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Suggestions for Powder loving Australians

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi,

wondering if anyone has any suggestions.

We usually ski in Hokkaido in Japan late January but not sure it's a good idea to ski there this season , so we are considering the US this year. Here's what we are looking for;

a mix of terrain, my son is 17 and is quite competent, not so into park riding. My husband is new to snowboarding,3 season under his belt , an intermediate boarder. and I'm  almost recovered from an ACL reconstruction, so I'm back to the bunny slopes to start with

(usually a average intermediate skier).

We love skiing Japan for it's amazing consistant powder and serious lack of crowds, so snow quality and not too crowded important. It's mostly about the skiing but we like to eat out , have a glass of wine with dinner but at nice prices. Accomodation, 3 star is fine,  walk to lifts or shuttle bus ok ( I would rather spend money on another days lift pass than on a flash hotel room).

We have been looking at Steamboat or one of the Utah resorts, we are happy to stay put most of the time although a day trip once or twice would be fine.

So does my ideal exist in the US?? Would love to hear from anyone with ideas. (I need a nice ski trip this year...did my ACL on day 3 of trip in Jan this year).

Cheers

Kerryn

post #2 of 26

I think you would like Snowmass a lot.  It doesn't get as much snow as some places, but the quality is very high and there are very few crowds. It has lots of ski in/out options, a nice little village and then Aspen in just a shuttle down the road.

They have direct flights from LAX & SFO into ASE , that usually coincide with the arrivals from Australia.

 

I think you would also like Steamboat.

 

IMHO,  Utah wouldn't fit your requirements very well.  Alta doesn't allow boarders and Snowbird terrain would be severely limited.

In Park City he can't board at Deer Vally and The Canyons layout sucks for beginners and boarders? 

Solitude might now be too bad, but the village is really small, night life and dinning is limited.

post #3 of 26

Definitely stay away from Hokkaido; they're all glowing in the dark up there!

post #4 of 26

Not sure why you are focused on the US.

 

Canada has:

 

Silver Star

Big White

Sun Peaks

Banff

Jasper

Fernie

Red Mountain

Revelstoke

Kicking Horse

Panarama

 

 

Would all be worth considering. 

 

post #5 of 26
there are a lot of good options in the us and Canada is great too. Utah probably has the best snow but crowds and ski towns are poor so I would recommend elsewhere. Steamboat and Snowmass are good options that you are already considering. I suggest also considering

Telluride - great ski town, good snow and lots of run variety
Big sky - resort town, good snow, huge mountain
Sun valley - gray ski town,good snow and lots of run variety
post #6 of 26

Definitely NOT Sun Valley for powder - for the definitive source on who gets good snow in North America, check out www.bestsnow.net

Another source I like is www.powderhounds.com

US mountains with great snow and relative lack of crowds would be:

Grand Targhee (very little nightlife and dining opportunities)

Brighton (utah)

Solitude

Snowbasin

Powder Mountain

 

Whitefish is a huge mountain with a pretty good amount of snowfall (but not always super light powder, and not frequently in huge dumps) with a nice town with lots of restaurants and no crowds.  Drawbacks include lots of treewells, and frequent poor visibility (fog).

 

Jackson Hole can have quite a bit of snow, as well as a relative lack of crowds depending on when you go (and you have the option of daytripping to Grand Targhee)

 

post #7 of 26

As Skidude72 said you would be wise to also look at British Columbia resorts. Heaven knows enough other Australians do!! Your needs are somewhat different than the typical hard core visitor. After sking BC all my life this would be my list for your needs in order of fit.

Sun Peaks

Big White

Silver Star

Panorama

Jasper

Banff (Lake Louise, Sunshine). The other hills are great but don't fit quite as well.

If you like PM me for reasons. 

post #8 of 26

I agree that Sun Peaks looks like exactly what you're looking for.

post #9 of 26

I agree that Utah could be a great option for you. Park City Mountain Resort has a great number of green and easy blue runs with more advanced terrain for your husband and son. It's also a fun town for apres and dining out, and easy to get around with the free bus system. I think you'd have a great time here! 

post #10 of 26

Why not return to Hokkaido? Another La Nina, and it should be big there too, though the US dollar is a much better deal than the yen these days. I'm with the Utah solution above. Several areas within a stone's throw of Salt Lake City and Park City so you'll have a lot of variety.

post #11 of 26

I thought some more about my Sun Peaks suggestion and I'm not sure it meets your powder criteria compared to Japan. While the snow quality is good, to be realistic boot top is a pretty good day at Sun Peaks and knee deep would be considered epic. I've been to Utah several times and agree it would be better although, money issues aside, returning to Japan might be even better.

post #12 of 26

Petey makes an appearance in the Local's Guide for Whitefish.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by petey View Post

Definitely NOT Sun Valley for powder - for the definitive source on who gets good snow in North America, check out www.bestsnow.net

Another source I like is www.powderhounds.com

US mountains with great snow and relative lack of crowds would be:

Grand Targhee (very little nightlife and dining opportunities)

Brighton (utah)

Solitude

Snowbasin

Powder Mountain

 

Whitefish is a huge mountain with a pretty good amount of snowfall (but not always super light powder, and not frequently in huge dumps) with a nice town with lots of restaurants and no crowds.  Drawbacks include lots of treewells, and frequent poor visibility (fog).

