Ski Area Count 2019

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
Patrick":dz5fck5n said:
Frenchmen, lifts enthusiasm and monoskier RodoAF is above 500 ski areas visited.
Rodo is a force of nature. I love reading his TRs. That said; I believe British ski journalist Arnie Wilson is still in the lead with somewhere around 700 areas. Rodo will overtake him eventually.
 

Sbooker

Member
jamesdeluxe":ahp8q2bs said:
Sbooker":ahp8q2bs said:
My daughters reaction (“Dad they flattened all the soft snow”) probably sums up why we think North American skiing is more suited to us.
Personal preferences can't be argued but I'm not sure where to start with the implication that there's very little ungroomed offpiste in the Alps.

That’s not the implication I was making. If that’s the way it came across it wasn’t intentional. There’s obviously loads of opportunity to ski fresh snow in Europe but to do it safely all together as a family when one of the party prefers groomers is much more of a hassle. I believe three of us would need the assistance of a guide (and avi gear) while my wife would have to either compromise on what she prefers or spend the day by herself on the marked trails.

I was shocked at the extent of the grooming after fresh snow. There was nothing left untouched on the marked pistes.

My experience is that hills in North America are more likely to leave a couple of runs off each lift ungroomed - and those areas are still avalanche controlled. This may not be the case in every resort of course.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
sbooker":2zzn57ot said:
I was shocked at the extent of the grooming after fresh snow. There was nothing left untouched on the marked pistes.
If it's a marked piste, blue, red or black, expect it to be groomed daily. Some Euro areas have "skiroutes" marked yellow, which are not groomed but still subject to avalanche control.

I expected this answer:
sbooker":2zzn57ot said:
There’s obviously loads of opportunity to ski fresh snow in Europe but to do it safely all together as a family when one of the party prefers groomers is much more of a hassle.
James and I exercise our own judgment when to venture off piste on our own and when a guide is necessary. It's a different scenario taking your kids. Each skier should make their own call and not be overly influenced by someone else's call.

As far as divergent preferences in terrain, that's also each individual's call. Liz has no hesitation sending me on my way if I want to ski something out of her comfort zone. With cell service it's usually not that hard to regroup, as we have done a few times even in the Alps.

That's quite a testimonial to Dolomite snowmaking, as I know they were lean on natural snow. I guess Fraser was not overhyping how good it is. Those of us who have a steady diet of Mammoth/LCC are princesses about snow surfaces and can usually detect easily a firm manmade subsurface. When Liz and I were in the Dolomites (in the 2018 season with good natural snow) I noticed that manmade subsurface in just a few places but only one piste in Seceda was overall frozen granular. There were several pistes in that category in SkiWelt and Kitzbuhel in 2017. Saalbach's snow we thought was as good as the Dolomites.

The Falzarego/Cinque Torii sector nominally belongs to Cortina, though I'm inclined to group it with the other isolated Civetta sectors on the World War I circuit. Sbooker had nicer weather than we did; lift closures delayed our arrival at Passo Falzareggo, so we got to ski the Hidden Valley run but it was so late we missed the horselift.

As for next year's March trip, my earlier comment about skiing independently applies even more. Snowbird is one of the worst areas on the planet for "never evers." Don't even think about taking them there. Albion/Sunnyside is the only terrain in LCC reasonable for beginners. It's a waste of resources for your friends (including "early intermediates") to stay up there. You have the right idea to ski LCC at the end of the trip after your friends have gone home.

The trip should definitely start at Aspen/Snowmass. Buttermilk is tailor made for beginners and Snowmass has a ton of low intermediate terrain which should be in the comfort zone of the other couple and accessible to the first timers after a couple of days of progress. Big Sky also has a lot of low intermediate terrain if you have the time to go up there.

If I recall sbooker has been skiing North America on the Mountain Collective. You might want to consider the Ikon Pass instead for this trip as it will add Brighton, Solitude and Deer Valley. Any of those places will be better for your friends than LCC though not as good as Buttermilk and Snowmass.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
EMSC":32czuea5 said:
sbookers list is actually pretty impressive for someone living in Aussie land. Those are long flights to the northern hemisphere.
I looked up the shortest possible itineraries to common ski destinations in the north from Brisbane -- these are flight times only and not necessarily the least expensive:
Chitose, Japan: 14:40
Salt Lake: 18:00
Denver: 18:30
Zurich: 22:00

Props to Sbooker for his dedication. My eight-hour flights to Geneva or Zurich are comparatively small potatoes.
 

