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Where to go first week in April, or Whistler.

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

The annual boardering trip I'm planning is coming up, and with the wifes spring break being the first week in april, I'm looking at where to go.

 

Places I've been:

2015- Vail

2014 Vail/Beaver Creek/Breckenridge (good year :-) )

2013 Vail

2012 - Steamboat?

2011 - whistler

2010 - steamboat

2009 - Beaver Creek

 

I think that covers it all.

 

Initial airfare to Seattle was a bunch, but with some miles I can get from MKE and back for ~300 bucks, + car rental.

 

Denver - I'd probably drive this year,  gas being cheap. and going to colordao I have to spend a night at a lower elevation (aka denver) before going higher for my wife to not have headaches.

 

Back to story,

 

So first thought was CO resort, I'm a snowboarder so WP is out from what I've read, steamboat its really late, and wife isnt that big a fan.

 

Vail I like, because I normal take lessons, and there 3 day pack is a good deal.

 

I was thinking of Telluride but I'm pretty sure they close that weekend.

 

So then possibly Aspen/snowmass area for something new.

 

Or Keystone since I hear they have good blues.

 

Wife liked Whistler and theres stuff around we could go see that we missed last time.

 

----------

 

What I'm looking for, good blues to progress to blacks, some easy trees to get better on, and a decent area for after riding/hanging out.

 

Dont know if it would be too late for Whistler...

post #2 of 24
Quote = opfreak:
Don't know if it would be too late for Whistler...

No it wouldn't, but why not consider Mammoth or Bachelor, both very reliable in April and having big years.

post #3 of 24
Mammoth spring skiing can't be beat IMO....
worth a look bro
post #4 of 24

My preferred time for Whistler is early to mid April. At that time of year it is not crowded, everything is on sale-30-50% off in addition to the weak CDN dollar currently worth about  69 cents US.

 

While you can get rain or snow at any time of year, there is a greater chance of sunshine in April.

 

Last April I got a day of pretty nice ankle to boot top powder followed by a rain day (I went shopping and didn't ski), followed by another pow day.Thumbs Up

 

My other preferred Canadian Spring skiing spot is Banff. Much milder temps than mid winter when cold snaps can be brutal and last for weeks. IMO the Banff scenery can't be beat.

post #5 of 24
Quote = DanoT:
While you can get rain or snow at any time of year, there is a greater chance of sunshine in April.

Seattle meteorologist Larry Schick and I had an interesting conversation yesterday.  The high snow level intense atmospheric river rain events in the PNW are more common in the first half of the season and gradually decrease thereafter.  They are quite rare in March/April.  The theory is that they are driven by warm ocean temperatures, and by March the NE Pacific has nearly always cooled off.

 

Anecdotally I had noticed the same pattern here in California.  There were major AR events with snow levels 9,000+ feet during President's Week in both 1980 and 1986, but in my 40 years of skiing I do not recall such events in March and April.  There have been later monster storms, notably the late March/early April week that resulted in the Alpine Meadows avalanche in 1982, but those storms have had snow levels below the base of the Sierra ski areas.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 2/7/16 at 1:04pm
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

No it wouldn't, but why not consider Mammoth or Bachelor, both very reliable in April and having big years.

how are those areas for a wife that may or may not ski?

 

it looks like flights might be the same so its worth looking into

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by opfreak View Post

how are those areas for a wife that may or may not ski?

it looks like flights might be the same so its worth looking into

Whistler is enormously better than either of the other two for a non-skier. Mammoth and Bachelor don't have anywhere near the same level of shopping, restaurants, etc as Whistler.

Bob
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpratt View Post


Whistler is enormously better than either of the other two for a non-skier. Mammoth and Bachelor don't have anywhere near the same level of shopping, restaurants, etc as Whistler.

Bob

 

Thanks, I was getting that by doing some research after the suggestions.

 

I'm was more worried about the weather for Whistler, we were thinking of going last year. But last year seemed like a bad weather year for whistler so I went to Vail instead.

 

I also wasnt paying attention much to the USD vs the Canadian dollar this year, Whistler seems like a bargain this year, so I'm leaning that way unless the weather crashes. 

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpratt View Post


Whistler is enormously better than either of the other two for a non-skier. Mammoth and Bachelor don't have anywhere near the same level of shopping, restaurants, etc as Whistler.

Bob

I didn't read that the wife was a non-skier.  Both Mammoth and Bachelor are much better mountains for beginners and casual skiers than Whistler.  But yes, if she doesn't ski at all Whistler is better.

