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In need of resort advice

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

The plan for next season is to ski somewhere in the US. As the lifts closed in Oslo yesterday and the withdrawal symptoms are setting in, I'm looking for advice on where to go. We'll be a party of anything from 1 to 6 persons.

The criterias are :

Powder - I've been hearing about the fabulous quality of American powder since I started skiing and must experience it.

Crowds - want to avoid them.

Cost  - less is better than more.

Nightlife - a good bar or pub will suffice, throw in a few restaurants and we'll all be happy. We're going for the skiing and will ( hopefully ) be to tired to party.

 

Those are the requirements, sell me your favorite resorts. We'll be staying for a week or so.

Any advice and suggestions will be most welcome.

 

Happy skiing!

 

post #2 of 15

Just one person's opinion...

Many experienced US skiers will tell you the single best place for powder is Alta, Utah, but there are a number of other fine choices in Utah, Colorado and elsewhere in the US. Frenzied powder hounds have been known to descend on Alta on storm days, so it might not be the best for crowd avoidance on days when there is significant new snow. Some Euros find that flights are significantly cheaper/better into Denver than Salt Lake City.  Those two cities are usually the most affordable gateways to powdery ski slopes in the US.  If you go to Utah the cheaper way to experience the great skiing is to stay in an inexpensive suburban Salt Lake City motel (such as the Crystal Inn) about 30 minutes from some of the best ski areas.  Rent a car and commute each day to the resorts using something like the Utah SuperPass for Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude.  There are other good choices in UT such as Snowbasin and Powder Mtn, and Park City. 

If you go to Colorado there are many choices known for good and relatively comparable snow conditions such as Copper Mountain, Winter Park, Steamboat, Vail, Breckenridge, Aspen, etc.  You must research them to see which may best fit your budget and plans.

In my humble opinion the period from late February to early March provides the best combination of good snow conditions, yet a fair amount of pleasant sunshine in the Rocky Mountains. You can search this site for more details on many things mentioned above. Here's a recent thread that might be informative: http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/101611/best-bet-for-starter-powder

post #3 of 15

Just got back from Vail, yes April skiing, and we had several days of dry powder in amounts from 3"-7"......they have had that already this week since I left, so it may just snow 'til the final bell on sunday.

 

So if April is your time to travel I highly recommend Vail; cheap tix $199/wk, nobody there and 50/50 chance of freshies and plenty of base.

 

Have a nice trip!VAIL COLORADO APRIL 2011 028.JPG   

post #4 of 15

Since you didn't mention anything about being able to walk to the lifts from your hotel, I would suggest Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. Lots of powder, crowds aren't bad if you don't go on holiday weekends, and Bend has some great restaurants and nightlife.

post #5 of 15

Utah. Period. I'd bet that most of those stories about powder you heard came from Utah. No where else in North America gets the combination of quantity and quality that Utah gets. Snowbird's up over 650 inches for the year, and I want to say it's been over 600 for three or four years in a row. I don't know how flights compare vs. Denver, but the drive time is significantly shorter and there are 11 resorts within about an hour of the airport. Resorts like Solitude, Snowbasin and Powder are known for their lack of crowds.

 

I lived in Steamboat for several years and then moved to Utah and it just doesn't compare. Steamboat had great snow, but didn't get nearly as much as Utah, had more crowds and didn't keep fresh lines nearly as long. And it's pretty much a single destination resort whereas Utah gives you the option of going to other resorts based on conditions/preferences.

 

Like someone else said, you have the option of staying in Salt Lake/Sandy/Ogden etc. Skip Park City, unless a ski town is of any importance, because prices are several times what they are elsewhere. You can easily find a hotel/motel for $50 to $60 a night in places like Ogden and Salt Lake suburbs. Discounted lift tickets are also really easy to find.

I

post #6 of 15

Also, you said the U.S., but if Canada is a possibility, consider the Powder Highway region in interior BC. Not quite as much snow as Utah, but it's supposed to be a great dry powder and the sheer number of resorts and cat/heli operations makes it an incomparable destination. Probably pretty expensive to get to from Europe, though.

post #7 of 15

For your overall needs, I'd have to recommend Colorado.  A lot of resorts within close proximity to one another, good nightlife and microbrews, plenty of powder, some cheap lodging right near the mountain (in some cases at least).

 

And I'm not biased, living closest to the Tahoe region myself.

post #8 of 15

Flying from Norway, I'd come for two weeks. Fly into Salt Lake, and ski utah at the beginning and end of the trip, making sure to hit Snowbird, Alta, and Snowbasin.  You can fill in some additional days in Park City or the Big Cottonwood Canyon resorts.  In between, plan a road trip to Jackson Hole and Big Sky.  They are drivable from SLC (Big Sky is a ways, but doable).  You won't regret it.

