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planning next years ski trip already

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

even though we just came back from banff and going to snowmass next month, I am planning next year trip and need some advice.


Our group: wives in their 40's who just started skiing a few years ago, they usually just ski for days in lesson so they will stick to greens.  The rest of us are intermediate to low advance skiers.


At issue is the wives want to have a town for shopping when not skiing.  


Out west we skied :Tahoe Area (heavenly mainly but also sierra at tahoe), Snowmass (with shopping in Aspen) Park City Resorts, Banff Area (they skied at sunshine but didn't like being above the tree line as they were disoriented) 


Places with little shopping that we ruled out back east is Stowe, Killington, Sugarbush.   I am considering Sugarloaf but need to do more research.  Whiteface (Iceface) is probably not on option for them either.  Neither is Whistler as I heard that it rains in the lower elevations.


The wives are very concern about icy conditions as well, hence the trip is usually out west even though that is no guarantee (we went to Heavenly a few years ago and it didn't snow for 6 weeks prior...of course after we left they got over 6' the following week.  

post #2 of 15

Consider Sun Valley. The adjacent town of Ketchum has some shopping; there are some good women's boutiques and home decor stores, as well as quite a few galleries. It's a smaller town than Aspen or Park City so I'm not positive it's enough shopping for the wives, but have them check out these links and see what they think. In any case, I can't really think of another ski resort that you haven't been to that has quality shopping.



This isn't a comprehensive list, but it gives you an idea: http://www.discoverymap.com/Idaho/sun-valley-ketchum-hailey-idaho-where-to-shop.html


Sun Valley has some of the best grooming, if not the best, anywhere, which is sounds like is a good fit for your group. Beginners and lower intermediates ski a different mountain--Dollar Mt--than better skiers, who ski Baldy. It can be nice for beginners to have their own area, but if you did want to meet for lunch, it's only a shuttle ride of about 1.5 miles.


The lodge has a hot pool with cocktail service, which might hit the spot after their lessons.


There's also a great spa called Zenergy, if they are in to that. http://zenergyts.com/index.php/home


I think the potential for rain at Whistler is greatly exaggerated--I go 4 times a year and it's just not an issue--but I doubt your group would find the shopping interesting. It's all outdoor stores and gift shops, with a couple chains (ie Gap).

post #3 of 15

Sun Vally would be good, as would Jackson, Telluride or Taos.

post #4 of 15

If you are on the East Coast, consider Europe. January/February flights to Europe are reasonable, hotels are reasonable, lift tickets are cheaper, ski schools are cheaper, shopping is better. 

post #5 of 15

I would consider the Salt Lake City area, especially Park City and vicinity.  Easy and quick to get to, lot's of intermediate terrain, and with SLC itself nearby, plenty of shopping options (besides at Park City itself)

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

thanks for the replies.  I will definitely look into sun valley.  I never even thought of that one.   If not, I can see a return back to park city area as there are so many resorts in the slc area

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

unfortunately sun valley is not an option.  flights are too expensive and flight times are between 9 1/2 to 12 hours with double layovers.

post #8 of 15
Fly to Boise. Rental cars are usually cheap and its an easy 2.5 hour drive. No mountain passes or traffic; no 4wd needed: it's an easier trip than driving from Denver to Vail.

Of course, if it's hard for you to get to Boise, then it might be to much of a hassle. Unless no lift lines are worth it. smile.gif
post #9 of 15

If you are going for an all round experience including shopping consider skiing Europe. You don't need a car if you go to Switzerland and nothing is too far from Geneva airport. Train is right at the airport.


Champery/Les Crosets + Avoriaz (France)  just over 2 hours by train from the airport train station - 900m - 2400m

Leysin/Les Diablerets just under 2 hours by train from the airport train station - 1200m - 3000m

Le Chable (the train stop at the base gondola for Verbier) just over 2 hours from the airport train station - 850m - 3200m

Zermatt-Cervinia (Italy) a little over 3.5 hours from the airport train station - 1600m - 3800m

basically that is about 3,000' at the lowest valley up to 12,500' above sea level at the highest lift station in Zermatt. The treeline is at roughly 2,000m or 6600'.

Good snow is usually found above 1800m. That is about 6,000 vertical feet of good snow. But in colder winters good snow can be found at 1200m.


For my money there is nothing at Snowbird, Alta, Aspenx4 or Vail that can eclipse the above. Only Snowmass has the Euro size vertical. Don't get me wrong I think the Colo and Utah places I mentioned have fabulous terrain but the overall experience at any of the above locations is unsurpassed especially in a good snow year. 


For shorter trips say one week or less you cannot beat western USA.

post #10 of 15

Sun Valley (if you can get there) and Vail (easier to get to) have to be on the short list.  Telluride, Steamboat and, of course, Whistler/Blackcomb are fabulous options.  Whistler/Blackcomb will have more of every type of terrain and IMHO is worth the extra travel time. Rain?  It can happen but usually the weather is OK.   The wives will enjoy the towns of Telluride and Steamboat Springs, which will have less beginner terrain but certainly enough to keep them happy.  Besides, no one should be a beginner for more than a week or two at the most.  Vail and Whistler/Blackcomb have those "made for the resort" towns that may not be old mining or western towns, but still have a lot of charm and plenty of good to great dining/shopping/galleries/etc.  Some unasked for advice: Many ski towns are great places to visit in the summer (concerts, golf, MTB, spas, art festivals, etc.).  Pick a resort where you may want to visit again in warm weather. So far you have done that.

Edited by quant2325 - 2/20/13 at 9:57am
post #11 of 15

Vail if your wallets can handle the shopping.


Breckenridge also plenty of shopping and easy skiing


In the east you need to think CAN.  Tremblant has tons of easy cruising and epcot centerish alpine village at base.  DO not go until mid-march.  Quebec City, half hour to Ste Anne, hour to Le Massif, both great variety of terrain and incredible views.  Tons of shopping just outside the door if you stay in or near the old city.

post #12 of 15

How about a bit of an off-the-wall suggestion?  Jackson Hole.  Yes, the terrain is above most of your heads, but here's the idea: ski a few days, enjoy the Apres Vous side of the resort, then take 4-5 days to visit the Old Faithfull Snow Lodge in Yellowstone National Park.  It will be a vacation you (and your wives) will never forget.  Yellowstone is an incredible experience in summer or fall, but visiting in winter is something very special.  There are few people who actually get to go (visitation is limited and requires either a snow coach or a licensed snowmobile guilde).  Jackson is no slouch for shopping either.



post #13 of 15

Have you heard of the Taos Ski Week?  A couple hundred dollars for 2-hour lesson on six consecutive days with the same instructor.  Southwest flies to Albuquerque.



post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

thanks for the advice.  I will look into Taos.  


My family did a summertrip a few years back and we stopped at Albqe.   Didn't make it up to Sante Fe so maybe I can kill two birds with one trip.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

as I look more into this, I am almost thinking of making Sante Fe my base camp and maybe split time between Sante Fe and Taos.  This should give the wives plenty to do.  I still have to look at things to do at Taos. 

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