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Suggestions for ski trip from NZ to western USA/Canada mid April.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi All

 

Just tossing round the idea of a mid april ski trip to USA or Canada. I welcome suggestions for places to base ourselves where we can visit several different areas. Would it be better to go for altitude due to being quite late? Or go northern areas?

 

Our budget is modest and we dont mind accomodation to match. Same with ski areas - don't need the most fashionable or trendy but like good advanced terrain with plenty ungroomed. Dont need buzzy nite life, prefer genuinely interesting places with some history if possible. Ability to fly into the area from LA or SF would be good but possibly a rental car from nearest larger centre may work better...?

 

If you know the South Island of NZ ski fields, we like Treble Cone, Canterbury clubs.

 

We will have our own gear

 

Thanks very much for all or any thought and suggestions

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 16

1)  You will likely enter the USA at Los Angeles (LAX), and can easily connect almost anywhere from there.  You can easily find flights from the Bay area as well.  You can rent cars anywhere.

2)  A lot of USA ski areas close mid-April even if there is plenty of snow.  This is due to Forrest Service leases and other requirements.  Check required closing dates before booking your reservations.

3)  It is hard to say who will have the most snow since there are micro-climates within our states and the provinces of Canada.  None of the North America areas will be crowded in mid-April.  I'd wait and see who has great mid-season coverage before booking a trip.

4) Last year some of our epic snowfalls came late in the season.  Perhaps Ullr will see that it happens again!

5)  My wife and I loved visiting your country, particularly the South Island.  We hope to return some day.

post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post

Hi All

 

Just tossing round the idea of a mid april ski trip to USA or Canada. I welcome suggestions for places to base ourselves where we can visit several different areas. Would it be better to go for altitude due to being quite late? Or go northern areas?

 

Our budget is modest and we dont mind accomodation to match. Same with ski areas - don't need the most fashionable or trendy but like good advanced terrain with plenty ungroomed. Dont need buzzy nite life, prefer genuinely interesting places with some history if possible. Ability to fly into the area from LA or SF would be good but possibly a rental car from nearest larger centre may work better...?

 

If you know the South Island of NZ ski fields, we like Treble Cone, Canterbury clubs.

 

We will have our own gear

 

Thanks very much for all or any thought and suggestions

 

Cheers

 

April  Not sure about the weather, I've only been in winter and in summer.

Modest budget, Damn, there goes plan A-Roadtrip: (Fly to Calgary Rent vehicle)  Got to Lake Louise enjoy good cognac at the Fairmont, drive to Kicking horse, Fernie, Big White and Whistler-Blackcomb, return via Vancouver.

 

Plan B: roadtrip, same thing, skip the Fairmont.

 

 

 

post #4 of 16

Summit county has a lot of hills in a small area, so does the Powder highway, Salt lake city, Tahoe. Really all you need to do is pick one and it'll be a good vacation.

post #5 of 16

Mid-April I'd go for both altitude and north... Banff?

post #6 of 16

If you were looking to ski 1 resort, Mammoth would be a possibility- rent a car from LAX and drive 5-6 hours.

 

As 

poNTOonMcConks 

said, Summit County CO has lots of options, but many (Vail, Copper and Breckenridge) will be closing April 15 this year (almost a week earlier than last year as Easter is early).  A-Basin and Loveland will be open until May or June.  If you have a large group, I'll pitch Chalet Frisco as an economical (and luxurious) place to stay.  I've been to NZ several times- PM me for an Epic deal.  Closing day at Vail is a lot of fun just to look at all the costumes, even if you don't partake in the festivities.

 

Flying Southwest to Salt Lake or Reno would be other options with Snowbird and a few of the Tahoe resorts usually staying open late (but check scheduled closing dates as quant said as most don't extend regardless of snow).  The earlier in April you can come, the more resorts you will have open.

post #7 of 16

follow ghost's advice but be careful on how late you go. Most ski areas will be shut down by mid April even when there is still lots of snow. The only areas guaranteed to be open into May are Whistler and Banff .   

post #8 of 16

Snowbird is usually a pretty good bet in April. The past two seasons April has gone off.

 

Mammoth is another good late season option.

post #9 of 16

If you are coming half way around the world and spending all that money you would be much better coming three weeks earlier in mid/end of March when everything is still running. Unless you are into non-lift served ski touring, as mentioned already your choices will be quite limited mid April.

