ideal for big powder but sure has a lot to offer when you can capitalize.

Tony makes special note of something very important, the "average" skier. The average skier doesn't make the best of anything to be quite frank, but is quite content with hitting their favorites regardless of condition. I used to be in this category, so I am not making fun or taking a cheap shot. The average skier is the bread and butter of the industry while I am going to have a 50-60 day ski season with a 30-40% powder percentage for less than the price of a two person one week trip to Utah. Clearly as Tony points out, the "average" Eastern skier could probably best "play the odds" in their favor by booking a trip to the more favorable regions of the country. Whereas the dedicated skier can make the best of it by knocking off mid-week powder days on short notice and day tripping to the best powder locations.

So making the best of it depends upon your approach and dedication to the activity and your tolerances. It takes a different approach depending upon your needs, desires, odds, etc.

In regards to the first half of the Subject, I will deffer to Tony's expert opinion on Continental US City locations. However, I can say from personal experience that in general, having a lot of different options within a nearby day trip range (especially within a region that differs by snowfall measurements in the feet within only a few dozen miles) has its benefits. Of course, living away from the city and closer to the mountains also has huge benefits if a mountainous city region does not appeal. But employment, entertainment, lifestyle, and family sacrifices may become issues. Lots of options and no one solution is best for everyone.
--Steve

TheSnowWay.com
"Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs
User avatar
riverc0il
 
Posts: 1732
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 12:22 am
Location: Ashland, NH

Re: re: Advice on ski trip to Park City in Feb. 2008

Postby Marc_C » Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:14 pm

SoCal Rider wrote:I loved Boise when I lived there one summer, and Bogus Basin is fairly big and close. I wonder what RT to SLC costs from there?

Boise -> SLC is about a 5 hr. drive. Flights are about an hour and ~$175 r.t.
-marc
User avatar
Marc_C
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:32 am
Location: A Sandy place south of a Great Lake

re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of It?

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:47 pm

I've never collected data from there, but my impression is that Bogus does not get an abundance of natural snow. Brundage and Tamarack probably get more, but they are 2-3 hours away I think.

As usual, Riverc0il's comments above make a lot of sense. We here on FTO are fanatics, and willing to put a lot of effort into getting the most out of both day and destination trips. In my early days of skiing, the "average" young L.A. skier joined a ski club, had 4-5 weekend bus trips to Mammoth (scheduled far in advance) each season and enjoyed consistently great skiing at a reasonable price. This was what my ex-wife did, and I met her as a guest on one of those trips in 1982. The ski-club-bus-to-Mammoth market in SoCal is only about 20% as large now as 25 years ago, my guess due to rising cost issues and changing demographics.

having a lot of different options within a nearby day trip range
I agree with this one too, and after this season see this point as one of the East's advantages over SoCal. It's also the reason to rate SLC, Tahoe and Denver over places near just a few good areas. Seattle is the exception to this rule because the Crystal controlled backcountry is such an extraordinary powder resource, and when the weekend area is Whistler, that's 3 or 4 normal ski areas worth of variety in one place.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10587
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: re: Advice on ski trip to Park City in Feb. 2008

Postby Patrick » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:46 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:As the one who incites the most controversy on this subject, I'll recap my slightly revised opinions, and even defend the easterners some:

1) East vs. West depends upon where in the East vs. where in the West. IMHO it's laughable to compare anyplace in the East to well located westerners like admin and Larry Schick.


Apples and Oranges. These are both different, not superior or inferior, but different. I like what James has to say on the subject...

james deluxe wrote:The constant wah wah wah from self-hating easterners -- a breed that I thought was more prevalent at Epicski -- is a real stoke killer.


:-({|=

Tony Crocker wrote:4) I now believe that the well placed easterners (to me that means north and east of Albany in the U.S. plus metro Montreal) are comparable to Sunbelt westerners, and probably better in terms of short notice powder. Once you get to SF Bay Area or Las Vegas (6 Interstate hours from SLC) and farther north, then in terms of skiing I think you're better off than anywhere in the East.