Patrick

Active member
EAST: 79
WEST: 26
EUROPE: 22
SOUTH HEMISPHERE: 27
GRAND TOTAL: 154 (minimum, I might have skied a few more lost ski areas prior to me keeping track in 1981, nevertheless I've added 5 areas skied only prior to 1980).

For data freaks, everything is sorted: 1) General region (Eastern Canada), 2) Province / State level, 3) Count of days.

Example I've skied more in the Alps than the Andes. Also more days in Argentina versus Chile, so Argentina ski areas are listed before the Chilean ones. A quick note, I've skied the same numbers of days between Australia and New Zealand.

Eastern Canada (QC + ON): 50
Eastern US (NE + SE): 29
Western Canada (AB + BC): 10
Western US (CA, OR, WY, CO, UT, MT, WA): 16
Alps (FR, SW, AU, IT): 22
Andes (AR + CL): 14
Oceania (AU + NZ): 13


QUEBEC (48):
Laurentians (21):
Tremblant
St-Sauveur
Chanteclerc
Gray Rocks
Gabriel
Mt-Blanc
Avila
Garceau
Belle-Neige
Val St-Côme
Morin Heights
Habitant
Olympia
Mont Alta
Mont Avalanche
Sauvage
Vallée Bleue
Montcalm
Faustin (pre80)
Sun Valley (pre80)
Mont Laval (pre80)

Outaouais (6):
Edelweiss
Fortune
Cascades
Vorlage
Ste-Marie
Mont Chilly

Eastern Townships and Montreal area (10):
Sutton
Owl's Head
Bromont
Orford
Glen
St-Bruno
Rigaud
Adstock
Mont Royal (pre80)
Echo (pre80)

Quebec City (5):
Ste-Anne
Stoneham
Massif
Le Relais
Grand Fonds

East Quebec (6):
Mt-Comi
Val-Neigette
Mines Madeleine, Chic Chocs*
Val d'Irène
Hogback, Chic Chocs*
Albert, Chic Chocs*

ONTARIO (2):
Calabogie Peaks
Pakenham

NORTHEAST US (27):
Vermont (10):
Killington
Mad River Glen
Jay Peak
Smugglers'
Stowe
Sugarbush
Burke
Bolton
Middlebury
Pico

New York (5):
Whiteface
Titus
Gore
Whiteface Toll Road*
Snow Ridge

New Hampshire (10):
Tuckerman/Mt. Washington*
Cannon
Wildcat
Bretton Woods
Waterville Valley
Attitash
Balsams Wilderness
Black
Cranmore
Loon

Maine (2):
Sunday River
Sugarloaf

SOUTHEAST US (2):
West Virginia (2):
Timberline* (closed)
White Grass*

WESTERN CANADA (10):
Alberta (6):
Sunshine
Lake Louise
Marmot
Fortress
Nakiska
Norquay

British Columbia (4):
Blackcomb
Shames
Whistler
Smithers

WESTERN US (16):
California (2):
Mammoth
Squaw

Oregon (2):
Timberline
Bachelor

Wyoming (3):
Jackson Hole
Grand Targhee
Snow King

Colorado (2):
Loveland
Arapahoe Basin

Utah (2):
Alta
Snowbird

Montana (3):
Big Sky
Moonlight Basin
Bridger Bowl

Washington (2):
Crystal
Sunrise/Rainier

ALPS (22):
France (14):
Flaine
Val Thorens
Val d'Isère
Tignes
Chamrousse
Alpe d'Huez
Meribel
Les Menuires
Les Arcs
Courchevel
Brévent-Flégère
Vallée Blanche-Mt.Blanc
Grands Montets
Deux Alpes

Switzerland (4):
Kleine Scheidegg-Mannlichen
Schilthorn-Murren
Saas Fee
Zermatt

Austria (2):
Molltaler
Hintertux

Italy (2):
Courmayeur
Passo Dello Stelvio

****
ANDES (14):
Argentina (6):
La Hoya
Catedral
Las Lenas
Cerro Bayo
Chapelco
Los Penitentes

Chile (8):
Termas de Chillan
Portillo
Pucon
El Colorado
La Parva
Valle Nevado
Arpa
Volcano Villarrica

****
OCEANIA (13):
Australia (6):
Perisher
Buller
Falls Creek
Hotham
Charlotte Pass
Thredbo

New Zealand (7):
Turua
Whakapapa
Caldrona
Hutt
Ohau
Remarks
Treble Cone
 

Patrick

Active member
I noticed a few interesting difference between Tony, James and my list.

