or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Ski trip 2017 - where and when?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ski trip 2017 - where and when?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

My skiing for 2016 is unfortunately over and I need to look forward to winter next year in order to get through another long, hot  mid-Atlantic summer. With that in mind, I'm asking for advice as to which areas to consider for next year's ski trip and suggestions on the timing that gives the best odds for good snow conditions.

 

Some basics: The thought is for the three of us (my lovely spouse, our beloved English Setter and me) to take three weeks and drive out west from our home near Philadelphia. We're very flexible as to the initial timing and would avoid holiday periods but once the dates are chosen, I'll be locked in because of work and lodging. I'm planning on booking pet-friendly accommodations for roughly a week each at two different ski areas that are relatively close to one another to minimize that part of the driving. Most of the third week would be obviously be spent driving out and back from the east coast but may offer the opportunity an additional day or two of skiing.

 

Tentative candidate: While the SLC area offers a lot of choice in both skiing and accommodations, I've skied there regularly over the past several years and really want to look elsewhere. One thought I had was a week at Big Sky/Moonlight, followed by a week at Grand Targhee (with a day trip or two over to JHMR). Accommodations near both places seem to be pretty reasonable - at least as compared to most of the Colorado resorts - the distance between the Bozeman MT area and Victor, ID is only about 400 or so miles and the four ski areas offer involved a lot of skiing choice. In addition, there's a chance to stop along the way at a northern CO resort like Steamboat for an additional day or two on the slopes. On the negative side, a MT/WY ski trip adds quite a bit to the overall driving involved compared to CO resorts and I'm told that timing is pretty critical for conditions Big Sky.

 

Any and all suggestions & advice welcome.

post #2 of 20
Schweitzer. Whitefish? If you're already up there. Probably might make sense to go into BC too.
post #3 of 20
Seems like that would add to the driving, even if it was Big Sky for a week then up to Whitefish or whatever. Plus she's looking for variety at an easy drive for each day while staying at a fixed hotel for a week. I've always preferred staying at one place and really getting to know it, but many like skimming a lot of places on one trip. Schweitzer, Fernie, Castle, Whitefish are more for safari-type trips, not trips where you stay put for a week. Colorado and Utah seem better for her logistical goals. Even though you could "hub" out of here and hit Blacktail, Turner, and Fernie as day trips, they're not all that close and really Blacktail and Turner are more niche areas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Schweitzer. Whitefish? If you're already up there. Probably might make sense to go into BC too.
post #4 of 20
True. It's hard to match Colo. if Utah is out.

If Jackson is on the table don't forget Snowking. It has a long steep consistent pitch on one part that is supposedly greater than anything at Jackson. Not that one would go there over Jackson. :-)
post #5 of 20

If you decide to make the drive to Big Sky, don't forget about Bridger.  Lodging in Bozeman is much cheaper than at Big Sky.  Bridger lift tickets are pretty reasonable.  Depending on where else you go, consider the M.A.X. Pass if going to Big Sky since that includes 5 days at every one of the 22 MAX Pass ski resorts.

post #6 of 20

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie:

 

Your driving, decide the day before departure.

post #7 of 20
I like your plan for Big Sky/Moonlight (and Bridger) and then relocate to Grand Targhee/Jackson.

For some more suggestions, and if you want to travel a little farther, you could take a few days at Sun Valley. I guess it depends on what your priorities are in a destination; powder chasing, type of terrain, ski town/destination resort, etc.

Sometimes contrast is fun. Sun Valley (sunshine, fast perfect groomers, deluxe kind of resort) and Brundage (great snow, uncrowded, great family-type smaller resort). I sometimes kind of like having a "resorty resort" combined with old-school anti-resort on the same trip, another example being Snowbasin and Powder Mt, and throw in a day at Beaver Mt as well.

I keep thinking a Whitefish/Fernie week would be great, or a Schweitzer/Red Mt/Whitewater week, but that's me.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie:

 

Your driving, decide the day before departure.

 

This is really the only right answer. Not only are you driving, but you're going for three weeks. 

 

DO NOT lock yourself in to any accommodations ahead of time, and go where the snow report takes you. Easy to bounce between a couple of resorts once you zero in on the best conditions. It'll be a lot more fun that way, too. 

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post
 

 

This is really the only right answer. Not only are you driving, but you're going for three weeks. 

