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LbirdFor early season parks, Timberline is open just about year round so they are usually pretty good. If you're on Hood for a pow day I would recommend heading for skibowl or meadows. Theres not a lot of urban to be found around hood or portland, but you can get sendy on the burnside stairs like freed if thats how you're feelin
pcurran871Wasn't planning on heading up to Hood until March time but how much is an early season pass at timberline?
LbirdI don't think they do early season passes, but if you're coming up in March a spring pass is 99 bucks
pcurran871Yea I was planning on getting a spring pass, just wasn't sure when the spring pass usually starts/ ends?
FunnelMammoth, Boreal, and Timberline are the first with parks on the West Coast. I'd recommend buying a Cali4nia lift-only pass right now while it's on sale (no blackout dates). With access to Bear, Snow Summit, and Mammoth you can ski just those 3 and never get tired of the parks. Mammoth also goes from early November to late May or June without issue. Don't go to Bear or Snow Summit on a weekend but midweek you'll ski right onto the chair. Mammoth may have the best park lifts in the country, so 3-4 hours in Main will feel like going bell to bell.
Also, buy the Mountain Collective pass and go catch some powder too. And if you want to stay a little longer at a resort, all of the remaining tickets are 1/2 off window price.
Small mountains with good park setups: Just went to Brighton in Utah for the first time and their setup was sweet. Schweitzer in northern Idaho has reasonable tickets and a good park setup by mid-January.
Also, I would consider Mt. Bachelor over Hood if you're on a limited budget. There's good terrain there, the snow is better, Bend is awesome, and it's not as flat as T-Line. One pass at bachelor combines all the best parts of Hood.
For powder, I would post up in SLC and you can chase it easily from there. Use powderchasers.com for forecasts and you can easily decide between Tetons, Wasatch, Rockies, or Sierras. If you're confined to in-bounds skiing, consider Grand Targhee instead of Jackson Hole for long-lasting fresh turns. Utah and Wyoming are your best bets for consistent good snow.
Hopefully this helps, I think I went on a but of a tangent haha.
Brocka_FlockaAlpine Meadows. That is all
Squaw and alpine are easily the two best powder day mountains I have ever skied on...Whistler may be close though.
Just the ease of access to some insane terrain, inbounds and/or within a short hike, is mindblowing. Anything from 100+ft cliffs to full steeps with slough, etc. If you're willing to hike out a bit you can get freshies on some pretty insane terrain.
MUCH harder to access this in summit county and usually requires way more hiking. Not that the resorts there are bad.
Peter.tahoe area has a great mix of everything, from park to gnarly terrain. squaw/alpine for terrain, northstar for park
Brocka_FlockaAlpine Meadows. That is all
KravtZAgreed..just saying very few regions in the country can rival the access of Squaw valley for that type of insane inbounds / side country. Good parks can be found anywhere.
I'd pick a mountain based on the actual mountain...not the park. Squaw/alpine (tahoe area in general), whistler / bc, SLC.
Summit county is sick but the terrain is way harder to access
dan4060I do hope the OP gets to hit Squaw/Alpine. I did my ski bum half decade at Squaw and I absolutely loved it. Insane steeps and cliffs. On a pow day it is nuts, and even on regular days you can find great steep turns for windbuff, slush, bumps, often all in the same day. It has an absurd amount of steep terrain.
I also love Alpine, which just might be the most underrated mountain for steeps in the U.S. I would rather ski Alpine than anywhere in Colorado except maybe Crested Butte and Sliverton, although Silverton goes in another category.
The only problem for the OP will be that Squaw/Alpine are not either the Epic or the Cali4nia, and lift tickets are very expensive. Season passes are cheap but it sounds like he will be spending enough on passes. Still, if he is in California it might make sense to hit up Squaw/Alpine for a day. Arguably the best skiing in the U.S. as far as I'm concerned, although I have not been to Jackson. March is a great month and it is only 3-4 hours from Mammoth.
pcurran871Definitely will go to Squaw/ Alpine for a few days at least! Its been on my list for a long time! Also A basin is on the epic pass so that is probably where I will go early season. Will also spend some time at Tahoe since its on the epic pass and I have friends there.
I think the Cali4nia lift only pass is a little too much for me to stretch to after I have the Epic and mountain collective passes. I would rather keep the money for a few day tickets at other resorts like Squaw.