or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Snowboarding in North America

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have skiied in Vermont but never out west in the US or Canada. This year I have a free flight to North America and as no one else I know has one, I am thinking of coming to North America for a week's snowbaording over Easter 2003 (i.e. mid-April).

I have heard that Whistler starts to get very slushy at this time of year. I also understand that a lot of US and Canadian resorts in the Rockies are closed or about to close this late in the season.

Therefore my questions are:

Which resort in North America am I most likely to find challenging steep terrain and hopefully lots of deep powder?

Should I consider Alaska this late in the season? If so, where is best?

If there are any great resorts in Canada or in the US (not Alaska) that I should consider please let me know. I plan to hire a car and drive around to a few resorts and so if people can let me know the best airport to fly into and the best resorts to go to (I only have a week so can't drive too far) I would be most grateful. I am going 100% for the snowboarding (freeriding). Everything else is secondary in importance.
post #2 of 8
I would fly into Reno. Ski the lake Tahoe resorts, Squaw, Alpine
Kirkwood. Then drive to Mamoth.
post #3 of 8
You will hear all sorts of reccomendations about where to go for the mid-April time frame, but most just assume that something cold and white is going to be good enough.

If you are looking for the place with the greatest chance of having mid-winter snow conditions during mid-April there is only one real choice. The Banff area(Sunshine Village in particular) is the only area on the continent that has both the altitude and lattitude to hold mid-winter conditions well into April. There is plenty of good terrain at the three sites on the tri-area pass and it won't cost you an arm and a leg at that time of year.

There are MANY places still skiing that time of the year, but everywhere else will have very high chances that you will be well into(or past) the thaw and freeze syndrome of the spring season.

Hope you have a GREAT trip!!!!! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #4 of 8
We have been to both Tahoe and Whistler in April. Each has something going for it. At both, to some extent, it snowed so there was fresh snow for at least part of the trip. At both, more so at Tahoe for pretty obvious reasons, the sun shone for at least part of the trip.We might have been lucky at Whistler as sun is not reputedly its strong point.There was slush at both(at the end of the day) and spring conditions (freeze/thaw ie very crunchy in the morning some days) at both.For Tahoe you absolutely need a car, for Whistler quite the opposite. At Tahoe you will likely go to a different resort for the first few days and then go back to the one you liked best. At Whistler you can go between Whistler and Blackcomb.Whistler is undeniably easier to deal with ie direct flight to Vancouver, bus transfer then everything within walking/shuttle bus distance. As said for Tahoe, to get the best of it you need a car.

I would go back to either in a minute.

If I was offered the choice of one it would be Whistler because it is probably easier once you are there ie you can spend more time on the snow more easily there than Tahoe where you have travel time to factor in, which may be relevant for a week visit.It is slushy at the base and you will likely not ski/board back to the base at the end of the day but so what!! Stay in the Alpine all day and download on the gondolas like we did.The going got pretty heavy at Tahoe later on in the day when we were there.

There are loads of restaurants/bars/hotels right at the Whistler base area in walking distance and in mid April you may hit the time of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival when there is a lot going on , both on and off the slopes.

On the other hand we came off the Tahoe slopes, drove home, changed and enjoyed some playing some tennis in warm sunshine when we were there- you would have to be pretty lucky to get that at Whistler, not impossible but unlikely from my experience.

Dont know about the Banff resorts- it was cold enough at Whistler- at the top- to keep the snow but one issue you should be aware of is that it could well be raining at the base area- which will mean snow at the top. It does make it a bit miserable at the base though- especially against the Tahoe sunshine !!
post #5 of 8
When do you need to decide? It might be an idea to see how the season is going and where the snowfall has been best. The last few years snowfall has sort of been patchy with some areas getting big dumps while other locations were sparse.

Banff resorts should be okay, although you could not count on too much new powder. Sunshine is quite high and it will have plenty of snow, Lake Louise should be okay, but might start to get thin. Interior of B.C. should be skiable but again you're not assured of any new powder.

I'd also consider flying into Denver. With that many resorts within a reasonable drive there is some insurance that something around should be great (ie: A-Basin). Additionally, SLC is worth considering for the same reason. Alta/Snowbird are almost certain to have a huge base by then and probably still getting hit with snowfall
post #6 of 8
Absolutely Whistler! The main reason is the World Ski and Snowboard Festival is on then. Free top name music entertainment, best skiers/boarders from everywhere in the park & pipe, pro big air competition, free demos, lots happening in the village. One big, non-stop, world class party. You will probably need to download the last tier of lifts then, so that means only about 3000 vert ft to ski, but you will probably get one or two powder days during the week. Don't miss it!
post #7 of 8
Having had to look for mid April holidays in the US/canada before there are some points on some of the prior posts.Denver is an option but the Colorado resorts are very high, good for snow, not great for altitude sickness if you are only there for a week. Some will be closed, others about to close but some do stay open. There may be a distinct "end of season" feel, which may have a plus in low crowds. The same goes for Utah, not so high so not as big a problem but a number will be shut/shutting but likely not Snowbird- not sure on Alta. To be fair Tahoe also has a bit of that in that April seems to see a number of resorts closing but Squaw/Alpine Meadows and some others will still be open I am sure. Crowds especially mid week should be lowish, even allowing for the Easter Holiday.

Whistler on the other hand is still going stong, espoecially if the festival is on. A word of warning though, we were there over Easter Monday this year, which was a public holiday in Canada. Most of British Columbia seemed to be on the slopes with the worst(longest) lift lines I have come across in the US/Canada. They were not seriously worse than some I have seen in the Alps and it was very civilised, no pushing etc, but they were a pain, particularly when the US/Canada are usually not that bad on that score.Later in the week it thinned out a fair amount but even so it was still busy, which gave it a "buzz" other places might not have, but with some drawbacks on queues.

With no disrespect to our US/Canadian readers the on mountain food at any of the places mentioned is probably best described as "usually adequate". On that score it surely aint the Alps !!

Not sure how old you are but remember it is 21 to drink in the US and the same I think in Canada. Some places ask for ID even if you are a lot older. They seem to enforce the limit more than in the UK, where for our US/Canadian readers it is 18

Neither Whistler nor Tahoe should give any altitude problems for a sea level dweller, as I assume you are, coming from London.
post #8 of 8
There are few things greater than riding Mammoth in April! In my opinion, the late season at Mammoth is the best time. Assuming it is an average snow year, the entire mountain will still be open, all 3500 acres of it. The only negative would be the drive. The nearest major airport is Reno which is 3 hours north. However it is an incredible, senic drive and you can easily get away with renting an economy car=no mountain driving.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel