Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

How do pistes in US/Canada/EU compare?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Jonny Jones wrote:
@FoofyNoo, I just think that it's less likely to occur on the first place.


Yes, I tend to agree with you because the terrain filters out the people who would be in greater danger.

In relation to the subject of this thread ... all I am saying if you are a capable European skier, don't go to BC thinking you are going to be fine.

That is what I did and it was a mistake
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
FoofyNoo wrote:
... patrolling a piste is a lot easier than 100 sq miles of forest. You just can't avi control/patrol even a small percentage of it. ...
So when skiing conventionally ... you are in much greater danger in BC than Europe. ...
My guess is that the opposite is true, but as you're making the claims, perhaps you can back them up with some data?
It is all patrolled and controlled.

Quote:
... all I am saying if you are a capable European skier, don't go to BC thinking you are going to be fine.

Les Arcs has lots of trees. Would being "capable" not include the ability to ski in trees?

I think you may really be saying that BC has many trees, and that anyone who thinks they're "capable" but has
limited themselves strictly to pistes may find that a challenge. That's not the same as saying BC is dangerous, which is what I am taking issue with.
latest report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
FoofyNoo wrote:

I get your theory, but patrolling a piste is a lot easier than 100 sq miles of forest. You just can't avi control/patrol even a small percentage of it.

It's like saying your safer in town rather than the country because there is a better police coverage in town .... Try to find a policeman when you need one.
You are in just as much sh**t if you are attacked by a madman.

If you are in the middle of a steep forest in BC, even in-bounds you are pretty much totally on your own.

On my last trip, for the vast majority of runs I saw absolutely nobody let alone a ski patrol.

In BC this would be simply normal skiing with trees/cliffs etc ... this would be an off-piste choice in Europe.

So when skiing conventionally ... you are in much greater danger in BC than Europe.

I hope that explanation at least made some sense .... ?


Oh I totally get you, I'm just being pedantic wink

Or on second thoughts, actually maybe not entirely pedantry. Yes, you'd have to make a decision to go offpiste, but I bet it's easier to get yourself into deeper poo-poo quicker in your average European resort once you leave the groomers. And LOTS of people do make that choice to go offpiste, more and more every year.

In fact given the typical sizes of resorts, there's waaaay more lift-accessed ungroomed terrain in most Euro resorts than inbounds terrain in a typical NA resort - and no-one will stop you going into it. Whereas my understanding of over the pond is that lots of places either never permit out of bounds skiing, or only through certain gates, which they close when it's dangerous; and they will often close sections of inbounds terrain when it's not safe?

Being able to drop into anything and everything you like with no warnings or controls or ropes and 100% of the responsibility on you feels like the wilder/less sanitised experience to me.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
philwig wrote:
FoofyNoo wrote:
... patrolling a piste is a lot easier than 100 sq miles of forest. You just can't avi control/patrol even a small percentage of it. ...
So when skiing conventionally ... you are in much greater danger in BC than Europe. ...
My guess is that the opposite is true, but as you're making the claims, perhaps you can back them up with some data?
It is all patrolled and controlled.

Quote:
... all I am saying if you are a capable European skier, don't go to BC thinking you are going to be fine.

Les Arcs has lots of trees. Would being "capable" not include the ability to ski in trees?

I think you may really be saying that BC has many trees, and that anyone who thinks they're "capable" but has
limited themselves strictly to pistes may find that a challenge. That's not the same as saying BC is dangerous, which is what I am taking issue with.


In-bounds in Europe is piste skiing ..... in-bounds in BC involves steep trees and cliffs.
I don't believe you are suggesting that makes BC the same level of danger as Europe .... or am I wrong?

I also can't believe you think that the 360 degree entire terrain of a mountain can be patrolled/ avi checked as effectively as a set of pistes. ... or am I also wrong?

Therefore conventional skiing in BC is more dangerous than conventional skiing in Europe.

To me this is completely obvious ... or am I missing something?
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Whereas my understanding of over the pond is that lots of places either never permit out of bounds skiing, or only through certain gates, which they close when it's dangerous; and they will often close sections of inbounds terrain when it's not safe?


