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Best resort in the west

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I will be driving from Santa Fe to Portland for my spring break in two weeks and I have the chance (thanks to my parents) to stop at any mountain in the west for a day of skiing. Though I have been skiing many times I haven't really had the chance to ski anywhere outside of Oregon and New Mexico. I'm really looking foreward to this and I'd like to hear everyones opinions on where they would stop if they had the chance. Though it would be nice to pay less for lodging, money (for a change) really isn't an issue, and I'd rather pay more for a lift ticket if it meant better terrain. Thanks! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #2 of 21
You are lucky. You'll be luckier if you go to Sun Valley, Idaho. The mountain has everything off one peak. The town is ideal. Have a memorable day.
post #3 of 21
Isn't Sun Valley low on snow this year? (always?)

post #4 of 21
It depends what type of stuff you like to ski, but it's hard to go wrong in Utah. Give us some more information and I can be more specific. Check the snow report/forecast before deciding whether you want to visit Sun Valley.
post #5 of 21
If you go near Salt Lake City on your drive hit Alta. If you go through California hit Squaw Valley or Kirkwood.
post #6 of 21
What level skier are you? What are your prefered conditions? What route are you taking to the PNW? Are you looking for a big name, or quality skiing for your skill level? Answer me this, and I will give my opinions!

Any which way, you can't go wrong, your going skiing!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 20, 2002 09:21 AM: Message edited 1 time, by AltaSkier ]</font>
post #7 of 21
If you only get one day of skiing out of this deal, I would reccomend that you stop in Glenwood Springs and ski the Aspen group one day. For the price of the lift ticket there just isn't any place else that covers as many bases in one price. I would reccomend that you ski Snowmass in the morning and catch a bus over to Ajax or Aspen Highlands for the afternoon. The four ski areas and the bus transport are all included in the price of a lift ticket. There are many good places to stay in G.S. and you can park in the rodeo lot at Snowmass for nothing. If you are really cutting costs, you can stay at the hostel in Glenwood Springs, and they will sell you a lift ticket at a $15 discount. Happy Skiing!!! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #8 of 21
Vail .... we have snow, snow and mountains.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #9 of 21
Some random comments:

[img]smile.gif[/img] You pretty much can't go wrong. I can't think of a major western ski area that doesn't have enough variety and challenge to satisfy anyone for a single day of skiing.

[img]smile.gif[/img] The thing that is most likely to determine how happy you are is the weather. You may want to create a route for your trip that goes by ski areas for a couple of days, so if you don't have good weather in the south, you can roll the dice on better weather the next day in Wyoming or Idaho.

[img]smile.gif[/img] Given that you'll only have a day, you might want to go for a smaller ski area that wouldn't satisfy you on a longer trip. Why go to Vail for a day when you'll want to come back to Colorado and spend a week there sometime? On the other hand, you'll probably never make a destination trip to some of the smaller areas, so take advantage of passing by. By this criterion, something likeA-basin might be a nice choice.

[img]smile.gif[/img] Even though Vail is more mountain than you need for a day of skiing, don't be fooled by not seeing "an inordinate amount of positive ravings about Vail in these forums". Vail is one of the world's most awesome ski mountains. I think the reason you don't hear about it much on these forums is that it's not a secret. The forums tend to be where one goes for information that's not readily available elsewhere.

[img]smile.gif[/img] Again, you can't really go wrong.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 21, 2002 06:51 AM: Message edited 1 time, by mps ]</font>
post #10 of 21
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mps:
Some random comments:

[img]smile.gif[/img] The thing that is most likely to determine how happy you are is the weather. You may want to create a route for your trip that goes by ski areas for a couple of days, so if you don't have good weather in the south, you can roll the dice on better weather the next day in Wyoming or Idaho.

I couldn't agree more.

If you want to hit Utah, and you board, why not hit Brighton up Big Cottonwood Canyon? Brighton grew with boarding, they have a great variation of terrain, taylor to boarders nicely, have great snow, and easily to get to if you are in SLC.

We have great snow right now, and nobody's here. Maybe you will get one of the blue bird powder days that we have been enjoying!