You're crazy Tony. #-o ](*,)

Tony Crocker wrote:1. SLC
2. Reno
3. Vancouver
4. Seattle
5. Denver
6. Sacramento
7. Portland
8. Spokane
9. Calgary
10. San Francisco, with east of the bay much preferred
11. Albuquerque
12. Las Vegas
13. L.A., with inland areas much preferred to coastal
14. San Diego
15. Phoenix
In the east Montreal is #1 no contest. I would put Montreal between L.A. and San Diego on the above list. Marc slotted Montreal between Albuquerque and Vegas. No other eastern metro area would crack this list IMHO.


Montreal is in the Top10. This past weekend I spoke to some well travelled skiers and some would place Quebec City pretty high also (porbably higher than MTL). The big difference in this list, is that when you're in place like LA or any other from the Sunbelt is that your day drive areas are pretty limited (areas or/and weather if it's bad). LA to Mammoth is 5 hours. That isn't what I would call a convient location.

My friend Natalie who doesn't like Ski Forums (I believe that River noticed that) was mentioning that the skiing she did this weekend (Jay and MRG) was equalled to the best she skied in the West. For those who would doubt Natalie's track record, she been to locations like Western Canada, Utah, Alps, Chili (twice) and New Zealand.

I'm personnally don't mind a long drive from now and then, however Ottawa has 4 areas within 25 miles from downtown. These small mole hills (700') have produced World Cup, World Championship and Olympic Medals winners. Most of the people that ski here, don't even find it limiting and our entirely satisfied by spending the entire Winter here regardless of their abilities. The advantages about Ottawa and Quebec City over Montreal is that ski hills are much closer, however I concede that the quality close to Quebec are much better. Montreal's advantages over these two is that within a day trip (3hr) plus having a ton of close areas in different snow zones. You can access some of the best skiing the East can offer.

Tony Crocker wrote:Interestingly SoCal Rider is in the camp that values daytrip much over weekend, and would thus prefer Montreal over L.A. in the debate in the first thread. But the top 10 on the above list are way better than Montreal.


Damn right...:roll: ](*,)
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4777
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of It?

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:04 pm

Patrick and I are coming closer to defining what's important and where to "agree to disagree."

I think we can agree that SF(#10) beats the best of the East at 3-4 hours from one of the top 3 concentrations of skiing in North America.

New Mexico is a special case. Taos is a first class area, but it's 2+ hours from the population centers and the next best areas (Santa Fe and Apache) are not even in the Baldy/Stowe class terrain wise IMHO. After that, it's weekend minimum distance to big (or more reliable) areas in Colorado.

The rest of the Sunbelt turns on the relative value of daytrip vs. weekend, and here Patrick and I have opposite views. It's easy for me to understand Riverc0il's opinion since he puts most of his value on powder, and I agree daytrip is more important for that. Natalie's comments were not a function of how good an area Jay Peak is, but due to the fact they she could arrange to be there on a perfect powder day.

Patrick, by both his statements and his ski track record (not that many of the eastern powder days of the past 2 months), enjoys the broad diversity of ski experience. If that's true I don't really see how you can compare the daytrips to Ottawa molehills to an average 6 month season at a world-class mountain like Mammoth. Patrick is basing that opinion exclusively on cost, because we already know that if cost were not an issue, his skier days would be distributed 40% Europe, 40% West and 20% East.

Quebec City is probably second to Montreal in the East, but based upon the terrain I saw in 2003, snowfall and most importantly admin's opinion that the 3 areas I skied in Vermont (Stowe, MRG and Jay) were "better than anything in Quebec," I was not inclined to rate it vs.the western cities. It's probably better than the bottom couple, perhaps based upon some areas I didn't see, like Massif du Sud and Valinouet. I've read enough FTO reports from Boston based skiers not to change my opinion there. The vicissitudes of Arizona Snowbowl have led me to devalue Phoenix some. If Snowbowl isn't open, it's 7-8 hours drive to "real skiing" at Durango or Telluride.