I think this is a thing at some resorts in N America, but never seen it in BC where you can go out of bounds anywhere you wish. (There are a few permanent closures - high risk of avalanching into the resort that would be the only exception).

Quote:

but I bet it's easier to get yourself into deeper poo-poo quicker in your average European resort once you leave the groomers.


Not sure about this. Of course it's possible to get yourself into trouble in either but I think the fact everything is "in-bounds" gives people a false sense of security. It's not unusual to see people way out their depth in BC where they have followed tracks or started on a nice route not knowing what is ahead. This is probably made more likely by the fact there is often little signage at all and it's easy to transition from one area to a more difficult area without realising. I once arrived at the high chute into sapphire bowl at whistler to meet a group of 3 tourists asking "where is the easy way down?" quite a hike out for them!
latest report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I guess it all depends on where you go and what conditions are like at the time.

The North Americans do have their ungroomed slopes that are just managed for avalanches that can be very tricky, particularly on lower resorts with rain, thaw freeze etc.

I was once told that If you can ski the front four at Stowe you can ski anything. Having skied them covered in ice I'm inclined to agree.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I only ski piste currently because of ability and will continue in the future because most insurances cover only on piste skiing
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
I guess it all depends on where you go and what conditions are like at the time.

The North Americans do have their ungroomed slopes that are just managed for avalanches that can be very tricky, particularly on lower resorts with rain, thaw freeze etc.

I was once told that If you can ski the front four at Stowe you can ski anything. Having skied them covered in ice I'm inclined to agree.



Why were you covered in ice?
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I would find a Black Diamond covered in powder snow, less of a challenge than the "easy" runs down to La Daille, when they're crowded and with boiler plate ice.

Conditions play such a huge part in what's perceived as difficult, that it's hard to generalise.
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@gfmozart,
Quote:

will continue in the future because most insurances cover only on piste skiing




Slightly odd rationale, IMO
latest report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

I would find a Black Diamond covered in powder snow, less of a challenge than the "easy" runs down to La Daille, when they're crowded and with boiler plate ice.


I understand where you are coming from. At least in BC you usually control your own destiny rather than having to worry about others crashing into you. However, even though BC gets a lot more snow on average than Europe, unfortunately it's not always powder and good conditions! Here is an example that kind of sums it up, the first chute he skis in this video is an inbounds named run on the trail map (coolers 1 red mountain). Steep tight chute with mandatory cliff drop in the middle. The guy skis it extremely well in perfect conditions (making it look rather easy in fact), but way more challenging and high consequence than any euro piste.

https://www.facebook.com/162636951279/posts/10156923738366280/?sfnsn=mo
snow conditions     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Up to single black, about the same. But the main difference is after that -- double black in the US == much harder or off piste. If you've ever skied the Front Four at Stowe, you'll realize it's nothing like anything you'll find in Europe, with a few rare exceptions, i.e. steep, ungroomed mogul runs. And the hike-in sections you find out West don't exist in Europe.
ski holidays     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:

I would find a Black Diamond covered in powder snow, less of a challenge than the "easy" runs down to La Daille, when they're crowded and with boiler plate ice.


I understand where you are coming from. At least in BC you usually control your own destiny rather than having to worry about others crashing into you. However, even though BC gets a lot more snow on average than Europe, unfortunately it's not always powder and good conditions! Here is an example that kind of sums it up, the first chute he skis in this video is an inbounds named run on the trail map (coolers 1 red mountain). Steep tight chute with mandatory cliff drop in the middle. The guy skis it extremely well in perfect conditions (making it look rather easy in fact), but way more challenging and high consequence than any euro piste.

https://www.facebook.com/162636951279/posts/10156923738366280/?sfnsn=mo


But thats not a piste. Its a bit likes saying the backside of Mont Fort is a piste. This entire thread is bizzare. EU pistes are pistes, USA resorts have groomed pistes and inbounds runs, a piste skiier from EU does not transform into someone capabable of skiing off piste terrain whether it is in EU or USA just because its a run called grannies knobbly bits or whatever. Lots of people with only experience of piste skiing would obviously not be able to ski cliff drops and couloirs without smashing themselves to bits.
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
^^Maybe but as I noted one thing you will find in NA is many more actual pistes that are left ungroomed and become mogul runs. So there's that.
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@coddlesangers, I kind of agree with you. Lots of apples and oranges comparisons making the thread a bit confusing, and not really a fair comparison.
latest report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Good discussion guys!

