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Planning a Skiing Holiday: Please Help! [from South Africa, beginner/intermediate]

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi,
 

I am hoping that forum members can give me some advice. My brother is planning on visiting me here in the US for a skiing holiday. He is an enthusiastic intermediate skier. I have never skied before.

 

We are looking at a 10-day trip with accommodation and possibly some meals included. Our budget for the ten days is around $1 500 per person, although spending less would be preferable.

 

We'd be looking at a venue that caters to both beginners and intermediate skiers. We'd like something that isn't too terribly crowded, but that still has a few activities, friendly people and a good pub or two.

 

I visited Santa Fe earlier this year on business and really enjoyed it, so wouldn't mind taking the trip to New Mexico. Folks I've spoken to swear by Colorado, so it's a tough call. What are your recommendations?

 

We'd both be extremely grateful for any advice regarding venues, what the best time of year is (I've heard everything from early December to late February) and how to get the best bang for buck.

 

Most of all, being South Africans, we'd like to have a ton of fun - that's the most important. :) 

post #2 of 5
Since your brother has more experience he may have better defined preferences that could help direct our replies to your question. In the US for the type of ski trip you are talking about there are two approaches, A)stay in a central location and commute a short distance to one or more nearby ski areas, B)stay slopeside or near slopeside and ski primarily at one ski area/resort. Option A is cheaper, option B is possibly more fun for your intentions. I would start by pricing option B type trips to Park City UT, Heavenly CA, Breckenridge or Keystone CO. Aspen, Big Sky, Whistler, Jackson Hole and a number of other North American resorts would also be great, but possibly beyond your budget or skill level. Since you have ten days a combination of option A and B might be good and allow for non-ski days/activities in Utah, California, or Colorado. New Mexico is a very interesting state, but the best ski area there, Taos, is rather difficult for beginner/intermediates. If you planned to do numerous non-ski days and de-emphasize the onslope ski resort aspect of the trip it might work.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you. I have mailed him a link to the thread so that he can respond. Thanks!

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobD View Post
 

Hi,
 

I am hoping that forum members can give me some advice. My brother is planning on visiting me here in the US for a skiing holiday. He is an enthusiastic intermediate skier. I have never skied before.

 

We are looking at a 10-day trip with accommodation and possibly some meals included. Our budget for the ten days is around $1 500 per person, although spending less would be preferable.

 

We'd be looking at a venue that caters to both beginners and intermediate skiers. We'd like something that isn't too terribly crowded, but that still has a few activities, friendly people and a good pub or two.

 

I visited Santa Fe earlier this year on business and really enjoyed it, so wouldn't mind taking the trip to New Mexico. Folks I've spoken to swear by Colorado, so it's a tough call. What are your recommendations?

 

We'd both be extremely grateful for any advice regarding venues, what the best time of year is (I've heard everything from early December to late February) and how to get the best bang for buck.

 

Most of all, being South Africans, we'd like to have a ton of fun - that's the most important. :) 

Welcome to EpicSki!  Where are you living?  Needless to say, the definition of "best" depends a lot on skiing ability and budget.  There are deals to be had in many places in early season, but advanced skiers may find that their favorite parts of a mountain aren't open yet.  For beginners and intermediates, that's less of a concern at all the major ski destinations that have snowmaking capabilities.  The first week of January, just after schools start up again can be a good time to find emptier slopes.  Avoiding the MLK and Presidents Day weekends is better.

 

I've heard good things about the Taos Ski Week for all levels.  For more about Taos, take a look at this thread.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/114105/taos-new-mexico

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoreFootDenver View Post
 

... It is not, however, a good choice for beginners (IMHO).

 

WHAT?! I think it's a FANTASTIC choice for beginners. It's actually where I learned how to ski, so maybe I'm partial. They have an absolutely phenomenal ski school, and there is enough terrain for beginners to learn. However, the amount of intermediate/advanced terrain helps encourage people to step it up quickly, which is also easy due to the superb instruction there.

 

What was awesome about learning there is that it made many other places seem easier by comparison. I still had a long way to go (and still do), but Taos certainly helped out my confidence a lot. Maybe I have a different attitude than most, as I didn't want to be stuck on Strawberry Hill forever. I always strive to do better and better every time I go ski. I guess some people are satisfied sticking to the bunny slopes for years tho. ;)

 
post #5 of 5
One option would be to fly to Salt Lake City rent a car and stay at Studio 6. Alta Snowbird Solitude and Brighton are all just a short drive away. Optimum time ? well I go late Feb or Early March. Salt Lake City is a typical US strip mall city.

If you like Santa Fe then the town of Taos will appeal with it's adobe buildings and the ski resort is great. I have only skied Taos late in the season so can not say how reliable it would be early. You could manage with out a car.
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