This relates to a previous post I had about driving in CO and WY, but my plan is taking a different shape so I'm starting a different thread.
I am an east-coast skier planning to deliver a truck (4WD Ford Ranger XLT) from my brother-in-law in Roanoke, VA to my daughter in Missoula, MT. I am 56, live at sea level (Brooklyn, NY) and am pretty fit. I can only manage about 14 days of skiing a year (mostly in the east although I've had several trips to Whitefish, MT) so my skill level is sort of stuck at black diamond groomers just getting into some double-blacks, and since I usually ski alone I don't do trees. Powder is something we in the east don't really see (regardless of how we may kid ourselves). I plan to leave Roanoke, VA Wednesday March 6, and have to be in Missoula by end of day Thursday March 14. I'd like to stop at 2 different mountains for 2 days each. My concerns are: splitting up the drive time reasonably well; choosing interesting mountains where I can have fun without being over my skill level (the driving will be tough enough, I don't want my butt kicked on the slopes) and also avoiding crowds as much as possible (here in the NE I always ski mid-week). So, here's a few choices I've worked out. Suggestions much appreciated!
Copper Mountain then Snowbasin: I figure 3 days to Copper, ski 2 days, a day to Ogden, ski 2 days, a day to Missoula. I'm a bit leary of Denver traffic (my sched has me passing Denver on a Friday afternoon at the end of a 3-day solo drive) and also being at Copper for the weekend although people seem to say it won't be so bad. Also Copper is very high-altitude so it'll be more tiring, and the area is probably the busiest/priciest in general. On the other hand it splits up the driving the most evenly, has me drive only 3 days straight at first and the last day to Mla I can drive in the day time.
Snowbasin then Grand Targhee or Big Sky: This means a 4-day drive to get to Ogden. Snowbasin looks like it would be a lot of fun, but still sort of off the beaten track for Utah. I'm a bit leary of Grand Targhee since it sounds like lots of pow and mostly ungroomed means it will be hard for me to ski, also I hear it can be pretty foggy at times. Big Sky has always appealed to me -- it's high-altitude also but by the time I get there I'll have had several days to adjust. Also this means I'd have a 3-12 to 5-1/2 hour drive at the end of my second day of skiing.
Red Lodge then Big Sky: Again, 4 days of driving to get out there. The nice thing about this route is once I hit Red Lodge the worst of the driving is behind me. It looks like I'd have a fairly short drive between Red Lodge & Big Sky, then also from Big Sky to Missoula, so I could go, say, from Red Lodge to Big Sky after my second day of skiing and still not get in too late.
I'm aware I need to flexible since who knows what may blow in along the way. Any suggestions for other mountains, accommodations, whatever also welcome!