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Whistler in February vs. April for Blue Square Skiers - Page 2

post #31 of 43

Schweitzer has about as much rain incidence as Whistler, and Whitefish has some rain incidence.  Both are at least as foggy as Whistler.

 

Whistler is not a great fit for the OP's stated terrain/snow preferences.  Big White and Sun Peaks are ideal for her terrain preference and likely snow surfaces in February.  Big White gets more snow but also gets fog.

post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

 

Since this is important to you, you should be aware that Whitefish is known for fog.

 

You might also want to consider that when it is foggy at Sun Peaks it is usually just the top third of the mountain (the alpine, mostly above the tree line) that is foggy. That leaves 4 chairlifts that are below the fog.

post #33 of 43
I'm not going to pretend fog can't be an issue. But it's generally related to how cold it's been and whether the lakes have frozen. After two warm winters, next winter is currently projected to be colder than usual, which means the lakes should be frozen by February. I looked back at my comments and pictures from the last "La Niña February", and there's one day with fog that whole month. And it was the end of the month. Beyond that, the comments are raving. Of course, they are raving about all the snow, not groomer skiing. We only groom once a day here, so if it was groomed yesterday at 6 PM, and it's been snowing ever since, your blue square skier may not consider that "groomed".
post #34 of 43

The Sun Peaks overnight groomer report started a thing a few seasons ago: If it snows 15cm (6inches) after a run is groomed then they put a snowflake icon beside the run's name on the report. This allows the powder skiers to go to a run with fresh powder on top of a smooth base. It also allows the non powder skiers to know which runs to avoid. Win/win.

post #35 of 43
That's a great idea. I think it would be nice if they showed the approximate time something was last groomed even in spring so you know if they smushed slush or ice. That would tell you a bunch about how long to wait.
post #36 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I'm not going to pretend fog can't be an issue. But it's generally related to how cold it's been and whether the lakes have frozen. After two warm winters, next winter is currently projected to be colder than usual, which means the lakes should be frozen by February. I looked back at my comments and pictures from the last "La Niña February", and there's one day with fog that whole month. And it was the end of the month. Beyond that, the comments are raving. Of course, they are raving about all the snow, not groomer skiing. We only groom once a day here, so if it was groomed yesterday at 6 PM, and it's been snowing ever since, your blue square skier may not consider that "groomed".

You are talking about Whitefish here, right?

post #37 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

The Sun Peaks overnight groomer report started a thing a few seasons ago: If it snows 15cm (6inches) after a run is groomed then they put a snowflake icon beside the run's name on the report. This allows the powder skiers to go to a run with fresh powder on top of a smooth base. It also allows the non powder skiers to know which runs to avoid. Win/win.

Given other resorts propensity for fog (and possible rain), and then this post, sounds like Sun Peaks would be the right choice.  I just wish it weren't so far from Seattle.  The Whistler drive is pretty far for our family, and that extra 1.5 hours could be a bummer.  But we'll see.  Especially as kids get older the drive would be easier.

 

Thx once again!

post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesquaregirl View Post
 

Given other resorts propensity for fog (and possible rain), and then this post, sounds like Sun Peaks would be the right choice.  I just wish it weren't so far from Seattle.  The Whistler drive is pretty far for our family, and that extra 1.5 hours could be a bummer.  But we'll see.  Especially as kids get older the drive would be easier.

 

Thx once again!

 

The drive from Seattle to Sun Peaks is easier than you think. If you cross into Canada at the Sumas/Abbotsford border crossing, you miss the Peace Arch line up and Vancouver traffic. The 4 lane Trans-Canada highway takes you to the Coquahalla Highway and it is 4 lane plus an extra lane on every hill. Sun Peaks has one grocery store so when you drive through Kamloops there is a Costco on the right hand side.

 

Sun Peaks has a lot of very use-able ski-in ski-out or walk across the road and put your skis on accommodation. Going to the condo for lunch and coffee/hot chocolate is very doable for a lot of places.

 

If you come to Sun Peaks during Presidents Day weekend or week you will find it busier than normal but not crowded. Every one of those "extra people" will be from the Seattle area

post #39 of 43

While Sun Peaks is a worthy destination be aware that nothing is guaranteed.  You may show up there and the place is fogged in and raining.  It's not as likely as the others, but it's still a possibility.  (I once went to SP and the weather went from 0F to rain in one morning.)  Also, the other places have a reasonably high percentage likelihood of having decent weather.  They wouldn't be in operation otherwise.  You do the best you can in planning, but nothing is written.

post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesquaregirl View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I'm not going to pretend fog can't be an issue. But it's generally related to how cold it's been and whether the lakes have frozen. After two warm winters, next winter is currently projected to be colder than usual, which means the lakes should be frozen by February. I looked back at my comments and pictures from the last "La Niña February", and there's one day with fog that whole month. And it was the end of the month. Beyond that, the comments are raving. Of course, they are raving about all the snow, not groomer skiing. We only groom once a day here, so if it was groomed yesterday at 6 PM, and it's been snowing ever since, your blue square skier may not consider that "groomed".
You are talking about Whitefish here, right?