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

1)  You will likely enter the USA at Los Angeles (LAX), and can easily connect almost anywhere from there.  You can easily find flights from the Bay area as well.  You can rent cars anywhere.

2)  A lot of USA ski areas close mid-April even if there is plenty of snow.  This is due to Forrest Service leases and other requirements.  Check required closing dates before booking your reservations.

3)  It is hard to say who will have the most snow since there are micro-climates within our states and the provinces of Canada.  None of the North America areas will be crowded in mid-April.  I'd wait and see who has great mid-season coverage before booking a trip.

4) Last year some of our epic snowfalls came late in the season.  Perhaps Ullr will see that it happens again!

5)  My wife and I loved visiting your country, particularly the South Island.  We hope to return some day.



You live in CA and you gave this advice? You must live in/near LA and/or think that once it stops being cold near the coast that people stop skiing.

 

In my experience, the best skiing of the year in Tahoe is frequently in late March and April. I've had so many great April days I can't even count them. Last year was exceptionally good, but we frequently get great storms in early-mid April. The days are longer, the sun is awesome, and there are zero crowds.

 

I can almost guarantee you will have great skiing in Tahoe in April. The weather will be awesome (or snowing - which is awesome in its own way). Squaw, Alpine, Heavenly will be open. Northstar will close mid-month, but who cares? You can fly into SFO and drive (not sure if anyone flies nonstop to CHC or even AKL), or connect somewhere to get to Reno (RNO). There are tons of cheap deals to stay in Tahoe in April because everyone in California stops skiing once Little League baseball season starts and it stops raining in the Bay Area.

 

Around the third week of April you'll start to see some limited operations at some of the Tahoe areas, but the skiing stays awesome.

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post

follow ghost's advice but be careful on how late you go. Most ski areas will be shut down by mid April even when there is still lots of snow. The only areas guaranteed to be open into May are Whistler and Banff .   


Like noncrazycanuck says.

 

Banff means either Sunshine Village (which will have mid-winter conditions in mid-April) or Lake Louise (which will have spring conditions in mid-April).  You'll find skiing here is very economical as ski season is considered low-season in Banff, and hotel prices are a bargain compared to summer rates. 

 

If you get televised World Cup races where you are, you'll be able to see Lake Louise and get a sense of it if you watch the first men's and women's World Cup downhill and super-g races this season (it's the annual venue for the opening World Cup speed events).  The men's events are last weekend in November and the women's are first weekend in December.

 

Take a good look at the Banff tourism website to get an idea what kind of things are offered in the region.  It's a pretty amazing place that has been hosting visitors from around the world for well over a century.

 

post #12 of 16

Hi Baldrick

 

Which clubs do you ski at, and what parts of TC do you like to ski?

 

We have been to Canada three times and the US once to ski, but have gone earlier, so can't comment on conditions, except to say that what North American's describe as sketchy or woeful is not the same level as sketchy or woeful here.

 

In terms of flights Vancouver, LA, San Francisco all have good connections to ski regions and there are some bonuses, such as going to Hayden (we are going to Steamboat this year) costs us only $10 more than flying to Denver then shuttle to Steamboat because apparently some of the regional airports count as the same sector as Denver - so check with your travel agent when booking if you choose somewhere like Colorado.

 

We've been to Lake Louise twice and it sounds like a good bet for the time of year you are going. We've been in a low snow year and there was still heaps more options than what you get here. Lake Louise also has a nice mix of trees and open steeps.

 

Both times we based ourselves at Lake Louise (the village not the Chateau). LL Village is physically about the size of Arthurs Pass, (but there are multiple hotels and hostels instead of baches), a good size supermarket, bottle store, ski /sports shop. Lake Louise is five minutes away and our passes covered Sunshine and Nakiska so we jumped on the free bus to sunshine one day). You can also catch the Kicking Horse Powder Express (about $90 for bus and lift pass) and had a day at KH (highly recommended). 

 

We have flown both Hawaii Calgary and Vancouver Calgary, both were good options, (although the Calgary - Hawaii leg was on Air Canada whose plane wasn't as modern as AirNZ) and got a shuttle up to Lake Louise - we have found that we didn't need a car and it was more cost effective to do without.

 

If you go with the LL option take a mastercard, the ATM's at LL didn't like our visas so we had to go into Banff to get cash. Personally I found the bit of Banff I went to like Queenstown or Riccarton Road, so if you want nightlife and shopping Banff is a better bet.

