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Advice on which resort for February vacation

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

My son and I (17) take a 4 day ski vacation each year in February. We enjoy seeing new locations. We have skied Whistler, Jackson Hole, Big Sky, Moonlight Basin, Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge,  Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, Deer Valley, Buttermilk, Park City, Targhee, Powder Basin, Powder Mountain, Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton.

 

We have NOT skied Telluride, Sun Valley, any of the California resorts, Banff area, Mount Tremblant or A-Basin, Beaver Creek, Steamboat.

 

I realize that many people like different things. We are strong intermediate to expert skiers. We like to ski in the trees and can go down most anything that doesn't require me getting air.

 

What are reviews of Banff or Tremblant. We are debating on going back to Vail since I only spent one day there numerous years ago.

 

Other suggestions that we should consider.

post #2 of 20
Don't waste your time with Mont Tremblant if you like to ski trees. Assuming you're flying into Montreal drive an extra hour and hit the northern Vermont resorts. Jay Peak has better trees and better snow!
post #3 of 20

if you like seeing different areas the Banff area is one of the prettiest places on earth. Skiing is good , access easy from Calgary. Ski areas to suit any level. Check their info.  In 4 days you could easily ski 4 different hills if you wanted 

Tremblant is a decent hill but not in the same league. The resort it's self is like a lot of modern mountain developments but the towns nearby are interesting. The scenery is nice but not nearly as spectacular..      

post #4 of 20

If you are thinking of skiing Banff definitely make the effort to ski Kicking Horse as well (or consider doing a couple of days at KH and a couple at Revelstoke). Banff is about 90 minutes from the airport (at least the way I drive), KH is another 90 minutes farther west, and Revy is probably another 100 minutes over the Rogers pass (note that there are sometimes avalanche control delays on that stretch). All of the big four hills (Sunshine, Lake Louise, KH, Revy) have something to recommend them and have steep and deep areas. As far as accomodations go, Banff is a big resort town--Golden and Revelstoke are making the transition from resource based economies to resort status.

post #5 of 20

Were do you live and which resorts did you enjoy the most?  On short trips, ease of travel is important.  North Shore of Tahoe or Banff would be obvious choices. 

IMHO:  Revelstoke's just too difficult to access for a short trip.

post #6 of 20

If travelling from the US:

Best and cheapest way to get to Revelstoke is to fly to Spokane, rent a car, drive 2.5 hours to Rossland, B.C. and ski Red Mt. Then drive 1.25 hours to Nelson and ski Whitewater. Then drive north 4 hours to Revy. Repeat skiing at Whitewater and Red on the way back to Spokane as they will be every bit as good in their own way as RMR. (Whitewater is the anti Whistler and gets the most snow in Canada and Red is the best tree skiing). This route completely avoids the Trans-Canada Highway and it's frequent avalanche closures both east and west of Revelstoke.

 

Trans-Canada Hwy closures for avalanche or avalanche control work do not last a few hours, they usually last a few days. Rogers Pass is east of Revelstoke as is Banff and Calgary so if going to Revelstoke from Calgary, then plan your trip so that you go through Rogers Pass and ski Revy early in the trip and then back through Rogers pass to ski Kicking Horse, Lake Louise or Sunshine Village closer to your flight departure time. Otherwise, if caught on the wrong side of Rogers Pass=missed flight home.

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultracoach View Post

My son and I (17) take a 4 day ski vacation each year in February. We enjoy seeing new locations. We have skied Whistler, Jackson Hole, Big Sky, Moonlight Basin, Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge,  Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, Deer Valley, Buttermilk, Park City, Targhee, Powder Basin, Powder Mountain, Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton.

 

We have NOT skied Telluride, Sun Valley, any of the California resorts, Banff area, Mount Tremblant or A-Basin, Beaver Creek, Steamboat.

 

I realize that many people like different things. We are strong intermediate to expert skiers. We like to ski in the trees and can go down most anything that doesn't require me getting air.

