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Please Help Design a 7 Day Ski Trip

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

My dad and I have been caught up in the working rat race for quite a few years and he and I want to take a week long ski trip together to reconnect as father and son.  We are both intermediate skiers.  We both enjoy a nice gentle cruiser, but would get bored with it after a few runs and will want to gradually increase the difficulty level - but I don't think either of us are after any type of expert or extreme terrain at this point.  We are boring people and aren't interested in the night life and would prefer just relaxing at night.

 

Analysis paralysis.  There are so many options for planning a trip that I'm beginning to become overwhelmed and would highly appreciate any input or help.  I apologize in advance for such a broad post.  

 

We were leaning towards Park City, UT - having a home-base there with maybe a day trip or two to some of the other ski areas that are around the area.   Is this a good idea or a bad idea?  We are open to other suggestions.  

 

If you could plan a 7 day trip where would you go and where would you stay specifically?  A particular hotel or would you rent a condo?  The only real restriction to answers are ones that have unrealistic drives between places.  Not on a real tight budget, but keep in mind we are just 2 people.

 

Thank you for your suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 13

Generally, the Park City group of ski areas qualify as great mtns for an "intermediate level" ski vacation on a healthy budget, additional candidates: Snowmass, Big Sky, Steamboat, Heavenly, Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge, Whistler, Lake Louise, etc., etc., etc. You are right, there are a lot of choicessmile.gif But don't feel overwhelmed, they are all GREAT.

 

The snow is better right now at places like Whistler and Big Sky, but there is still time for that to change.

 

It would help to know: are you talking about later this season in Feb, Mar, or Apr? Where are you coming from? Arriving by plane?

 

One more thought: if I could roll back time and it was me and my dad, and assuming conditions are reasonably good, I would choose Alta, Utah and stay in one of their slopeside lodges all week. It would be quiet (which you don't mind), but they feed you well, and it has a nice variety of beautiful terrain and is near Snowbird for more challenge/terrain. The atmosphere is like a posh monastery for ski monks and count me among the believers.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

James,

 

Thank you for taking the time to respond.  I'm sure broad questions like mine get old on these forums.  To answer your questions:

 

We will be flying by plane from Chicago.  He lives in Peoria and will drive up to Chicago Friday night and we would fly out Saturday morning.  Come back the following Saturday - is what I'm thinking, but this is not set in stone yet.  Is there any tips as to which days to fly in and out in terms of cost?   

 

We are looking at early to mid March for a trip.  The idea of a slopeside lodge in Alta sounds appealing.  Do you have a link to said place?  I think my dad would really enjoy that.  Would you dedicate your week to those two mountains or would you hop in the car and take a day trip or two to some of the other mountains in addition?  If so - what are the better ones to hit on weekends vs weekdays due to crowds?

 

 

post #4 of 13

Since I've spent hundreds of ski days on hills with less than 1000' vertical drop I could easily spend a whole week at Alta.  When you throw in nearby Snowbird, make it a month.  But while Alta has some great intermediate runs, both areas (esp Snowbird) are renowned for advanced terrain.  Since you will likely get a rental car because they are cheaper than paying for shuttles to and from airport, it will be relatively easy for you to venture to several other areas within about one hour to look for more intermediate terrain.  Here is a trip report that describes some of those other choices: http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1285&mode=rss 

I would suggest Solitude (~45 minutes and particularly good as a crowd beater) and Snowbasin (~75 minutes and an intermediate paradise with superb lifts and lodges) as good day-trip options for you in the scenario of basing yourself at Alta.  And of course, the Park City resorts (~50 mins).  The thing is, right now the snow is subpar in Utah, a rarity at this point in the season, so you might consider some other destinations too.  But I feel that it would be a pretty good bet that conditions would improve significantly by March.

post #5 of 13

Another vote for a week at Alta in one of the lodges.  Especially since you want to have time to relax together.  There is more than enough to keep an intermediate happy without having to work too hard or challenged if feeling adventurous.  Possible to ski over to Snowbird or take the free public bus.  My personal favorite is Alta Lodge but all of the lodges are great.  Note that they include meals so even less to think about besides skiing and relaxing.

