This page lists resorts world-wide that are carver-friendly.
Online resort guides
The World Snowboard Guide is one of the few resort guides that includes (sparse) information on carving. Other resort guides:
Discount lift ticket tactics
Carving resort basics
North Lake Tahoe
Norm rails the groom at Mt Rose in North Tahoe.
Ranked more or less in order of best carving mountains first
SnowPhone (800) 754-7673
|Mt Rose has the best steep groomers for expert carvers. You can stay in Reno for cheap package deals. The East bowl opens at 8:30, the Main side opens at 9. Runs: Kit Carson Bowl, Northwest Passage (6-pack lift), Big Bonanza, Silver Dollar (Blazing Zephyr lift). Mt Rose sells cheap passes during the month of September|
SnowPhone (530) 581-8374
|Runs: Kangaroo (Kangaroo lift) in early December before the %!*^# terrain park gets setup, Sherwood (Sherwood lift), Outer Limits, Twilight Zone (Lakeview lift). Lift tickets are priced very low, and ticket sales are capped to avoid crowds. Which means you have to get there early on weekends.|
SnowPhone (530) 562.1330
|Northstar is a family-oriented resort that is prone to extreme
overcrowding. Get the Club Vertical wristband - it lets you cut in line.
On the plus side, it is sheltered from wind, and they have great BBQ. Runs:
Sunshine, Upper Drop Off, Surprise (Vista lift), Rail Splitter, Iron Horse
(Backside Express), Ax Handle (Comstock lift). The Best Western Truckee
has great stay 'n ski deals for Northstar.
Bootfitters: Elite Feet in The Northstar Village
SnowPhone (530) 426-1111
|Sugar Bowl has the best snow quality of any Tahoe resort, and rarely ices up. Park at the Mt Judah lot. Runs: Trailblazer (Jerome Hill lift) is the best run in North Tahoe for learning, Jingle Bells (Christmas Tree lift), and the Blue runs off Lincoln Express.|
SnowPhone (530) 583-6955
Squaw has a lot of extreme yuppie skiers who bomb down the
runs without slowing down for anyone. Runs: Siberia (Siberia Express Lift),
Shirley Lake Bowl (Shirley Lake Lift) consists of 5 Northwest facing runs.
They are (to skier's right of the lift): 1st tree, 2nd tree, 3rd tree, 4th
tree, and 5th tree. 5th tree is one of the best carving runs in Tahoe.
SnowPhone (775) 831-3211
|Runs: FIS, Showoff (Lakeview Quad), Crystal Ridge, Luggi's (Crystal Quad)|
SnowPhone (530) 426-3666
|Boreal is cheap and has short runs. It opens very early in the season. When the Accelerator lift opens in early November, people go up with rock boards.|
|Donner Ski Ranch
SnowPhone (530) 321-7669
|A small hill next to Sugar Bowl with cheap lift tickets.|
SnowPhone (530) 525-2900
|Homewood is at Lake level, so it doesn't get the best snow. However, on Saturdays it is one of the least crowded resorts, and it has great views.|
SnowPhone (530) 587-9444
|On packed holiday weekends, you are better off at this small 2-lift, out-of-the-way resort. It basically has a single slope about 4 runs wide.|
South Lake Tahoe
Ranked more or less in order of best carving mountains first
SnowPhone (209) 258-3000
Kirkwood is the best resort in Tahoe for carving. Runs: Hole 'n Wall (Hole 'n wall lift), Flying Carpet (lift #2/Caples Crest), Zachary, Monte Wolfe (lift #5/Solitude), Buckboard (lift #10/The Reut), Wagon Trail, Short Spoke, Conestoga (lift #11). Arrive early and park near chair 6. Buy a pass for the SuperPark terrain park: jibbers don't use it, and it's groomed. The lodging at Kirkwood is very expensive and very crappy: check out the Westerner Motel. Kirkwood sometimes reopens for Memorial Day Weekend. Check out the kick-ass real time webcam
SnowPhone (530) 659-7475
|Sierra offers club vertical wristbands. Stick to the West Bowl. Runs: Bashful, Powderhorn (West Bowl Express lift).|
SnowPhone (775) 586-7000
|Heavenly has a Nevada side (better for carving) and a California
side. The gondola conveniently connects the resort to the downtown casinos.
