My family and I are heading out West to ski ~Christmas week through New Year's Eve, and I am looking for some input. We live in Minnesota, and will be driving so we are quite flexible. Skied at Big Sky two Christmases ago and loved it, so we thought we would go back there this year but my son wants to consider going someplace new to us.
My son (15, snowboarder) and I (newbie ski patroller) are comfortable on some steeper stuff but stuck mostly to the blue runs at Big Sky, interested in expanding limits this year. My daughter (12, skier) and wife enjoy long cruisers more.
1. Bridger Bowl/Big Sky (stay in Bozeman like we did last time, 2-3 days at each area)
2. Colorado (have an invite to stay with friends in Ridgway ~45 min from Telluride, probably ski 2 days somewhere like Copper/Snowmass/Steamboat on Dec. 24-25, then go to Telluride for 3-4 days)
3. Somewhere near Salt Lake City (maybe Alta or Canyons)
4. Grand Targhee (maybe best chance of good snow/powder this early in the year)
I am sure we would enjoy Bridger/BS again, and would likely be the cheapest overall and shortest driving. Would be nice to see friends in Ridgway, but sorta worried about the crowds closer to Denver for the first couple of days. SLC options might be good if it snows a bit more. Not sure about lodgings near Targhee, and maybe not much to do other than ski.
So, I would love some overall advice as well as current condition reports (snow quality might tip the balance). I know it is a ton of driving, but we are prepared for that. Oh, and I know it would be better to go later, but we are constrained by school schedules and mandatory shut-down at work for me.