 

http://www.alta.com/pages/lodging_base.php

 

For Alta, I don't get a car.  There is little parking in the canyon.  If it does dump, you have to dig it out.  When I want to explore the other options around SLC, I stay in the city and get a car.  That's fun too but requires more thinking during the stay.  I do not get bored spending a week at Alta.  For that matter, last winter we ended up extending for two more days because the snow was so good in late April.

 

Something to think about no matter where you go is a semi-private lesson for the two of you.  Best way to take it to the next level IMHO.

 

Sometimes worth adjusting the schedule to get a midweek plane fare.  Southwest from Midway has a good schedule and two free checked luggage.  Possible to arrive in time to ski a little the first afternoon.  I go that way by leaving early from Raleigh.

 

For real bonding time, possible to drive from Chicago.  My brother-in-law lives near O'Hare.  Last winter, he drove out with his college-age son, his son's friend and father.  The fathers flew home and the boys drove back.  Know of another father-son pair who drove out to Utah from Washington DC.  Mind you, I'm not seriously suggesting it.

post #6 of 13

If not Utah, take a look at Steamboat.  Lots of lodging options, can fly into Hayden and avoid renting a car.  The town is very laid back.

post #7 of 13

Park City, UT:

If you are looking for a mellow vibe, check out the Star Hotel on Main Street in Park City. It is a no-frills, cozy bed and breakfast that has been there since the 60's and includes full breakfast (eggs, french toast, and bacon cooked for order) and a home cooked dinner every day. The Town Lift allows you to bypass the whole base scene and SKI. I have stayed there for a month straight and it is the best place for skiing all day and coming back to relax. It is also across from a popular microbrewery,The Wasatch Brew Pub.

 

As far as the actual skiing goes, Park City is the best intermediate mountain in Utah IMO. The runs off Silverloade lift are fantastic, as well as the blues off of Mckonkeys and King Con (if the snow's right). It is also a great place to progress; they groom a few blacks every day which can be exhilerating for intermediates and there is some really great tree skiing if you know where to look.

 

Additionally, two other resorts, The Canyons and Deer Valley, are also located within the city limits of Park City.

 

I really wouldnt recommend Alta or Solitude over Park city unless you are upper-intermediate/advanced.

 

post #8 of 13

I have spent many week (and multi-week) vactions in both Utah and Colorado.  In Utah, its nice to sample the many resorts near SLC.  By staying in one of the suburbs near the bottom of Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons gives you easy access and saves some money over the higher cost of staying right at a resort.  In Colorado I follow a similar strategy, staying in Frisco or Dillon and having access to all the Summit County areas plus Vail and Beaver Creek.  Currently the snow conditions in both areas are looking up due to recent fresh snow.

post #9 of 13

This is a great thread!  I'm looking to design a very similar 7-day trip!  2 Intermediate snowboarders here, looking to make first trek out West around the mid-March timeframe.  Laid back simpletons, don't need much nightlife. Just happy relaxing in the evenings after a good dinner.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheryl302 View Post

This is a great thread!  I'm looking to design a very similar 7-day trip!  2 Intermediate snowboarders here, looking to make first trek out West around the mid-March timeframe.  Laid back simpletons, don't need much nightlife. Just happy relaxing in the evenings after a good dinner.



Afraid staying at Alta makes no sense for snowboarders.  Alta is skiers only.  Deer Valley too.  Park City could be a good choice.  Perhaps Brighton/Solitude although not much choice for dinners out there.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post


Afraid staying at Alta makes no sense for snowboarders.  Alta is skiers only.  Deer Valley too. 



Wow, thanks for the heads up - didn't realize that!

post #12 of 13



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post



Afraid staying at Alta makes no sense for snowboarders.  Alta is skiers only.  Deer Valley too.



 Wow, I didn't realize. You're right - thanks for the heads-up!

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bountyk80 View Post

 

We will be flying by plane from Chicago.  He lives in Peoria and will drive up to Chicago Friday night and we would fly out Saturday morning.  Come back the following Saturday - is what I'm thinking, but this is not set in stone yet.  Is there any tips as to which days to fly in and out in terms of cost?   


 

 



Tuesday, Wednesdays and Saturdays are generally the lowest fares.  I don't mean to screw up your plans, but I don't know if I would book a trip to Salt Lake at this time.

The skiing isn't that great there right now, they don't have any snow forecast for at least a week and you're looking at going in a month?

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