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Suggestions please!! 2017 trip. - Page 3

post #61 of 89

Whistler is a great option.  I have only been there for spring skiing (April 1 or later).  So I have only really skied the alpine areas and nothing at the base.  I have heard anecdotes of occasional extreme cold in winter (Jan/Feb), but I have not experienced this first hand.  They have a lot of groomed blue terrain.  Not as much green.

 

It is a bit of a hike to get there compared to Utah or Colorado. There are about 3 more hours in the air and additional time in the airport dealing with customs (so about +4 hrs traveling vs. a Colorado destination).  Compounded with the time change, your options getting back east are a bit limited.  It is worth it, as long as you are skiing at least 3 days.  The drive from Vancouver is spectacular.  Make sure to do it in daylight for the views.

 

Utah is a great option if you want to minimize overall travel time.  Drive from SLC to Park City area is only about 90 minutes.  Deer Valley is a great option for a blue/green skier.  It is a bit more expensive vs other resorts in the area, but the resort amenities, trail layout, grooming, and food are top notch. I have had good experiences with the Deer Valley ski school.

 

Canyons is also good, but has a lot of 'cat tracks'.  I have not been impressed with snow quality or trail layout at Park City.  I hear Alta and Snowbird are good, but I don't think they have much terrain for blue/green skiers.  I have not been to Alta or Snowbird.

post #62 of 89

First, at Whistler, it's about 10 minutes (if you walk slowly) from immigration to the rental car fleet, so I'm not sure where more than that comes from (I did it 6 times this winter).  Also, if you prefer, take one of the buses (sit on the left side going up), and see some of the best scenery in North America, as you don't need a car when in the village. Then you have 8200 acres of the best terrain in NA, with as much intermediate terrain as large as many of the areas already listed in total.

 

Lines are rarely an issue due to size, although this year, due to great conditions and the CHEAP Kanukistan dollar, it was often busier than normal.

 

In Utah, probably the Park City area is best, but you should plan to get a day in at Snowbasin as well as it's just a wonderful area. Avoid Powder Mountain unless incipient boredom is your preference.

 

I can walk faster than 90 minutes from SLC to PC, with my best time leaving from SLC and being in the Canyons parking lot booting up in 45 minutes - that's how close the areas are to the airport. With Canyons and Park City now one 7,000+ acre area, it would be hard to go wrong as the majority of the area is intermediate. You MUST spend a day at Snowbird just to see the gnar of Utah. There's enough on the frontside and Baldy lift to keep you entertained for a day, but the views and awe of the area is the best in the area. 

post #63 of 89

Wonder if that's why most of the discussion in this thread is about flying to Zurich, not Geneva.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/146369/am-i-nuts-to-book-airfare-to-zermatt-zurich-now-for-mid-january-2017

post #64 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post


In Utah, probably the Park City area is best, but you should plan to get a day in at Snowbasin as well as it's just a wonderful area. Avoid Powder Mountain unless incipient boredom is your preference.

I can walk faster than 90 minutes from SLC to PC, with my best time leaving from SLC and being in the Canyons parking lot booting up in 45 minutes - that's how close the areas are to the airport.

Wait. You can walk to Park City in 90 minutes? I must be missing something here. Google Maps is telling me it's 37 miles.
post #65 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexSkier View Post
 

[snip]

 

Canyons is also good, but has a lot of 'cat tracks'.  I have not been impressed with snow quality or trail layout at Park City.  I hear Alta and Snowbird are good, but I don't think they have much terrain for blue/green skiers.  I have not been to Alta or Snowbird.

There are many reasons why Alta/Snowbird are a destination on many people's bucket lists.  I started skiing Alta as an intermediate a long time ago.  It remains my favorite place out west even after going to quite a few places out west in recent years.  Started my daughter at Alta when she was 7 and ready for blues there.  She was hooked after Day 1.  Have friends who learned to ski as adults who are cautious intermediates who love Alta.  There is plenty of green/blue terrain at Alta that is great fun.  Mid-season it's a good place to learn to ski powder because there are many places next to groomers to try a powder turn or two.

 

Snowbird also has green/blue terrain.  But the beginner area off Baby Thunder is relatively small and there aren't any long easy greens.  However, an adventurous intermediate can have a good time at Snowbird.  Especially if they take the free mountain tour to start with and learn how to navigate between the different sections of the resort.

post #66 of 89

@RC1090nc, what runs did you enjoy at Telluride?  Since I am very familiar with that resort and have been to most of the big spots in North America (except for Whistler), I can get a good idea of your skill level based upon what you liked at Telluride (which in my opinion is the absolute best resort here in the States for beginners and lower intermediates).  If you decide to stay stateside and want something different than Colorado, Snowbasin is my favorite overall resort as far as ski terrain goes (lacks in nearby lodging though).  Don't listen to @kbat11700, he's greedy and wants that wonderful mountain all to himself.

