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December 6th-13th, Whistler, Banff or Breckenridge? [coming from UK] - Page 2

post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post
 

^^^ THIS.  Exactly.  Alta is very high, gets lots of snow almost every year, and is stunningly beautiful.  And Snowbird is attached, and it has some of the most playful skiing in N. America.

 

But golly Banff/Lake Louise looks gorgeous too...but I've never been there.  After that I'd look at Aspen, where even if the snow is weak the scenery is...well, that's why it's the priciest land in the U.S.   

Bit of a digression from the OPs question but...Alta and Aspen don't rank for me in terms of best scenery. Not like they are ugly, but there are many prettier places than those. Banff, on the other hand, is off the charts. And Whistler is beautiful. If this matters to the OP. 

post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 

Erm SLC is also relatively a PITA to get to from the UK compared to direct flights into Vancouver, Calgary & Denver.  This isn't a question from a domestic tourist with an open book on flights  Having a few hours layover in Minneapolis or Atlanta or Dallas or Chicago is a real hole in the head after a transatlantic flight and in the context of a week's vacation is a pretty big time suck.


The other way to think about a layover is a way to break up the flight to help get over jet lag quicker.  From where I live there are very few direct flights to any where more than a couple hours away.  So there is a layover whether I'm flying to the Rockies, west coast, Europe, or Asia.

 

OP is obviously trying to balance travel considerations with the fact that his group wants to ski all day long once they are settled in and is stuck with Dec. 6-13.  There are advantages and disadvantages to any choice that has to be made for an early season ski trip.  Bottom line is that any skiing is better than staying home. 

 

Posts by Thread Starter aka OP aka Opening Poster

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cornishpatriot View Post
 

Hi Guys,

 

It's my first post! I use the website a lot for research but actually didn't realise there was a forum.

 

Anyway I have a question.

 

Which resort would you go skiing to over the week 6-13th December? Dates cannot be changed.

 

We are British and ski blue-red-black in Europe.

 

We did actually go to Breckenridge/keystone/A-basin 2 years ago for 5 days at the beginning of November(around the 4th) and there were a few decent runs open, about 4 runs at each. I am guessing there would be twice as much open?

 

I suppose my question really is which location brecken/whistler/banff do you think would have the most runs open at that time of year? Or would you suggest somewhere completely different?

 

Kind regards,

 

CP

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornishpatriot View Post
 

Hey guys, firstly thank you for all the help and advice.

 

This is the situation at the moment. (I am in charge of organizing and my biggest fear is going somewhere without snow! lol)

 

Banff from the sound of it sounds like a lot of driving but we would drive own car so not to big an issue. My wife's parents who we are going with are the type of people who want to be first on last off ski people. So that means we are not bothered about Apres ski, just some nice places where to eat.

 

We are decent skiers so as long as there are some good intermediates we are not to fussed about blacks. We kind of enjoy long trails more.

 

Breckenridge is a slight problem because all flights to and from Denver to UK are connecting flights, not ideal, Also it seems to be more expensive than the other places are the moment, but there are so many different options, breck, a basin, Vail, etc.

 

Whistler flights are direct but the big put off point is the late opening time, 26th Nov. will there be many runs open  come the 6th December? For me I would love to try this place as loads of people say Vancouver is a beautiful city and I have this image in my head that because of the winter Olympics there must have been plenty of new machines to make man made snow.

 

The biggest fear is we go somewhere and there are either minimal runs or no runs at all.

 

Is there a site that tells me on average how many runs are open at that time of year?

 

I think what I am really trying to ask is which resort will have the most runs open?

 

I can hold off booking stuff until end of October but deals for Banff end 2nd nov and then whistler/brecken mid November.

 

 

 

Thanks people.

post #33 of 42

Hi, I can't add anything on the critical snow question, but they're three very different areas which I'd take into account.

 

Breckenridge is the most 'European' of any Nth American area, car not required and a great range of independent bars and restaurants.  Also plenty of options if you have a car - but you've been there.

 

Banff is a great town.  Buses work well, OK, it's a ride to LL, but in the context (great place to base yourself and good variety locally) it's not a problem.

 

Whistler is the one trick pony, no alternatives and all a little too corporate down the mountain for my liking.

 

I've had bad snow at them all, but I've also had bad snow at SLC (last season), Aspen (the year before) etc etc.

 

I will say that Whistler's 'bad snow' is the worst snow in the world, like sticky porridge!

post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 

Erm SLC is also relatively a PITA to get to from the UK compared to direct flights into Vancouver, Calgary & Denver.  This isn't a question from a domestic tourist with an open book on flights  Having a few hours layover in Minneapolis or Atlanta or Dallas or Chicago is a real hole in the head after a transatlantic flight and in the context of a week's vacation is a pretty big time suck.


That may be, but the OP is correct in his main fear:

Quote:

The biggest fear is we go somewhere and there are either minimal runs or no runs at all.