Good for après -ski nightlife (but attracts posers). Runs: Comet
(Comet Express), Orions, Big Dipper (Dipper Express), Olympic Downhill when
the %!^# terrain park is not setup (Olympic lift), Bettys, Steamboat,
Ridge Run, Canyon (Canyon lift).
Bootfitters: Tahoe Sports LTD near the downtown gondola
|Bear Valley||Not to be confused with Bear Mountain in Southern California.|
Tahoe Area Info
Carvers use FRS 5/12, and may be migrating to 20/4.
There are a few runs that are good for carving circles: The runs are moderately steep all the way to the bottom and then abruptly flatten out right before the lift, allowing you to enter the flat portion with speed and carve a circle, retracing your track for as long as you can:
When carving, avoid crowds:
Two resorts, Sugar Bowl and Alpine, are next to Tahoe National Forest land. Which means you can legally trek out of bounds if you stay in the forest. Some folks go on backcountry trekking trips. You need to take a backcountry course with avalanche safety before attempting. See the winter backcountry trekking pages.
Sneaky ways of getting discount lift tickets in Tahoe
For board tuning in the North Shore:
For board tuning on the South Shore:
Tahoe Weather/Road Conditions
A recommended strategy for Tahoe weather: If Weather.com indicates that there is > 20% change of precipitation and the National Weather Service says the snow altitude > 7000 feet, bag it and work on the honey-do list.
Driving in Tahoe
In California, if you are driving a 4 wheel drive when chain controls are in effect, you can go without chains if your tires say "M+S" on the side, and if you have at least 6/32" tire tread.
There are a few Ski Buses that do the driving for you, with single-day and multi-day bus trips. They arrive at the resorts early so you can carve the groomers. The seats are not the most comfortable, so bring a blanket. See SlidingOnTheCheap for a listing.
Driving time from South Bay to Kirkwood: 3 hours, 30 minutes.
Driving time from South Bay to Tahoe City: 4 hours, 30 minutes.
Driving time from Tahoe City to Kirkwood: 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Driving time from Tahoe City to Sierra at Tahoe: 1 hour, 10 minutes.
When it is snowing heavily, the CHP may impose one of 3 restrictions on winter driving:
If you need to surf the web on your way to Tahoe, the Kinko's in Auburn has a T3 connection, and is just off the highway. Internet surfing is 20 cents/minute. Hours are Mon-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat/Sun 8am-7pm. It is sometimes useful to check online to see whether I-80 is shut down before venturing past Auburn. AM radio station 1620 often has zero reception, and the AM radio stations do not always have up to date road closure info. I-80 can be closed even if it isn't snowing, since wind-blown snow is enough to close the road.
The crime rate in Lake Tahoe is almost non-existent. Which means the cops have nothing better to do. Which means:
Best good & cheap restaurants on the way from the South Bay to Tahoe:
North Lake Tahoe Bests
Best good & cheap restaurants:
Best hot springs:
South Lake Tahoe Best Bets
The Sierras: Southern California
Snow Phone (888) 766-9778
|The runs are long and wide. Mammoth often stays open until
June. Runs: Cloverleaf, Downhill (#16 / Canyon Express), Solitude (#10 / Gold Rush Express),
Stump Alley (#2 /Stump Alley Express). Roll Coaster (Roller Coaster 4), Bridges (Eagle Express 15), Cornice Bowl (Chair 23), runs off of Chair 13, Chair 14. Don't speed through the towns going to Mammoth. The grooming is not as good as June Mountain.
Bootfitter: Corty at Footloose Sports
Snow Phone: (760) 934-2224
|Another option near Mammoth. Good grooming. Cheaper, and a bit less crowded than Mammoth.|
(Big Bear Mountain Resort)
Snow Phone (800) 232-7686
|The runs off Silver Mountain, Exhibition (Silver Mountain Double)|
Snow Phone (888) 754-7878
|Stick to the eastern side of East Mountain.|
|Closer to L.A.|
Some Northern California folks drive to Mammoth for wider, longer terrain. The drive from the Bay Area to Mammoth is 4 hours when Tioga Pass Road (SR 120) through Yosemite National Park is open. Unfortunately, Tioga Pass is usually closed for the winter from December until late May, in which case the suggested route is 80 -> 50 -> Kingsbury grade cutoff -> 395 -> 203, which is a 7 hour drive. See the Caltrans web site for current road closure info, and the Yosemite web site for historical Tioga pass opening and closing dates.