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

I didn't read that the wife was a non-skier.  Both Mammoth and Bachelor are much better mountains for beginners and casual skiers than Whistler.  But yes, if she doesn't ski at all Whistler is better.

 

My wife used to snowboard, hasnt for the past few years.

 

She made a hint she might want to try skiing now... but she's not pushing it.

 

I'm interested in why Mammoth and Bachelor are better for beginners? 

 

1st time to a big mountain we went to Beaver creek, and she liked the greens on top, but I think it also had alot to do with an Australian instructor. 

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by opfreak View Post
 

Denver - I'd probably drive this year,  gas being cheap. and going to colordao I have to spend a night at a lower elevation (aka denver) before going higher for my wife to not have headaches.

 

So first thought was CO resort, I'm a snowboarder so WP is out from what I've read, steamboat its really late, and wife isnt that big a fan.

 

What I'm looking for, good blues to progress to blacks, some easy trees to get better on

I wouldn't rule out Winter Park. As a (Level 8??) snowboarder I've found lots of good terrain there. It's not all bumps, everywhere. And I can't remember any of those unfortunate flats/traverses (unlike Vail). I was there with a lower-intermediate snowboarder who also enjoyed it a lot.

post #12 of 24

Used to be we could cross into Canada with just our driver's licenses, however I believe now we need a passport.  Is that correct?  My entire family has expired passports and I don't think we can get them renewed in time for a trip first week in April.

post #13 of 24
My experience has been you have time. Barely. But I'd ask them. I think there's a passport card you can get as well that works between here and Canada.
post #14 of 24

passports required both ways at Canadian/US border.

A Nexus card is better but you need a passport to apply for it.

I am always surprised at high percentage of Americans who have never had passports these days you can't travel anywhere without one. 

post #15 of 24
Non skiing wife? Aspen.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
"I'm interested in why Mammoth and Bachelor are better for beginners? "

Because Whistler is overall a more advanced mountain plus most of the beginner terrain is down low where the snow in April will likely be slop.

Bachelors base is over 6,000 and Mammoth has lowest point 8,000 and Main Lodge at 8,900.

Overall in the OP's situation I would pick Bachelor as it's less busy than Mammoth and has a ton of low intermediate terrain. Assuming the wife actually wants to ski of course.

Copper in Colorado would be another good choice. It has a lot of easy terrain segregated on its west side, plus base elevation 9,600 and mostly north exposure are ideal for April.

While high altitude is a big plus in April I note the wife's altitude sensitivity. Definitely get her a Diamox prescription if you go to Copper or maybe Mammoth.
Edited by Tony Crocker - 2/12/16 at 6:37pm
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

"I'm interested in why Mammoth and Bachelor are better for beginners? "

Because Whistler is overall a more advanced mountain plus most of the beginner terrain is down low where the snow in April will likely be slop.

Bachelors base is over 6,000 and Mammoth has lowest point 8,000 and Main Lodge at 8,900.

Overall in the OP's situation I would pick Bachelor as it's less busy than Mammoth and has a ton of low intermediate terrain. Assuming the wife actually wants to ski of course.

Copper in Colorsdo would be another good choice. It has a lot of easy terrain segregated on its west side, plus base elevation 9,600 and mostly north exposure are ideal for April.

While high altitude is a big plus in April I note the wife's altitude sensitivity. Definitely get her a Diamox prescription if you go to Coppet or maybe Mammoth.
 
Thanks for all your help. Have a ton of research to do this year :-). I enjoy having options. 
post #18 of 24

Me and my family are battling a similar conundrum.  About half my family are beginners (likely to do private lessons) and half are intermediate.  We're in Seattle and I was leaning Whistler -- but the comment about the trails lower down being slop concern me -- if that's what half my family will get, I'm not sure that's a grand idea.

 

I was considering Sun Valley -- but the direct flights from Seattle go away March 29 -- making it a bit more of a hassle to get there.  So started nosing around.  Other ideas were Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breck and Squaw Valley from various people.  We're not super hardcore -- so we'll be happy with snow-you-can-ski-on and preferably not getting rained on.

 

OP - where'd you wind up picking at this point?

 

Note that we do Bachelor in February and love it there.  Great mountain for our varied skill levels and a great blue/green mountain for beginner-to-intermediate skiers and snowboarders in my opinion.

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tleg View Post
 

Me and my family are battling a similar conundrum.  About half my family are beginners (likely to do private lessons) and half are intermediate.  We're in Seattle and I was leaning Whistler -- but the comment about the trails lower down being slop concern me -- if that's what half my family will get, I'm not sure that's a grand idea.

