I'm beginning to coordinate a trip for my friends out west this year, and would love to get some feedback from you guys on a couple of things.
- My friends and I are in our mid-20s, many of whom are relatively new to snowboarding (they're fine on blues, iffy on blacks) and the rest of whom grew up skiing/snowboarding. Many of us have never been skiing outside of the east coast.
- I will be joining my family in Steamboat over President's week and thought I could get my friends to fly out to Denver for the first half of the week. I've been doing some research on which ski areas might be good for us and am leaning toward Winter Park; we can drive out further to A-Basin or Copper/Keystone/Breck one day, and then I can drive to Steamboat more easily from WP once my friends ship back out. (and then cash in on some of the deals for lift tickets between SB and WP, haha).
- Given that many of my friends are not advanced and it'll be the first time out west for many, I think that they're not particularly looking for crazy steeps or challenging terrain, and would be okay paying less money for lift tickets given that they're not planning to take advantage of the whole mountain. The experienced people among us favor big wide groomers on which they can go really fast, and trees. Based on that I felt like WP would be a good value for us.
- We're hoping to get a big enough group together that things like car rentals and lodging will be less expensive, like 8-12 people.
With that in mind I had a couple of questions:
- Do you think Winter Park makes sense as a base for us? Is the traffic really bad to and from the other mountains I mentioned?
- Would Winter Park be less crowded compared to some of the other ski areas during President's weekend?
- Are the conditions generally reliable for this area in mid-February? (Last season notwithstanding. I know the horror stories for booking trips way in advance, but am I wrong to kind of think that a crappy day out west is still going to be way better than what we're used to in New England? haha.)
- Is there any kind of apres-ski scene? It'll be my birthday during that week, but tbh I'm fine hanging out at home with some booze and board games if it means skiing the next day :)
I welcome any thoughts you have to share, can't wait to get out there again!