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Skiing from Seattle area full week in Feb with family

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I have moved last year from East Coast to Seattle area and was able to go skiing in Sun peaks BC last year for our family vacation.

I was also able to go skiing in Whistler for a few days with friends (nice but big crowed and poor weather) and a week end in Crystal Mountain.

 

Got 3 kids 4, 10 , 13 all skiers and a wife skier as well.

 

This year we are looking for a full week vacation (16 to 23rd of Feb) in a family friendly resort : Kids ski school, walk able village/resort, snowtubing, dog sledding etc...

 

I have looked at the following :

 

Whistler Blackcomb BC 5 hour drive

Silver Star BC 6-7 hour drive

Big White BC 6-7 hour drive

Fernie BC 9 hour drive

Whitefish Mt 9 hour drive

Big sky might be an option but getting very far...

Any other hidden gem....

 

 

Ideally we are looking for a "quiet" resort, good snow, good weather (if possible), not too crowded.

Sun Peaks was great but we would like to try a different resort.

 

Any recommendations, experience (good bad) will be welcomed

 

many thanks and think snow... I can see some from my office....

 

Cheers

Pecosbill

post #2 of 16

You could add Sun Valley as well.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Sun valley might be too far 11 hours +...I would like to stay in the 9 hours range as it might end up being longer in winter driving. Any recommendations ?

post #4 of 16

I agree about Whistler- it's Las Vegas with snow.

IMHO you nailed it right the first time going to Sun Peaks for a family friendly hill with the amenities you list. Big White also meets your criteria except more snow and more fog. Silver Star has the family amenities but is a little low in elevation. I guess Fernie and Whitefish are doable via Interstate out of Seattle but I'm not so sure about 9 hours in winter. As a Fernie skier, family wise Whitefish would get my vote over Fernie but again fog is an issue. While great hills, most of the 'hidden gems' in BC are ski hills rather than full service resorts.

Panorama would also be very good but it's so far from Seattle it may as well be on the moon.

post #5 of 16

second on chance of poor visibility at Big White up to early Feb. But late in Feb should be no trouble. For age of kids BW is a good choice pretty much all intermediate. Silver Star the backside is probably over your kids ability but the front side is very mellow - no worries about Silver Stars lower base before March break and better chance for sunshine. Both are cheaper for a family trip than Whistler.  I often drive to Whitefish in winter from Vancouver via Seattle is 11 hours so 9 from Seattle is about right and other than the Cascades the drive is usually pretty easy. (So much easier we go that way to get to Fernie/Castle  rather than though B.C.) but for a trip with kids I don't think it would be worth all the extra mileage.. Sandpoint is another option about 7 1/2 hr 

post #6 of 16

Silver Star is my suggestion.  It has plenty of varied terrain so everyone can be made happy there.  Almost every accommodation is ski-in-ski-out, it has a small, friendly village that is geared towards families with a lift for inner tubing, and a skating pond: both lit at night.  The drive is almost all freeway, though navigating the Coquihalla Highway at the summit can sometimes be dicey.

post #7 of 16

Weather is always a toss up, especially if you are locked into a particular week.  If you can't deal with weather, take up another sport.  

 

Whitefish is known for its family friendly clientele, its value (especially a big deal when it's a family) and the lack of crowds.  That being said, the week you are talking is Presidents' week AND Family Day in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.  Pretty much any place YOU are going, the Canadians are going.  So, it can be and usually IS like Christmas week here.  So, you might want to keep that in mind and head as far from Canada as possible to at least eliminate half the crowds.  

post #8 of 16

keep forgetting about your President's week - pick another if you can - Whistler will be packed with Americans. 

The closer you are to Alberta more likely Canadians will be there.

B.C.this year (for the first time) is also getting a holiday then, so it is probably going to be even worse. 

post #9 of 16

Wait, what? There's a new holiday in BC and it falls on our Presidents Day? So much for my bright idea of Sun Peaks for that weekend. Why did they have to pick that day for "Family Day"? Isn't is bad enough that both the US and Canada have the same Labor/Labour Day holiday?

