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A month to ski in Nth America: where?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


I'm starting a new job in March 2012 and have roughly a month of free time starting late Jan.  Right now I'm leaning towards using that time to disappear into the mountains for a while.  Sadly my usual snow buddies are either broke or busy, so if I went it'd be solo. 


Essentially, I am thinking of heading off to any ski town in Nth America and renting/subletting a room for a month.  I've done a full season before (Whistler) so I'm aware of most of the ins and outs of mountain life.


Any suggestions for a place to go, given that:

- I'm a capable skier, I was probably comfortable with 90-95% of the terrain at Whistler

- I'm after good powder snow

- I'd like a good variety of terrain; I don't care for the park

- Since I'll most likely be solo, I wouldn't mind a semi-vibrant place where it's easier to meet people (I'm 27), although I don't need Whistler-esque levels of liveliness

- I won't have a car

- I won't be on a shoestring budget, but neither will I have the cash to rent a place to myself for a month, so finding share accommodation with relative ease is a necessity

- USA or Canada will be good, I don't mind either

- I won't be working


I realise this is a hopelessly broad question, but any input will be appreciated regardless!  Also, feel free to tell me that my 'mini-season' is a silly idea if that's what you think, or to suggest something else.



post #2 of 10

You are looking for a central ski hub in North America.  


Park City, UT

Breckenridge or Frisco, CO

Truckee, CA (north) or South Lake Tahoe

Aspen, CO

Big Sky, WY

Jackson, WY

Telluride, CO



In Canada:


Wistler, BC

Banff/ Lake Louis, AB

Revelstoke, BC

Golden, BC

Rossland, BC

Fernie, BC 


There probably isn't anything better than Park City in terms of access and variety and awesome nightlife of a ski town.

post #3 of 10

Not a silly idea at all and lots of good choices as Michigander said.


I've spent a lot of time in Park City (mostly in the 80s, but some more recently) and agree it has some night life (and definitely has good, but expensive in season restaurants) but one down side might be the pass issue as there is not a combined pass for PC/Canyons/Dear Valley.  Also, without a car, you may find it is tough to get over to SB/Alta.


Aspen is good for night life, but not as good for reasonable accommodation and season pass prices.


You will want to move fast to take advantage of pre-season season pass prices.  Finding shared accommodation for a month might be harder middle of the season than it would be early or late, but you could start looking on Craigs list at the places Michigander suggested.  I'd also add Vail to the list (and SLC if you don't mind dealing with a possible inversion layer and taking the bus to SB/Alta)


Search some of the season threads or specific resorts for more info.

post #4 of 10

No car makes it kind of tricky.  Then you have to decide about buying a season pass at one large mtn like Whistler or go to a place with multiple resorts on one season pass.  Michigander put up a fine list of candidates.  


A few amplifying thoughts:

If you want to keep costs down you might take a good look at Frisco, CO.  Has a lot of condos to rent/share.  Has free local shuttle bus to several ski areas, has shuttles (for a fee) from Denver airport to the area, has relatively cheap season pass to ski areas served by the free bus:http://www.snow.com/epic-pass/passes/epic-local-pass.aspx 


If you have a stronger budget then maybe consider Aspen.  It offers much the same as above scenario and has great skiing at multiple nearby areas and a great town for nightlife. 


If powder trumps all else then you might consider a joint Alta/Snowbird season pass for $1800 and stay near Sandy, UT (a non glamorous city suburb, not a ski town) and ride local buses to those two nearby ski areas. https://www.snowbird.com/season_tickets/index.php?

post #5 of 10

Skiing different North America ski resorts can be hard to do without a vehicle, and by now most ski areas will have had their limited local shared accommodation long since filled up with this seasons crop of liftees/serving staff/off shore temp workers and other short term residents. I would try to get the accommodation nailed down first if your planning on one base. If you don't have the cash for daily motels it could be a short trip. But if you are just considering the skiing and you have already done Whistler why not several different areas ? It's always easy to connect with other skiers while on the hill and not too difficult to catch shuttles between areas, take the bus or even catch share a ride with someone you meet. Try Golden - Kicking Horse is just out of town, Revelstoke is 2 hours, Lake Louise 45 minutes , Sunshine 1 1/4 hours  Panorama 2 hours then 4hr to Whitefish or to Fernie and another 1 1/2 hr from there to Castle. All are great hills and everyone should see the Rockies.     

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

cheers for the tips everyone.  like a couple of you said, I need to get a move on, esp. with passes and accomm.  should be worth it though!

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

cheers for the tips everyone.  like a couple of you said, I need to get a move on, esp. with passes and accomm.  should be worth it though!

post #8 of 10

I'll tell you where. Someplace warm. A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I'm talking about a little place called Aspen.

post #9 of 10

I have to throw my two cents in for Park City! A new bus to Salt Lake ($11 round trip) may make getting to Alta & Snowbird easier if you want some variety, but you can easily find enough terrain at any one of the three resorts right in Park City to spend a great month here. The free bus system makes getting around town incredibly easy. Have a great month!! 

post #10 of 10

Aspen is definitely a fun town, especially with the X Games in late January.  A month could be easily done, but it would cost you dearly. 


If you have enough money, I think you could blow into just about any town and find accommodations within a week?  Ski passes are going to cost you then, but I think it's already too late to get a deal at most?


I'd just wait and see who has the best snow?

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