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Need advice from knowledgeable peeps [European family with non-skier, week before Christmas] - Page 2

post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post
 

While in NY don't miss the Radio City Christmas Show (#1 don't miss), Rockefeller Center vibe/shopping/skating, FAO Schwartz toy store, Paragon Sports sporting goods, Soho, and ice skating in Central Park.  Also visit one of the famous deli's, Katz's or Carnegie, for a corned beef sandwich, matzah ball soup and side of knish.(note: order 1 for 2)


+1

Great list!  Reminds me of Christmas growing up in NYC, especially looking at the displays in the stores along Fifth Avenue.  Not only FAO Schwartz but also Tiffany's.  Central Park is where I learned to ice skate.

 

Needless to say, in NYC you do not want to bother with a car.  Public transit can get you anywhere.  Pretty sure there are transit passes that give you unlimited access.  Taking a boat tour around Manhattan is worth considering.

post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTID View Post
 

absolutely fantastic feedback. Can't thank you enough.  Sorry for not being on line, I blame it on the time difference!

 

We are used to travel and jet lag.  Having lived in Thailand for 4 years and regularly coming back to Europe has made us hardcore.  

 

It has been a real challenge to fit everything in, we need to be in NYC for Xmas for my girls (they are young teens) Blame Home Alone films!!  So the 23rd is the latest we can leave in so we have Xmas eve there.  I am back at work on the 6th so that's why we have longer on the East coast.  Maybe ski there too!

 

Wife is very happy to be a hanger on for 4 days.  A spa would be lovely for her but not a deal breaker.  She is a selfless angel :-)

 

Obviously skiing the Alps, the majority is grooomed pistes.  Called corduory in the US I think?  I want to sample something really different, but my two girls are not that experienced in powder, they are better than me technically so would pick it up quickly.  I love the idea of off piste, trees, wide runs.  Looking for Advance intermediate to advanced areas, in Europe it is red runs and blacks, but not mega serious blacks. 

 

Yes, NL is Netherlands!  British but live and work here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CTID View Post
 

Just spotted the accomodation question.

 

We are very, very spoilt in the Alps and in the past we have had a hotel actually on the slope, this year a 7-8 minute walk to the first lift.  But, a drive or bus is fine for us too.  We will rent a car regardless as I want flexibilty.

 

I have an airbnb place for the NYC leg, that was the priority due to Christmas and New Year.  For LA / SAF and skiing I don't have anything yet.

Aah, world travelers.  That makes a big difference.  My father was professor in NYC.  He a visiting professor a few times while I was growing up so I can relate to living in Asia for months.  My family also spent the entire summer in Europe when I was in grade school and my brother had just graduated from college.  Drove all over.  Of course, quite different 45 years ago.

 

As you narrow down the choices for skiing in the Rockies, take a look at the Ambassador Roster to see if there is an Unofficial Guide.  If there is an Ambassador but no guide, you can send a PM with questions.  Or just ask here.

 

http://www.epicski.com/a/ambassador-roster

post #33 of 41

Not sure what to do in NYC for "so many days"?!?!

 

Walk the entire city from The Battery to Central Park - Trinity Church

Go to the Statue of Liberty 

Go up the Empire State Bldg - heck, go tour the new Trade Center

Visit China Town

Wander Soho and Greenwich Village, South Street Seaport (although that may be undergoing some renovation IIRC)

See a musical or three

Definitely go see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City

Visit Rockefeller Center for the tree and wander around that area - FAO Schwarz and such

Go ice skating at Wollman (the official name is Trump but nobody calls it that) at Central Park

Make sure you get to Grand Central terminal and have some fun at the Whispering Arch

Drop in to the Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, and the Natural History Museum - don't miss the Intrepid

See Carnegie Hall and The Met

 

Visit this site for all sorts of fun ideas:

 

http://www.viator.com/New-York-City/d687/top-attractions

post #34 of 41

I have no doubt they will do fine in NYC.  Don't even think about trying to ski in the East during that crowded post-Christmas period.  You will find far more enjoyable things to do in NYC.

