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Skiing in America EarlyJanuary

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone My Family is currently planning a trip to America next winter and we are looking to go skiing for 10 days. Currently we are looking at Telluride as our first choice as we are beginners/intermediates. I am wondering if it will have enough snow and if anyone has any other suggestions of any ski resort in America that would be un-crowded, have good snow, and a majority of terrain for beginner/intermediates. Cheers

post #2 of 24
Telluride's a beautiful place! Might what to spend the first few days at Wolf Creek to hedge your snow bet.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

OK cheers

post #4 of 24

As beginner/intermediates, you should be fine almost anywhere in January.  Most of the easy groomed terrain will be open.  Lots of choices in Colorado and Utah.

post #5 of 24

Snowmass would be my other choice but Telluride is fine and the town is a little more interesting.

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaydenSchampers View Post
 

Hello everyone My Family is currently planning a trip to America next winter and we are looking to go skiing for 10 days. Currently we are looking at Telluride as our first choice as we are beginners/intermediates. I am wondering if it will have enough snow and if anyone has any other suggestions of any ski resort in America that would be un-crowded, have good snow, and a majority of terrain for beginner/intermediates. Cheers

Welcome to EpicSki!  Where do you usually ski?  How did you decide that Telluride was the first choice?  Are you thinking of staying slopeside?  For many families who are not advanced/expert skiers, their ultimate choice of destination is based more on the ease of travel and what else is available to do besides skiing.

 

For the larger destination resorts in the U.S., many have more than enough terrain for a lot of fun without skiing any black trails or off-piste.  For instance, Telluride has 2000+ acres, with 59% considered beginner or intermediate (http://www.tellurideskiresort.com/Tellski/info/mountain-stats.aspx).  In comparison, Snowbasin has 3000 acres in bounds, of which 70% is considered beginner (green) or intermediate (blue).  Big Sky has almost 6000 acres, so even though only 40% is green/blue, the amount of groomers is comparable to Snowbasin.  Both are places that actually include more than one mountain and waiting more than a few minutes to load a lift is uncommon.

 

See if this thread in the Family Skiing section gives you some ideas.  It is about finding a good destination in Feb 2014 for a family of five, including three kids ages 6-12:

http://www.epicski.com/t/121323/family-of-five-february-trip-solitude-snowmass-steamboat-etc

post #7 of 24

For 10 days, I'd probably suggest going somewhere else where you can explore more than a single ski area.  Aspen is ideal with 4 ski areas all accessible from the same pass and with free bus shuttles between them.  Plus excellent restaurants, spas, bars, shopping, etc.

 

Mike

post #8 of 24
Plus, you might want to keep your eye on this. It's a bit early yet for this to have any usefulness, but file it away for a re-look in August.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/two_class.php
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

OK thanks and we have skied in Switzerland and France beforehand. 

post #10 of 24

You might want to consider Jackson Hole--while it has a reputation as a hard area there is plenty of easier terrain. It's fairly easy to get to--direct flights from a number of major US cities to the Jackson airport. Besides skiing, Yellowstone National Park is very close--you can see elk, bison, moose, cowboys, etc, etc.Snowmobile tours  Jackson is actually more popular in the summer than in the winter because there's so much to do. Grand Teton National Park is also right there although not as much to see in the winter as Yellowstone. Of all the ski areas I've been to in the US (not a huge number) Jackson gives the most typically American experience--that is the America we fantasize about--the Wild West, not the America that actually is. The Jackson tram has no easy way down but the view is fantastic and you can ride the tram back down. While I like to stay on the mountain it's reasonable and a lot cheaper to stay in the town of Jackson. You can also take a bus and get a lift ticket at Grand Targhee--on the other side of the Tetons from Jackson--for the price of a JH lift ticket. Being on the west side of the mountains it tends to get more snow, although it's not nearly as big.. One thing--Jackson is cold. And if you're dying to buy furniture made out of elk antlers there's no finer place on earth. Probably cost a lot to ship back home though. There's a nice unofficial guide to JH elsewhere in this forum. (look at the top of the page)

post #11 of 24

Well, Jackson is just about my favorite ski area in North America, but it doesn't seem to me to be a great choice for beginner/intermediates for 10 days.  They'd be much better off at Big Sky, an area that has more intermediate/beginner terrain and is closer to Yellowstone.  That being said, and I love Big Sky, but it is pretty remote and there's not much at the base.  So for 10 days I think they'd be better off going somewhere with a bit more to do.

 

Mike

post #12 of 24

The snowmobile tours that are available at Jackson are a great idea for a non skiing day. It is my understanding that snowmobiles are mostly used as work vehicles in Europe so using them for recreation near Yellowstone might be something unique for the OP.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

The snowmobile tours that are available at Jackson are a great idea for a non skiing day. It is my understanding that snowmobiles are mostly used as work vehicles in Europe so using them for recreation near Yellowstone might be something unique for the OP.

Well, there is no reason to stop at a snowmobile tour.  Yellowstone is a magical place, it is even more magical in winter.  Take 4-5 days and go to the Old 'Faithful Snow Lodge.  Do some cross country skiing.  Take the photography tour.  And the Canyon tour.  See wildlife.  Thermal features.  Amazing scenery.  With no one around.

