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Skiing out west

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi,  I am looking for some resort advice.  I am planning a trip to the Western US next year with my family.  They have been skiing for about two years and mostly stay on greens and blues in the Eastern US.  Can anyone recommend any resorts that cater more to family and beginner skiers?  Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 14

I have much less experience than most on this site, but I was in a similar situation to yours and received a lot of help so I want to pay it forward.

 

My 7 year-old son and I just got back from a week in Telluride, Colorado. It was certainly one of the most beautiful places I have been, and the skiing could not have been better. I think we hit a lucky week -- there were mountains of fresh snow on our first two days, and by the end of the week it had packed out into good but not epic conditions. 

 

My impression was that Telluride suited us well (as perhaps moderate to advanced intermediates) but that much of the mountain was just beyond our level. By the end of the week we were happily skiing the single black diamonds without much difficulty, but we could not have taken on the heavily bumped or gladed trails. The best bits of Telluride, I think, are the double blacks and extreme trails. With that said, we really enjoyed what we could ski. I'm not sure if my wife, who is more of a cautious skier, would have had as much fun as we did.

 

The other piece to remember is that a blue in the Western US may sometimes be an easy black in the Eastern US. We normally ski in Vermont, and the double-blue runs at Telluride would definitely be black runs there.

 

If you're staying on Eastern greens and blues, I have heard that Aspen/Snowmass would be great choices. From experience, we had a wonderful time at Park City and Deer Valley when we were skiing at that level -- I would go there in a flash.

post #3 of 14

http://www.epicski.com/t/122287/does-it-make-any-sense-for-an-intermediate-new-england-groomer-skier-to-venture-somewhere-out-west

 

:duck:

 

Epic thread from a couple of years ago. The OP eventually got banned for off color comments that went over the line. Very entertaining read that frequently went off track in amusing ways. However, a ton great information was posted by a number of thoughtful members, and I can think of no better distillation of western ski resort information on these forums. Read through some of the longer posts and come back here with more specific criteria for what you might be seeking for your family. e.g.: low vs high budget. Diversions for non-skiers. Early vs late season. Night life, or not. Etc.


Edited by cosmoliu - 2/7/16 at 11:25am
post #4 of 14
Wow, that thread was.... just, wow.
post #5 of 14
post #6 of 14

^^^ Perhaps. But, it's limited to a discussion of a single resort and....it's not nearly as entertaining.

post #7 of 14
I took my kids to Big Sky for their first western trip. Plenty of easy green runs, ski in/ski out accommodations and a good ski school.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddaskier View Post
 

Hi,  I am looking for some resort advice.  I am planning a trip to the Western US next year with my family.  They have been skiing for about two years and mostly stay on greens and blues in the Eastern US.  Can anyone recommend any resorts that cater more to family and beginner skiers?  Thanks in advance.


Welcome to EpicSki!  Would help to know how old the kids are, assuming that's what you mean by "family."  Teens, tweens, or younger?  There are plenty of resorts that are great for families.  Depends a bit on what you prefer in terms of travel, high altitude adjustment (if live in the flatlands), and budget.  Also depends on dates.  For instance, Christmas holidays is quite different that a spring break trip.

 

Have you looked around in Family Skiing?  For instance, this thread has links to planning threads by parents.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/129632/tips-for-planning-family-ski-trips-from-flatlands-midwest-se-mid-atlantic-nj-nyc-ct-ri-ontario

post #9 of 14

One the best trip reports from last season was about a family with young boys who had a great time at Snowmass.  The ski schools at Snowmass and Buttermilk cater to kids in a variety of ways.  In general, the ski schools run by Aspen are very good.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/133555/snowmass-trip-report-family-with-young-kids-2-27-15-3-8-15

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

ty all

post #11 of 14

1) Telluride, CO

2) Grand Targhee, WY

3) Copper Mountain, CO

4) Aspen (Snowmass/Buttermilk/Aspen Highlands)

5) Breckenridge, CO

 

Telluride is far and away the best place for skiers who enjoy green runs because it has a whole area of the mountain (Lift 10) with wide open cruisers with a decent amount of vertical and little to no crowds.  I would recommend it highly over Snowmass and Deer Valley.  Snowmass has plenty of green terrain, but it tends to get busy as it is at the bottom of the mountain and lots of runs feed into the area.  Deer Valley is pretty disjointed and most of the green runs are of the traversing cat-track variety.  Telluride can give you green runs with 3,000 feet of vertical (Galloping Goose) and offers a nice progression into intermediate terrain all off of Lift 10 (Double Cabin, Sundance, Marmot, etc.).

 

Here is more detail as to why I would recommend Telluride: http://www.epicski.com/t/144529/telluride-for-beginners#post_1956103

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by aranpura View Post
 

My impression was that Telluride suited us well (as perhaps moderate to advanced intermediates) but that much of the mountain was just beyond our level. By the end of the week we were happily skiing the single black diamonds without much difficulty, but we could not have taken on the heavily bumped or gladed trails. The best bits of Telluride, I think, are the double blacks and extreme trails. With that said, we really enjoyed what we could ski.

Good to hear about your experience, aranpura! To a large extent, I think these comments characterize an intermediate skier's experience out west. At almost every sizable resort, there's terrain that's beyond the ability level of an advanced intermediate skier--and there are locals on chairlifts and posters on EpicSki who rave about how fantastic that terrain is. You brought up Deer Valley and Park City (good mountains for intermediates, I agree), but there's also terrain there that I (and, based on what you've said, probably you) can't handle. And looking through posts on EpicSki you'll see various people talking about how they're the best parts of those mountains. The alternative--going somewhere like Brian Head where you can handle everything on the mountain--doesn't necessarily make for a better overall experience in my book.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio
 

Telluride is far and away the best place for skiers who enjoy green runs because it has a whole area of the mountain (Lift 10) with wide open cruisers with a decent amount of vertical and little to no crowds.  I would recommend it highly over Snowmass and Deer Valley.  Snowmass has plenty of green terrain, but it tends to get busy as it is at the bottom of the mountain and lots of runs feed into the area.  Deer Valley is pretty disjointed and most of the green runs are of the traversing cat-track variety.  Telluride can give you green runs with 3,000 feet of vertical (Galloping Goose) and offers a nice progression into intermediate terrain all off of Lift 10 (Double Cabin, Sundance, Marmot, etc.).

 

Here is more detail as to why I would recommend Telluride: http://www.epicski.com/t/144529/telluride-for-beginners#post_1956103

For what it's worth, I concur 100% with Lofcaudio's comments. And I'll emphasize the uncrowded aspect... the ability to focus on the run rather than on avoiding collision can make a huge difference when you're still building confidence.

post #13 of 14
Agree with uncrowded --Telluride was astonishingly uncrowded and it meant that we could do practice drills, or race ahead, or ski lazily around in a way we could never do back East. It also meant that we could take on more challenging runs -- black diamonds, glades, moguls -- more slowly, without worrying about blocking someone else or being run over. We were able to ski much more terrain because of the lack of crowds.
post #14 of 14

Copper Mountain is a great place for families like yours.  You can ski great green runs from the top to the base and it has excellent intermediate runs as well.

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