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help !!!! my missus wants to give it another go(serious questions)

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

we are off to japan in feb for two weeks glorious powder skiing, and after a few years of not really bothering about skiing my good lady has mooted the fact she does want to miss out on the fun in japan . she hasn't put on skis in anger for 5 years , and before that was only up to easy blues and very gentle reds. we both started skiing at the same time over in killington and she did really well on that first trip , but then the next year in tremblant after the first couple of days in ski school she dropped out as she was moved up a level on the second afternoon ( because she was good), but unfortunatley found herself in a very competent second week group , and was taken down a couple of slopes that scared her silly, and after that her confidence was shot Sad 
She then misseed a couple of years as i took my boys on our own , and we progressed quite nicely and i think she then thought she would slow us down and although she has come along on all our familly ski trips since then and enjoys the social side , i haven't been able to get her back in the saddle, apart from a "one to one" in aspen which did not work out due to the unsympathetic nature of the instructor rolling eyes

 

i  am based in the uk and have skied in a few north american resorts and think they are more suited to what we need, than higher alpine resorts in europe


so i am looking for some recommendations of where to book a week in mid jan to somewhere with gentle begineers slopes without have to get up too high to use them, and no treacherous runs back to resort, 

And also would really like some personal recomendations for a private instructor that will be understanding of her needs. 

i am willing to go north, south , east or west and at any cost , as it would mean the world to me to be able to spend time with her enjoying the sport i love most Cool 

so if someone has personal experience of starting again in their mid-fourties and know an instructor that would fit the bill please let me know , i had a great instructor in aspen ( a local )  i think her name was sue (kearns i think) , if anyone know her , i would love to contact her, 

my first thoughts were vail, or whistler, but on reflection they may be to busy and a quieter off the beaten track resort maybe better suited, or maybe aspen/buttermilk

looking forward to all your ideas 

snowHead snowHead

 

 

post #2 of 25
Breckenridge has some of the best beginner terrain I've ever seen and it it ends at the bottom of the slope, as long as you specify you want to begin at the Village (Peak 9) point of departure.

Buttermilk at Aspen is pretty mellow and would allow you to engage the instructor you had there before (ski school staff can work at any of their outlets).

Sun Valley has a whole beginner "mountain".
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

cheers, whats the temps like in breckenridge in mid jan  ?

post #4 of 25

It can be pretty cold, especially when it is windy or during the evening. My wife really doesn't like bitterly cold weather, but we bought the right gear so she is fine.

 

She would always get cold walking around Breck in the evenings, so we bought her a full length quilted down jacket at the North Face store. The salesperson laughed and called it the "prom dress" but she loves it. It goes all the way down to her boots. Looks like she is walking around in a sleeping bag, but now she never gets cold.

 

So if you ever see someone walking around Breck looking like Darth Vader it could possibly be my wife! smile.gif

 

DSCF0940.JPG

post #5 of 25

At Beaver Creek, the beginner area is at the top of the mountain, meaning your wife wouldn't have to deal with people whizzing by her all day.  She has the option of downloading the lift, if she doesn't want to deal with the traffic of people funneling down the green slopes lower down.   Beaver Creek also has some challenging terrain for you and your sons, and then Vail is nearby. 

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

will have a look at beaver creek, as have heard loads of good things about it, and as you say the chance to visit the back bowls at vail could be a winnersmile.gif

post #7 of 25

You and your wife will love Sun Peaks, B.C. It is an intermediate/family paradise but also has it share of steeps. Ski Canada magazine has rated it as having the best ski weather in Canada and Sun Peaks has some of the driest snow anywhere in North America to go along with award winning trail design and grooming. There is an easy way down from every lift and one of the quad chairs has a bubble that can be raised on nice days and lowered when its cold or snowing. This "bubble" chair covers almost 2000' vertical and is ideal for your wife to ski a green or easy blue run and you to ski a black run and meet at the bottom.

