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Is there anyplace better than Utah?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I have skied many places in Colorado and many in Utah. Am I missing the "real deal" by not trying Tahoe, Canada, or someplace else. I am traveling from FL, if it matters. Working on a guy's trip for this February.
post #2 of 29
All those places are good. I wouldn't say you are "missing out" by skiing only Colorado and Utah at all. If you are looking for a change of pace, try Jackson Hole. It is definitely worth checking out.
If you like powder, just over the pass from Jackson is Grand Targhee. After a good dump, it is not unusual to find stashes of fresh powder 3 days later. It is very uncrowded, and gets lots of snow.
post #3 of 29
Utah, for me, has the best snow - or I should say, likilhood of powder days. Other places to check out are Taos and Whistler - both are pretty special places. Of course there's also heli-skiing in the Bugaboos....

The broader question is "what do you want out of a ski vacation?" For me Skiing is 80% but comfort, nightlife, scenery etc makes up the other 20%.
post #4 of 29
This is a very subjective question!!

Utah and Colorado have some really fine snow and ski terrain, but for me the 'real deal' was found when I tried out interior Canadian skiing. The Canadian rockies are much more striking than what we are used to in the lower 48, and the entire atmosphere up there is much different. ..It still has HUGE areas of unspoiled terrain that gives it what may be called a "pioneer" feel. I love it. The central rockies felt that way some decades ago, but now they are becoming high altitude suburbs. ...If modern conveniences are not the first thing on you ski trip list, I would reccomend you try a couple of the Canadian ski resorts. You just might open up a whole new world for your winter pursuits. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #5 of 29
You will never know if you dont try some other areas. It is up to you, are you adventurous?

Mark
post #6 of 29
Yeah, it really depends on what you want. For a guys' trip, it still depends. If you want the best skiing, go for Utah, Taos, or J-Hole. If you want the best nightlife, maybe Tahoe would be the way to go. I've never been, but I think Tahoe with the casinos would be a great guys' trip destination. Like Vegas and skiing rolled into one.

For me, Utah is the best because you can fly in and be at the resorts in less than an hour. That's HUGE, since a 3 hour commute isn't my idea of fun, nor is the expense of flying into a smaller town (i.e. Grand Junction, Telluride, etc.).
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Your comments have been very helpful. I am a new to this site and am enjoing it quite a bit. It looks like many of you are on daily. A ski trip has so many factors: what are your chances the conditions will be poor, how much trouble is it to get there, will it be crowded, how old are the lifts, is it always cold there, is it more or less expensive. The list goes on. a couple of further questions. Is "inner" Canada really cold in February? Are the conditions at J hole unpredictable? Is the skiing in the Tahoe area significantly different than Colorado or Utah? I would definately enjoy the added atraction of a little craps game but dont want to sacrifice too much. I guess a trip to Canada from FL will require an extra couple days of travel from Orlando.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Maddog1959:
You will never know if you dont try some other areas. It is up to you, are you adventurous?

Mark
I love going to new places, it just sucks when you get there and it is'nt what you expected, Ya know what I mean. Going to a known place can get comfortable. :
post #9 of 29
h20

you can leave orlando at 1030 in the morning and with one connection you can be in calgary at 800 at night. two hour drive to baniff/ll area and your ready to ski the next day! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #10 of 29
I don't think Banff is worth the extra money of flying to Canada. Not as much vertical as other areas. If you want to ski Canada, Whistler is the place to go.

The biggest difference at Tahoe will be the quality of snow. It's much wetter than snow in Utah and Colorado. If you're wanting a good chance at a powder day, Utah is definitely your best bet. Hope this helps you out.
post #11 of 29
I don't know if you're missing out on the "real deal" by not going to Tahoe but you are missing the opportunity to ski some great mountains if you never go.

I've heard folks from Utah say, "the only thing wrong with Squaw Valley is that it's not located in Utah."

I think Squaw is as good as Alta/Bird but there is definitely a different vibe at each. You have to go to know. Both SLC and Tahoe areas have lesser known or traveled areas that are worth heading to as well. Snowbasin and Solitude in SLC, and Kirkwood, Alpine Meadows, and Sugar Bowl in Tahoe. Both areas have have resorts that are, in my opinion, nice but if I can go elsewhere, I will. Park City areas in SLC, Heavenly, Sierra and North Star in Tahoe.

For a guy trip, the night life in Tahoe/Reno can't be beat. I did that last year and actually left the casino's with money for a change. There's a lot of fun to be had in Reno on Friday and Saturday nights.

I love going to different ski areas in different states/countries. For the past twenty years, I have dreamed of going to Jackson Hole. This year, fortunately, I had my choice between Jackson and Lake Tahoe. I chose the place I've never been before.
post #12 of 29
billbyh20:

I'm a skier living in Florida who takes an annual ski trip with the guys, so your post rang familiar. I cant' speak to Utah, since I've never been, but some friends of mine go annually and rave about it and the airport's proximity to the resorts.