If I take the definition of piste as any marked trail then the runs in the resorts in NA where I've skied are generally far more challenging. A marked run can be anything from an easy piste to a steep tree run with drops, pillows and allsorts of stuff for the super-gnarly dudes! Double black diamonds can be defined as expert runs with possibility of unmarked hidden dangers for example.
If a piste is taken as a run with a prepared surface then a piste is a piste is a piste no matter where it is, but that's not what NA is about.

Sure you can ski out of bounds anywhere but that's not a piste, there's some seriously mental (IMO) stuff that are marked runs in Breck but KH and Revelstoke really take the biscuit in my limited experience. There's nothing marked in Europe that compares, plenty unmarked off piste but that's not the original question.

Whatever you fancy, sliding in BC will open your eyes if you have only been to European resorts.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just back from a long weekend in Big White. Its a great resort, very little really hard stuff, but great blues and masses of in bounds skiing through gentle glades. Note that blues are not necessarily groomed so can contain moguls etc and we even did a blue with a few cliffs.
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@gixxerniknik, sounds fab can’t wait!
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Quote:

If a piste is taken as a run with a prepared surface then a piste is a piste is a piste no matter where it is, but that's not what NA is about.

I'm not sure if I understand this. In France a piste is a run between the piste markers that is patrolled and controlled for avalanches and other dangers. It is not necessarily a prepared surface. I fact in Les Arcs, where I ski a lot, most, if not all, black runs are not bashed and a couple of reds are also "natur".
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@johnE, It all depends on what you classify as a piste. What I'm saying is there are two separate definitions according to the online dictionaries, "marked run", or "run with a prepared surface".

@VolklAttivaS5, It is fab, wish I was going again this year!
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Kinda ridiculous thread. I will say Euro piste skier s are often disappointed by the number of runs freshly groomed in NA while NA skiers woukd be up in arms about any resort that tried to groom more than a minmum of fresh snow. The payoff of course is if you can find it you can ski it without worrying too much about Avys ( still worth beeping in certain places in certain conditions)
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
It's true that a groomed piste is a groomed piste. However, some people use "piste" as in any named/marked trail regardless of grooming. The main thing to take away is a black run on a euro piste map is probably a different experience to a black run on a north American trail map. Just because you are a confident black skier in Europe be wary of double black runs in N America which are not at all comparable for the reasons stated in this thread.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
The point is this: if you stick only to things marked on the piste map, you can generally get into much bigger trouble in North America than in Europe.

I've skied dozens of double blacks, but I always hesitate before trying a new one. I try to scout out a line from below or from a lift before I enter, and I always look for hazards marked on the map. I never bother doing anything like that in Europe - if there's a sign, I plunge in without hesitation.
latest report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
In general, I would say that this equivalence applies;

Europe - US
Green - Blue
Blue - Red
Red - Single Black
Black - Also Single Black (mostly)
Itinerary - Double Black

In general, I'd not advise anyone who is not a competent off piste skier to ski Double Blacks in North America. They might be fine, they might not and it's also resort dependent. Ski Jackson Hole and many of the Double Blacks are more extreme than some gnarly off piste runs I've done in Europe.

The whole pistes vs inbound/outbound classification is a whole other topic and I'm not sure that there is a 'right' answer as to which is better as they both have advantages and disadvantages and are both, on the whole, there because of the different nature of European and NA mountains.
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
PS. I also have to warm my NA friends, when they come to Europe, that it's not safe to just drop off the side of a piste and assume that there is no avalanche risk as it's 'in the resort'.
snow report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Jonny Jones wrote:
The point is this: if you stick only to things marked on the piste map, you can generally get into much bigger trouble in North America than in Europe.

I've skied dozens of double blacks, but I always hesitate before trying a new one. I try to scout out a line from below or from a lift before I enter, and I always look for hazards marked on the map. I never bother doing anything like that in Europe - if there's a sign, I plunge in without hesitation.