 

With 3600 skiable acres, Sun Peaks is the 3rd largest ski resort in Canada in area and one of the least crowded. There is a compact ski thru village and a ton of ski in/out accommodation. Over the years they have done a ton of summer grooming to the runs, picking rocks, pulling stumps, cutting weeds etc. and along with some snow making Sun Peaks offers very reliable conditions. Typical storm patterns deliver frequent small amounts of snow as opposed to one large dump at a time.

 

To get to Sun Peaks, fly to Calgary with a connector flight via Westjet to Kamloops and then a shuttle to Sun Peaks. You won't need a rental car.

post #8 of 25

Many resorts offer easy runs. First resorts which popped into my mind:

 

California (Lake Tahoe area):

Northstar

Heavenly has easy runs but the drawback is that you often have majestic vies on to the lake. Maybe not helping when scared to hights.

 

Utah:

Park City, Deer Valley, Powder Mountain in the SLC area

 

Wyoming:

Grand Targhee

 

Colorado (is often very cold):

Breckenridge

 

Enjoy!!!

post #9 of 25

I'd definitely second Beaver Creek. The very beginner area is right at the base of the mountain, and now includes a small beginner gondola (to help with kids scared of heights.) But it has most of its green runs up on the peak. They are long and not at all crowded. You can see forever up there, so it is a much better first-time skiing experience than most mountains. Oh, and the ski instructors there rock.

 

It is my 'go-to' mountain when I'm introducing someone to skiing for the first time (or trying to recover someone from a bad first-time experience!)

post #10 of 25

Base Elevations:

Breckenridge: 9,600 feet (2,932 meters)

Beaver Creek: 8,100 feet (2,473 meters)

Deer Valley: 7,200 feet (2,198 meters)

Hevenly Valley: 6,250 feet (1,908 meters)

 

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post

Base Elevations:

Breckenridge: 9,600 feet (2,932 meters)

Beaver Creek: 8,100 feet (2,473 meters)

Deer Valley: 7,200 feet (2,198 meters)

Hevenly Valley: 6,250 feet (1,908 meters)

 



One of the problems with skiing in Western USA for flatlanders is the high elevation requires 2 or 3 days to get acclimatized and this can mean head aches and shortness of breath. Canadian ski resorts are all low elevation so there is no acclimatization needed and being in the North, low elevation does not mean a problem with too mild temperatures.

 

I forgot, in my previous post about Sun Peaks, to recommend a ski instructor for the op's wife. So now I will: ask for a private lesson with Anne Terwiel.

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

danoT; cheers will look into sun  peaks, have skied whistler , lake louise, and tremblant and love the way they link the runs so they all start and finish at the same point, thanks for the recommendation.

 

THWG; beaver creek seem like a great choice and am looking into the costs etc now

 

dirksuchy ; great list, the utah three especially , deer valley looks like a great alternative to beaver creek, you could be right about the temps in co at that time , but we have to fit this trip in before the japan gig in feb, and agree with the aspect of heavenly might be a bit much.

 

bjohansson thaks

 

cheers all 

post #13 of 25

 The elevation difference can be a big deal, especially if you don't know how your bodies handle it.

The elevation change affects me very slightly the first day, and I'm fine after that. But my wife never did acclimatise in a week at Breck -- it was stll bothering her in town when we left.

post #14 of 25

Good points on elevation. It takes me a day or two to acclimate, but YMMV. BC can be expensive on lodging, but it's a cool village for families. Try out VRBO to find something more reasonable, or stay down in Avon for much better deals.

post #15 of 25

Another thing to keep in mind is the crowds.  You don't progress in your skiing ability while queueing for a lift.  You may therefore want to find someplace a bit more off the beaten path.  Normally I would add, "or ski mid-week" but coming from across the pond I assume this will be a week-long trip.

Of course, on the other hand, most places allow students taking a lesson to skip the lift line.  But after the lesson is over, no such luck.

post #16 of 25

As much as I love Whistler, I wouldnt reccomend it for a beginner low end intermediate with confidence issues.  Its just too steep, and the few beginner runs its does have (Blackcomb only really has 1...the rest are green roads) are very crowded.

