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Where would you book in early March?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

A little background: I live in the mid-Atlantic, I would call myself a solid Intermediate/Advanced skier, and my wife is an intermediate. We have gone out west the past couple years and are looking to head somewhere again this March, 5-11. We have kind of followed the snow in the past, trying to hit the areas that have had the best season so far.

 

First was Breck, which was fine, but a little too crowded, especially the lift lines that we encountered then. We were mostly on Peak 8, where my wife was most comfortable on the greens at that point. But also peak 7. Loved the town, I'd probably go back, but we are a little wary of the crowds there. Flew direct to Den and then rented a car, stayed in a condo at the base.

 

Next we went to Schweitzer in Northern ID. It was great for us, a nice layout, no crowds at all, beautiful. But it was a little bit of a trek to get to. Connected into Spokane, rented a car, stayed in town and drove to the mountain each morning. 

 

Last year we went to Solitude, and spent a day at Brighton. Great places, also not crowded, but we didn't enjoy them as much as Schweitzer. Brighton gets a little edge in terms of terrain over Solitude for us. Honeycomb Canyon was closed if that makes a difference. We stayed at a condo at Solitude, flew direct to SLC and rented a car. 

 

 

So the question is, knowing how the season has been so far, where should we book tickets this year? Yes, I've read the 75 page (and still counting!) thread about intermediate skiers skiing out west. Thanks 2CC! 

 

Some areas that interest me as possibilities for this trip:

- Vail. Yes I know it has more skiers that Breck, but it's bigger too, right? The idea of the bowls and Blue Sky Basin intrigues me for some reason.

- Steamboat. Haha. Is this where I am destined to go, a-la 2CC? I see it as a little crowded and a little more difficult to get to (compared to Vail).

- Wolf Creek. Sounds like great snow, how has it been this year, and also a little difficult to get to

- Copper. Vail jr?

- Grand Targhee. Lots of snow, few skiers, hard to get to.

- Aspen. 

 

So what does everyone think? Where's the snow this year? Does it matter for the beginning of March? 

post #2 of 16

It sounds like you could be happy in a lot of places. It's hard to imagine not having a good time in Aspen; Copper is a nice mountain and the snow holds up well in March. Since you asked who has gotten the snow this year, consider adding Whitefish to the list. Sun Valley is above normal for the year; there aren't lift lines and they take such good care of the groomers there that I think it's great for intermediates (who don't mind slightly steeper than average blues). 

 

Given how different some of your choices are, maybe think more about what else you want. Aspen is a pretty different experience than Grand Targhee. How important is a good town? Or ease of access? Or cost? If what you want most is fresh powder, there's just no way to tell that this far out unfortunately.

 

Yes Vail is bigger but everyone still has to take a lift...I'd always choose somewhere where I can ski right to the lift with no lines.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm with you about avoiding lift lines. I may narrow my search to Sun Valley, Whitefish and Copper...and leave Vail hanging out there...hmmm...

post #4 of 16

If I were you I'd go to Copper or Snowmass for their higher elevations.  So far this year has been weirdly warm, and unless the pattern changes you'll find the best surface conditions at the higher elevation resorts.   Copper is cheaper.  Snowmass less crowded.   Don't go to Vail or Breck, as they are too crowded in March.   

post #5 of 16

Those are all nice resorts.

 

What's your gateway airport?   Aspen rarely has lift lines and it's pretty easy to get too with directs from ATL or ORD.

You can also use EGE, which is Vail's airport, 35 minutes to Vail or 75 to Aspen.

 

The Epic Pass is an incredible deal, but if you don't have one, don't go to a VR resort.

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

Those are all nice resorts.

 

What's your gateway airport?   Aspen rarely has lift lines and it's pretty easy to get too with directs from ATL or ORD.

You can also use EGE, which is Vail's airport, 35 minutes to Vail or 75 to Aspen.

 

The Epic Pass is an incredible deal, but if you don't have one, don't go to a VR resort.

 

Vail in early March for 5 days is $600 with 7 day advanced purchase. Aspen is $500 (also 7 day advanced purchase). Not an insignificant difference, but seems to me whether or not you have an Epic Pass really doesn't matter too much when you're talking about a multi-thousand dollar trip.

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

Vail in early March for 5 days is $600 with 7 day advanced purchase. Aspen is $500 (also 7 day advanced purchase). Not an insignificant difference, but seems to me whether or not you have an Epic Pass really doesn't matter too much when you're talking about a multi-thousand dollar trip.

