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Newbie needs advice for good all-inclusive resort with fun green/easier blue terrain slopes [late Dec]

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My wife and I are planning a late December ski getaway this year, and since we've only been two places (Winter Park, CO and Squaw Valley, CA), we're not that familiar with the "circuit" and what would best suit our abilities. We're looking for pretty simple terrain (without excessive poling, though!), what I'd call challenging green and easy blue slopes.

We spent a week at Squaw Valley, CA, and loved being near Tahoe City, and staying in the village with the ease of walking just a few yards to the lifts in the morning, but there were only a few blues that my wife felt comfortable skiing, and the greens ended up being a lot of work in that they all required poling the last 100 yards it seemed. So, we ended up skiiing the same 4-5 slopes for 4 days.

So, any suggestions for us for a resort that has the all-inclusive feel of the Village at Squaw Valley, but with good "blue/green" slopes???

Many thanks!
post #2 of 10

Northstar, which is pretty close to Squaw would probably work.

If you go back to CO you'd probably like Copper. 

post #3 of 10

+1 to Northstar, CA which seems like it would be a good fit, with a lot of easy blue and green runs and a village that is probably a little smaller than Squaw's. You are a little farther from Tahoe City, but close to Truckee which some people like better. Northstar also has a lot of snow-making so they should have a lot of the easier and some of the harder runs open. As you probably know, late December will be expensive, and very crowded unless you go somewhere not very accessible.

post #4 of 10
I thought Copper wasn't so "all-inclusive"?

In CO, Vail, Aspen, maybe Steamboat (staying slopeside, then going into town) but I'm not that sure about green trails there.

Mammoth
Whistler
post #5 of 10
Sounds like Copper Mountain is what you are looking for. Check out the website and all the trails. The one thing your wife will appreciate is how the mountain is divided. The west side has the easier green runs where most beginners start off. Plenty of fun runs. You can work your way east to center village where there are harder greens and some easier blue runs up a bit higher. Another fun thing is the open meadow/sort of tree terrain up the rendezvous lift. Its green. There are some pretty good views up there too. Too be fair I should say there is section of 1 run my wife had to pole on a couple of times. If you keep any kind of speed up you will be fine.

The village is somewhat similar to Squaw. And if you were driving to Tahoe City or Truckee then you can do a similar thing at Copper. Frisco/Silverthorne is a short drive to the east on interstate. About 8 miles to Frisco. Breckenridge is a bit south of Frisco. Close to 20 miles or about 30 minutes from Copper. If you go the other way on I70 then Vail Village is only 16 miles up and over Vail Pass to the west.

There are many great places to go and Copper is definitely worth considering biggrin.gif
post #6 of 10

1) Telluride (the best green terrain I've seen in the west...YouTube the runs of "Double Cabin", "Sundance", "Galloping Goose" and/or "See Forever")

2) Copper Mountain (not quite as good as Telluride, but a lot less expensive of a trip...will be more crowded than Telluride and Aspen)

3) Aspen Highlands/Buttermilk/Snowmass (Aspen Highlands has some of the most underrated green terrain anywhere and you'll have the runs all to yourself...having these three mountains right next to each other is just an added bonus)

 

Others worth considering: Beaver Creek, CO and Grand Targhee, WY

 

Though Breckenridge, Keystone and Vail all have plenty of your desired terrain, I do not recommend them because they are more likely to get fairly crowded on the runs that you will be looking to enjoy.  Breckenridge and Vail do have some flat spots that would require poling as well.

 

Here's a video of Telluride's Double Cabin run...a long, wide, groomed run with decent pitch for 2,000 vertical feet.

 

 

 

I mentioned Aspen Highlands as being underrated for providing "challenging green/easy blue" terrain.  The terrain under the Cloud Nine and Exhibition lifts is right up your alley.  It will also be uncrowded.  Now there's not a ton of runs there, but enough for a day (which is all that you will need as Snowmass is probably where you will want to stay and do most of your skiing should you choose the Aspen area).  But check out the video of the green/easy blue terrain at Aspen Highlands.

