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Top 10: Bumps


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#1 Winter Park, Colorado
First things first: The best bumps are at Mary Jane, not Winter Park. The Jane has its own exit from the highway, its own base complex, and its own special brand of abuse-it’s one of the few ski areas that’s truly a mogul resort. Don’t come here if you want a way out. Mary Jane is about facing your worst fears. Or, for those of you who love bombing the fall line-or man-handling a sledgehammer-embracing your biggest fantasy.

It’s a shame the trail map is only 2-D: Most of the mountain has tighter zippers than Catwoman’s suit and a bolder relief than Roosevelt on Rushmore. Thanks to the talented local bumpers, the lines are true and uniform. And long. And relentless. Beware: If you’re a gaper, you’ll hear about it from the lift. The names tell the story: Railbender. Outhouse. Boiler. Way back when, Mary Jane was a local lady of pleasure who received land from railroad workers as payback. Her domain has held true: rough, wild, and just plain gratifying.

#2 Telluride, Colorado
They call it the Local’s Lap: a zig-zagging, 3,000-foot obstacle course from the top of Chair 9 through knee-bashing Kant-Mak-M, Spiral Stairs, Lower Plunge, and Mine Shaft. From there, the runs off Chair 6-like Zulu Queen and Giant Steps-will be cake. If you’re still standing, that is.

#3 Killington, Vermont
How did Donna Weinbrecht, Evan Dybvig, and Hannah Hardaway get so damn good? By skiing Killington. It’s where the hardest of the bump corps crunch big, granite-hard moguls, jam deep rut lines, and pound the 1,200 feet of Outer Limits under a chairlift audience. You haven’t been punished till you’ve hammered Eastern moguls.

#4 Aspen Mountain, Colorado
The Face of Bell is the mogul run at Aspen, but all of Bell Mountain is as bumpy as a Las Vegas lap dance. If you follow the sun-from the Back of Bell to the Ridge to the gladed Shoulder-you’ll end up at the Face, a consistent pitch all the way.

#5 Squaw Valley, California
Squaw is seething with kick-ass skiers, so even the steepest runs get bumped out, whether the moguls are widely spaced in open bowls off Headwall or tight and off-kilter in the gullies and chutes of Olympic Lady. You could spend all day on KT-22-but only if you can handle Chute 75 and West Face, both tilted to 45 degrees.

#6 Steamboat, Colorado
Thanks to southern exposure, the bumps here are often soft. A good thing, if your mission is to emulate local mogul champ Nelson Carmichael by nailing the BMT (Bumper’s Migration Trail) from Storm Peak to Nelson’s to White Out-2,000 feet of knobs stacked end-to-end.

#7 Sun Valley, Idaho
In a few words: Consistent. Long. Perfect. Sun Valley is renowned for inverted-egg-carton mogul runs like Exhibition. It has bumps as high as your waist and as tight and even as a plastic surgeon’s stitches.

#8 Taos, New Mexico
At Taos, the snow is dry and soft, and the runs are steep. The most notorious bump fest, Al’s Run, drops 2,000 feet straight down the fall line to the base, under not just one lift, but two. Side by side.

#9 Vail, Colorado
Vail is more than endless groomers and the Back Bowls. Highline, a steep, 1,500-foot thigh-burner; Look Ma; and the classic Prima-Pronto-Log-Chute combo off Chair 11 are bumper paradise. At a resort this huge, the going is bound to get bumpy somewhere.

#10 Montana Snowbowl, Montana
Most people can’t link 25 turns on a 30-degree bump run, but on this small locals’ hill, you can lock into a perfect zipper rhythm. Homegrown national champ Donovan Power explains the secret to Snowbowl’s superlative moguls: “The bumps here aren’t made by people from Texas.”