Featured Best dirtbag ski areas

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by Analisa, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Getting off the lift Skier

    May 2, 2017
    Sounds about right to me except I have no problem with the bush besides expensive lodging. Magic, Ragged, and Cannon have the laid back attitude.

    Now that I think about it Cannon should be up there on the list besides old men in long underwear,
  2. wyowindrunner

    wyowindrunner Getting on the lift Skier

    Aug 26, 2016
    Ditto Bad Bob's comments above. That's the way it is in Idaho (Sun Valley excepted of course). Carhart bibs and and Klim Jackets are plentiful at Kelly Canyon. Some pics taken from the chair this afternoon about 2:30 after a foot of new. Snowing and windy at the top. Maybe two dozen folks skiing counting three-four patrollers. Kids show up about five after school lets out for night skiing. Passed a pile headed up on my way home.
    Bad Bob and Snowfan like this.
  3. pipestem

    pipestem Booting up Skier

    Nov 8, 2018
    I would like to add the Canaan Valley of WV to this list. Timberline and CV State Park ski areas have fixed grips, gaps in snow making, back-country access, and the most chill vibes. White Grass touring area in between is basically Grateful Dead does skiing. You can camp at the state park of course. (Timberline is so badly chill they are taking this year off). Then go north aways and branch off to Blue Knob state park, more of the same.

    Also, did I read that Ski Cooper is now an expensive ticket - really ? seriously ? That's killing me.

    Stevens Pass is a candidate. Nice fixed grip double to the top. Love it there. Mostly quality facilities though. Great bar scene.
  4. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister--Big Sky Moderator Team Gathermeister

    Feb 9, 2016
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I don't think so... adult full day is $56, and some online deals for some mid-week days that we closer to $30.

    Copper on the other hand, is over $150 walkup rate. Maybe that's what you're thinking of.
  5. pipestem

    pipestem Booting up Skier

    Nov 8, 2018
    ok i went back and found the quote. Not that alarming yet.
    Liftopia has Copper at $85, regular painful. Other than the bus from the parking lot not really dirtbag in anyway.
    $150 and I am probably going back to Frisco touring center.

  6. DanoT

    DanoT RVer-Skier Skier

    Nov 12, 2015
    Sun Peaks B.C. in winter, Victoria B.C. in summer
    I have just got to mention Castle Mountain again as it is even more anti Whistler than Whitewater (WH20 last year replaced the Summit double chair with a fixed grip quad and built a new lodge for ski school and admin offices}. The nearby town for WH20 is Nelson, the hippie capital of Canada.

    Castle`s nearby town of Pincer Creek is a farming/ranching town. No ski bums and a hardware store that looks like something out of the 1950s. There is a Best Western hotel.

    Pincer Creek is the windmill capital of Canada so sometimes at Castle the wind moves things around at night and you are skiing fresh wind sift and the moguls have disappeared, or there just aren`t enough skiers to create moguls. On upper mountain chairlift wind hold days...Fernie is 2 hours away.

    I have been there skiing boot top to shin deep, 3 feet away from an exposed rock ridge and the pow I was skiing used to cover the ridge. The wind can do some scouring so sometimes stumps and bushes that should be well covered can instead be lurking only a few inches from the surface. For this reason I do not recommend skiing Castle if the snow coverage is only adequate or less.

    I like to tell people that Castle Mt. is the greatest mountain in North America that you have never heard of. It should be on every serious skier`s bucket list and here is why:

    There are 4 chairlifts, one for beginners, one for intermediates and 2 stacked chairs that offer 1400 vert each. Off the top chair it is a lot like Snowbird`s Road to Provo where can drop in off a cat track to a number of runs, except at Castle the cat track goes in both directions. As you go farther out you loose vert but the cat track at the end of the runs is a fast return to the lower lift. The upper lift has one blue square run, the rest are black and double black. Castle relies a lot on mid week day visits from school groups, mostly from Lethbridge 1.5 hours away. The grade school kids are not allowed on the upper chairlift.

    Castle needs just over 100k annual skier visits to break even and some years they don`t get it. However the mountain owns the sewer and water system for the collection of RVs, townhomes, cabins, and hostel (dorm and private rooms) and that revenue makes up the shortfall.

    There is a cat skiing operation adjacent to the mountain offering mostly intermediate type terrain whereas skiing the resort itself with its lack of skiers is more like cat skiing.
    I once showed up at Castle on a Sunday evening after a 3 week no new snow cold snap just ended. It snowed 8" overnight and there was all of a dozen people lined at the lift on Monday morning.

