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Which Western resort - 40yr old Intermediates

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My husband and I would like to go somewhere new this year for 3-4 day ski trip Rockies or further west. We've been to Winter Park (liked it a lot, but want change), Keystone (OK), Breckenridge (too pushy, crowded, and boring runs), Squaw Valley (beautiful), and Kirkwood (OK).

Where is best for:
2 40-yr-olds, no children
1 low to mid-Intermediate and 1 Intermediate/Advanced
Long, winding trails with beautiful scenery
Friendly folks or small crowds
Base lodging (would consider driving/shuttle max 1 day to another resort)
No need for nightlife or fine dining
Price and travel time are considerations (will be flying from Atlanta)

Thanks for the advice. :
post #2 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by Kay:
My husband and I would like to go somewhere new this year for 3-4 day ski trip Rockies or further west. We've been to Winter Park (liked it a lot, but want change), Keystone (OK), Breckenridge (too pushy, crowded, and boring runs), Squaw Valley (beautiful), and Kirkwood (OK).

Where is best for:
2 40-yr-olds, no children
1 low to mid-Intermediate and 1 Intermediate/Advanced
Long, winding trails with beautiful scenery
Friendly folks or small crowds
Base lodging (would consider driving/shuttle max 1 day to another resort)
No need for nightlife or fine dining
Price and travel time are considerations (will be flying from Atlanta)

Thanks for the advice. :
Check out Big Sky, MT. It sounds like it meets your requirements.
post #3 of 23
Jackson Hole
Great terrain, great atmosphere, very laid back, easy to get to, one of the most scenic areas I've ever been to and the Moose come right into the village.
Moose

[ November 29, 2003, 08:57 AM: Message edited by: BillA ]
post #4 of 23
You sound like us. We try something new every year, and our group is predominately intermediate. I second Big Sky as a possibility, though as intermediates, you'd be sightseers off the Lone Peak Tram runs--it's all pretty extreme up there. I think Steamboat Springs is a great intermediate mountain, and unlike Big Sky, you'll be be able to find a trail to ski off of every lift. A night time visit to the nearby hot springs is fun, too. Steamboat tends to be less expensive than many of the U.S. Rockies resorts.

We're going to give interior British Columbia a try this year, which is simply the Rockies extended up into Canada (everyone I tell I'm going to British Columbia jumps to the conclusion we're hitting Whistler out on the west coast).

The Canadian exchange rate is VERY favorable, and air into Calgary just dropped like a rock this past week (Orbitz). Several resorts up there have had massive expansions in size and facilities in the last five years. Sun Peaks is predominately ski in/ski out. We're headed to Fernie in mid-march, and found because of the exchange rate we were able to grab some pretty splashy ski in/ski out digs for nearly half of what we'd pay in the U.S..
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by Kay:

Price and travel time are considerations (will be flying from Atlanta)
Just re-read this. Travel time to one of my recommendations, Sun Peaks, would be a bit involved. We have small children and wound up not going to Sun Peaks last season at the last minute when we started realizing the flight time involved--you have to fly to Vancouver (similar to Whistler), then get a puddle jumper for the final leg. Fernie, though, as are several other worthwhile resorts in that area, is via Calgary, which shouldn't be too bad. Of course, Banff/Lake Louise is right there, too. We ruled against it (this year) because we really had our hearts set on slopeside access, something we wanted in view of the exchange rate benefits. You've got to stay in Banff and take a 20 minute shuttle ride to the resorts each morning if you wanted the Banff area ski hills (Sunshine and Lake Louise). Still, by all accounts their section of the Canadian Rockies (and the Canadian Rockies in general) are purported to be the most beautiful part of the Rocky Mountains in North America proper.
post #6 of 23
Jackson and Bigsky are excellent Mountains you would not find better mountain views then what you get in the Tetons. But with only a few days do you want to spend your first and last day traveling ? Think Utah. Salt Lake City is a Delta Hubb so you should be able to catch an early morning flight from Atlanta and be skiing that Afternoon. Park City is a Fun town with three resorts Deer Valley The Canyon and Park City Mountain Resort.All with in 10 mins of each other There is free Bus service in town so getting from your Hotel to skiing is a breeze. Both The Littel and Big Cottenwood Canyons offer great skiing. Alta or Solitude might be your best bets for your levle of Skiing. All the above resorts are less then an Hour from the Salt Lake City Airport.
post #7 of 23
We are exactly your prototype, except for ease of travel (we hail from the Caribbean). My 2 cents:
We loved Jackson Hole and Sun Valley, but both may need some more travelling-to than you actually need....IF compared to Snowbird and Alta in Utah. By all means, for 3-4 days, go to these 2, purchase the linked resort ticket, and enjoy two of the most real skiing in USA. Alta does not have a great lift system, but is small enough to not warrant it.