Scott rails at Vail. Keep an eye on that boot-out.
Colorado road conditions Phone: 303 639-1111 within a 2-hour drive of Denver, or 303 639-1234 statewide
There is a Conoco gas station near the rental car return at Denver airport, the gas is 20 cents more expensive.
3-day Snow precipitation predictor for Colorado
For a good board tune and/or base grind in Denver, go with Bicycle Doctor/Edge-works. Matt is the owner, and has the most experience with the base grinder.
In Boulder, the recommended base grinder is Alpine Base & Edge. Plus, they have a great DIY deal: for $20/hour, they supply you with a P-Tex gun, files, scraper, edge bevel tools, base bevel tools, stone (gummi and regular) wax iron, bench wax, and a very nice bench to tune your skis/board on, plus expert advice, but you do the work and then clean up!
If you are flying out of Denver, the best food option is Wolfgang Puck Express, in terminal B (the United terminal), on the 2nd floor mezzanine level.
It boasts "the most groomed terrain on the planet". Many of the trails have long run-outs; however, the slopes have great pitch, and the grooming is very good. Simba, Bwana, Born Free (Gondola). Over Easy, Mid-Vail, Ledges, Lodgepole, Columbine, Picaroon (steep), Avanti (steep) (Chair 2 - Avanti). Hunky Dory (Chair 3 - Wildwood). Swingsville, Ramshorn, Christmas, Riva Ridge, The Slot, Yonder (Chair 4 - Mountain Top). Lost Boy, Dealer's Choice, The Woods, Showboat (Chair 7 - Game Creek Express). Northwoods, Northstar (Chair 11 - Northwoods). Chopstix, Poppyfields (Chair 21 - Orient Express). Emperor's Choice (exciting, wide, fun, black) (Chair 36 - Tea Cup). Big Rock Park (Chair 37 - Skyline). Grand Review (Chair 39 - Pete's Express). Uber-steep, winch-cat groomed trails: Riva Ridge is groomed each Friday and Blue Ox (double black diamond) each Saturday. Get there early.
|Beaver Creek||Runs: Centennial, Latigo, Harrier (Centennial Express Lift), Larkspur Bowl (Larkspur Lift), Cataract (Rose Bowl Lift), Pitchfork (Strawberry Park Express lift), Cresta (Arrow-Bahn Express). Beaver Creek is a less-crowded resort on Saturdays. Park in the remote parking areas and take the bus (or, pay $20 for close-up parking)|
Anything off the Superbee Lift, Bittersweet (American Eagle Lift) Copper is an Intrawest resort, so the grooming occasionally sucks.
On Peak 10: the blue/black runs off the top (Falcon Super chair). On Peak 8: Spruce, Dukes Run, Rounders (Colorado Super Chair).
|Arapahoe Basin||A-Basin is a low-key resort that is great for carving and does not get crowded. Blue runs off Lenawee Mountain Lift and Exhibition Lift. A-Basin stays open as late as July.|
|Keystone||Runs: Night carving on Spring Dipper (River Run Gondola). Spring Dipper, Flying Dutchman, Frenchman, Wild Irishman, Paymaster (Montezuma Express), Go Devil (Peru Express): hidden groomer, Diamond Back (Ruby Express), Porcupine (Outback Express)|
|Winter Park||Good groomers, but lots of cat tracks everywhere.|
|Steamboat||Runs: Rainbow, High Noon, Flintlock, West Side and Buddy's. Avoid Morningside and Pony Express lifts. Outside of Steamboat is Howelsen Hill, a slope used for racing.
Carving Ambassador: Dave Winters
Food: Since you are carving, you will likely be leaving the resort a bit early before the slopes get totally chopped up, which means you can hit some of the awesome early-evening happy hour deals. Some of these deals are intended for the locals, and are not advertized or mentioned - you have to know to ask for them:
|Happy Hour Deals in Summit County|
|Tuscato||307 Main St, Frisco: 970 668-3644||Half priced appetizers, $2.50 premium beer.||4-6 PM, 7 days a week.|
|Wild Bill's Pizza||119 Labonte St, Dillon: 970 468-2006||Cut-rate pizza||3-6 PM, 7 days a week|
|Mezzaluna||In the Lion Square Lodge Hotel, Vail: 970 477-4410||$6 Pizzas, $3 premium beer, $4 Margaritas & wines||3-5:30 PM, 7 days a week|
Other great food options in Summit County:
Summit County is way cheaper than Aspen. Here are a few cheap establishments. The hotel tax is around 10%.
|Days Inn Summit County||Silverthorne||$88/night|
|Luxury Inn & Suites in Silverthorne||Silverthorne||$55/night|
|New Summit Inn||Frisco||$99/night. AAA discount|
|Dillon Inn||Dillon||$90/night. AAA discount|
For board tuning in Summit County, use Precision Ski in Frisco. 817 Summit Blvd. (970) 668-3095. Jim Dines is the owner, and has the most tuning experience.
