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Advice on Beginner Trip/lots of questions. - Page 2

post #31 of 49
Don't go to an Eastern ski area! Air ticket prices btwn ATL and SLC would be comparable to ATL to BOS and the skiing oiut West is far superior.

There is no comparison btwn the Rockies and what passes for a mountain in the east. Plus I'd rather bet on conditions in Utah than the East.
post #32 of 49

Utah with a helmet

The answer is simple ATL to SLC. As others have indicated direct flights on Delta and short trip to mountains. Go to Solitude or Brighton, smaller crowds and fewer "hardcores." If night life is a bigger factor then Park City. Budget hotel options abound in suburbs.

Take a look at on Mountain accomodations! You might be able to get a great early season deal combining lodging and lift tickets. You also might be able to skip the rental car and just catch a shuttle there. Check out Ski, Skiing, etc. ads. and then hit some resort websites for deals.

Remember as a newbie you don't need a ton of terrain variety or epic pow. You need good instruction, decent groomed slopes and comfy lodging. Concentrate on a great experience that makes you want to return.

BTW -- I'm in New England and if I were in your shoes I would head west before north for skiing every time.

OH AND WEAR A HELMET!!! What's the worst that could happen with one. I got my only skiing related concussion while wearing a helmet. Without one...???

Have a great time.
post #33 of 49
Agree with Salt Lake as a good choice. You've got several ski areas with great terrain at all levels, quite close to SLC.

Also agree with Keystone and the rest of Summit County Colorado as a good possibility. Breckenridge and Copper Mountain are also right here, and are other good choices. All those areas have good ski schools and have lesson-and-lift packages. Breck and Keystone are both owned by Vail Resorts so a multi-day ticket at either is also good for the other. Summit County is about 1.5 hours up the mountain from Denver International. And there's a totally free bus system throughout the County. You could get off the plane at DIA, get on the Colorado Mountain Express shuttle van to your destination in Summit County (Keystone, Dillon, Silverthorne, Frisco, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain) and never need a car the whole time. Staying in Dillon or Silverthorne (or to a lesser extent Frisco) will be a bit cheaper than staying in Breckenridge or on/near-mountain at Keystone, and you're still a quick Summit Stage free bus ride from any of the mountains. Staying in Breck puts you in a real "ski town" environment with lots of fun restaurants, theatre, music, bars, shopping etc.)

Have you been at altitude? SLC is at about 4000 feet and the base of the ski areas are at about 6400 around Park City (Canyons, Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort) and more like 8000 around Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons (Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton). Here in Summit County, the base areas are around 9300-9600 feet and the towns are at about 9000 elevation. Not a big deal if you make sure to drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol the first day or so, and don't try to go big your first day at altitude.

Skiing blues the first day after a 4 hour lesson? That's an aggressive goal and probably unrealistic and not what you want to aim for. Skiing confidently from the trails off the beginner area chairlift by the end of your first full-day lesson? That's a more realistic and enjoyable goal. A couple of days into it and you'll be able to share some of the same terrain that your wife would be enjoying. You'll have more fun if you approach learning to ski as "I want to learn to ski because my wife has sold me on how much fun it is" as opposed to "I need to ski terrain X by date Y".

(Truth in advertising: I teach beginners at Breck but I'm not pitching that area or myself specifically - we've got a boatload of very good instructors at all the Summit County areas, many of whom post here on EpicSki. Whether you go to Copper, Keystone, or Breck out here, you'll enjoy it)
post #34 of 49
Please, if you've never driven in snow, don't start in the mountains. Go to a ski destination where you can get a quick shuttle to the resort and stay where they have free shuttles or a bus system to anywhere nearby.

Steamboat Springs is a good place for beginners as they have friendly terrain and a great ski school. You can also get a direct flight into Hayden,a quick shuttle ride to the town or resort.

Go to the Steamboat website and check it out.
post #35 of 49
Originally Posted by Lars
Please, if you've never driven in snow, don't start in the mountains. Go to a ski destination where you can get a quick shuttle to the resort and stay where they have free shuttles or a bus system to anywhere nearby.

