Originally Posted by agreen
I think the main question here is:
How crowd adverse are you?
That is the busiest time except for perhaps Presidents Day weekend so what matters more to you, less crowds or terrain/snow quality? I cant even imagine what the tram line is like at Jackson during that week or the am lineups at Whistler.
+10 to this. Whistler has an excellent snow record at Christmas but also jacks up prices. The lift system is state of the art but there are still choke points on the busiest days, so I would not choose Christmas as the time to go there.
Jackson has a very good snow record, but not the most efficient lift system. 45 minute holiday lines for the tram would not surprise me. The other lifts are being steadily improved but skier visits at Jackson are growing even faster than lift capacity. Having Targhee's most reliable Christmas snow in North America nearby is a plus though.
Quote = Posaune:
It seems that many Epic posters don't have experience with quality small areas. They can give an experience that in many ways is superior to the big destination resorts. You just have to give up the condos, hot tubs, and easy access. If it's skiing you're after, you can find fantastic experiences in lots of smaller places.
This is very true, but the Christmas constraint puts you at risk for incomplete coverage of advanced/expert terrain at many places. Big Sky and Red Mt. come to mind. As for coastal WA, yes the snow record is good and Mt. Baker is remote, but I'd guess Stevens and Crystal being close to Seattle are not likely to escape holiday crowds.
Sun Valley is lift line proof and the snowmaking is world class, but natural terrain in the bowls might not be adequately covered yet. Brundage should have a decent early season track record. Bogus at Christmas is very speculative and if skinorthamerica saw it well covered then he was very lucky.
I'll defer to sibhusky on Whitefish. I'd rate it and Schweitzer as just a bit behind Brundage for early season snow reliability. Fernie and Whitewater are little better.
I'll and remind people again that advanced/expert skiers taking only one big destination trip per season should not be taking that trip during Christmas Week. If kids are involved use your spring break if possible. That goes double for Texas, where the spring break is ~3rd week of March. That opens up a long list of areas like Tahoe and Big Sky where you would be more worried about snow coverage at Christmas. As for crowds during Texas spring break, that's a regional phenomenon limited to the areas within driving distance.