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Ski trip for beginners

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Any advise would be appreciated... I am looking at planning a trip for myself, wife, and another couple. All of us have only skied once. My wife and I went to Durango last year and really in joyed it, but I would like to go to a different place this year. I have looked at Solitude Ut. Both of these resorts are reosonable priced to stay on the mountain. I would prefer not to go to one of the huge resorts where we get run over, but would like enough things to do at the resort since we are not driving. Any other suggestions??
post #2 of 14

Hi, J, welcome to Epic Ski! 

 

If you use the Search function, you'll find mounds of information and suggestions on this very topic.  One suggestion you'll find is my home in Summit County in Colorado.  Yes, the mountains are large, but the beginner/novice areas are usually separated from the more advanced areas and you can progress comfortably in lessons and build your confidence quite safely.  As you advance in skill, your instructor will take you to appropriate, more advanced, terrain.  Four excellent ski mountains are within 45 minutes of each other and a free county-wide bus system goes to all.  You can pick any one mountain and stay there, skiing comfortably for many days, or get to others easily if you desire.  There is also reasonably priced lodging in the local towns (Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne, Dillon).  These towns are easily and quickly accessible via the bus and are on the routes to the ski mountains. 

 

I teach at Copper mountain (so I'm prejudiced!), but I hope you'll do some research on my mountain!  One of it's distinguishing features is its naturally divided terrain, which tends to separate skiers of different abilities, but still allows easy access to all of the mountain.  If you wish everyone in your party to ski together, you can book a private lesson for a half day a few mornings in a row and then practice/explore on appropriate terrain (that your instructor will suggest) in the afternoon.  The fact that all your party are the same level makes this approach very feasible.  A private lesson for four people will be less money than a group lesson booked for each person.  A lesson will also accelerate your learning curve and let you enjoy the sport much more quickly than trying to do it on your own.  It's also the best way to get to know the mountain.  This approach works well at any mountain you'd like to sample.  You can get to experience different places and progress as skiers at the same time!

 

You mention you are not driving.  Shuttles are available to Summit County and the ski areas from the Denver airport.  Feel free to PM me if you'd like any more info.

 

Good luck!

Mike


Edited by mike_m - 7/22/12 at 5:35pm
post #3 of 14

Sounds like you have been bitten by the ski bug. :-)

 

How long a ski trip?  Flying in from where?  Any constraints on exactly when?  Is renting a car out of the question?

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpressly25 View Post

Any advise would be appreciated... I am looking at planning a trip for myself, wife, and another couple. All of us have only skied once. My wife and I went to Durango last year and really in joyed it, but I would like to go to a different place this year. I have looked at Solitude Ut. Both of these resorts are reosonable priced to stay on the mountain. I would prefer not to go to one of the huge resorts where we get run over, but would like enough things to do at the resort since we are not driving. Any other suggestions??

 

Solitude is good, but its overall pretty tough.  The blues there can be steeper than the blues in Colorado.  That said, the grooming is superb and the mountain is the least crowded of the 15 or so major resorts I've been to.  Take a lesson if you can.  The snow and grooming are good enough that if you can get past the initial fear factor, you'll find the steep stuff pretty easy.

 

Off the hill theres not much there other than a skating rink and maybe a couple of restaurants.  Brighton is right beside it though.  If you have a car, a trip into SLC or Park City would be worth it.  All that said, if you're doing it right, you should be too beat to want to do much else other than eat and sleep.

post #5 of 14

+1 for Summit County Colorado.  Lots of options there, especially with lots of terrain for beginners and intermediates at Breck, Keystone, Copper, Vail, etc.  - And of course there's plenty to do there when you're not skiing.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpressly25 View Post

I would prefer not to go to one of the huge resorts where we get run over, but would like enough things to do at the resort since we are not driving. Any other suggestions??

 

Telluride, Park City or Crested Butte come to mind. All three have good beginner terrain. All three are in little "cities"  that will provide you with lots of stuff to do other than skiing. All three have good public transportation. T-ride especially is nice because it has long, wide, huge beginner runs and it has a gondola and lifts that run right from town making all the accomodations kind of ski in and out. I'm not that familiar with Park City but it is known for its good grooming and the town has plenty to do. Crested Butte has a great town with nice restaurants and, although no gondola from town to hill, does have a user-friendly bus service. It has a sweet small town feel.

 

The other to conisider is Aspen. The mountains at Aspen are segregated by abililty with Buttermilk being the beginner mountain, so as long as you stay out of the terrain park, you won't be 'run over.' (Aspen and Highlands for advanced/expert and Snowmass for intermeiate. Each mountain is in a different location and has its own base, etc.)  Aspen is a fantastic town and they have very convenient and free bus service all over the place.

 

All of the above have the added bonus of being really beautiful (T-ride probably the most beautiful) and charming and will give you a real "ski holiday" experience.

 

I love Copper and many of the hills in Summit County, BUT in my humble opinion it is not beneficial or necessary for beginners to be traipsing around from mountain to mountain. It actually helps a beginner to progress by becoming familiar with the terrain. And Summit for all its charms, if you're not careful where you end up staying, can feel like just one huge US suburb.

 

Have Fun!

post #7 of 14

Look into Steamboat.  Lots of lower intermediate terrain and fun stuff around base and nearby town.  More comments:

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1330&mode=rss

post #8 of 14

For what you say you're looking for, my vote is Park City, Utah.

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post

 

Telluride, Park City or Crested Butte come to mind. All three have good beginner terrain.

 

I've never skied Crested Butte, only been there in the summer.  I thought that lack of much beginner / intermediate terrain was one of the knocks on the place (and to many one of the benefits)?

post #10 of 14

CB is known for its "extreme" terrain, but it also has long, wide green groomers with their own chair lift. (thus avoiding the whole being run over thing.)

 

I've only been to Solitude once and really did like it. It has a sweet base "village" that is a little contrived but tasteful. The mountain was very good, although I don't know what the beginner runs are like as we stuck mostly to Honeycomb Canyon. However, my impression of the village was that it was very family oriented and pretty self-contained with not much going on beyond ski and spa related stuff.  But, take that with a grain of salt because my experience there is very limlited.

post #11 of 14

Evidently elevation is not an issue since Durango base is nearly 9,000 feet. I'd suggest Keystone and Steamboat as good areas for what you are looking for. If anyone had a problem with the altitude in Durango you might give an extra  consideration to Steamboat. Vail, Snowmass, Breck., Copper or any of the major Colorado resorst will offer you more to do than you found in Durango both on and off the mountain and I ageree there is no reason for you to look for more than one good mountain to ski during your trip. Vail offers the most to do off the slopes and I don't think you will be run over as long as you stay away from the holiday weeks. If you really want to be pampered go to Deerr Valley.

post #12 of 14

You mentioned Solitude, but of the UT resorts, lodging and skiing in Park City is going to give you the best combination of great skiing for beginners and plenty of fun options, with out any unnecessary complications. Park City is UT's only ski town, and has way more amenities and convenient access to the slopes unlike basically every other resort in UT. And the resorts (Park City Mountain, The Canyons, and Deer Valley) each offer great service, instruction and terrain for the beginner skier. 

post #13 of 14

I consider myself a beginner and last year went to Vail and Beaver Creek. It was a blast. not enough days on vaca. Now I got the Epic pass, which gave me unlimited skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and A-Basin. If you ski there more than 5 days, its worth getting the Epic pass.
 

post #14 of 14

Another vote for Park City. Between PCMR and Deer Valley, you will have lots of options as you want to progress from Greens to easier blues and the town is fantastic too.

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