Some great deals on passes are available before the season starts. For the best deal, you must purchase the pass during a 4-day window of time in early September. If you are buying one of these passes and not renewing an old pass, you must show up in person to have your picture taken.
There are a few runs that are good for carving buttonholes: The runs are moderately steep all the way to the bottom and then abruptly flatten out right before the lift, allowing you to enter the flat portion with speed and carve a circle, retracing your track for as long as you can:
Ueli rails the groom at Buttermilk.
Be aware that all maps of Aspen are upside-down, with North pointing down. No one knows why.
Ground transportation from Denver to Aspen is around $100 each way: Try either Resort Express or Colorado Mountain Express
Flights go in and out of Aspen/Pitkin Airport (ASE). If you are flying out of Aspen and have a rental car, first park at the departure terminal, unload your luggage, and check it at curb-side check-in. Then, drive around to the rental car lot and turn in your rental car.
For board tuning, see Pomeroy Sports.
For bootfitting, including a carving setup optimized for ski boots, see Stefan Kaelin's sport shop.
|Aspen Mountain (Ajax)||If you have a minimum number of people in your group, you can book a first tracks deal ahead of time and poach the groomers. Runs: Ruthie's Run, Aztec (Ruthie's Lift), the blue runs off Ajax Express Lift. You can carve circles at the bottom of Ruthie's. Beat the crowd in the morning by taking Shadow Mountain Lift to Ruthie's. On-street parking in Aspen cost $2/hour, and is paid using one of those ticket vending machines. You are limited to 4 hours, and the parking rules are enforced 10-6. Or, you can park in the parking garage a few blocks away, and either walk or take the bus.|
|Highlands||There are a lot of carving runs, however not as wide as Buttermilk. Runs: Golden Horn (Thunderbowl chair), runs off of Cloud Nine chair. If you arrive before 7:30AM, you don't have to pay the $7 parking fee.|
|Buttermilk||Aptly named. Runs: Tiehack Parkway, Javelin (Upper Tiehack Lift). The only problem is the Tiehack lift on the back; it's nausiatingly slow. Also, Buttermilk is a bit too flat for some people. If you are looking for steep, you might want to consider Ajax instead.|
Slot (Sam's Knob Lift), runs off Big Burn Lift, runs off
Sheer Bliss Lift. At snowmass, there is a noon groom, and it's a different run every day. If you are going to dinner in Snowmass village, you can park in upper lots 7, 8, and 9 for free after 6 PM, even though the signs say "permit only."
The following are the cheaper hotels/motels in Aspen. Prices shown are from early 2006, which provide an idea of their relative costs. Add 9.5% hotel tax to all rates. Also be sure to look at Vacation Rentals by Owner for cheap lodging.
|Mountain House Lodge||$196/night||10% AAA discount|
|Molly Gibson Lodge||$215/night|
|Hotel Durant||$234/night||It's cheaper ($210) if you book at aspensnowmass.com|
|Boomerang Lodge||$190/night||Book through aspensnowmass.com|
|St. Moritz Lodge||$166/night||There are also hostel-like bunk rooms.|
Really cheap, great food is available from the various bar menus in Aspen. Here is a list of food that's pretty good:
|Establishment||Item / Comments|
|39 Degrees, the bar in the Sky Hotel||Bar menu: Braised beef sliders|
|Elevation Restaurant||Bar menu / appetizer: Wasabi Caesar® with salmon. It's so good, they actually took out a trademark on the name.|
|Syzygy Restaurant||Bar menu: Crispy duck confit, shrimp ragout|
|Ink! Coffee||Donuts. Really good donuts. Open at 6:30 AM, for early morning carvers.|
|Jimmy's||Crab cake, volcano cake|
|Paradise bakery||Butter croissant. Open at 7 AM, for early morning carvers.|
|Hickory House Ribs||Good BBQ. Also, they have good ribs + eggs for breakfast, but they open later, at 8 AM.|
|Bonnie's||At the mid-mountain lodge at Ajax. Apple Strudel.|
|Cafe Suzanne||At the mid-mountain lodge at snowmass (Elk Camp Lift). Bread pudding with brandy sauce.|
Finally, some relaxing downtime can be had at the Krabloonik dogsled center, which offers lunch or dinner with a ride.