Yes. They'll tell you here I'm always talking about Whitefish. 😁

But, I'm guessing the weather comments about Whitefish apply equally to Schweitzer. They also have snow ghosts.
post #41 of 43

a couple of other areas beside Sun Peaks to consider for a family vacation are Big White Silver Star and Apex in BC's Okanogan.

Again lots of on hill ski in ski out lodging with small villages and a few amenities on hill. All their local towns are less than 45 min away.

Current Canadian exchange makes them a bargain compared to US resorts and the drive is really not much more from Seattle . 

Big White and Sun Peaks are mostly intermediate, Silver Star is more mixed intermediate advanced and Apex is more weighted to Advanced  

However if fog is a major consideration Whistler Big White and Whitefish all get more than their fair share of it

post #42 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesquaregirl View Post

Given other resorts propensity for fog (and possible rain), and then this post, sounds like Sun Peaks would be the right choice.  I just wish it weren't so far from Seattle.  The Whistler drive is pretty far for our family, and that extra 1.5 hours could be a bummer.  But we'll see.  Especially as kids get older the drive would be easier.

Thx once again!

I feel that Sun Peaks is one of the easiest destinations to get to from Seattle. I realize it may seem like a long drive with children, but it's less hassle (and cost) than dealing with airports and car rental or shuttles. Also the highway driving is way easier than the Sea to Sky from Vancouver to Squamish, which has all those curves along the shoreline at 30mph or less, though that is one beautiful drive.

But I digress, I'll bet the kids can handle the extra hour of driving time.
post #43 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesquaregirl View Post
 

Given other resorts propensity for fog (and possible rain), and then this post, sounds like Sun Peaks would be the right choice.  I just wish it weren't so far from Seattle.  The Whistler drive is pretty far for our family, and that extra 1.5 hours could be a bummer.  But we'll see.  Especially as kids get older the drive would be easier.

 

Thx once again!

The drive to Sun Peaks, when you consider everything (boarder crossing, Vancouver traffic, road conditions), is close to equivalent to Seattle --> Whistler.  Maybe an hour longer (compared to a Whistler trip where you time traffic perfectly).  The Coquihalla can be challenging at times (as can Sea to Sky), but the drive from Meritt to Kamloops is relatively easy.

 

Big White is a bit further, and the drive is a bit more aggressive when conditions on the Interconnecter (Meritt to Kelowna) are challenging.  It can go either way - you could be averaging 85mph, or white knuckling it - but that is the same for any ski drive in the PNW.

 

The easiest drive, by far, is Schweitzer.  Maybe a bit longer than Whistler in terms of distance, but once you go over the pass and get beyond Ellensburg, it is pretty much straight ahead to Coeur d'Alene, one hand at 6 o'clock on the wheel (and the rest of the drive up to Sandpoint is pretty easy as well).  So low drama, low hassle.

 

Based on what you have said, the interior PNW would be great bets for your family.   Whistler is awesome, but there are different venues, easily in driving range, that are more on-point for families and intermediate blue groomer skiing.  And if you are going over President's Week crowds will be much more manageable in the interior (it is true, you can go to a destination resort that you will think is awesome, where you don't have to wait an hour to load a gondola out of the village or wait 20 minutes in line at Harmony or Green chair all morning - really!) and it is a way better value. But visibility is always an issue in our region, WB included - if sun is a must, you have to go a bit further away.  Sun Valley is a more sure bet for that (and blue groomer mecca, fwiw), or maybe Bachelor.

 

For skiing and family time I think that you'd love Big White also, but the drive is longer (about an hour more driving relative to SP) and visibility can be an issue there (although that usually means snow - which I consider a very good thing).  I have only great things to say about the Big White ski school - our kids loved their lessons there.  So it should be a consideration - you are basically in the bulls-eye of BW's target demographic - it is so kid/family friendly, and the mountain pushes that image so aggressively, that I think the terrain quality gets vastly underrated.

 

But for this trip, I think Sun Peaks might be the best call when you consider all of your priorities.

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