 

Is there a site that tells me on average how many runs are open at that time of year?

 

I think what I am really trying to ask is which resort will have the most runs open?

 

If that's true, they need to suck it up, live with a transfer to get to Salt Lake and be willing to do some serious driving if necessary once they get there.   The answer to the "average" question is Whistler.  But climate is the "average" and weather is what you get.  Since weather is extremely volatile, that's why you need to be as flexible as possible.  If you guess wrong anywhere that early in the season either minimal runs or no runs at all is what you'll get. Since you live in the UK, perhaps you remember what the French Alps looked like in that time frame last year, including high snowfall areas like Portes du Soleil.  Colorado in early December 2011 and 2012 wasn't much different.

 

Quote:
I can hold off booking stuff until end of October but deals for Banff end 2nd nov and then whistler/brecken mid November.

Totally marketing BS IMHO.  Of course they want you to book now, not having a clue whether there will be any snow on the ground. No ski resort lodging is even half full in that time frame unless they're hosting some special event like a World Cup race.  You will have no problem finding cheap lodging at the last minute.

post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

Quote:
I can hold off booking stuff until end of October but deals for Banff end 2nd nov and then whistler/brecken mid November.

Totally marketing BS IMHO.  Of course they want you to book now, not having a clue whether there will be any snow on the ground. No ski resort lodging is even half full in that time frame unless they're hosting some special event like a World Cup race.  You will have no problem finding cheap lodging at the last minute.

BTW, the Beaver Creek World Cup event is Dec 4-6. (Not that anyone was suggesting BC over any other CO areas that early) No Summit County lodging impact to speak of, only Vail/BC.

post #36 of 42

And the Ladies downhill is at Lake Louise December 4-6.

 

Mike

post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by H2OnSnow View Post
 

BTW, the Beaver Creek World Cup event is Dec 4-6. (Not that anyone was suggesting BC over any other CO areas that early) No Summit County lodging impact to speak of, only Vail/BC.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 

And the Ladies downhill is at Lake Louise December 4-6.

 

Mike

 

I doubt those will affect things too much, lodging wise. I was in Vail in February last year during part of the FIS World Championships (held at Beaver Creek, with the official ceremonies at Vail) last year, and even the weekend of the Women's downhill, things weren't very crowded in Vail. I heard from a friend in Avon that we met up with, that BC wasn't very crowded either, even during events.

post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

 

 

I doubt those will affect things too much, lodging wise. I was in Vail in February last year during part of the FIS World Championships (held at Beaver Creek, with the official ceremonies at Vail) last year, and even the weekend of the Women's downhill, things weren't very crowded in Vail. I heard from a friend in Avon that we met up with, that BC wasn't very crowded either, even during events.

Parking was a sh*tshow at BC because of the events but away from the race area you could ski straight onto lifts e.g. I did about a dozen Arrowhead laps on the last Saturday morning skiing straight on.  But it was mid Feb with decent snow coverage not just the runs they had blown for the races and commuter runs for people to get there.

post #39 of 42

That's because the hotels were full of fans like me, racers/coaches/media, etc not full of regular vacationers that would be skiing. As someone that has traveled to World Cup races (and was in BC for a week during the WC) I can tell you that it does indeed affect lodging. It's certainly not impossible (even the Olympics weren't impossible), but it takes a little more work and a little more money to get someplace.

 

Something I don't think anyone has mentioned is how bitterly cold it can be in Banff at that time. Everytime I watch the ladies race at Lake Louise in early December it seems like temps are below zero fahrenheit.

 

Quote:
 Breckenridge is the most 'European' of any Nth American area

Breck is not the only place that has a walkable town, no car needed (what about Telluride, Sun Valley, Whistler, Vail)--never would have thought of it as the most "European"..

post #40 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hey Guys,

 

Just wanted to say thank you for all the help and information!

 

I actually decided that if we are flying all that way we fancy trying somewhere new so we booked Whistler at the beginning of November!

 

Flying out Sunday morning 6.30am UK time, Going via Germany though as it is the only flight from the UK that lands in the morning in Vancouver 11.30am! 12hr journey (grrr)

 

Anyway, the weather looks pretty good there and quite a bit of snow so relieved.

 

Heart is pumping just thinking about it! 

 

Anyway will probably be back on here again sometime in Feb asking about best location in Austria! haha.

 

Thanks again for all the information.

 

regards,

 

Joe

post #41 of 42

Lot's of moisture lined up.   Just pray the freezing level comes down a little.

Bring the best Gore Tex you've got and maybe some extra goggles & gloves.

You might want to pop for a guide from Extremely Canadian.

It's really hard to navagate when your in the soup.

post #42 of 42

Western Canada had by far the most snow in November, so the OP's call was fortunate.  Weather is always a crapshoot at Whistler but there will be adequate snow on the ground, and that's what's important in early season.

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