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Dream Holiday to US

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi, we are two families with 6 kids between us ranging from 18 - 5.  We've skied regularly in Europe but between us range in ability from advanced  to mainly intermediate and the little one would be in ski school.

 

We are coming to the US in December 2015 for what we're calling our dream ski holiday.  It is likely to be the only time we come this far and we're planning to do this over 2 weeks.  We're leaning towards Breckenridge seeing as there are lots of options for days when we don't want to ski.

 

So... my questions are;

1) Best resort of us?  Is Breckenridge the right choice

2) How bad is the altitude sickness going up over 2500m?

3) If we stop off in Denver, will this acclimatise us sufficiently or should we not bother?

4) Can anyone recommend hotels that are ski in/out or within 100m of the lifts and have enough to keep everyone happy?

5) What are the restaurants like including on the mountain?

post #2 of 7

Cool, sounds like fun! Are you locked into December? Snow conditions in the U.S. tend to be better later (February or March, depending on lots of things), and most resorts are at their most crowded during the second half of December. Answers to some of your questions, at least...

 

1) Best resort of us?  Is Breckenridge the right choice

Probably a good choice assuming you're locked into December--elevation and snowmaking capability are both pretty important in December. It'll be packed starting December 18 or 19, and lots of the advanced skiers here complain about it, so you risk getting bored on the mountain... but your lift tickets are valid at plenty of other nearby resorts so you can get some variety. 

 

2) How bad is the altitude sickness going up over 2500m?

Expect at least some of the group to suffer a bit. The stress of transatlantic flying, sick people in the airports/planes, and a major time difference will all contribute to stress your bodies and immune systems. 

 

3) If we stop off in Denver, will this acclimatise us sufficiently or should we not bother?

It will help a bit. I'd recommend staying in Denver that first night so that anyone who's especially jet-lagged can get some rest as soon as possible. And there's plenty to do in Denver for anyone who's feeling better. Don't expect it to completely prevent altitude sickness, but it will probably make the first day on the mountain better overall.

 

post #3 of 7
You should also consider Snowmass/Aspen.
Flying right into ASE will cost a little more, but you won't need to rent two cars.
Most full service condo complexes will pick you up at the airport and they have a very good, free transportation system.
Most places are ski in/out, which is really nice with kids and the ski school is great.
post #4 of 7

If this is a Christmas holiday trip, Breckenridge is not a good choice.  It's the most densely crowded destination resort in the western U.S.   April is probably the best month there; the OP should consider it for a spring break trip. 

post #5 of 7

Uhm the UK doesn't have spring breaks for schools .... They have one week for half term (Feb) and about two weeks or a bit longer depending on the school for Easter.  And I presume the OP is planning to come in the school vacation.

OP - I would also consider Utah if I were you.  Salt Lake City is a very easy transfer to the ski places.  Cottonwood Canyons have snow as reliably as Breckenridge or better, but the altitude is not as challenging.  It suits wide range of skiers and abilities.  

Or - holiday of a lifetime and lots to do on offskiing days - Jackson Hole.  Jackson is a great little western town, skiing is super, lots of non ski day possibilities.  

post #6 of 7

Breck is too high IMHO I was OK staying at Val Thorens but that last 1500 ft at Breck did me in. With the numbers you have it is likely that one or more will get altitude sickness.

 

Snowmass is an excellent suggestion and slopeside condos/hotels are available but there is a good ski bus service from the outlying accommodation. Free ski bus to Buttermilk Highlands and Aspen.

 

If this is a once in a lifetime deal with money not be tight consider Beaver Creek which does not get anywhere near as busy as Breck or Vail and stay here. Hyatt Condominiums at Park Hyatt. The condos are inside the hotel and are ski in ski out. Since you are there for two weeks consider Vail for one and Beavercreek for the week with Christmas New Year in it. Look to see if you can fly into Eagle which will save you a bit on transfer times. Try to get a direct flight to Denver.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Uhm the UK doesn't have spring breaks for schools .... They have one week for half term (Feb) and about two weeks or a bit longer depending on the school for Easter.  

Breckenridge is an excellent choice for the Easter break, which I probably should have said explicitly.  I would avoid it during the Christmas or February breaks for crowd issues.

 

Aspen/Snowmass, suggested by Shredhead, would be an outstanding choice for the February break.

 

Christmas in both the Alps and North America is early season so skiing can be limited if you commit in advance and the area you choose has a slow start.  With the UK school schedule, the February break (prime season nearly anywhere) should be first priority and Easter the second.  The number of areas with good skiing in April is limited, but the factors contributing to quality late season skiing, altitude and exposure, are fixed by area and thus predictable.  You can also wait until January/February to book April and know where the most snow is.  April is also far cheaper than Christmas at any ski resort.

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