A shot of the groom, on Apex Ridge at The Canyons.
|Park City||Runs: off King Con High Speed Quad. If it dumped the night before and King Con is pow, checkout Pioneer and Payday, which are on the second grooming shift: they might have been groomed after the dump.
Instructor: Martin Drayton
Bootfitters: Surefoot in Park City (see Steve Owen, the manager)
|The Canyons||Runs: Boa, Apex Ridge (Super Condor Express), Lookout (Golden Eagle Lift).
Bootfitters: Surefoot in The Canyons. (see Ted Cobleigh, the manager)
|Snow Basin||Runs: Main Street, Trapper's Trail, Elk Ridge (Strawberry Express), Women's GS (Wildcat Lift)|
|Solitude||Runs off the Eagle Express lift.|
During the Sundance Film festival in late January, don't even think of staying or driving in Park City - The entire downtown is clogged with a convoy of stretch Hummer limos. Plus, the hotel rates are double, and all the restaurants are booked for private parties.
The Canyons and Park City are about a 40 minute drive from the airport. The resorts are trying to play up this close proximity, so they offer a free lift ticket if you fly into SLC early the same day.
The rental car return to Salt Lake Airport is a travesty: The signs say "for rental car return, stay in the left lane," then, after you have already turned left in the exit-only left lane, you notice that you should have stayed in the middle lane, and you feel like an idiot, and you have to circle around.
If you want the super-gourmet experience, Deer Valley sets the gold standard for ski resort Cuisine: Cafe Mariposa is the high-end dinner spot. The Empire Canyon Lodge has Fireside Dining, with food cooked in the fireplaces. Royal Street cafe is more casual. Of course, Deer Valley doesn't allow snowboarders.
Hardbooter.com has a travel guide for carvers visiting Utah. In addition to the food spots listed there, several establishments really stand out:
Hotel Tax is around 10%. It's cheaper to stay in Salt Lake and drive to Park City. However, if you are looking to stay in Park City, here are some cheap(er) places:
|$152/night||It's back near I-80, 6 miles from Park City|
|Park Regency||$154/night||AAA discount|
|Edelweiss Haus Condominium Hotel||$180/night|
|Washington School Inn||$185/night|
|Park Plaza Resort||$150/night|
|Old Town Guest House||$169/night|
|Mt Hood Meadows||Runs: off Cascade Express and Shooting Star Ridge|
|Timberline at Mt. Hood||You can carve on Palmer Snow Field in the summer. Summer hours after Memorial Day are 7:00 - 1:30.|
|Washington State||Stevens Pass||A tad better for carving than Baker or Crystal. Runs: Skyline (Skyline Express), I-5 (Big Chief).
Tune shop: Sturtevant's in Bellevue.
Sean Cassidy teaches carving. He has enough hard boot gear
on hand to equip beginners and get them going, and he sometimes runs Thursday
|Maine||Sugarloaf/USA||It's about 2 hours from Portland. Runs off the Bucksaw chair (easier), Spillway, Sluice (Spillway West Chair), Tote Road, Hayburner, Competition Hill, Upper Narrow Gauge (several chairs), Lower Narrow Gauge (Double West chair), Windrow, Scott (Bucksaw chair), King's Landing (Sugarloaf Superquad), Gondola Line, Tote Road (From the top), Difficult: Widowmaker, Flume, Ramdown, Boom Auger (King Pine chair).
