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UT/CO recommendation for a dad and two kids

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

This is somewhat of a last minute consideration.  My wife has work obligation so she cannot go, but with her blessing, I'm thinking I take the kids anyway.  :)

 

We've been skiing mostly in New England area - skied once in WA state, but never west.  No flight booked, so it's rather open but I'd like them to experience either UT or CO.

 

Just so you know the level of my kids - both of them are racers.  14 yo son has been racing for 5 years, fairly accomplished skier.  He is better than me, techically or speed wise.  10 yo daughter has been racing for 3 years, can go just about where I can go.  I'm... level ~8?  Can handle steeps w/o problem, mogules are ok.

 

We're not fussy about type of lodging, other than we want ski-in, ski-out.  Doesn't have to be fancy - a studio would work fine if there are beds for 3.

 

Where would you recommend out west USA?  CA would be too far.

 

TIA

post #2 of 22

When?

 

Staying at one the lodges up at Alta is pretty hard to beat.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Sorry, was in a hurry to put up the post.  It would be during the week of Feb 17, probably depart 2/15 or 2/16.

 

 

I know there is a ton of good information, and this date fast approaching, I could use help narrowing down the choices.  Been looking at Park City based on vague memory of someone's recommendation.  Snowmass seems to have only 10% of trails open?

 

Oh, we'll be just taking boots with us.  I doubt the kids race skis will be much good (both got Fischer 'hole' skis).

post #4 of 22

If you were willing to drive a bit, heading to Snowbasin in Feb could be a lot of fun and not crowded.  I bet you would all get a kick out of the Men's Downhill run from the Olympics that also brought Snowbasin the really cool lodges.  You won't have to worry about any lift lines there regardless of snow conditions.

 

Combining a few days at The Lakeside Condos for Snowbasin with a few days at one of the lodges at Alta would be an amazing first trip out west.  I have a friend who stays at Lakeside a couple times a season.  My personal favorite is Alta Lodge.  Pricey unless you stay in a dorm but the atmosphere and included meals are wonderful.  Easy to make new friends who know the mountain since most are return guests.  The other lodges at Alta are fine too.

 
Would you consider Bozeman, MT?  Stay in Bozeman for Bridger, then head to Big Sky.  Can do a day trip to Yellowstone as a bonus.
post #5 of 22

If you make a quick decision and decide to head to Utah, might be able to make use of this offer:

http://www.epicski.com/t/117448/for-sale-discount-date-flexible-lift-tickets-for-deer-valley-alta-park-city

 

Definitely worth reading this featured TR:

http://www.epicski.com/t/117310/first-utah-trip-a-sampling-of-7-different-ski-areas-january-5-13

post #6 of 22

Snowmass is more like 90% open.  Only some of the double blacks are currently closed.  It has a lot of ski in/out lodging and will most likely be less crowded during presidents weekend than Park City.

 

If your going to Utah, go to Alta.   If it's really crowded that weekend, you can take a lesson to cut lines.

 

IMHO:  The further you are from a big city that weekend, the better.

 

Other places to consider:

 

Big Sky

Whitefish

Steamboat

Jackson Hole

post #7 of 22

Getting away from crowds that weekend is a good idea.  You said UT/CO but if it was me I'd go to Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee.  They've had plenty of snow this year and you'd really get as much of the Rocky Mountain skiing experience as you could handle.

post #8 of 22

Utah is nice b/c you can get easy airport transfers, be right at the mountain and take a lot of stress out of the trip with the 2 kids.  If you want to make it as stress free as possible I have to agree to fly into SLC, get a transfer to Alta and have a blast.  

 

There are plenty of other places that can provide the same experience but they involve connecting flights usually.  The ability to fly direct and be on a big mountain fast is the power of SLC.

post #9 of 22

Having traveled with kids about the same age as yours (just not as accomplshed in ability) I was also going to suggest look into where you can fly direct.  Even Colorado wasn;t too bad going direct to Denver and then taking a shuttle to Winter Park.  SLC is very easy, and you might want to consider Brighton/Solitude as well as Alta/Snowbird. With so much skiing in close proximity, you can always drive or take a shuttle to the others if you get bored where you are.

 

The other factor would be snow conditions. Right now the Front Range areas in CO seem to be in a bit of a snow drought. Don't know how the Wastach area are doing.

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you - you are all very kind.

 

And... UGH, I didn't realize my son has a qualifying race the weeekend before and local championship during the weekend after...  so that week won't work.  I'm usually good about remembering event dates.  My bad and apologies. 

