There are 3 main areas to ski in the USA – the West Coast running down from Alaska to California, the Rockies stretching from Montana down to Arizona, and the East Coast.
Being the USA, the infrastructure is staggering – lifts are fast and efficient, the slopes are groomed to golf-green standards, and service is with a smile.
The North American continent and the Rocky Mountains in particular, are justifiably keen to promote the quality of their snow. And not just the quality, but the quantity! The Rockies are an ancient mountain range in comparison to the jagged peaks of the European Alps. High, wide and, perhaps most importantly, far inland. The quality of the air in these eagles’ eyries is as dry as a bone. As a result, although the mercury may be plummeting, the feeling on the slopes is certainly not bitter; and of course the dry air preserves the famous ‘champagne’ powder for days on end. With a season that stretches from before Christmas until well after Easter, the attractions are obvious. Service with a smile and the ever present ‘have a nice day’ are the keynotes of customer interaction in North America.
North American ski resorts are relatively new, and whilst they may lack some of the intrinsic charm of an Alpine Farming village that has adapted to snow sports, they more than make up for it with efficient lift systems and an enlightened approach to the rare manifestations of queuing. High speed quad chairs dominate the resort based lift systems with one simple expedient in mind: to get people up the mountain and spread across the ski area as quickly as possible and thus avoiding any wearisome queuing. In the unlikely event that you do find yourself in a queue you will find that the resort staff work hard to fill up every seat to minimise waiting time and that you and your fellow skiers and boarders are soon travelling back up the mountain.