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Feb 2004 Ski Destinations

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Last Fall this board helped me decide on a Utah trip for myself (intermediate skier) and son (12 year old intermediate snowboarder)(Washington residents). Our trip in February to Snowbasin, The Canyons, Alta & Snowbird was fantastic!

This year, we hope to try a new destination in February and entice my non-skier wife along. Thinking about the following alternative destinations:

Big White, BC
Silver Star, BC
Big Mountain, MT via Amtrak
Tahoe area - Heavenly, CA

Prefer to drive or take train this trip - will skip Whistler this year and will visit Mt.Bachelor for a week in March.

Suggestions for our February trip, additional resorts to consider, places to stay, runs to take, places to eat would be appreciated. We have not been to any of these resorts. Thanks.
post #2 of 14
Big Mountain, the train adds an element of coolness to the trip. Also, not a whole lot of people do the MT thing, as opposed to the Tahoe thing.

That's my vote.
post #3 of 14
I will throw in a vote for the Tahoe area. If you are going to be driving, look into ski packages at the downtown Reno casinos. You won't beat the deals you can get, and the entertainment possibilities are broader than any other ski center in North America.

The skiing will leave nothing lacking either; except for the fact that the snow is heavier than what you experienced in Utah. All of your candidates are great places to ski, but Reno-Tahoe adds a dimension you can't find at the others.
post #4 of 14
I vote Big White/Silver Star!!! I want to know what you think because I want to go there in a year or two. I have a small DVD from them and it looks like a cool place. Looks like some nice powder!!

Ty [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #5 of 14
I don't know about the other places so I'll only comment on Tahoe. You can NOT go wrong here. Tons of choices as far as resorts go. You can hit the biggies (Heavenly, Squaw, Kirkwood, Apline Meadows) or save a lil $$ and hit the smaller gems (Sierra at Tahoe, Sugar Bowl, Homewoon, Mt Rose). There is also plenty away from the mountains to do....gambling, vegas style shows, snowmobiling, shopping in Reno...
post #6 of 14
Okay, you are in Washington State and probably want powder if you did the 'bird last year.
That rules out Tahoe, etc.
Interior of BC is the way to go. Silver Star or Big White make sense, and you might think about Trail, B.C. or Red Mountain.
You can drive further and try more, of course, but the interior of B.C. would be the trip I'd take, from where you are.
post #7 of 14
i recommend the faraya resort in lebanon for a new experience of mediterranean ski ( astonishing views with great nightlife)
just check the website www.skileb.com
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
It looks like it will be Big White and/or Silver Star. Which resort has best accomodations for non-skiing wife and 12 year old snowboarder son? How about a 3rd Resort nearby for a day trip? Any recommendations?
post #9 of 14
Apex is probably a good choice for a close day trip resort. It's about the same distance from Big White as Silver Star.
post #10 of 14
My wife and I spent 12 days at Big White & Silver Star at the end of February last season. We had a terrific time. Big White is by far the bigger mountain. We preferred the terrain there because it was generally more open than Silver Star, however both areas were great. Silver Star seemed to attract an slightly older crowd. One of the bonuses of these places as compared with the big name resorts is that a) there are no crowds to speak of, and b) they are relatively inexpensive.

Both places are 'ski in' towns - literally; main street is a trail. Big White has a bigger center with a bit more to do than Silver Star. Both of these places have ice skating, snowmobiling, etc., but they are really ski-oriented and isolated. I would keep this in mind for your non-skier wife. She may well get cabin fever after a couple of days.

Big White has a second name among locals: 'Big White Out' because it is sometimes immersed in a dense fog that makes skiing tough. The fog descended on Big White the day we left for Silver Star, so we did not get first hand experience.

Good luck!
post #11 of 14
Big White and the Star are both good hills, though the rolling topography of the interior plateau presents much gentler skiing than the craggy ridges of the coast. The snow is quite dry, but the area only gets half the snowfall of the coast. If you have about a week, consider doing both. 3 days at Big White and 2 days at SS (maybe a max of 4&3) are enough. Other worthy hills within a few hours drive are Sun Peaks and Apex (smaller, but a good one). Sun Peaks hotels do not have pools (not sure about other spots), but you get a voucher for the public aqua centre, a short walk from all hotel/condos.

As someone else said, these are ski towns, and non-skiers will get bored quickly. Your son is a bit younger than a teen, which is okay... not much for teens to do. Big White is about an hour's drive (in good conditions) from Kelowna, the nearest town, where there is lots to do. Vernon, nearest SS, is pretty small, without much character. Most BC interior towns tend to be more industrial, and summer destinations.

Many from the US have been a bit insulted by increasing anti-American sentiment this side of the border since the Iraqi war. This is more evident as you leave the coast and go into the heartland of the province; more rednecks, I guess. just fair warning.

The interior is a great place, but doesn't measure up to Whistler in any respect expect it's quieter and better value. I will be taking my family to either Sun Peaks or Big White this year, or perhaps both.
post #12 of 14
post #13 of 14
Originally posted by sno'more:
Okay, you are in Washington State and probably want powder if you did the 'bird last year.
That rules out Tahoe, etc..
Yup, listen to this man. We get no powder here in Tahoe. Nothing but wet, heavy leg breaking slop. Move along, nothing to see here.
post #14 of 14
Non - Skier Wife !! Your only choice is Tahoe. She will have plenty to do. Shopping, Dining, casinos, entertainment. You will
find plenty to ski. Half the fun in skiing is knowing your wife won't be in a bad mood when you return !!
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