Resort Guide 2013-2014: Poll Results

Nick "Pooch" Poohachoff poppin' things off on a Nike Snake and Hammers feature at Mammoth. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

Welcome to the new 2014 Resort Guide and Poll

We all need a change from time to time. For you hopefully that means checking out that park you always wanted to ride or finding some new pow stashes at a resort you've never hit. For us it means rethinking the way we put together the Resort Poll and Guide. Now in its 13th year, the Resort Poll is a way to gather the opinions of thousands of TransWorld readers across North America by asking you to vote on the top three resorts that you rode in the past season. Thanks to your feedback this has been a pretty good way to gauge which resorts have the best parks and terrain.

But we also felt some resorts that should have made the top rankings were consistently left off the list. Sometimes they didn't make it because only a few people voted for them so the sample size was too small to include in our results. Sometimes the resorts are little more off the radar. To strike a better balance, this year we included the Resort Poll results and editors' recommendations, born from the years our editors have spent living in and traveling to resort towns across North America. Some of our crew are in their mid-twenties, others in their mid-thirties. Through that mix we bring a broad range of perspectives and experiences found at no other snowboard magazine.

What you'll see on the following pages are our picks for freeriding and parks in each region, along with that resort's poll ranking. The selections are exactly what we'd suggest if you met us on a chairlift or in a bar and asked what you should hit up on your trip. It's the same stuff we tell our friends if they ask. We've also presented the resorts by region where you'll get tips and insights so you know what to expect—good and bad—before you go. Separately you'll find the results from the poll including the Top 10 overall resorts, parks, pipes and the resorts with the best quality snow, terrain variety, value, and nightlife.

Whether it's through your votes in the poll or our recommendations, really it comes down to this: Pick a bunch of these resorts, hit the road this winter, and drop in to something that you've never ridden before. Change is good.

Boring stuff about the poll

We took over 8,400 responses on more than 140 resorts and ran the numbers to find your picks for the top resorts. Here's how it works. Each respondent filled out a survey for up to three resorts they rode last winter. That survey is made up of 28 categories ranking snow quality, grooming, and park layout, park creativity, staff, crowds, and more. Questions about the park and pipe make up about 50 percent of the poll meaning that a good park setup is crucial to a resorts overall result. We do a bunch of statistical things and out come these lists.

Top 10 Parks

1. Buttermilk, Colorado

2. Mammoth, California

3. Bear Mountain, California

4. Snowmass, Colorado

5. Whistler/Blackcomb, BC, Canada

6. Northstar-at-Tahoe, California

7. Copper, Colorado

8. Park City, Utah

9. Breckenridge, Colorado

10. Keystone, Colorado

Top 10 Resorts

1. Aspen/Buttermilk/Highlands/Snowmass, Colorado

2. Mammoth, California

3. Whistler/Blackcomb, BC, Canada

4. Sierra-at-Tahoe, Calfornia

5. Copper Mountain, Colorado

6. Squaw Valley, Calfornia

7. Park City, Utah

8. Mt. Bachelor, Oregon

9. Northstar-at-Tahoe

10. Breckenridge, Colorado

Top 10 Pipes

1. Buttermilk, Colorado

2. Snowmass, Colorado

3. Mammoth, Calfornia

4. Park City, Utah

5. Breckenridge, Colorado

6. Copper, Colorado

7. Whistler/Blackcomb, BC, Canada

8. Sierra-at-Tahoe, California

9. Northstar-at-Tahoe, California

10. Squaw Valley, California

Top 5 East Coast Parks

1. Mount Snow, Vermont

2. Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

3. Killington, Vermont

4. Waterville Valley, New Hampshire

5. Loon Mountain, New Hampshire

Top 3 Midwest Parks 

1. Chestnut Mountain, Illinois

2. Cannonsburg, Michigan

3. Tyrol Basin, Wisconsin

Check out the rest of the results on the next page…

An early morning tram at Snowbird, Utah. Photo: Andrew Miller.

Best Quality Snow

1. Whitewater, BC, Canada

2. Snowbird, Utah

3. Aspen/Buttermilk/Highlands/Snowmass

4. Revelstoke, BC, Canada

5. Mammoth Mountain, California

6. Mt. Baker, Washington

7. Brighton, Utah

8. Kirkwood, California

9. Powder Mountain, Utah

10. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Best Western Terrain Variety

1. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

2. Revelstoke, BC, Canada

3. Kirkwood, California

4. Whitewater, BC, Canada

5. Snowmass, Colorado

6. Whistler/Blackcomb, BC, Canada

7. Snowbird, Utah

8. Mammoth, California

9. Mt. Baker, Washington

10. Powder Mountain, Utah

Best Nightlife 

1. Whistler/Blackcomb, BC, Canada

2. Aspen, Colorado

3. Breckenrige, Colorado

4. Heavenly, California

5. Park City, Utah

6. Mammoth, California

7. Vail, Colorado

8. Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada

9. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

10. Mt. Bachelor (Bend), Oregon

Best Value

1. Sierra-at-Tahoe, California

2. Whitewater, BC, Canada

3. Timberline/Mt.Hood, Oregon

4. Boreal, California

5. Mt. Baker, Washington

6. Sugarbush, Vermont

7. Mount Snow, Vermont

8. Waterville Valley, New Hampshire

9. Kirkwood, California

10. Powder Mountain, Utah

Best East Coast Terrain Variety

1. Jay Peak, Vermont

2. Sugarloaf, Maine

3. Killington, Vermont

4. Sugarbush, Vermont

5. Whiteface Mountain, New York

6. Stowe, Vermont

7. Mount Snow, Vermont

8. Waterville Valley, Vermont

9. Loon, New Hampshire

10. Sunday River, Maine