Hey, I guess it is the off season, so maybe some of you all will have time to offer some advice...and maybe it will be useful for others, too, and maybe you will enjoy arguing the point.
I'm planning a trip for next year, and the question is where?, when?, and should we hire a guide?
For context, there are maybe 6 or us; we are mostly intermediate or so resort downhill skiers, and are used to extreme southern Michigan backcountry skiing on heavy touring gear—meaning severe bramble patches, no hills to speak of. I myself can boast of something that sort of feels like a telemark turn, but I doubt really looks like it.
We are used to outdoor travel in winter, reasonably fit, but kind of old—50s or so. Not much experience with avalanche safety, but some rock/ice/mountain climbers in the group. We don't have beacons or technical gear.
So we are looking for a fairly mellow ski tour kind of experience in some beautiful western spot, with enough ascents and descents to make it interesting. We'd like to learn some new downhill skills, but we aren't looking for monster powder-filled couloirs. Scenery and ambiance is important. This will be our first time doing anything like this.
Backcountry camping is way too much work for us, but huts might be possible. Or some nice cheap lodge or rental, if it possible to get to nice areas with day trips.
I'm thinking that if we go later in the season, on consolidated snow, we can cover more ground, and have fewer worries about crevasses and avalanches. But maybe powder is so great that we should look for it? I have no idea, and will consider all opinions.
Basically, the question is, where is the ultimate spot, in the US or Canada? Also, what about hiring a guide—especially if we need some handholding on glaciers or avalanche areas. Some ski instruction might be good, too.
An thoughts on planning a trip would be most welcome. In return I'd be happy to provide advice to anyone planning a ski trip to Michigan (Hahahahahaha!)
Ps I've really been enjoying browsing the trip reports—thanks to everyone who posts.