For those of you who live fairly close(within the timeframe discussed on the day trip limits thread)to several mountains, what is the main reason in selecting the one you do for that particular day?Of course there are a multitude of answers to this question,(vertical,skiable acres,#/type of lifts,$of lift ticket,service,snowmaking,and this year especially amount and type of open terrain,price of cheeseburgers,ha ha,etc.)This question is aimed primarily at those of you who are not season pass holders and can choose between a handfull of highly rated mountains in the same general vicinity.For example,how do you choose between Sugarbush,MRG,Stowe,or Smuggs?Or how do you decide between Stratton,Bromley.Mt Snow,Magic,Okemo,or Kmart for that matter?
Here in Michigan,I choose Crystal Mtn.over Caberfae because of the terrain selection.Although a shorter vertical Crystal has a glacier valley naturally gladed area which draws me back again and again!
Obviously snow cover & trail count is important! Besides that I look for terrain and the cost of a lift ticket. There are certain occasions when I'll go to a smaller area just for the nostalgia or to help keep them off the NELSAP list!
This question is aimed primarily at those of you who are not season pass holders and can choose between a handfull of highly rated mountains in the same general vicinity.!
That's me, although my choices are not exactly highly rated. Crowds is a pretty big factor for me and I'll frequently choose a lesser mtn if I know it will be far less crowded. Not coincedentially, the less crowded places are also often less expensive. When I travel to big mtns out of my region, terrain and reputation is often the driver, but again crowds or lack thereof can be important determinant if other things are fairly equal.
In the days before I taught, my objective was variety and toward that goal, I rarely skied the same area twice in a single season. My idea of a perfect ski week back then: 7 days-7-different areas. The ones I didn't like didn't see me the next season.
Naturally, I gave some preference to the ones closer to home. When in college, price was important, but post-college, cost was less of an issue.
Looks like not many people can pick just one factor; neither can I. Cost is always a factor for me. Being from S.W. Connecticut, distance is also important. Conditions is maybe third; I hate ice. I don't mind crowds, within reason. I wish I could make terrain No. 1 but it doesn't work out that way. I'd love to ski Stowe and Sugarbush but the cost and distance factors haven't let that happen yet. I wouldn't have thought of Sunapee but for traveling by way of Boston to pick up my skiing buddy, my daughter.
Close and cheap, I tend to get a season pass, and the one year I had one at Jay while living in the New North End of Burlington it was just too far after several seasons with Bolton or Smuggs passes. This year I have one at Burke and live in Lyndonville..it's so easy to just go up for an hour or two even if I have classes the same day.