Instructor: Erik Beckman.
|Vermont. The southern Vermont resorts (Mt Snow, Stratton, Okemo) get really crowded on weekends. Go for Sugarbush or Stowe instead.||Stratton||
Lift tickets are crazy expensive on weekends. Grooming is great, except near the end of the season, when they slack off. There is usually a carving posse on any given day. Runs: Standard (gondola), North American, Tamarack (URSA Express), Liftline (Snow bowl).
|Okemo||Also family-friendly. Runs: Sapphire, Timberline (Green Ridge Triple), World Cup, Upper Chief, WarDance (Northstar Express Quad), Fall-Line (Glades Peak Quad), Exhibition, Heaven's Gate (Solitude Express Quad), Rimrock, Wildthing (South Face Express Quad), Limelight, Quantum Leap (Jackson Gore Express Quad)|
|Sugarbush||Sugarbush North has good carving. Rim Run, Cruiser (North Ridge Express), Crackerjack (Green Mountain Quad).|
|Killington||Big, but not as great for carving - it's a skier's mountain. The Sunday Killington Breakfast Club meets at the Out of Bounds Snowboard Shop at 7:30, and at Snowdon Quad at 8. See Vin Quenneville at Out of Bounds Snowboard Shop (OOB also has a good tune shop). Killington opens early in the season and runs late. Runs: Bunny Buster, Mouse Run, Chute run (Snowdon Quad), Cascade (K1 Express Gondola), Header (Rams Head Quad), Skye-lark, Bittersweet, Ovation, superstar Express(Superstar Express Quad), Bear Trap, Wildfire at Bear (Bear Mountain Quad), Double dipper (Canyon Quad), Difficult: East Fall (North Ridge triple)|
|Pico||Next to Killington, but less crowded. Upper-Pike, Mid-Pike, Lower-Pike (Summit Express Quad Chair)|
|Stowe||Runs: Goat, Lord (FourRunner Quad), Perry Merril, Gondolier (Gondola), Nosedive (FourRunner Quad), Hayride (Lookout double), Liftline (FourRunner Quad), Runs off Spruce Peak (Sensation Quad)|
|Mount Snow||Good terrain for learning. Runs: the runs off Carinthia, Haystack, South Bowl, and Exhibition. Ripcord, Jaws (lift 18 / Challenger chair), Snowdance (Lift 9 / Canyon Express)
Bootfitting / Tune shop / hardboot shop: Tom at Alpine Trader.
|Jay Peak||It is susceptible to fog and wind. Runs: The Jet, Angel's Wiggle (Jet triple), Milk Run (Bonaventure chair)|
|New Hampshire||Bretton Woods||Runs: Beg: Alpine Gardens, Avalon, Oscar Barron's (West Mountain Quad), Range View (Zephyr Quad). Int: Fabyan's Express, Crawford's Blaze, (Fabyan's triple), Granny's Grit, Coos Caper (Zephyr Quad). Exp: Bode's Run (Rosebrook Quad), Deception Bowl (B-Lift Double), Joseph's Run (West Mountain Quad), Waumbek, Starr King (West Mountain Quad). Plus, you may run into Neal, a patroller on plates.|
|Mt. Sunapee||Runs: Bonanza, Chipmunk, Blast-Off (Sunapee Express), Eggbeater (North Peak Triple), Flying Goose|
|Loon Mountain||Runs: Walking Boss, Flume (North Peak Triple chair)|
|Waterville Valley||White Caps (White Peak Express Quad), Sel's Choice, Utter Abandon (World Cup Triple)|
|Massachusetts||Wachusett Mountain||It's an hour out of Boston, and people leave work early to go night skiing, but it's crowded.
Tuning: Precision Tuning Center in Framingham, MA. Ask for Mike DeSantis. It's located in the Summit Ski and Snowboard shop, which also has a location in Danvers.
