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Overcrowding at Epic and Ikon resorts

It's the first weekend of Crystal's new policy with no walk up ticket sales. Both yesterday and today parking still filled before opening. My husband went today and said the drive was 45 minutes longer than usual due to traffic there. (As of last year there really was not traffic to Crystal, unless it was a backup/slowdown due to icy or snowy roads). But of course that's a lot better than previous weekends were people were in the car for five hours and still got turned away. I am very crowd averse so I elected to stay home. He just texted me that he is having fun, but that it is kind of a s**t show up there. I actually might have thought this three-day weekend would've spread out the crowds more over three days. Crystal is largely a day use area with very limited lodging, so it's not a place people would generally travel to ski, however who knows, maybe with Ikon people are actually traveling here.

Anyway, it seems like a step in the right direction, though I hope they will reconsider the low cost or the unlimited access of the pass next year.

I don't think I'll be skiing on weekends anymore, except maybe in April. I'm a little more flexible with work these days so I can go on weekdays occasionally.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
It's not a holiday weekend in Canada, but things looked really busy at Tremblant from the webcams. I'm suspecting with Ikon and exchange we are getting more visitors. I'm heading up Wednesday I hope for a long weekend....of my own making.
 

NYSnowflake

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
The parking lot shuttle at Okemo on Saturday was simply awful! We stood outside in huge lines forever in the frigid cold waiting for old school busses to shuttle us to the lot. Traffic was at a standstill once you got on the bus. It really sucked. Okemo needs to step it up. The Moover at Mount Snow is vastly superior and a pleasure to use compared to the nightmare at Okemo.
 
Stowe was an absolute sh*t show yesterday although I'm not terribly surprised.

My friend who lives about 75 minutes from the resort left at 6:30am and didn't get there until 9:15am, and texted me at 7:45 saying she was backed up about 12 miles from the resort (so that last 12 miles took an hour and a half up the Stowe mountain road...).

Hearing this, we did a mid-drive pivot and went to Burke Mountain on the eastern edge of the state. Great hill with very nice terrain, minimal lines (except for a peak time between 11am-12pm) and only $45 with a pass from another mountain!
 
We were on the lift at Killington yesterday at 8 am, and stayed till 9:45. Only for the fresh snow, which was pretty good. But the crowding was insane!

I’ve never seen lines like those at lifts before, and it was amazing. Even as we were heading to the parking lot, there were hoards of people pouring in, many of them looking overjoyed as they caught sight of the snow, the trails, and the mobs. Maybe on drugs?

Mr. Blizzard declared “that wasn’t skiing. It was more like dodgeball.” He had plans to mount the bindings on his new Stocklis and ski them for an hour early this morning, but the temperature at our house (4* F.) changed his mind!

It was dangerous. As an intermediate skier with lots of pushed-up piles, I got nervous when a six-year-old crossed my line - not in any danger, but too close for comfort.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
We were on the lift at Killington yesterday at 8 am, and stayed till 9:45. Only for the fresh snow, which was pretty good. But the crowding was insane!

I’ve never seen lines like those at lifts before, and it was amazing. Even as we were heading to the parking lot, there were hoards of people pouring in, many of them looking overjoyed as they caught sight of the snow, the trails, and the mobs. Maybe on drugs?

Mr. Blizzard declared “that wasn’t skiing. It was more like dodgeball.” He had plans to mount the bindings on his new Stocklis and ski them for an hour early this morning, but the temperature at our house (4* F.) changed his mind!

It was dangerous. As an intermediate skier with lots of pushed-up piles, I got nervous when a six-year-old crossed my line - not in any danger, but too close for comfort.
I thought it was crazy busy at Okemo yesterday, too. I did go out, but only from 8 til 9:15, and only because it was my birthday and there was new snow. Got in five runs. After that it was way too crowded for my taste.

I am so fortunate that I ski weekdays; honestly, you Divas who ski weekends and holidays, I don't know how you do it.

Passed on today. I'll wait until the hordes go home.

And yes, I do think the multi-resort passes are making it worse.
 
Sunapee was great on Saturday. The low temperatures kept many people away. Tons of people on Sunday but the snow was great. I arrived at 8:40 and got into lot 3 with people still pouring in. Lines moved though and most people were competent skiers. Crowded but not as bad as other resorts I’m sure.
 

NYSnowflake

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
At Okemo on Saturday at 4pm a guy skied into me and bear hugged me to try to stay upright right by the ski racks as I was heading in. I shoved him off and yelled “get the #%^*% off of me!”. A kid broke my arm that way ice skating when I was a kid and I won’t tolerate it again. I have lots of problems with men invading my personal space while skiing but my husband never does. Why might this be??
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
Stowe was an absolute sh*t show yesterday although I'm not terribly surprised.

