Where to Go for New Years?

DD arrived a bit later in the morning, tried to ski from canyon to main, she spent 1 hour waiting for ch 2.
With chairs 5 and 9 closed, chair 2 is the only way for people to reach the Main Lodge side of the mountain with better conditions starting from anywhere else. Snowman says people are skiing chair 5 terrain from the back of 3.

Adam drove to Mammoth Christmas Day and is driving home today; he said entries off the top were boney but good windbuff below. He did not mention lift lines but said groomers were excessively congested because terrain like Face of 3 and St. Anton were too shallow to groom. All 3 days he skied opening bell until noon but still 20K+ per day to minimize skier traffic degradation of the snow.

Mammoth is pushing the envelope this week with 114/176 trails listed open. I question whether half of acreage is skiable, and unlike most past history I do not find Mammoth's open acreage online anywhere. But no place on the West Coast is any better right now. The Northwest, both Cascades and interior, have had excessive rain vs. snow so far this season.
 
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With chairs 5 and 9 closed, chair 2 is the only way for people to reach the Main Lodge side of the mountain with better conditions starting from anywhere else. Snowman says people are skiing chair 5 terrain from the back of 3.

Adam drove to Mammoth Christmas Day and is driving home today; he said entries off the top were boney but good windbuff below. He did not mention lift lines but said groomers were excessively congested because terrain like Face of 3 and St. Anton were too shallow to groom. All 3 days he skied opening bell until noon to minimize skier traffic degradation of the snow.

Mammoth is pushing the envelope this week with 114/176 trails listed open. I question whether half of acreage is skiable, and unlike most past history I do not find Mammoth's open acreage online anywhere. But no place on the West Coast is any better right now. The Northwest, both Cascades and interior, have had excessive rain vs. snow so far this season.

But they're still charging $259/day walk up!
 
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But they're still charging $259/day walk up!
Vail, Beaver Creek and Steamboat have $299+tax window prices this week. Steamboat is 90% open and Vail 86%, but Beaver Creek only 43%.

History of Mammoth prices since start of MVP (base Ikon starting 2019) in 2001:
Season​
Window​
2000-2001
375​
55​
2001-2002
399​
2002-2003
399​
2003-2004
399​
2004-2005
425​
2005-2006
450​
70​
2006-2007
485​
78​
2007-2008
549​
2008-2009
576​
83​
2009-2010
556​
87​
2010-2011
639​
92​
2011-2012
659​
96​
2012-2013
609​
99​
2013-2014
679​
105​
2014-2015
689​
2015-2016
689​
135​
2016-2017
699​
149​
2017-2018
699​
2018-2019
599​
179​
2019-2020
649​
2020-2021
599​
2021-2022
649​
229​
2022-2023
719​
2023-2024
779​
259​

The ratio of season to window was between 6 and 7 days for all MVP seasons through 2014. In the Ikon era that ratio is around 3 days.

Seasons that start like this one reinforce the desire of ski operators to migrate as much business as possible to season passes.
 
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We leave on Sunday, skiing Monday through Thursday. Should be an adventure.

I have been to Alaska 3x for skiing incorporating Alyaska 2x and Chugach Powder Guides 2X - Snowcat 1 day and heli 1 day.

The water/mountain combination, but the ski area can have some isuues. Operating Schedules are funky - it still quite dark now 10-4 now. In April when days were longer they did not open until 11am. We had snow times but it was starting rot with an 11am start time.

The map puts a lot of color on it. They have names every corner. There very selective about opening traverses due to avy potential from above.
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For the North Face, they opened it up to NY/Christmas Chutes - which were exceptional. However just doing tram laps can waste vertical on the return trails.

It can have a Euro problem, too, with upper mountain treeless - combined with NW fog, it could be challenging. And lower slopes have potential for some rain so you get the Whistler effect (top challenging/bottom wet)

But I really like Alaska.


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I definitely was not inclined to try this Alaska rarity - Salmon flavored vodka.
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Alaska is a crapshoot. My first trip in late March 2007 is on the short list of best ski conditions of my life. No surprise I was lured to return 3x but with uninspiring conditions on all of them.

Like ChrisC, my effort to go there was as much for the heli time as the resort skiing. Nonetheless Alyeska was very impressive in March 2007. It would never have occurred to me to consider Alyeska as a "family resort," due to limited beginner/intermediate terrain and potential for the "Whistler sandwich" of bad vis above and rain down low with only half Whistler's vertical. Perhaps socal will prove me wrong on that.
 
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I’ll add more but I agree with much of what you guys said. Definitely not a lot of beginner, which is ok for us now. Lots of intermediate doesn’t seem open and the top was difficult with flat light a lot of the day. It was fun, kids had fun. I’ll get a chance to ski the north face tomorrow which looks interesting and there seems to be a traverse back to Glacier rather than having to go all the way down.

