Thursday, October 4, 2007

And more from SKI Magazine

Okay, so I've already covered how I feel about SKI's "reader's poll" results from the west, but I'm not done. Who knows? This may be ongoing, but quite frankly, it's taken me longer to sift through the pages as other ski magazines that have come out with their own rankings and ratings have MUCH more viability.

Nonetheless, I think we should talk about the rankings for the east. I guess I don't have too much of a problem with Mont Tremblant at number 1. They've got great lifts, over 2K in vert, and Intrawest has poured a ton of money into making this a destination resort, but the rest of the rankings are seemingly meant to be pleasing to a wide audience instead of catching the vibe of the skiers and riders.

Don't get me wrong, Smuggler's Notch is a great resort with good trees, out-of-bounds, vert, and their famous family program, but #2 in the east? Apparently the voters skipped skiing anywhere that has been updated in the last 30 years. I'm not saying that new is better and quite frankly don't like over-crowded slopes, but with that much vert, you can't rely on old double-chairs - Too slow and too cold. Having these types of lifts serving expert terrain is great, but when they are your primary people movers... Yikes!

Second, I think it's pitiful that Holiday Valley, NJ was included. Is there a really good reason why they have to throw a mid-Atlantic area in there each year and put it above places like Sugarloaf and Killington? No. It's absurd. I don't care how good your nightlife is, 750 feet of vert doesn't compare and it doesn't matter how far you spread it out.

As for the other areas that were included, you can probably mix them around each year as favorites are subjective, but they have to make some sense. The Bretton Woods golf course doesn't cut unless you are a beginner or intermediate. It's great if you are, but variety is key and BW doesn't have it. They do get props for lifts and views though.

And now to get really subjective. Yes, I'm from Maine and grew up skiing Sugarloaf and Sunday River, but I ski everywhere and that being said, have a really hard time with Sunday River being left off when places like Holiday Valley and Bretton Woods are considered the best. To rank Holiday Valley higher than Sugarloaf is basically spitting in the face of people who actually go to a place to ski or ride. And Sunday River's variety, snow making, and grooming can't be ignored.

That's all for now, but check back after I've read a few more pages.

Think Snow!!!