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European resort experience - looking for a ski resort near NY?? help...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey, I've been skiing in europe for most of my life. Mainly in France and Switzarlad. I am used to large, picturesque, sites.

 

My wife never skied and I want to try and get her into it... I have one shot at this ;)

 

We live in Brooklyn, NY and I want to take her to a site that will have the following by order of importance:  

 

1. Good snow - not icy/difficult

2. large area to have different slopes available

3. Good teaching for her

4. Not far from NYC

 

Please advise on what's my options.... 

 

Also, we don't own any ski equipment. 

 

Thanks! 

post #2 of 16
1 and 4 are mutually exclusive.

You want the West.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

In other words - you think no real good snow near NYC?

 

I don't need it to be SUPER high end just to have my wife enjoy her lessons... If she won't like it - she won't try again. That is why I want to try and find a good place... 

post #4 of 16

I think your biggest issue is picking a warmish time.  Put her in an icebox and she'll be unhappy regardless.  Then some decent snow.  Would you consider Vermont close?

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

I did go to Killington once... It was awful. I went with my dad and we left 2 days early. 

 

Yeah - she will kill me if she gets too cold. She hates the cold... hhh. not easy 

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ugbrooklyn View Post
 

I did go to Killington once... It was awful. I went with my dad and we left 2 days early. 

 

Yeah - she will kill me if she gets too cold. She hates the cold... hhh. not easy 

 

Yeah, well, the only 'more Euro' options on the east coast are Stowe, Tremblant and maybe, if we squint real hard, Mont Ste Anne, none of which are as close as Killington, all of which are likely to be colder.   

Go west, someplace (Tahoe, Lake Louise come to mind) where there is plenty of scenery and extracurricular activities.

post #7 of 16

If you want the Euro vibe, head north to Quebec. Pick Tremblant, Mont St. Anne or Le Massif. Great skiing, ultra-Euro vibe and pack the extra thick long johns.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

Go west, someplace (Tahoe, Lake Louise come to mind) where there is plenty of scenery and extracurricular activities.

 

Yeah, dunno what the budget is like..but I do agree.  The sunshine in Colorado in Feb/Mar is warm and the scenery is stellar.  Not saying the east is terrible..but there's more snowpack and warmer temps possible out west.

post #9 of 16

If the main focus is your wife then the snow is not an issue. Any hill with a magic carpet is going to have enough man-made snow for a beginner to learn. She'll need a few lessons/days before she's hitting the main runs with you anyway. Focus on a hill with a good adult school program. If you care about your own skiing while she's in lessons, you'll be at least a 4 hr drive north from NYC for any hill with good terrain. 

 

And yes, the Quebec resorts might have that "euro-feel", but not in size nor-snow from what you might be used to. Mostly just that they resemble a little village with a different language.

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ugbrooklyn View Post
 

I did go to Killington once... It was awful. I went with my dad and we left 2 days early. 

 

Yeah - she will kill me if she gets too cold. She hates the cold... hhh. not easy 


If you hated Killington you'll likely need to a) adjust your expectations with east coast skiing, or b) hop on a plane to DEN, SLC, etc. Or back to Europe (euro is below $1.20!!)

 

FWIW - my wife is learning this year and we just got back from a week in SLC. She took a few lessons at Alta, and she could really have been anywhere - a bunny hill is a bunny hill. I, on the other hand, got in some great skiing while she was learning in lessons.

post #11 of 16

The closest options where you both will enjoy a day trip are in the Catskills. That would be Belleayre, Hunter, and Windham. They all have decent snowmaking and beginner areas. However, for a weekend, the closest "European feel" areas are going to be found in Vermont. There is nothing really European, but  there is a decent size mountain with great snowmaking and grooming with slope side housing combined with some decent food and beverage locations and maybe even a small town within a few miles of the area. This would include Mt Snow, Stratton, and Okemo. They are in southern Vermont around 4-5 hours drive from you. These three will be your best bet.

 

The Quebec areas are wonderful choices, but they are almost a day's drive and can be extremely cold during Jan, Feb, and March.

post #12 of 16

Stowe or Bretton Woods could add a plush luxury element to the trip. Bretton Woods tends to have better snow, grooming, and very little wind by VT standards. It is an easy enough ski area your wife could even start on some "Blue" runs by the end of a multi-day trip. Easy greens come down from every major lift.

 

The consensus is correct about your desires--they do not exist on the East Coast. Killington is about as big as it is going to get. Northern VT or NH could get you better snow, but temps and wind will only get worse.

 

If your wife is the focus you have no need to spend the extra money to fly out west. If you can, book last minute to get as nice of weather as possible, visit a place with nice lodges and hotel options, and plan on throwing a spa day or snowshoeing or something into the mix to break things up--and go midweek when the crowds will be lower and she is more likely to be getting individualized attention as a beginner.

 

Hot chocolate also tends to put a smile on my wife's face too!

post #13 of 16

Is this a day trip or over night?  As others have said, there is nothing "Euro" within a quick drive from the City (with the caveat that I have never skied in Europe!).  However, it certainly is possible to have fun nearby.  Nothing in New York strikes me as charming Euro, with the exception of Whiteface/Lake Placid, which is too far for a day trip.  In southern Vermont, Stratton or Mount Snow, or in Northern Vermont Stowe.  If you have three or more days, you have better options.  