 

Other great options are Aspen, Grand Targhee, Whitefish, and Big Sky.  All will have plenty of your desired terrain.  Of course, I dream every day of skiing the Alps as I have never been and hope to have the chance before I die.

post #67 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post


Wait. You can walk to Park City in 90 minutes? I must be missing something here. Google Maps is telling me it's 37 miles.


He was being sarcastic as previous post said it was a 90 min drive from SLC to PC, where it's more like 45 minutes, traffic and weather cooperative.


Edited by whumpf - 5/10/16 at 7:53am
post #68 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post

@RC1090nc
, what runs did you enjoy at Telluride?  Since I am very familiar with that resort and have been to most of the big spots in North America (except for Whistler), I can get a good idea of your skill level based upon what you liked at Telluride (which in my opinion is the absolute best resort here in the States for beginners and lower intermediates).  If you decide to stay stateside and want something different than Colorado, Snowbasin is my favorite overall resort as far as ski terrain goes (lacks in nearby lodging though).  Don't listen to @kbat11700
, he's greedy and wants that wonderful mountain all to himself.

Other great options are Aspen, Grand Targhee, Whitefish, and Big Sky.  All will have plenty of your desired terrain.  Of course, I dream every day of skiing the Alps as I have never been and hope to have the chance before I die.

Shhh wink.gif

On a more serious note, snowbasin is a wonderful mountain thats overshadowed by its southern neighbors in the cottonwood canyons so we tend to avoid the crowds.

Grand Targhee/Jackson hole would be fun. Maybe 1 day at JH to say you did it and the rest at GT. I still cast my vote for Zugspitze Germany though if you want to go international.
post #69 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Wonder if that's why most of the discussion in this thread is about flying to Zurich, not Geneva.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/146369/am-i-nuts-to-book-airfare-to-zermatt-zurich-now-for-mid-january-2017

 

Well, there are two reasons. First, Geneva really is a madhouse on the weekends (as @oldgoat mentioned) because of the number of flights from within Europe. Second, Zurich tends to have more transatlantic flights.

post #70 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by whumpf View Post
 


He was being sarcastic as previous post said it was a 90 min drive from SLC to PC, where it's more like 45 minutes, traffic and weather cooperative.

 

I meant < 90 minutes from airport to accommodations.  Usually I am renting a car or riding a shared shuttle, so it is a bit over 1 hour to get where I want to be from the airport.

post #71 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post


Put us in the "non-most" category. Five minutes from the gate to the baggage retrieval. Five minutes to the car, with your grandmom using a walker. Even the rental cars. 15 minutes to town. If you stay up at the ski area, add another fifteen minutes.

 & direct flights into Kalispell from how many places?  There is a reason smaller airports are easier to transit.

post #72 of 89
Had a great time in the Dolomites about 8-10 years ago, 8 day ticket for 479 lifts $ 300.00. Food was amazing, the scenery spectacular, and little trouble communicating. Flew into Milan train to Florence for sightseeing, luggage arrived as we left by train for Selva in the Val Gardens. Verona another sightseeing town intact Roman Collesium, great wine.
Skiing is intermediate overall which was why we went there, wife solid intermediate. Getting away from the Sella Ronda loop provides some quiter skiing, can be quite busy on the loop. Again amazing food on the whole trip.
post #73 of 89

NEW ZEALAND IS INCREDIBLE IF 15-18000 FT PEAKS AND THE VIEWS FROM THEM ARE SOMETHING YOU WANT TO SEE

post #74 of 89
No need to scream.
post #75 of 89
Possibly they've improved the Geneva airport shuttle services to the mountains situation. They have their own little lecturns now so each is separate. It's still small. I didn't bring skis, but did arivve sat morning and was in the airport for probably two hours, ate breakfast, bought a sim card, and secured lodging in Chamonix. It's hardly the Hole of Calcutta or La Guardia. I just don't get the hysteria.

The fact is the trains come right in there and you could just get on one and go to Verbier. There are van shuttles for around 35 euros for the 1 1/2 hr trip to Chamonix or less than 50 ch francs to Verbier. All that is pretty good in my book. The tourist information counter is excellent and they speak multiple languages.