|West Virginia||Snowshoe||Runs: The "western territory" is awesome for carving when it's not covered in moguls|
|Pennsylvania / D.C.||Shawnee Mtn||Runs: lookout, upper tomahawk, upper arrowhead, upper delaware, lower delaware, lower arrowhead, lower tomahawk, tecumseh|
|Roundtop||Runs: minuteman, gunbarrel
Instructor: Phil Bowman
|Seven Springs||Alpine Meadows (Blitzen Lift), Gunnar Slope (Gunnar Lift), North Face (North Pole Lift), Giant Steps (Giant Steps Lift)|
|New York||Emilio's Ski shop runs scheduled bus trips from New York City (Queens) to resorts in NY and VT.|
|Hunter Mtn||Runs: Broadway, Kennedy Drive.|
|Windham||Fewer crowds, better grooming than Hunter.|
|New Mexico||Santa Fe||Runs: Gayway, (Sierra chair), Broadway, Muerte (Santa Fe Super Chief) and Parachute (Tesuque Peak Triple chair).|
|New Jersey||Mountain Creek||Runs: Zero G on Vernon Peak, runs off South Peak and Bear Peak.|
|Sun Valley||Runs: Limelight, Lower Warm Springs, Greyhawk, Olympic, Canyon, Flying Squirrel. Part of Warm Springs is shaped like a natural halfpipe, and at the apex of the carve, you can actually be inverted. It is very cool.|
|Michigan||Indianhead||Good carving in the upper peninsula, just north of Wisconsin.|
|Montana||Big Mountain||Good groomers, but it gets fogged in a lot.|
|Alberta||Lake Louise||Longer runs than Sunshine. Men's Downhill, Lady's Downhill (Glacier Express), Meadowlark (Grizzly Express Gondola), runs of Larch Express.|
|Sunshine||Better snow than Louise. Runs: off Goat's Eye Mountain (Goat's Eye Express)|
|Toronto||The best base grinder in the Toronto area is Brian Spargo at Sporting Life Bikes and boards on Yonge Street|
|Oshawa Ski Club (Kirby)|
|Mount St. Louis Moonstone||Stick to the Moonstone side. Runs: Adventure Run, Ridge Run, Turkey Chute (Adventure Express), Promenade (Promenade Express)|
|British Columbia||Silver Star|
|Apex||Runs: The Chute|
|Big White||Nice groomers, but it tends to get white-outs. Runs: Paradise, Perfection (Ridge Rocket Express quad)|
|Sun Peaks||Go for the runs off Sundance Express and Sunburst Express
in the morning, then go across the street and hit the runs off Morrisey
Express in the afternoon.
|Mt. Washington||Runs: Invitation, Fantastic, Schum's Delight (Sunrise Quad), Whiskey Jack, Coaster, East Bull, West Bull (Eagle Express Quad)|
|Whistler/Blackcomb||Both mountains are great for carving. Fresh
tracks tickets provide access as early as 7:30 AM for about $16 extra. It's
closer to the Ocean, so you can get rain, snow, fog, and sun simultaneously.
They get a lot of snow so consider an all-mountain board. Lodging is best
in the North village. Blackcomb is less crowded and easier to navigate.
runs: Cruiser, Honeycomb (Excelerator chair), Panorama (7th Heaven Express),
Ridge Runner (Crystal Chair). Boards rentals from Fanatyk Co are $40/day,
Board+Bindings rent for $60/day. (Prior rents demo boards out of their
factory for $25/day, 7 days a week).
Bootfitters: Fanatyk Co., or Summit Ski & Snowboard
|Quebec||Mont Sainte Anne||The best carving in Quebec, and the best grooming. Runs on the North side (L'Express du Nord). Good night carving.|
|Stoneham||Smaller. Night carving.|
|Bromont||Good for night carving weekdays.|
|Orford||One of the better resorts in the Eastern Townships. Runs: Jean d'Avignon (Giroux Nord lift)|
|Le Massif||Runs: L'Ancrage (Le Maillard Express High speed quad), La Petite-Rivière (wider), La Batture (Le Grande-Pointe Express high speed quad chair), Runs off Camp-Boule Express high speed quad.|
See the Directory at the ski club of Great Britain.
Avoid European Ski resorts during French school holidays. The peak of the over-crowding will happen when Paris schools (zone C) are out.
European weather sites:
For Switzerland, see the swisscarving site: they provide details about where to find the best carving.
|Norway||Hafjell||It's just outside of Lillehammer. Uncrowded, and great terrain.|
|Hemsedal||It's too crowded on weekends.|
|Oppdal||Great run: Vangslia|
|France - Large resorts, good snow, fast lifts.||Val Thorens (3 Valleys)||The runs down from Cime de Caron|
|Meribel (3 Valleys)||The Côte Brune run, on Mt de la Chambre, The Tougnette run|
|Les menuires (3 Valleys)||Red slope from Pointe de la Masse|
|La Daille area (Val d'Isere)||Runs off Toviere, The OK run off the Rocher de Bellevarde, The stade de slalom run at the top of the Daille lift|
|Solaise area (Val d'Isere)||The St. Jacques run|
|Val d'Isere area||Runs off the Glacier de Pisaillas|
|Le Grand Bornand Chinaillon|
|Tignes||Runs off the Grand Motte Glacier, Runs off the Col du Palet|
|Sweden||Duved, near Åre||It gets cold in Sweden. When the temperature dips below -23º C, they close the lifts.|
|Italy||Courmayeur (Val d'Aosta)|
|Wolkenstein/Selva Gardena (Sella Ronda area)|
|La Thuile||Runs: 2, 3, 5. Long, steep, great grooming|
|Cervinia||Go to the Zermatt side.|
|Val Gardena (Dolomites)|
|Alta Badia, Corvara (Dolomites)|
|Austria -smaller resorts, but a high concentration of hardbooters.||Sölden||A higher percentage of hardbooters than anywhere else on
the planet, and you can often see tandem carving in action. They also
have summer carving on the Rettenbach & Tiefenbach glaciers. Runs: off the Stubaigletscher.
