I want to take a family ski trip for the holidays, Dec. 19-Jan.2 time period, and am wondering about the most snow reliable places to go for these dates. I am told Europe has been getting the same pattern as where I live in the Western United States the last decade, with some early snow and then much of it coming in March and into April. I really don't know how to evaluate the info I have found on early season skiing, which basically lists some places above 3200 m with at least some glacier skiing, including Verbier in Switzerland, Les Deux Alpes, and Val Thorens. We will go anywhere the good stuff is.
I am going with my wife and two kids who are ski racers out here in California but love off piste. The three men at least are quite aggressive and want to ski the best the Alps has, at least at this time of year.
Our priorities are:
3. Steep terrain and lots of acres, long long runs like I hear about
4. Decent food, not a giant Euro ski theme park scene, etc.
5. Lodging Expense (I hear Zermatt is just crazy expensive). We are used to roughing it.
Moderator note: moved to International Zone (not North America)