From Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip
With the winter season ahead snowboarders are dusting off their boards, tightening their bindings and getting ready for another great season.
Flyboys, flygirls, freestylers, freeriders, carvers, call them what you like, they are all seeking one thing…the best place to snowboard. Whether you are looking for fresh snow, hard-packed powder or outrageous vertical drops, the following resorts each have something special to offer the snowboarder.
If you are a thrill seeker looking for a killer snowboarding trip, you have to check out some of the following places to board. These mountains are known for the best snow, best rides and best parties in and around the USA.
Check out our Top Ten List. Did your mountain make the cut?
photo credit Alpine Meadows
Alpine Meadows, Tahoe City, California
photo credit www.snowboard-mag.com
Alpine Meadows has its own blog and is on Twitter. If you can’t wait for the snow to fall in Tahoe, the San Francisco Ski and Snowboard Festival, taking place November 1-2, 2008, is your best bet until the flakes start falling. Alpine Meadows has the famous Shreadows terrain park for the ultimate ride. The Shreadows has a jump, rail, a box line and its own lift just off the base lodge. Lift tickets range from $50 to $69 depending on half day passes or holiday dates. You can buy your tickets online here. Opening Day is scheduled for November 26, 2008.
Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
photo credit www.whistlerbyowner.com
While it rests outside of the United States boundaries, Whistler’s Blackcomb is often called the the best ski and snowboarding resort in North America. Not only will it be the venue for the 2010 Olympics, the new 28 person Peak-to-Peak gondola will transport riders from Whistler to Blackcomb without having to force them to the bottom base. If you’re going to go to Whistler consider taking a snow boarding tour and go freestyle. Whistler offers over 8000 acres of terrain and half pipes as well as tube park. A two day pass ranges from $125-$178 CAD and you can reserve your tickets online here. Opening Day is scheduled for November 27, 2008.
Kirkwood, Lake Tahoe, California
photo credit www.familyskitrips.com
Sometimes considered the largest natural snowboard park in the United States, Kirkwood offers high altitude, open bowls, steep chutes, drops and lifts. It’s also a great place for spring skiing and working on the California tan. Kirkwood recently added two new lifts and revamped its terrain parks and halfpipe. You can purchase tickets online and avoid the lines when you get there. Opening day is schedule for late November. Check out their events calendar for more information.
Mammoth Mountain, Mammoth Lakes, CA
photo credit www.skidream.com
With the California sun shining almost 300 days a year, Mammoth offers a long ski and snowboarding season. Mammoth has two lodges you can board out of with a gondola ride that takes you to the top and back down to a great village with a few bars and a Starbucks. Tickets range in price, but are about $50-$70 and you get a discount if you buy mulitiple days at a time. Mammoth also has a snowboarding park and there is a blog where you can check out some pics. Weather permitting Opening Day is currently scheduled for November 13, 2008.
Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, Bend, Oregon
Located in central Oregon, 22 miles west of Bend, Mt. Bachelor has made a concentrated effort to attract snowboarders. It’s 400 foot Superpipe is among the best on the continent and they have just hired a new PipeCutter who will be cutting the pipe almost every night. The “Air Chamber” snowboarding run is a mile long and offers plenty of rails and booters for freestyle riders. Pricing for tickets can be found here. Opening Day is set tentatively for November 22, 2008.
photo credit www.snowrev.com
With 500 inches of annual snowfall, Snowbird offers the highest altitude of any Utah resort. The Tram whisks snowboarders up 11,000 feet in about eight minutes. A great place to strap in an attack the double black diamond runs. This season Snowbird has added a Superpipe. It’s called Zaugg and is a Pipe Monster. Zaugg is scheduled to be cut three times per week and is supposed to provide an experience like no other. Check out Snowbird’s website for ticket information. Opening Day is currently scheduled for November 22, 2008.
Mt. Hood, Mount Hood, Oregon
photo credit upload.wikimedia.org
Mount Hood Meadows is one of the few places offering year-round boarding. It’s also home to Meadows, the 500 foot long, eighteen-foot high, super pipe that received Transworld Boarding Top 10 pipe rating. Located just seventy miles from Portland, it’s easy to fly and drive to. There are six parks at Mt. Hood: Park Place, Rose City Park, The Zoo, Shipyard, Superpipe and Forest Park. There is also a blog for you to get even more information from. Tickets range from $50-$70. Opening Day is scheduled for November 21, 2008.
Stowe Mountain Resort, Stowe, Vermont
photo credit www.concierge.com
If you can conquer boarding in the East, you can board anywhere. Those of you who have cut your teeth, or should I say carved your board, on the hard pack, sometimes icy slopes of New England’s Mt. Mansfield know what I mean. Stowe is less than an hour from Burlington so weekends tend to be busy and lift lines can be long. Stowe even has its own website for freestylers to get pictures and event information .Ticket information can be found on their website. Opening Day is scheduled for November 22, 2008.
photo credit www.ccids.maine.edu
At 4,000 feet elevation, Sugarloaf is sometimes considered the best riders’ mountain in New England. If you like spring boarding, check out mid-April’s Reggae Weekend, one of the East’s largest snowboard parties. Sugarloaf’s newest park is called The YARD. It features three sets of jumps, new rails, a hip and more. Buying your tickets ahead of time will save you money and time at the mountain. You can go to their website for more ticket info. Opening Day is scheduled for November 21, 2008.
Park City Mountain Resort, Park City, Utah
photo credit images.beijing-2008.org
Often found on the top ten family resorts list in North America, Park City averages 360 inches of snow each year and is snowboard friendly. The Eagle superpipe, with its 22 foot walls, hosts the World Superpipe Championships. Boarders have four parks to ride, including King’s Crown Superpark, Jonesy’s, the lighted PayDay Park and Pick ‘N Shovel Park. Park City is conveniently located about 45 miles from Salt Lake, so flying and driving is easy. Coming in to Park City you see the Olympic Park that was built for the 2002 Winter Olympics. There is a very cool Old Town to Park City and it’s a bit bigger than a town like Mammoth. Park City offers Fast Track tickets that get you in to express lanes. Check out their website for more ticket info. Opening Day is scheduled for November 22, 2008.
Hey, you made it to the bottom of the run. What’s your favorite snowboarding mountain? Leave a comment below and happy boarding!