 


Edited by Lofcaudio - 10/11/16 at 8:45am
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay49 View Post

My wife and I are planning a late December ski getaway this year, and since we've only been two places (Winter Park, CO and Squaw Valley, CA), we're not that familiar with the "circuit" and what would best suit our abilities. We're looking for pretty simple terrain (without excessive poling, though!), what I'd call challenging green and easy blue slopes.

We spent a week at Squaw Valley, CA, and loved being near Tahoe City, and staying in the village with the ease of walking just a few yards to the lifts in the morning, but there were only a few blues that my wife felt comfortable skiing, and the greens ended up being a lot of work in that they all required poling the last 100 yards it seemed. So, we ended up skiiing the same 4-5 slopes for 4 days.

So, any suggestions for us for a resort that has the all-inclusive feel of the Village at Squaw Valley, but with good "blue/green" slopes???

Many thanks!


Welcome to EpicSki!  Always nice to know that there are others in the southeast who are hooked on the idea of a ski vacation.  Has your wife taken a few lessons?  It's fair to say, that someone who has the confidence to ski blues then they can have more run at any ski resort.

 

@Lofcaudio is speaking from experience taking his family out west.  Agree that Aspen is worth serious consideration.  Between Buttermilk and Snowmass, I think there are plenty of green and mellow blue trails.  What's nice about Buttermilk is that there is a complete range of terrain from easy green to easy blacks blacks.  The gondola at Snowmass is a fun option to access easy blues.  Snowmass has a variety of lodging near the slopes.  For a true village, it's easy to take the free bus into the town of Aspen in the afternoon or evening.

 

Before I retired, I enjoyed Northstar and Steamboat for ski vacations but I was skiing blue groomers and don't remember the green trails.  Steamboat has a true mountain town.  Northstar does not.

 

For other ideas, check out this Beginner Zone thread about easiest greens:

http://www.epicski.com/t/146380/which-resort-has-the-easiest-greens-a-beginner-zone-question

post #8 of 10

Canyons Park City and Deer Valley would fit your needs.

 

Canyons will be the least crowded, Deer valley the most expensive. 

 

But all three may be dicey as far as early season snow is concerned.

post #9 of 10


I'd suggest going to Aspen, Snowmass specifically, and staying in a condo/hotel in Snowmass.  If you choose the right condo/hotel, you can step out onto a green slope and ski down to a lift, and ski down a run and turn left into your lodging at the end of the day.  Snowmass has LOTS of green / easy blue slopes and a small but decent base village.  And you can always take the free bus 10-15 minutes to Aspen proper for a WIDE range of restaurants/bars/shops/etc, as well as to Aspen or Buttermilk to try other slopes for a day.

 

Whistler would be another good choice, with a bigger base village.  But especially early season you may end up having to take a gondola up to mid-mountain before you can start skiing, since the bottom can be soggy.  Still a nice mountain, and if the canadian dollar is still down it can be cheap.

 

Those would be my two choices, and Snowmass / Aspen would be my first choice for what you describe.

 

Bob

post #10 of 10

I agree with a lot of the advice here, and especially re: Telluride with its phenomenal green and easier blue terrain. But traveling around Christmas can be a hassle, especially if there are storms moving through, and I'd recommend looking at options where you can fly nonstop. Which looks like it limits you to Denver or Las Vegas as your arrival airport. You've gotten several good suggestions out of Denver... just note that they'll still require significant driving and possible traffic delays, and all but Aspen will likely be crowded.

 

Out of Las Vegas, Brian Head and Eagle Point in Utah both offer good amounts of terrain at your ability level, and Eagle Point in particular should be uncrowded. Skiing an uncrowded area can be very nice, with short lift lines and the ability to pick your line down the slope without needing to dodge others. But the flipside is that, if busy bars and lots of restaurant options were something you liked about Squaw Valley, neither of these Utah spots can measure up. But they both have plenty of slopeside lodging or rooms just steps from the lifts, and there's at least some entertainment and restaurants available at each. Combining one or both of these with a night or two in Las Vegas and the scenery at Bryce Canyon and/or Cedar Breaks could be great fun. They should be less expensive than Colorado, so you might be able to use some of that savings for a day or two of lessons, and maybe next trip out west pick a bigger mountain and really get your money's worth out of exploring it.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Newbie needs advice for good all-inclusive resort with fun green/easier blue terrain slopes [late Dec]