Avoiding going to Geneva, Switzerland because of a bit of chaos at the shuttle area is ridiculous. Landing at JFK shows you how bad our airport experience is for the international traveler.
post #76 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddsski View Post
 

NEW ZEALAND IS INCREDIBLE IF 15-18000 FT PEAKS

 

There is one mountain over 12,000 feet in New Zealand, Mt Cook at 12,218'.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mountains_of_New_Zealand_by_height

post #77 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Possibly they've improved the Geneva airport shuttle services to the mountains situation. They have their own little lecturns now so each is separate. It's still small. I didn't bring skis, but did arivve sat morning and was in the airport for probably two hours, ate breakfast, bought a sim card, and secured lodging in Chamonix. It's hardly the Hole of Calcutta or La Guardia. I just don't get the hysteria.

The fact is the trains come right in there and you could just get on one and go to Verbier. There are van shuttles for around 35 euros for the 1 1/2 hr trip to Chamonix or less than 50 ch francs to Verbier. All that is pretty good in my book. The tourist information counter is excellent and they speak multiple languages.

Avoiding going to Geneva, Switzerland because of a bit of chaos at the shuttle area is ridiculous. Landing at JFK shows you how bad our airport experience is for the international traveler.

Hysteria? Really? I found the whole experience amusing, although by the time I got to the shuttle with a double ski bag my arm was numb and paralyzed from the strap over my shoulder. (I really need to get a wheeled bag). And who said anything about avoiding Geneva? If I ever make it back to Cham or go to Verbier I will happily fly into Geneva. Just a little hyperbole in response to the guy who complained about the hike in Vancouver.  I much prefer small airports like Geneva, and the shuttle options to Cham are about as cheap and quick as getting to any ski area from the airport (just don't get the Russian driver).

 

Speaking of which, didn't there use to be a direct public bus from the SLC airport to AltaBird? Haven't been there in a while but we had to take a shuttle. (I know there are buses from SLC proper and from the airport into SLC).

 

Now the pain in the butt is the ride from Jackson Airport to the ski resort. Very short trip as the crow flies across the valley--you can see it easily from the airport-- but the road goes south into town and then back north to the resort. Takes four times as long as it should. I'm sure there's a good reason.It does seem weird to me to not have to drive uphill from the airport to the skiing, but then in Telluride the ride is downhill, if I recall correctly. (When we were there many years ago the televangelist Jimmy Swaggart's private jet was parked at the airport, and I don't recall there being any revival meetings going on. Plenty of sinners to save in Telluride, though.) Part of the fun of a ski strip is landing someplace like SLC or Reno or Vancouver where it's bone dryor raining or maybe a little dirty old snow on the ground and driving up, watching the snow appear and get deeper and deeper and fresher and fresher.

post #78 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Possibly they've improved the Geneva airport shuttle services to the mountains situation. They have their own little lecturns now so each is separate. It's still small. I didn't bring skis, but did arivve sat morning and was in the airport for probably two hours, ate breakfast, bought a sim card, and secured lodging in Chamonix. It's hardly the Hole of Calcutta or La Guardia. I just don't get the hysteria.

The fact is the trains come right in there and you could just get on one and go to Verbier. There are van shuttles for around 35 euros for the 1 1/2 hr trip to Chamonix or less than 50 ch francs to Verbier. All that is pretty good in my book. The tourist information counter is excellent and they speak multiple languages.

Avoiding going to Geneva, Switzerland because of a bit of chaos at the shuttle area is ridiculous. Landing at JFK shows you how bad our airport experience is for the international traveler.

 

It's not that people should avoid Geneva. It's just that Zurich is quieter and has more transatlantic flights.

 

For me, the big problem with flying to/from Geneva is the crowd at the check-in desks for my return flights. EasyJet offers tons of flights from Geneva to various airports in Britain, but they don't have enough check-in desks available to handle the number of passengers they get on a typical Saturday or Sunday. So, I often have to stand in line for an hour or more just to drop off my bags. Then, I have to join the crowds at the security checks, which are also a little too small for the number of passengers they have passing through on the weekends, so I usually have to wait much longer than I do at pretty much any other airport that I fly out of.

 

I'll still fly to Geneva when I have the urge to ski one of the areas around there. But, the crowds at the airport are one of the reasons I choose to ski more often in eastern Switzerland and western Austria.

post #79 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

Now the pain in the butt is the ride from Jackson Airport to the ski resort. Very short trip as the crow flies across the valley--you can see it easily from the airport-- but the road goes south into town and then back north to the resort. Takes four times as long as it should. I'm sure there's a good reason.

 

Probably because the Snake River runs through the valley and there's no bridge until you get to Jackson. And if you're staying in Jackson and not Teton Village it's a straight shot, about 15 - 20 min, then another 30 min to Teton Village. Certainly easier than a lot of places.