Revised metro area list for all of North America, assuming slightly higher weight to daytrip than my own track record (5:3 ratio of my lifetime Mammoth skiing to SoCal local vs. actual skier visit ratio close to 1:1):
1. SLC
2. Reno
3. Vancouver
4. Seattle
5. Denver
6. Sacramento
7. Portland
8. Spokane
9. Calgary
10. San Francisco, with east of the bay much preferred
11. Montreal
12. Albuquerque
13. Las Vegas
14. L.A., with inland areas much preferred to coastal
15. Quebec City
16. San Diego
17. Boston
18. Phoenix
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10587
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of

Postby SoCal Rider » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:21 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Revised metro area list for all of North America, assuming slightly higher weight to daytrip than my own track record (5:3 ratio of my lifetime Mammoth skiing to SoCal local vs. actual skier visit ratio close to 1:1):
1. SLC
2. Reno
3. Vancouver
4. Seattle
5. Denver
6. Sacramento
7. Portland
8. Spokane
9. Calgary
10. San Francisco, with east of the bay much preferred
11. Montreal
12. Albuquerque
13. Las Vegas
14. L.A., with inland areas much preferred to coastal
15. Quebec City
16. San Diego
17. Boston
18. Phoenix



I've thought of Sacramento, which would seem kinda funny/odd/crazy to SoCalers: You're moving from San Diego to Sacramento? I do have relatives not too far from Suc-town, er, Sac-town. It definitely has clear advantages over San Diego for the winter weekend warrior.
User avatar
SoCal Rider
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 8:58 am
Location: San Diego / avatar: South Bowl

Re: re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of

Postby Patrick » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:30 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Patrick and I are coming closer to defining what's important and where to "agree to disagree."

I think we can agree that SF(#10) beats the best of the East at 3-4 hours from one of the top 3 concentrations of skiing in North America.


Does SF beat Montreal, maybe? :shock: :shock: :shock:

I'll come up with my own list as a geographer points of view. However I need to find the time because I'm not entirely familiar with all the cities listed versus distance and ski areas involved.

So far, the only sure thing on the list is the SLC in #1, the rest can be debated. 8)
Last edited by Patrick on Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4777
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of

Postby SoCal Rider » Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:52 pm

Patrick wrote:
Tony Crocker wrote:Patrick and I are coming closer to defining what's important and where to "agree to disagree."

I think we can agree that SF(#10) beats the best of the East at 3-4 hours from one of the top 3 concentrations of skiing in North America.


Those SF beat Montreal, maybe? :shock: :shock: :shock:


Oh, you just set off Mr. Crocker. :P

Tahoe resorts may not have the driest snow but pretty good in terrain - quality and quantity - and season length departments. Alpine and Squaw will (or have in recent past) stay open into May.
User avatar
SoCal Rider
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 8:58 am
Location: San Diego / avatar: South Bowl

Re: re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of

Postby Patrick » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:09 pm

SoCal Rider wrote:Tahoe resorts may not have the driest snow but pretty good in terrain - quality and quantity - and season length departments. Alpine and Squaw will (or have in recent past) stay open into May.


You won't have an argument on my part, HOWEVER ... San Francisco is a few hours away. We'll see when I get some data and fact together, not sure what the final results will be? I've got 106 areas metropolitan larger than 500k for Canada (9) and the US (97) and I'll try to use the same criteria for all. The final list is going to be debatable, that's all the fun, isn't it? :wink:

I need opinions on the criterias that I should use?

SoCal Rider wrote:Oh, you just set off Mr. Crocker. :P .


It's mutual. :lol:
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4777
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of It?

Postby riverc0il » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:13 pm

Interesting distinction between "metro area" versus "city" as Burtlington, VT would not make the metro list but would certainly beat out many in that top twenty for best city to live in. From an east coast perspective, Burlington is certainly the best city for a skier to live in but doesn't really count as a metro area.
--Steve

TheSnowWay.com
"Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs
User avatar
riverc0il
 
Posts: 1732
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 12:22 am
Location: Ashland, NH

Re: re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of

Postby Patrick » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:40 pm

riverc0il wrote:Interesting distinction between "metro area" versus "city" as Burtlington, VT would not make the metro list but would certainly beat out many in that top twenty for best city to live in.


Burlington is a metropolitan area according to the US Bureau of Statistics, however you are right, it would be included in my list. Reno NV either, Reno is under 500k and is #123 on the list while Burlington is #199.

I'll see how hard it will be incorporate them in my analysis. If I lower the population criteria to 200k in the US (104 more areas) and 100k in Canada (26 extra metro areas)? :-k

riverc0il wrote:From an east coast perspective, Burlington is certainly the best city for a skier to live in but doesn't really count as a metro area.


