Ski Resorts

Understanding Ski Resorts by Vertical

The Vertical Difference in Ski Resorts

Ski resorts offer a variety of terrain, including beginner to expert slopes, glades, and terrain parks. However, one crucial aspect that sets ski resorts apart from each other is vertical feet.

Vertical feet, simply put, is the difference in elevation between the mountain’s base and summit. The more vertical feet a ski resort has, the longer and more challenging the runs are. Typically, ski resorts with more significant vertical feet are more suitable for advanced skiers and snowboarders.

The Vertical Scale

Ski resorts are often rated based on their vertical feet. The scale ranges from small to medium to large vertical skiable terrain, with large ski resorts boasting over 2,000 vertical feet.

When choosing a ski resort, it’s essential to consider your skill level and the vertical feet of the resort. If you’re a beginner, a small ski resort with less vertical feet than a larger resort could be more suitable. Conversely, an expert skier might find a smaller ski resort with lower vertical feet unchallenging.

Ski Resorts with the Most Vertical Feet in the US

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole Ski Resort is North America’s largest ski resort, with over 2,500 skiable acres and vast vertical terrain. The resort boasts over 4,000 feet of vertical, making it a favorite of advanced skiers.

Snowmass, Colorado

Snowmass ski resort, located in Aspen, Colorado, is another ski resort that’s popular among advanced skiers. The resort has four distinct mountains, which provide a total of 4,406 vertical feet.

Vail, Colorado

Vail ski resort sits in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and boasts over 5,000 skiable acres of terrain. The resort has over 3,400 vertical feet, making it a popular choice for intermediate to advanced skiers.

Beaver Creek, Colorado

Beaver Creek ski resort is another Colorado resort known for its extensive vertical feet. The resort has over 1,800 vertical feet and over 1,800 skiable acres.

Alyeska, Alaska

Alyeska ski resort has over 1,000 acres of skiable terrain and a whopping 2,500 vertical feet. The resort is based in Girdwood, Alaska, and is a favorite among Alaskan skiers.

Ski Resorts with the Best Vertical for Beginners

Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge ski resort has over 2,900 acres of skiable terrain and an impressive 3,398 vertical feet. However, the resort caters to beginners, with over 11% of its terrain classified as beginner-friendly.

Heavenly, California

Heavenly ski resort is located in South Lake Tahoe, California, and has over 4,800 skiable acres. The resort’s impressive vertical feet of 3,500 might be intimidating, but over 20% of the terrain is designed for beginners.

Keystone, Colorado

Keystone ski resort is another Colorado resort known for its beginner terrain. The resort’s vertical feet measures over 3,100, and 19% of the terrain is classified as beginner-friendly.

The Benefits of Skiing the Verticals

Skiing or snowboarding on a resort with a significant vertical drop can provide an adrenaline rush that can’t be found anywhere else. The longer runs provide more time to enjoy the snow and scenery, and the challenge of skiing a more extended vertical drop can be rewarding.

Skiing Fitness

Skiing or snowboarding on a resort with a substantial vertical drop can also be an excellent workout. The exertion required to ski or snowboard down a mountain can burn up to 500 calories an hour.

Stunning Views

Ski resorts with longer vertical drops often offer more stunning views than shorter resorts. The higher the vertical, the more spectacular the views from the top of the mountain.

Better Snow Quality

Ski resorts with more significant vertical drops often have better snow quality due to the higher elevation. The snow is dryer and more powdery, making for an enjoyable skiing experience.

Conclusion

When choosing a ski resort, it’s essential to consider the vertical feet of the resort. Ski resorts with more significant vertical feet are more suitable for advanced skiers and snowboarders, while those with less are better for beginners. Additionally, skiing on a resort with a longer vertical can provide a more rewarding experience, both physically and visually.

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