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First Family "Mountain" Ski Vacation -- Christmas -- Where To Go?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

 

I am looking to plan my family's first ever mountain ski vacation. We are looking to travel over Christmas 2012.

 

Yes -- I know it's waaaay early -- but more than one person has told me to start planning now. So here I am.

 

Looking for a resort that offers a lot of intermediate terrain, as my kids (ages 15 and 12) and my bride prefer groomed slopes.

 

While there are a lot of factors & variables to consider (geography, distance to major airports, lodging options, cost), my goal is to somehow find a place that is "relatively" quiet during Christmas.

 

Yes -- I have heard this is by far the busiest time, and crowds will be a factor everywhere. But is there one quieter than the other? I am considering places like Deer Valley, Solitude, Aspen/Snowmass, Big Mountain and Sun Valley. With the exception of Aspen/Snowmass (I have skied there literally dozens of times over the years) these resorts have been recommended to me -- meaning I have not experienced them myself.

 

This forum has always provided priceless advice, so I thank you in advance for your thoughts & insight.

 

Kind regards -

 

 

post #2 of 6

Snowmass would have been my first splurge suggestion for variety, moderate holiday crowds, but it may be old hat for you.  How about Telluride or Crested Butte for moderate holiday crowds?  Solitude would be good too, and perhaps fairly snowsure for that timeframe.  Its condo village is cute, but small.  The terrain choices for your group, however, are very good considering it shares a contiguous border with Brighton.

 

Of course, from MN you could drive to MT in 15 hrs, use huge airfare savings to visit Big Sky/Moonlight this winter AND next with your family?duck.gif

post #3 of 6

I would think to stay away from the big 'destination' resorts.  Maybe try something like Steamboat, Telluride, or Taos?

 

Sun Valley might do okay, since it's a little more off the beaten path than areas like SLC, Park City, Aspen, or Summit County in CO.  But maybe they're bad too.  Never been out West at Christmas.

post #4 of 6

I agree with JamesJ. Snowmass is a very nice family spot and it's seldom crowded.  But since you've been there, you might try someplace new.

I would avoid any place close to a large metro.  It's just too easy for people to show up it the snows good. 

 

Whitefish is a really nice town, with a nice easy mountain.  If you drive, it gives you a lot of options?

post #5 of 6

The OP and Shredhead both mentioned Big Mountain/Whitefish.  Just to make sure you know, the snow so far is seriously scanty. We just had our first snow storm in weeks.  It hugely improved things and now you don't HAVE to download.  But, I'd find out what is going to be close to 100% open and go there.  I am not looking forward to seeing the carnage here if the normal Christmas crowds try and fit on the stuff we have open (as of this writing, at most we're 10% open).  In a normal year, this would be a great destination for Christmas (I say that because I stay away that week).  But, the much ballyhooed La Nina has been MIA so far.  I swear to match those long term forecasts for December, we need to get six feet between now and the end of the month.  

post #6 of 6

Just stay far from major airports and metro areas. So yes to Snowmass, Sun Valley (it's the only time of year you might see a lift line, but it's nothing like you'll see at most resorts, and I bet it's less crowded than Snowmass), Whitefish, Crested Butte, Big Sky, etc. I've not been to DV or Solitude at Xmas but I've heard the PC area resorts are a nightmare at that time, and I wouldn't want to fight the local Christmas break crowds (I won't even ski locally during Xmas break anymore, and no one comes to WA State to ski--it's just locals. And wayyyy too crowded for me when kids are out of school).

 

 

Quote:

Looking for a resort that offers a lot of intermediate terrain, as my kids (ages 15 and 12) and my bride prefer groomed slopes.

 

That's definitely Snowmass or Sun Valley. One thing about SV--the runs are a lot steeper than at many resorts. Now, they are groomed so beautifully that I don't think that makes them necessarily harder. But if steepness wigs your kids or wife out, it could be an issue. Or actually there's plenty of beautiful loooooong steep green runs that they'd probably love. There's also a separate mountain (Dollar) that has easier green and blue slopes. If flying to SV is $$, Boise isn't a bad drive (~2.5 hours). It's shorter and easier (no passes) than the drive from Denver to Snowmass.

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