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Picking a ski resort in Colorado/BC for December

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys!

 

I am currently working in the US but ordinarily live in Australia. I've done a search through these forums but wasn't able to get a "conclusive" answer on what resorts have the best snow conditions for December.

 

Specifically, I'm looking to go between the 6th - 21st Dec and was wondering whether someone might be able to give some advice on which one of these resorts is likely to offer the better conditions.I'm presently considering Whistler, Beaver Creek, Aspen and Steamboat. I would also consider Mammoth out west. 

 

Sadly, I'm limited in the time period, I would go later if I could, but unfortunately, I'm on the clock!

 

If anyone has any advice or suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated!

 

Cheers

Leonard

 

 

post #2 of 11

Yikes. You could have a huge early season dump or you could have WROD. In BC, you could be wet wet wet. You should include Utah in your possibilities too. Cottonwood Canyons should have SOMETHING by then. Last year Colorado and Utah both had good early season snow. The Sierras had way huge early, then nothing, then huge late. It's a crapshoot. Usually a couple of the mountains in Colorado will open early. Steamboat in particular, if I am not mistaken, is also known for early season snow. Wait until as late as you can, see who has snow, and go. The thing you have going for you is that for the US, at least the first part of your time period is a very slow travel time between the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks for the schools, so you will be able to get your trip planned. A lot of the private schools will start their break earlier than the 21st, so your options might start to get a little more limited (and your prices may go up) for the last few days of that time. Any other more experienced travelers, feel free to correct me.

post #3 of 11

Check Tony Crocker's website for early season snow statistics on who typically gets early snow and, more important if you have to book early, the variability. BEST SNOW

 

post #4 of 11

Steamboat usually offers a program where you ski free before Christmas if you book lodging through them. I would definitely take a look.

 

One thing about Utah, I don't have a lot of experience skiing there in December (only one day, at Alta), but the day I went, they had opened much more terrain than most CO resorts would have with the snow cover they had. Or didn't have. So -- if you don't mind skiing on a bit of grass every once in a while, that is something to think about.

post #5 of 11

I think Keniski nailed it.  Just wait until the last minute.  You might spend a little more, but the skiing will be worth it!

post #6 of 11

The odds for some decent snow amounts are fairly good at Whistler during the time you're considering.  No guarantees, though.  Sometimes early December is fantastic, and sometimes not.

post #7 of 11

My specific articles on early season are here:

http://www.letstalkweather.com/bskiwx/entry.php?w=bestsnow&e_id=1819

http://bestsnow.net/fam_ski.htm

 

But the best advice is from keniski.  It will be good somewhere, but you won't know where for sure until late November.  And your time frame is dead in the travel business.  You will find last minute lodging: don't be pressured to commit early.

post #8 of 11

I wonder how much last seasons snow will impact this seasons opening?

 

A few weeks ago there was still lots of snow left in the alpine. Temps are on the way down, maybe a dusting of new at the top Tuesday night. Hard to say how this snow will impact the opening, but it sure isn't going to hurt.

 

Whats the earliest the alpine has opened up at Whistler? Have they ever had it open day 1?

 

 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies guys!

 

I'm actually redeeming some hotel nights for the stays, but i have a fixed deadline on when they must be used. They've clearly restricted it to the less reliable periods, however, some of the places have started to book out. 

 

I will make a few bookings and rejig them around as we get close to November. I just wanted to lock in an option or two! 

 

Thanks!

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

My specific articles on early season are here:

http://www.letstalkweather.com/bskiwx/entry.php?w=bestsnow&e_id=1819

http://bestsnow.net/fam_ski.htm

 

But the best advice is from keniski.  It will be good somewhere, but you won't know where for sure until late November.  And your time frame is dead in the travel business.  You will find last minute lodging: don't be pressured to commit early.

Tony- Love the info on your website and partially agree with you about the dead period- up until the 15th should be quiet most places, but most kids get out of school the 16th.  Sure, it won't be as busy as X-Mas to NY, but it won't be dead either.
 

 

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post

Whats the earliest the alpine has opened up at Whistler? Have they ever had it open day 1?

 

 


I think they had the alpine open before thanksgiving two years ago!

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by electjai View Post

I will make a few bookings and rejig them around as we get close to November. I just wanted to lock in an option or two! 

 

Thanks!


Aspen Highlands/Buttermilk open on December 10.  The ASC always opens a bunch of  additional terrain at both Ajax and Snowmass that weekend as well.  I can't say it would be better than any of the others, but it's always pretty good.

 

Whistler could be good, but if it's not, probably the whole PNW isn't either.  Colorado on the other had could have completely different weather systems for  the northern and southern mountains.

Aspen tends to benefit from a SW flow, Steamboat NW and  BC/Vail can get it from either.

Based on your options, I would book a couple of days at each of your Colorado choices and if its not good, then just drive to the next one?

 

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