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Booking First Trip Out West - Need Help - Page 2

post #31 of 40
Chiming in late here after loads of good advice and plenty of options.

From someone who has traveled from the East to ski about a dozen areas in CO, UT, NM...it sounds like you are leaning towards what would have been my first recommendation for your profile: Alta/Bird...because of proximity to good air travel connection from points East, good snow, challenging terrain, and pretty good value too. You're long overdue to ski the West. You won't be disappointed with LCC and it will keep you fully occupied for 4 days. I would concur with others recommending that you stay slopeside. Commuting would be a hassle for the short duration of your trip when you are trying to maximize slope-time. Remember, it may be possible to ski in the AM before you depart on your last day if you want to squeeze that in. Traveling Wed-Sun might be better than Thur-Mon just because you always want to maximize weekday slope time over weekend slope time. The Snowbird tram can see big lift lines.
If your budget is tight: I would question the need for a rental vehicle unless you get a $100 compact. Take an airport shuttle for about $50-60 roundtrip each to LCC and use the savings over an SUV rental to help defray cost of slopeside lodging. Or if your budget is really tight, sleep in Sandy, UT and use public bus to and from LCC each day. If you're going for the free first day lift ticket at the PC resorts and plan to bounce between there and LCC or BCC then a rental vehicle is probably the way to go.
Trivial personal geographic observation: Alta/Bird are in a snowy alpine canyon amazingly close to the flat, brown desert floor of the city/airport. In general, however, the mountain scenery in the SLC region is not quite as impressive as some other western ski destinations. Not too worry, the snow conditions and on-hill terrain variety are among the very best the freakin' world.
post #32 of 40
one thing we have all forgotten is change in altitude. you will feel queesy and not particularly hungry for a day or two. Good news is even the 3.2 beer will give you a buzz.

More Utah factoids - unless you are a superb skier and/or have legs of steel, you can save a few bucks and not get a tram pass at Snowbird. You can get tons of skiing in on the chairs.

make sure your lodging has a hot tub. You will need it.
post #33 of 40
TahoeTR...you are such a CHEERLEADER for a place you don't even live in anymore!
However you make excellent points, and it's tough to argue with them. However...and you know what I'm gonna say next...I'd like Scalce to consider Steamboat. Nobody else has, so why not? Admittedly, I live in the shadow of Mt. Hood, Oregon...but although Hood specializes in snow quantity (except this year)...Steamboat specializes in snow QUALITY. Most would agree, Steamboat's Champagne Powder is even drier than Utah's best, based on water content. Also, most airlines can you fly into Hayden
just a few miles from the "Boat." Rental cars available at the airport, or some properties
will pick you up, but depending on where you're staying...car may not be necessary.

As for the town, the nightlife, the ambience...Steamboat is a rustic ol' cowtown with very large array of shops and restaurants, and the locals do go out of their way to make you feel welcome. It's definitely NOT Aspen or Vail. Not much fur here...more boots and cowboy hats kinda thing. But it's genuine...not dorky country bar kinda thing. We're talking about the people who live here and their lifestyle.

And that brings us to the mountain itself: http://www.steamboat.com/home.aspx
This the 2nd largest area in Colorado behind Vail. You will find trees galore, bumps that will murder your quads, high speed cruisers, steep blacks, and truly incredible powder. Hike to it...or take the chair, there's so much terrain it'll occupy you for days.
Some of the greatest skiers in the world live there...and they could live anywhere.
Must be a reason. Anyway, I moved out west from NY 34 years ago...whatever place you choose, you will be impressed. Me? I go back to the Boat every year. Yeah, must be a reason.
post #34 of 40
Wbray, Keep in mind that it can be-10 and very dry here in Utah and not feel as cold as it does at 30 degrees if it is damp and wet. The coldest I have ever been was a Christmas a few years back in London England. I have skied here at -20 and it wasn't all that bad. just take a break ever 2 hours or so to warm up the feet and back out for a few more runs.
post #35 of 40
Ok old habits are hard to break.
Steamboat is good, but i'd still argue the dryess of the snow
Maybe one of theses years i'll get to ski there again.
P51 the will reason you go back is that since yu live at sea level, or damnd close, you get a quicker buzz
post #36 of 40
Originally Posted by P51Express
Steamboat specializes in snow QUALITY. Most would agree, Steamboat's Champagne Powder is even drier than Utah's best, based on water content.
Maybe (I doubt it) but...

Area, New Snow, Base Depth, Annual Snowfall
Steamboat 0" 35" - 41", 337"
Alta 6" 114"-114",500"

EDIT: If there's any doubt were not gettin hammered this year, checkout the POD, archives for the two resorts.

The boat

PS Alta's way ahead because they've been doing 3 pics a day during the storms...
post #37 of 40
Originally Posted by Scalce
I have never skied in powder so I am not sure if I could take advantage of their harder terrain.

All of you guys wishful thinking for a 'snow swimming' expedition might be a little more than what was asked for. A little less challenge, and a lot more convenience and versatility might be what a first vacation to the west is all about.

Top candidates in that arena are: Summit County/Vail, Colorado; Park City, Utah; and Aspen, Colorado. When you factor in crowds, Aspen takes on a different look. ...But then, many easterners are used to crowded areas and congestion, so they feel right at home boxed up in a canyon for a few days.
post #38 of 40
Check on flights to Zurich. From Boston, it's not much farther than going west, especially if you are looking at connecting flights.
post #39 of 40
Having been to Vail and Aspen Dec 11-18, Utah and Tahoe are way better. JUST LOOK AT THE SNOWFALL TOTALS!!! I love both Squaw and Snowbird for grooming much steep terrain. Powder is great, but it's nice to have steep runs to FLY down when the fresh isn't flying! This is just one persons opinion, but I will not return to Colorado anytime soon and Utah/Tahoe are excellent. Having a wife that's still a beginner I recommend Park City and Squaw valley as well as Ski in/Ski out accomodations!!! If this isn't feasable, go to Reno and have a blast!!! Jim from Virginia Beach!!!
post #40 of 40
For a trip on the cheap I like Copper the best. You can get a fourpass on ebay for less than $100 and they have true ski in/out lodging. Go to vrbo.com for great lodging rentals by owner.
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