Beartown

Chasing the dragon
Skier
Posts
243
Hey guys-

just looking to the hive mind for ideas. I have six days off coming up and am looking to head somewhere out west to ski. Based on current conditions, where would you go? Probably skiing four days, so I could endure longer travel times to get where I need to go. I've been thinking about this for a while, but wanted to wait until after thanksgiving to make a more informed decision. Based on historical data, was leaning toward Alta/Snowbird, but Alta's not open yet, and Snowbird has suspended operations after one day due to poor conditions. Banff looks good to me with reasonable base levels and ongoing snow, along with lots of open terrain at Sunshine and LL. Targhee seems to have the best overall conditions, but I'm headed there in January. What am I missing out there? All ideas appreciated. Thanks!
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
Skier
AFAIK the current mild spell that has hit B.C also extends to Banff. I can confirm that current conditions at Sun Peaks are ugly. The Rockies (aka Banff) could be worse as they don't call them the Rocky Mountains for nothing.
So in conclusion, don't go anywhere near western Canada unless it snows one or two storms prior to your planned visit.
 

allgash

Booting up
Skier
Posts
43
Location
East Coast
You've already mentioned Targhee. Jackson at the upper elevations has been doing well, and they're projected to get 10" over the next 5 days. Big Sky has a 20" base at the lower elevations and 30+" near the summit. Sun Valley might not be a bad choice either.

Mammoth?
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
Skier

David Chaus

Epic & Ikon because I’m indecisive. Or am I?
Skier
Posts
2,427
Location
Stanwood, WA
We have been getting rain in PNW and BC since Tuesday. The settled base at Baker is more like 45” right now, 65” on top.

That said, most forecasts indicate cooling Sunday afternoon and returning to normal patterns of cooler temperatures and snowfall. My guess is that a week from now, Crystal and Baker will be looking pretty good, as well as Whistler. Crystal should have enough terrain open to keep you busy for several days, more so at Whistler.

When the alpine opens at Whistler is another story.
 

Jilly

Lead Cougar
Skier
I don't know where you got that idea. The map below shows none of the lifts in the Alpine are open.
https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/mountain-info/snow-report#lifts-and-trails.

The freezing level is 1700m, predicted to go to 2000m by tomorrow. So new precip will be snow in the still closed Alpine and skiing in the rain on the rest of the mountain, and probably downloading on the lower lifts at the end of the day.:drool:
Lady Salina's facebook posts??

Watching the racing from Lake Louise....doesn't look too bad either for November.
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
Skier
I haven't checked Lady Salina's facebook but I know enough about Whistler to know that if Whistlerites are talking powder it is not always the light fluffy stuff and when they talk about a powder day it means that they got one or two runs before it was completely skied out trash.:duck:(I just realized that I would probably get a lot more "Likes" if the preceding emoji wasn't my most often used).
 

TonyC

Contact me at bestsnow.net
Pass Pulled
Posts
679
Location
Glendale, CA
Targhee is the safest choice. That rain event was intense and widespread, even reached Targhee to a mild degree, which has a reported crusty surface on its 57-inch base. But it will only take a little new snow to fix that. And Targhee is 100% open on 2,000 acres. Jackson is only 11% open as at least 2/3 of its terrain is lower than Targhee's base and it's a steeper mountain requiring more coverage..

The Whistler and Mt. Baker bases were reduced from 6 feet to 4 feet by the rain. Crystal's base was reduced to 2 feet, which is marginal for a mountain that steep. Whistler has 2,000 acres open on the current mixed conditions. Going forward the storms will be mostly snow in the alpine. Whistler should have the best skiing in North America in early December when the alpine is open, not so much if it isn't.

DanoT is spoiled by the low skier density at many interior B.C. resorts. But December skiers can't be choosy. You have to go to the places that have the most snow on the ground and will thus have the most acreage open including some advanced terrain.

I was at Mammoth Tuesday/Wednesday. It rained a little bit Monday, not affecting the snowpack but definitely affecting surfaces. With warm weather it was mostly spring conditions but the shaded upper steeps remained hardpack. The 6-9 inches expected Sunday will restore surfaces and packed powder skiing on a mix of terrain over 1,000 acres. It will take considerably more snow to expand upon those 1,000 acres, as lower terrain got mostly rain during the big storm 10 days ago. Squaw and Mt. Rose each have about 600 acres open above 8,000 feet.

