What Makes a Mountain Ski Big or Small?

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snoloco snoloco
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What Makes a Mountain Ski Big or Small?

Coming off a tangent in the Belleayre gondola thread, I figured this would be a good discussion for a separate thread.

To me, things that make a mountain "ski big" are many lift sections or starting points, long runs, and a low density trail layout.

Whiteface has only slightly more skiable acreage than Windham, but anyone who's skied them both would say that Whiteface skis way bigger.  It's all about the layout here.  After taking the Facelift up, there's another lift that you have to go up to reach the summit.  There are three separate mountains and two of them are over 4000 feet.  The runs are much longer and more challenging at Whiteface.

Belleayre has three different starting points, but the runs are rather short and the trails are very closely spaced, making the place ski small.  Mountain Creek has less acreage and vertical, but skis bigger due to the time it takes to traverse across the whole mountain, and the relative separation of the four peaks.
I've lived in New York my entire life.
Z Z
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Re: What Makes a Mountain Ski Big or Small?

Continuous pitch is the only thing that matters to me.  

Platty and  McCaulley both have that which makes them ski much bigger than they are.
"It is better to go skiing and think of God, than go to church and think of sport."
Artic Explorer Fridtjof Nansen
D.B. Cooper D.B. Cooper
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Re: What Makes a Mountain Ski Big or Small?

In reply to this post by snoloco
How about this:
- open terrain
- sustained vertical
- acreage
- # of high speed lifts
- variety....terrain (from novice to cliffs), lifts, base lodges
- how late in the season it's open.
Sent from the driver's seat of my car while in motion.
Harvey Harvey
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Re: What Makes a Mountain Ski Big or Small?

IMO high speed lifts make the mountain smaller.
"I'm all about Clouding Out. I'm a teleskier now!" —tBatt
D.B. Cooper D.B. Cooper
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Re: What Makes a Mountain Ski Big or Small?

Really?  I couldn't believe how much vert we were skiing out west with all the HS lifts.  Solid 20-25k/day.
Sent from the driver's seat of my car while in motion.
Harvey Harvey
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Re: What Makes a Mountain Ski Big or Small?

It sounds like daily vert is the key to "big" for you.

I personally don't care too much about vert.

Whiteface is the biggest mountain in NY with a lift on it. I ski more vert in an hour at Whiteface vs Gore.

But when both are fully open Gore feels bigger to me.  I guess that means I favor the horizontal.
"I'm all about Clouding Out. I'm a teleskier now!" —tBatt
marznc marznc
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Re: What Makes a Mountain Ski Big or Small?

In reply to this post by D.B. Cooper
D.B. Cooper wrote
Really?  I couldn't believe how much vert we were skiing out west with all the HS lifts.  Solid 20-25k/day.
Have you skied Alta and Snowbird?  If so, which feels "bigger" to you?  Snowbird has more high speed lifts, plus the tram.
tjf1967 tjf1967
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Re: What Makes a Mountain Ski Big or Small?

Snow bird for sure.
PeeTex PeeTex
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Re: What Makes a Mountain Ski Big or Small?

Snowbird feels like the biggest Mtn in the US to me.
tjf1967 tjf1967
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Re: What Makes a Mountain Ski Big or Small?

Ever been to big sky? That's the biggest to me but I have not been to Jackson yet.
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