EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › First out west trip recommendations
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

First out west trip recommendations

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
My brother and I are starting to think about taking a trip out west this winter. He and I are what I would consider intermediate skiers. We've been skiing for over 10 years but have never made it past the midwest skiing hills in central Wisconson (Cascade, Devils Head etc). We're looking for recommendations on where to go. From every resort we've looked at it doesn't look like we can make a wrong decision. We're thinking the resort should have at least 50% intermediate runs and we're trying to find the best place that is within the closest location to an airport. We don't want to waste a lot of time traveling to the hill etc. We're not too worried about on-hill lodging but it would be cool.

Please let us know what you guys think. Of course we know that once we ski out there we're not going to want to ski in Wisconson ever again!! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #2 of 24
In regards to IL_Skier request..

It sounds like we are the same type skiers that enjoy groom blue runs and maybe a black or two. If so the top of my list would have to be Aspen-Snowmass ski area. It is a blue skier's mecca.
Long , wide and groom runs that go on for ever. We skied Snowmass last year in Feb. for 5 days and did not ski the hole
mountain. Ski lift lines were non-existant abd traffic was not bad on the mountain. Our group lives in south louisiana where we
can take a 6:30am flight and be in aspen for 10:30am. This gives us plenty of time for getting settled, getting our equipmentand if you push it, a few hours in the afternoon on the slopes. Transportation to and from the airport is great and if you get bored with Snowmass there is Aspen highlands, Aspen and Buttermilk all within free bus rides of each other. I would give it an A+ in ski terrain and also an A+ in apres -ski..
post #3 of 24
Do a bit of homework to narrow things down, then fly to Salt Lake City and GO!!!

utah starters

Many GREAT areas. If cruising and a healthy dose of intermediate-advanced terrain is what you want, I'd suggest looking at Park City and the three hills there (Canyons, Park City, Deer Valley).

At any rate, it'll be hard to go wrong. Easy flight, quick to hotel/condo/whatever, and I hear they have some decent snow.

Also a public bus that connects to Little Cottonwood (Alta/Snowbird), as well as Big Cottonwood (Brighton, Solitude) from SLC and environs.

Nothing against Snowmass, truly a great cruising hill. Just thinking here in terms of easiest and cheaper logistics. Best of Luck in your decision making.

[ October 21, 2003, 11:53 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #4 of 24
Steamboat might be a good option for you, too. There are direct flights from Chicago to Hayden, which is only about 20 miles from the mountain.

Obviously Utah is very convenient, as was already mentioned. Also consider Summit County and Vail, Colorado. They require about a two hour drive from Denver, a little less if you fly into Eagle.

Whistler/Blackcomb, the interior BC resorts, and Banff are also good options but none are real convenient to get to.
post #5 of 24
Can't beat Aspen/Snowmass for any type of skier. Something for everyone, both on and off the mountain. You have access to four distinctly different mountains from the same lift ticket within a short free shuttle ride of each other with enough terrain options to keep anyone busy for weeks. Good deals to be had at Snowmass Village for ski in ski out, especially if you book early. Lack of crowds and liftlines set it apart from other areas. And don't believe all the hype about being expensive, it's no more so than anywhere else, plenty of inexpensive places to eat. Airport is centrally located in the middle of the four mountains, and only minutes from each. The town of Aspen is just an added bonus. Breckenridge is nice too, beautiful town, as is Frisco, a short drive to Copper, Keystone, etc. But, being off of I70, the crowds can be tough, as can the drive to and from Denver. Haven't found any place in Co. that I can say I didn't like, with the exception maybe of Vail, but that has nothing to do with the mountain, it's the truck stop/shopping center scene that turns me off. All and all, you can't go wrong at Aspen.
post #6 of 24
Agree with Steamboat. Easy airport access, fun mountain, lots of lodging options. Downside is it is hard to find discounted lift tickets. Really though all the suggestions are great. You are sure to have a good time.
post #7 of 24
Aspen? Steamboat? C'mon people, what the hell?

The cheap, and more importantly, direct flights are to the hubs. SLC and Denver being hubs.

This guy's never been out west, so why not reccommend a destination that will allow him to sample numerous world class mountains without logistics hassles.

My 1st choice, SLC. Ski the Bird, Solitude, and wherever else you feel like.

2nd choice, Summit county. Breck in particular is an intermediate paradise. Vail and Beaver are also only 1/2 hour up the road.

Beware, you will truly fall in love.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Xdog:
Aspen? Steamboat? C'mon people, what the hell?

