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Telluride.....Can it be over hyped? - Page 2

post #31 of 44

I've skied Apache.  At least you have something decent within drive distance, though the reputation is for overcrowding on weekends.

 

Mammoth and Mt. Bachelor are what you would enjoy most in May, but will take some travel time getting either place.  A-Basin is the only lift service in Colorado, and it's much smaller than Mammoth/Bachelor for an extended trip, particularly after the middle of the month when they shut Pali.  The annual Mother's Day Epic Gathering would be the latest I'd recommend going there from any distance.

 

If by next year you mean December, Wolf Creek, Steamboat, Vail and Winter Park in that order are the best bets for early snow/max coverage in Colorado.

 

I'll repeat the advice not to commit non-refundable $$$ to pre-Christmas December ski lodging.  Resorts do NOT sell out, the lodging deals will still be there last minute, and you'll get some choice as to who actually has some snow on the ground.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 11/12/14 at 6:10pm
post #32 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks @Tony Crocker. I appreciate all the good advice I can get.
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddirtskier View Post

Thanks for the advice @Tony Crocker. Unfortunately I'm the new guy at the firm so I'm abused until the start of May. Are there any slopes still open then in the lower 48? @tball non refundable to purg. But planning on copper, beaver creek, aspen, or Vail next year. What do you suggest? My home mountain is Ski Apache in Ruidoso so my expectations are probably lower than most.

 

I feel for you being in the accounting biz :(.  I think you can make the best of it skiing in December and May, though.   

 

Come to A-basin in May for sure!  It's good enough a decent number of folks relocate to A-basin for the month to get their fill of skiing after the other areas close.   See some pics from the Mother's day gathering this year to get an idea of typical mid-May conditions:

http://www.epicski.com/t/120336/official-2013-mothers-day-a-basin-trip-report

 

For December, Tony's advice is always solid.  I'd just add he's geared toward an advanced skier looking for powder.  If you are happy on groomed runs, you have decent options for your December trip each year.   Don't book until the last minute, but the areas you mentioned (copper, beaver creek, aspen, and vail) will usually be good for groomers by mid-Dec.   Note that when the stats say 50% open, that's usually close to 100% of the groomed runs.   Black runs rarely have snowmaking and require more snow, so they are last to open.   

 

If you are sticking to groomed runs, skiing doesn't differentiate most resorts as much as the non-skiing aspects of your trip.   Cost, lodging, dining, non-ski activities, etc, vary widely.  If you are looking to be pampered, go to Beaver Creek.   If you want a more modest, skiing-focused vacation then Copper would be great.  Each resort has its plusses and minuses.  Come back and start a thread next year and you'll get plenty of folks to help you plan your vacation! 

 

Have fun at T-ride and Purg!

post #34 of 44
Quote:
For December, Tony's advice is always solid.  I'd just add he's geared toward an advanced skier looking for powder.

For December it's really about how much snow is on the ground and how much of the mountain is open.  For the OP, with his focus mainly on Colorado, Steamboat and Vail are the standout choices: both large areas averaging over 2/3 open by December 15, Steamboat being a bit more consistent.

Quote:
Note that when the stats say 50% open, that's usually close to 100% of the groomed runs.   Black runs rarely have snowmaking and require more snow, so they are last to open.   

This is the reason my skeptical remarks about early season apply most forcefully to advanced skiers.  It's not about the powder; it's about there being very limited advanced terrain open.

post #35 of 44

Looks like you've gotten some base and it should be, at the least, not bad for your December dates.

post #36 of 44

Reddirtskier

 

The town of Telluride/location of the mountain to the center of town, etc are definitely awesome.  Don't think you're wife will be disappointed in the unique ski town atmosphere.

Haven't skied since the expansion, which looks like it added a great deal to the terrain offered.  Don't know how much of that is open early season, but sounds like you chose right as apparently 42" season total so far and a 3 ft storm total!   Some people rave about the mountain, and thought it was solid mountain but wasn't one of my favorite mountains (pre-expansion), but again, looks like the expansion could make it  a definite rank changer.  Anything overhyped can be a disappointment though!

 

Wolf Creek definitely is the best bet for early season conditions year over year.  However, they've only had 41" this year which is about same so far as Telluride.   Heard some of the hike up Alberta Peak was open this last weekend, and they can be open with great conditions early Thanksgiving.  Great microclimate as someone mentioned.  Here's about 1 yr ago exactly which isn't that unheard of for Wolf Creek. 

http://youtu.be/8Edp_CaZ9jg?list=UU_Sb090jLR5N3uXc-40ueRg

 

(I'm always amazed how far/number hours people from Texas drive).