 

I would however recommend Silver Star or Sun Peaks or Big White, in the Okanagan (Interior of British Columbia), great for what you are looking for.

post #17 of 25

This will essentially boil down to "Come to my mountain, it's the best!". I'll do the same thing, but I'll give you a whole lot of reasons why. I would suggest checking out East Coast resorts as well as those out west. The pros of an East Coast trip:

 

1) A much shorter flight from the UK. The price is likely to be roughly the same, between 500-600pounds. However, the flight time to Denver is about 10 hours out of Heathrow, whereas into Boston or Montreal, it is more like 7-7.5 hours. That's if you get a direct to Denver, which is a scarce commodity. If you have a stop, you're likely to be in transit for up to 16 hours. Direct flights to the American Northeast (or eastern Canada) abound. I'd suggest flying into Boston if you chose a New Hampshire or Maine resort, Montreal if you want to go to Vermont.

 

2) The terrain is more amenable to beginners in general. The Rockies out west are "young" mountains. That means high elevations, steep slopes, much more severe terrain. The Appalachians of the east coast are "old" mountains, much more worn down and weathered. This means much lower elevations, more shallow slopes, and generally a kinder, gentler mountain range. Advantages: lower base and summit elevations (between 300-600m base elevations on average) mean no acclimation time. Smaller mountains are by their nature less intimidating. Staring up at a 3500m+ mountain is much less likely to inspire confidence than looking up at a 1200m mountain that may or may not break the treeline. Now, that doesn't mean there isn't challenging terrain in the East. There are some mountains which offer a variety of everything, and will keep the best skiers happy.

 

3) Should things go awry, there are more alternate options for your wife if you do an east coast trip. From the mountains in Vermont, Burlington VT is easily accessible, as is Montreal. Boston and New York are not too far away from any eastern resort, either.

 

I'm sure I could keep going. However, I figure this is enough to be going on with. Now, there are a number of areas on the East Coast to choose from. Anything south of New England and New York tend to be small day areas. Your destination resorts are generally in northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. There are also some mountains in Quebec which you could choose. I'll speak to my area of knowledge, which are the New England resorts (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine). I'll zero in on a few resorts, and tell you why I've winnowed out the others.

 

Maine- A couple larger resorts (Sugarloaf, Sunday River). However, a very long haul from any international airport.

 

New Hampshire- Some good resorts. Waterville Valley and Loon have some good terrain, and are solid mountains for all comers. North Conway NH is nicknamed "Ski Town USA", and for good reason. Attitash, Cranmore, and Wildcat are all within easy distance. I'd give some serious consideration to a mountain in that area. Attitash and Wildcat are good areas. Cranmore is smaller, more tame.

 

Southern Vermont- A number of major resorts (Killington, Okemo, Stratton, Mt Snow). However, with the exception of Killington, the terrain at Southern Vermont resorts tends to be rather tame throughout. Great for the wife, but not so great for the rest of the family who may want to do some serious skiing. Also, Southern Vermont resorts tend to get very crowded from their relative proximity to New York and Boston (particularly Killington).

 

Northern Vermont- Also a number of major resorts. Relatively less crowded. Jay Peak, Smuggler's Notch, Stowe, and Sugarbush are all worth a look. Of all of them, Stowe is the largest and has the most varied terrain. The village of Stowe also offers the most developed ski town of the bunch as well. Jay is a little more remote to get to. Smuggs' prices are a little better, but their infrastructure is old (no high speed lifts). Also relatively limited lodging options, and little to no life outside the ski day. Sugarbush is a great mountain. Good terrain, okay ski town.