Hardboot shop: Sport RIML in town has a large selection of carving gear. Check out Virus demo days. Also, InterSport Glanzer.
|Rittisberg||A great small mountain for carving, with the best grooming, and fewer crowds.|
|Haus||It has big, wide runs with some steeps.|
|Kaprun||Runs off the Kitzsteinhorn side, from the Kitzlift, Keeslift, Maurer Gletscherlift, and Schmiedinger Gletscherlift.|
|Hintertux||The runs off the Gefrorene Wano peak|
Ripstar Snowboard Camps is a Dutch outfit that offers week-long hard boot carving clinics, with video analysis and F2 demo gear. They train at Austrian resorts like Kaprun
Born To Ride is another Dutch alpine school, out of Ramsau am Dachstein in Austria.
Blue Tomato has a snowboard school in Obertauern and Schladming, which offers a "Technical Alpine Lesson for advanced alpine riders"
For traveling from the UK: During the ski season, Eurostar runs two trains direct from London to the Alps:
Go in August or September.
|South Island - best for carving.||Cardrona||The best carving mountain in New Zealand, but not too many steeps. Runs off Captain's Quad.|
|Coronet Peak||The lower elevation means more ice.|
|Treble cone||Steeper. The snow is not as good as Cardrona.|
|North Island, Mt Ruapehu (lower elevation).||Turoa|
|Australia (not quite as good as New Zealand)
|Thredbo||Runs: Supertrail (Kosciuszko Express), runs off the Cruiser chair.|
Go heli-riding: it's cheap.
|Northern Chile (Within a 2 hour drive of Santiago). It's all wide open.||El Colorado||Serviced by public transportation. You can either stay at chalets in Farellones, or at a high-end hotel at a resort.|
|Southern Chile (A long drive from Santiago, but with adventure options)||Termas de Chillán||(480 km South of Santiago), with hot springs and excursions to Chillán volcano.|
|Villarrica-Pucón||(800 km South of Santiago): Peek into the smoking volcano, then ride down the lava-formed natural half pipes. Mountain biking, rafting, and skydiving are also available, along with hot springs.|
A number of companies offer guided snowboard tours and camps in Chile/Argentina from June through October:
In addition to the Southern Hemisphere resorts, there is glacier skiing in the Northern Hemisphere. See the World Snowboard Guide.
In Japan, carving is bigger than in the US. However, there are many family-oriented resorts that do not allow snowboarders. Some resorts allow snowboarders on all areas except a designated family ski zone. Weekends can become insanely crowded (one skier per mogul), and avoid Japan during the "Golden Week" vacation at the end of April / beginning of May. The peak of the activity takes place near the end of Golden Week. Also in Japan, you won't find a lot of steeps. See Snow Japan for detail on each resort.
|Hokkaido||Rusutsu||Sigi Grabner has a carve camp in February.|
|Niseko-Hirafu||There are 4 major resorts in Niseko: Annapuri, Hirafu, Higashiyama and Hanazono. Stick with Hirafu.|
|Nagano: Not as great for carving as Hokkaido or Niigata.||Echo Valley|
|Shizuoka||Snow Town Yeti|
Several companies offer Hokkaido package tours with English speakers:
Korean resorts have a lot of man-made snow that turns to hardpack rather quickly. The resorts are very crowded, but happily, they are open very early in the morning (like 7 AM), and very late at night for night carving. At most resorts, you can usually spot a few alpine carvers at any moment.
|Hyun-Dai Sung-Woo||Runs: Bravo and New-Bravo|
|Yongpyong||Highest elevation, so it has the best snow. Runs: Mega green, Gold run|
|Jisan||Good grooming. Runs: Orange|
|Phoenix Park||Runs: Hawk|
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