 

DO NOT lock yourself in to any accommodations ahead of time, and go where the snow report takes you. Easy to bounce between a couple of resorts once you zero in on the best conditions. It'll be a lot more fun that way, too. 

 

I can tell you and Shredhead don't travel with a large breed dog. It's very hard to wing this. First there's the challenge of finding a place that will allow the dog (and a dog that size), then there is the extra challenge of finding a place that will allow you to leave your dog alone while you ski. Almost no hotels will (generally you have to sign something agreeing not to do this otherwise face eviction); some condo owners will. Finding such a condo takes some planning--they can't assume that there will be a dog friendly condo with laid back owners available for the entire week they want to be there. much less 2 of these condos in 2 locations. 

post #10 of 20

Besides, that doesn't really help @CharlieRN get through the summer, now does it?  In my opinion, the planning of a ski trip like this is part of the fun.  So I would never tell someone, don't plan...just decide on the drive out.

 

Grand Targhee is super fun and about as snow-sure as you can get, especially in the early season (January).

 

Colorado is hard to beat when it comes to snow conditions from January through March.  Aspen is awesome and can be combined with any of the I-70 resorts.  For expert skiers, the Crested Butte/Telluride combination is tough to beat and will scratch all sorts of itches (great towns, great scenery, great skiing for all abilities, uncrowded, etc.).

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post
 

 

I can tell you and Shredhead don't travel with a large breed dog. It's very hard to wing this. First there's the challenge of finding a place that will allow the dog (and a dog that size), then there is the extra challenge of finding a place that will allow you to leave your dog alone while you ski. Almost no hotels will (generally you have to sign something agreeing not to do this otherwise face eviction); some condo owners will. Finding such a condo takes some planning--they can't assume that there will be a dog friendly condo with laid back owners available for the entire week they want to be there. much less 2 of these condos in 2 locations. 


Amen Christy. Hotels are not really a good option with a larger dog - many have restrictions that rule out canines heaver than 25 pounds (An aside: we actually call the setter, at 55 pounds, our little dog - her housemate for the past 12 years was a 140 lb Great Dane, who we reluctantly had to put down a few months ago. He had great, and for a Dane, very long life at 12+ years though). As Christy indicates, lodging options are limited where dogs are involved. That said, I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few condos & cabins listed in both the Victor, ID and Bozeman, MT areas that at least consider allowing dogs. I can't take the chance of not finding something dog-friendly, so will be required to book in advance and can't wing it. And as Lofcaudio points out, I need something snow-related to get through the summer.

 

My impression is that GT seems to have some of the best and most consistent snow in the West. That seems to be less true for BS, so if that's the pair we eventually wind up choosing, we would want to book in BS/Bozeman when the odds were best and let GT fall to either side of that week. If this is on point, anyone have a feel for which month/week would maximize the odds for good snow at BS/Moonlight? Understand that there are no guarantees - whoda thunk that there would be scant new snow in Feb in the Wasatch as happened this season for example - just want to have the odds working in my favor.

 

Ciao and thanks.

 

Charlie

post #12 of 20

Okay, with that criteria it's somewhat of an easy call, in my opinion.

 

First week in February (beginning Jan. 30) - GT/JH

Second week in February (beginning Feb. 6) - BS/MB

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post
 

 

I can tell you and Shredhead don't travel with a large breed dog. It's very hard to wing this. First there's the challenge of finding a place that will allow the dog (and a dog that size), then there is the extra challenge of finding a place that will allow you to leave your dog alone while you ski. Almost no hotels will (generally you have to sign something agreeing not to do this otherwise face eviction); some condo owners will. Finding such a condo takes some planning--they can't assume that there will be a dog friendly condo with laid back owners available for the entire week they want to be there. much less 2 of these condos in 2 locations. 

 

I have, including driving back and forth cross country with two larger dogs (60 and 90 lb) and planning no accommodations in advance - just used a hotel search/app to find pet-friendly hotels while on the highway. 

