First time poster here. As everyone knows life in the PacNW has sucked moderately to greatly over the past few months if you're into snow. I live in Bend, OR, and while Bachelor has been relatively "lucky" this winter, I still want to try something different. I decided to take next week off and head east to ski somewhere new for 3 or 4 days within a 12-13 hour driving radius (sounds great now, I may regret the driving part later). I'll be going alone, so I couldn't care less about the apres-ski atmosphere - I just need somewhere to buy good local beer. That being said, I've narrowed down the options to SLC/Snowbird/Alta, Sun Valley or Big Sky, MT.
SLC (around 11 hours) would be the cheapest hotel-wise and have the most variety of places to go, but I know they've been warmer than even central Oregon has been. I went to PCMR and Deer Valley last February, so this time I'd probably do two days at Alta/Snowbird and a day at Snowbasin.
Sun Valley is closest (if 8 hours is close), yet expensive re: hotels and seems a bit glitzy for what I'm looking for. While Idaho has been cooler than Oregon, conditions appear to be hit or miss due to the lower elevation (albeit with lots of snowmaking) and it is smaller than the others.
Big Sky is the furthest at about 13 hours, but I could make a loop and head there via Spokane and return via Boise with only an hour difference in drive time. Obviously it's the largest, but is the extra time spent getting there worth it?
I'd consider myself a "blue diamond" skills wise, and honestly prefer long cruisers, but don't have any problems with The Cirque and Cows Face at Bachelor. I moved here from Washington DC a few years ago, so honestly I'm still happy with anything that has over a 2,000 vertical regardless of snow conditions. I've wavered dozens of times in the past few days about which route to take and where to go, and was wondering if anyone had any strong feelings either way