The List

Criteria

  • At least 1300′ vertical.
  • At least 250 acres of terrain.  This tends to matter more for North-eastern areas because resorts in the Northeast have narrower trails and heavy trees, cutting down on acreage.
  • At least 180-inches of natural snowfall.  There are a couple of exceptions to this for places we chose in the Northeast US where snowmaking is king, but in general we would rather ski on natural snow.
  • At least 2 ski “pods”, or areas served by distinct lifts.  No “one-lift covers the whole mountain” places unless it is really unique (La Grave, France comes to mind with a 6000′ vertical rise lift).
  • Has to have some challenging terrain.  Skiing is an adventure and for us we need some steep stuff to get the blood pumping.  Trail ratings are not consistent across different resorts, so a lot of research was done by reading reviews and watching Youtube videos of people skiing down the most challenging runs at each candidate resort.  Resorts like Okemo and Stratton were taken off the list for this reason.  If an intermediate skier can ski the double-black terrain it’s not on the list.

After qualifying resorts based on stats, we poured over trail maps and resort reviews to cut the list down to a more manageable 100 resorts.  There are over 600 resorts in North America, so this was not easy.  Most of the places we chose were somewhat known to us already from reading articles in the ski mags or talking to people on the mountain.  In the end, this list is what we think are the best, but not everyone will agree.

Why is my favorite resort not on the list?

There are a few resorts that by stats would seem to qualify, but which we eliminated due to various factors including accessibility, aging facilities, strange mountain layout, poor management, or previous experience that wasn’t good.

 

Here’s a map showing all 100.  The red markers are the ones that are already done.

West Coast – 25

Rockies & Interior BC – 63

Northeast -12

  • Cannon Mountain, NH
  • Jay Peak, VT
  • Killington/Pico, VT
  • Le Massif, QC
  • Mad River Glen, VT
  • Mont Sainte Anne, QC
  • Mont Tremblant, QC
  • Smugglers Notch, VT
  • Stowe, VT
  • Sugarbush, VT
  • Sugarloaf, ME
  • Whiteface, NY

Other places we’ve skied 

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