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Decisions, decisions...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Like many other posts, I'm looking for some reccomendations for a new place to go this year. Most likely Feb or march and since I have American miles, needs to be serviced by AA. The miles will not get us to Canada, so that is also out.

Choices we're considering:

Big Sky
Utah in general, probably Park City area?
Tahoe

I lived in Denver for years so I've done Vail and the entire I-70 corridore. Been to Targhee/Jackson and the Boat (our favorite next to Vail).

I love the trees and good powder. The wife is a bit more timid and prefers tougher blues/easier blacks but is becoming a tree fan. I'm happy on anything really so steepest/most extreme is not a concern when traveling with her. Good dining/bars for light relaxation afterwards is a plus. Good transportation within the area would be good to so we don't have to drive after a few Apres ski drinks No late night hardcore partying, but good food and microbrew pubs are our interest.

I'm really torn between the 3 choices any pros/cons from those who know?

Edit: I am following Coach's Park City thread...might end up out there with ya bud
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylormatt
Edit: I am following Coach's Park City thread...might end up out there with ya bud
Sounds good to me. I was thinking the same thing when I saw Park City was on your list.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
I myself am REALLY leaning toward Big Sky simply b/c it's somewhere I've always wanted to go.

Park City would be good too because I know a few people there from 7 Springs ski school back in the day and we'd be able to ski a few different mtns in one trip.

Then there's the tables at Tahoe at night and I hear the skiing ain't bad either :

Oh, the decisions!
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylormatt
The miles will not get us to Canada, so that is also out.
Fly to Seattle, rent a car and drive to Whistler (3 to 4 hrs). You might be able to fly to Bellingham WA with AA, which will get you about an hour closer. Don't forget to spend a powder day at Mt. Baker while you're out this way... spartan, but legendary.
post #5 of 21
I've skiied both Big Sky and Utah in the last few years. Big Sky is a great place to ski but there is NOTHING to do afterwards. We stayed at the Summit last time and pretty much ate and hot tubbed there and went to bed. Park City is probably your best bet. We stayed at the Lodge at Mountain Village. A little dated but clean and nice and right at the base. The town is tons of fun and they have a good transportation system. You can also take a bus to Alta or Snowbird for the day for a pretty good rate. Havn't been to Tahoe yet...maybe this year!!!
post #6 of 21
Of those choices I'd opt for Utah, but that's just me. Good snow, a lot of variety, and no complicated travel arrangements needed. Park City is a good choice with Deer Valley and The Canyons a stone's throw away.

Jim
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR
Fly to Seattle, rent a car and drive to Whistler (3 to 4 hrs). You might be able to fly to Bellingham WA with AA, which will get you about an hour closer. Don't forget to spend a powder day at Mt. Baker while you're out this way... spartan, but legendary.
Whistler is on the list for when we can fly in. I really don't want to rent a car at all or drive 4 hours after flying for 6+ hours to get to the mountain.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimL
Of those choices I'd opt for Utah, but that's just me. Good snow, a lot of variety, and no complicated travel arrangements needed. Park City is a good choice with Deer Valley and The Canyons a stone's throw away.

Jim
Uncomplicated travel is a plus! Fly in, grab a limo to the condo/hotel and away we go.
post #9 of 21
Big Sky does have some bars of interest at the base which serve a good selection of brews and grub. There are also a couple bars around if you know where to look that have music and dancing. It doesn't have the nightlife of place like Jackson though. You also have the Moonlight Lodge nearby which provides a shuttle service to the Big Sky base area.

When considering going to Big Sky you now have to take into account Moonlight Basin. Their expansion into the former cat skiing area plus their efforts to clean up their trees in the current area should open up a ton of good glade and tree skiing. Check back later for a report but Moonlight will probably worth skiing a day or two while you're at Big Sky.

When in March are you going? I would hesitate to recommend Big Sky or Utah in late March because you never know when the mountains are going to start mushing out. If you are going in late March you would be better off going to Tahoe where the snow turns to corn and slush instead of the deadly mush we get in the Rockies.
post #10 of 21
American Airlines serves Jasper in the Monashee Mountains of BC

http://americanairlines.wcities.com/...58,275096/610/

From there you can go here!!!!!!!!

http://www.wiegele.com/


: : :

It's only a dream of mine................
post #11 of 21
Matt

I'll add my 2 cents and preface by pointing out that your travel situation is a little different than mine if for no other reason that I'm locked into a specific week.