 

For May skiing:

 

Need to closely watch when you go in May, as some resorts will have parts of the mountain closed that limit the overall experience you'd have otherwise.  Had hoped to ski A basin last May, but we had to cancel last minute but wasn't sure what the experience would have been with parts of the mountain closed in May and when they close the various parts of mountain depending on what part of May.  I think some mountains may even close mid week and just open up weekends in May?

 

If Mammoth had a decent year (unlike last few), snow pack is usually good if all the terrain is open, it's one of the best all round mountains in the lower 48 (IMO).  Deals for lodging tickets can be pretty good as most of Southern California by May is thinking beach over mountains (even by April Spring breaks also).  Again be sure to verify what's open as it may not be worth it if they've closed a significant portion of the mountain as haven't been spring skiing over there for some time).

 

Couple years ago, finally made it out to try Mt Bachelor in the spring (it was closing week - just before Memorial Day).  Thought the town of Bend was nice town with nice small historic downtown and easy 20 mile highway drive up to mountain.  I think about 1/2 through the month of May the back side closed, so we missed exploring that terrain.  Had great spring pass ticket that was hard to beat pricewise (I think it was $179 for month of May).  Mountain wasn't exceptionally challenging (some runs off the barely a hike off Summit lift were fun)  and what was unexpected was the mountain was pretty much devoid of any moguls.  Was actually an interesting change of pace (and break for a bad knee) as we'd never skied such a mogul free blank slate of a resort and it has a definite volcanic vibe if you haven't skied that type of experience.  Few days snow started off a bit crusty in am, but then turned into some very very fun corn type spring snow where you could just let them run.   Weather changed and had pretty iced up day, and then had some great spring powder all within 6 days.  Have some video showing that trip and what conditions apparently are not unusual there, but the spring corn fun doesn't translate well onto video.

http://youtu.be/3lvSV5DqCOU?t=2m27s

http://youtu.be/tehlD8pfeA0?t=32s

 

It's really a shame mountains (like here in NM and most other places) close early April, so it's very rare to get to experience the fun spring corn and spring wet fun type of snow you get into May with good snow packs.  So much effort to get people on the slopes by Thanksgiving with marginal conditions and then mountains close when there still plenty of fun snow, go figure.   Definitely advise experiencing late season snow, and with a decent width under foot, keeps you above the slush.  May is nice because things are definitely less prone to freezing up and then not softening up in the am (vs. April which can be fickle for that).  But most skiers are done so hard to justify keeping mountains open.  You just need to bring right wax and clean your skis daily.

 

Others may give more feedback, but I think aside from the other mountains listed above, I think Snowbird is open into May, possibly Squaw Valley?.  (I'd appreciate hearing feedback on other resort terrain status for May  for open resorts also).

 

As you're in Texas, conditions are always fickle, suggest you book via Southwest to a couple locales and cancel/change your flights if conditions don't materialize by time of your spring trip.  No real penalty if you reuse funds by 1 yr with Southwest, which no other airline can say, and ski's/baggage go free. Mammoth and Bend are both about 160ish miles from either Reno or from Portland, and both are easy drives (not really mountain driving).  You can fly into Redmond about 20 miles from Bend, but likely more on non-refundable flight).  There are flights from LAX and I think Reno to Mammoth, but I think they are limited/non-existent come May due to the low demand.

 

If you're up in Santa Fe for skiing, and want to exchange tax prep for place to stay, let me know.  Or would I have to report that "income?"      :)

post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwcski1 View Post
 

 

Wolf Creek definitely is the best bet for early season conditions year over year.  However, they've only had 41" this year which is about same so far as Telluride.   Heard some of the hike up Alberta Peak was open this last weekend, and they can be open with great conditions early Thanksgiving.  Great microclimate as someone mentioned.  Here's about 1 yr ago exactly which isn't that unheard of for Wolf Creek. 

http://youtu.be/8Edp_CaZ9jg?list=UU_Sb090jLR5N3uXc-40ueRg

 

I don't think any of the Hike-to terrain was open. Closed according to the website and I didn't see any indication is was open. I think it is closed because they don't want people skiing around the chairlift install- from what I could tell, there was a ropeline funneling everyone back onto Tranquility.

 

Great conditions last weekend. Not exactly 1 year ago, but much better than a 25" base usually skis there.

 

Speaking of this weekend back in 2013, here was my take from that day when I got recruited to go into the Alberta area before the rope drop to put some tracks in...