 

But, now that I started thinking about going west, I cannot get it out of my head and am thinking of going during the April vacation, week of 4/15.  I have a bit more time to do research.  I assume the snow be still good during April out west?  Usually I stop thinking about skiing in April due to soccer season.

post #11 of 22

If you're talking April 15, you better play it safe with SLC. Maybe stay at Snowbird.
 

post #12 of 22

Also check the closing dates of places you consider heading to April 15. Many western areas close earlier than that - do to their park service lease agreements, not lack of snow.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr31aj View Post

Also check the closing dates of places you consider heading to April 15. Many western areas close earlier than that - do to their park service lease agreements, not lack of snow.

 

Steamboat is one that closes early, April 14th this year, due to their park service lease agreement.  I think it has to do with Elk (or similar) mating season.  Definately find out the closing date no matter where you are going.

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brick View Post

Thank you - you are all very kind.

 

And... UGH, I didn't realize my son has a qualifying race the weeekend before and local championship during the weekend after...  so that week won't work.  I'm usually good about remembering event dates.  My bad and apologies. 

 

But, now that I started thinking about going west, I cannot get it out of my head and am thinking of going during the April vacation, week of 4/15.  I have a bit more time to do research.  I assume the snow be still good during April out west?  Usually I stop thinking about skiing in April due to soccer season.


That narrows down your options tremendously. Most of UT's resorts tend to close by that time. You're only real option is likely to be Snowbird, though it's possible that other resorts make it to around the 20th. It hasn't been a terrible snow year, but the base is way down, at least in northern UT. Unless things really pick up, I'm anticipating closures in the 4/10 to 4/15 range (except Snowbird). It doesn't seem to have the making of a late season.

 

That's right around the time of year conditions start changing over. You may get some fresh snow, but you may find sticky spring slush. Or, you may find fresh snow in the morning, sticky spring slush in the afternoon.

 

Don't the kids have an Easter break in late March? That would be a better time frame.

 

Not sure about CO, but I bet there will only be a handful or resorts left there, too.

post #15 of 22

Don't give up on the idea of an April visit.  Usually there is some great, crowd-free skiing then at the higher elevation places in CO and UT with kid-friendly spring weather.  This year you may have to follow weather and snow conditions a bit more closely since some areas are subpar.  You wouldn't have to worry about room reservations if you waited until last minute to decide where.  Tahoe has had a good early winter and there or Mammoth may be a good candidate.  I recently skied very good conditions at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon and it appears to be setting up for a fine late season too.

post #16 of 22

The places that come up for April skiing besides Snowbird are Mammoth, Bachelor, and around Banff.

 

Some ideas here:

http://www.epicski.com/t/116073/is-mid-april-too-late-to-ski-in-utah-or-colorado-or-canada

 

I put "april trip: epicski" into a Google search to find the thread above.

post #17 of 22
Whitefish will be closed. Base depth is currently 80 inches at the summit, more than many areas. 53 mid-mountain.
post #18 of 22
Winter Park will be open...and is a reasonable bet due to altitude and seasonal snow averages. However, it is warm now and the base is low, so wait on booking, because if we have another Spring like last year soccer will be a good choice.
post #19 of 22

I can't comment on Utah as I live in Colorado and ski there.  If you are considering Colorado, the ski areas (from the tunnel to Vail) have snow now, but we've had a long spell of no snow since Christmas, so there will be some ice.  My favorite ski areas are Coppper, A-basin, and Keystone.  Their beginner and intermediate trails are mostly open with some expert terrain.  If you decide to ski at Copper, Loveland or Winter Park (also Crested Butte, Monarch, and Powderhorn), there is an ongoing deal at participating Shell stations.  When you buy 10 gallons of gas, you get a buy one get one free voucher.

 

If you don't mind driving a bit, The southern/SW mountain ski areas have been getting a lot of snow lately.  Just this weekend, Crested Butte got 9 inches, Wolf Creek got 17 inches, Telluride got 12, Purgatory with 15.  I'll paste the snow report from today.  As you can see, Aspen ski areas are doing much better than the ski areas around Denver with more expert terrain open.  I think there will be more snow today into next week (keeping fingers crossed).

 

My favorite time to ski is late March and early April.  Less crowds, less traffic, and more sun.