The cheap, and more importantly, direct flights are to the hubs. SLC and Denver being hubs.
Didn't you read my post? There are direct, yes direct flights from Chicago to Steamboat on American Airlines. Since he's from Chicago I'd say this fits the bill in terms of convenient.
post #9 of 24
I'd have to say...fly to Denver and ski Summit Cty ( Keystone, Copper, Vail and particularly Breck. Lots of blue groomed cruisers) and it is only a little over an hour from DIA. Salt Lake City would be second choice. 30-40 min. drive to Park City, Canyons, Deer Valley. You can't go wrong with either...
Have fun!
post #10 of 24
Xdog, I think it was the airport thing that made ppl suggest the others. At least that was my reason. It is about 2 hours from the airport to Summit County. If you are talking about a weekend morning then who knows could be 3+ hours. That said if can avoid the traffic the drive is not bad at all. It has been my limited expierence that Summit County Colorado skiing cost less than Utah. You can find discounted lift tickets fairly easily. If you stay away from the resorts proper lodging can be found in all price ranges. The towns of Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne are within 20 min to any of the Summit Resorts, 30-40 min to Vail/BC.
Of those I prefer Frisco as you can walk to bars/dinner.

[ October 21, 2003, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: Kima ]
post #11 of 24
All this talk about Summit County....
If you want to have a GREAT TIME..
Come on up to Winter Park/Mary Jane...
There is enough runs to keep you busy,
and there is hardly a wait to get back up the mountain.

Check out....http://www.skiwinterpark.com/
and you will see what I am talking about..!!

Hope you have a BLAST...where ever you decide to go...!!
post #12 of 24
I've never seen the attraction of Winter Park/Mary Jane. I've tried a number of times, but always come home feeling like I've spent a lot of my day traversing--even along the upper ridge on MJ. But, I'm not a bump fanatic so that may be it. I haven't been up to WP in a number of years.

There are a couple of areas in Summit that people haven't mentioned: Loveland and A. Loveland has a lot of blue and blue/black runs, and the wild experience of skiing from the Divide at over 12000 feet. The snow is always fantastic, but you want to be mindful of windy days. Of course, being used to Wisconsin, I'd bet you could handle a full-on windy day at Loveland without even thinking about it.

A Basin has a well-deserved rep as an expert's mountain, but I've been up there with blue and blue/black skiers who have enjoyed their days.

One think you might consider is deciding now, then buying a pass. Many of these areas are running pass deals right now (see, for example, Vail passes and Loveland pass and the Winter Park/Copper passes). It's likely worth it if you're out here for a week.

If you do come, drop an e-mail and we'll make some turns--if you are at A, Breck, Keystone, Vail, or Beaver Creek, that is!

Can't go wrong, but you'll hate to leave!
ssh
post #13 of 24
Hi Il_skier,

Since this is your first trip you, you need to consider a few things that might not be readily apparent. The most important of these is the chance of experiencing problems with AMS symptoms if you decide to ski and stay in the high country resorts. Those would include any of the areas with bases over 9000 feet. For your first trip, I would suggest you try to sleep each night below 7500 feet. Many feel it is the sleep altitude that interferes with some people's ability to adjust to high altitues.

With that in mind I would reccommend Reno/Tahoe or Salt Lake City. ..Reno/Tahoe is by far your best choice if you want the most options for the rest of your day following skiing. Nothing on the continent can compare with the available options. ..Salt Lake City probably has the most convenient quality skiing of any area on the continent. Both have more skiing options than you will be able to sample, so choose accordingly.

The comment on Snowmass is correct. I reccomend you don't go there first, as the rest of the western resorts aren't going to compare favorably if you ski Snowmass first. Ski some areas for diversity and entertainment, and then go ski the Aspen group when you want to sample the best intermediate mountain in the country.

Hope you have a great trip!
post #14 of 24
Lots of places are convenient if you have the money to fly AA or Eagle straight to the smaller airports. In SLC you can fly in on Southwest, rent a car and be slopeside in less than one hour. I live in Texas and love to ski Summit County, but for convenience, I have yet to get in and out easier with so many options, including plenty of intermediate terrain as Park City and surrounding mountains.
post #15 of 24
**ALL** of these guys have nothing but great advice. I don't think you can go wrong with any of their choices. I've been to all the recommendations and think that they all have their advantages.

Maybe you can give us a lil more input on what you're after as well. How much do you want to spend? Do you plan on renting a car or do you want to deal with shuttles and public transportation? Most importantly, how old are you guys and are you going for the skiing? the nightlife? or both?

If you're both over 21 and like to party/eat well/drink at night, I'd say that Aspen/Snowmass is the hot ticket.

If you like to gamble, Vegas style...head to Tahoe.

No car will be needed in Aspen, Summit County and Steamboat. You'll need a car to get around to the best resorts in Utah and Tahoe.

Steamboat is my favorite resort (I love snowboarding in the trees)!! but for you guys, I'd say go somewhere where you can get some variety. As much as I agree about what others have said about Snowmass being an awesome intermediates mecca, the Summit county area has THREE resorts (Keystone, Breck & Copper Mtn) that will be exactly what you're after. At night, there's plenty to do in Breckenridge as well. They have probably the best multi-area shuttle system in existence as well.

