AdventureSnow Sports

My Favorite 5: Mike Hattrup

Former U.S. Ski Team moguls skier and director of K2's Backcountry Ski division Mike Hattrup picks his favorite mountains

Hattrup on location during the ­filming of Greg Stump’s Legend of Aahhh’s (Photo: Chris Figenshau)
Hattrup on location during the ­filming of Greg Stump’s Legend of Aahhh’s

As Told to Gordy Megroz
1. Jackson Hole, Wyoming  
I’m not interested in making 15 turns and then traversing—I want my legs to be screaming by the bottom. And the Hobacks at Jackson are pretty special that way. It’s a really consistent, probably 2,500-vertical-foot pitch, full of different ridgelines with no natural place to stop. And it’s never groomed, so it’s that much more challenging. Then it’s the Mangy Moose for a beer.

2. Crystal Mountain, Washington
They just put in a new gondola and some better lifts, but it’s never gonna have a big hotel or crazy bars and restaurants. What it does have is the best view of any resort in North America: from the top, Rainier is right in your face. And it has 2,400 vertical feet of great skiing. Afterward, hit Snorting Elk for great food and beer. It’s old and it feels like an Austrian ski hut.

3. Aspen, Colorado

It’s like Hollywood and Manhattan collided in the mountains. Hunter S. Thompson called it home, so that says something about the party scene. From a skiing standpoint it’s great, too. It’s got something for everybody: Highlands feels like Alta, Ajax has great tree skiing, and Snowmass and Buttermilk have moderate ­terrain.

4. Sun Valley, Idaho
There’s nothing super steep here, but there’s 3,400 vertical feet of uninterrupted fall line. It can be a powder day over Christmas vacation and you will not wait more than five minutes in line. So you can get to the top of a run—Warm Springs, in particular—and say, "There’s nobody on this.…" The next thing you know you’re going 60 or 70 miles per hour.

5. Alta, Utah

Utah gets more snow than anyplace in the world, and Alta gets more snow than anyplace in Utah. Snowbird gets 12 inches and Alta gets 16. And you are going here to ski—there’s no nightlife, no bars to speak of. You’re just heading up and skiing some of the most classic trails on the planet: High Rustler and Eagle’s Nest.

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From Outside Buyer's Guide 2004
Filed To: Winter Buyer's GuideSnow Sports
Lead Photo: Chris Figenshau
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