I'm planning a trip out west with my sons, age 19 and 22. They have only skied in the east. By eastern standards they are expert skiers, choosing to ski bumps and trees over groomers. They easily handle anything at Killington for example, including the Canyons, Bear Mountain and the associated glades. Not a lot of experience with cliffs etc. Tentative thought is to fly on a Sunday and return the following Saturday, skiing Monday - Friday. It will likely be either the 1st or 2nd week in January.
I'm thinking of flying either to Denver or SLC, as they seem to be the most cost effective options and there are a lot of ski areas within a reasonable drive. What I'm hoping for advice on is which area to head to, lodging advice, what areas to hit etc. Some of my concerns - It seems like it would be a little better to have lodging below 8000 ft or so to avoid altitude problems for the short trip. I'd like to have some challenging skiing - stuff that you don't see every day on the east coast (but doesn't kill us). Where is the best snow likely to be give current trends? It looks like Seattle and Crystal are near the epicenter of the current snow, but I'm not sure it's worth the extra time to get there, and there is really only the one resort that I am aware of in that immediate vicinity (the boys don't have passports).
I'm sure that there are a lot of deals out there, but the liftopia deals seem a lot more attractive for the Utah areas than for Colorado. Any thoughts on deals for just 5 days of skiing?
Finally - advice on skis? It looks like it will cost an extra $200 pp to bring our own skis with the baggage fees. I'm assuming that you can get high end rentals for less than the shipping costs. We would likely bring our own boots/ helmets etc. Any particularly great shops in either Denver or SLC to work with on this?
I appreciate any advice! Thanks -