Since I was all over these forums for a few weeks prior to our family trip to Snowmass, I figured I might as well post the results!
First off, we flew Newark/Chicago/Aspen. Didn't want to fly into Vail since I didn't wan to pay $$$$ for a 4-wheel drive vehicle and didn't want to chance it with a bald tire rental car through the less-tame-than-Denver-Vail-but-still-mountaneous hour and a half drive to Snowmass. Well, bad idea. It was 40* and sunny in both Newark and Colorado, but stormy in Chicago. After a 3 hour delay in Newark and a separate 2.5 hour delay in Chicago, we rolled into Snowmass a little after 10 pm local time. Of everything that happened during our trip, I was most proud of our two boys (12 and 10) not complaining once during the ordeal. Then again, they were so pumped to ski out west again that maybe I'm giving them too much credit!!
We stayed in Woodrun V. I can't say enough about how amazing the lodgings were. My wife has an appetite for luxury, so when we do go west we generally stay 4 star plus. While I've stayed swankier and slightly more convenient, the combination of Woodrun V in Snowmass is hard to beat. We literally did not hear another soul all week while in the condo, and the adjacent condos were all occupied. We had a ton of space to move about on two levels, walked about 100 feet to the lockable ski racks on the slope, and skied down 30 seconds to either the gondola or the base chairlift. My wife and I stopped here several times for lunch, and it was probably quicker than going to one of the on-mountain lodges (though the Elk camp salad bar and Ullrhof burgers were excellent).
What can I say about the skiing? We're a mostly groomer family. I'll venture off piste from time to time, and will take the boys into the trees and bumps while the wife skies parallel on groomers. I've skied most Colorado resorts over the past 20 years, a few CA and Canada. I'm in complete love with Snowmass, and not sure anything else fits our family sweetspot as well. The boys did ski school for two days. Older one is level 8, younger level 7, and they challenged them within those levels the whole day. Such great instruction, and we can always judge within five minutes whether they enjoyed the experience. They each were torn as to whether they wanted to go back for more or ski with their parents, and spent the next four days happily acting as our guides on the mountain.
They received a nice foot dump two days before arrival, so the first few days saw bluebird skies and excellent conditions top to bottom. The snow softened up considerably by the 3rd and 4th days, and the 5th and 6th were a bit choppy. But we stayed on Big Burn and top of Elk most of the time, which had good to excellent snow the whole time. Speaking of which, I know we're not the first to say this but I think I could happily ski Big Burn all day for a whole season. It's just fun. The wife can ski confidently while I can look like the expert I once was carving those big GS turns in good form. The boys can jut in and out of the trees, find a few bumps underneath the chair, and cut across to one of the race courses if we go all the way down to the bottom. Ditto the top of Elk, which is just enough of a difference to be a change but which has enough similarities to keep everyone happy.
I'll be honest- I had my new Kastle MX88's and was ready to test them a little, but never got the pull to do so. It's the first time I didn't get bored on the blues. We all loaded our Navionics on our phones, and the boys got a kick out of trying to top the prior day's totals. I do wish I could block the speed limit from that app, but they didn't get too crazy!!
Anyway, sorry about the above hodge podgey post. We had some great meals in Aspen, a pretty good meal with a wonderful magician at Artisan in Snowmass, and thank goodness for end of year sales at some of the stores prior to our Aspen meals!
We didn't get to try any of the other mountains. Not sure that's a bad thing, since when you fall in absolute head-over-heels love there's often little reason to leave that love.
Oh, and we flew back out on a direct from Vail. Wonderful little drive.