 

I was considering Sun Valley -- but the direct flights from Seattle go away March 29 -- making it a bit more of a hassle to get there.  So started nosing around.  Other ideas were Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breck and Squaw Valley from various people.  We're not super hardcore -- so we'll be happy with snow-you-can-ski-on and preferably not getting rained on.

 

OP - where'd you wind up picking at this point?

 

Note that we do Bachelor in February and love it there.  Great mountain for our varied skill levels and a great blue/green mountain for beginner-to-intermediate skiers and snowboarders in my opinion.

 

I'm still leaning towards whistler, wife hasn't shown interest in skiing/riding this year yet. But liked the whistler area when we went last time. I have a minor, but annoying toe injury right now, so I'm going to test my foot out this next week on my local tiny hill then pull the trigger.

 

If the dollar wasn't so strong I'd probably go to the aspen area, haven't been there yet, and they also have some good deals out there.

 

If we do go to whistler, we'd probably spend or take a day trip to Vancouver to check it out, we didn't do that last time and I know its something she'd enjoy.

post #20 of 24

We're also thinking strongly of Whistler.  I'm not excited by the potential roll of the dice the weather represents, but I like the idea of driving up from Seattle and controlling our destiny a little more (and having our skis and boots).  I poked around Aspen, Alta and various Summit County, Colorado locations in addition to Sun Valley.  In the case of Aspen, I couldn't find something to get me there from Seattle for less than $1,000 a head (!!) and I liked Alta's proximity to SLC -- but worried that the relatively constrained food choices in Alta could get a bit rough for my family for a more extended stay (so I think I might want to try Alta as a long weekend some time). I ultimately shied away from Colorado due to the relative hassle (compared to Whistler) of getting there.  Next up -- time to find a place to board the dogs. :)  

 

Though we love Bachelor, I think the instructors we like there will have moved on for the season in April so we have less of a pull to return there.

post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 

Looks like I got my dates all wrong for spring break this year. ;-(. Turns out spring break is right after Easter. So Whistler, and southern CA are out. The airfare is just out of range for this week, more then double from a week after.

 

That said,I do have Friday of of work, Denver is a days drive, and gas is cheap, and Teluride is still going to be open. not having to rent a car, will pay for gas there and back.

 

So going to look at who has the best snow in CO in the last week of March, with a strong preference to Teluride or aspen since we haven't been there.

 

Vail makes a strong case for the 3 day lesson package, and IMHO very strong instructors.  

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by opfreak View Post
 

Looks like I got my dates all wrong for spring break this year. ;-(. Turns out spring break is right after Easter. So Whistler, and southern CA are out. The airfare is just out of range for this week, more then double from a week after.

 

That said,I do have Friday of of work, Denver is a days drive, and gas is cheap, and Teluride is still going to be open. not having to rent a car, will pay for gas there and back.

 

So going to look at who has the best snow in CO in the last week of March, with a strong preference to Teluride or aspen since we haven't been there.

 

Vail makes a strong case for the 3 day lesson package, and IMHO very strong instructors.  

Whistler in 2nd and 3rd week of April in 2011, and 2012 ranged from fantastic, to very good respectively in the two years we were there. But this year, I would avoid it, Blackcomb is closing April 10 as per the website for poor snow conditions, only Whistler open. Now from a cost point of view, you cannot beat Sunshine Village but am not sure what current conditions are like. Aspen-Snowmass always a great place but check for closing dates. Taos is having a fantastic year as is Mammoth, and Tahoe area but last few weeks have suddenly been a ball of 'fire' i.e. warmth as per folks who were there.

post #23 of 24
Quote = dustyfog:
Blackcomb is closing April 10 as per the website for poor snow conditions, only Whistler open.

Incorrect, that was a stale reference from last season.  There is nothing wrong with W/B this season, having received 348 inches snowfall so far with a 106 inch base.

 

Scheduled operations are:

Whistler until April 17, last day of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival

Blackcomb until May 23.

post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 

I guess I needed to be more clear. Spring break I learned from my wife this year is from the 25th of march to April 3rd.

 

I originally was looking from the 1st of April to the 8th. My original dates airfare was going to be ~600 bucks total. plus I had some miles, so out of pocket was ~300 dollars. Going a week earlier, means that its ~600 dollars a PERSON.

 

I should have paid more attention to both her calendar, and why the flights were not 'insane' in price.

 

 

Like I originally posted, vail, while a long drive, is ~1200 miles away. we used to do this drive when gas was cheap, I've done it in a single day, and gas is cheap, so the rental car will cover gas, and the goal will be to reach Denver on day 1. Hang out there till the evening then drive into the mountains.

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