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If you could ski any where this christmas.....

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

If you could go anywhere in the world to ski during Christmas this year, where would you go? Where do you think conditions will be best?

 

Thanks,

Lauren

post #2 of 26

Home, for as long as I can. Don't care about weather as long as it's not raining.

post #3 of 26

Zermatt. Europe is getting hammered right now. A nice Swiss Christmas, with kilometer after kilometer of fresh pow and swiss cheese, chocolate, and the Matterhorn.

post #4 of 26

Japan.

 

They don't celebrate Christmas, and it's harder for foreigners to get to than most other ski destinations, so the crowds would be smaller than Europe or North America that week. Also, they get good powder and that's always a plus.

 

Generally though, I avoid going anywhere Christmas/New Year's week and go the second or third week of January instead. Crowds are smaller, prices are lower, and hotels are easier to book.

post #5 of 26

Grand Targhee.  Not so far from SLC airport so perhaps a day or two a Alta before or after depending on the exact timing.

post #6 of 26

Sorry Cerebral, but wrong on many counts. The xmas/new year period is a peak part of the ski season, and will see some of the longest lift lines of the season. It's the closest good skiing for Australians, Chinese (there's a lot of them!) and several other nationalities.

We do get good powder, but except for Hokkaido it doesn't always arrive by xmas (although this year is looking ok). ski.gif

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadman View Post

Zermatt. Europe is getting hammered right now. A nice Swiss Christmas, with kilometer after kilometer of fresh pow and swiss cheese, chocolate, and the Matterhorn.

I wouldn't say "hammered," though the season is off to a nice start. 

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimintokyo View Post

Sorry Cerebral, but wrong on many counts. The xmas/new year period is a peak part of the ski season, and will see some of the longest lift lines of the season. It's the closest good skiing for Australians, Chinese (there's a lot of them!) and several other nationalities.

We do get good powder, but except for Hokkaido it doesn't always arrive by xmas (although this year is looking ok). ski.gif

 

Well, I guess that means that nowhere is good for Christmas/New Year's in terms of crowds. That sucks.

post #9 of 26

I think the French Alps are having a good start.  Maybe Val d'Isere:  http://www.wheretoskiandsnowboard.com/resorts/valdisere/

post #10 of 26

Whistler would be my choice.

 

Amazing amount and variety of terrain and snow conditions served by an extensive and fast/efficient lift system. Great village with easy access.

 

Unfortunately its an obvious choice so lot's of people go there during the holidays. 

 

Still, the place is huge so if its anywhere close to 100% open (which it should be by xmas this season) there is enough space for everyone.

 

In contrast Vail is huge also but at 50% or less open it is a total nightmare. This season they will struggle to make it to 40% open by xmas.

 

The Alps are awesome but they are different than the North American resorts. They are more real towns within the rugged mountains with some lifts installed. High speed quads are not that common and the rugged terrain and specially the glaciated terrain while beautiful its more exposed and dangerous and snow conditions can vary wildly and slopes are not as "manicured" as in the top North American resorts. Also since most ski areas are not purpose built with exclusive ski villages with clear cut defined boundaries so you can easily end up in another town or even another country. That makes it very fun but also not that great for families.

post #11 of 26

"Anyplace"?  I'd go ski someplace private or semi private like the Yellowstone Club or anyplace not open to the general public MASSIVE holiday break congestion. 

post #12 of 26

Whitewater, British Columbia.

 

It's not a destination area, so the "crowds" tend to be manageable. They've had good pre-season snow, and they'll open tomorrow (Dec 7) on a 73" (187 cm) base. Or more.

 

And, in fact, I will ski at Whitewater for Christmas, rather than just dream about it.

 

When I was at Winter Park, I always thought Christmas was a good time to work. The snow was usually marginal, the lift lines were long (and avoided when working), and the tips were good.

 

For you destination types, I'd have to recommend Whistler over Grand Targhee this year because of snow conditions, if cost is not a factor. Targhee has 57" of what is probably pretty dry snow, which isn't bad, but dry snow doesn't necessarily make good base material. Whistler has 69" of snow that was probably somewhat wetter when it fell, making a more substantial base. Whistler has far more terrain, of course, but it's also much more expensive.

post #13 of 26

I'm going to take the OP as "my Christmas skiing wish" with no practical considerations, rather than where I would actually go based on my budget, time, etc. In that case, I'd go with something like heli-skiing the Himalayas - not sure if that's possible this early in the season, so I might have to gift it to myself for later in the season. I'd imagine Gulmarg is a relatively uncrowded resort on Christmas, so that's another option in that part of the world.

 

As far as trips I might actually take, I like the idea above about a Swiss Christmas, so the Alps sound pretty good. Also one of the BC cat lodges would be a pretty sweet place to spend the holidays.

 

I'm guessing jacked up pricing and early season conditions would inspire me to wait until later on all counts, though.

post #14 of 26

I will be skiing in Tahoe this Xmas, but if could ski anywhere in US/Canada I would pick

 

1. Revelstoke, BC

2. Grand Targhee, WY

3. Kicking Horse

4. Red Mountain/Whitewater

 

All great places with lots of snow.....I have been to Targee, and KH

one day only and I am dying to go back. Airfare is expensive, and 

travel times are long with connecting flights. 

 

Of these places Red Mountain/Whitewater has the best flights.