Quote:
 I love the idea of off piste, trees, wide runs.

This only confirms my belief that Utah's Cottonwood Canyons are where you want to do your skiing.  You would enjoy Mammoth, and it can get a ton of snow in a very short period of time, but as of now there is almost no natural snow there. 

 

This weekend is going to catch Utah Cottonwood Canyon snow up to Colorado and long term Alta/Snowbird get almost twice as much snow as most areas in Colorado.  Every year can be different, and the longer you put off the decision, the more likely you'll choose the place with the best snow this year.  But with air tickets for 4 people involved, I'm guessing the OP wants to make the call fairly soon.

Quote:
Wife is very happy to be a hanger on for 4 days.  A spa would be lovely for her but not a deal breaker.  She is a selfless angel :-)

And she's getting ~10 days in NYC.   While in Utah you can easily go up to Park City in the evenings if you want that resort ambience.  It's only a half hour drive from Salt Lake and Park City is one of America's nicer resort towns.  But the skiing is not close to Alta/Snowbird caliber, particularly during shoulder season months like December.

 

If cost is not a big issue, you might consider staying in one of the nicer lodges in the Cottonwood Canyons for those 4 days: the Cliff at Snowbird and Rustler Lodge at Alta have spas.

post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

I have no doubt they will do fine in NYC.  Don't even think about trying to ski in the East during that crowded post-Christmas period.  You will find far more enjoyable things to do in NYC.

Quote:
 I love the idea of off piste, trees, wide runs.

This only confirms my belief that Utah's Cottonwood Canyons are where you want to do your skiing.  You would enjoy Mammoth, and it can get a ton of snow in a very short period of time, but as of now there is almost no natural snow there. 

 

This weekend is going to catch Utah Cottonwood Canyon snow up to Colorado and long term Alta/Snowbird get almost twice as much snow as most areas in Colorado.  Every year can be different, and the longer you put off the decision, the more likely you'll choose the place with the best snow this year.  But with air tickets for 4 people involved, I'm guessing the OP wants to make the call fairly soon.

Quote:
Wife is very happy to be a hanger on for 4 days.  A spa would be lovely for her but not a deal breaker.  She is a selfless angel :-)

And she's getting ~10 days in NYC.   While in Utah you can easily go up to Park City in the evenings if you want that resort ambience.  It's only a half hour drive from Salt Lake and Park City is one of America's nicer resort towns.  But the skiing is not close to Alta/Snowbird caliber, particularly during shoulder season months like December.

 

If cost is not a big issue, you might consider staying in one of the nicer lodges in the Cottonwood Canyons for those 4 days: the Cliff at Snowbird and Rustler Lodge at Alta have spas.

Agree that skiing anywhere near NYC is not worth the effort.  Snow conditions and size of mountains was the reason I was flying out west to ski from North Carolina instead of driving to anywhere in the northeast, even during prime ski season.

 

Here's a thread that introduces all the lodges in the town of Alta.  If of interest, best to call to talk about availability.  Note that all of the lodges provide at least a full hot breakfast and an amazing dinner.  Can be very relaxing for skiers and non-skiers.  There is a free shuttle if someone wants to wander over to the Snowbird base for a spa treatment or just a change of scene for a few hours.  I've met a few non-skiers at Alta Lodge who go along on family trips during spring break.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/125833/alta-lodges

post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTID View Post
 

Obviously skiing the Alps, the majority is grooomed pistes.  Called corduory in the US I think?  I want to sample something really different, but my two girls are not that experienced in powder, they are better than me technically so would pick it up quickly.  I love the idea of off piste, trees, wide runs.  Looking for Advance intermediate to advanced areas, in Europe it is red runs and blacks, but not mega serious blacks. 

