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Help with an enviable problem [where to go in Jan, solo advanced skier]

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I’m headed to the Tetons with a small group the first two weeks of February and would like to get some time on the slopes beforehand to help with the challenges of Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee.

 

I will get to my local hill in the Endless Mts but amd looking for a bit more than that. I’m lucky enough to have the frequent flier miles needed to get from home (SE Penna) to most places that are likely to have decent snow in January and so am looking for recommendations on what the best of those places might be (see, I told you this was an enviable problem). There is one slight restriction: I need to fly to cities serviced by the airline whose  frequent flier miles I’m using. Not sure what the comprehensive list is but Denver, SLC and Reno are definitely on it.

 

Understand that weather is always the wild card but from what I’ve been able to turn up, the odds seem to favor the Wasatch resorts as the better bet for decent earlier season snow. True – or should I be looking elsewhere?

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieRN View Post
 

I’m headed to the Tetons with a small group the first two weeks of February and would like to get some time on the slopes beforehand to help with the challenges of Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee.

 

I will get to my local hill in the Endless Mts but amd looking for a bit more than that. I’m lucky enough to have the frequent flier miles needed to get from home (SE Penna) to most places that are likely to have decent snow in January and so am looking for recommendations on what the best of those places might be (see, I told you this was an enviable problem). There is one slight restriction: I need to fly to cities serviced by the airline whose  frequent flier miles I’m using. Not sure what the comprehensive list is but Denver, SLC and Reno are definitely on it.

 

Understand that weather is always the wild card but from what I’ve been able to turn up, the odds seem to favor the Wasatch resorts as the better bet for decent earlier season snow. True – or should I be looking elsewhere?


Might help to know where you've skied before out in the Rockies.  What resort and maybe a few of your favorite areas at that resort?  Are you just going to ski or is taking a lesson a possibility?  I would probably make a decision based on which destination had the best possibility of finding a friendly Bear as a ski buddy at short notice.  Of course, that doesn't eliminate any of the three airports you mentioned.

 

You don't have the MCP by chance?  If the trip to JH doesn't include lift tickets, then could be worth getting.  Then Alta/Snowbird would be the obvious choice.  A lot closer to the airport than getting from Reno to Squaw/Alpine.

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

 

You don't have the MCP by chance?  If the trip to JH doesn't include lift tickets, then could be worth getting.  Then Alta/Snowbird would be the obvious choice.  A lot closer to the airport than getting from Reno to Squaw/Alpine.

 

+1. And / or you could put a couple days in at Aspen-Snowmass with the MCP if CO snow is looking better. Aspens got plenty of steep terrain too. 

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Don't have the MCP - the JH trip includes some tickets (only 4 plus one at GT) so it may worth looking into.

 

I am absolutely considering some lessons -  I've skied for years and never had any. They're definitely on the cards for the JH trip and it may be worth getting some in beforehand. I'd love to get more confident in the trees, on the steeps and in the bumps.

 

Have skied Vail, Aspen, Steamboat and Snowbird in the distant past, and more recently Big Sky and most of the areas near SLC except for Brighton. My favorites are without doubt Big Sky/Moonlight followed very closely by Alta/Snowbird. Be interesting to see how JH measures up!

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieRN View Post
 

Don't have the MCP - the JH trip includes some tickets (only 4 plus one at GT) so it may worth looking into.

 

I am absolutely considering some lessons -  I've skied for years and never had any. They're definitely on the cards for the JH trip and it may be worth getting some in beforehand. I'd love to get more confident in the trees, on the steeps and in the bumps.

 

Have skied Vail, Aspen, Steamboat and Snowbird in the distant past, and more recently Big Sky and most of the areas near SLC except for Brighton. My favorites are without doubt Big Sky/Moonlight followed very closely by Alta/Snowbird. Be interesting to see how JH measures up!

The MCP is usually worth it as long as you get to two destinations.  Note that in LCC, you get the MCP is a combo pass.  Alta is my favorite, with Big Sky up there.  Went to JH for the first time last year, but we didn't have good snow conditions so reserving judgement.  Been to GT a couple times and really like it.

 

If you are willing to pay for a private at Alta, I can give you a recommendation.  If you go to Snowbasin, it's a no brainer.  Book a lesson with @4ster .  Better yet, book two.

 

Last season I talked a few friends into doing semi-private lessons with me.  All guys who are advanced skiers who hadn't ever had a high level lesson with a PSIA Level 3 (or equivalent experience) instructor.  Had 2 or 3 students each time.  It was really interesting to observe and learn from watching what the instructors did with them.  All agreed that it was well worth while.

 

What areas do you like best at Big Sky/Moonlight?