 

 

If you’re a strong intermediate to advanced and love trees, Steamboat would be perfect. Very balanced terrain, nothing too gnar, lots of cold smoke and arguably the best tree skiing in America. 

post #8 of 20

If considering eastern Canada, Mont Ste Anne and Le Massif have great skiing for your abilities.  They are much better mountains then Tremblant and tend to get a lot more snow.  Tremblant is a great place for younger families with a lot of easy cruisers. You guys might like Taos.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

 

If you’re a strong intermediate to advanced and love trees, Steamboat would be perfect. Very balanced terrain, nothing too gnar, lots of cold smoke and arguably the best tree skiing in America. 

 

Yep, I think Steamboat would be a perfect choice.

 

Looks like OP and son might be into a little resort bagging.  Could easily ski A-basin and drive to accommodations in Steamboat the same day.  Ski two days at Steamboat.  Leave early the fourth day and ski Beaver Creek before heading back down the hill to DIA.  There's three new hills for the list.

 

Easier would be to drop BC and stop at Winter Park/MJ on the way back.  Then another year, to get back to Vail, do Beaver Creek, Copper and Vail in the same trip. 

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultracoach View Post

My son and I (17) take a 4 day ski vacation each year in February. We enjoy seeing new locations. We have skied Whistler, Jackson Hole, Big Sky, Moonlight Basin, Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge,  Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, Deer Valley, Buttermilk, Park City, Targhee, Powder Basin, Powder Mountain, Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton.

 

We have NOT skied Telluride, Sun Valley, any of the California resorts, Banff area, Mount Tremblant or A-Basin, Beaver Creek, Steamboat.

 

I realize that many people like different things. We are strong intermediate to expert skiers. We like to ski in the trees and can go down most anything that doesn't require me getting air.

 

We are debating on going back to Vail since I only spent one day there numerous years ago.

 

 

Good advice so far...I'll add that if you like trees, haven`t tried Beaver Creek and are considering returning to Vail, then staying in Beaver Creek (or Avon and getting the gondi) and doing 2-3 days at BC and 1-2 at Vail is a good call.  Vail offers some nice tree skiing, is very big and loved by many in the strong intermediate to advanced range, but for its size, BC has more good tree skiing, IMO.

post #11 of 20
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Some great answers. I booked flight to Denver and a hotel in Frisco. Now I am planning my 4 days. We did Vail once about 10 years ago and spent the entire day in the back bowls. I think we are going back for another day there. Possibly Copper which I have not been to and A-Basin. If I do a 4th different resort, is it better to try Beaver Creek or Winter Park. Some posts above gave Beaver Creek some props.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultracoach View Post

Some great answers. I booked flight to Denver and a hotel in Frisco. Now I am planning my 4 days. We did Vail once about 10 years ago and spent the entire day in the back bowls. I think we are going back for another day there. Possibly Copper which I have not been to and A-Basin. If I do a 4th different resort, is it better to try Beaver Creek or Winter Park. Some posts above gave Beaver Creek some props.

 

I really like Beaver Creek. The glades on Grouse mountain are really nice intermediate/advanced tree skiing. The stone creek chutes are some awesome terrain as well but can get pretty gnarly. No mandatory air but steep, tight bumps with trees. Be aware that if you ski anything over a blue it's pretty much guaranteed that you will be skiing bumps at some point.

 

Other highlights of the resort are you can ski the Birds of prey downhill course and they have free cookies.

 

Winterpark I don't know too much about the only time I have been there is during skier cross training/ racing and early season. It is a really cool area thou and its got a sweet YMCA you can stay at.

 

Copper is awesome. Unfortunately due to the lack of snow this past year I didn't get to explore the back bowls too much. I think tucker mountain was open like 3 days, maybe. It's got great runs and the base area is pretty nice.

 

Abasin is all about the vibe it has some very nice terrain but unless you either really like bumps or are willing to hike the terrain isn't all that special. This is the most laid back resort and is where a lot of locals go to party. Don't be surprised  if you see tail gate parties in the parking lot and your almost guaranteed to see some partying on the beach, which is an area of the parking lot that is right at the base of the lifts and is a sanctioned, grilling, partying, BYOB area. If your looking for terrain and its between here and copper go to copper. If your looking for a a new novel ski experience come here over copper. 

 

If you go back to Vail you might want to check out the front side as well. Runs like pump house offer some great steep tree skiing. I would also recommend checking out other bowls besides blue sky basin. Blue Sky has some great terrain but the lines there are almost always enough, that in my opinion, the trade off isn't worth it. Siberian and Oriental bowl   have some great terrain and Siberian bowl especially has a nice cornice that can be nothing to 6-7 feet of mandatory air depending on where you drop in. Not sure if your son likes that stuff but allows him to do it while you can still go around.