 

post #38 of 44

Nice May analysis by kwcski1 above. 

 

With regard to Mammoth (sort of my home area) the hang-em-up in April syndrome is less prevalent in SoCal because we are not deprived of summer sports like golf and surfing in the winter.  Business does drop off, but the familiar pattern of relatively busy weekends and quiet midweek skiing continues.  More lifts run on May weekends than midweek if demand requires.

 

The point I would emphasize about May skiing anywhere is that open lifts/terrain/hours/snow conditions can decline steadily week by week, so the earlier you can go in May the better. 

 

At A-Basin Pali is closed mid-month, so try to get there by Mother's Day weekend at the latest.

 

Snowbird runs daily to about Mother's Day, then weekends only, closing at 2PM

 

Bachelor cuts closing hour to 2PM in late April, closes Northwest and about half of terrain at some point.  That point was Mother's Day in 2014 but it has been earlier than that in prior seasons.

 

Mammoth closes about half the mountain after 3rd weekend in April, but all the steeps up top remain accessible as long as they have snow.  In average or better seasons, there are few if any further reductions until after Memorial Day.  In lean years like 2012 and 2014 some runs lost their snow before the Memorial Day closing. In the top 30% of seasons Mammoth runs to July 4, but for the OP I'd still tell him to go there in May for max open terrain and more consistent conditions. Closing hour retreats gradually from 4PM to as early as 1PM depending upon conditions more than the calendar.

 

Blackcomb runs in May.  I don't know how much is open there, but the Spanky's/Blackcomb Glacier runout goes fairly low and might be closed by May (could vary by season?).  I would ask that question before going there.

 

Sunshine runs to third weekend in May, but the advanced Goat's Eye sector faces SW and probably closes earlier.

 

If you go the first weekend of May you'll get Loveland along with A-Basin in Colorado and maybe Lake Louise along with Sunshine in Banff.

post #39 of 44

I have skied Snowbird, Bachelor, and Mammoth in May and Snowbird In June.

 

Everything being equal (primarily decent snow coverage), I prefer Snowbird the most. They generally have the most open, although they have not kept some chairs open as long in recent years, making it necessary to ride the tram which I don't particularly care for. Like Mammoth, but unlike Bachelor, they make up for the earlier afternoon closing with an earlier opening. It also helps that is the shortest drive for me. Last year was not a good late season year for Snowbird. On May 23rd, it was barely possible to ski to the bottom.

 

Bachelor has a considerably less expensive Spring Pass than Snowbird. I made two trips there last year because of the lower pass cost , conditions, and the fact that the had Outback and Northwest open on my first trip.

 

My one time in Mammoth, around Memorial day two years ago, about 25% of the mountain was open, but that included the steep runs on top as Tony mentioned. Weekdays were fine, but the weekend got crowded for what was available.

post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post



Sunshine runs to third weekend in May, but the advanced Goat's Eye sector faces SW and probably closes earlier.

If you go the first weekend of May you'll get Loveland along with A-Basin in Colorado and maybe Lake Louise along with Sunshine in Banff.

You're right about Goat's Eye. Sunshine usually tries to keep it open until Louise's closing date (the first weekend of may, maybe the second if the first is really early), but they aren't always able to. The backside of Louise is almost always skiing better than Goats Eye by this time.
The Dive can have some great May days though. This will close once the exit is not practical.
post #41 of 44
With respect to Louise, the advanced terrain will usually ski great in May. We are mostly talking about the paradise chair and Summit platter (particularly the back side, but the front is reasonable). The beginner/ intermediate terrain is in meltdown though.
post #42 of 44

How's this for a pre-opening stoke? A 26" base at T-ride is not too shabby for this early date!

 

8-inches-picnic-table-animated.gif

8 Inches of Snow Overnight! 
OPENING DAY JUST FOUR DAYS AWAY

8" 8" 8" 26" 50"
24 HOUR 3-DAY 5-DAY BASE SEASON TOTAL

8 inches of new snow are on the ground this morning in Telluride, and another 5-7 inches are in the forecast today. All this new snow is setting up some great conditions for Opening Day, November 27th, just four days away.

The ski season is almost here, and Telluride is covered in snow. Tune your skis, pick up your pass, book your lodging and get to Telluride. It's going to be another incredible ski season!

post #43 of 44
Thread Starter 
My snow dancing is paying off.
post #44 of 44
Best ski trip I've taken was to Tohelluride! Nothing like getting caught in a snow squall on your first day and blindly stumbling on a mid mountain hut of a bar and finding it stocked with top shelf rum.
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