 

IMO, the biggest PIA is getting from DEN to any of the resorts west of Denver. Vail, Beaver Creek, Aspen etc. 2-4 hours, if passes aren't closed by storms. Once took a shuttle from DEN - Aspen, storming when we left DEN, took over 5 hours to get to Aspen. Worse trip ever. But we ended up in Aspen so not all bad. 

 

 

Quote:

 It does seem weird to me to not have to drive uphill from the airport to the skiing, but then in Telluride the ride is downhill, if I recall correctly.

 

Montrose is at 5,769, Telluride is at 8,750.

post #80 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by whumpf View Post
 

 

Montrose is at 5,769, Telluride is at 8,750.

 

Pretty sure that oldgoat was referring to the airport that sits up on the bluff just outside of Telluride as opposed to the Montrose airport.  I don't know if the Telluride airport is even used anymore.

post #81 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post
 

 

Pretty sure that oldgoat was referring to the airport that sits up on the bluff just outside of Telluride as opposed to the Montrose airport.  I don't know if the Telluride airport is even used anymore.


Wasn't thinking of that. I'm pretty sure that airport is only used for general aviation and charter flights.

post #82 of 89

don't know about easy jet--it's not an option coming from the states. Check in on the Saturday I left a couple of years ago wasn't too bad and if I had used the non-skis line, which some people were doing with skis, it would have been very short. 

 

What I'm hating about flying internationally these days is having to go through security again between legs. You need very generous layover times. The last time through Heathrow the BA reps were checking tickets and sending people with tight connections to an express line to clear customs and security. (Flying from Switzerland would be a lot easier if Switzerland was in the EU (you hear that Swiss--join the EU so my skiing is more convenient), and skiing in the Alps will be a little more inconvenient if the Brits exit. If they do I hope the Euros make them have full cavity searches when they enter the EU.

 

Driving between Seattle and Vancouver can be a real PITA at the border. If Trump wins there may be a wall built to keep Americans out.

post #83 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post

I've never skied in Europe, so apply a grain of salt... but I wouldn't trust the acreage listings for European resorts... that's not typically how they're categorized, so I think OnTheSnow's numbers are wacky. (Maybe they try to calculate the acreage of the pistes?) Mont Blanc has Courmayer on one side and Chamonix on the other. Between them there are 85 lifts, and Chamonix's vertical is over 7000 feet in places.

Most European resorts are sprawling and meandering from what I can tell and have heard, and the off-piste (any ungroomed area) is typically spread out as well and not in-bounds or avalanche controlled nearly to the extent it would be in the US (partly since the resorts are so large). So they list piste length, rather than acreage.

Off piste in Chamonix is massive. I was glad to have a guide for a week. Piste size is comparatively small, but the amiable acreage is huge. Grand Montets has a 2000m vertical. Talk about leg burning. The main run off the summit is just a general suggestion. If you go there, do yourself a favor, and hire a guide for at least part of the time if you want to truly explore off piste.
post #84 of 89

^^ What Jonathan said. Even more so, because the tarrain there is basically backcountry, so there is a real avalanche risk. And the 'back side' is a glacier, on which a guide is pretty much a must, given the danger of cravasses etc.

post #85 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheizz View Post

^^ What Jonathan said. Even more so, because the tarrain there is basically backcountry, so there is a real avalanche risk. And the 'back side' is a glacier, on which a guide is pretty much a must, given the danger of cravasses etc.

That being said. It was amazing skiing. I actually ended up skiing there via Club Med, and being in their 'level 4' ski group meant that in the course of 5 days, I skied maybe 5 trails total, not counting getting back to lifts, all the rest being off piste.

Also, check the weather if you go to Cham, and build in a day to do the Valle Blanche.
post #86 of 89

We did a guided day off the Agui Midi and it was great.  Next time we ski in Chamonix we will do several days of guided off piste.  Taking the bus through Mont Blanc to Courmayeur was awesome as well.  That is a huge ski area and it would have been nice to hire a guide because the out of bounds terrain looked great.

post #87 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Don't see why you'd want Canada if you want adventure.

Well, it's out of the OP's league, but various (and numerous) cat and heli operations come to mind...

post #88 of 89
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions. We decided on Banff. Ended up being dirt cheap, 6 nights hotel and 5 day lift ticket that covers all 3 resorts, including airfare from Charlotte was only $800 a person!!!!

Planning a crazy trip next year though, either Europe or Japan.
post #89 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post

Well, it's out of the OP's league, but various (and numerous) cat and heli operations come to mind...
I will try heli-skiing one day. Wish there was a beginner option just for the experience! Maybe within a couple years with some lessons I'd be ready though.
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