Stay in Snowbird for ski/in-out.

Good luck.
post #8 of 23
Sun Peaks.... Alaska/Horizon have started flying daily to Kamloops from Seattle -

Sunshine.. great snow... no crowds - lots of terrain variety
post #9 of 23
Lots of fine suggestions from others such as Snowmass, Steamboat, Whistler, Banff area. However, these may have travel time or cost issues for just a three or four day trip.
Here's a case for UTAH: best combo of low cost skiing, convenient air travel and good mtns/snow. Park City area very good with nice town but could be a little busy. Snowbird/Alta even better snow/terrain/scenery, but perhaps a bit intimidating for low int. For primo low costs/low crowds yet still convenient consider Brighton/Solitude. It's primarily a locals mtn and will be less crowded than other two Utah areas mentioned, and deserted on weekdays. Brighton has small amount of relatively low cost on-slope lodging with minimal but adequate dining available, little or no night life. Scenery great, trails very good, 2000' vertical. Sister resort of Solitude is one mile away. Plenty enough skiing for 3 or 4 days.
Bottom line: stay in one of the slopeside lodges at Alta or try the Brighton experiment if you find it attractively less expensive compared to similar slopeside Alta experience.
post #10 of 23
I do work here so grain of salt needed.

report from the field
http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...c;f=2;t=005227

www.skisolitude.com

Great resort for intermediates, uncrowded, quiet village, easy travel.
3 other resorts are just a short busride away.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great ideas!
I'll watch the airfares and see what deals I can get for the windows we have open to travel.

We can go Dec 12-17 or 19-25 -- seems that would be the time to fly into SLC and drive up to Solitude where they are getting early season snow (some decent priced onsite lodging) for a few days with Brighton and Alta as alternatives.

Then our next opportunity would be Jan 7-12 or Jan 30-Feb 4 (low season for many places) -- would consider more of a destination resort such as the Park City area, Steamboat if we find a good deal.

Last opportunity would hit spring break Mar 5-15, so we'll wait to see if we have to go then.

A few of the places sound too advanced for me [img]redface.gif[/img] .

Question about PC-DV-Canyons. On the posts I've read, everyone mentions how they are all there together, then only talk about skiing at DV and PC. What's wrong with Canyons? It seems to have reasonably priced onsite lodging, but not a good deal if going to the other resorts everyday to ski anyway.
post #12 of 23
Depending on what kind of deal you can find for lodging and ground transport, Telluride fills your specs perfectly. Absolutely spectacular, massive amounts of intermediate, no crowds at all when I was there last year.

And you can make a drinking game out of the number of times people tell you Oprah has a house there.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by Kay:
Then our next opportunity would be Jan 7-12 or Jan 30-Feb 4 (low season for many places) -- would consider more of a destination resort such as the Park City area, Steamboat if we find a good deal.
Hi Kay,

I hail from Atlanta also and regularly watch Clark Howard's site for deals out west:

http://clarkhoward.com/travel/tips/todays_tip.html

My wife and I purchased the $234 round trip tickets to Hayden (Steamboat Springs) about a month ago. Our philosophy is to find a great deal, and then find a reason to go there. It may be hard to find tickets on this deal now, but give it a try.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by Kay:
My husband and I would like to go somewhere new this year for 3-4 day ski trip Rockies or further west. We've been to Winter Park (liked it a lot, but want change), Keystone (OK), Breckenridge (too pushy, crowded, and boring runs), Squaw Valley (beautiful), and Kirkwood (OK).

Where is best for:
2 40-yr-olds, no children
1 low to mid-Intermediate and 1 Intermediate/Advanced
Long, winding trails with beautiful scenery
Friendly folks or small crowds
Base lodging (would consider driving/shuttle max 1 day to another resort)
No need for nightlife or fine dining
Price and travel time are considerations (will be flying from Atlanta)

Thanks for the advice. :
Next weekend, I am going to Big White, Silver Star and Sun Peaks, will let you know. I think for intermediates, those resorts are very fit. Of course Fernie, Kimberly, Fairmount Springs, are great also. If you have the time, you can fly into Spokane and drive up from the Idaho side and visit Schwitzer also, great lake views.

I am bit tired of Tahoe as I am local here.
post #15 of 23
Not a single person has mentioned Crested Butte.

What gives??

I would second Tride.

CB(or Crusty Butt) is 30 min from Gunnison County Airport. YOu don;t need a rental car and shuttle service is great. Beautiful Scenery. Great intermediate and advanced terrain. Slopeside accomodations and cheaper than most reserts in CO. Also, they have wonderful dining in town which is 3 miles from the mountain and a few good restaurants at the mountain as well.

