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Fastest Hills (or Times) I’ve Skied

A friend asked me this over the weekend, without evening knowing I had this site. We were just talking skiing. While I usually post videos that I find enthralling, I thought I might write a little about where are the fastest lines I’ve taken as an adult (meaning: no longer in the ski program).

This is over 17 years of skiing as an adult, so I’m sure I’m going to miss some or mis-remember some, but these are the places that stick out to me as fast or at least fun-fast.

Snowbasin–For sure the fastest and it’s easy to say that since this is where the downhill was held at the 2002 Olympics. It’s northern Utah or more northern than most of the rest of the ski runs in that state, so it’s colder and icier up there. You don’t have a lot of options to slow down because of the hard-pack ice, so it’s almost safer to just bomb it than it is to try and stay under regular control.

Aspen HighlandsI only skied a few runs here in about a 1/4 day. We were blowing through Aspen over a couple days, and spent most of our time at Snowmass, but MAN is the Highlands steep. I don’t remember the run, but I remember being surprised that Aspen had a place like this.

Breck Bowls–I took my first ski trip with the boys in college to Breck and we hiked up to the bowls, feeling our oats. Now, I’m sure it wasn’t that fast, but I was young enough that it made an impression. I remember none of us had been in a bowl before and we just sort of pointed straight down because we were scared and wanted it to end early.

TaosTaos used to have a black run that went right into the base. It has been made a little easier in recent years, but you couldn’t help but just fly into the base restaurants. They get a lot of strong alpine winds there, which makes it super icy and fast whether or not you want it to be fast.

Purgatory/Durango–It was Durango Mountain when I skied it, but Purgatory now and Purgatory for most of my life. Anyway, this wasn’t necessarily the fastest run I’ve ever done, but me and a buddy were there on a pretty empty day and we skied until we were the very last people on the mountain. “The Legends” goes from the middle of the peak to far skier’s left. It’s not a traverse, even though is cuts through the mountain. It’s a pretty quick run for this type of mountain crosser, but is has some easy hills that make it like a roller coaster. You can’t see the bottom on the approach, which is crazy fun. What truly made this is that it was in April, I think, and literally no one else was there so we could just bomb this and not worry if someone was passing through from another trail. Again, not the fastest, but likely the most memorable because you just never get to do something like this at a resort, so normal run is turned up several notches than it could be otherwise.

Sun Up & Sun Down Bowl Spring Break 2003For this one I remember it pretty well. I was in grad school and up in Avon for the weekend and just happened to get a call from some buddies from home who were going to be coming through for a day. We got back into the back bowls at Vail, and messed around everywhere, but found the Sun Bowls to be the least crowded lifts. The old competitiveness came back. This isn’t the steepest run and don’t even run fast for it’s own steepness, but we were balls out for about 5 hours. We weren’t waiting on each other or skiing with a friend. We were racing every time down. It was pretty great and exactly the kind of activity I crave, but rarely find.