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where to go early season [late December]

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Want to start planning our next year ski trips.Trying to figure were to go late December. I thought about going to Big sky or Bamff. Never been to either of them. We usually go to Utah during that time but its been thin conditions. We go to Breck in late January and February. Back to Park City March and Whistler at the end of March. Trying to time mountains for good snow. any suggestions would help.

post #2 of 12
Your issues are going to be crowds and coverage. For coverage, a visit to bestsnow.net is in order. For discussions of crowds, etc., a search with the word Christmas will probably produce about 300 threads on the topic.

Beyond that, info on the group, abilities, interests, etc., provides better feedback. It's really far out to try and decide if the conditions at any given location will be better or worse than they usually are at that time of year.
post #3 of 12

Have you looked at the EpicSki Resort Pages for the places you are thinking about?  In particular, at the bottom of a resort webpage there is a list of relevant threads.  Might find some about December.

 

Here is a recent thread about Big Sky in December:

http://www.epicski.com/t/123441/big-sky-montana-december-20th-26th

 

Grand Targhee is often mentioned for late December.  But very little to do besides skiing.  Nothing like the ski resorts/towns you mentioned.

 

Often a directed Google search is more effective than the EpicSki Search box.  Try "banff december: epicski" and see what happens.

post #4 of 12

It's way too early right now. How long before the trip do you need to commit to any plan? Do you drive or fly?

 

If you are only interested in skiing without crowds look at some of the places in East BC, Red Mountain, Revelstoke, Whitewater, Fernie, Kicking Horse!

 

I would also recommend going to Sun Valley if you haven't been there. But it's really risky for an early reservation, they usually have a great deal lodge+lift ticket before Dec/20th, I had good luck skiing a 4 days weekend with two dumps around this time past season 12/13, but you look at this season 13/14 it was terrible!

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post
 

It's way too early right now. How long before the trip do you need to commit to any plan? Do you drive or fly?

 

If you are only interested in skiing without crowds look at some of the places in East BC, Red Mountain, Revelstoke, Whitewater, Fernie, Kicking Horse!

 

I would also recommend going to Sun Valley if you haven't been there. But it's really risky for an early reservation, they usually have a great deal lodge+lift ticket before Dec/20th, I had good luck skiing a 4 days weekend with two dumps around this time past season 12/13, but you look at this season 13/14 it was terrible!

Agree it's too early to make reservations, but certainly not too early to start thinking and planning when the timeframe is pre-determined.  Can take a while to narrow down the options when considering a new destination.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhock View Post
 

Want to start planning our next year ski trips.Trying to figure were to go late December....Trying to time mountains for good snow.

What does late December have to do with "early season"?  Late December is high season.  Early season is mid-October until maybe Thanksgiving.  And planning now hoping to "time mountains for good snow" is a total crapshoot.

post #7 of 12
I'm not seeing anyone saying "early season", other than the thread title? Everyone is saying it's early to be making plans. And "high season" does not equal deep snow. A ton of places were hurting last Christmas. We weren't, but many were. "High season" only equals busy.
Edited by sibhusky - 5/13/14 at 10:07pm
post #8 of 12
The OP's trip is in high season, but because a lot of Utah has skied like early season in late December for the past few years, I can understand why he phrased his question that way.

Whether it's early, middle, or late season, this is the time to start thinking about where to go if you already know the dates. Still, you have to recognize that all you can do is figure the probability that conditions in one resort or even a region will be better than others, then cross your fingers and toes that the outcome follows the statistics.
post #9 of 12

Look for snowmaking capabilities wherever you decide to go just in case...

post #10 of 12
Sound's like you ski a lot. Where are you coming from? What do you like and dislike about the places you've been?

My biggest gripe with Christmas travel is flight disruptions. Chicago AIr traffic control center went down yesterday, because of a bathroom fan! Thousands stranded and this is a slow period!
post #11 of 12

Quote:

Originally Posted by dhock View Post
 

We usually go to Utah during that time but its been thin conditions. We go to Breck in late January and February. Back to Park City March...

 

It sounds like your biggest problem is going to Park City instead of the Cottonwoods.  Try LCC or BCC.  No- they don't have the fancy villages of those other places you frequent, but they'll have the coverage for some good skiing.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
I'm not seeing anyone saying "early season", other than the thread title? Everyone is saying it's early to be making plans. And "high season" does not equal deep snow. A ton of places were hurting last Christmas. We weren't, but many were. "High season" only equals busy. 

Christmas week IS "early season" in terms of snow accumulation but "high season" in terms of prices and crowds.  That's why it's not a good time to ski destination resorts unless you are forced by family/work schedule.

 

The best plan for someone who like the OP who wants to get a trip in every month is to ski the week BEFORE the holiday period.(Dec. 13-20 in 2014), and WAIT until there is snow on the ground somewhere before deciding where to go.  Since the resorts are not busy during this time you should not have any problem scoring last minute deals.   The safer alternative if you must plan ahead is to make the first destination trip of the season the week AFTER the holiday period (January 4-10 in 2015).  Even for those dates you should choose a resort with a good early season track record.  I have been skiing for 35 years and I have gotten on an airplane to ski before January 1 exactly once during that time.  And even that time I booked 2-3 weeks ahead when I knew Colorado had a big November in 1995.  If you have interesting ski resorts within drive distance, those are the places to consider in December.  If they get early snow, you can plan a trip on short notice.  If they don't have snow, stay home and save your $ for when it's better.

 

Quote:
It sounds like your biggest problem is going to Park City instead of the Cottonwoods.  Try LCC or BCC. 

+1  If the apres ski amenities of Park City are important to you, try to plan those trips for the mid-January to mid-March core of the season. Outside that time frame the superiority of Cottonwood snow conditions is usually magnified.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 5/16/14 at 10:36am
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