Although Tony is based in California and me in the East, he skied one Eastern ski area which I've never been to: Stratton
His BC list is substantial (31 areas) versus mine (4), but which contains two areas Tony has not been: Shames and Smithers (now Hudson Bay).
France? Between his 12 and my 14, we only overlap on 5 areas.
Switzerland? Although I've only skied at 4 different areas, out of Tony's 17 hills, we only overlap at Zermatt.

As for James, he managed to ski at 2 Quebec ski areas I've never been and 2 that I might have, but don't recall. He skied 18 versus my 48.

And James' France, we managed to ski at 14 ski areas each without overlapping at a single one.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
Patrick":1xtdvou2 said:
I noticed a few interesting difference between Tony, James and my list.
While the ski areas often differ, your list and Tony's have a similar scope, i.e. southern-hemisphere regions that I doubt I'll ever get to.

Patrick":1xtdvou2 said:
As for James, he managed to ski at 2 Quebec ski areas I've never been and 2 that I might have, but don't recall. He skied 18 versus my 48.
Which are the 2-4 Quebec areas you haven't been to?


Glad to have you contribute again beyond the spring update. We miss your input.
 

Patrick

Active member
jamesdeluxe":1ahbsflt said:
Patrick":1ahbsflt said:
I noticed a few interesting difference between Tony, James and my list.
While the ski areas often differ, your list and Tony's have a similar scope, i.e. southern-hemisphere regions that I doubt I'll ever get to.

Patrick":1ahbsflt said:
As for James, he managed to ski at 2 Quebec ski areas I've never been and 2 that I might have, but don't recall. He skied 18 versus my 48.
Which are the 2-4 Quebec areas you haven't been to?

Never ever:
Massif du Sud and Mont Édouard (been on the list for over a decade).
Maybes but I don't remember (would have been as a child): La Réserve and Shefford. I remember a few events at La Réserve including a memorable toga party organized by the McGill ski team, memorable for many wrong reasons.


jamesdeluxe":1ahbsflt said:
Glad to have you contribute again beyond the spring update. We miss your input.
Thanks.
It's been a challenging few years, all my online contribution has basically disappeared. My only real presence now is on my Instagram account (@Madpatski) as it requires less focus and energy.
I'm hopeful I'll be able to continue to my blog (i.e. Hrs, etc) at one point.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
Patrick":2qah7dxm said:
Never ever: Massif du Sud and Mont Édouard (been on the list for over a decade)
Interesting that you missed those two ski areas; they're easily in my Quebec Top 5.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Patrick":1ai6lvao said:
Although Tony is based in California and me in the East, he skied one Eastern ski area which I've never been to: Stratton
I was there last December because of a NASJA event. Nonetheless I considered it an informative experience. I understand better James definition of "second tier East." Superficially it looks like a bigger version of Big Bear, but the fall lines were longer and more continuous. That's sort of what I said about Pajarito! Liz agrees Pajarito and Stratton are a close comparison in ski topography though of course they are polar opposites in ambience.

Similarly I skied Lutsen in 2009 because of a NASJA event. It is by far the largest area in the Midwest. It is in the Big Bear/Catskill category but definitely less steep, which tells you something given the reputation of Big Bear and the Catskills.

The diversity in the Alps is illustrated by how little overlap there is between Patrick's, James and my lists.
 

Patrick

Active member
jamesdeluxe":16djaats said:
Patrick":16djaats said:
Never ever: Massif du Sud and Mont Édouard (been on the list for over a decade)
Interesting that you missed those two ski areas; they're easily in my Quebec Top 5.

Almost went a few times at Edouard, but it didn't pan out. Lucky Luke and I spoke many times of going to MDS and I had planned to ski one day on our Spring Break in 2009 (Charlevoix to Gray Rocks' farewell), but the day we had planned to drive on the South shore, MDS was closed due to the forecasted rain.

Always based on distance versus close and easily accessible top ski areas in the East. To get to those ski areas from Ottawa, you have to plan a few days, Mont Edouard is a 7 hour drive versus a maximum of 5 for all the major New England ski areas.
 

EMSC

Well-known member
Patrick's is definitely and informative list.

