2014 Ski Town Throwdown

Where's the best place to ski in North America?

Before we begin …

In our November issue, we ranked the top 64 places to ski powder in North America based on Powder Per Person (or P3), which took into account things we really like, such as vertical, snowfall, and skiable acreage, and things we don’t, like too many other skiers. The data is in, but it’s merely a place to start the conversation. And we’re sure you have something to say about where your ski area ended up. Which is why we used these rankings as a way to seed each of the 16 ski areas per region in a 64-team March Madness-style bracket, called Ski Town Throwdown. Check the schedule and bracket below, watch our match-up previews, take part in the discussion, pick your winners for a chance to win a dream trip, and, most importantly, vote. It all starts October 14 on Facebook.com/PowderMag.

2014 Champions
Crested Butte, CO

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  • jf

    Why would Silverton be paired with Wolf Creek? If anything Silverton goes with Durango, “San JuanBackcountry,” or it’s own caegory. Wolf Creek is 3 hours away.

    • John Fritz

      In that geographical area those two areas would likely be your top choices on a powder day. And if you were staying in Durango, they would both be easily accessed by a short drive.

      • BDub

        That logic would hold true for many places on the map: Big Sky & Bridger. Mt Bohemia and Marquette Mtn.

      • preston

        In that geographical area, Silverton would be restricted to mostly tree skiing on a powder day, and it’d probably be during the guided season as well. The Silverton BC would get pretty good once the snow settled. Wolf Creek is only the place to be on a powder day if it’s the only place with a powder day in the San Juans.

      • Will

        How are Telluride and Silverton NOT in the same geographical location?! 8 miles is pretty close!

  • dianna

    Are the competitions in the first round just one day?

    • John Clary Davies

      Hi Dianna, Yes, match-ups in the first two rounds last just 24 hours. Thank you for the question. —John Clary Davies, Managing Editor, POWDER.

  • ching

    No snowshoe?

    • J

      I love Snowshoe! I moved to Montana for the snowboarding, but my favorites back east are Snowshoe (Cup Run, Shay’s Revenge, repeat!) and Mt. Creek (N.J.)!

  • MIKE

    NO WYNDHAM OR HUNTER? BETTER SEVERAL TIMES OVER THAN ANYTHING IN THE MIDWEST.

  • J Mac

    Why is shames mountain, terrace bc, not on the ski town throw down?

  • Mark

    J Mac, keep it a secret!

  • Josh

    Silverton / Wolf creek no competition.

  • trollanski

    Wow. What a stupid contest. Data will be terribly skewed, because no one can vote without accepting offers from who-knows-what-the-f**k in order to vote. So no one is voting. Plus, its not in a powderhound’s best interest to invite everyone by saying, “look how DEEEEP and UNCROWDEDDDD our hill is!” LAME.

    • John Clary Davies

      Hey Trollanski, Thanks for the feedback. Actually, Offerpop needs that information so they can confirm votes. Otherwise, it’d be pretty easy to cheat and vote multiple times. They, nor Powder, will spam you. If they do, I’ll personally send you a free case of spam. Or a case of beer. Whichever you would prefer.

      Sincerely—John Clary Davies, Managing Editor, Powder Mag

      • Jon Greenspon

        I want a case of both… just make sure it’s Copper John Scotch Ale..

      • wetncold

        So, the word is out that you can vote multiple times using different devices and the counter will go up. Are those votes being discarded and you have your own count that we can’t see of accurate votes or are you going by the counter which many contain 4 votes from Sally – one on her desktop, one on her work computer, one on her smart phone and one on her tablet?

        • tdubs

          Why is everyone getting their panties in a bunch over this? If you don’t like it, don’t pay attention to it. Who cares if you’re mountain lost in some online competition? Powder is just trying to give us some entertainment until the snow flies (and drive up their page likes, but hey that’s business) for those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to be skiing yet. What’s the big deal? And it’s votes by facebook account, so no, Sally can’t vote 4 times.

          • tdubs

            Nice work Powder, all in good fun.

          • wetncold

            Um, my mountain hasn’t lost but my buddies are voting multiple time so I guess the town with the most devices wins.

    • trollanski

      Ok. All in good fun then. Thanks for the great mag! If we cant go skiing, we may as well talk about it ….

  • Queen14

    Still getting my bodie right for a vigoriouse year! 2014. Be happy people ski season is here . Damn grumpys asses

    • tdubs

      Amen.

