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Where to go for an early season trip

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Seeing all these messages about the early snow out West has gotten me thinking about making an early-season trip.

I realize that exact answers will depend on actual conditions & weather. I'm thinking of going late November or early December (probably after Thanksgiving, but before December 15). I'm thinking of Colorado, but anywhere else in the Rockies that is easy to fly near to is ok too. Generally speaking, what places should I be looking at that will have:

1) good chance of good conditions (even if it's only at the top half of the mountain), and

2) good package deals (lift tickets & hotels)

Any advice would be appreciated.
post #2 of 19
While on this topic, any suggestions about early skiing in western Canada would be appreciated. There's a nip in the air, the leaves are starting to turn, and I'm getting the itch.
post #3 of 19

Guide to Snowfall

This guy is without a doubt the snow expert. Don't plan a trip without him:
http://members.aol.com/crockeraf/
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
How is Arapahoe Basin in late November/ealy December? Is it likely to meet my criteria?
post #5 of 19
the basin may be hit or miss, i believe this is the 1st year they can make snow; but keystone - which is next door- does make snow and always opens earlier than most.
in addition to that, i'd watch utah. they get hammered early most of the time. someone else will have to take canada, i can answer that one.
post #6 of 19

Grand Targhee

further support and info (and speaking of Mr. Crocker)...

http://www.skiingmag.com/skiing/trav...328638,00.html

(the bears who hit targhee during last year's Gathering had a grrrrrreat time.)
post #7 of 19
The last two years I was skiing powder in Brighton and Alta a few days before Thanks Giving. Last November 20, I got stuck on the mountain due to a blizzard.

It’s a bit scary to make all the arrangements before there is snow on the ground but if you got a bad itch, take a chance. I'll be there.

post #8 of 19
Go to Vail. Even without the back bowls open there is a ton of great terrain open on the front and in Game Creek Bowl. Hopefully we get dumped on this year and the back bowls will open early December.

Araphoe Basin is a great atmosphere but they need alot of snow to open up the East Wall and Pali. That's when the Basin gets good.

Take a look at Loveland too. Sometimes they get lucky and have a good early season.
post #9 of 19

Early openings in the Canadian Rockies

Depends on the snow (shock and surprise) but Sunshine can open as early as the middle of November with relatively decent conditions. Lake Louise makes some of its own snow on the front face and my recollection is it is usually about a week or so behind Sunshine. Kicking Horse is scheduled to open the week before Christmas. I haven't checked on Fernie recently (Just checked-- no tentative date posted).

Last year we had a good early base at Sunshine so early season (before Christmas) was good, but then we hit a dry spell for several weeks. Banff has been really hurting for tourist dollars the last couple of years so there may be some reasonable deals on accommodation and lift tickets. By the end of October we'll have a better idea what the early season looks like, and there should still be lots of early season rooms available. If you are seriously looking for good deals you might want to consider staying in Canmore--15 minutes more to the mountain but about a 15% discount on the accommodation (not much night life though).
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by PerSwede
, but anywhere else in the Rockies that is easy to fly near to is ok too. Generally speaking, what places should I be looking at that will have:

1) good chance of good conditions (even if it's only at the top half of the mountain), and

2) good package deals (lift tickets & hotels)

Any advice would be appreciated.
easy to fly into?
SLC airport is 40 minutes from 7 world class resorts
good early conditions?
Utah has always had some of the best early conditions, in my time both here & in Colorado the only time I remember the UT resorts not being open for Turkey day was 1987
Package deals?
www.skisaltlake.org
you can stay in the city or in Midvale & ski 4 resorts for the price of 1 ticket, often included in your accomdations

if you want to be slopeside I work in an Inn @ Solitude matt AT skisolitude and a . and a c o M
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_davis
...if you want to be slopeside I work in an Inn @ Solitude matt AT skisolitude and a . and a c o M
matt,
For the last couple of years I was skiing in Brighton and Alta the week before Thanksgiving. We were lucky to be there during blizzards and ski fresh with no lift lines. Brighton lodge is the ultimate ski-in/ski-out but too rough for the kids (they get a TV/amenities withdrawal after 48 hours). I’m planning to go again this year Nov. 19-24. Slopeside in Solitude sounds interesting, please elaborate.
post #12 of 19
Gotta watch conditions. Don't even worry yourself til Nov. 1 or so. There should be some indications of who's having good early season snow by then.

I booked Park City last Thanksgvng. with 2 weeks notice after watching them get pummeled all late Oct./Nov.

Top "most likelies" for me= Snowbird, Vail, Alberta resorts.
post #13 of 19
Wolf Creek is a good bet. I hit it last November before Thanksgiving - 100% of mountain was open.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAR
matt,
For the last couple of years I was skiing in Brighton and Alta the week before Thanksgiving. We were lucky to be there during blizzards and ski fresh with no lift lines. Brighton lodge is the ultimate ski-in/ski-out but too rough for the kids (they get a TV/amenities withdrawal after 48 hours). I’m planning to go again this year Nov. 19-24. Slopeside in Solitude sounds interesting, please elaborate.
The Inn is a 46 room full service hotel in the Village @ Solitude. http://www.skisolitude.com/inn.cfm

Brighton will most likely be open first this year like always, but Solitude should not lag too far behind especially with our upgraded snowmaking this year. You could easily ski both resorts from Solitude. contact me directly at the address above for more info.
as a long time member ( 3 hotels since I joined Epic) I want to keep my endorsemnets/spam to a minimum, but also make bears aware of what is available
post #15 of 19
Per,

Keystone and Breck start making snow mid October. There are a lot of specials run to capture lodging/lift deals out there. Check out their sites and/or I can send you some specific info as well.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rdy2ski
Per,

Keystone and Breck start making snow mid October. There are a lot of specials run to capture lodging/lift deals out there. Check out their sites and/or I can send you some specific info as well.
Keystone opens with a white ribbon of death.

Keystone will vie with Loveland to be the first to open. I bet A-Basin will join the contest this year with their new snowmaking system.

I won't ski Keystone in the first two weeks due to the Colorado pass holders converging on the place. It's scary.

Loveland is a better bet. On average three or four runs open in the first two weeks.

Two years ago opened 10-15 due to early temps and snow. Last year Halloween.
post #17 of 19
keystone = tombstone for the first two weeks of the season.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
Keystone opens with a white ribbon of death.



I won't ski Keystone in the first two weeks due to the Colorado pass holders converging on the place. It's scary.

.
Coloradans version of scary= There are actually other people on the hill, and they had to wait 3 WHOLE CHAIRS to get up!

C'mon out to Huntah, I'll show you scary! Yo Vinny, I'm doin it!
post #19 of 19
A few years ago I was snowboarding at Brighton on Jan 3 and the base was 38" with twigs and such sticking out.......it is not always a guarantee for an early start so make sure before you make plans....... Mt Hood or Whistler/BlackComb are the best bet for open slopes....especially since Hood opens in September every year and Whistler is the best destination resort you will find anywhere.....and not overpriced either......
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