That's my 5 cents...

[ October 22, 2003, 09:41 AM: Message edited by: K2rider ]
post #16 of 24
Can't really miss with all recommendations above, but given highest priorities of intermediate terrain and close to airport--park city and steamboat are excellent suggestions. snowmass and vail are further from direct flight airports, but IMHO provide the ultimate, if pricey, one-stop intermediate ski/board experience in US.
post #17 of 24
All of the recommendations above have merit and you will ultimately have to decide for yourself. Everyplace has its good and bad points.

Have you considered joining a ski club? There are many to choose from in the Chicago area!!! Also, you might wait and go to the Ski Dazzle Ski Show at the Rosemont in a couple of weeks. Lots of ski clubs will be on hand with their own booths. As well, reprensentatives from almost every major ski area will be there with lots of borchures and literature for you to look at.

Just FYI.

Ty [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #18 of 24
hi IL, The last 2 years I went out to Col. and got the "perfect ten" ticket for the vail resorts. It's a great deal with five resorts to choose from(4 of them are in a close area) and its only $32 a day. I think that you would love vail and breckenridge, and if you really like a a quiet peacfull place you can head over to beaver creek( I personally don't like keystone, but you might). There is plenty of lodging all around the summit county area and like I said there are 4 ski areas within about 20 mils of eachother, so you won't get bored.

BoB
post #19 of 24
I'd go to Summit County just to take in the vistas, let alone the skiing. Especially for a first time. The views are spectacular. Skiing is cheap due to countless pass deals and has all the variety of terrain in the world.

Not a bad 2 hour drive from DIA
Tommyknochers on the way up.
Frisco to stay
Party on in Breck

Downside for a first timer, the altitude
killer for a first timer
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Lars:


Downside for a first timer, the altitude
killer for a first timer
Yeah, and don't count on Diamox for help, didn't do sh!t for me.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the information. We're looking for some place that is close enough to an airport that we won't waste a log of time driving to the hill. We're over 21 but the night life isn't that important. We're looking for somewhere that wouldn't require the rental of a car etc. The one post about altitude got me thinking, this is our first trip to high altitudes so that might be something to take into account.

I'm definitely planning on going to the Ski Dazzle show to see.

Keep the thoughts coming. I love these forums!

Quote:
Originally posted by K2rider:
**ALL** of these guys have nothing but great advice. I don't think you can go wrong with any of their choices. I've been to all the recommendations and think that they all have their advantages.

Maybe you can give us a lil more input on what you're after as well. How much do you want to spend? Do you plan on renting a car or do you want to deal with shuttles and public transportation? Most importantly, how old are you guys and are you going for the skiing? the nightlife? or both?

If you're both over 21 and like to party/eat well/drink at night, I'd say that Aspen/Snowmass is the hot ticket.

If you like to gamble, Vegas style...head to Tahoe.

No car will be needed in Aspen, Summit County and Steamboat. You'll need a car to get around to the best resorts in Utah and Tahoe.

Steamboat is my favorite resort (I love snowboarding in the trees)!! but for you guys, I'd say go somewhere where you can get some variety. As much as I agree about what others have said about Snowmass being an awesome intermediates mecca, the Summit county area has THREE resorts (Keystone, Breck & Copper Mtn) that will be exactly what you're after. At night, there's plenty to do in Breckenridge as well. They have probably the best multi-area shuttle system in existence as well.

That's my 5 cents...
post #22 of 24
That being said, go to Steamboat. 40 minute shuttle ride from the Airport in Hayden, Bus system throughout the whole town that runs every ten minutes, and the elevation is lower than most in Colorado, combined with the lightest powder in Colorado along with consistent dumps makes it a good choice. I think better than anything else.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by IL_Skier:
The one post about altitude got me thinking, this is our first trip to high altitudes so that might be something to take into account.
I'd say that should be pretty far down on your list of things to consider. I've taken several trips with groups of six to eight and I can't remember anyone missing a ski day due to altitude sickness. Not saying it can't happen, and I'm sure it would suck royally if it did, but it certainly isn't a given.

But by all means be smart. Do whatever you can to prevent problems: drink lots of water, and don't overdo it with the alcohol.
post #24 of 24
Go to either Breckenridge and ski Summit County or Park City and ski all the mountians there. Both areas have pros and cons. Can't beat Utah for it's convenience to the mountians. Can't beat Summit County for its varied terrain and overall beauty. First time I went west it was to Breck, I didn't get affected (sick) from the altitude, just believe everyone and drink LOTS of water. Either area you can't go wrong. I would not recommed Tahoe as the snow is not as nice as the other two, more beautiful, but the snow is definately lighter in UT and CO.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › First out west trip recommendations