  • Mark

    I do not use facebook, so no vote here. Mark

  • Luca

    any chance to see a European Ski town throwdown for your Eu accolites? It would be interesting to see Cham, Verbier, Alagna, St. Anton, etc. You have lots of readers in EU but you are still always and exclusively focused on NA…..

  • Corey Roderick

    I am seriously confused… How can a half-assed excuse of a mountain like Sun Valley beat out the REAL skiing & powder of Grand Targhee??? Who are the people voting here? Are they going to the mountain to ski or is shopping & dining more important?

    • blizzard2121

      Calling Sun Valley/Bald Mt a “half-assed excuse for a mountain” just shows how ignorant you are. Last time I checked, Baldy has 1,000 ft more vertical than the ghee. If you want to talk about powder of course Targhee kills SV, it’s just too bad that means countless days during the season of never ending fog. People care about more than just powder. Lucky for us in SV we see the sunshine almost every day and enjoy 3,400 vertical ft of consistently pitched groomers that are second to none. Sorry but we’re not sorry for having great mountain and resort facilities (RIP Earl Holding) and you’re welcome for the chair lift btw. SInce this is a skitown show down what’s your ski town? Driggs? LOL… I’ll put Ketchum up against any mountain town in the west. Grand Targhee is a great resort and I’ve had many good times skiing there but it’s not that hard to figure out why SV won.

      • Corey Roderick

        If you are a skier that lives in the west and speaks of “consistently pitched groomers that are second to none” that tells me everything I need to know… Enjoy your amenities & groomers. Nice to know I won’t have to fight you or other any other beaters that thinks more highly of SV over Targhee for good snow & good lines.

    • Jay Biggs

      No shit Corey! I’m with ya bro. Must be some fashionista,ski bum wannabes. I’ve skied both of them for the last 30 years.

  • kaywalden

    I really don’t like the way this is set up this year. I’m from Bozeman, Mont. Granted we won last year, but it’s not fair that while we have to split up Bridger, Big Sky and Moonlight (although the last two are now basically consolidated) but have to go up against the ENTIRE Vail Summit County. Sorry to complain. But Bridger Bowl itself isn’t the “Ski Town,” Bozeman is.

  • ryanlee273

    Mt. Baldy over Crystal?!

    YEAH. RIGHT.

    • Dragon

      Please explain.

      • ryanlee273

        So an LA ski area that gets 150 inches a year “beat” (got more votes) than Mt. Rainier’s back yard powder fest of 450 inches a year, with practically half the vertical. This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.

      • ryanlee273

        sorry, 486 inches*

  • Will

    How did Crystal loose to Mt. Baldy? What a sad loss for the best Mountain in the Northwest….

  • Nic

    Talk about some major upsets in the backscratcher division. I guess people prefer super small mountains rather than solid resorts. Hood out, Baker out, Bachelor out…WTF??

  • Corey Roderick

    I have lost all faith… Who the hell is voting here? Obviously not people that really care about the quality of skiing at the mountains they are voting for. When mountains like Jay Peak, Telluride, Whistler/ Blackcomb, Kicking Horse & Mammoth are loosing their first round match-ups it just enrages me as a skiier.

    • Halsey

      you are absolutely right. I grew up at mt Washington on the island and moved to golden to ski kicking horse for 12 years. I just moved back to the island because of family stuff and I am pretty lamed out about having to ski wash board again. I ski raced and skied every mountain in bc and alberta many times and kickinghorse is easily the best so whoever voted for wash board has no clue…. unless you like spending al least 3/4 of the day on the chair, in the rain most of the time. The only thing mount washboard is good for is getting drunk and skiing shitty bumps.

      • heliwannabe

        Ok want to know the goods about mt washington on the island as have good friends in campbell river who have been trying to convince me to ski there…… is there more pow in feb ? It’s not cheap either to ski there !! Does it really rain on the c lift lots ?
        also are all the runs groomed or is there at least good trees? Looks like fab pow though no ? anymore details would be great. washboard as in groomers and slushy too

    • CJ

      Whiteface over Jay is an absolute disgrace, and Crested butte is awesome, but if you are looking at Snowbasin AND Pow Mow, Crested only has like 1/10 that total acreage.