 

Jackson Hole can have quite a bit of snow, as well as a relative lack of crowds depending on when you go (and you have the option of daytripping to Grand Targhee)

 



 

post #13 of 26

Thanks sibhusky for making me "famous" - I saw my pictures in the "Window Pane" section of your Local's guide!!!

post #14 of 26

British Columbis all the way!  I am so all done with crowds and hype!  There are lots af good places in the US away from that but Interior BC has the advantage of low elevation alpine areas because it is so much further north.  Red Mountain is chock full of Kiwis and Australians, you would be right at home.  Fernie too, both great mountains.  As ski towns only average though, you have to be ther for the skiing.  I know of nowhere else in North America but BC where you can ski powder all day on a powder day without everything tracked up in 45 minutes.

 

'Nuff said

post #15 of 26

 Kerryn,

We are a couple of Australians who have skied in Canada, Japan (niseko anyway!) and quite a lot in the US. We'd recommend some of the CO resorts as first choice for your needs. Steamboat is a good choice although the town is not as nice a some others in the state, and Telluride is another gem, in fact we are going back in February/March for 6 weeks after a week or so at Crested Butte which is another option.  Jackson Hole is also one of our favourites while the adjacent mountain of Grand Targhee is hard to beat for powder after a storm. You would probably also enjoy the I70 resorts like Copper, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek.

 

We tend to like to stay in town rather than a resort village which is another reason we favour Telluride but also because the mountain has something for everyone. One word of warning. A lot of these mountains are at serious altitude and you do need time to acclimatise particularly coming from seal level

post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi Skidude,

I would love to go to Canada, but I hear it gets pretty cold in January, and this year we can't go any later due sons final year in high school. Please correct me if i'm wrong cause it would be easier to go to Canada.

Thanks for the suggestions

Kerryn

post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. We are now thinking about Telluride . Gerathlete how much of a trek was it to get to from Australia? I was looking today and it looks like it is 2 domestic flightsfrom LA...Denver, then on to Montrose. How do you find the snow compared with Niseko?

Anyone know if there are direct flights from LA or San Francisco to Montrose...or with altitude in mind would we be better to fly into Denver and then bus up to Telluride? If we decide on Steamboat is altitude an issue there as welll??

And before we totally cancel out BC for this trip can anyone tell me about temps in that part of Canada in January. We've had some -15 to -20 C grey days in Rusutsu and that was getting too cold for me ( sorry don't know the temps in F).

 

Jimintokyo as a journalist in Tokyo are you hearing much about contamination in food, it's not an easy thing to research. I'm just not sure I want to take my son there this year. Shame really as he has been doing Japanese at school this year and is doing it for his HSC next year too.

 

Thanks again...off to my account tomorrow to clarify finances. Here's to a healthy tax return!!

 

Cheers

Kerryn

post #18 of 26

As far a elevation goes, all of the US resorts are high elevation and all the Canadian resorts are low elevation. Given the North vs South location of these resorts, this is a good thing because if the elevations were reversed, the US would be too warm and Canada would be too cold for skiing. Last January I skied in Colorado and Utah and it was -18C/0F. This is another way of saying that ski resort temps in both countries are very similar, but can vary at any time between mild and very cold.

The B.C.Interior has very consistent snow quality and lack of crowds. For the US, to get away from the crowds you need to go to a resort that is not near a big city and is not that easy to get to. Aspen and Telluride would qualify and I think Jackson Hole as well.

post #19 of 26

Steamboat is one of the lower elevation CO resorts and also has one of the best snow records- the terrain and town might not be as good as T-ride, but the snow record is better, particularly in La Nina years.  Can get cold, but crowds should not be bad in January.  

 

Wolf Creek is another place that gets good snow without huge crowds.  

 

Finding the perfect resort that nobody goes to can be tough, but I expect that you will have a good time where ever you end up.

post #20 of 26

Kerryn

 

You are right, it could be quite cold in interior BC in January.  I usually go last 2 weeks of Feb, to first two weeks of March, the best of the dry snow before spring.  Last year the first two weeks of Feb. were even cold, it had been -20 and below for a while and just broke when I got there.