For the last several years my friends and I have alternated between Tahoe and Summit County. I used to live at Lake Tahoe and twenty years after moving away, it still has a hold over me.

We fly out of Orlando, and the crack of dawn departures usually get us into Reno around mid day. The drive from the airport is about an hour and fairly easy. My advice is to get an AWD rental and enjoy the scenic drive around the lake while sampling the various ski areas. Sure, its a bit of driving, since the resorts are all spread out, but most resorts there participate in a interchangeable multi day pass.

Feel free to e-mail me if you want more info about where we stayed and played.
post #13 of 29
Form a sentence from the following:
"spanner" "works" and "throwing"



You are missing out. You're missing out on other parts of the world!
Ski Chamonix, Val d'Isere, Courchevel, St Anton and Zermatt as an introduction to the Alps, then we'll see about a few other places to try!


S
post #14 of 29
One big plus for Whistler is the highest point is only about 7000ft. That means no altitude sickness or increased fatigue for us lowlanders [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by JR:
One big plus for Whistler is the highest point is only about 7000ft. That means no altitude sickness or increased fatigue for us lowlanders [img]smile.gif[/img]
It also means frequent rain and fog. By the way, Blackcomb's summit is exactly 8,000'. But the altitude can be good or bad. As you say, no altitude sickness, but it also rains like crazy, and because of the incredible vertical difference between upper and lower mountain the snow can be champagne powder up top and nasty freezing rain at the bottom. There's something to be said for areas with less vertical.
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by MittersillManiac:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by JR:
One big plus for Whistler is the highest point is only about 7000ft. That means no altitude sickness or increased fatigue for us lowlanders [img]smile.gif[/img]
It also means frequent rain and fog. By the way, Blackcomb's summit is exactly 8,000'. But the altitude can be good or bad. As you say, no altitude sickness, but it also rains like crazy, and because of the incredible vertical difference between upper and lower mountain the snow can be champagne powder up top and nasty freezing rain at the bottom. There's something to be said for areas with less vertical.</font>[/quote]Thank you. This is something I had heard. Fog, poor visability, etc.. It is good to know the risks/rewards.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by billbyh2o:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by MittersillManiac:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by JR:
One big plus for Whistler is the highest point is only about 7000ft. That means no altitude sickness or increased fatigue for us lowlanders [img]smile.gif[/img]
It also means frequent rain and fog. By the way, Blackcomb's summit is exactly 8,000'. But the altitude can be good or bad. As you say, no altitude sickness, but it also rains like crazy, and because of the incredible vertical difference between upper and lower mountain the snow can be champagne powder up top and nasty freezing rain at the bottom. There's something to be said for areas with less vertical.</font>[/quote]Thank you. This is something I had heard. Fog, poor visability, etc.. It is good to know the risks/rewards.</font>[/quote]Adjusting to a high altitude can take awhile for someone from 12'. It makes you feel like !*#@.
post #18 of 29
[/qb][/quote]It also means frequent rain and fog. By the way, Blackcomb's summit is exactly 8,000'. But the altitude can be good or bad. As you say, no altitude sickness, but it also rains like crazy, and because of the incredible vertical difference between upper and lower mountain the snow can be champagne powder up top and nasty freezing rain at the bottom. There's something to be said for areas with less vertical.[/QB][/quote]

Heh, heh... never been to Whistler in February, eh? I'll meet you halfway on the elevation. The trail map says the Horstman Hut is 7,494' (Blackcomb summit, 8,000', is not lift served). Even if you get rain at the bottom, which is only early and late season, you ski the hill like a layer cake. Best pow of my life was in May up top, though pouring in the village. Canadian ski resorts have latitude on their side; Southern resorts like in the US rockies would be almost deserts if their base was only 2500ft. Frankly, though Whistler's vertical seems to be a big novelty sales point for visitors (Americans love BIG), for more local types its just a mountain with some great terrain and a fun town. After a couple thou of hard vert, a rest on the chair is welcome. I'd love to ski the US interior, but yikes, it is expensive! Don't know about that poofy powder down there, though... I'm used to snow with substance, but I'm open minded!
post #19 of 29
I'm sure others that post here have done the same but I've been to just about every major resort in the Western US (with the exception of Winter Park for some reason). I always say that the BEST resort is the one with the best conditions at the time. I've been to Whistler and never had so much as an inch of fresh snow but there is no better village that I've been to. I'm going back twice this year so maybe I'll be blessed with some of those epic conditions I hear about.

The bottom line is there is no BEST resort. Tahoe with fresh snow will be 100 times better than Utah with no fresh and the opposite holds true as well. It's just a roll of the dice.