      • Shogun

        Crested Butte is awesome, and definitely a worthy competitor to any mountain…so it’s not crazy to see it win a couple brackets as far as i’m concerned. I know it’s a small mountain, but it’s got more expert terrain than most every resort in the US. Some pros: Quite possibly the birthplace of freeskiing, home to some of the best extremes in North America, you can easily find cliffs all day long… some up to 60ft (while still in-bounds), Rambo is widely considered one of the scariest ski slopes in the world (56 degree pitch)…so steep that snow barely sticks to it. Phoenix/Spellbound is incredible on pow days. Beacons are a must if you want fresh tracks. CB’s got relatively cheap living ($600 3brm apartments a 5 minute walk from the lifts), free public transportation, the locals are super friendly, the little groms seriously rip, and there’s barely ever a lift line. I know i’m biased cuz I live here, but after having experienced 25+ resorts in the US over 30 years, there’s rarely a line that can give me as much joy and challenges as I can find in Crested Butte.

    • Troy Sharp

      I was suprised that eaglecrest beat whistler in the first round. Not that we don’t have some great skiing here, but we are just so small in comparison.

      • GoToYourRoom

        Roger that, Troy. I guess it’s a J-Town/Southeast/AK thing :)

    • tdubs

      It’s called an upset, happens in sports brackets all the time there bub.

      • Nick Andary

        An upset? By a ski mountain? Did the terrain just magically change?

  • Jon

    why are there 2 MI mountains that are part of the east. There are plenty of bigger and way better mountains in NH, VT, and ME that should be there.

    • Josh smith

      You obviously don’t know shit about mount Bohemia.

  • jbayda95

    Revelstoke is far superior based on a snow to population persective

    • heliwannabe

      Revy is a beast……….incredible skiing and very little shopping. A mountain for passionate skiers and that’s coming from a 50 year old female. Mind blowing terrain and unbelievable trees and steep soft mogul runs….wanna cry when i think about it and how i fell in love with that mountain. 5 hr plane ride for me though :(

  • Reid

    So all this proves is that people in california have more access to computers and have never been to washington. Mount Baker got robbed

  • Some Guy

    The fact that Jay Peak lost in the first round for East makes these results absolutely meaningless to me

    • rp

      Yea how does WF beat jay??? then bohemia beat wf? when jay is like a super bohemia. powder should probably figure out a new way of comparing mtns.

      • tdubs

        Powder should find a new way of comparing mountains? It was two mountains in the East head to head, peoples vote. Pretty simple really, more people voted for WF. I don’t agree either, but clearly WF has a bigger online following… maybe something Jay should look into.

        • RP

          Way to overstate the obvious. Then call it an “online following peoples choice ski area throw down” because some of these places don’t even have a “town”. And how can you compare a vote from someone who skis once a year and never leaves the groomed green run which EVERY ski area has, to powder hounds and real hardcore skiers & riders searching for steep & deep? Plus everyone in between. This contest makes no sense & neither do you.

          • tdubs

            That’s like saying how can you compare a vote from a democrat and a republican. Doesn’t matter if they only ski one day a year or send the gnar every day, their vote still counts. You my friend don’t make any sense.

          • tdubsiaanidiot

            Dem/Reb ??? What the f*ck are you talking about. Sounds like you have no idea wtf your writing. look at all the others saying it’s BS. It’s an opinion. eff off.

          • JAK

            TBUBSISANIDIOT

          • Jimmy

            And you’re 14 years old, congrats.

          • Nick Andary

            It does matter because the vote from a skier that skis groomers isn’t relevant as all ski hills have groomers. The experts should be the voters as expert slopes have more distinction such as moguls, powder, and steepness.

          • Boatin

            All ski hills have groomers? Wrong!

          • Dan

            Obviously they have never been to Silverton. No holds barred backcountry big mountain riding.

          • Boatin

            “All places have a groomed green run”? Bohemia does not have a groomed green run. They don’t groom at all.

          • jo

            mad river glen doesn’t groom either

          • bobby

            Bohemia has no green runs, but also doesn’t have a town.

      • Peter

        No, they got it right by picking Bohemia over WF

    • skibig

      Ditto on that. I stopped reading after I saw that “iceface” beat Jay. Jay has the most snow in the East and the best tree skiing in the US

    • phillyhawk

      Jay kind of lost me when they went Disney. That said, there is by far better conditions at Jay than WF but WF is by far a better ski town.

  • Jamieson Potter

    How do you seed Mt. Bohemia number 1 in the east? Serious loss of credibility….

    • tdubs

      ha. Have you ever been to Bohemia? Didn’t think so.

