If you’re looking for firsthand intel from Discovery denizens, you’ve found it. We polled our own staff and other locals; and here, by condition, are their favorite runs and powder stashes. Or at least the ones they’d tell us about.
Berkeley – Almost always groomed to perfection, Berkeley offers great views of the Pintlers at every turn. It’s particularly good on cold sunny days because it gets more sun than most runs.
Orphan Girl – On a sunny day you can see the Mission Mountains and Swan Range (about 70 miles away) from the top of Winning Ridge. As you descend, the snow on Orphan Girl doesn’t get much sun exposure so it stays good. It is groomed at times, but still can have some fun bump lines. The waterfall section is the steepest part of the Granite Chair.
Medicine Ridge – With stunning views of the Flint Creek Valley, Medicine Ridge is the best of the limelight runs in bright sun. It tends to hold snow well and not get too baked. It also offers great steepness for intermediate skiers looking to take it up a notch.
The Pitch – If the wind is accompanied by snow, the Pitch usually gets the snow blown off the west-facing side of Limelight. Also, there is good protection in the trees on both sides from the wind.
Ajax/Maverick – Here the tree cover eliminates the cold wind, and if there’s fresh powder it tends to deposit at the bottom where the two runs converge. You drop down through the trees and into an open but protected powder field. Perfect.
Gold Bug – Great with kids because you are never far from the lodge. It’s the ideal run to learn on and in the early season, it is always the first run that is well covered.
Catch-A-Wave Chutes – If you like speed, catch this one on a powder day. The tight trees ensure untouched lines. There are some challenging (though small) cliff drops with tight run-outs. And at the bottom, a huge powder field awaits. Experts love Catch-A-Wave later in the season when the powder has piled up. But even then, don’t go in here without someone who knows it well. There are lots of hidden rocks and cliffs.
The Fingers – The three fingers offer a variety of exposures, pitches and aspects. You can tackle tree skiing, chutes, cliffs, open bowls and gullies. Get here early to get the freshest powder. But no matter how many people have skied the fingers, you’ll be able to grab a few powder turns for days after a big snowfall.
Boiler Maker – This is a great intermediate powder run. Typically, it’s groomed so the powder doesn’t hide bumps and you don’t have to worry about snags, cliffs or rocks like you do on the Limelight chair. Plus, it’s just the right length so that your legs won’t be shot at the bottom.
Sluice Box – If you can catch a powder day after Sluice Box has been recently groomed it is the quintessential powder run. It serves up a 50% grade from start to finish, is easily accessible, and you can see your tracks the next time up the chair.
First Run of the Day
Claimjumper – The first run cut and skied at Discovery in 1974, it is perfect for everyone in your family. Early in the morning you can beat the crowds and warm up your legs for some of the steeper terrain.
Red Lion – This is a long run that most always has ample corduroy in the morning. Fun, rolling hills and changing slopes make this run a great way to warm up for your day at Discovery.
Winning Ridge – The longest run at Discovery (1.5 miles) is always well groomed in the morning. If you can make it start to finish without a stop, you’re ready to take on steeper terrain.