I don’t care how much you love powder, bumps or chutes, there are times when nothing inspires so much as ripping perfect corduroy.
In the spirit of finding North America’s best groomed runs, Liftopia.com and I put requests on social media for skiers and riders to share their favorites.
Our sample was totally random, totally unscientific, but we got some great information and we invite everyone to add to this list.
Sunday River, Maine Tops Them All
Sunday River, with 800+ acres spread across 8 mountain peaks, has a wealth of great runs. Favorites among our respondents are American Express, Rogue Angel (both blue runs), Lollapalooza (a green run) and Monday Mourning, a black-to-blue run that is often reserved for race training.
Right behind Sunday River was Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Resort. Again, while Stowe has plenty of fun groomed terrain, Gondolier received the most votes, with one woman calling it “my favorite run to fly down.”
Snowshoe, West Virginia: Ripping in the Mid-Atlantic
Tucked into the mountains of West Virginia, Snowshoe has a lot of loyal fans and when they ski fast, they ski Shay’s Revenge and Cupp Run. At about 1500 vertical feet, these are two of the longest runs at Snowshoe and are located in an area of advanced terrain, so there is no need (as one person put it) “to dodge beginners or intermediates who think they are ready for black runs.”
Sun Valley: An American Classic
For immaculately groomed terrain and classic western skiing it seems Sun Valley is the place. Two groomers were especially popular: Upper and Lower College and Warm Springs.
Upper College is recommended for the views down into Ketchum. More of a challenge, Warm Springs is a long leg-burner at 2.5 miles long and 3000 vertical feet. Plus, it has what one person called “the straightest, truest fall line imaginable.”
High up in the San Juan mountains of Southwestern Colorado the views go on forever. We recommend you don’t miss one of Colorado’s best and most beautiful groomed runs, See Forever at Telluride. With views of the surrounding San Juan peaks, the distant mountains of southern Utah and the town of Telluride in the valley below, the hardest thing about skiing See Forever is keeping your eyes on the snow.
While I’ve never skied Ski Santa Fé, Gayway, a popular New Mexico run, was shouted out for similar reasons: great grooming and beautiful views.
Canada East to West: Tremblant and Whistler
Algonquin at Tremblant is described as “a very easy, wide, long and beautiful green run.” It’s a favorite with a split personality. Left ungroomed after storms, the run transforms from a fast groomer to an “experts only” playground.
Home of the Men’s Downhill during the Vancouver Olympics, Whistler Blackcomb’s Dave Murray, is a steep black diamond racer, that’s a must-ski for anyone who loves ski competition and North America’s Olympic heritage.
Even Further North: Alyeska, Alaska
In most cases, it seems that the best groomed runs, or at least the most memorable and popular, have tremendous views.
That is certainly true for Silvertip at Alyeska, Alaska. Like many runs at Alyeska, the views from mountain top to sea level are stunning. Described as a blue run from the resort’s summit, Silvertip is “easy and wide with breathtaking views of Turnagain Arm, part of the Cook Inlet.”
What’s Your Pleasure? Help Us Build the List!
As I said, there was nothing scientific about the way this list was compiled. So join in and share your favorite groomed runs — from anywhere in North America.
Portions of this post originally published at Liftopia.com on November 7, 2014. Also many thanks to the Ski Divas at theskidiva.com forum who are always helpful and willing to share their opinions! Cheers.
- The Biggest, Best Ski Lift Views in North America, April 4, 2014.
- Favorite Bump Runs: An Unofficial, Totally Random List of the Best Ski Runs in North America, March 28, 2015.
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