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Early March - Tahoe or Salt Lake (specific resorts?)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi - I'm an ex-advanced, now intermediate due to age! skier... a little rusty. I'm looking to introduce a friend to skiing in early March. He really wants to try skiing and has one request -  long cruiser runs. He's pretty athletic so I think he'll pick it up pretty quickly but I want to make sure to find a resort that fulfills his request! I was thinking Northstar or Squaw. I love Solitude in UT but I've skied out all the intermediate and beginner there. Still love it there, though. We're going for 3 days. I want to make sure both of us have a good time. Suggestions for where we should go? 

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by re-ski View Post
 

Hi - I'm an ex-advanced, now intermediate due to age! skier... a little rusty. I'm looking to introduce a friend to skiing in early March. He really wants to try skiing and has one request -  long cruiser runs. He's pretty athletic so I think he'll pick it up pretty quickly but I want to make sure to find a resort that fulfills his request! I was thinking Northstar or Squaw. I love Solitude in UT but I've skied out all the intermediate and beginner there. Still love it there, though. We're going for 3 days. I want to make sure both of us have a good time. Suggestions for where we should go? 


Welcome to EpicSki!  What age you talking about?  Over 40, 50, or 60?  I'm pushing 60 and only became an advanced skier after 50 when I had the time and money for more trips out west, as well as lessons.

 

Snowbasin comes to mind for low crowds and pretty easy access from a major airport.  What kind of experience does your friend have sleeping at higher altitude, as in over 5000 ft?  3 days is a pretty short ski trip.  Do you mean 3 ski days, or 3 days total?  Do you want to ski in/out lodging?  My guess is that anywhere in the Tahoe area could be a bit crowded because of spring break school vacations.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 


Hi marznc - I'm 40, my friend is 38. I realize 40 is not old - but my knees are definitely not the same at 40 as they were at 26! Anyway, we're looking to ski for 3 days. I think he'll be okay with altitude. Ski in/ski out would probably be best given the short duration of our trip, but if we skied Tahoe, we'd probably drive so we'd have more flexibility as far as that goes. For Utah, we'd fly. I've heard great things about Snowbasin - would there be enough beginner terrain for him and interesting enough for me not to get bored? Nearby lodging? Thanks so much! And I hadn't thought about spring break - we'd definitely want to avoid that scene, if possible!

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by re-ski View Post
 


Hi marznc - I'm 40, my friend is 38. I realize 40 is not old - but my knees are definitely not the same at 40 as they were at 26! Anyway, we're looking to ski for 3 days. I think he'll be okay with altitude. Ski in/ski out would probably be best given the short duration of our trip, but if we skied Tahoe, we'd probably drive so we'd have more flexibility as far as that goes. For Utah, we'd fly. I've heard great things about Snowbasin - would there be enough beginner terrain for him and interesting enough for me not to get bored? Nearby lodging? Thanks so much! And I hadn't thought about spring break - we'd definitely want to avoid that scene, if possible!


Youngsters!  :D

 

I added relevant tag links you can use to get to useful threads.  Look in the right hand column under Topics Discussed.  Once you narrow down your preferences, come back with questions more specific to your travel plans.  Every situation is different.

 

In general, with two of you there will be far more flexibility if you rent a car.  Cheaper lodging too.  Especially in places like SLC or Tahoe where there are several ski areas to choose within an hour or less.  For instance, Homewood in north Tahoe is a great warm up on a day with good visibility.  Especially if your first ski day is on a weekend.

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by re-ski View Post
 

He really wants to try skiing and has one request -  long cruiser runs. 

 

I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to the Tahoe resorts, but Colorado (Aspen, Telluride, Summit County/Vail) is where you would want to go if you are looking for truly long cruisers at that time of year.  As for Utah, Snowbasin (Needles and Strawberry areas) is probably the best bet if LONG really is important.  It seems that everything else in Utah is on the short side of the spectrum (1000 - 1500 vertical feet at best).  The green terrain at Snowbasin is fairly limited though.  Perhaps Tahoe has some areas that would hit the sweet spot.

post #6 of 10

The reputation and price of the ski school is another consideration.  If the OP's friend pays attention in a beginner lesson for never-ever skiers, I would think he would be off green trails by Day 2.  Especially if he is willing to invest the time and money for a group lesson in the morning on Day 2 as well.

 

@re-ski :  what type of sporting activities does your friend like?  Mountain biking, roller blading, ice skating?  Folks with good dynamic balance generally can learn to ski relatively easily.  Are you two willing to do some ski conditioning in the next couple months?

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 


Thanks, everyone, for all the great input. So based on comments so far, I'm leaning toward north Lake Tahoe but haven't ruled out SLC yet because that powder is just so amazing and I hate ice days in Tahoe. We're both in pretty good shape and would certainly train beforehand. I'm a Pilates instructor and avid biker and hiker and my newbie friend mostly bikes and hikes. I think he's mostly looking for a fun new sport with good scenery. He's not really a risk taker, hence the desire for the long cruisers. I can't afford to go to Colorado this year, but I will definitely keep that in mind for next year. Is there anywhere in Salt Lake that might convince me to go there over Tahoe? As far as Tahoe goes, it sounds like Squaw and/or Northstar might be best. I'm still open to more suggestions. My hope is that we both have a good enough time that we'll leave wanting more!

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

I just read some of the other topic posts on Tahoe weather in March. Any other insight here for 2015 that might make me choose Tahoe over SLC? I'm spoiled by Utah powder and don't want to introduce my friend to skiing on ice but I remember some lovely spring skiing in Tahoe as well. Any tips on March skiing at Tahoe vs. Salt Lake?

post #9 of 10

Commendable that you want to give a good introduction to a friend and Northstar sounds like a good choice.  I'm not that knowledgeable about crowds around Tahoe, but Squaw and Heavenly both have mellow beginner areas set higher up on the mtn with nice scenery and would be very pleasant if you can visit in moderate crowd conditions on weekdays.  You take a tram or gondola to transit to/from base village to these beginner areas.  Both have substantial slopeside accommodations as does Northstar.  The lake views from Heavenly are especially beautiful.     I have some doubts about how much a total newbie is going to be able to exploit long, extensive intermediate cruiser runs, but Northstar, Squaw and Heavenly have them.  Best in Utah for that is probably Snowbasin, but no slopeside lodging.  Early March probably presents your best chance for good conditions around Tahoe and Utah too for that matter.   

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 


Very helpful, Jamesj - thanks for the help! I've done Squaw and Northstar but not Heavenly. Looks like maybe I can't lose in March - that's great news.

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