I'll defer to local input on Banff/Lake Louise. It normally remains cold enough not to rain from these Pineapple Express storms there. Base depths are a bit under 3 feet and the areas are about half open. The Banff areas and Crystal are liberal about opening runs in low tide conditions so you want to watch base depths at those places.

Wolf Creek is like that too, so it's reporting 60% open but the 12-14 inch base tells the real story. Don't even think about advance booking anywhere in Utah or Colorado for the first half of December. Alta is not open yet and Vail is 1% open, huge red flags.

I updated my Season Progress Report yesterday: http://bestsnow.net/seas18.htm
 
Last edited:

noncrazycanuck

Getting off the lift
Skier
Posts
522
Whistler is still early season .
downloading required, the alpine needs more coverage and slope control before opening.
Expect those lifts will start opening very soon but its never announced when. Normally they concentrate on getting one extra lift open at a time .
Crystal just opened today
Pretty good skiing mid hill, 70+ runs open 13 lifts running . Possibly more open terrain than anywhere else.
 

Bill Miles

Old Man Groomer Zoomer
Skier
Posts
385
Location
Hailey, Idaho
I was going to mention Mammoth doing pretty well but Tony already did.

Somebody mentioned Sun Valley. We have three snowmakin/ groomer routes open top to bottom on the River Run side. The warm weather and a little rain has hindered snowmaking, but it is cooling off and a few more runs should open soon. Don't count on any non-snowmaking runs anytime soon.
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
Skier
With 500 snow guns I was as well thinking that if it just gets a little colder then Sun Valley might be a good early season choice.
 

noncrazycanuck

Getting off the lift
Skier
Posts
522
Whistler/Blackcomb also has a lot of snow making, over 700 guns.
but they are almost always on groomers or ski outs early and late season .
skiing those groomed runs on man made snow is not a selling point.
It is November
 

tam

Getting off the lift
Industry Insider
Posts
203
Lake Louise is skiing good, just got off the hill. Groomers are firm and not so nice if groomers are your thing, but backside was skiing nice... good coverage for November, wind is helping fill in the back, lots of terrain open.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Beartown

Beartown

Chasing the dragon
Skier
Posts
243
All right folks! Thanks for all the input/perspective. I waded through all the available data via resort websites, etc. I scoured the weather prediction sites. I compared flight, hotel, car/shuttle prices for the various options. I looked at all my future travel plans for the season. Aaaaaaaaaaand...

Banff it is! I got a free ticket to YYC (thank you Delta Amex!). I found a nice hotel on Banff Ave for $100 USD/night. 5 Day SUV rental for $230. Mountain Collective in hand (along with their new policy treating LL and SSV as separate destinations) means I ski free the whole time! Then I talked a buddy into joining me, so I'm doing the whole thing for like $400. Time to get stoked!!!
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
Skier
All right folks! Thanks for all the input/perspective. I waded through all the available data via resort websites, etc. I scoured the weather prediction sites. I compared flight, hotel, car/shuttle prices for the various options. I looked at all my future travel plans for the season. Aaaaaaaaaaand...

Banff it is! I got a free ticket to YYC (thank you Delta Amex!). I found a nice hotel on Banff Ave for $100 USD/night. 5 Day SUV rental for $230. Mountain Collective in hand (along with their new policy treating LL and SSV as separate destinations) means I ski free the whole time! Then I talked a buddy into joining me, so I'm doing the whole thing for like $400. Time to get stoked!!!
Sounds like a good choice, just bring your rock skis 'cause it is called The Rockies.
 

TonyC

Contact me at bestsnow.net
Pass Pulled
Posts
679
Location
Glendale, CA
Crystal just opened today
Crystal was open Nov. 17 with a 24-44 inch base.
Pretty good skiing mid hill, 70+ runs open 13 lifts running . Possibly more open terrain than anywhere else.
Crystal's website today says 5 lifts, 11-30 inch base and recommends downloading the gondola due to minimal snow at the bottom. SnoCountry says 31 of 57 trails. That's definitely not more terrain open than Targhee, Mammoth, Whistler, Lake Louise or Sunshine.
 
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