Do you look for hazards on the piste/trail map or do you mean you get hold of a map of the area as it would be on their equivalent to our OS maps?
snow report     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Blackblade, Nope as the US doesn't have Reds.
snow report     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Jonny Jones wrote:
The point is this: if you stick only to things marked on the piste map, you can generally get into much bigger trouble in North America than Europe.


That's it in a nutshell, IMO, and the reason we love the US/Canada (not to get into trouble - but because of the variety and challenges that lie in-bounds "over the pond.")

After another fantastic trip to Colorado last month I am of the opinion that in-bounds European sking is just too sanitised. In general, too much motorway skiing and too much pisting.We still enjoy it - but give me the Outback at Keystone any day. There, you can enjoy (what feels like) a wilderness ski experience in-bounds. Very Happy
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Bergmeister wrote:
Jonny Jones wrote:
The point is this: if you stick only to things marked on the piste map, you can generally get into much bigger trouble in North America than Europe.


That's it in a nutshell, IMO, and the reason we love the US/Canada (not to get into trouble - but because of the variety and challenges that lie in-bounds "over the pond.")

After another fantastic trip to Colorado last month I am of the opinion that in-bounds European sking is just too sanitised. In general, too much motorway skiing and too much pisting.We still enjoy it - but give me the Outback at Keystone any day. There, you can enjoy (what feels like) a wilderness ski experience in-bounds. Very Happy


Yep I was reflecting on this during my recent trip (when it never stopped snowing, windy, wet or otherwise). In those conditions most European resorts would have been closed out entirely or like the inside of a ping pong ball. At least we had below treeline stuff to go at. Even groomers are more intersting when they dip and swoop through trees. having said that, beyond teh average Euro skiers inability to cope with non groomed slopes, given the volume of traffic and frequency of snowfall think how screwed up most resorts would get if it weren't for grooming reestablishing a consistent base.
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Dave of the Marmottes,

I agree with the principle of pistìng for base preparation/season sustainability - but still cannot understand why a very wide European run must be pisted across its full width, top to bottom Puzzled
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Bergmeister, I think it’s because many people skiing in European resorts can’t ski down a narrow corridor of piste even if they wanted to (even if we don’t think it’s a narrow bit) so I guess they must make it appeal to the ‘masses’?
I don’t know why, there seems to be a reluctance to take lessons or go on courses past beginner level to get them up and running. Maybe people just want it easy without any challenges?

I can’t wait to find out what Canadian skiing is like.
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:

I don’t know why, there seems to be a reluctance to take lessons or go on courses past beginner level to get them up and running. Maybe people just want it easy without any challenges?


It's not just Europe - that is a global phenomenon. The only difference in N America is that many people* will have grown up as kids in "weekend warrior" ski clubs and thus have a sound tecnical grounding from an early age.

*Obviously not the Texicans
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Maybe the thread title should be lift-accessed skiing differences between NA and Europe?

From my limited experience in NA I'd have to say that what I experienced in bounds, was as a word that has been used here a few times, sanitised, compared to Europe, maybe it's just the resorts of Winter Park and Steamboat, but no one was carrying a backpack with gear.

I can't really remember my trips to Vermont and Crested Bute.

With a few short hikes and/or traverses from lifts in many a Euro resort you can get into serious terrain.

And in between the pistes here in Serre Che I could take you into some very demanding terrain!