  • JP

    Whiteface over Jay Peak…..? I’m confident all the voters are jeans, backward hat, starter jacket wearing, wine sipping, trail riding, straight ski using, never slept in a car for a powder day, wana be skiers from New Jersey. And they’ll probably, somehow, will vote Killington over Sugarbush

    • Shogun

      yeah, that was a disappointing loss. Jay Peak is awesome.

      • JaneWilder

        My daughter lives in CB and i will be voting for it, but not because I am an expert skier. I don’t understand the ski snottery that is going down. It is ski town throw down. So just cause I don’t want to jump off a freaking 60 foot cliff I don’t get to say what makes a good ski town? Phooey. I am old and like other things than tempting death–death is close enough thanks. I like to ski and enjoy the other things the town has to offer, like scenery, food, transportation, art, music and the like. What only hardcore a**holes who “live fast and die young ” get a “real” vote? Grow up. Oh wait, you probably won’t. I love CB but I can see why elevation would make other places more popular with many people. Breathing and not having a continual headache from Altitude are good things. I think I would otherwise vote for Mt Bohemia

      • heliwannabe

        I adore the glades at Jay………while most think the conditions are bad !!

  • Rich

    These are based on how many votes a mountain received, not which area is actually better…..smh stupid. Bohemia over Whiteface…A 900 foot ski hill beat a two time host of the Olympic Games, almost 3400 vertical and 90 trails……and the Best ski town in the East. Powder you all need to rethink how these polls are handled.

    • tdubs

      More people voted for Bohemia, what’s to rethink about that?

    • Ben Barth

      Last time I checked, this was a powder contest????

      • Nick Andary

        Last time I checked this was called “Ski Town Throwdown”. It isn’t just a powder contest, it is overall how good the Ski Town is. Just because the magazine is called Powder doesn’t mean it is all about how much powder a mountain gets.

  • tomthepowderpig

    I’ve done allot of skiing over the years….and all I can say is……this is all soooooo much BULLSHIT…..just git yer asses ova dat der pass and stomp it!

  • dp

    all this voting makes it feel like college football. looking forward to smugglers’ notch upsetting revelstoke in the semifinals

    • Ben Barth

      *basketball

  • wanderbear

    Stowe for best Eastern Ski Area!

    • Shogun

      Stowe is definitely one of my favorites in the east.

  • Spencer Rozak

    How does whis lose to eaglecrest? what?

    • GoToYourRoom

      It’s called “voting”. Try it. Do you wonder why our country’s in the toilet? Same thing.

  • Deb

    Go EagleCrest

  • Thomas J Stabler

    This is by vote, ofcource certin mountians don’t stack up to other peaks, but a mountian is mi is gonna have more votes then say whiteface, less skiing out their then in new york, the state with the most ski areas in the country or vermount, a state with tons of big mountian resorts, each with their own offering and deedicated followers

    Its less whi h area is the best and more who has more dedicated followers whiteface has more vert then jay, jay has better powder and a lot less ice, whiteface has skiing above 4k feet, jay tops out at 3900′ jay is more of a tourist resort, whiteface is a tourest trap in the summer, whiteface has lake placid, a shoppers town …….. its all in what you want

    Bohemth is one of the limited sizable midwest hills, has more following becuse more pepole have too ski their

    • a concerned skier

      At least we have decent grammar and writing skills here in the midwest. Good luck with that complete sentence someday bro.

    • interesting experiment

      Then how did Crested Butte beat the Vail powerhouse? CB is a truly awesome mountain, but not nearly as popular as Vail.

  • jon stamos

    If i could afford Alaska…then yeah! But I dont think i will ever be able to afford that amazing adventure

  • popcanjohnny

    Sounds like some folks have forgotten the contest goal. To find the best pow place. Real powder people should be thrilled to not see their favorite area listed. I am really happy the true best western powder that I know of did not make the list. Winners beware!

    • skwirrl

      Nobody is gonna use this thing to decide where they are gonna go even if it wins. It’s just there for bragging rights on best mountain… Though it seems the little hole in the walls that aren’t worth the tits on a bull have had their marketing teams out in force to beat places that are awesome. There are still a couple awesome bigger spots that have enough grassroots support to keep them on here with the little places that are using it as a marketing campaign.

  • Shaner Faulkner

    Love how Whistler didn’t make it out of the first round!

  • Chance

    The fact that Jay is a number 8 seed and Mount Bohemia is number 1 seed makes these results absolutely meaningless to me.