First, if it was just up to me and I wasn't traveling mid March with a wife and 2 kids, I'd go to Big Sky and ski there and Moonlight Basin, as well as hit some of the smaller resorts while I was there. I have friends who ski there every year and I'm planning on tagging along this year. For my tastes it has all I need. Great skiing, a laid back feel, no crowds, and enough night life to grab a drink with dinner and hit a hot tub. They have the resources to go anywhere, but always return to Big Sky. Having said that, with the family I was looking at Park City because of the ease of travel, 3 great resorts, and enough going on around town and in the evenings to keep the kids and the wife happy. I kind of look it like Vail minus the 2 hour drive from the airport in Denver. If it doesn't work, however, we're likely heading back to Vail.
post #12 of 21

Tahoe

Good points about Park City have been mentioned above. Another consideration is Tahoe. I have skied north Tahoe several times and have always had a great time. An easy flight to Reno and an hour or so drive to Truckee which makes a good base of operations. Several ski areas in a 45 minute drive radius: Squaw, Sugar Bowl, Alpine Meadows and North Star with a longer drive to the South lake. If you want night life galore South Tahoe and Reno have it.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ullr
American Airlines serves Jasper in the Monashee Mountains of BC

http://americanairlines.wcities.com/...58,275096/610/

From there you can go here!!!!!!!!

http://www.wiegele.com/


: : :

It's only a dream of mine................
I know, but it's more miles than I currently have available on AA.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach13
Matt

I'll add my 2 cents and preface by pointing out that your travel situation is a little different than mine if for no other reason that I'm locked into a specific week.

First, if it was just up to me and I wasn't traveling mid March with a wife and 2 kids, I'd go to Big Sky and ski there and Moonlight Basin, as well as hit some of the smaller resorts while I was there. I have friends who ski there every year and I'm planning on tagging along this year. For my tastes it has all I need. Great skiing, a laid back feel, no crowds, and enough night life to grab a drink with dinner and hit a hot tub. They have the resources to go anywhere, but always return to Big Sky. Having said that, with the family I was looking at Park City because of the ease of travel, 3 great resorts, and enough going on around town and in the evenings to keep the kids and the wife happy. I kind of look it like Vail minus the 2 hour drive from the airport in Denver. If it doesn't work, however, we're likely heading back to Vail.
Fly into Eagle brutha!
post #15 of 21
If you're tossed up between Big Sky and Utah, there's really no further discussion.

Utah.

Unless of course, you attend the academy. That's the only reason I'd go MT over UT.

Snow's almost guaranteed to be better and deeper in UT, and there are so many world class hills to choose from. Most of which are 1/2 hr. from airport on (mostly) good roads.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio
Big Sky does have some bars of interest at the base which serve a good selection of brews and grub. There are also a couple bars around if you know where to look that have music and dancing. It doesn't have the nightlife of place like Jackson though. You also have the Moonlight Lodge nearby which provides a shuttle service to the Big Sky base area.

When considering going to Big Sky you now have to take into account Moonlight Basin. Their expansion into the former cat skiing area plus their efforts to clean up their trees in the current area should open up a ton of good glade and tree skiing. Check back later for a report but Moonlight will probably worth skiing a day or two while you're at Big Sky.

When in March are you going? I would hesitate to recommend Big Sky or Utah in late March because you never know when the mountains are going to start mushing out. If you are going in late March you would be better off going to Tahoe where the snow turns to corn and slush instead of the deadly mush we get in the Rockies.
Rio,

BS has always been on my top 3 list of places I wanted to ski. As for nightlife, if there's a little bar that serves good local beer and some grub, we're cool. We're also fine with just hanging in the hot tub at night with a 6'er and some take out

I'm sure there's enough food/drink establishments to keep us happy around the ski area. We're first to last lift kind of skiers with a happy hour (or 3) at the end of the day ya know? Time frame is mid Feb to first week of March at the latest. Last trip to the Boat was over Fat tuesday. A bit later than I wanted, but we got lucky and hit the last 28" dumping of the year while there. My ultimate goal is 2nd or 3rd week in Feb., I'd like to be in "powder season" as much as posible. We need to be on the home mtn for any holiday weekends, other than that we're free.

I'd appreciate any updates you can give later concerning Moonlight. Know any local house rental/management places to contact? We may try to get a few ski schoolers together and rent a large place...just a thought. Lastly, any idea of PSIA lift discounts at the area slopes?
post #17 of 21
Haven't skied Tahoe since the recent(ish) base expansion but have been to Big Sky (twice) and Utah in the last 3 years.

For snow it has to be Utah although Big Sky gets fare sized dumps the sheer consistency at Alta and Snowbird of the divine, fine white stuff cannot be beat. As said above staying in Park City is the practical alternative with a great bus system to DV adn The Canyons.

