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Forbes: Utah's ski resorts rate an 'A' for awesomeness

Published December 7, 2012 9:59 am

Rankings • Website puts seven resorts in U.S. Top 10 based on wow factor.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Forbes.com thinks Utah's ski resorts are "awesome."

At least the areas rank high in "Pure Awesomeness," according to the business website, which this week published its list of "The Top 10 Ski Resorts in the United States for 2013."

Seven of Utah's resorts — Alta, Snowbird, Park City, Deer Valley, The Canyons, Brighton and Solitude — all landed in this year's rankings based on Forbes' hardly scientific and decidedly dorky "Pure Awesomeness Factor," or PAF.

"We only rank one thing: Awesomeness," the site said of its measuring algorithm. "It's the most important thing we can measure. If you can know a place's awesomeness, do you need to know anything else?"

The top spot went to Jackson, Wyo., for what Forbes said was the "best skiing mountain in North America. It still has the best continuous fall line, the best terrain and the best backcountry of any mountain not in the Himalayas."

Second were both Alta and Snowbird for "the terrain against which all others are measured," according to the site. "The snow is dependable and comes in a density that's user friendly, like a stiff dollop of whipped milk on a cappuccino."

Park City, Deer Valley and The Canyons as a group were in fifth place, praised not only for the level of skiing but for the fact that they surround Park City, a place that is "picture perfect in every sense."

Brighton and Solitude landed eighth and ninth on the list, respectively, not only for their quality of the snow but their comparative lack of crowds.

The rankings didn't include resorts east of the Rocky Mountains because the website favored the West's powder to the ice it claims covers ski areas in the eastern U.S.

"No resort east of the Rockies has the snow or terrain to crack our Awesomeness rankings — something that matters for both beginners and experts," the site said.

vince@sltrib.com

Forbes.com top 10 U.S. ski resorts

1. Jackson Hole, Wyo.

2. Alta/Snowbird

3. Telluride, Colo.

4. Vail, Colo.

5. Park City/Deer Valley/The Canyons

6. Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows in California

7. Silverton Mountain, Colo.

8. Brighton/Solitude

9. Big Sky, Mont.

10. Tie: Wolf Creek, Colo./A-Basin, Colo.