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

The MCP is usually worth it as long as you get to two destinations.  Note that in LCC, you get the MCP is a combo pass.  Alta is my favorite, with Big Sky up there.  Went to JH for the first time last year, but we didn't have good snow conditions so reserving judgement.  Been to GT a couple times and really like it.

 

If you are willing to pay for a private at Alta, I can give you a recommendation.  If you go to Snowbasin, it's a no brainer.  Book a lesson with @4ster .  Better yet, book two.

 

Last season I talked a few friends into doing semi-private lessons with me.  All guys who are advanced skiers who hadn't ever had a high level lesson with a PSIA Level 3 (or equivalent experience) instructor.  Had 2 or 3 students each time.  It was really interesting to observe and learn from watching what the instructors did with them.  All agreed that it was well worth while.

 

What areas do you like best at Big Sky/Moonlight?

Private lessons are probably out of reach, I sent a PM just in case though - you never know when you'll hit the Powerball. Snowbasin is definite possibility. It's been on my list for a while but I haven't been able to get there.

 

As far as Big Sky, I probably spent most of my time skiing the runs off the Lone Peak Triple, mainly in The Bowl (mornings) and Never Sweat (afternoons). I remember some pretty challenging area off of the Challenger lift - Moonlight-Midnight I think. And if I remember right, I got into some serious trouble near Little Tree (steep and very deep with trees throw in just for sport). I also remember some really fun runs on Andesite blues that had some black stretches - Africa, Congo and some others I can't recall.

 

Regrettably, I only spent a day at Moonlight - I was with my ski club and the package only included one pass. This was a serious mistake as in my opinion, Moonlight is even more pleasant than BS. I remember some nice bumps on runs that could be seen from the lodge area. Also remember some terrific tree skiing, maybe off of Trapline or Double Jack? What I remember most is that Moonlight is like skiing in your own private resort. There are not many folks at BS but there's no one at Moonlight - at least when I was there in late Feb. When I have a chance to get back MT, I plan on rectifying my earlier mistake and will spend most of the time at Moonlight.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieRN View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

The MCP is usually worth it as long as you get to two destinations.  Note that in LCC, you get the MCP is a combo pass.  Alta is my favorite, with Big Sky up there.  Went to JH for the first time last year, but we didn't have good snow conditions so reserving judgement.  Been to GT a couple times and really like it.

 

If you are willing to pay for a private at Alta, I can give you a recommendation.  If you go to Snowbasin, it's a no brainer.  Book a lesson with @4ster .  Better yet, book two.

 

Last season I talked a few friends into doing semi-private lessons with me.  All guys who are advanced skiers who hadn't ever had a high level lesson with a PSIA Level 3 (or equivalent experience) instructor.  Had 2 or 3 students each time.  It was really interesting to observe and learn from watching what the instructors did with them.  All agreed that it was well worth while.

 

What areas do you like best at Big Sky/Moonlight?

Private lessons are probably out of reach, I sent a PM just in case though - you never know when you'll hit the Powerball. Snowbasin is definite possibility. It's been on my list for a while but I haven't been able to get there.

 

As far as Big Sky, I probably spent most of my time skiing the runs off the Lone Peak Triple, mainly in The Bowl (mornings) and Never Sweat (afternoons). I remember some pretty challenging area off of the Challenger lift - Moonlight-Midnight I think. And if I remember right, I got into some serious trouble near Little Tree (steep and very deep with trees throw in just for sport). I also remember some really fun runs on Andesite blues that had some black stretches - Africa, Congo and some others I can't recall.

 

Regrettably, I only spent a day at Moonlight - I was with my ski club and the package only included one pass. This was a serious mistake as in my opinion, Moonlight is even more pleasant than BS. I remember some nice bumps on runs that could be seen from the lodge area. Also remember some terrific tree skiing, maybe off of Trapline or Double Jack? What I remember most is that Moonlight is like skiing in your own private resort. There are not many folks at BS but there's no one at Moonlight - at least when I was there in late Feb. When I have a chance to get back MT, I plan on rectifying my earlier mistake and will spend most of the time at Moonlight.

Yeah, if you happen to match up with someone else's schedule, that can drop the price for a semi-private down to a more manageable total.  That's another reason I talked my friends into doing a lesson with me.  A midweek group at Snowbasin could work out just as well.

 

From a logistics standpoint, hard to beat SLC for a last minute solo trip.  Especially when airfare is not as much of a factor.  Can get a 2WD car, use the ski bus if necessary for LCC, stay in a budget motel in Sandy/Midvale or Ogden, and have lots of options for where to ski on a day-to-day basis.  In Jan, the likelihood of meeting up with other Bears is pretty good.

 

Did you notice this thread about a budget (more than a student budget) solo trip to Denver?

http://www.epicski.com/t/128840/suggestions-for-dirtbag-cheap-trip

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