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Something for my whole family

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I am going skiing with my wife and daughter this spring and need a resort recommendation that can meet all our requirements:

1. Challenging terrain (bumps/chutes/bowls) for me.

2. Good beginner terrain for my wife.

3. Good day care for my daughter (2 yrs old is still a bit young for the slopes)

4. Good ski school with half-day classes so I can ski with my wife in the afternoon.

5. Not Vail, Aspen, or Alta. They might be choices but I've been there too many times.

Any thoughts on what fits the bill?


post #2 of 28
Winter Park?
post #3 of 28
My thoughts exactly...Winter Park...unless you plan on going the 1st few weeks of march when it is Spring break time in Texas. They drive up into Colorado in droves and take over the state. It doesn't help that Winter Park is the 1st place they come to after getting thru Denver.

My next choices would be Big Sky or Big Mountain in Montana...maybe even Mammoth, depending on where you're coming from.
post #4 of 28

post #5 of 28
Crested Butte; Big Sky..
post #6 of 28
Check out Silver Star at Silver Star is a great family resort and you can't go wrong w/the Canadian Peso either.
post #7 of 28
I cast another vote for Winter Park.

Good snow. Bumps, chutes, bowls for you. Lots of green and blue for your wife. I don't know anything about the day care but I know there are tons of kids there. Reputable ski school.

WP is more of a ski town than a ski resort. Not much glitz but that is not why one goes skiing, eh?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 04, 2002 03:57 PM: Message edited 1 time, by astrochimp ]</font>
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions. I agree that Winter Park is a great choice, but I have been there many times. I have never been to Crested Butte. I understand it has good bumps and terrain for me, but is it a good place for beginners too?

post #9 of 28
post #10 of 28
Jackson Hole
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Batman:
Jackson Hole<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I love Jackson Hole, but won't my wife divorce me if I bring her there as a beginner?

post #12 of 28
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mps:
I love Jackson Hole, but won't my wife divorce me if I bring her there as a beginner? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So, it's got a couple of things in its favour!

post #13 of 28
Come to Utah I'm looking for people to ski with.There are more FBI CIA Secret Service on the Mountain Then Skiers.Besides the Olympics are alot more fun then I thought they would be
post #14 of 28
Park City resorts, especially Park City could be what you are looking for.

I've had great times in Summit County as well, but have never looked for day care. Have a great trip.
post #15 of 28
Yes, she will. I would think that the "beginner" choices at JH would be pretty dull after a day or 1/2 day.
Lake Louise has a good setup, don't know where you are located. Used to be really cheap childcare. I forget how old our seven year old was at the time, no more than 6 weeks. They might not have had a minimum age. It was about $25 a day. Lots of terrain choices for all.
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for everyone's input. We went to Park City for our first family trip. It was great for her, but not ideal for me (i.e., not enough adrenaline in Park City/Deer Valley and not enough time to go to Alta/Snowbird in the morning and come back in ski with her in the afternoon)

I'm starting to lean towards Crested Butte. I've never been there, but it looks like a nice town, no lift lines, some extreme skiing. My one question is whether there is enough for beginners. Anyone know how Crested Butte is for beginners?

Thanks again,

Mike [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #17 of 28
I would suggest that Steamboat Springs would be the best choice. My skiing family is similar to yours, except that my wife can handle advanced intermediate terrain.

Steamboat is convenient to get to by air and for slopeside lodging. The mountain has some of the greatest tree skiing anywhere and a few chutes to boost your heart rate. Steamboat gets excellent snow and sunny weather. The lift system is excellent. The greens and easy blues would be great for your wife. When I skied there with my wife, it was very easy for me to go down the expert slope while she went around the easy way and then meet at the bottom. I always try to find this kind of mt for us to ski "together".

I disagree with those that recommend Winter Park. To connect between parts of the mountain requires very long traverses. WP is also very windy because it is on the Continental Divide (lift closures are common). WP does have more challenging expert chutes than Steamboat. The greens at WP are very boring. The town of Winter Park is rather uninteresting compared to Steamboat.

For your child, Stemboat is famous for their great childcare programs.

Take your family to Steamboat Springs.
post #18 of 28
Rossiman is correct. Steamboat caters to families in a big way. It's not my favorite resort personally, but it may be what you're looking for. There's an area nicknamed "Wally World" that you and your wife would enjoy. Just ask a liftie where to go. The runs are marked blue but don't let that scare your wife. They're very tame. On the downside for you, the mountain as a whole tends to be rather tame also. As has been said by others, the tree skiing (Shadows is a famous run that deserves its rep) will keep an expert entertained-- if not challenged to an extreme level.

I personally prefer the town and atmosphere of Crested Butte to Steamboat. It's also much less crowded. Your wife would be fine at Crested Butte-- other than the North Face, it's not a particularly intimidating mountain. On the negative side, recent years haven't been kind to CB in terms of snowfall.

Bottom line, you'd probably enjoy either one. If you want a big, "Disney-esque" family experience, pick Steamboat. If you want a smaller, lower-key, more off-the-beaten path feel, pick Crested Butte.
post #19 of 28
Northstar at Tahoe including a day trip to Squaw Valley USA

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 16, 2002 09:10 PM: Message edited 1 time, by man from oz ]</font>
post #20 of 28
How about Copper? We've got an excellant variety of terrain from beginner to expert, the best snow in Summit county and a great children's ski school, not to mention Bob Barnes if you want to boook a lesson with him!!

post #21 of 28
I am really surprised you aren't considering Canada, what iwth the cost of taking a family skiing at all. With the exchange rate currently at .62, you really can get some great deals on packages.