I have never heard of more than half of his Quebec list. Must a be a huge number of very small places, since I thought I have heard of a fair number of even medium sized ones up that way (half question/half comment).
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
jamesdeluxe":ewyoq50w said:
The following comment is only of interest to those nutcases who keep count of their visits --

A few weeks back on Alpinforum, there was a discussion of what constitutes a ski area given how there are so many gigantic interconnected circuits in the Alps composed of what were at one point separate lift-served mountains. For example, should the Portes du Soleil be considered one ski area or should you list all the separate components that in the past were self-contained (Les Gets, Morzine, Avoriaz, etc.).

One solution offered that makes sense to me is: there has to be lift access in both directions; thus, the Portes du Soleil should be one area (I've divided mine out into the French and Swiss sectors); however, Mont Chery is separate. Westendorf was separate when I visited in the early 00s; however, it is now connected to the Skiwelt in both directions. OTOH, Arosa and Lenzerheide should be considered separate ski areas connected by a tram. Same deal with Whistler and Blackcomb. Likewise for Diavolezza and Lagalb even though they're physically very close together (connected by a moving carpet in one direction). Tony, where does Fieberbrunn stand compared to Saalbach-Hinterglemm? Haven't been there since they've been connected.

That's going to be my criteria moving forward unless I can be talked out of it.

Somehow I missed this when originally posted.

Doesn't the tram at Arosa-Lenzerheide constitute there has to be lift access in both directions? Perhaps that criterion should be modified to: there has to be lift and SKI access in both directions? I agree with James' implication that a connecting transport lift with no connecting pistes is a strong indicator that areas should be separate. There are quite a few others in the Alps: Lech-Warth, Les Arcs-La Plagne, Kitzbuhel-Pass Thurn for example.

As far as Portes du Soleil is concerned, I don't see Morzine/Les Gets as connected to Avoriaz when it's a 10 minute bus ride across town from one base to the other, at least as much hassle as Mont Chery to the other side of Les Gets. I also say being a different country (Samnaun, Swiss side of Portes du Soleil) means a separate area (boundary is obviously defined). You also have an option for cheaper single area tickets at Avoriaz and Chatel, and there are big banners at the boundary point reminding skiers where they are. So I would would go with 4 areas at Portes du Soleil (Swiss side being the 4th) based upon the ticket boundaries, which leaves Mont Chery as part of Morzine/Les Gets.

Subjectively the bigger the ski complex, the more I lean toward separations, but there also needs to be an easily definable geographic boundary. To me Klein Matterhorn vs. the rest of Zermatt is a direct analogy to Whistler/Blackcomb, two huge by both scale and vertical areas connected only at the base (prior to Peak-to-Peak at W/B). In general I'm slightly more inclined to separate the close calls than James, though he separated Diavolezza/Lagalb and I didn't. I've left Fieberbrunn and Westendorf separate as they are both substantial in size with clear cut geographic boundaries.

The Dolomites must be the most difficult region to partition. The Dolomite Superski map shows 12 areas, which are likely based upon lift ownership like the 7 in the Arlberg. Almost any division there is subjective.

I also grandfather cases where I skied areas separate before they were joined, Snow Summit and Bear Mt being the notable case. I should have kept Mt. High and Holiday Hill (now East) separate because I skied both when they were two areas before 1981. But in those early days I wasn't thinking about such details so never tracked my skiing between the two sides during the rest of the 1980's or since. The Big Bear merger was in 2002 and I continue to track those separately.
 

Patrick

Active member
EMSC":315m141o said:
Patrick's is definitely and informative list.

I have never heard of more than half of his Quebec list. Must a be a huge number of very small places, since I thought I have heard of a fair number of even medium sized ones up that way (half question/half comment).

Well, there were a lot more 40 years ago. The total number of Quebec ski areas is now somewhere around 75, it used be like 110-120. A bit of history, similar to the North East, many little towns had their own local hill. What else are you going to do in Winter to have fun? Okay, nevermind, forget I mentioned that as it wasn't rare for rural French Canadian families to have 15-20 kids rural in the 1930-40s.

You didn't have to drive anywhere, snow was there. If I take the 4 closest ski areas from Ottawa (all within 25 miles from downtown), they are all between 500-650ft vertical. About 20% of my Quebec list are areas somewhere between 1500-2500ft vertical.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
Patrick":1vaw2iw5 said:
it wasn't rare for rural French Canadian families to have 15-20 kids rural in the 1930-40s.
The ubiquity and influence of the catholic church in Quebec back then always blows me away. I remember a scene from Deny Arcand's "The Barbarian Invasions" when a priest takes a visitor into a huge warehouse filled with statues and other ephemera from hundreds of decommissioned churches.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
Tony Crocker":1tey9wcs said:
Perhaps that criterion should be modified to: there has to be lift and SKI access in both directions? I agree with James' implication that a connecting transport lift with no connecting pistes is a strong indicator that areas should be separate.
Agreed with your suggestion. At the same time, I guess my original point about separating Alps ski areas is that it's easy to fall down the rabbit hole and split hairs -- and the next thing you know, Marc C is (perhaps justifiably) snarking it up about us needing to get a real life.