 

Arapahoe Basin

updated on: 5:46:18 AM MST 1/27/2013
2.0” 2.0” 24.0” P/PP 7/8 100% 55% 14% More Info »

Aspen Highlands

updated on: 5:32:32 AM MST 1/27/2013
4.0” 4.0” 29.0” P/PP 5/5 98% 100% 90% More Info »

Aspen Mountain

updated on: 5:33:07 AM MST 1/27/2013
2.0” 2.0” 23.0” P/PP 6/8 100% 100% 99% More Info »

Buttermilk

updated on: 5:35:58 AM MST 1/27/2013
2.0” 2.0” 20.0” P/PP 4/9 95% 84% 94% More Info »

Copper Mountain

updated on: 5:06:09 AM MST 1/27/2013
2.0” 2.0” 29.0” P 18/22 97% 94% 34% More Info »

Crested Butte

updated on: 5:40:38 AM MST 1/27/2013
9.0” 9.0” 35.0” P 11/16 98% 100% 97% More Info »

Eldora

updated on: 4:54:12 AM MST 1/27/2013
0.5” 0.5” 30.0” PP 11/12 100% 95% 50% More Info »

Howelsen

updated on: 2:00:17 PM MST 1/26/2013
0.0” 3.0” 26.0” P/PP 4/4 100% 100% 100% More Info »

Loveland

updated on: 5:23:32 AM MST 1/27/2013
2.5” 2.5” 29.0” P 7/10 78% 58% 9% More Info »

Monarch

updated on: 4:00:47 AM MST 1/27/2013
5.0” 5.0” 32.0” P/PP 5/6 100% 100% 83% More Info »

Powderhorn

updated on: 5:57:04 AM MST 1/27/2013
7.0” 10.0” 40.0” P 4/4 100% 100% 100% More Info »

Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort

updated on: 4:55:03 AM MST 1/27/2013
15.0” 15.0” 46.0” P/PP 9/10 100% 100% 66% More Info »

Silverton

updated on: 6:21:13 AM MST 1/27/2013
14.0” 14.0” 44.0” P 1/1     100% More Info »

Ski Cooper

updated on: 5:19:05 AM MST 1/27/2013
3.0” 3.0” 26.0” P/PP 5/5 100% 100% 100% More Info »

Ski Granby Ranch

updated on: 2:48:30 AM MST 1/27/2013
2.0” 2.0” 20.0” P/PP 5/5 100% 100% 60% More Info »

Snowmass

updated on: 5:34:40 AM MST 1/27/2013
4.0” 4.0” 29.0” P/PP 16/21 100% 95% 49% More Info »

Steamboat

updated on: 5:01:17 AM MST 1/27/2013
2.0” 2.0” 36.0” PP 16/16 100% 100% 100% More Info »

Sunlight Mountain Resort

updated on: 5:13:47 AM MST 1/27/2013
5.0” 5.0” 30.0” P 3/3 100% 98% 95% More Info »

Telluride

updated on: 5:39:34 AM MST 1/27/2013
12.0” 12.0” 36.0” P 16/18 100% 84% 16% More Info »

Winter Park

updated on: 5:23:21 AM MST 1/27/2013
1.0” 1.0” 37.0” PP 23/24 100% 93% 63% More Info »

Wolf Creek

updated on: 6:27:04 AM MST 1/27/2013
17.0” 17.0” 56.0” P 6/7 100% 100% 100% More Info »
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

The places that come up for April skiing besides Snowbird are Mammoth, Bachelor, and around Banff.

 

Some ideas here:

http://www.epicski.com/t/116073/is-mid-april-too-late-to-ski-in-utah-or-colorado-or-canada

 

I put "april trip: epicski" into a Google search to find the thread above.


A-Basin stays open as late as possible.  Two seasons ago, they stayed open until July 4.  If we are lucky, and get some good spring storms, A-Basin could stay open past Memorial Day this year.  Bachelor is a great place, but they no longer are open continuously late into the season like they used to be.  After late April, they close, then reopen Memorial day and then July 4th if there is enough snow.  Timberline Lodge Ski area near Portland, OR stays open all year until September then shuts down for maintenance.

post #21 of 22

the OP is now looking at April 15, so many CO areas will be closed- not sure about all areas, but from what I see, most have a closing date of April 14 this year except Winter Park and Aspen Highlands (April 21) and of course Loveland and A-Basin.

 

As others have said, April can be a great time to ski out West, but most of CO was not good last April due to much lighter than normal snow in December, March and April.  December was ok this year, but January has been light...hopefully Feb-April will be better.

 

Getting lodging and deals in April is never a problem so committing to airfare is the only real issue- I would hold off booking until March to see who has snow.

post #22 of 22
Snowbird's spring deal is really good for high quality skiing in April.
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