 

When was the last time you skied Breck? 

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

We did Breck about 7 or 8 years ago. I remember lots of flat skiing to get out of areas. It was FREEZING the day we were there.
 

post #15 of 20

Winter Park was voted Number 1 in trees (don't ask me who voted, just saw it on a sign by the lift last year.) There are wonderful intermediate trees off Parsenn bowl. and if you are adventurous, lots of trees in between runs off the Challenger lift. on the Eagle express, the tree skiing varies from high intermediate to fairly tight and steep. Between Drunken Frenchman and Outhouse are Drunken Frenchman trees which used to be more difficult than they are now that the bark beetle has opened them up. the trees to skier's left of Sleeper are also great and intermediate.

 

If you haven't been to Vail in a while and like trees, you will be very happy about the Blue Sky Basin. There are loads of intermediate tree runs all through there.

 

What I liked about Copper wasn't the trees so much as the bowls. wonderful bowls that go from mellow, Vail like, to really steep. and a free cat ride to a ridge area that will give the two of you an adventure and some bragging rights.

 

Have fun!

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultracoach View Post

Some great answers. I booked flight to Denver and a hotel in Frisco. Now I am planning my 4 days. We did Vail once about 10 years ago and spent the entire day in the back bowls. I think we are going back for another day there. Possibly Copper which I have not been to and A-Basin. If I do a 4th different resort, is it better to try Beaver Creek or Winter Park. Some posts above gave Beaver Creek some props.

Beaver Creek (I-70 over Vail Pass) is usually an easier drive than Winter Park (back through the tunnel towards Denver then a windier road up).

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultracoach View Post

We did Breck about 7 or 8 years ago. I remember lots of flat skiing to get out of areas. It was FREEZING the day we were there.
 

That means you were there before the expansion. The Imperial lift added a lot of awesome terrain that was previously only accessible through hiking. Breck has also made an effort in recent years to  mark runs that were previously local knowledge only ( Locals aren't necessarily happy about that.) It can have a lot of flat traverses if you don't know the mountain that well but IMHO Vail is worse especially since there simply is no way to avoid a lot of them. 

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

That means you were there before the expansion. The Imperial lift added a lot of awesome terrain that was previously only accessible through hiking. Breck has also made an effort in recent years to  mark runs that were previously local knowledge only ( Locals aren't necessarily happy about that.) It can have a lot of flat traverses if you don't know the mountain that well but IMHO Vail is worse especially since there simply is no way to avoid a lot of them. 

 

Which takes Breck from "ridiculously crowded ski area with surprisingly little expert terrain" to "even more ridiculously crowded ski area with a bit more expert terrain (that is still completely run of the mill compared to all other destination resorts that see WAY LESS PEOPLE."

 

If the OP's list was my list (and honestly, many of those areas are on my list but I haven't managed to hit), I would look at Squaw.

 

From your list, Telluride stands out.

 

My only concern with recommending these places is a lot of the terrain that makes them special is expert+ terrain.

 

The OP has been to Breck, and is apparently looking to hit most resorts of note. There is no reason to go back to Breck.

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

Which takes Breck from "ridiculously crowded ski area with surprisingly little expert terrain" to "even more ridiculously crowded ski area with a bit more expert terrain (that is still completely run of the mill compared to all other destination resorts that see WAY LESS PEOPLE."

 

If the OP's list was my list (and honestly, many of those areas are on my list but I haven't managed to hit), I would look at Squaw.

 

From your list, Telluride stands out.

 

My only concern with recommending these places is a lot of the terrain that makes them special is expert+ terrain.

 

The OP has been to Breck, and is apparently looking to hit most resorts of note. There is no reason to go back to Breck.

Dude chill. I happen to think that Breck is a great mountain but that is not the topic of discussion and the OP has already bought tickets and made reservations in frisco 

post #20 of 20

perhaps knowing some dates may avail you to some local bears knowing the terrain of some options which may add to the experience...

 

of course, not to steal away from your time with your son, but perhaps if there is remains a choice between a couple of unfamiliar mountains

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