 

Pecosbill, you left a couple resorts within 6 hours of Seattle off your lift--Schweitzer and Bachelor. Bachelor doesn't have the kind of village you're looking for; I haven't been to Schweitzer so I'm not sure about them. So they may not be quite what you're looking for but I thought I should mention them as places that don't tend to draw big crowds.

 

So it sounds like you're set on driving, but if you are considering flying at all (or decide you're willing to drive 11 hours): Sun Valley is such a short easy hop on Alaska from Seattle; it'll be as uncrowded as you can reasonably expect at a ski resort that week; it has all your activities; and it has reliably sunny weather (which unfortunately means less snow than most other resorts, but it gets the same amount as Sun Peaks and you liked that. Also snowmaking and grooming are top notch). And real sleigh rides with real horses (not tractors like some resorts), which the kids should like.

post #10 of 16

Sory for the thread hijack, but also considering a trip to BC in Feb.  I still didn't book anything for the week of 16-23, but definitely want to check Red and Whitewater since I heard great things about these mountains and also about the towns (Rossland and Nelson)

 

Are these 2 places usually very busy during Feb. holidays??

What would be a good bet for less crowds in interior BC?

 

Thanks!

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thiago View Post

 

Are these 2 places usually very busy during Feb. holidays??

What would be a good bet for less crowds in interior BC?

 

Thanks!

Everywhere will be pretty crowded so you may as well hit Red and Whitewater.

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

Everywhere will be pretty crowded so you may as well hit Red and Whitewater.

Probably resorts resorts close to Vancouver and Calgary will be more crowded than Red/WW?
I guess after the 23rd things get back to normal then...

post #13 of 16

Red and Whitewater will be the least crowded. They are the most isolated from adjacent cities with any sizable population and not a major international destination.

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post

Wait, what? There's a new holiday in BC and it falls on our Presidents Day? So much for my bright idea of Sun Peaks for that weekend. Why did they have to pick that day for "Family Day"? Isn't is bad enough that both the US and Canada have the same Labor/Labour Day holiday?

 

Pecosbill, you left a couple resorts within 6 hours of Seattle off your lift--Schweitzer and Bachelor. Bachelor doesn't have the kind of village you're looking for; I haven't been to Schweitzer so I'm not sure about them. So they may not be quite what you're looking for but I thought I should mention them as places that don't tend to draw big crowds.

 

So it sounds like you're set on driving, but if you are considering flying at all (or decide you're willing to drive 11 hours): Sun Valley is such a short easy hop on Alaska from Seattle; it'll be as uncrowded as you can reasonably expect at a ski resort that week; it has all your activities; and it has reliably sunny weather (which unfortunately means less snow than most other resorts, but it gets the same amount as Sun Peaks and you liked that. Also snowmaking and grooming are top notch). And real sleigh rides with real horses (not tractors like some resorts), which the kids should like.


just checked re: holidays B.C.s new holiday is actually Monday Feb 11 Alberta,Sask Monday Feb 18. I have no idea when "president's day" is.

and isn't there another U.S holiday in January - I hate it when I find out about it in the lift line up at Whistler.

post #15 of 16

Wikipedia and About.com both said third monday in February for all three?  Whereas something called Time and Date shows different dates.  So, I went to the source, the government site for Saskatchewan.  

 

 

2013

HOLIDAY  

OBSERVED ON

New Year's Day

Jan 1

Family Day

Feb 18

Good Friday

March 29

Victoria Day

May 20

Canada Day

July 1

Saskatchewan Day

Aug 5

Labour Day

Sept 2

Thanksgiving

Oct 14

Remembrance Day

Nov 11

Christmas Day

Dec 25

 
post #16 of 16
Quote:

just checked re: holidays B.C.s new holiday is actually Monday Feb 11 Alberta,Sask Monday Feb 18. I have no idea when "president's day" is.

 

Great news! Pres Day is Feb 18th. Always the 3rd Monday in Feb.

 

 

Quote:

isn't there another U.S holiday in January - I hate it when I find out about it in the lift line up at Whistler.

Martin Luther King Day, 3rd Monday in January. But, it's not known as a big travel weekend for whatever reason (people are maybe still broke from Xmas, or they've just traveled for the holidays). Though I'm sure you'd still get more than the usual number of Seattle folks up in Whistler that weekend.

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