Missouri Ski Area Guide -- Very Complete

  • Hidden Valley, Eureka • 20 skiable acres on 300' vertical
    Specs: Summit elevation: 775'. 6 Lifts: 1 quad, 2 triples, 3 surface. Terrain Mix: 37-63-0. Uphill capacity: 6000/hr. Longest Run: 1800'. Season: usually December through March. Night Skiing 7 days. Rentals & Lessons. Annual Snowfall: 15". Snowmaking: 100%.
    The SKInny: A friend of mine believes that life is ten percent situations, ninety percent attitude. Keep that in mind when you ski in Missouri. As far as skiing goes, the situation is about as bad as it gets, so make sure you have a good attitude. If you can approach this with a positive outlook -- or if you don't know any better -- you'll have a great time at Hidden Valley. A new quad chair has cut liftlines. Conditions are hit or miss, so is the service, but overall you have to give this resort credit for making a go of it in a floodplain. Operated by Peak Resorts, who don't get enough credit for providing a skiing product where there otherwise wouldn't be any.
    Signature Trail: Missi's Wish.

  • Snow Creek, Weston • 25 skiable acres on 300' vertical
    Specs: Summit elevation: 1100'. 4 Lifts: 2 triples, 1 double, 1 surface. Terrain Mix: 30-60-10. Uphill capacity: 5000/hr. Longest Run: 1800'. Season: usually December through March. Night Skiing 7 days. Rentals & Lessons. Annual Snowfall: 20". Snowmaking: 100%.
    The SKInny: This is the better of the two Missouri ski areas that Peak Resorts operates, we should say a lot better. Very good place to learn, fun for groups, families, etc. Also good for a tune-up...and the alternatives are few and far between. Tickets seem a bit pricey, but again, operating a ski area amidst the wheat fields is quite a gamble.
    Signature Trail: Sixshooter.

Additional Links

Use this to get Lift Tickets at Discount: There is a "clearinghouse" of sorts that many ski areas use to raise cash by selling discount tickets in advance, called Liftopia . If you haven't used this service, it is usually best to know for certain that you are going on a specific date. The deeply discounted tickets must be purchased in advance; generally up to two days out. The sticking point is that some ski resorts only make a limited number of tickets available to Liftopia for any given day, so they might be sold out if you wait too long...so, as soon as you are absolutely, positively sure that you will be skiing on a certain day, click this link to get deeply discounted tickets . I've used this service many times, usually when I am absolutely certain I will be skiing on a specific date. Some resorts offer "flex" tickets with which you can specify the date, and some have a few different tiers of pricing. In other words, you might be able to get a lift ticket that can be used on different days, but you'll pay a little more for that privilege. You need to have access to a printer to print out your receipt, and you have to take identification with you to the mountain. I've knocked a third off -- even half off -- the price of some tickets. Not every area participates, but it's well worth checking before you head to the slopes.

A tiny portion of your Liftopia purchase helps fund this website, at no added cost.

If the ski resort business interests you, I strongly recommend a book by Hal Clifford called Downhill Slide: Why the Corporate Ski Industry is Bad for Skiing, Ski Towns, and the Environment. It provides an inside look at the marketing logic behind clocktower villages, and the dubious practices of the US Forest Service that enables these resorts to be built. Fascinating reading.

Ski Movies for Mere Mortals

Did you ever feel like those big money ski movies are often a big let-down? You get all pumped up for the new release from some ski film company, and it's mostly incredible footage of guys jumping out of helicopters and shredding down some un-named mountain on the far side of the globe. They're neck deep in powder, skiing lines that you'll never, ever see. If you want ski movies you could actually relate to, a bunch of guys called The Meatheads, from Burlington, VT have made a series of "Ski The East" films. They film at real resorts like Sugarloaf, Blue Mountain, Big Boulder, Mount Snow, Ski Sundown, Stowe, Jay, Mountain Creek, Killington, Sunday River...urban locations ranging from Virginia to Quebec...mogul skiing with The Hammer and Radio Ron...and backcountry throughout New York, New England, and the Chic Chocs. It's simply fantastic -- and since it's the same terrain we can get to, it's inspirational!

Their most popular current release is No Matter What , which received the ski equivalent of an Oscar for the Jay Peak powder segment, filmed during 2012 of all things. One that is probably their best is from a year ago, called Prime Cut . Another favorite is Wanderland: An East Coast Ski Thriller. All Meatheads DVDs have hours of "bonus" footage, so it's like getting three ski movies for the price of one. The links go to Amazon.com, which enables you to order and return if you don't like them. And a small percentage of the sale helps us pay the expenses of this website, at no extra cost to you.

Here's a preview, courtesy Youtube...

Snow Creek photo in masthead used by persmission Creative commons.