If you like VARIETY, I'd say Tahoe, Utah and Summit County are your best bets. NIGHTLIFE?...Tahoe, Aspen and Whistler. SNOW QUALITY?...Utah, Jackson Hole/Grand Targhee & Steamboat. NO CROWDS?...Big Sky or Big Mtn, Telluride and Sun Valley. EXPERT TERRAIN?...Jackson Hole, Red Mtn (BC) and Whistler.

I'm sure I'm missing something but you'll figure it out.
post #20 of 29
K2,
You NEED to go to WP!
I used to have a season pass for that place, and yes, I live in England.

S
post #21 of 29
Hi billbyh2o,

Just to answer the questions you asked:

Yes, the Canadian rockies can be bitterly cold during the early part of Februray. I consider the second half of the month to be appropriate for me because anywhere in the high rockies will have about the same possibilites for frigid temps. The altitude is not a problem anywhere you ski in Canada. The highest lift served skiing in the country is just under 9000 ft. in the Banff area. I live at a whopping 40ft. and have never had any problems up there. ...As far as the vertical comment, someone better have a look at the stats again. Kicking Horse is considered to be in this group, and it bests everyone on the continent except Whistler and Snowmass for continuous vertical(4100 ft.). ..As stated, getting to Canada is no harder than getting to the western U.S..

The airport at Jackson Hole regularly has problems with weather. If you want to fly in there, you might give it another thought. On the other hand, the ski area is open almost all of the time and the skiing is hard to beat. You also have Grand Targhee nearby for any DEEP powder hounds. It's a great place to ski, but when I was there I had problems with altitude sickness. -The mountain took so much out of me, I think my problem was associated as much with fatigue.

The Tahoe region is different from the Rockies region mostly in the kind and quantity of snow they get. I love the area, but the snow there can feel real 'wet' or 'sticky'. This also translates to a lot of 'icy' road problems that are much less prevalent in the interior rockies region. ... Just to give you an idea of where I would put it for a 'guys' trip; it would be number 2, right behind the Canadian rockies for a 'skiing trip', and a definite number 1 on any trip that was more 'entertainment' oriented.

Hope you guys have a terrific trip!!! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by feal:
Hi billbyh2o,

Just to answer the questions you asked:

Yes, the Canadian rockies can be bitterly cold during the early part of Februray. I consider the second half of the month to be appropriate for me because anywhere in the high rockies will have about the same possibilites for frigid temps. The altitude is not a problem anywhere you ski in Canada. The highest lift served skiing in the country is just under 9000 ft. in the Banff area. I live at a whopping 40ft. and have never had any problems up there. ...As far as the vertical comment, someone better have a look at the stats again. Kicking Horse is considered to be in this group, and it bests everyone on the continent except Whistler and Snowmass for continuous vertical(4100 ft.). ..As stated, getting to Canada is no harder than getting to the western U.S..

The airport at Jackson Hole regularly has problems with weather. If you want to fly in there, you might give it another thought. On the other hand, the ski area is open almost all of the time and the skiing is hard to beat. You also have Grand Targhee nearby for any DEEP powder hounds. It's a great place to ski, but when I was there I had problems with altitude sickness. -The mountain took so much out of me, I think my problem was associated as much with fatigue.

The Tahoe region is different from the Rockies region mostly in the kind and quantity of snow they get. I love the area, but the snow there can feel real 'wet' or 'sticky'. This also translates to a lot of 'icy' road problems that are much less prevalent in the interior rockies region. ... Just to give you an idea of where I would put it for a 'guys' trip; it would be number 2, right behind the Canadian rockies for a 'skiing trip', and a definite number 1 on any trip that was more 'entertainment' oriented.

