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East vs West + Baby

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Ok, here is a variation on the East vs. West question. My wife and I live in Philadelphia. We expect our first child in December. We want to do a week of destination skiing in March. We have several options, each with its own pros and cons. On the one hand we could fly to Denver (or even Vail) and drive to one of the bigger resorts (about 6-9 hours travel each way). Alternatively, we could fly to the East Coast resorts - Stowe, Killington, etc. About 3-4 hours total travel time. There is also the Tremblant option, also probably about 3-4 hours. We would prefer to have as short of a trip as possible with a 3 month old. Utah is totally out due to an outstanding warrant the authorities have on me regarding a mormon tabernacle incident that was WAY overblown.

There are a couple of important factors
1) We have never skiied in Vermont (or Tremblant), so we have no idea how it compares to CO or UT. We've heard there is no comparison, but really how bad is it?
2) We would prefer easy access between the place we stay (a nice one, I hope) and the slopes. If my parents come with us, my mom will do some child care and my wife would like to go back at various times during the day to breastfeed.
3) Knowing what you do about 1) child rearing and 2) east vs west skiing, which option makes the best sense, and of that region, which resorts.

post #2 of 4
We had a similar family debate several years ago and chose to go out west and I still think we made the right decision. Our daughter was 8 months old at the time of the trip, so it is a little different, but here is what I'd recommend based on our experience... Try to get a direct flight to wherever you're going. Getting on and off the plane, waiting around between flights and taking off and landing were the most difficult parts with the baby. Feed the baby during take off and landing, that will help them adjust to the pressure differences. Also, try to avoid high altitude resorts. The baby will likely be much more sensitive to this than you. For us, the flights weren't much of a problem, the altitude was the biggest issue. We were told the experience we had with the altitude was common among families with babies.
post #3 of 4
I'll chime in with my $.02:

I ski in the East because I live here. Every chance I get I travel West. The East has its own charm & beauty, but for pure skiing fun and a relaxing experience which is what I want on a vacation, the West is by far superior. Eastern skiing is charcterized by narrow, crowded, icy trails, especially the closer you are to NYC. Contrary to conventional wisdom, New England ski areas have pretty good vertical, as much as a lot of Western areas. The difference is in acreage which helps to spread out the skiers in the west.

The quality of snow is another consideration, eastern snow is largely man-made and with one exception (Jay Peak) the east gets a lot less snow than any mountain out west.

There is better and more abundant lodging close to and on the mountains in the west and western areas often have free shuttles.

I suggest places like Park City, Snowmass and Steamboat, where you can get reasonable lodging close to the mountain and where there is a lot of terrain and few crowds. Unless the price of plane fare is a real issue, I would not even consider the east for an extended trip.
post #4 of 4
Go WEST young man!!
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