 

 

Yes, but Aspen's four mountains will have maybe 6-8000 people, if it's busy.   Vail hits 25,000+ on busy weekends.

If your spending that much money, why stand in line?

post #8 of 16
Thought I'd jump in here. Current conditions at Whitefish are in the category of... okay. Coverage is excellent, groomers are excellent. Off piste? Not me, Jack. And at this point in time they should be WONDERFUL. I've been waving people off, but truth be told, it's a lot better here than many places. Roughly 70 inch base, most rocks are covered, some small trees that should be under snow are not yet, making treed areas tighter, and the snow in those areas has been pounded. Weather forecast this coming week is in the 40's, so no hope for a pow day any time soon. But if groomers are your thing, then you'll be thrilled with what's here. Nice consistent surfaces.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

sibhusky, Thanks for the update. 

 

I'm leaning towards Copper or Snowmass now. We are very near Dulles Airport, outside DC, but a lot of the best deals are out of BWI, which for us is a bit of a pain to get to. DCA is a good option for Denver a lot of times, $275 or so for direct flight, so that makes a big difference. We could fly direct, rent a car and drive to Snowmass or Copper.

 

Copper lift tix for 5 days are $360, Aspen $500. 

 

I haven't done much lodging research, we like to stay in condos that have a little kitchen, but I'm guessing Copper will be less $$$ for lodging. 

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by eggraid101 View Post
 

sibhusky, Thanks for the update. 

 

I'm leaning towards Copper or Snowmass now. We are very near Dulles Airport, outside DC, but a lot of the best deals are out of BWI, which for us is a bit of a pain to get to. DCA is a good option for Denver a lot of times, $275 or so for direct flight, so that makes a big difference. We could fly direct, rent a car and drive to Snowmass or Copper.

 

Copper lift tix for 5 days are $360, Aspen $500. 

 

I haven't done much lodging research, we like to stay in condos that have a little kitchen, but I'm guessing Copper will be less $$$ for lodging. 

 

Southwest out of IAD can have really good deals. I got under $300 to Denver when I booked a couple of months ago.

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by eggraid101 View Post
 
We are very near Dulles Airport, outside DC,

 

 

Jackson Hole has a Saturday direct out of IAD if your a little flexible.  Can't get much easier than that and Targhee's just over the pass.

 

http://www.jacksonhole.com/by-air.html

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Shredhead, thanks for pointing that out...I think I'm going to stick to our dates for this trip, but will keep that in mind for next time when planning.

 

We used to fly out of Dulles every time, but DCA is so much easier to get into, out of, and through that it's almost become our favorite as long as we can avoid rush hour traffic.

post #13 of 16

Yeah, my son works on the hill and Reagan much easier.

post #14 of 16

For what it's worth, I'll throw out a different recommendation: Telluride. March is their snowiest month; conditions are awesome; and it shouldn't be crowded. It's also an incredible mountain for intermediates, with great terrain at different elevations and aspects so that you can pick where to ski depending on weather and conditions. If you liked the town at Breckenridge, you'll love Telluride, and it's absolutely beautiful. The downside is that it's a bit harder to get to (probably more like your experience at Schweitzer, although you won't need to drive to the mountain each day once you're there) and definitely not cheap. But it's not outrageously expensive either.

 

Compared to Copper: Telluride will probably end up costing several hundred bucks more. But I think it's a much better overall experience than the I-70 traffic, the charm-free village at Copper, and the lift lines.

 

Compared to Aspen: I don't know, I haven't been to Aspen (although I'd love to try it). Prices should probably be in similar ballparks. But Telluride is so beautiful, and March is so nice there, that'd be my recommendation :)

post #15 of 16

This thread interests me too. Have reservations for SLC that week but might make the drive up to Jackson/Targhee if if things don't look up. There's a decent chance the cottonwoods will see actual rain in January :(

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

After talking to my wife, we're leaning towards Aspen. The lack of crowds and the fact that it has always been high on my list of places to go are the main factors. We were in Crested Butte in the fall a few years ago, and loved it, and we picture Aspen being similar in a lot of ways. 

 

The expense is a concern, but we're planning to fly into Aspen and forgo renting a car so it looks like that might be close to a wash and then lift tix and lodging look to be more expensive than Copper but I'm willing to do that to have fewer crowds.

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