Have a great trip!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 21, 2002 08:09 AM: Message edited 1 time, by AltaSkier ]</font>
post #11 of 21
So many good choices... but consider Steamboat. Great tree skiing, usually lots of snow, and lots of good upper-intermediate/advanced terrain. Really, you can't go wrong whatever you choose. Have a great time.
post #12 of 21
Yep Steamboat. I've lived in Crested Butte and Summit County and skied in Vail. But I think Steamboat is the best in CO. Most reliable snow, best lift system, best trees, best backcountry, best town...
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Actually, a friend an I will be driving back, and we don't have a route set out yet, nor do we want to decide untill we've decided on where we are going to stop. So really we can stop anywhere we'd like. Adam and I are what I would say are upper intermediate skiiers (actually Boarders, but I hate the verb "riding" so i say "skiing"). We usually try to avoid the crowds and groomers on our home mountain, staying in the trees and backcountry, and probbaly the most important thing for us is to hit a place with good snow and interesting and varied terrain. I was leaning more towards someplace in Utah because I hear the snow there (if they have any) is similar to the light dry snow here in New Mexico, and that people are avoiding Utah because of all the excitement there. Most of the people here on campus were recomending that I go to Vail, but I haven't seen an inordinate amount of positive ravings about Vail in these forums. Thanks again for everyones feedback!
post #14 of 21
This is such a loaded question. I think there's a million questions that need to be answered before a place can be recommended.
<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>How imporant is lodging?
<LI>How important is night life?
<LI>What kind of terrain do you like? Trees? Bowls? Groomers? Powder or groomers?
<LI>Are you skiing just one day? Or do you want to cram more than one in around the same area?[/list]Personally, I'd start listening to the snow reports before jumping in the car and then drive to the snow. Tahoe, UT, Jackson, CO, one of them is bound to get dumped on.
post #15 of 21
Being "the best in Colorado" is roughly the same as "the only 5 star resturant in town since the bowling alley burned down"
post #16 of 21
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BSR:
Being "the best in Colorado" is roughly the same as "the only 5 star resturant in town since the bowling alley burned down"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ummm.., I live in Chicago. "the worst ski area in Colorado" would look mighty good where I live. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #17 of 21
yeah well, I lived in utah for a while, then moved to a more open minded and way smaller scene on a much bigger and more open minded mountain, from my general experience, if you want long flat bump riddled runs, go to CO.
post #18 of 21
BSR, damn dude! That is rough.

But since my skiing experience in CO is restricted to backcountry only (and a couple post season powder days hiking at steamboat) all i can say is it was a blast.

How'd you like that foot of snow we got sat night?
post #19 of 21
I take it that your tongue is firmly planted in your cheek (about that foot).
And your right, I was a bit rough. CO. does have some good terrain and everybody should go there. A-basin, the Butte and Telluride as well as Wolf Creek are great areas. The rest aren't really worth the money spent on the lifts but they do entertain a lot of people and keep the tram line smaller.
We have picked up about a foot by 14:00 Sunday and the skiing was very good. Downside was that tramline was about 25 min. Then the skies cleared for a bit and it went to a 40 min. wait. I called it quits at 13:00 and came home for the hockey game. How has B.B. been lately????
post #20 of 21
BSR, planning on heading down your way tomorrow. BB got about 4" on the day, but i wanted to see the game too. Yesterday was a skating rink so with only 2" new this morning, i was pretty sure it would be dust on crust so i bagged it and went to breakfast. Talked to a buddy who went up and he confirmed my suspicions. Hopefully tomorrow will be good too.
post #21 of 21
Everyone has given you interesting advice based on their experience. The great thing about a road trip is that your plans will change as you go, so be organized and be prepared for the moment when you are cruising through Utah and an urge to go to more than one ski area hits you and Adam. Driving through the Rockies tends to make you want to ski...A LOT!

On one memorable road trip, I picked up a hitchhiker in the middle of nowhere (50 miles west of Green River, Utah), and went to Salt Lake instead of home to LA. My boss didn't believe the sick calls but, skiing Snowbird and Alta with local powderhounds was worth it. If you get the urge to ski more than 1 day on the way, then the Alta/Snowbird combination is ideal. You really need a few days to find your way around the nooks and crannys of Alta.

If you recall my earlier advice about Sun Valley, do not forget who you heard it from first. About the Sun Valley snow, they are reporting the same base amounts as Vail and some other CO areas. For an advanced intermediate boarder, the terrain at SV is ideal. Natural gulleys, 3,600ft vert. non-stop GS cruisers, great glades, big back bowls for powder, high speed lifts (you only have one day, right?), and a pyramid shaped mt that eliminates long traverses to find the slope you want. It is very easy to find whatever slope suits your mood when you stand on top of Sun Valley.

Now I think I have to call a travel agent to book Sun Valley ASAP! Amex should thank you!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 26, 2002 07:18 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Rossiman ]</font>
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