    All of the former overnight RV plug in spots are now rented out by the season. Non plug-in overnight parking is allowed for a fee and you get access to the staff washroom/shower building. The last time that I was there I just drove back down the access road and stayed at a snowmobile staging area, complete with outhouse for dumping my truck camper`s porta-potti.

    Some of the above info was obtained a few years ago from the guy plowing the parking lot whose is one of 125 associate owners. The owners like Castle just the way it is an have no major development plans.

    Edit: Lift tickets are $95CDN or about $70+/- US.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  7. Scotch

    Scotch At the base lodge Skier

    Feb 2, 2019
    If you're someone like me who doesn't make it out enough to warrant a season's pass, Castle's Wonders of Winter (WoW) card ($79) is awesome. I now have direct-to-lift with %50 off every lift ticket this season. Less than $50 for a day of skiing is a gift these days.
    DanoT likes this.
  8. SSSdave

    SSSdave life is short precious ...don't waste it Skier

    Sep 12, 2017
    Silicon Valley
    Over the first 3 thread web pages, searched areas in The West with XXX ski area lift tickets
    Then looked at XXX resort website adult 1 day lift ticket and recorded below. Of course many have other discounts tickets lower than the below as on Liftopia. Three resorts had no website. Someone else might work on page 4 and beyond. Of course some of the resorts offered are not very dirt bag like at all as one gets further down the list into more expensive lift ticket prices and that is why I investigated since some here may be recalling visits a long time ago.

    Anthony Lakes $40
    Kelly Canyon $42
    Lost Trail $46
    Bluewood $47
    Pebble Creek $47
    Discovery $49
    Snowy Range $49

    Beaver Mt $50
    Soda Springs $50
    Montana Snowbowl $50
    Ashland $52
    Mt. Hood Skibowl $55
    Echo Mtn $55
    Silver Mountain $57

    Bridger Bowl $63
    Bogus Basin $64
    Sunlight $65
    Mt Baker $67
    White Pass $69

    Brundage $70
    Powderhorn $71
    Wolf Creek $72
    Donner Ski Ranch $75
    Loveland $79

    Whitefish $81
    Powder Mountain $82
    Brighton $83
    Monarch $89
    Purgatory $89

    Grand Targhee $90
    Arapahoe Basin $101
    Taos $110
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
    Slim, tball, Sibhusky and 3 others like this.
  9. SShore

    SShore Resident Curmudgeon Skier

    Nov 12, 2015
    Maverick Mountain in Polaris MT. Your description fits this place to the tee. Purchased last year by a couple that use to race, everyone knows everyone, lots of old timers and local kids in their race program and only a few hours from Bozeman. Plus, there is Polaris Hot Springs right there for a nice soak after skiing.
    Sibhusky and Bad Bob like this.
  10. DoryBreaux

    DoryBreaux Friend for Hire on Powder Days Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

    Nov 13, 2015
    Having more fun than you
    I'm convinced that, if you've skied Baker, nothing will ever come close. Lots of good suggestions in here though.
    Or just buy a sled and be done with it.
  11. Posaune

    Posaune sliding Skier

    Mar 26, 2016
    I ski Baker many times per season and have since the early 90s when I moved to B'ham. To say nothing will come close seems a bit much. While it's a unique place, it's dirtbag status is really poor compared to some other places I've experienced, especially in Montana. It gets way too many skier visits, and the lodges are much too nice to be truly hard core dirtbag. There are lots of dirtbags that ski and board there, however.
    Bad Bob and Sibhusky like this.
  12. DoryBreaux

    DoryBreaux Friend for Hire on Powder Days Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

    Nov 13, 2015
    Having more fun than you
    Fair enough. I guess it's such a change from the anti-bag (at least of the dirt kind :eek::D) areas that I am used to.
  13. noncrazycanuck

    noncrazycanuck Getting off the lift Skier

    Apr 27, 2017
    it's not really dirt bag since they relocated/sanitized the old Gunbarell's Saloon and eliminated the Poma but Apex outside Penticton is still by far the least developed and crowded of the Okanogan hills.
    probably also has the highest percentage of challenging runs in region.

    Mt Baldy outside Ossoyous and Gibson Pass in Manning Park are even less developed but they don't have as much technical terrain

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