For example, a 3D/3N package at kicking horse ( 2 people, 3 days of skiing) is $529 Canadian, works out to $330 US. Such a deal, and we love the Canadians for it.

post #22 of 28
Irulan is literally "on the money" by suggesting Canada. I am working on my family trip for 12/02 and have been to all the places people have recommended, except Crested Butte.

We have narrowed it down to B.C., Canada (Big White or Sun Peaks) or Big Mountain, Montana. Even though I would prefer Big Mt. (with a side trip to Fernie, BC) it will probably be less expensive to go to Canada. So you might consider these resorts in addition to my previous recommendation of Steamboat.

Irulan mentioned Kicking Horse Resort. A close study of the trail map will show that there is limited beginner terrain for your wife. As much as I am absolutely dying to go there... My wife and 6yr old twins would not enjoy the skiing there, because I would dissappear on the gondola for most of the day.

No matter what everyone says about any ski area, you can always find a favorite run and have a good time with a positive attitude...and a little fresh snow.

P.S. Anyone been to Big White this season?
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for all the outstanding advice. I am taking in all of it. Here is where my head is at now regarding all the suggestions:

Copper - An excellent suggestion, but I have been there many times and want to go somewhere new. Ditto, Winter Park.

Jackson Hole - This is the only suggestion that seemed goofy to me. I'd like to stay married.

Steamboat - The consensus seems to be "tame family place", so I am (perhaps unfairly) putting it in the same category as Park City, where I wasn't challenged enough on our last family trip.

Tahoe - Too far from Chicago, and I like skiing the rockies better than California, even when I lived in California. May be unfair, but that's my taste.

Crested Butte/Big Sky - Very interested in both places. All the good things I've heard about the town of Crested Butte is pushing me a little bit in that direction. My wife probably won't ski whenever the weather is bad, so this is important. What's the town like at Big Sky? Is Big Mountain the same as Big Sky?

Canada - I probably should look more closely. I just lack context. I've skied at Whistler twice (once awesome and once horrible snow), but otherwise don't really know anything about Canada. Something that would really help me orient myself, would be to know the most "comparable" US area for each of the Canadian areas that have been mentioned (Big White, Sun Peaks, Silver Star).

Again, thanks so much. I'm sure I can't go wrong with these choices.
post #24 of 28
There really isn't a town a Big Sky. There is the Mountain Village which has condos, a few restaurants, bars, etc. & a couple other clusters of businesses around but nothing like a real town. You go to Big Sky to ski mainly.

Big Mountain is right by White Fish which is a great bar hopping town. Not sure its a place for the kids, though.
post #25 of 28
MPS, It is all about compromises. How much of a beginner is your wife? The problem we both face is to have enough steep stuff available, yet keep them happy too. My research about Canada areas yields these US comparisons:

Big Mountain, MT to... One big powder glade skiing stash with very few people. Not sure, maybe Grand Targhee.

Big White to Grand Targhee, WY for powder and terrain. BW gets a ton of snow, opened this season on 10/20/01 on natural snow!

Sun Peaks to Sun Valley, ID. for good weather, moderate snowfall totals, cruisers and some steeps thrown in. No ski mt is better than Sun Valley, but Sun Peaks in Canada could be the Sun Valley of Canada.

Silver Star to Winter Park. Enough said I do not like much about WP.

One more thought for you. Consider Sunshine Village, Alberta. This place could be the ultimate answer if you want good snow, steeps, and beginner trails in a spectactular setting. It can be very cold there early in the season. If I could take a Feb or March trip, Sunshine Village would very high on my list.

I can add very little else to this thread except to open pandoras box... Europe! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #26 of 28
I"d compare Fernie to Alta for terrain, when the powder is good it's awesome, just not as consistent as UT dumps. Better beginner area.
Go ahead and smack me for blahspemy.

Red to ??? Problem is I've skied more in BC than I ever do in the states!!

suggestion: go with some of the ideas here for BC skiing, you really can't go wrong as long as you stay away from Panorama which has very little snow right now.

post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Here's the post-mortem. We ended up going to Crested Butte, which was a great choice.

We liked it because it has an excellent ski school, nice beginner and intermediate runs, extensive extreme terrain, great daycare, very reasonable prices, a terrific town, and nice restaurants. For such a small area, it seems to have about everything.

We paid about $125/day to stay at a beautiful B&B in downtown Crested Butte one block from the shuttle. The lodging came with reduced price lift tickets. My wife advanced from snowplow to parallel in two days. I took some extreme skiing workshops, which turned into private lessons at 1/3 the price. I even got the instructor to videotape me going down Headwall and Banana.

Because it is such a small but varied mountain, it was easy for me to ski greens and blues with my wife when she wasn't in lessons, but head up into the extreme limits during her classes and get a lot of skiing in the couple of hours per day that I was on my own.

The lift lines were worse than I had expected (once we spent over 1/2 hour in the lift line on Keystone) but overall were tolerable. Also, the weather was fabulous.

Finally, the persistent rumour in town is that Vail is going to buy the resort. If so, I'm glad I got there before it happened.
post #28 of 28
Thanks for the report from Crested Butte. Sounds like CB was a good choice for everyone.

Enjoy the off-season.
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