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Resorts that are most fun for snow-less vacations?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
What resorts have you had the best time vacationing at with zero snowfall on vacation???

We could discuss theory, but I'm curious where you actually had a good and bad time on your trip if it was devoid of new snow?
post #2 of 29

Ski heavenly, Tahoe last year.

No new snow. Still had a good time.

post #3 of 29

Are you asking where can be fun to vacation without skiing or where can be fun to ski without any new snow?

 

Colorado and Lake Tahoe have actually fit the bill for me under both of the above scenarios. 

post #4 of 29

My wife has medical obstacles that prevent her from skiing and my daughter is not always stoked to ski either.  We're looking in to Seven Springs PA for our next family trip.  There seems to be plenty of things mom (and daughter?) can do while dad and kid(s) ski.  Also, the bowling and other stuff looks like great apre' ski activities for the entire family as opposed the the standard lodge bar.

 

But then I see you are from PA so I'd think you've already bin dere, dun dat, got da t-shirt..

 

 

post #5 of 29

Not sure exactly what you're asking, but assuming you're talking about snow preservation, rather than off slope activities, some would say go Colorado.  Because of the higher elevations of places like Copper Mtn, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Winter Park, Vail, Aspen, Telluride, etc, the snow they get is preserved better.  Old trail surfaces still stay powdery after days of no new snow.  Same could be said for higher areas in Utah, Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude.

post #6 of 29

A very interesting topic since booking a vacation in advance or picking a resort to ski at for an entire winter really is a guessing game involving lots of luck when it comes to skiing powder. Just about every resort skis great with fresh snow but even the resorts with 400in. annually have more non powder days than powder days, so how a mountain skis when it hasn't snowed in a week is critical if you are skiing every day.

 

My choice is Sun Peaks because it has noticeably drier air and drier snow than just about anywhere including Utah, so even when there is no new snow there is a low moisture, very easy to carve snow pack. SP also has some long, wide, go as fast as you want because you are the only one on the run, cruising black and blue runs. With 3600 + skiable acres, SP is Canada's third largest ski resort but it is not the third busiest in terms of skier visits so this means less skier impact on the snow pack.

 

My biggest problem when I go to other ski areas, especially in the USA, is getting accustomed to skiing with other people on the slopes.

post #7 of 29

I assumed you were asking about a snow less vacation rather than a no new snow vacation, such as a warm spell in mid December, i.e. a ski trip where you can't ski. On the east coast, 2 areas stand out in my mind - Lake Placid (Whiteface) and Quebec (Mont Ste-Anne). Lake Placid is a very interesting place, beautiful, lots to see and do including ice skating in all forms from a speed skating oval to skating on Mirror Lake to watching ice dancing in the arena; luge and bobsled runs that are affordable; a lively town for shopping and eating; ice hockey tournaments almost non stop it seems; hiking trails; a ski jump you can ride up to the top of; and, being on the east coast, good snowmaking at Whiteface. Quebec is a great old city with all that a big city has to offer, exceptional dining, and a very winter orientation, it is also so far north that a snow less vacation is almost impossible and has good snowmaking.

 

If you were talking about just no new snow and skiing on the old stuff, I have had a great time almost everywhere I have been. Mad River on closing day in mid April a few years ago was a ton of fun even though I thought (incorrectly) that I  could skim across a 20 foot mud puddle.

post #8 of 29

Is it possible to have a bad time on a ski trip? I haven't. New snow definitely makes a trip, but it's not like the mountain disappears without it.

 

My first trip out west was to Copper. I had visions of endless powder days and it ended up being sunny and 70 degrees the whole time. Once I got past the fact that there wasn't going to be that big Rockies storm I was looking for, it was still a great trip. If you're not going to get snow, you might as well be enjoying soft snow in beautiful weather.

 

Like others said, it would help to clarify what it is you're thinking of: off slope activities? good conditions despite no new snow? fun vacation stories?

post #9 of 29

Since he's asking "devoid of NEW snow", I'm assuming he doesn't mean NO snow, just nothing that falls during the vacation.  I think most western areas not convenient to metro areas the snow quality stays fairly nice for a considerable time.  However, if the question is for activities UNRELATED TO SKIING then he's looking for a more "resort experience" with activities beyond snow-related ones.  In that case, I'd be pushing him over to Europe because even if there are OTHER activities at most resorts, you have to toss cross-country, dogsledding, tubing, and tons of other stuff that most resorts expand the experience with. 

 

As others said, need to understand exactly what's being asked, who the participants, are, etc.

post #10 of 29

Those fortunate times when it doesn't snow usually allows one to venture away from the resort into the real mountains.

 

For a resort my pick is Kicking Horse. Whistler is you want a village.

 

 

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the replies; I meant the skiing experience with no new snow. (one vacation to a world class western resort was especially hideous with no snow for 14 days or something).
post #12 of 29

Aspen has very consistent conditions and if the skiing isn't any good, which is rare, there's a ton of other stuff to do.   If it hasn't snowed in a couple of weeks, I go hike the bowl.  The snow is always good in there. 

post #13 of 29



Anywhere with great grooming. (Deer Valley)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

What resorts have you had the best time vacationing at with zero snowfall on vacation???
We could discuss theory, but I'm curious where you actually had a good and bad time on your trip if it was devoid of new snow?