Kitzbühel, for example: I labeled the entire circuit as one ski area however:
-- Isn't Pass Thurn connected via the Zweitausender lift?
-- I skied the Bichalm sector, which was lift-served during our visit 16 years ago, but is now touring/cat-skiing only.
-- The 3S tram (same as the one at Whistler/Blackcomb) connects two sectors joined only by a ski route (#34) in one direction.
-- Kitzbüheler Horn is completely separated from the rest of the circuit by the village.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Everything east of that 3S tram (Barenbadkogel, Zweitausender, etc.) I defined as part of Pass Thurn. That's what's logical geographically, though perhaps James knows better than I what the locals call that interconnection of lifts and pistes. Kitzbüheler Horn (which we did not ski) would be a third area.

I cited the Dolomites as a good example of
jamesdeluxe":1br0em59 said:
fall down the rabbit hole and split hairs
I could explain how I divided our days there, but many people could easily decide differently.

In my case, I track both day count and vertical, and I want the end result to make sense for both. I've designed my spreadsheet to handle skiing two areas in one day, but I would have make manual and arbitrary adjustments for more than two.

jamesdeluxe":1br0em59 said:
needing to get a real life.
The spreadsheet is clearly a timesaver in the long run. There was plenty of upfront work to set it up in 2007, but looking up past history to answer questions or compare to current/recent seasons is very easy now. I'm fairly sure Patrick went through a similar process a decade ago to help set up his Ski Mad World website.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
Tony Crocker":2sa55jv3 said:
I've designed my spreadsheet to handle skiing two areas in one day
As long as I ski a few hours somewhere, that counts as a day in my book. It's too much work to parse whether I skied a half or full day. In any event, it's very rare that I ski more than one area during a single day, even at a place like St. Moritz, where it's relatively easy (a short bus ride) if you're so inclined. Something like the day in February when I skied both Wurzeralm and Hinterstoder, where I had to drive 25 minutes to transfer to the other, is an anomaly.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
jamesdeluxe":1x48o4kt said:
As long as I ski a few hours somewhere, that counts as a day in my book.
I agree that short days of a couple of hours, or backcountry days resulting in one run are still a ski day. But what happens at the end of the season when you add them up? If you ski two areas in one day, your season total day count will be overstated if you count both as one day.
 

Patrick

Active member
Tony Crocker":2q7g3im5 said:
jamesdeluxe":2q7g3im5 said:
As long as I ski a few hours somewhere, that counts as a day in my book.
I agree that short days of a couple of hours, or backcountry days resulting in one run are still a ski day. But what happens at the end of the season when you add them up? If you ski two areas in one day, your season total day count will be overstated if you count both as one day.

Well, I keep track for myself.

For example:
One outing overlapping more than one ski area (1 lift ticket). Also counts as one ski area visited (Brévent-Flégère): 1 ski day at 1 ski area. I believe I counted the ski areas in the Jungfrau as 2 separate even if I wrote 4 different places.

30 Je, 27 Mar 03 Le Brévent-Flégère FRA
20 Ma, 11 Mar 03 Mannlichen-Kl. Scheidegg (Grindelwald) SUI
21 Me, 12 Mar 03 Schilthorn-Murren SUI
22 Je, 13 Mar 03 Kl. Scheidegg (Wengen) SUI

One outing for overlapping dates. 1 ski day at 1 ski area

19 Ma, 31 Dec 13# Titus NY
#overlapping days - skiing into the New Year, Jan 1.

Two outing at the same or different hill (one or two lift tickets or special pass): counted as one ski day. 1 ski day at 2 or more ski area.

5 Me, 12 Dec 07 Cascades QC day-night
39 Me, 31 Jan 18 Ste-Marie / Edelweiss QC Day & night

It is rare that my numbers don't add up, but there have been a few exceptions in the last 38 seasons I've been keeping track. Bottom line is that my total ski outings have the exact same weight. From 1 run to 12 hours of skiing = only count as 1 ski day.
 
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