Who’s Had Better Skiing Lately, East Coast or West Coast?

Who’s Had Better Skiing Lately, East Coast or West Coast?

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Who’s Had Better Skiing Lately, East Coast or West Coast?

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Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 12.27.07 PM
If I asked this question during the 2010/2011 season, I would have never heard the end of it.

However, with some seriously lackluster years for the Sierra Nevada and Pacific Northwest and some banger years for the North East, the question is being raised. Who’s had better skiing lately, East Coast or West Coast? (The Central Rockies are excluded from this competition as well as Canadian resorts. Everything West of Sun Valley is included as West Coast and everything East of Mt. Brighton is considered East Coast… sorry TJ)

11174334_10152828400782876_1855809899740546429_oImage from Sunday River

Snow

As of late, snowfall on the East Coast has been plentiful. Instead of massive temperature swings that normally create conditions that justify the nickname, “the ice coast,” this past year saw huge single-storm snowfalls, followed by cold weather. This consistent weather provided for some especially deep days at Sugarloaf, Jay Peak, Sunday River, and Stowe among others. Jay Peak received 373’’ whereas Mammoth Mountain (which has a longer season) received 160’’. Maybe next year’s El Nino trend will get the West Coast back on track.

W- East Coast

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Number Of Ski Areas

New York has the most Ski Areas in the country with 50 in the state alone. California leads the West Coast with 29.

Winner: East Coast

Whiteface-Mountain-AerialImage of Whiteface, NY via nyskiblog.com

Vertical Drops

This one is a no brainer… kinda. Officially, Whiteface retains a vertical drop of 3,216 vertical feet but it’s beaten out by Timberline, which boasts 3,690 vertical feet. Although the drop at Whiteface is impressive, it’s also deceiving. Whiteface only has a maximum of 750 acres of skiable terrain versus Timberline that has 1500 acres.

Winner: West Coast

5221853585_3e3a794795_b (1)Image From Stateofthebackcountry.com

Backcountry

Although the backcountry on the east coast looked pretty tasty this year, the West Coast offers much more access at higher elevations, which make all the difference in the world. Also factor in such destinations as Mt. Shasta, the surrounding Tahoe backcountry, Crater Lake, Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Hood, and Ski mountaineering objectives such as Mt. Rainier and this one’s a no brainer. Sorry Mt. Washington, you’re a rowdy little gem but you’re still just one mountain.

Winner: West Coast

5209907362_911582fb44_b (1)Image from UnofficialSquaw.com

Steeps

The steeps on the West Coat have only seen a handfull of days this past season. However, those few days beat any day on the east coast for steeps. Sorry East Coast.

Winner: West Coast

10862432_10152672641782382_3932919265091905434_oImage from Stowe Mountain Resort

Trees

With snow aplenty, the East Coast has had some awesome tree skiing from Stowe to Mad River Glen. And with resorts like Mt. Baker closing its doors in early March due to insufficient coverage, I have to go with the places where you can ski in the trees without hitting a stump and breaking your femur.

Winner: East Coast

radioron_flagImage From skitheeast.net

Skiing Icons

Although Radio Ron is a strong component of East Coast ski culture, the West Coast hosts the majority of ski icons in the country with the like of Jonny Moseley, the Mahre Family, The Gaffneys, and countless other pros, filmers, and plain old rippers. The West wins this battle easily.

Winner:West Coast

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Ski Towns

With Truckee, Bellingham, and Bend competing against the likes of Stowe, Waitsfield, Warren, and Burlington, it’s a close race. However, Truckee and Bend alone give this win to the West Coast.

Winner: West Coast

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.02.05 AMImage from Sunday River / Northstar

Park Scene

Although Sunday River hosts the Dumont cup, Timberline hosts park skiing year around on the Palmer Snowfield. It’s hard to argue with year round park skiing.

Winner: West Coast

And The Winner Is…..

West Coast: 6  East Coast: 3

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