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Please help with March Travel out west

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately I've just had to return my season pass and cancel my planned January trip to Sugarbush due to a torn tendon in my ankle.... However, my doctor thinks I might be able to ski again by February.

So, although I've lost a lot of ski time I did save roughly 600 bucks. Now I'm thinking I might as well put that money towards going out west over my spring break (Mar 21-28). I haven't been out west since 1999, when I skied Big Sky and loved it. Was at Jackson Hole in summer and really liked it there and wanted to see what it was like to ski. I've done the whole Summit county thing and it was cool but I don't know how that would work pricewise for me. Basically I'd love Jackson or Whistler, but the prices aren't great, unless I'm looking in the wrong spot. Salt Lake City and Europe seem to be options as well...

Does anyone have any ideas on where to go that would be as cheap as possible. The main thing that seems to be killing me is airfare and airport transfers. I'd be flying out of the New York City area, Newark, LaGuardia, JFK, Philly, etc. Since I'm 22 I can't rent a car at a decent rate so that hurts me as well.

A little background would be its me and my girlfriend, I'm a decent expert (by East Coast standards) and my gf is a strong intermediate/ low expert snowboarder (meaning Alta is OUT) : .

Any ideas at all would be greatly appreciated since it looks like I'm gonna get this trip and maybe a few days extra all year so I want to make it count (while not going poor either). If you hear a good airfare deal especially or know of something please let me know.

Thanks, and may the snow fall on your mountain...

-Pete
post #2 of 9
Utah might be convenient and relatively inexpensive for you. Good snow usually well into March, no car rental necessary, lots of buses and shuttles to Park City and Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon resorts. Brighton and Solitude in Big Cottonwood Canyon might be an interesting option for a skier/boarder pair visiting for 3 or 4 days. If you gulp at cost of staying close to slopes, look into staying in a motel in SLC suburbs and take city bus to BCC or LCC resorts. Check out this thread: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...highlight=utah
Another cheap option out of NYC in different direction is to hop a cheap flight to Munich and ride train to ski Innsbruck or St. Anton in Austria.
post #3 of 9
That last week of March is loaded with risk weather wise if you are interested in skiing decent winter conditions, and maybe some light powder. The rule of thumb by that time of year is to ski high(either altitude or lattitude) if you are looking for winter conditions.

If you are OK with marginal chances of excellent conditions, I would think a trip to Reno/Tahoe would be right up your alley. You can get casino deals in Reno that are a steal in anybody's book, and there is bus transport to most of the ski areas available. The fact that by that time of the year they will likely have some of the deeper bases on the continent should ensure lively skiing of some nature, and the entertainment value found in Reno is unrivaled by other ski towns on the continent.

The real goods that week of the year are found at the high Alberta resorts who typically stay 'in winter' well past that time of the year. However; the weakening exchange rate, and lack of airline deals will probably exclude this from your list.

Salt Lake is a major option also, but they get warming trends late in March also. ....It really is a gamble that late in the season.

Good Luck!
post #4 of 9
late March can be dicey for Montana areas. the best chances of good skiing that late are probably at Bridger Bowl, Big Sky, and maybe The Big Mountain. as others have said, you will be risking possible typical "bad" spring conditions of coral reef that doesn't thaw until about 2:00 pm and begins to re-set at about 3:15 pm... or bare spots... and definitely lots of variable snow conditions where it's not frozen into reef. of the 3 areas I listed, the chance of lousy spring conditions is highest at TBM.
post #5 of 9
Salt Lake City, lots of buses in and out of the Cottonwoods.
post #6 of 9
Late spring in Banff is usually a pretty safe bet with strong possibilities of seeing winter type storms at that time of year and skiing knee deep dry powder. Lat year we were skiing soft, blower pow in late April while the southern areas were well into spring conditions. As a bonus, most people assume that skiing is over by that point and you can score off-season rates. Not sure whether or not air-fare to Calgary would put it out of range with the turn-around in our currencies, but could be a pretty candidate.
post #7 of 9
How nice do your accomodations have to be? Whistler has a very inexpensive hostle that would save you enough to be able to afford more on tickets and airfare. It's bathroom down the hall time, though. Skiing at that time of year at Whistler is usually good. It can be full-on winter, or spring conditions if the sun is out.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

reply to all the help

Thanks for all the responses...

For the most part going to alberta, meaning Kicking Horse, Lake Louise, Banff, etc would be great (around 300-400 lift and hotel) except its tough airfare, around 400-500 dollars plus a 60 dollar (at least) round trip transfer...

Pheft, as long as it would be a private room a hostel would be fine. If a hostel is under 60 bucks a room for 2 people that would really help so feel free to post here or PM me about it. I'd love Whistler but the rooming and airfare make it difficult especially since I'd have to add an expensive airport to hotel shuttle, unless you have any good ideas.

So far, Tahoe and SLC are the two top options because the airfare is the big difference. It seems that hotel+lift can be had nearly anywhere for between 300-500 dollars no matter what, but planes can range from 202-700 depending on wheter its Reno/SLC or Montana, Calgary or Vancouver.

If you are planning on a trip and have a good deal or need 2 to make a good group rate feel free to let me know and maybe I can help myself while decreasing your rate at the same time...


Further comments and deals are greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all who have responded,

Pete
post #9 of 9
Consider Mammoth... 11,053 ft summit and base at 9k or so... it's cold in March.
Mammoth's best snow months are often February and March....
But there's nothing like a good sunny day on 15 feet of base either.

Tony
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Please help with March Travel out west