And agree about standard of skier, did not see many intermediates at all

I have to say that the piste management was second to none and Frenchies could really learn a thing or two, some of their pistes were the width of six lane highways so they could leave one-half un pisted Laughing
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I was thinking about this thread skiing down just now to get the bus.
Having spent the last 3 months in the Austrian Alps (first time I’ve done a long term trip like that) I won’t miss how busy it gets here even when it’s not school holiday time. I tend to have my lunch early before 12 just so I can avoid the hoards of people everywhere and be able to sit down easily without looking for somewhere to sit. Have a bit of peace, have a beer, have a coffee without someone wanting to squeeze past you sort of thing.
For someone that skis off the piste a lot more than on these days I find going back onto the piste slightly stressful, I just wonder if it’s just too busy and too crowded.
I’m hoping that in Canada it’s just generally a lot quieter with fewer people about?
The other thing is, here we have had plenty of snow, more than enough on and off piste but it doesn’t stay cold, some days have been roasting and that doesn’t do the snow much good, you get a couple of hours of nice snow if you’re lucky which is how it was around here last week.
So I’m hoping that in Canada it stays a lot colder for longer (I don’t mind the cold at all) so you don’t get soft snow/slush/mashed potato after 10.30 in the morning.
Luckily this week the temperatures have dropped again it’s gone from about +13 to -5.
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Weathercam wrote:
Maybe the thread title should be lift-accessed skiing differences between NA and Europe?

From my limited experience in NA I'd have to say that what I experienced in bounds, was as a word that has been used here a few times, sanitised, compared to Europe, maybe it's just the resorts of Winter Park and Steamboat, but no one was carrying a backpack with gear.

I can't really remember my trips to Vermont and Crested Bute.

With a few short hikes and/or traverses from lifts in many a Euro resort you can get into serious terrain.

And in between the pistes here in Serre Che I could take you into some very demanding terrain!

And agree about standard of skier, did not see many intermediates at all

I have to say that the piste management was second to none and Frenchies could really learn a thing or two, some of their pistes were the width of six lane highways so they could leave one-half un pisted Laughing


(Oops. Deleting double post)


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Tue 12-03-19 17:15; edited 1 time in total
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Weathercam wrote:
Maybe the thread title should be lift-accessed skiing differences between NA and Europe?

From my limited experience in NA I'd have to say that what I experienced in bounds, was as a word that has been used here a few times, sanitised, compared to Europe, maybe it's just the resorts of Winter Park and Steamboat, but no one was carrying a backpack with gear.

I can't really remember my trips to Vermont and Crested Bute.

With a few short hikes and/or traverses from lifts in many a Euro resort you can get into serious terrain.

And in between the pistes here in Serre Che I could take you into some very demanding terrain!

And agree about standard of skier, did not see many intermediates at all

I have to say that the piste management was second to none and Frenchies could really learn a thing or two, some of their pistes were the width of six lane highways so they could leave one-half un pisted Laughing


Are you mixing up in-bounds off-piste and out of bounds/backcountry? The whole idea of inbound off-piste is that it is sanitized (somewhat)
North America is a very big place (think Rockies, Coastal range - coastal range alone is nearly 4000 miles long of which the Coast Mountains here alone occupy an area roughly 50% larger than the entire Alps!). Plenty of very serious terrain I'm sure Madeye-Smiley


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Tue 12-03-19 16:59; edited 1 time in total
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Plus remember @Weathercam likes to feel superior to people so he'll feel equally that rad dudes throwing double backies off inbound cliffs are pussies for not skiing out of bounds and that "all the gear" punters crusing groomers are overequipped.

N American inbounds you can ski fast laps on your own without worrying about avy hazard too much (still need to think hard and mitigate re tree wells). If you want out of bounds it can get as serious as you want if your pick somewhere with the right terrain. If you want to ski tour then heaps of people do that - just drive up Teton, Berthoud , Carson or Tioga pass for evidence of parked subarus.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
[quote="boarder2020"]
Quote:

Here is an example that kind of sums it up, the first chute he skis in this video is an inbounds named run on the trail map (coolers 1 red mountain). Steep tight chute with mandatory cliff drop in the middle. The guy skis it extremely well in perfect conditions (making it look rather easy in fact), but way more challenging and high consequence than any euro piste.

https://www.facebook.com/162636951279/posts/10156923738366280/?sfnsn=mo


Errr.... This inbounds clip doesn't look very 'sanitized' to me?

I have now skied a number of BC resorts and this is very much the norm.

I cannot comment about the USA as I have no experience.
snow conditions     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
More sanitized US inbounds terrain


http://youtube.com/v/MIKhbc_-jmM
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Perfectly sane Madeye-Smiley - there's probably a cliff sign up there somewhere to keep you safe! wink
snow conditions     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy