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where should i ski?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

so it's that time to start planning the next ski trip to the west. their have been 4 different mountains brought up for a trip, 1 breck co ( went there last year my bros couldn't stand the altitude) 2 squaw valley (never been heard it's sick) 3 whistler blackcomb (my friend went and skiied it after the olympics and loved it) 4 park city (other friend went and said its like aspen, not great for skiing, but thats where everyone goes, so u need to go there as well) i dont know alot about all the resorts, but if people could tell me which one is worth it for the skiing and best overall for terrian (parks, back country, bowls, doubles, and groomers) and i also want to get some personal info about the mountains.

thanks

EPICSKIER

post #2 of 23

Given your preferences I'd say look into Squaw or Whistler.  Squaw and nearby Alpine Meadows would give you a nice dose of sick.  A trip up to Whistler might be more pricey, but would be an epic single destination.  Park City and Aspen may be similar for apres ski, but Ajax, Highlands, and parts of Snowmass make Aspen pretty strong in the sickness department.

post #3 of 23

I'm a big fan of Squaw.  It doesn't have a lot of park, but it has terrain that's legendary for a reason.  You should check out AlexZN's great write-up here.  You should also tell us about your group, abilities, preferences, time-frame, etc.

post #4 of 23

All great  places, but Whistler is on another level, just in terms of scale and vertical. If you like sidebounds, hiking to the tops of untouched, extended steeps,and want to stay put, that's your place. Something for everyone, from giant parks to glaciers. And it's relatively low altitude, so no issues that way. I like Squaw a bunch, lots of interesting and challenging terrain, but limited vertical; if you go there for a solid week, unless you hike and skin a lot, you'll probably want to change up between there and the other Tahoe area resorts. Like Whistler, the snow can be dicey. Park is a great town and a decent place to ski, nothing wonderful, but more predictable snow. Iike Tahoe, you'll want to cycle; there, Canyons, and Snowbird/Alta (which has good vert, superb terrain and more snow than god, but, ah, an unusually limited apre-ski scene). If you don't mind a bit of driving some days, under an hour, then base in Park and roam. 

post #5 of 23

If it's only about the skiing... go to Tahoe or Whistler... (I'd say Aspen but if Breck's altitude was a problem it'd be worse there).  Tahoe will give you way more variety with all of the resorts in close proximity, but if you want good nightlife too, Whistler over Tahoe for sure.

post #6 of 23

Squaw has good terrain but just OK snow. Alta/Bird has better terrain and much better snow. Also Alta/Bird joint ticket is $20 cheaper than Squaw adult ticket. Breck is too "flat" compared to Squaw. Whistler/Combs has great terrain and village. Snow conditions may vary though. Utah is a sure thing in terms of snow.

post #7 of 23

Whistler is a great place, it has everything from the terrain to the Apres Ski, its just a fantastic resort, where you are always finding new lines.  And plus after destroying Whistler Mountain just jump on the peak-to-peak and go to Blackcomb.  I love it there and would definitely recomend it to any skier.  

 

Ski Courses

post #8 of 23

At Whistler/Blackcomb, although a great place, be prepared to line up an over pay for everything and you could get rained on all the way to the top. No problems with altitude sickness at any Canadian resort as they are all low elevation compared to the USA ski resorts. Example: the town of Aspen at 7500' is higher than the top of Whistler.

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

okay thanks guys, i will be going with a group of people. me and two others are seasoned veterans of the mountains, but the 3 others that are going have really only skied a few days last year, i will be skiing the harder terrain, while the others are just going groomers and the parks. i will be going in Febuary  for 5 or 6 days, money really isnt and issue for us, but we would like to keep it on the cheaper side without sacrifficing anything. for squaw would you fly into san fransisco and drive up or lake tahoe(?) in whistler, fly into vancouver (who got beat ithe stanley cup by the BRUINS) and take the shuttle to whistler, but on the last day, lose a day of skiing? also what about the alps, has anyone skiied their, what was it like, 1-10.

THANKS

EPICSKIER    

post #10 of 23

San Francisco to Tahoe is a 3 1/2 - 4 hour drive.  Much easier to fly into Reno... unless the tickets to SFO are significantly cheaper.

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaytierney View Post

San Francisco to Tahoe is a 3 1/2 - 4 hour drive.  Much easier to fly into Reno... unless the tickets to SFO are significantly cheaper.



Plus you can very well fly Southwest and save on baggage. 

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaytierney View Post

If it's only about the skiing... go to Tahoe or Whistler... (I'd say Aspen but if Breck's altitude was a problem it'd be worse there).  Tahoe will give you way more variety with all of the resorts in close proximity, but if you want good nightlife too, Whistler over Tahoe for sure.