Hope you guys have a terrific trip!!! [img]smile.gif[/img]
I really appreciate your comments. I'll have to let you know where we end up and what I thought about the skiing and the other details of the trip.
post #23 of 29
Bill:
Delta has a really nice direct to Jackson Hole from Atlanta this year on weekends.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by billbyh2o:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by billbyh2o:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by MittersillManiac:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by JR:
One big plus for Whistler is the highest point is only about 7000ft. That means no altitude sickness or increased fatigue for us lowlanders [img]smile.gif[/img]
It also means frequent rain and fog. By the way, Blackcomb's summit is exactly 8,000'. But the altitude can be good or bad. As you say, no altitude sickness, but it also rains like crazy, and because of the incredible vertical difference between upper and lower mountain the snow can be champagne powder up top and nasty freezing rain at the bottom. There's something to be said for areas with less vertical.</font>[/quote]Thank you. This is something I had heard. Fog, poor visability, etc.. It is good to know the risks/rewards.</font>[/quote]Adjusting to a high altitude can take awhile for someone from 12'. It makes you feel like !*#@.</font>[/quote]
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by snowplow2003:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by billbyh2o:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by billbyh2o:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by MittersillManiac:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by JR:
One big plus for Whistler is the highest point is only about 7000ft. That means no altitude sickness or increased fatigue for us lowlanders [img]smile.gif[/img]
It also means frequent rain and fog. By the way, Blackcomb's summit is exactly 8,000'. But the altitude can be good or bad. As you say, no altitude sickness, but it also rains like crazy, and because of the incredible vertical difference between upper and lower mountain the snow can be champagne powder up top and nasty freezing rain at the bottom. There's something to be said for areas with less vertical.</font>[/quote]Thank you. This is something I had heard. Fog, poor visability, etc.. It is good to know the risks/rewards.</font>[/quote]Adjusting to a high altitude can take awhile for someone from 12'. It makes you feel like !*#@.</font>[/quote]</font>[/quote]Maybe Billybyh20 should stop drinking Zima and take his skirt off...
post #26 of 29
Whistler sounds good with the 7000 foot maximum. I hear its a long way to get there though...
post #27 of 29
OK - time for my .02 In this El Ninio year the southern half might be a better bet. I'd be watching the reports from 'Crusty But' (Crested Butte) southward and then make your call. Sadly it is likely to be a thin cover, short season up north.

I'm not too high on Submit county (as in submit to the lift lines...) some great skiing there but with the highest number of skier days in NA, it also has some of the hairiest lift lines!

If you're all strong and skiers (no boarders last I knew) Taos is a great mountain. Fly to Albequerque (?sp) drive a few hours to Sante Fe, ski a half day and head up to Taos in the evening (Taos is about 4 hrs from Albequeruqe, Sante Fe is about half way) and kill the week there. Stay in town and drive the half hour back and forth.

Telluride is killer and wasn't near as crowded as the Summit last time I was there.

When El Ninio lets us out of the grip, fly to Spokane, rent a car and drive to Fernie or Red Mountain and Whitewater in lower BC or do Schweitzer (Sandpoint, ID) and Fernie in a trip. Great hills all around and you won't be tripping over the rest of humanity while you're standing in lift lines!

Red is 2 hours from Spokane, Whitewwater is an hour north of Red. Fernie is 6 to 8 hours from Spokane. Schweitzer is maybe 3 (better map that, I have only driven it once so I might be off).

You'll notice that all those places are a little harder to get to than the SLC or Summit areas. That's why they aren't crowded. This is about quality , not quantity!

In the mean time, a little snow up here in the PAC Northwest would be really appreciated!
post #28 of 29
oh, one last thing ... No there really isn't any place better than Utah when the snow cover is there ... When I die, my soul is going to hang out under the Supreme chair at Alta! There are just so may people there now that it is hard to justify the trip. Still some of the best terrain in the world!
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Mal@hood:
oh, one last thing ... No there really isn't any place better than Utah when the snow cover is there ... When I die, my soul is going to hang out under the Supreme chair at Alta! There are just so may people there now that it is hard to justify the trip. Still some of the best terrain in the world!
Utah is Overrated. New England has the best combination of Snow, Terrain and accessibilty.

Utah has snow and accesibility but everything is so wide open that even on the steepest runs you can traverse out of trouble. Where's the challenge in that?

Colorado has monster liftlines and the same terrain problem. Everything (with the exceptions of Winter Park and Telluride) is way too wide. Narrow and bumpy is where true challenge lies.

Sierras? They are hit or miss. If you hit on dry snow there's nothing better anywhere. But you are just as likely to be stuck in 5 fresh feet of mashed potatoes, and there are the crowds (except maybe at Kirkwood or Mt. Rose).

Now before everybody gets all pissed off, I'm not knocking your home mountains or meccas (depending on where you live). I'm just illustrating that the East, whether you like it or not, stands tall in all areas except overall vertical. But even there, do you really use the full 3000+ vertical on every run? I doubt it. We regularly a full 2000+ here, on every single run, sometimes top to bottom bumps or tree skiing. All I'm doing is doing away with the myths. So dont freak out on me. I know the skiing is good there. The skiing is good everywhere remember?

What's out west that actually attracts me? Not much:
Winter Park - the bumps of sweet mary jane
Taos - bumps and nearly eastern trees with no boarders
Turner Mountain - as raw as it gets, no electricity, no phone, a porta-poddy for a bathroom, a wood stove for heat, $15 lift tickets, 75% true expert terrain, narrow eastern style trails, tight hardwood and conifer tree skiing, a newly installed 40 year old double chair as the only lift, and almost contant storms
Alta - I suppose I'm "supposed" to make a pilgrimage, but I'll only go because I approve of old style areas (applies also to Taos)

I don't like wide open spaces. They give me vertigo. I'll take 15 foot wide garbage chutes through tight trees, lined with VW sized bumps over that stuff anyday. It's just plain more challenging.
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