Diving Into The Trees: Top Glade Runs In West
Heading down the mountain, you suddenly drop off the side of the trail and into the trees. That's where you find the powder and the alpine quiet – and where you go back to the old-school.
All over the West, skiers and riders are diving into the forested terrain, and here are some of the runs they love.
New Mexico's Taos Ski Valley is covered with steep tree runs, especially on its precipitous front side. One of the best is North American, which veers off the top of Al's Run for one of the longest glade runs in America. A matrix of steep gullies and rolls and ridges awaits – as well as a rest stop to calm the quads.
In Utah, 19th century silver mining took down much of the mountain forests, but Solitude was spared – all over its trail map. Off the Summit Express, Black Forest pitches into west wall of Honeycomb Canyon where an infinite number of glade lines – both tight and spaced – await off a ridge that runs more than a mile to the Honeycomb Return lift.
It takes a bit to get to the trees off Steamboat's summit ridge, and some the best are on the backside. Morningside Park has its own lift and tons of tree lines. Locals cop a couple of glade runs on Huevos (skier's right off top of lift) before sliding over to the trees of Chutes 1,2 or 3 on the frontside.
On Schweitzer's trail map, red crosshatch indicates trees – and they are everywhere. Regulars jump on Great Escape chair and hit the steeps of JR Trees on the frontside. Or, dip over the backside into Outback Bowl to cycle Snow Ghost double chair for Tower 19 Trees and Kaniksu Woods.
You might say Sierra-at-Tahoe is all one glade run. Turn-of-century loggers left Sierra's Red Fir behind because they made poor lumber. Thus, the Tahoe resort known for its snowfall also touts old-growth, spaced tree runs everywhere. Check out Grandview trees between lift line and Jack Rabbit for sustained, luscious lines in the trees.