Maybe...we'll wait and see. :wink:
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4777
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of

Postby Marc_C » Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:03 pm

Patrick wrote:
riverc0il wrote:Interesting distinction between "metro area" versus "city" as Burtlington, VT would not make the metro list but would certainly beat out many in that top twenty for best city to live in.


Burlington is a metropolitan area according to the US Bureau of Statistics, however you are right, it would be included in my list. Reno NV either, Reno is under 500k and is #123 on the list while Burlington is #199.

Be careful with those listings. Salt Lake City itself has a population of less than 200K but the Salt Lake Valley is well over a million.

From the wiki entry for SLC:
Salt Lake City has a population of 178,097.[1] The Salt Lake City metropolitan area spans Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele counties, and has a total estimated population of 1,333,914 (2000). Salt Lake City is further situated in a larger urban area known as the Wasatch Front, and until 2003 the Ogden-Clearfield metro area within it was considered part of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area.[2] The total estimated population of the Wasatch Front is approximately 2,150,017.

Also, a lot of people who work in SLC (and ski in the Cottonwoods) live in the ever-expanding Park City area, including Heber and Midway. All of those are the Wasatch Back.
-marc
User avatar
Marc_C
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:32 am
Location: A Sandy place south of a Great Lake

Re: re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of

Postby Patrick » Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:17 pm

Marc_C wrote:Be careful with those listings. Salt Lake City itself has a population of less than 200K but the Salt Lake Valley is well over a million.


I'm using metropolitan areas as defined by US Census Bureau and Statistics Canada.

Salt Lake City is #48 (1m) and on my list. My initial criteria (400k) would also include two others Utah CMA (Provo and Ogden). I'm not going to combine areas for now, just list them.

Patrick the geographer
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4777
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of It?

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:48 pm

Sacramento is an unusual place. Not that exciting, unless you're a state government junkie. Crappy weather, scorching hot summers and foggy winters. BUT 2 hours from Tahoe in one direction and less than 2 hours from SF and Napa Valley in the other. You could do at lot worse.

I'd recommend making the metro area definitions broad, like including Ogden and Provo with SLC for example. I'm not sure I drew the line in exactly the right place on my western list. Someone recently told me that Boise has doubled in the past 5 years and might be bigger than Portland or Reno. I'd rate Boise between SF and Albuquerque for skiing.

I was under the impression if you went as low in size as Burlington, you'd end up with a list of ~100 areas instead of ~20. I think the US definition you want is SMSA (Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area). It's hard enough to get people to consider relocating. Presumably the larger places have more job and cultural diversity, easier to make the non-skiing factors work. I'd draw the line at broad SMSA somewhere between 500K and 1M.

I believe than most FTO skiers would rate Tahoe second to SLC for overall ski quality. Better than the the Denver/I-70 cluster because FTO skiers seem to value steep terrain, which is much more abundant at Tahoe, and big powder dumps over the consistent smaller 6-inch type storms of Colorado. So the question becomes how far from Tahoe? Reno is closest (also 3+ hours from Mammoth) and opposite to most traffic, has to be #2 behind SLC. Sacramento is 2 hours when the roads are clean; that's clearly acceptable to most of the FTO opinion I read here. SF at 3-4 hours becomes more controversial. That's why I knocked it below Portland, Calgary, Spokane, which have less diverse but closer high quality skiing.

You easterners can also comment: how much better is Burlington than Montreal? Has border security made it more difficult for Canadians to ski Northern Vermont?
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10587
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: re: Where to Live, Part Deux, or How to Make the Best of

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:21 pm

Tony Crocker wrote: You easterners can also comment: how much better is Burlington than Montreal?


Someone can correct me, but if I'm not mistaken:

Burlington within ~45-60 minutes:
-- Stowe, Smuggs, Sugarbush, MRG, Bolton
-- Jay a bit further

Montreal within ~45-60 minutes
-- Bromont, Shefford, Sutton, Orford... Mont Blanc, St. Sauveur, Alta and the other smaller Laurentian joints
-- Tremblant, Whiteface, and Owls Head a bit further
-- Jay two hours away?

If we're purely concerned with skiing? Burlington.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3658
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ + Denver, CO

PreviousNext

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use

cron