The Snow Report
1. DEER VALLEY
Among purists, Utah’s Deer Valley has a reputation as an ultraposh beginner’s hill. It’s a bad rap. Yes, it gets its share of wealthy customers, but they come because Deer Valley does resort skiing right: immaculate grooming, clean lodges with real food (try the turkey chili), and no more than 7,500 skiers on the hill on any given day. Yep, Deer Valley stops selling lift tickets before the experience declines. That’s one reason the resort is our (somewhat unconventional) top pick for powder. Another is that Deer Valley vacationers tend to come for the groomers, and because the better skiers out of Salt Lake City favor Alta and Snowbird, there’s not much competition for Deer Valley’s 300 inches per year. It’s also a serious hill. There’s more real-deal chute skiing in Empire Canyon than in all of Summit County, Colorado. We’re especially fond of the Lady Morgan area, which a few years ago increased Deer Valley’s ungroomed powder skiing by almost 200 acres.
This gem in British Columbia is difficult to get to, and there’s no city anywhere nearby. The snow is Rocky Mountain light, and the vertical drop dwarfs that of most U.S. resorts.
3. JAY PEAK
Vermont’s Jay gets more snow than a lot of western destination resorts. And because it has the most established tree-skiing network in the East, you can always find one more soft turn.
This winter a new high-speed quad will replace the Little Cloud fixed-grip double, cutting the ride time to three and a half minutes and improving access to the summit and Mineral Basin on storm days.
5. WOLF CREEK
This family-run ski facility in southern Colorado extracts more than its share of snow from passing storms. It’s not steep, but with 460 inches of snow, it’s plenty deep, rarely crowded, and always cheap.