Southwest/good prices/evening flights coming and going to

maximize ski days. Also, could take Powder Highway to Revelstone

and so all three resorts in a week. 

post #15 of 26

Assuming they closed the local airport so no visitors were here, I'd ski here.  As it is, I plan to stay home until they leave.

post #16 of 26

Kimberley, BC with the whole family.  It is a place where everybody could have a good time.  A walkable Tyrolean style village with pretty decent everything.  A mountain a never ever to an advanced skier could enjoy for a few days.  Another smaller BC resort that gets very little love, or crowds.  I think that Tom Hanks and family bought a ranch around there years back.

 

Google it kind of a cool place, great golf course in the Summer.

post #17 of 26

In NA I agree with a bunch of the other posters that somewhere up in interior Canada is probably going to be the best combination of early season snow and less crowds.

 

Any destination resort in North America or Europe will be mobbed the week of Christmas, and in most places they won't have all the terrain open either.

 

I'll be in Switzerland on the 29th, so I'm hoping the snow over there continues...

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuchosPixels View Post

 

The Alps are awesome but they are different than the North American resorts. They are more real towns within the rugged mountains with some lifts installed. High speed quads are not that common and the rugged terrain and specially the glaciated terrain while beautiful its more exposed and dangerous and snow conditions can vary wildly and slopes are not as "manicured" as in the top North American resorts. Also since most ski areas are not purpose built with exclusive ski villages with clear cut defined boundaries so you can easily end up in another town or even another country. That makes it very fun but also not that great for families.

 

I'm not sure which resorts you're talking about in the Alps, but high-speed quads and six-packs are quite common everywhere that I've been, as are small and large gondolas, which are like high-speed four, six, eight, or more, lifts. A lot of chairs have wind/snow blockers that you can pull down in front of you along with the safety bar, and a few also have heated seats (the Arlberg area has several of these).

 

Also, it's only the off-piste terrain that's rugged. Most marked trails are groomed like crazy every day, which is annoying if you're no so much into carving the groomers. Only a few resorts have some marked but ungroomed trails (aka, freeride zones, natural trails, ski routes, etc.) that would be similar to the ungroomed blacks and double-blacks in North America.

 

Yes, some resort areas are made up of several towns, so you can ski from one town to another on the same lift pass. But, most places do a decent job with their signage, and the trails themselves have markers down both sides the entire length. So, you should be ok as long as you're paying attention.

post #19 of 26

Conditions are looking pretty good in BC.  What about a cat or heli trip?  No crowds!

post #20 of 26
Quote:
I'm not sure which resorts you're talking about in the Alps, but high-speed quads and six-packs are quite common everywhere that I've been, as are small and large gondolas, which are like high-speed four, six, eight, or more, lifts. A lot of chairs have wind/snow blockers that you can pull down in front of you along with the safety bar, and a few also have heated seats (the Arlberg area has several of these).

 

Everywhere I've been over there also has a fair assortment of what my friend semi-affectionately called "crotch tows".  Sometimes this is due to exposure -- surface lifts can run in places where a chair would often be stopped due to high wind.  (That's why Breckenridge has one up top.)  They're also a lot cheaper to operate, and can be used in areas where it would be impractical to install a chair.

 

The bigger/fancier resorts have more high speed lifts and gondolas.  But still proportionally less than big US resorts.

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

Everywhere I've been over there also has a fair assortment of what my friend semi-affectionately called "crotch tows".  Sometimes this is due to exposure -- surface lifts can run in places where a chair would often be stopped due to high wind.  (That's why Breckenridge has one up top.)  They're also a lot cheaper to operate, and can be used in areas where it would be impractical to install a chair.

 

The bigger/fancier resorts have more high speed lifts and gondolas.  But still proportionally less than big US resorts.

 

One reason for the drag lifts is due to glacier skiing at some of the higher elevated lifts. But yes, you do still see drag lifts more so at the Euro ski areas than you do in the States. No biggie. If you want to get to the goods, take a drag lift, or hike. If you want a posh Christmas go to Deer Valley or Beaver Creek where you don't have to worry about a crotch tow. I skied some aweosme terrain from a croth tow in the Arlberg a few years back. Oh, and a few heated chairs, too!

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Assuming they closed the local airport so no visitors were here, I'd ski here.  As it is, I plan to stay home until they leave.


Amazing number of people take a trip that week then complain about either lift lines, the expense or the snow base. Dec 22- Jan 2 I also avoid.

post #23 of 26

I actually find that european resorts have better lifts, and also a greater variety. You'll find old cracking doubles on some long lifts that service great terrain along with rope tows on the higher elevations and glaciers. You'll also find massive trams, gondolas, and funitels all over the place to all the massive peaks and out of towns, with many high speed lifts containing  wind shields or heated seats that are extra wide (8 seaters are not uncommon). Meanwhile, there maybe a lift or two to serve a massive 3000+ meter high mountain. It's really an extroardinary feeling, as these mountains are bigger than anything in the Americas. You're truly skiing in the mountains, that's for sure.

 

(fyi, my experiences are Kitzbuhel, Val D'Isere/Espace Killy, and Verbier/4 Valleys).

post #24 of 26

I'm at Whistler now to avoid the cluster of the holidays. I'll be at home on a beach for Christmas. SLC starting 5 January after the plague of the tourons has subsided. WB again 19-20 Jan.

post #25 of 26
Last year I went to Schweitzer for Christmas. No crowds and all 2900 acres were open in a year where most ski areas outside the PNW and BC had mostly man-made snow. I talked to a more than a few couples and families that have travelled to lots of resorts but keep coming back to Schweitzer.

This year, there's a family gathering in Utah; I will be staying in Eden and skiing at Snowbasin and Powder Mt, assuming they get some more snow.
post #26 of 26

Mammoth, the week BEFORE Christmas. yahoo.gif

Forecast is currently for snow most of the week we'll be there.

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