 

1. Good snow - not icy/difficult:

This really varies day to day and hour to hour.  Ice is a fact of life in the northeast, though grooming and snowmaking has gotten better.  Try not to go after a warm spell.  Even if there hasn't been much natural snow, a week or so of sub-freezing temps will have most local places in good shape in terms of coverage.  I skied Belleayre over New Years and, while the whole mountain wasn't yet open, coverage was nice on what was open.  Parts were icy, though.  If you can go on a weekday, you'll have the places to yourselves.  

 

2. large area to have different slopes available

In New York, the principal skiing areas are the Catskills (~2.5 hours from the City) and the Adirondacks (~5 hours).  There also are a handful of tiny areas an hour or so away.  

 

Most of the Catskill areas are similar in size.  The major areas are Hunter, Windham, and Belleayre.  Of those three, I prefer Belleayre, but that's just my opinion.  None are huge, but plenty of fun for a day or two.  Belleayre and Windham are more family oriented (and have more of an "outdoorsy" vibe).  Hunter attracts more of a singles crowd.  If you go on a holiday, try Plattekill, though only if there has been some natural snow.  Plattekill is smaller, but with similar vertical and nice terrain.  It is off the radar, very basic, but a friendly, fun place to go. Rarely any crowds (which usually results in less ice).

 

The two major areas in the Adirondacks are Whiteface (which has the largest vertical on the east coast) and Gore.  If you have 3 days or more, both are great.  Whiteface is near Lake Placid, which is a fun town, and probably the most "Euro" on the east coast.  Whiteface has the reputation of being "Iceface," though not sure if that reputation is justified.  Gore is not quite as large, but has more variety in skiing in my opinion.  Gore is a terrific mountain.  The Adirondacks are just plain beautiful.  

 

Also in day trip distance to the City are areas in the Bershshires, Catamount, Butternut, and Jiminy Peak.  

 

Southern Vermont areas are also in range.  Stratton (has a base village) and Mount Snow have the most amenities, including slopeside lodging.  Also Okemo.  Bromley is a great mountain too, and more low-key.  Killington/Pico have great terrain, though I'm not a fan of the vibe at Killington.  I haven't skied Pico, but have heard nice things.  

 

Farther north, northern Vermont and New Hampshire have bigger mountains, with better chance of good snow.  Stowe is a charming town with some of the best skiing in the east.  For a luxurious weekend, try staying at the Mount Washington Inn and skiing Bretton Woods.  

 

3. Good teaching for her

I can't speak for all of the ski schools, but I know that Don Boyce, who runs the ski school at Belleayre is top notch.  Ask for a private lesson with Don or Chris Erickson; you won't be disappointed.  

 

4. Not far from NYC

See above.  Closest is Mountain Creek in New Jersey, but overrun by city slickers and snowboarders, especially on weekends.  

post #14 of 16

i can only speak for quebec as i haven't skied in the US

 

 

1. Good snow - not icy/difficult

 

as mentioned before it's very dependent on weather but generally green and blue slopes are very often nice. it's the blacks and steeper blues that ice up really quickly.

 

2. large area to have different slopes available

 

mont tremblant and ste anne are good sizes and have good variety of slope difficulty

 

3. Good teaching for her

 

not sure about that but I'm sure you can find good teaching anywhere

 

4. Not far from NYC

a bit far

 

 

5. other

-It probably has a more foreign feel to come to quebec

-it can be brutally cold

 

 

 

 

my sugestion would be to plan a trip at the last minute to maximize chances of good weather conditions.

 

What could make a fun trip is to stay in quebec city and go to either mont st Anne (40 min) or Stoneham (20 min) while benefiting form a nice old city (this way if the skiing isn't working you have a charming back-up plan)...

 

 

 

 

 

but it's true it's a bit far from NYC.

post #15 of 16

What you really need is decent snow and not super cold.  the size of the area is not at all important for a beginner.  Spectacular mountain scenery can help but you have to drive 5 hours from NYC to even get close.  I would recommend either the Catskills (Hunter, Windham, Bellarye)  or the Berkshires (Butternut, catamount, Mohawk, Jiminy Peak).  But you need to go soon after a decent snowfall and when it is not extremely cold.  Do  yourself a favor and make sure you have her properly dressed to stay warm...though if she hates cold you are likely fighting a losing battle.

 

Why did you and your father hate Killington so much that you left early?  there are lots of other options fairly close to Killington as well.

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
 

What you really need is decent snow and not super cold.  the size of the area is not at all important for a beginner.  Spectacular mountain scenery can help but you have to drive 5 hours from NYC to even get close.  I would recommend either the Catskills (Hunter, Windham, Bellarye)  or the Berkshires (Butternut, catamount, Mohawk, Jiminy Peak).  But you need to go soon after a decent snowfall and when it is not extremely cold.  Do  yourself a favor and make sure you have her properly dressed to stay warm...though if she hates cold you are likely fighting a losing battle.

Don't take her to the Catskills (or farther north) this week!

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