My friend who lives about 75 minutes from the resort left at 6:30am and didn't get there until 9:15am, and texted me at 7:45 saying she was backed up about 12 miles from the resort (so that last 12 miles took an hour and a half up the Stowe mountain road...).

Hearing this, we did a mid-drive pivot and went to Burke Mountain on the eastern edge of the state. Great hill with very nice terrain, minimal lines (except for a peak time between 11am-12pm) and only $45 with a pass from another mountain!
I love Burke. One of my favorites.
 
How are unaffiliated resorts in the NE doing in terms of crowds? Do we think places on Epic and Ikon suck people away from them? Sorry if some of the above places mentioned are unaffiliated--I'm not 100 percent up on who is and isn't in that region.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
How are unaffiliated resorts in the NE doing in terms of crowds? Do we think places on Epic and Ikon suck people away from them? Sorry if some of the above places mentioned are unaffiliated--I'm not 100 percent up on who is and isn't in that region.
Good question. The Vail and Alterra resorts don't release their visitor numbers, though it'd be interesting to hear, anecdotally, how crowded unaffiliated resorts were during MLK weekend. Anyone have anything to say about that?
 
I have lots of problems with men invading my personal space while skiing but my husband never does. Why might this be??
Welcome to the Frequent Complaint section of Theskidiva.com. There are long threads about getting mansplained on the lift (and everywhere) and endless other such topics. We wish for it all to end!
 
If we still had many of those mom-and-pop ski hills open, the resorts might not be so incredibly crowded.
I’m at Berkshire East now and it’s sublime. I love this place. I figured they weren’t too crowded yesterday but a guy on the lift told me that it was very crowded and people were parking down the street! But I’m glad people are choosing smaller, local mountains for holiday weekend skiing.
 
How are unaffiliated resorts in the NE doing in terms of crowds? Do we think places on Epic and Ikon suck people away from them? Sorry if some of the above places mentioned are unaffiliated--I'm not 100 percent up on who is and isn't in that region.

Sunday River is on Ikon, and this weekend was great. The cold definitely helped us out Saturday and today. I think we are lucky at Sunday River because we are too far to attract a huge huge crowd from New York like Vermont suffers from. Yes, people drive up in droves from MA on the holidays, but there are many options before you get to us as well. The other thing that works in our favor is our 8 peaks really spread people out. There are a couple of lifts that had lines form that were probably 10 minutes or so, but you can find plenty of others without almost any line. Just depends where you want to ski and if you know how to work the mountain at those times. Helps even more when all of the trees open to disperse people even more, we are just starting to get enough base for that this season, another storm or two would really solidify things there.

Wildcat is now on Epic, and is 45 mins. southwest of Sunday River, heard it was a total $@&;show yesterday! People were parking down the road in the lots used for hiking the general area, and walking in. They are such a small locals type of place that has a big reputation, I think being on a pass like this will definitely change the experience there in a negative way on powder days like yesterday..
 
We were at Cannon Sunday, and it was busy, but lift lines were not crazy. What WAS crazy were lines for the cafeteria. They had ONE cashier--poor thing was completely overwhelmed. It took about 30 minutes to grab a burger and buy it.
 
So I heard that Northstar lots were all full by 10:00am (many huge lots) and resort was advising folks to park at the Truckee airport and shuttle over... WHAT????? It's got to be five miles away. No, I was not there as avoid holiday weekends.... However, Sawtooth Ridge was open (rarely ever opens) and is hike to from the gate at the bottom of Challenger...... Did it last year and super fun (other than hiking with skis on my shoulders for 30 minutes)...
 

knolan12

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
How are unaffiliated resorts in the NE doing in terms of crowds? Do we think places on Epic and Ikon suck people away from them? Sorry if some of the above places mentioned are unaffiliated--I'm not 100 percent up on who is and isn't in that region.
I went to Pat's Peak (NH) yesterday and it was SO crowded. I only ski there on weekends and never have an issue. The lines did move fast, but trails were fairly crowded (especially on greens, seemed like a decent amount of newbies). My biggest issue with the crowds were by the ski racks and in the lodge. I get anxious around big crowds and just the sight of the hordes of people was enough for me haha My instructor said one of the days during MLK weekend is always the busiest of the season plus the new snow and you had tons of people. Otherwise, it's busy but not crowded.
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I am glad that I am no longer a weekend warrior. When I was ... MLK and Presidents' Weekend were always the worst of the year. Even worse than the Christmas holidays. We did ski today with some friends and knocked off at 11:30 due to crowds. We get hit hard on holidays because Mammoth is blacked out on the holidays so all of Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, Palm Desert ... etc. come our way instead. Truthfully though, I don't think it's any worse than before Ikon. My worst ski weekend ever was a Presidents' Weekend at Mammoth before it was on any multi pass.
 

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