 

So at long last, Stowe is my recommendation. I have spent 25 years skiing throughout New England. When presented with the choice of moving anywhere and making any mountain my home area, I chose Stowe. Stowe's amenities are excellent. They have a brand new lodge slopeside. They have an entire mountain which is mostly dedicated to novice and intermediate terrain. That's for your wife. For you and the kids, there is some very challenging terrain. Stowe's Front Four trails are legendary. There is also some great sidecountry skiing, and awesome backcountry opportunities off of the Chin and Nose of Mt. Mansfield.

 

Also, you are looking for a good instructor for your wife. I happen to be rather familiar with the Stowe Ski School. You see, I happen to work as an instructor there. I'd offer my services, but I'm only part time there, so chances are I wouldn't be available for a week at any point. However, BushwackerinPA is a full timer there, and an excellent instructor. Epic also instructs there. They can both give you a great rundown of full time instructors, and who would be the best fit for your wife, whether it is them or somebody else.

 

There's a great deal of food for thought. Best of luck with your choices.

post #18 of 25

Taking into consideration; weather, wind protection, beginner slopes and ski school.   Northstar at Tahoe, North shore Lake Tahoe.  BIG variety of lodging, restaurants etc. etc.  If you decide on Tahoe do a search and you will find a lot of info.  Also elevation, you will be around 5600-6600 ft

post #19 of 25

Yeah, Tahoe is also a good choice. If she doesn't like to ski, you can take her to a show.

 

Er...wait, maybe not eek.gif

 

 

Seriously, Tahoe isn't a bad location at all. Snow's a bit heavier, but nothing a beginner will notice. The lower elevation is nice, as is the proximity of casinos.

post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

wow !!! thanks to all for the response , so will know spend some time considering all the options and let you know how we go on, 

 

high/low or east/west or warm/cold biggrin.gif

post #21 of 25

U.S. Rockies - too high

East Coast - too low

West Coast - too unpredictable

Interior BC and Alberta - just right

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by scblurlt View Post

danoT; cheers will look into sun  peaks, have skied whistler , lake louise, and tremblant and love the way they link the runs so they all start and finish at the same point, thanks for the recommendation.

 

THWG; beaver creek seem like a great choice and am looking into the costs etc now

 

dirksuchy ; great list, the utah three especially , deer valley looks like a great alternative to beaver creek, you could be right about the temps in co at that time , but we have to fit this trip in before the japan gig in feb, and agree with the aspect of heavenly might be a bit much.

 

bjohansson thaks

 

cheers all 

Another consideration is Steamboat Springs.

 

I recall skiing at Copper Mountain a few years ago with someone who was prone to altitude sickness.  We were told to consider Steamboat on our next trip because the parking lot at Copper is at the same elevation as the highest elevation at Steamboat.  

 

Steamboat definitely offers the terrain that would encourage the missus and also has some fun stuff for you to play around.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by THWG View Post

Yeah, Tahoe is also a good choice. If she doesn't like to ski, you can take her to a show.

 

Er...wait, maybe not eek.gif

 

 

Seriously, Tahoe isn't a bad location at all. Snow's a bit heavier, but nothing a beginner will notice. The lower elevation is nice, as is the proximity of casinos.

 

 


Most definitely, Tahoe is another good choice.  Northstar has some amazing beginner terrain and programs.  If you come out this way, look me up.  Be happy to show you around!

 

 

post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Trekchick , cheers thought about tahoe, and maybe combining the trip with a bit of sunshine , somewhere south , as I am sure that would go down well,hadn't thought about steamboat , but looks interesting, my short list is getting longer smile.gif

Starting go through a list with the good lady , and she shocked how many folk are interested in helping out , so things are looking good biggrin.gif
post #24 of 25

It may help even more if she gets to know other  women who love to ski! biggrin.gif

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 

Most definitely, Tahoe is another good choice.  Northstar has some amazing beginner terrain and programs.  If you come out this way, look me up.  Be happy to show you around!



This should close the deal! An offer which should be accepted right away! I know what I am talking about because I had the joy of skiing a couple of days together with Trekchick. It was always great fun and she and Phil can show you the good stuff!

 

If it's gonna be Canada, I would consider Silver Star BC.

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