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Park City or Aspen?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
OK, I've waited & waited to book my pre-Christmas trip to try and make sure I pick a place with snow, and I know I've got to make a decision soon! I need the wisdom of those of you who really know what the snow conditions (and potential crowds) are like in the West right now!

We want to take a trip Dec. 18-25. Right now, I've kind of narrowed it down to the Park City area (with probably a day or two at some of the other close resorts) or Aspen. Looking for the optimal combination of snow conditions (we are advanced skiers) and minimal/reasonable crowds. Utah seems to be getting the hype on snow right now, but how is Aspen doing? Will Utah be significantly more crowded than Aspen at that time?

Thanks for any feedback! (And if there is someplace that is getting great snow & won't likely be crowded that you like to suggest - go ahead! Confuse me further!)
post #2 of 15

The snow in Aspen right now is good to ski on, but the coverage is still marginal.
Snowmass is better but still we need more.

Aspen-Highlands will be open at that time and you can't get a more challenging hill to make tracks on. And it won't be skiied on alot before you get here.

Have never been to Park City and have heard mixed reviews. Mostly that it lacks something ( not sure what hmmm...good skiing? )

On Snowmass we closed up a huge portion of terrain after last Sunday so it doesn't get skiied out, + The 'Mass is so uncrowded mid-week that there's no to sum it up we're saving the goods for the Holiday crowd

One thing is for ceratin...Once we get another cold storm the skiing here in Aspen will be at its prime... Since the weather is rarely for certain then a trip two-weeks out from today is still a small gamble.

As far as crowds:
A-Highlands - NONE
Aspen / Ajax Mtn - Seems to always be crowded
Snowmass - Only at 2 lifts, not on the slopes
Buttermilk - Maybe...but it's Buttermilk
post #3 of 15
I skied Ajax last Saturday and it was pretty good. I skied bumps on something double black and glade 1 and 2. Aspen Highlands aren't open yet's hands down my fav in the Aspen family of 4.
post #4 of 15
Word on the street is Jackson Hole will be the place to be. Record early season snow; opening day will have 100% of terrain.
post #5 of 15
Then by God we need to get to the 'Hole...

A few of my co-workers relocated to JH this fall. .....Wonder if they knew something good was about to happen?
post #6 of 15
from their web site:

(Teton Village, Wyo. Nov. 26, 2003) - Jackson Hole locals are staying close to home as resort officials today confirmed that following a seven year stretch of slow starts to the season, this year the Aerial Tram, Bridger Gondola, Thunder, Apres Vous and Teewinot Quads would all operate on opening day, Saturday, December 6th. In addition, record snowfall in November will mean JHMR can open the infamous Lower Faces allowing close to a 100% opening and 4,139 vertical feet of continuous fall-line skiing and snowboarding.
post #7 of 15
...where's that thread 'bout excuses for the boss? [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #8 of 15
Utah is having one of the best early seasons we have seen in a long time. So far I have skied Park City and Snowbird. Both have been really good. Thanksgiving day the skiing was great. As long as we stay in this kind of storm cycle There could be fantastic conditions by Christmas. Deer Valley opens this weekend. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and doing everything I can not to piss off the snow gods.
post #9 of 15
Pinhed - I've got Fri/Sat off. Road trip?
post #10 of 15
Saw this $129 special at Snake River Lodge advertised.
post #11 of 15
If it was MY money and I had to commit based on conditions right NOW, I'd go to Jackson Hole. Unfortunately, I have 2 kids to deal with and no friends that are spontaneous enough to go on short notice.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
OK, I knew it, I'm more confused! Jackson Hole is sounding awfully tempting - we went there last year, but if conditions are going to be superior to anywhere else....

My husband won't let me book yet....he wants to wait until the beginning of next week & watch the snow a little longer(gasp!). He does NOT want to go someplace that isn't close to 100% open; he says he's going to be really irritated to go somewhere & find all the good stuff roped off. He's of the opinion that we waited this long to watch the snow, we'll wait a little longer...

So, far (I think because of the flying dates we picked), I can STILL find great airfare to just about everywhere....and if I end up paying a little more in airfare to insure a great trip, I guess I can live with that....anyway, I guess I have to wait another week, so anyplace else I ought to be watching the snowflakes at? How do Big Sky & Big Mountain look? Steamboat?

(Kay - where did you see $129 for Snake River Lodge?)
post #13 of 15
The early season looks pretty good right now, but there seems to be some validation of early predictions firming up. The place that is starting to pull ahead of the pack is the Canadian rockies. They are in a multi-day snow cycle right now and appear to be destined to benefit from jet stream activities that will keep fronts off the Pacific moving across them.

I just checked and Kicking Horse is reporting a 55 inch mid mountain base and has moved up their opening date by a week to December 12. They are offering some great slopeside early deals through their website. With that kind of snowpack and three more weeks of snow, it wouldn't be surprising to see all 2750 acres thrown open shortly after opening.

Lake Louise and Sunshine Village both have all of their lifts operating and very good base depths with consistent snowfall giving them the luxury of opening additional terrain at will. They are in good shape right now, and stand projected to be in better shape moving into the holiday season.

This is the year to keep an eye on early high Canadian rocky mountain skiing. As long as those storms keep rolling through, the temps should stay in a reasonable range and the snow will be plentiful enough that there be no dissappointments.

Good luck with your trip!
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey! I know people give all this great advice and don't always find out the, here it is! I did it - booked Aspen today; I saw they just got 22" and I've never been and really wanted to go - so, there it is! Last minute airfare to Aspen was kind of dicey to get, but I think I got a good deal on the lodging and lift tickets. I can't wait!

(Yes, Jackson Hole was tempting, but I was just there last year...Park City still looked good as my backup if I couldn't find airfare to Aspen.)

This may cost me more money, though, because instead of taking our skis to the shop myself for a tune & wax, I let my husband take them; he came home talking about a great pair of skis they had that he thinks he needs to buy....sigh....
post #15 of 15'll have a great time at Aspen. I'm sure they'll have even more snow bythe time you arrive. Aspen (the town) is the single BEST SKI TOWN anywhere in my book. There are places that hav a more "village" atmosphere but Aspen has so much to do and see in town. The BEST variety of restaurants & bars, the BEST shops and the mountains aren't bad either. Snowmass is my favorite there.
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