Ski Area Count 2019


Tony Crocker":1f0zb8dw said:
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":1f0zb8dw said:
Well, I keep track for myself.
Agreed. My day total is similar to what ski areas say about trail ratings and how they're specific only to that mountain, i.e. a double-black diamond at Snowbird will be different than one at Camelback in the Poconos.

As mentioned, skiing two separate mountains in the same day is something I do rarely if ever and with the Wurzeralm/Hinterstoder exception given above: in the 3-ish hours I spent at each, I covered 90% of their on-piste skiing along with a handful of offpiste runs. The only way I could've improved on the experience would've been to have a local show me less obvious offpiste terrain. Therefore, I got a pretty good overview of them; ergo, they count as full days. OTOH, I counted Diavolezza/Lagalb as one day because I only did two T2B runs at Lagalb due to poor visibility and scratchy conditions as opposed to Diavolezza, which was in very good shape.

Tony Crocker

Staff member
jamesdeluxe":23pp5h1a said:
The only way I could've improved on the experience would've been to have a local show me less obvious offpiste terrain. Therefore, I got a pretty good overview of them; ergo, they count as full days.
That still doesn't answer the question of whether your end of season day count includes that experience as one ski day or two.

I didn't fully understand Patrick's examples but I agree with his conclusion:
Patrick":23pp5h1a said:
From 1 run to 12 hours of skiing = only count as 1 ski day.
I agree quantity is irrelevant, as where to draw that line would be a real rabbit hole. I think one of my combined days at Brighton/Solitude was over 30K, but that's still one ski day.

I suspect James and perhaps Patrick might want to answer the question, "How many days have you skied at Area X?" by counting each day as one even if part of that day was spent at another area. In my case, I place higher priority in making the numbers add up, and have so programmed my spreadsheet so I don't have to think about it anymore or make manual adjustments.

With the advent of Mountain Collective and Ikon, my allocation of half a day to each area skied in the same day makes even more sense. 21 of my LCC days since 2014 on those passes have been divided between Alta and Snowbird. Counting those as one day at each would be a significant and systematic overstatement. Lifetime I have 35 days split between 2 areas.


New member
There are many ski areas in Maine and British Columbia that are of interest; however, from where I live (15 minutes from EWR), traveling to the Alps is less onerous and a better fit for me culturally.


New member
I update at the end of season, but below is a manual edit of that with what I recall from this year. I'm sure I have the areas right, day counts in the 3rd column might be off in a few cases.


Active member
Here is a philosophical question for all you firsttrackers: would you rather ski one day each at 1000 different ski areas. The ski areas would be of mixed quality from grade A+ to grade D-. Or, would you rather ski 1000 days at one grade B quality ski area? Why?

My ski area count as of 2020: 95 ski areas
Alpine Meadows
Sierra at Tahoe
Squaw Valley

Arapahoe Basin
Aspen Highlands
Aspen Mtn
Beaver Creek
Copper Mtn
Crested Butte
Winter Park

Mt Abram
Sunday River


Wachusett Mtn

Big Sky

New Hampshire
Black Mtn
Cannon Mtn
Loon Mtn
Waterville Valley

New Mexico
Red River
Ski Santa Fe

New York
Gore Mtn
Hunter Mtn

Mt. Bachelor

Blue Knob (first place skied, Dec 1967)
Hidden Valley
Laurel Mtn
Liberty Mtn
Seven Springs
Ski Roundtop

Deer Valley
Park City
Powder Mtn

Mad River Glen
Magic Mtn
Mt Snow
Smugglers Notch
Stratton Mtn
Suicide Six

Bryce Mtn
Ski Cherokee (lost)
The Homestead

West Virginia
Canaan Valley

Grand Targhee
Jackson Hole

Lake Louise
Mt. Norquay


Le Massif
Mont Sainte Anne

Bad Hofgastein
Zell am See

Tony Crocker

Staff member
jimk":2ie0h2r9 said:
The ski areas would be of mixed quality from grade A+ to grade D-. Or, would you rather ski 1000 days at one grade B quality ski area? Why?
James and Patrick would make the first selection. Admin's track record leans the other way though obviously Alta is an A+ ski area. I would modify the second choice to "Do 100% of your skiing on a season pass at a grade B area you like." Many people opt for that choice to maximize ski time per $ spent and/or prefer the convenience of skiing within daytrip distance. The latter point was made loud and clear by several Easterners during the East vs. West threads a decade ago. I'll :stir: by contending that even James' Tier 1 eastern areas are not grade A's by international standards.

I'd want to know the distribution of the mixed quality. I'm obviously in the variety camp with my 241 ski area count but I have minimum standards. I'm not really interested in grade D ski areas. Grade C's are worth a day if I'm in the neighborhood or to break up a drive. Examples in my experience are Baldy B.C. between Red Mt. and Vancouver and Pomerelle between Salt Lake and Boise.

Grades can be on the basis of terrain/snow or both. Pajarito is a rather homogenous intermediate area in terms of terrain, more expansive version of Snow Summit. But being there on an uncontested powder day was a grade A experience. However that would be irrelevant at a molehill that is too short and too flat to ski powder.

The other issue is regional context. The interior Northwest is full of secondary but interesting areas. But the big areas, Red Mt., Schweitzer and Whitefish, are delightfully uncrowded by national standards, so it's hard to tear yourself away from those if you are in the region only occasionally. I'm more likely to check out a secondary area to avoid crowd situations in Utah or Colorado.

The upcoming season is likely to be the golden age of mom-and-pop skiing. The big name places could be quite unattractive:
1) Rationed skiing with tickets required far in advance like Thredbo. So much for chasing short notice powder.
2) Shuttle buses from remote parking lots (most Vail resorts). Aspen's outstanding public transit system might be considered a negative in the current COVID-19 context.
3) Gondolas and trams.
4) Crowd buildup in lift lines and indoor facilities. We can expect rationed skiing to limit this.

I have renewed my Ikon Pass but it is possible that Mammoth will only be worth skiing during the combination of midweek and shoulder seasons. I see our Iron Blosam timeshare week facing major obstacles without significant improvement in the virus situation:
1) How many of the large eastern contingent will be willing to fly?
2) Who will spend a week in a destination resort if there is ticket rationing and they don't know if they can ski every day? Some people speculate that guests lodging on-site might have ticket priority.
3) Our famous "mess hall" dinners of 30+ people in one condo are the antithesis of social distancing.


Active member
Good answer Tony.
I could go either way on the 1000 question. There have been periods in my life where I've been in the mode of skiing just one ski area 95% of the time. It was between my late teens and early 30s when my parents had a vacation home at a small but pretty good ski area in PA (Blue Knob). I guess I would rate that ski area as a C. It was sort of like a mini-Mad River Glen. It had enough challenging terrain to be pretty interesting to my young self. I have also done ski trips later in life for a week or two where I visited a different ski area every day, often moving between motels almost daily as well. Those kind of trips can be adventurous, but you return home exhausted. A life time of that would be very tiresome. Sort of like 50 first dates:)
About Covid, I am very disappointed that the virus infection rate hasn't eased in the summer months. I hope you are wrong with your prognosis of how next season will play out, but I suspect your are not far from what the reality will be unless we see a big vaccine breakthrough.