As for BS well - great open mountain with some good tree runs. Not in the same league as Alta but v fun all the same for instance Congo and Ambush glades off the Ramcharger lift. For extreme BS is a great surprise: Big Couloir, skiers right going up the tram (must have a partner and the requisite equipment + ski patrol check in) and the A-Z shoots hikeable from the top of challenger chair. I wld echo the comments re night life at BS with 1 exception : The Corral bar/restaurant/motel on the highway. Its the cheapest place to stay, good eats and lively bar atmosphere and the shuttle bus starts here - so that means its the furthest from the resort!

Have a great time.
post #18 of 21
Taylormatt,

I say hit tahoe. Specifically Heavenly. From your description I think it may be perfect for what you are looking for. My wife and I had skiied Steamboat in 2002 and had a great time in the trees (she is also a Blue to Black skiier). We went to Heavenly, Alpine and Squaw last year and had an absolute terrific time. The tree skiing at heavenly is the best and I dare say better than Steamboat. Some may disagree with me but it was excellent. Heavenly has great varied terrain and the real nice thing is there is almost always a more advanced and a more intermediate route giving you lots of choices for runs. The resort also as some very nice steeps in Killbrew and Motts canyons. And the scenery at Tahoe is excellent. The views of the lake on one side of the range and the nevada desert on the other side is very dramatic.

There are tons of dining and resort options in South lake Tahoe. We are not big into the party scene either. We tend to ski hard all day. Have a good meal at night, may be a few beers and hit the sack to get a good nights rest to do it all over the next dayl. At Tahoe you have a little of everything from the Casinos to Denny's and everything in between. The other nice thing is that you have places like Sqaw, Kirkwood and Alpine all with in a 40 min drive If you want to experience more wide open bowl skiing. We had great snow when we were there in late February 16+ inches so I can't comment the consistency of snow conditions, it was great for us. I can say however that Heavenly has the highest elevation in the Tahoe area and the snow there compared to that of Squaw before we got the pow was much better. Sqaw was a little icy from the freeze/thaw cycles where heavenly's snow hadn't gone through that cycle - it was still powdery - The number of trees shading the slopes also helps. If you want some other specifics just ask. We had a great time!
post #19 of 21
I don't think you can go wrong with any of your choices. I've been to all the options and they all have their strong points.

Both Utah and Tahoe offer VARIETY with 7-10 areas to ski/ride.....

Utah generally has "better" snow but Tahoe will have MORE...especially if all this El nino stuff comes thru as predicted. Tahoe will get CRUSHED while Montana will get burned badly (assuming previous years El nino patterns hold true)...

Big Sky was OK but even the top wasn't as hairy as expected. We also went to red Lodge and Bridger on our trip. I actually liked Bridger the best!!

Tahoe has the best nightlife as well. If you have the energy, you can party or gamble all night and if your timing is good, there may be a great show/headliner in town!!
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wan2ski
Taylormatt,

I say hit tahoe. Specifically Heavenly. From your description I think it may be perfect for what you are looking for. My wife and I had skiied Steamboat in 2002 and had a great time in the trees (she is also a Blue to Black skiier). We went to Heavenly, Alpine and Squaw last year and had an absolute terrific time. The tree skiing at heavenly is the best and I dare say better than Steamboat. Some may disagree with me but it was excellent. Heavenly has great varied terrain and the real nice thing is there is almost always a more advanced and a more intermediate route giving you lots of choices for runs. The resort also as some very nice steeps in Killbrew and Motts canyons. And the scenery at Tahoe is excellent. The views of the lake on one side of the range and the nevada desert on the other side is very dramatic.

There are tons of dining and resort options in South lake Tahoe. We are not big into the party scene either. We tend to ski hard all day. Have a good meal at night, may be a few beers and hit the sack to get a good nights rest to do it all over the next dayl. At Tahoe you have a little of everything from the Casinos to Denny's and everything in between. The other nice thing is that you have places like Sqaw, Kirkwood and Alpine all with in a 40 min drive If you want to experience more wide open bowl skiing. We had great snow when we were there in late February 16+ inches so I can't comment the consistency of snow conditions, it was great for us. I can say however that Heavenly has the highest elevation in the Tahoe area and the snow there compared to that of Squaw before we got the pow was much better. Sqaw was a little icy from the freeze/thaw cycles where heavenly's snow hadn't gone through that cycle - it was still powdery - The number of trees shading the slopes also helps. If you want some other specifics just ask. We had a great time!
What have you been smoking? NO PLACE has better tree skiing that Steamboat!!!
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Haha, after skiing the trees at the Boat, I wondered about that myself. It could get even better??? :
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