  • jon

    How does Sun Valley beat jackson hole?!!!!!?

  • ski_utah

    Alta/Snowbird easily #1

    • Nick Andary

      Obviously you’re going to have that bias, your username is ski_utah. I personally think Jackson is better because of its difficult terrain, and I have skied both.

  • jevs

    this voting is complete nonsense

    • skwirrl

      The only 2 that belong on there at this point is Kirkwood and Revelstoke.

  • jony

    If sugarbush loses to bohemia, it would be a shame

  • Richard Smith

    Sorry Powder. The Great White North is Canada. Only Canada. Sort of how you say you live in “America” while only being in possession of 1/3 of North America. We will happily absorb Alaska if you keep Sarah Palin. You know what, never-mind about that Palin thing. Just keep Celine and Bieber.

    • skwirrl

      Canada is America Jr. Deal with it.gif

      • Richard Smith

        I am so glad that’s not true.

  • Justin Lyn Ganuelas Farrow

    Ill have to ask my nephew which place he enjoys the most.

  • Cedar Bear

    Yeah… We (Eaglecrest) might have just beat Red Mountain…

  • Nathan Shaggy Gawor

    This whole contest just isn’t right. The title implies “ski town” well to name a few ski area’s that aren’t even town’s such as Bridger Bowl = closest town Bozeman Montana, Mad River Glen and Sugarbush VT = closest towns Warren & Waitsfield Vermont, Utah well everything up lil and big cottonwood canyon are not towns, Salt Lake City is the town and i don’t like that sorta commute… this list could go on and on. I’m not saying anything bad about these ski area’s as i was a season pass holder for many years at Mad River and Sugarbush. I live In Big Sky Montana which is a real Ski Town. The problem with this contest is what the name implies and how the viewer interprets it. This shouldn’t be about the town because soooo many of these ski areas are nothing of a town. So if there should be a viewer oriented contest then it should solely be about the Ski Area itself since they include ski areas that are clearly not towns.

  • The Dude

    Jay peak…out…. Whistler….out…..Targhee….out……This contest is a joke

  • BGraham

    How does Mad River Glen beat Sugarloaf?! makes no sense. Very disappointing to see.

  • jon

    Wow how does mt. bohemia win the east!? Its really not even in the freakin east

  • Canuk

    I dont understand how Eaglecrest keeps doing it. Since they beat out some of my favorite mountains I guess I should go see what this place is all about this winter

    • Bob

      Its not amazing, but they get tons of snow. Ive skiied at some of the places it beat, and i definately disagree

      • Cedar Bear

        You must have not skied much at the “Eagle”.

  • the dude

    Does it matter? The less votes at your favorite mountain mean less publicity and maybe less people yay. More powder to enjoy

  • Cedar Bear

    Go Eaglecrest!

  • Guest

    Eaglecrest, by a swoosh.

  • Tim

    How did eaglecrest beat whistler??? Whistler has tons more acrage, better parks, and more terrian. Ive skied at both

    • Cedar Bear

      It’s not about powder or terrain… It’s about the best community, a place that loves there mountain would vote. That’s why It’s called the SKI TOWN throw down.

      • Cedar Bear

        Whistler does have “tons more acrage” and they might have a better park… But to get to the “goodies” at Whistler you have to wait in an hour long line… We have steep n’ deep and no lift lines (yeah that’s actually a thing!)

  • Hot-sauce

    If you love your mountain you should be happy it didn’t win.

  • Matt B

    They want to try to get the message out about how good other mountians are. The winner last year is’t gonna be the winner this year. I grew up on Red Mtn, so I know how good it is. I have been all over & rode hills in Canada & the USA. did the whole Western slope of Colorado & into Utah from big resorts like Vail to small like Powder Horn. I have to say the snow & terrain in BC’s Kootenays is the best overall I have ever seen. Ask Travice Rice.

  • Sleetmute2013

    I spent a

  • Sleetmute2013

    I lived in Juneau, Alaska in the winter of 2002 and skiied every inch of Eaglecrest. On the right day, it is a stellar place to ski – lots of steep drops, open bowls, trees, chutes, unlimited snow. Just a great place to be alive on skis.
    No doubt it will be passed over in favor of a better-known hill in the Lower 48. But, Eaglecrest should be on every skiers list as place to ski.

  • Meh

    I am from Gunnison, 20 miles south of Crested Butte. Ever since daddy warbucks bought the place and packaged it up for the texans I stopped voting for it.

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