 

There is a big difference between wanting to:

  1. Ski primarily off piste and sampling groomed piste
  2. Ski primarily groomed pistes and sampling off piste

 

If it's #1 above, it's hard to make a prediction due to early season snow.  The odds are probably best of Alta/Snowbird but that's no guarantee.  If you go this route, I think you'd want to stay at Snowbird which is walk to lifts with a few restaurants and a spa.  The non-skiing features are very basic but the snow and off piste skiing is great.

 

If it's #2, there are several ski areas that have a much better selection of groomed runs and all of these have much better ski towns at the base of the slopes.  (towns with tons of restaurants, spas, museums, etc.)  As others have said, Aspen would be a great suggestion.  Vail is a cheaper/easier to get to (via Denver airport) and would work well too.  Steamboat has a good town, good early season snow but a 3 hour drive from Denver.

 

Park city could be a good combination option.  Park city has a great town, good groomed runs.  If you're #2 above, you'll probably really enjoy Park City but if you don't, you can drive to Snowbird/Alta in under an hour and ski there for part of the trip.  You can even book flights to SLC now but hold off on booking lodging until a few days before arrival and see what happens with the snow.

post #37 of 41
Thread Starter 
Once again, thanks to everyone for their fantastic advice.
 
After looking at all the tips and suggestions, I've decided to go with Alta.  It gets such great reviews and the suggestion of flying to ORD was to clincher.  I didn't use that as an option and skyscanner would show Dallas as a change when I put in SLC to NYC.  Prices were high too.  Using skyscanner I can get LAX to SLC for $89, SLC to ORD for $210 and ORD to NYC for $100.  So a total of $400.  This is compared to $319 direct LAX to NYC so I will have to see if I can save on accomodation at Alta.  The online price for Alta tickets was good too.
 
LAX to DEN, DEN to NYC is around $330, but there is also the factor of the drive.  Distance isn't a problem but I would rather have the 45 minute Alta drive than 3+ hours at the end of the ski. Prices seem to be quite volatile on the flights so I may have to take the plunge soon. 
 
Now I need to decide whether to bring any of our kit with us. Obviously not my boots and ski's, but I may see if there are some good deals on clothing.  I love a bargain and will definitely be comfortable in some unfashionable 2012 livery!!
 
Great tips for NYC too, cheers everyone.  Radio city looks like it will be a festive treat so I will get tickets to that.  Ice skating in the park and of course the Rockafellar Christmas tree are definitely on the list.  Also, my girls want to see the ball drop in times square.
 
To say we are all unbelievably excited is the understatement of the year!  I will post plenty of pics.
post #38 of 41

Skis can be a pain and expensive with the airlines, but it's extremely important to have your own boots.  The ideal is to get one of those backpacks with boot compartments on each side and wear that as carry-on.  I've always hauled my boots to New Zealand despite visiting tropical destinations on the way. FYI The Alta demo shop next to the ticket office is excellent and will have a wide selection of skis in early season.

 

The Rustler will be expensive, but it's probably the only lodge at Alta with a spa and the food is excellent.  I occasionally have lunch there.

post #39 of 41

At least get prices on the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird next door.   Your wife will be happiest there, by far, of anywhere in the canyon.   It would be great staying there even if you just want to ski Alta, as there is a quick bus between the two.  I think your wife will go stir crazy for four days not skiing in Alta.  Snowbird is considerably better... but still far from great.   

post #40 of 41

If you decide to stay at any of the lodges at Alta, can take a shuttle to Snowbird for a full spa treatment.  I know people who do that who stay at Alta Lodge but don't ski all day, every day.

 

There are more lodging options in Park City.  Mostly because there is a lot more land available for buildings.  A drive to Alta but more to do when not skiing.

post #41 of 41
Thread Starter 

Cliff lodge booked :-)  Got a great deal on lodging and passes.  My wife is very happy with the on site spa.  I plan to do two days at snowbird and then see if I can upgrade / swap for two days at Alta.

 

Just need to do my flights now and my California itinerary.  I have spent far too long on the ski arrangements, I wonder where my priorities lie...!!

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Need advice from knowledgeable peeps [European family with non-skier, week before Christmas]