 

post #14 of 29

I think that any place can get hit with 14 snowless days.  Depending on other conditions - altitude, amount of sun, amount of crowds, amount of rain (yikes) - you may have to fall back on the grooming from a skiing perspective.  So, yes to Deer Valley...  Although we just got rated 10th for our grooming here and we rarely get any sun OR crowds.  But we're not near a lot of other resorts and if you don't like dogsledding, cross country, hiking, ice skating, DRINKING, snowmobiling, ...  you might be bored. ;)

post #15 of 29



Only 10th? Wow, i would've thought higher. Cruising down Big Ravine when its freshly groomed is one of my favorite things to ski at Big.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I think that any place can get hit with 14 snowless days.  Depending on other conditions - altitude, amount of sun, amount of crowds, amount of rain (yikes) - you may have to fall back on the grooming from a skiing perspective.  So, yes to Deer Valley...  Although we just got rated 10th for our grooming here and we rarely get any sun OR crowds.  But we're not near a lot of other resorts and if you don't like dogsledding, cross country, hiking, ice skating, DRINKING, snowmobiling, ...  you might be bored. ;)



 

post #16 of 29

I actually found it embarrassing to be listed for that.  Makes the place seem the wrong kind of area, IMO.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by poNTOonMcConks View Post



Only 10th? Wow, i would've thought higher. Cruising down Big Ravine when its freshly groomed is one of my favorite things to ski at Big.

 



 

post #17 of 29



Well, look at it this way, people who see that list will come for the grooming, not the incredible snow and off piste terrain. So its not all bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I actually found it embarrassing to be listed for that.  Makes the place seem the wrong kind of area, IMO.
 



 



 

post #18 of 29

Ok. how about somewhere cold with lots of wind? Always love those days where there is no new, but the winds have moved enough snow around to make it a pow day.

post #19 of 29



Castle Mountain Alberta.

Quote:
Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post

Ok. how about somewhere cold with lots of wind? Always love those days where there is no new, but the winds have moved enough snow around to make it a pow day.



 

post #20 of 29

I would want to be at a place that normally has a deep snowpack, or when it does snow it is usually in huge dumps.  Second, I would want to be at a place with a lot of vertical.  Lastly, it would have many different aspects so I could follow where the good snow is at different times of the day.  Places like Mammoth, Bachelor & Whistler come to mind.

 

Much of this decision would also depend on the time of year I was going.

 

Others like Jackson, Aspen/Snowmass & Kicking Horse could also be good mid season, but maybe with a less reliable snowpack.  Early season a reliable snowmaking system is good insurance.  Snowbird, Lake Louise, Squaw/Alpine & the above mentioned Mammoth & Bachelor would be my choices for good late Spring conditions.

 

JF

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

 

My biggest problem when I go to other ski areas, especially in the USA, is getting accustomed to skiing with other people on the slopes.


Dano, Dano, Dano, life is tough.   I wish I had your problem.  I really really wish I had your problem. 
 

 

post #22 of 29

Of the ones I'm familiar with, Breckenridge, since so many spots above treeline collect a lot of windblown powder all the time. 

post #23 of 29

Like DanoT mentioned, the Okanagan (in Canada) has great snow even if it hasn't snowed for weeks. I'd add Silver Star to the great conditions list. At least for mid-Dec to early-Mar.

 

I don't really enjoy Whistler several weeks after a snowfall - the temperature swings too much and it's too soggy for the snow to stay nice.

post #24 of 29
Originally Posted by poNTOonMcConks View Post

Castle Mountain Alberta.

 


I think there was an epicski girl who moved there to teach last year...? I wonder if she could chime in on Castle? 

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post


I think there was an epicski girl who moved there to teach last year...? I wonder if she could chime in on Castle? 



All you really need to know about wind and Castle Mountain is that the nearest town is Pincher Creek, Alberta and Pincher Creek is the wind mill capital

 

of Canada. Also Ski Canada Magazine did an article about Castle a few years ago and they kept talking about "skiing the wind sift".

post #26 of 29

I was up at castle last year, and it hadn't snowed in 3 days, but due to the wind, the backside was deeep. If you want to find snow long after a storm go to castle.

post #27 of 29

 

Quote:
I think there was an epicski girl who moved there to teach last year...? I wonder if she could chime in on Castle?

Lady_Salina I think.

 

Castle gets significant blown in snow in lots of places and gets torched in others. It seems like a good variety of runs get blown in so there is always something interesting although it can be patchy. Some places the sift gets compacted into a pretty heavy layer that can be difficult to ski but still fun.

post #28 of 29

Depends what you define as a resort.  SLC area resorts have both good snow preservation, lots of nordic skiing options, nice public pools down in SLC that can be as fun as a day on the slopes, good fishing and hunting, and for people who are into it good shopping and by ski area standards good dining options.  Even some museums and other artsy stuff. 

 

 

post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 

True crud... not packed powder, etc, but true CRUD is the most miserable ski surface to ski on.  I'd rather ski on blue ice, or maybe even sand dunes.

 

 

Thanks for the additional suggestions.

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