Originally Posted by Cirquerider
"fortnight" = 2 weeks. Don't mind me, I don't really speak english. I had to look it up.
My sister lives in Heidelberg. If I was spending a fortnight next winter, where would you suggest going to ski from there? What months are best? It seems time to remedy this lifelong failure to ski Europe.
Heidelberg is a nice college town dominated by massive castle overlooking town. It is not far from the Rhine River and in wine country. It is about 150 miles north of the alps and well connected by rail and roads. Switzerland ski areas might be closest, for example incredibly scenic Jungfrau region around Grindelwald/Eiger, Andermatt, Davos (long cruisers). But the alps are amazingly compact by US standards and world famous mtn/ski destinations like Chamonix Fr, Zermatt Sz, St. Anton Au would only be another 100 miles or so farther from Heidelberg. www.ski-europe.com
is a good site to do some research and look for ski areas that most closely match your interests/skills.
A flight from west coast to Germany is what, 12 hrs? You could do a one week visit with 5 days devoted to skiing and 3 to visitiing relatives and arrival/departure days.
With two weeks you could hit several chosen ski areas. Trains are a fun and cheap way to travel in Europe. Zurich has a well connected airport to the ski areas of the Alps. I wouldn't let the rising Euro scare you, esp with relatives to put you up for a few days. Mom and Pop accommodations in Europe are still very affordable and often include breakfast. Lift tics in $35 range. Cultural and culinary benefits of a ski trip to Europe will be great. Scenery will blow you away, even someone accustomed to the beauty of Tahoe.
Timing of trip: snow quality in Alps is variable and snow sometimes comes in feast or famine spurts, also very dependent on elevation, but overall the best snow quality is likely in late February. Your sister may be able to comment on school vacation periods to avoid, and overly popular resorts to avoid, but I think the whole continent has rotating winter school holidays that mean some group is always on vacation between mid Feb to late March.