 

The solution for the leaving the dog alone dilemma is to find a kennel or doggy daycare, which shouldn't be too hard in a mountain town. I did this when I took a trip to Yellowstone (Dogjax) and I do it at home if I need to get the dog out of the house for the day. This is better for the dog and owners than leaving the dog in a condo in every way. 

post #14 of 20

Just did a week in the Aspen/Snowmass area.  First time there - really liked it.  Snowmass was huge and had plenty to offer - not busy, etc.  Aspen was fun to walk around, window shop, apres a little bit.  You can do some I-70 skiing too.  Not sure what your budget is but you may want to look at the Epic Pass and just do the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breck, A-Basin.

post #15 of 20

For Big Sky, the multi-resort pass to consider is the M.A.X. Pass, which also includes Steamboat.  If you can get to a third MAX Pass area for even a few days, could work out pretty well.  Get 5 days at each of the 22 places, which are scattered all over.

 

If you want to see how the 2015-16 season went, there were ongoing threads for quite a few of the more popular places.  Look at the top of Resorts, Conditions and Travel for a list of links.

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post
 

 

I have, including driving back and forth cross country with two larger dogs (60 and 90 lb) and planning no accommodations in advance - just used a hotel search/app to find pet-friendly hotels while on the highway. 

 

The solution for the leaving the dog alone dilemma is to find a kennel or doggy daycare, which shouldn't be too hard in a mountain town. I did this when I took a trip to Yellowstone (Dogjax) and I do it at home if I need to get the dog out of the house for the day. This is better for the dog and owners than leaving the dog in a condo in every way. 


+1  The flexibility you have when driving is not something you should surrender without a lot of thought.  When I had to bail out of Jackson in 1986 and drive to SLC, we had to find day care for an 18-month old toddler on short notice. These things can be done if you're willing to put in the research. And with a smartphone and the Internet it's a whole lot easier now.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post
 

Okay, with that criteria it's somewhat of an easy call, in my opinion.

 

First week in February (beginning Jan. 30) - GT/JH

Second week in February (beginning Feb. 6) - BS/MB


That said, if you can't stand the uncertainty the above suggestion is excellent.

post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 


+1  The flexibility you have when driving is not something you should surrender without a lot of thought.  When I had to bail out of Jackson in 1986 and drive to SLC, we had to find day care for an 18-month old toddler on short notice. These things can be done if you're willing to put in the research. And with a smartphone and the Internet it's a whole lot easier now.

 


That said, if you can't stand the uncertainty the above suggestion is excellent.

 

Unfortunately, the flexibility afforded by driving is only apparent and not real in my case. While I have quite a bit of accrued vacation leave and can pick pretty much any block of time during the winter, I need to tell my employer in advance - at least a couple of months ahead of time - and get management approval to take the days off. There is some flexibility, for example I could postpone things for a week or two if the weather looks unfavorable, but can't really just look at the forecast and then jump in the car.

 

Appreciate the second for the timing suggested by Lofcaudio and will plug that in to the tentative plans.

post #18 of 20
Quote = CharlieRN:
flexibility afforded by driving is only apparent and not real in my case.

I did not mean flexibility in terms of dates as you had explained that already. I meant flexibility in terms of destination.

 

We were in a similar situation this year. We got back from Indonesia March 19 and hoped to ski Taos/Telluride, both of which had great early seasons but close April 3, so not much flexibility there.  But both places had been bone dry since early February. So we drove to Utah instead and got the leftovers from a 19-inch storm and all of a 16-inch storm a few days later.

 

So I say choose last week of January/first 2 weeks of February now if you need to but don't lock in lodging $$$ until at a minimum you see how the 2016-17 season is doing.  If you want powder wait until you're about to leave.

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

 

So I say choose last week of January/first 2 weeks of February now if you need to but don't lock in lodging $$$ until at a minimum you see how the 2016-17 season is doing.  If you want powder wait until you're about to leave.

 

Yes!!! Do this ^^^ There will be plenty of lodging options available since its non-holiday. The only caveat is if your wife wants to stay somewhere really nice like a newly remodeled condo. They tend to not be dog friendly, especially Utah. If you don't find 70s style, you will have no problem finding a place :). I'm not sure of the pet policies of some of the major hotel chains such as Holliday Inn, Days, Comfort etc. Maybe someone can chime in on that or maybe you know already from previous travel experience with your dog?

post #20 of 20
Is the dog a "comfort" animal? It can ride on planes in the cabin? That might give you more options at hotels.
http://servicedogcentral.org/content/node/73

Hey people have flown with a turkey.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Ski trip 2017 - where and when?