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Family Skiing In The East

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Trying to plan Christmas-NY ski vacation in the East (Canada or US). Any suggestions what to consider as far as intermediate terrain, less crowds , no frostbites, family-oriented? :
post #2 of 12
Well it may be one of the smaller resorts, but for a great family atmosphere, and less crowds than the major New England resorts, you cant beat Holiday Valley, NY. I must tell you though anywhere you go over Christmas will by crowded. Holiday valley just doesnt have the unbearable crowds that you would find on the intermediate terrain at a place like Killington. It has over 50 trails, great night skiing, and the town of Ellicottville is a really great place. It's also on the lake effect snow belt, so there's a good chance you will at least get some fresh snow while you are there. If you want any more information about the place just ask. Oh and by the way, no frostbites either.
post #3 of 12
Most anywhere you go will be pretty crowded that week, but I agree with east_skier04. Stick to a somewhat smaller ski area. The downside is that you may get somewhat bored with the limited terrain at a small area if you're going to be there for a week. As far as terrain, most ski areas have skiing for everybody so you'll find intermediate slopes most anywhere you go. Frostbite (or not getting it) is more of a function of preparedness, not necessarily where you're skiing. Obviously, the Northern New England/NY and Canadian ski areas will be colder. Plan accordingly. Another consideration is non-skiing activities in case you all don't want to just ski the whole time.

How far do you want to travel? Is any Northeast ski area fair game? Check out our site (link in sig). We provide ski area profiles for every US ski area in the Northeast.
post #4 of 12
Get some Dermatone for you face and you will be all set in really cold weather.

I started using it last year and my face was never cold.
post #5 of 12
Estimate from a mix of 1st and 2nd hand info:
Places with lots of intermediate terrain, but probably very crowded if conditions are good: Killington, Mt. Snow, Stratton, Okemo, Stowe
Places with good intermediate terrain and might be a little less crowded then first group because they are farther from civilization or overshadowed by other areas: Sunday River, Jay Peak, Pico, Sugarloaf, Smugglers Notch, Sugarbush North, Wildcat/Black
Smaller places with a fair amount of int terrain and possibly smaller holiday crowds because they aren't marquee names: Burke, Bolton Valley, Bromley

I've probably left off a few other good choices. All the above have a possibility of frostbite weather since they are in VT, NH or ME and that risk comes with the territory in late Dec. If the weather is not so great for skiing in early Dec it can work in your favor by reducing crowds. The bad publicity in the press can diminish holiday bookings making even some of the popular places decent, especially if there is a good snowmaking stretch for 3 or 4 days just before your visit.
post #6 of 12
Smugglers Notch has been one of the top rated family oriented ski areas in New England a couple times I believe. Also, they have a pretty good proximity to a few other areas if you need to "get away and ski" with Stowe, Sugarbush, and Mad Riverr Glen all within a short drive. Plus they are close enough to Burlington (all are abour 45 minutes-1 hour) that you could stay there instead of tucking in at the area (if you wanted to be in a higher population center, more food options, cheaper lodging, more stuff to do in general).
post #7 of 12
intermediate terrain, less crowds , no frostbites, family-oriented?

definitely burke. especially considering your planning on the christmas time of year. burke is one of the northern most ski areas in vermont, so it can get a little cold. but that also means that they'll have more natural snow and optimal snow making temps while other resorts may be fighting the weather. you won't have any crowds even during the xmas holiday, burke is one of the friendliest ski areas around, has tons of kids, and excellent intermediate terrain to loose yourself in. highly recommended based on your description of needs.
post #8 of 12
What about Jay? They get about the least amount of crowds. North enough to almost gaurentee snow too.
post #9 of 12
i disagree with jay getting the least amount of crowds. i actually thought jay was more crowded than i had expected it to be when i visited them. definitely way way way more crowded than burke, and generally more crowded than some other lesser known new england areas such as black, magic, etc. unless my one ski day there was an abnormality. not to say jay was crowded, but definitely not the least crowded ski area and more crowded than i expected.

regardless, it's definitely gonna be way less crowded than the other major resorts in new england and should definitely be added to your list of potential ski areas. jay and burke are gonna have some of the best snow and least crowds. though jay is a much further drive (a lot of which is off highway driving too), so that may be a factor to consider.
post #10 of 12
When someone says to me N.E., weeklong, Family, and intermediate terrain I immediately think Mt. Snow,Sunday River, and Smugglers Notch. When someone says holidays in the east I immediately think only if you have the patience for crowds.... eek!!!! It's not the cheapest of weeks either.

Good luck with your decision......
post #11 of 12
Try Bretton Woods. Great snow conditons, tons of intermediate terrain and very family oriented. You won,t be sorry.

post #12 of 12
Thougt I would add...... Holiday Valley was ranked the #3 Resort in the east in the brand new ski magazine, behind only Tremblant, and Stowe. Just another resason to check this place out.
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