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Xmas break skiing trip- where to go? [freestyle skier in VT wants to go west]

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So I've partially comvonced my family to go out west this xmas break (late Dec to early Jan). But, I don't know where we should go.
So far, I'm thinking Whistler Blackcomb. I went out there last spring for the IFSA Junior North American freeskiing comp and loved it. It was just my dad and I and upper mountain was awesome, lower was basically closed but looked like good trees skiing. Great cliffs, great runs. Whistler I thought was less challenging and more crowded, but we were only there for 5 days so what do I know.
But just to give you a sense of how we like skiing- lift lines are fine, crowded trails not so much but bearable. Super challenging terrain- cliffs, steeps, bumps, trees, you name it. Mad River Glen is our home mountain, so steep woods runs and cliffs are no stranger.
We are all really good skiers, and we're not looking to ski groomers. At all.
We've also been to Le Massif, and the glades were good but not as challenging as I was hoping. Skied all over the East coast, so we're really looking out west.

So, is Blackomb the place to go, or is there somewhere else?

Thanks and let's hope for a great winter cool.gif

Moderator note: info added to thread title
post #2 of 10

Depending on how the snow shapes up this season, you may want to consider Castle Mountain/Fernie for a week, or Kicking Horse/Lake Louise in the other direction. With the kind of terrain you are looking for, you may need to make a decision more last minute so you can see which place has more terrain open. Most resorts are open that time of season, but not all of the expert terrain may be, which needs a bigger base to be skiable than groomers...I think Alta/Snowbird should also be good to go that time of season...

post #3 of 10

It's that time of year again.....:deadhorse:  Second such thread today: http://www.epicski.com/t/147376/suggested-us-mountain-between-xmas-and-new-years#post_2013725

 

Quote = Mededith31skis:

Super challenging terrain- cliffs, steeps, bumps, trees, you name it.

 

We are all really good skiers, and we're not looking to ski groomers. At all.

All of this implies that maximum coverage of terrain is paramount.  At the vast majority of places that's in March, and April is still better than December.  The "super challenging terrain" is what needs the most coverage and will be the last to open at nearly all ski areas. Therefore Christmas Week is not when you should be taking your destination ski trip.  And this is before we even get into the cost and crowd issues. 

 

For more details rating numerous areas see the feature article I wrote for Inside Tracks: http://bestsnow.net/fam_ski.htm

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Didn't see the other thread when I posted this one- oops!

Yeah that's what I was worried about, but I looked into average snowfall per month and WB has December as the highest the past few years- so there should be enough coverage?

I know harder trails need snow- I ski at MRG and know the pain. That's one of the reasons we're looking west during xmas break not March break- skiing is usually good in March in the East, but very rarely early January.
post #5 of 10

​Quote: Post #1

Originally Posted by Meredith31skis View Post

So I've partially comvonced my family to go out west this xmas break (late Dec to early Jan). But, I don't know where we should go.
So far, I'm thinking Whistler Blackcomb. I went out there last spring for the IFSA Junior North American freeskiing comp and loved it. It was just my dad and I and upper mountain was awesome, lower was basically closed but looked like good trees skiing. Great cliffs, great runs. Whistler I thought was less challenging and more crowded, but we were only there for 5 days so what do I know.
But just to give you a sense of how we like skiing- lift lines are fine, crowded trails not so much but bearable. Super challenging terrain- cliffs, steeps, bumps, trees, you name it. Mad River Glen is our home mountain, so steep woods runs and cliffs are no stranger.
We are all really good skiers, and we're not looking to ski groomers. At all.
We've also been to Le Massif, and the glades were good but not as challenging as I was hoping. Skied all over the East coast, so we're really looking out west.

So, is Blackomb the place to go, or is there somewhere else?

Thanks and let's hope for a great winter cool.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meredith31skis View Post

Didn't see the other thread when I posted this one- oops!

Yeah that's what I was worried about, but I looked into average snowfall per month and WB has December as the highest the past few years- so there should be enough coverage?

I know harder trails need snow- I ski at MRG and know the pain. That's one of the reasons we're looking west during xmas break not March break- skiing is usually good in March in the East, but very rarely early January.

Not to worry, although the snow conditions answers are the same for everyone, the recommendations about where to go can vary widely depending on the ski ability level, tolerance for travel, and budget.​

 

Take a look at Tony's website.  The key is that you and your family want to ski off-piste.  Might give you some others ideas.

 

Do you have to get plane tickets far in advanced?  For instance, a father who wanted to use frequent flyer miles booked a ski week in Europe during the summer.  If there is more flexibility on booking flights, then can wait until closer to the date to decide.  The tricky thing about the Christmas holidays is that it's better to book lodging as early as possible.  Very different than March-April.

post #6 of 10

Yes Whistler's early season snow record is excellent. But you'll enjoy it a lot more during the March break with lesser crowds, more of the extreme terrain skiable and without the jacked up Christmas lodging prices.

post #7 of 10

I don't have Tony's knowledge base, but, it seems Utah is often a good bet.  We went last minute last season, flying out to SLC on Christmas Day.  Lucky to have a big storm we were.  Lots of good terrain open - still lots of the absolute toughest stuff closed.  I have skied MRG many times and there was plenty of terrain equal to that open.  The good news was that flights and hotel were not at all expensive and the resorts were not overly crowded.  Longest lift line was a few minutes, other than Snowbird's tram on a powder morning!

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meredith31skis View Post

So, is Blackomb the place to go, or is there somewhere else?
 

 

Certainly, you can't go wrong with Whistler at Christmas time.  A colleague who has been going to Whistler the last 15 years tells me that the longest liftlines are 15 minutes and he can always find challenging trails as an expert skier.  I have been going to Snowbird for the last 10 years at Christmas time and I can tell you that you will like it there as well.  The Alta Snowbird combo ticket leads to great complementary terrain and ski experience.  It has some of the best snowfall records and challenging terrain on the continent.  There is no nightlife but I am too tired (in a good way) to care.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marathoner View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meredith31skis View Post

So, is Blackomb the place to go, or is there somewhere else?

 

Certainly, you can't go wrong with Whistler at Christmas time.  A colleague who has been going to Whistler the last 15 years tells me that the longest liftlines are 15 minutes and he can always find challenging trails as an expert skier.  I have been going to Snowbird for the last 10 years at Christmas time and I can tell you that you will like it there as well.  The Alta Snowbird combo ticket leads to great complementary terrain and ski experience.  It has some of the best snowfall records and challenging terrain on the continent.  There is no nightlife but I am too tired (in a good way) to care.

I noticed that the difference between whistler lines and blackcomb lines was huge. Blackcomb felt more local, if that makes any sense. And I'll look into Alta Snowbird as well. Thanks!
post #10 of 10

Salt Lake is a good choice at Christmas:

1) Excellent snow record at the 4 Cottonwood resorts (it's a little early for reliable cover of advanced terrain at other Utah areas which get much less snow, unless it's a big early season).

2) Salt Lake has a big enough bed base not to be subject to Christmas price gouging. If you stay in the resorts it will be expensive.

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