Minor correction to the above.  Breck is about 1000' higher at the base and top than any of the Aspen areas.

 

I did Squaw as an upper int about 6yrs ago and there was plenty to keep me busy for the 3 days I was there.  So the advanced/expert of your group should have no problems finding good/new stuff for a week.  Plus Alpine is 15 Min away.

 

Utah for sure if you need to book early as snow quantity/quality is likely to be better there in most years.
 

 

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaytierney View Post

If it's only about the skiing... go to Tahoe or Whistler... (I'd say Aspen but if Breck's altitude was a problem it'd be worse there).  Tahoe will give you way more variety with all of the resorts in close proximity, but if you want good nightlife too, Whistler over Tahoe for sure.



Aspen is much lower than Breck, not higher.  I guess it depends on what kind of skiing you want.  Personally, I'm all about steeps and deeps.  That's why JH, Snowbird, and Big Sky are fine with me.

 

Mike

post #14 of 23

Stay in Park City and drive to Cottonwood canyons a few days. Also, there really is some pretty good terrain in PC areas. Lots of tourist friendly groomers of course, but each area has substantial stuff that you're looking for. Jupiter, McConkeys at PC, 9990 and dreamscape-catcher at Canyons and Empire Lady Morgan, Mayflower lift at DV.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaytierney View Post

If it's only about the skiing... go to Tahoe or Whistler... (I'd say Aspen but if Breck's altitude was a problem it'd be worse there).  Tahoe will give you way more variety with all of the resorts in close proximity, but if you want good nightlife too, Whistler over Tahoe for sure.


The town of Breckenridge is about 1500 ft higher elevation than Aspen.

 

My friend had to leave Aspen (commuted from Glenwood Springs for several days) due to altitude sickness

canceled coming to Breck to meet me.

 

 

When visiting SLC I always stay downtown/Midvale/ since it's now easier to get to Big/little Cottonwood, Sundance, Powder Mt

ski areas which are far GNARlier than the Park City areas. Also cheaper lodging, granted that nightlife is a dud downtown.

 

 

post #16 of 23
Your buddies might have suffered as much from dehydration as altitude at Breck, especially if they partied in the evenings. You have to build up a tolerance for such things. tongue.gif Snowbird's base is around 8,000 feet, Alta's 8500, not all that different from Breckenridge (9,600), and in winter the mountain air is bone-dry.

Downtown Salt Lake is better than it was before the Olympics, with some good bars (no membership needed anymore) and even a few clubs. It adds only 15 minutes to Little Cottonwood by highway, assuming you're renting a vehicle, and you'd get relief from any altitude problems by sleeping at 4000 feet.

Take my advice with a grain of salt, though; I live 25 minutes away from Cottonwood Canyon areas, am addicted to those canyons, and have no alpine experience outside of Utah. Oh happy, ignorant doom!!
post #17 of 23
The base of the Aspen areas is right around 8000 feet. Snowmas is the highest at 8145 feet, while highlands and Ajax are 8k.

Some people have trouble with altitude in Denver, which is only 5280 feet. If altitude is really a problem, then it's unlikely that base elevations in the 6-7k range are going to work either, which rules out Utah, Steamboat, and Tahoe.

You could think about acclimating. Take time in moving up to altitude.

Mike
post #18 of 23

I've always found that an overnight in Denver before proceeding to the ski areas helps a ton.

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I've always found that an overnight in Denver before proceeding to the ski areas helps a ton.


+1
post #20 of 23

The great thing about Utah and Tahoe is that if you get bored with one place you always drive to the next one.  No matter where you stay there are multiple resorts within an hours drive.  Personally I like Utah because I can get direct flights in to SLC from Cincinnati for reasonable prices and ski both the day of arrival and day of departure if I choose.  The combination of terrain and snow at Alta/Snowbird can't be beat but there is some serious attitude to go with all of that.  I like the much more laid back atmosphere at Snowbasin and Pow Mow.  For an all in one type resort for intermediate skiers and above I really like Jackson Hole.  It has great cruisers and you definitely won't find more challenging terrain anywhere else.  As much as I love Utah Jackson is still my favorite mountain.

post #21 of 23

Whistler, Jackson Hole, Snow Bird.....in that order

post #22 of 23

You're going this year, right?  From what I hear, other parts of NA don't have much snow, though luckily we on the north left coast are not having that problem.  I would lean toward Whistler in that case.  Also, are you looking to party hard?  Staying at a lower elevation would help with your health in that case.

post #23 of 23

You can ski on zis side, and you can ski on zat side but stay aught of my way!

Or go to Grand Targhee, Jackson, or somewhere in Canada or the PNW

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