Bottom 1/3rd isn’t great snow. Overall better than going to Jackson for the 5th time and having bad conditions. We have an ikon and the kids had the week off so it’ll work out to be fun regardless.

We skied 1030-330 then did a run back to the hotel around 5. Odd hours is true. Open till 8.

We did get some great views today.
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there seems to be a traverse back to Glacier rather than having to go all the way down.
Not my recollection. North Face is a sustained 30+ degree fall line for at least the upper 2/3 of its 2,000 vertical. But that tram back up is fast, about a 5 minute ride.
flat light a lot of the day
That probably comes with the territory at Alyeska's latitude and time of year. I get plenty of bad light during many of my trips to the Great Gray North.
 
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Not my recollection. North Face is a sustained 30+ degree fall line for at least the upper 2/3 of its 2,000 vertical. But that tram back up is fast, about a 5 minute ride.

The tram is amazing. It is mostly walk onto your own private car. My first time there was in March 2007, and it was dumping, but you could still see enough. A similar lift at Snowbird, Jackson, and Big Sky would not work that way.

I had two resort days where it was dumping on/off - and one cat day since the heli could not fly any of the 3 days.
 
I will be at ayleska in June for a wedding. Plan on fishing and hiking if weather permits.

I like visiting the national parks and Kenai

Hiking to the Exit Glacier could be a good day. Link and Link

If you have more time, you can do more Harding Icefield - you certainly have the daylight!! Link

Also, one food recommendation for Alaska (besides obvious King Crab) is Copper River Salmon. It is a cold, long river near Valdez, so the Salmon contains extra fatty reserves. Any species is great but King is the most prized.
 
I like visiting the national parks and Kenai

Hiking to the Exit Glacier could be a good day. Link and Link

If you have more time, you can do more Harding Icefield - you certainly have the daylight!! Link

Also, one food recommendation for Alaska (besides obvious King Crab) is Copper River Salmon. It is a cold, long river near Valdez, so the Salmon contains extra fatty reserves. Any species is great but King is the most prized.
Thanks for the suggestions...I am a big fan of copper river salmon..I have fished in AK , caught a ton of salmon but not the prized King..
 
My first time there was in March 2007, and it was dumping, but you could still see enough. A similar lift at Snowbird, Jackson, and Big Sky would not work that way.

I had two resort days where it was dumping on/off - and one cat day since the heli could not fly any of the 3 days.
That's quite parallel with my first trip, though ChrisC's response to one my posts was that he was there in March 2004. My dates were March 22-27, dumped the first two days, one in the cat and one at Alyeska. Then second day Alyeska, heli probably best ski day of my life, second day in the cat and third day at Alyeska.
 
My dates were March 22-27, dumped the first two days, one in the cat and one at Alyeska.

Hmmmm. I had to go look this up and find my photos.

I was there at the same time: March 25, 26, and 27th, 2004. I think I had heli-day standbys and one cat day.

Likely road the tram with you. And in one of the cat groups, if not yours.

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Christmas and New Years Couloirs
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Private North Face
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New Years Couloir
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Thanks for the suggestions...I am a big fan of copper river salmon..I have fished in AK , caught a ton of salmon but not the prized King..

I have never fished in the Pacific outside of Cabo - where a morning allowed for a booty of 2 marlin (released), 2 dolphin fish and a school of tuna. The best fishing I ever had. Our crew kept the remainder to sell, and we cooked up a dolphin and tuna that a restaurant had prepared for us.


I was not aware you could market Salmon by River until living in Seattle. Or there were differences.

I think they try only to allow Copper River salmon to be fished/harvested by the Native Americans.

A permit is required, and only one permit will issued to a household in a calendar year. Salmon may be taken with either a dip net or a fish wheel, but only one type of gear can be specified on a permit. Only Alaska residents can participate in this subsistence salmon fishery.



Full legalese:

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The last two days were powder days with the snow line being just below the bottom of Chair 6, Glacier Express. It wasn’t ideal since my 7year isn’t quite ready to ski powder in a whiteout or super flat light he was happy skiing the lower mountain even in the rain 🤷‍♂️. My 9 year old was able to lap Glacier express but struggled at times with the visibility and today with the snow being too deep. They had fun both days but today was the day for me, it alternated between “bluebird” and skiing in a cloud with basically no visibility.

The north face really only opens from just above the Tram, Chuck’s gate and below and you can catch a traverse at Spoonline back to Glacier but you only get to ski about 700 feet or so of the top.

I bought a GoPro but haven’t figured out editing. GoPro has a simple app, here’s the edit it basically created for me. Link below, I couldn’t figure out how to embed.

Video From the Day

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