 

Just realize it takes a half day from West Yellowstone (Big Sky) or 3/4 of a day from Flagg Ranch (Jackson) to get there.  And it's not cheap.  But it is an experience you will never forget.

 

Mike

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 

Yellowstone is a magical place, it is even more magical in winter.  Take 4-5 days and go to the Old 'Faithful Snow Lodge.  Do some cross country skiing.  Take the photography tour.  And the Canyon tour.  See wildlife.  Thermal features.  Amazing scenery.  With no one around.

 

Just realize it takes a half day from West Yellowstone (Big Sky) or 3/4 of a day from Flagg Ranch (Jackson) to get there.  And it's not cheap.  But it is an experience you will never forget.

 

Mike

Absolutely!  I've lived in the American West all of my life, and this is one of the most amazing places I've ever been to.  Don't think about it, DO IT.  I guarantee you won't be sorry.

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 

Well, there is no reason to stop at a snowmobile tour.  Yellowstone is a magical place, it is even more magical in winter.  Take 4-5 days and go to the Old 'Faithful Snow Lodge.  Do some cross country skiing.  Take the photography tour.  And the Canyon tour.  See wildlife.  Thermal features.  Amazing scenery.  With no one around.

 

Just realize it takes a half day from West Yellowstone (Big Sky) or 3/4 of a day from Flagg Ranch (Jackson) to get there.  And it's not cheap.  But it is an experience you will never forget.

 

Mike


A friend did that a few winters back and I have seen the pictures.  Yellowstone in winter is just incredible and certainly nothing like it in Yurp.  I hope to do it one day, as it is high on the bucket list.  And a ski area for a bunch of beginner/intermediates? Big Ski and Snowmass sound like great suggestions to me although I am partial to the Utah resorts.

post #16 of 24

I actually love the Telluride idea, but I am biased since that's where I did all of my formative skiing...you know, as a beginner and intermediate.  However, the Aspen area is the best for intermediates and it's really not that close, in my opinion.  Trust me, beginners/intermediates will not be bored skiing 10 days at Telluride.  Telluride is one of the best in Colorado at grading run difficulty and offers six levels (green, double green, blue, double blue, black, double black).  As a result, it's a great place to improve and push yourself to the next level and there are plenty of runs to make those types of transitions happen (along with a great ski school).

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Telluride's a beautiful place! Might what to spend the first few days at Wolf Creek to hedge your snow bet.

 


>Wolf Creek
Seconded. Wolf Creek gets a lot of snow early season.
post #18 of 24
Beginners/intermediates travelling from out of country to ski Wolf,Creek for 10'days? Doesn't seem like a recipe for a great trip to me.

As beginners/intermediates, snow quantity isn't going to matter much. Snowmaking will likely take care of that.

Mike
post #19 of 24

If you decide to do the Aspen Highlands Buttermilk Snowmass area stay in Snowmass. There is a free shuttle service around the resort. Also a free bus between the 4 resorts NB last bus at 4.30pm

 

Take the free bus over to Aspen one day

post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 

OK thanks

post #21 of 24

For a description and pictures about adventures in Telluride that do not involve skiing, check this write up about a trip in January 2014:

http://www.dcski.com/articles/1430

post #22 of 24

Here is another article from Forbes which I stumbled across which eloquently conveys what I was trying to say in my earlier post on why I think Telluride is an outstanding place, ESPECIALLY for beginners and intermediates:

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2013/03/11/telluride-my-new-favorite-ski-resort/

post #23 of 24

HaydenSchampers:

 

Welcome to Epic and welcome to skiing in the US!

 

I live in Jackson Hole and it goes without saying that I love it here.  I also do think it would be a great place for you to visit, but I'd maybe steer you toward going with your first thought but breaking the trip into two locations.

 

Telluride is one of the most beautiful locations in North America AND there is a ton of terrain at the resort for the level of skier you profess to be.  I think you could have an unforgettable trip there and enjoy every minute of it.  Still, I'd also recommend that you split your time between Telluride and the other Colorado resort that's getting the most attention in this thread - Aspen.

 

Aspen is the quintessential American ski town.  Early January is a pretty quiet period at any major Western US ski resort, so you definitely wouldn't have to deal with crowds.  Aspen isn't cheap (of course, Telluride isn't either), but a little online research will help you find pretty reasonable choices for accommodations/meals/entertainment.  You would have an almost endless choice of terrain appropriate for your abilities, and they have one of the best ski schools anywhere.

 

That's just my $.02.

 

Regardless of where you end up, have a great time.  Oh, and if it could work into your travel itinerary, spending a day at Wolf Creek between Telluride and Aspen would be a hoot.

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Beginners/intermediates travelling from out of country to ski Wolf,Creek for 10'days? Doesn't seem like a recipe for a great trip to me.

As beginners/intermediates, snow quantity isn't going to matter much. Snowmaking will likely take care of that.

Mike

 

Agree. Wolf does have a good amount of beginner and low intermediate pitch terrain, which turns into a complete mess every time it snows. And what is Wolf Creek known for?

 

 

This is a mountain for skiing powder and trees. I would not recommend a low-intermediate skier make a destination trip here.

 

As others have mentioned, Aspen fits the bill. Park City probably does too.

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