Tride is 60 min. from Montrose airport and it is absolutely beautiful there. San Juans rival Canadian Rockies for scenery. Lots of good runs and you also have slopeside accomodations on the mountain or stay in town and walk to everything. The Gondola will take you to mountain for skiing or you can get there off Coonskin Lift in town. Well,

I hope you have fun in deciding where and plenty of snow when you get there too. Any more info I can help you with, let me know!
post #16 of 23
Check this out Aspen Snowmass Web Site

Look at the Snowmass trail map. If you want buckets of Blues and a few Blacks to challenge you then this is the place. Also look at our latest storm totals...Epic Pow this week.

Just a suggestion. All these resorts are nice. If you don't want crowds then don't go to a plce that's easy to get to....come to Aspen, go to Telluride, Crested Butte, ETC.... we've got a niche here on the other side of the divide. Good snow, great mountains, and no crowds.
post #17 of 23
Xcop is right. Aspen is great also. You can probably get a flight to Vail/Eagle, Gunnison or Montrose for less than $300 bucks and there are no crowds at any of these places and they beat all of CO for scenery, laidback feeling and friendliness (especially Tride and CB). Been to all three as well.

Park City will be alot like Breck IMHO and you will deal with crowds. But Alta and Solitude will not. And they are beautiful.

P.S. I know for a fact that ATL has $200 RT tickets to Denver, however. Frontier, Airtran and NWA. Copper Mtn would be a nice choice if you want a good intermediate mtn and not alot of crowds if you are trying to stay cheap.
post #18 of 23
You might also like Sunshine Village and Lake Louise in Banff. I have yet to see anything on continent that comes close to matching the scenery on those two. Lodging/ski packages are very reasonably priced too. There's no ski-in ski-out, but the drives are easy. If you're interested, www.skibig3.com
post #19 of 23
you like what we like...of the resorts i've been to: WP(great), vail(only if you bowl), Breck(great town, mtn. stinks),and Snowmass, i would definitely pick snowmass...we stayed at timberline(ok) and literally walked 20 steps to put on our skis..endless blue runs from long cruisers(elk camp area), rollercoasters(naked lady), to the thigh burning Big Burn area...not a lot of flat, catwalks and less than 2 minute liftlines except about 5 minutes at bottom...

going to PC/DV this weekend so will give you a report later..

sometimes it's hard being an intermediate/blue skier b/c so many love the steeps, bumps, and nightlife...i wish i had the knees and the youth..
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help. United has put on a sale that ends tomorrow for several of the smaller airport, so we can get to someplace like Hayden for $288 RT in the same time it takes to get to SLC for $190 with change of planes. (AA special is only for 7-day stay). To complicate matters, I saw on Clark Howard the NWA miles + money fares ending today--we rarely use NWA, but have 20,000 miles so that would be a reasonable way to use them, but have to decide tonight! So, we are probably going to buy tickets tonight or tomorrow to go to Steamboat Jan 30.

Looks like the cheapest place to stay by slopes is Thunderhead Lodge room. Also will check into condo by owner in West and some others that say near Christie lift. As we've never been there before, hard to decide where to stay except husband said he'd prefer to be ski in/walk this time.
post #21 of 23
Our club stayed in the West condos a few years ago. We thought they were very nice, and great management. Not ski-in/out, but about a 3-5 minute walk to the gondola.

Personally, I like Steamboat a lot. It's a plenty good enough mountain for me (middle of the road improving intermediate), and the ambience seems more relaxed, laid back and grown-up than the hard-chargin' party monsterin' you see at other manufactured ski villages.

With airport access so easy, and less chance of altitude-related problems, as long as there's snow, it's a great choice.

Steve
Lafayette Ski Club
post #22 of 23
Steamboat Springs, Hands down!
post #23 of 23
for what you requested, i'd go with heavenly. here's where heavenly scores high, IMO:
-1 low to mid-Intermediate and 1 Intermediate/Advanced-very intermediate mountain IMO
-Long, winding trails with beautiful scenery-lake tahoe views on 1 side, nevada on the other; better than most views in CO, IMO
-Price and travel time are considerations (will be flying from Atlanta)-reno flights are usually cheap

where it doesnt score high:
-friendly folks or small crowds-friendly, but can be crowded on weekends
-Base lodging (would consider driving/shuttle max 1 day to another resort)-may have to hunt for cheap lodging near the base
-No need for nightlife or fine dining-casino nightlife is always on, but if you dont stay next door;you'll never notice.
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