 

We've been other places, but if you want to do more than one field from a single base then LL is hard to beat.

 

 

 

 

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinecure View Post



You live in CA and you gave this advice? You must live in/near LA and/or think that once it stops being cold near the coast that people stop skiing.

 

In my experience, the best skiing of the year in Tahoe is frequently in late March and April. I've had so many great April days I can't even count them. Last year was exceptionally good, but we frequently get great storms in early-mid April. The days are longer, the sun is awesome, and there are zero crowds.

 

I can almost guarantee you will have great skiing in Tahoe in April. The weather will be awesome (or snowing - which is awesome in its own way). Squaw, Alpine, Heavenly will be open. Northstar will close mid-month, but who cares? You can fly into SFO and drive (not sure if anyone flies nonstop to CHC or even AKL), or connect somewhere to get to Reno (RNO). There are tons of cheap deals to stay in Tahoe in April because everyone in California stops skiing once Little League baseball season starts and it stops raining in the Bay Area.

 

Around the third week of April you'll start to see some limited operations at some of the Tahoe areas, but the skiing stays awesome.


QFTbeercheer.gif

 

post #14 of 16

April... IMHO and experience, there are often mid winter conditions and very small crowds in April at Whistler. Should be good hotel deals as well. If you have a rent a car, you could make a side trip to Mt. Baker in Washington state for fun and flavor. Two great places that are as different in vibe as night and day.

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinecure View Post



You live in CA and you gave this advice? You must live in/near LA and/or think that once it stops being cold near the coast that people stop skiing.

 

In my experience, the best skiing of the year in Tahoe is frequently in late March and April. I've had so many great April days I can't even count them. Last year was exceptionally good, but we frequently get great storms in early-mid April. The days are longer, the sun is awesome, and there are zero crowds.

 

I can almost guarantee you will have great skiing in Tahoe in April. The weather will be awesome (or snowing - which is awesome in its own way). Squaw, Alpine, Heavenly will be open. Northstar will close mid-month, but who cares? You can fly into SFO and drive (not sure if anyone flies nonstop to CHC or even AKL), or connect somewhere to get to Reno (RNO). There are tons of cheap deals to stay in Tahoe in April because everyone in California stops skiing once Little League baseball season starts and it stops raining in the Bay Area.

 

Around the third week of April you'll start to see some limited operations at some of the Tahoe areas, but the skiing stays awesome.


I agree with you, but Heavenly closes April 15, 2012, same as Northstar and likely some others in the area.  From what I can tell, Alpine went to weekends only last year about the same time Vail, Copper and Breck closed- what makes you think they will stay open later this year?

 

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinecure View Post



You live in CA and you gave this advice? You must live in/near LA and/or think that once it stops being cold near the coast that people stop skiing.

 

In my experience, the best skiing of the year in Tahoe is frequently in late March and April. I've had so many great April days I can't even count them. Last year was exceptionally good, but we frequently get great storms in early-mid April. The days are longer, the sun is awesome, and there are zero crowds.

 

I can almost guarantee you will have great skiing in Tahoe in April. The weather will be awesome (or snowing - which is awesome in its own way). Squaw, Alpine, Heavenly will be open. Northstar will close mid-month, but who cares? You can fly into SFO and drive (not sure if anyone flies nonstop to CHC or even AKL), or connect somewhere to get to Reno (RNO). There are tons of cheap deals to stay in Tahoe in April because everyone in California stops skiing once Little League baseball season starts and it stops raining in the Bay Area.

 

Around the third week of April you'll start to see some limited operations at some of the Tahoe areas, but the skiing stays awesome.



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post


I agree with you, but Heavenly closes April 15, 2012, same as Northstar and likely some others in the area.  From what I can tell, Alpine went to weekends only last year about the same time Vail, Copper and Breck closed- what makes you think they will stay open later this year?

 




I never implied anyone should not ski Lake Tahoe in April, just that it is important to check out the projected closing dates when practicable.  Last year April 24 was the  modified closing date for several resorts, with some closing into May.  Most had enough snow to easily stay open into June.  We have no idea what the snowfall will be this year, do we?   Outside of Mammoth  (not that far from LAX) it is hard to tell what resort will choose to stay open.

 

Here is a link to the Colorado closing dates.  Please note that most resorts will close on or before April 15:

http://www.coloradoski.com/resort-season-dates

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