 

And if you need a couple of days off, you could get to Big Sky through Yellowstone National Park.  A winter trip to Yellowstone, with some excellent cross-country skiing in one of the world's natural wonders, would be a capstone to an excellent trip.  Stay at the Snow Lodge at Old Faithful.

 

Mike

post #9 of 15

I find Utah a little more expensive to fly into than Denver but car rental prices are much cheaper which makes them about even.  SLC has gives you more options though on where to ski within an hour drive.

 

I heard a lot about Mammoth, I am surprised no one mentioned them yet.  Cant wait to try them.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Flying from Norway, I'd come for two weeks. Fly into Salt Lake, and ski utah at the beginning and end of the trip, making sure to hit Snowbird, Alta, and Snowbasin.  You can fill in some additional days in Park City or the Big Cottonwood Canyon resorts.  In between, plan a road trip to Jackson Hole and Big Sky.  They are drivable from SLC (Big Sky is a ways, but doable).  You won't regret it.

 

And if you need a couple of days off, you could get to Big Sky through Yellowstone National Park.  A winter trip to Yellowstone, with some excellent cross-country skiing in one of the world's natural wonders, would be a capstone to an excellent trip.  Stay at the Snow Lodge at Old Faithful.

 

Mike


X2

 

This is excellent advice, especially the added trip to Jackson Hole & Yellowstone.  Big Sky would also be nice, but not required IMHO.

 

Fly into SLC and spend your 1st week skiing the LCC/BCC/Ogden Valley resorts.  Then drive 4 - 4.5 hours north to Wyoming and ski Jackson Hole for a few days.  If you need a break, take a day or two off and make the loop north through Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.  Simply amazing!!  Then head back to SLC and pick your favorites to ski until you have to get on the plane to return to Norway.

 


Edited by NeedToSki - 4/22/11 at 7:38am
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks all. I'm leaning towards habacomike's suggestion if we'll stay 2 weeks to get to ski a couple of legends. Some more research to do,

and then talk it over with the rest of the ski-addicts over a beer or two.

 

Would late February/early March be a good time to come? Cold is not a problem for any of us, but it's always nice to ski in warmer, sunnier conditions.

 

Happy skiing!

post #12 of 15
The snow lodge in yellowstone closes in early to mid march, so February is a good time to do it. The concessionaire in yellowstone is Xantera; you can google them and get more info. They operate the snow lodge as well as snow coaches that take you from Flagg Ranch north of Jackson to the old faithful area where the snow lodge is located and on to west yellostone which is about 50 miles south of big sky.

Yellowstone is a magical place. It is unreal in winter. You can arrange for the snow coach to drop you off someplace and ski or snowshoe back to the lodge. Theirs a fair bit of Nordic trail around the snow lodge that is maintained. This s the area with many of the thermal features. And there's tons of wildlife to see as well.

I've only been to yellowstone in winter once. It was when I went to Jackson for steep and deep camp; I brought my spouse along and we went to yellowstone before the camp. I loved skiing Jackson, but I think the real highlight of the trip was visiting yellowstone in winter.

Hope you can do it.

Mike
post #13 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by madMads View Post

Thanks all. I'm leaning towards habacomike's suggestion if we'll stay 2 weeks to get to ski a couple of legends. Some more research to do,

and then talk it over with the rest of the ski-addicts over a beer or two.

 

Would late February/early March be a good time to come? Cold is not a problem for any of us, but it's always nice to ski in warmer, sunnier conditions.

 

Happy skiing!



Habacomike (and others) all offer good advice.  Another advantage of coming for two weeks is that it improves your chances of at least one quality powder day.  If you do go to Jackson Hole, consider a day at Grand Teton- not the demanding terrain of JH, but a very good snow record. 

 

To answer your question about WHEN to come, it is mostly a crap shoot.  While it is possible to predict crowds (stay away from President's weekend (Feb 18-20, 2012) and spring break (varies, but it typically is heaviest around the 2nd or possible 3rd week of March), IT IS MUCH HARDER TO PREDICT WHEN THE SNOW WILL BE GOOD- sure, some times have better odds for good snow than others and late Feb to early March is probably a good choice, but on any given week (or even two week) stretch, you could get nothing or 5+ feet fresh.  While the best way to improve your powder odds (other than cat, heli or BC skiing) is to wait until the base is built up and several storms are in the pipeline to book, check out bestsnow.net to get some good stats as to the historically best times to visit if you have to book your trip in advance.


Edited by MEfree30 - 4/23/11 at 7:17am
post #14 of 15

Mefree had a Freudian slip there, that should be Grand Targhee, which abuts Grand Teton National Park (as does Jackson Hole, but on the opposite side of the Teton's).

 

Mike

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Mefree had a Freudian slip there, that should be Grand Targhee, which abuts Grand Teton National Park (as does Jackson Hole, but on the opposite side of the Teton's).

 

Mike


I wear my Freudian slip so often it has become my favorite garment.

biggrin.gif

 

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