 

Of all the suggestions, I think Telluride is best with maybe a side trip to Crersted Butte.  Great mountains, great ski towns, and far enough away from Denver so not crowded.

 

Have fun!

 

I ski at Hudson Bay Mountain in Northern BC.  I would not suggest this as a destination resort as it is smallish, no on mountain accomodation, and a half hour mountain drive to a town that has very little to offer.  I ski there because I own a cabin on the hill.  There are about 80 cabins scatered in the woods between the runs.  Most you have to hike into.  It is a world apart from any other place.  Last year I skied 13 out of 14 days with one day off for thigh rest, and I skied powder the entire time.  I only skiied a groomed run maybe half a dozen times, and there is not much grooming that happens anyway.  One of the very few places I have been where you can ski powder for days after a dump. 

 

Even though it's small there to ski, and huge out of bounds terrain.  Photo taken at 10:30 AM

 

DSC00035.JPG

 

DSC00060.JPG

 

2 PM after a lesuirely lunch back at the cabin.  No hurry, still plenty of freshies!

post #21 of 26

ALL OF THE US RESORTS???  Maybe MOST of the Colorado resorts, but there are resorts from Maine to Washington in the US and MOST of the resorts in the US are NOT in high elevations.  Perhaps you are including the border states in the US as being Canadian resorts?  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

As far a elevation goes, all of the US resorts are high elevation and all the Canadian resorts are low elevation. Given the North vs South location of these resorts, this is a good thing because if the elevations were reversed, the US would be too warm and Canada would be too cold for skiing. Last January I skied in Colorado and Utah and it was -18C/0F. This is another way of saying that ski resort temps in both countries are very similar, but can vary at any time between mild and very cold.

The B.C.Interior has very consistent snow quality and lack of crowds. For the US, to get away from the crowds you need to go to a resort that is not near a big city and is not that easy to get to. Aspen and Telluride would qualify and I think Jackson Hole as well.



 

post #22 of 26

re Travel to Telluride from Australia

 

United Express fly direct to Montrose and return on Weekends. Montrose is 40 minute bus ride from Telluride

 

Arrive Telluride late PM we dont ski next day and stay of beers, drink plenty of water as a way  of managing altitude

post #23 of 26

Kerryn,

Re travel  from Australia we generally fly in to Denver and pick up a rental 4WD. This time we are flying via Dallas as this avoids the immigration and customs hassles at LAX. The shuttle from Montrose is fine but we have found it convenient to have a vehicle at least part of the time. In regard to powder we have had much better pow in the US than in Niseko although one week there (Niseko) can't necessarily be considered typical I suppose. But compared to bottomless (literally) pow in Steamboat and waist deep in Targhee, Solitude and others there really isn't any comparison.  You will really like Telluride.  What dates are you planning on being there? If you want more detail on Telluride PM me.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

ALL OF THE US RESORTS???  Maybe MOST of the Colorado resorts, but there are resorts from Maine to Washington in the US and MOST of the resorts in the US are NOT in high elevations.  Perhaps you are including the border states in the US as being Canadian resorts?  
 



 



OK I stand corrected, but eastern US skiing is not what Australians seeking powder want. Vermont or Maine are not powder destinations and neither is the Pacific Northwest if light dry snow is on the top of the requirement list and Whistler is off the list because of crowds and possible rain/heavy snow.

post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerryn View Post

Hi Skidude,

I would love to go to Canada, but I hear it gets pretty cold in January, and this year we can't go any later due sons final year in high school. Please correct me if i'm wrong cause it would be easier to go to Canada.

Thanks for the suggestions

Kerryn


Well yes Banff (Sunshine, Lake Louise, Norquay) would be cold (-20C) ...but the Interior of BC will be fine.  Minus 5-10C.

 

Somtimes an Artic Outflow occours, this is similiar to when you get the southern winds in Aus from Antartica...but in the Interior of BC you should be fine.  You would typically only get a real Artic Outflow once a season, if that.  And they usually occour around Christmas, so you should be fine in January.  There is certainly no greater risk of cold weather in the BC Interior then anywhere else.

 

Infact most people I know who are from BC and have skied in Japan....consider Japan cold...so if you were fine there, you will have no issues in the BC Interior.  Banff is different thou due to the elevation and being furtherest from the ocean which has a warming effect.  Banff is cold.

 

You can go here and look up average temps for yourself:

 

http://www.climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/climate_normals/index_e.html

 

post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 

I checked out a few things re- Canada, thanks for the link Skidude. All sounds good till I checked some of the airfares to Canadaeek.gif. It's not such a good idea to book so close to going!!!

Needs a bit more leg work to see if there are better deals , but I won't hold my breath. Usually anything reasonable to Canada needs to be booked well ahead of time.

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