Steamboat Springs is a good place for beginners as they have friendly terrain and a great ski school. You can also get a direct flight into Hayden,a quick shuttle ride to the town or resort.

Go to the Steamboat website and check it out.
What are the round trip prices like to go to and from Hayden? Is it not something like double? what it costs to fly in and out of SLC / RNO / DEN ??
If you buget your travel and have found nice pricing for Hayden? please tell me how?
post #36 of 49
Flying into Hayden from Buffalo has cost me as little as $249. I've also spend as much as $399. If you can get a direct flight it's cheaper. The equalizer is not needing a vehical.
post #37 of 49
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the advice. I have used biddingfortravel.com before and gotten some incredible deals using that site to bid on priceline.com..

Would I save money renting at one of the shops in town versus at the resort itself? I see myself with two options.

Option A.)
Stay in town, cheaper hotel rates.
Rental Car from the Airport
Drive to the resorts daily.
Rent skis and boots in town.

Option B.)
Stay at the Resort (Alta, etc)
No Rental Car (Shuttle from Airport)
Rent Equipment at Resort

I imagine if I choose option A and the weather is bad I can't take skis on public transportation, city bus etc.

I worry about option B and not having enough restaurant choices. Also if I opt to rent a car do I need to purchase a ski rack and or snow chains? I'm assuming if I don't and the roads are too bad I could park at the hotel and take some form of ski shuttle.
post #38 of 49
Why not just ski Whitetail, WV?

We'd all benefit. :
post #39 of 49
You can see by the number of posts that everyone wants you to succeed and most want you to go to Salt Lake City which I agree with. I just booked my trip today for early Dec so I'm pretty convinced things will be going well there.

As a die hard snowboarder, I admit skiing is easier to learn on your first day and probably fits your needs a little better. A few other tips:

1. Wear a wicking jersey underneath. A cotton jersey doesn't cut it cuz it'll get wet from sweat and then freeze when you're on the lift. You will not believe how much you sweat in winter.

2. Take lessons (Park City, The Canyons, Solitude or Brighton), stick with it and go three days in a row if you can. Your muscle memory improves quickly with back to back days. Since you're an athlete, you probably already know that you have invest some burning muscles and ego to start making turns down the mountain. Most of us have been there too but it is sooooo much fun once you get going.

3. Check the Park City Marriott for relatively cheap rates. I saw $99 a night in early Dec. You won't need a car since it's a few steps to the bus line to Main St and 1 mile from the resort.

4. Check out this photo-sequence. Obviously you won't do what this guy is doing on your first trip but it shows the beauty and fun of being on the slopes.
(click the numbers in order to see the sequence)
post #40 of 49
You can take skis on the public transportation. And there is free bus all day and into the night in Steamboat. Plenty of good restaurant choices.
If you do decide to rent a car better rent a suv. Won't need chains with one.
post #41 of 49
If you don't do the summit county thing, which IMO is probably your best bet, I would recommend going to Park City over skiing the cottonwoods.

The reason for this is that Park City has lots of convienient non-skiing activities which will require no driving for you. Getting to the lifts is also a short bus ride from wherever you are staying. Hop a flight to SLC, take a shuttle to park city, no hassles.

As great as the skiing is at Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton you will either be A) spending a lot of time traveling too and from the resorts in order to stay in SLC or B) Spending a lot of time traveling too and from SLC in order to find something to do at night.

Since it doesn't sound like you would be getting a whole ton of use out of the expert terrain offered at those resorts, go for the much better night life in Park City.
post #42 of 49
For you the Summit County or Park City advice is probably correct. But if your wife grew up living in a ski town she will want some advanced terrain, and in mid-December that means the Cottonwood Canyons are your best bet. So I would say stay in SLC, go to Alta first day. Alta has a top notch ski school and perfect uncrowded first timer terrain with nice snow on Albion/Sunnyside. After that first day you will have the first idea of your own progress and your wife will find out in short order how much she remembers. From what I've seen people like that get up to speed very quickly. Then you have flexibility in choosing where to ski the other 4 days depending upon what you both want.
post #43 of 49
One additional note!

Steer away from the 'beginner' packages for gear and lift tix. They are very affordable, but the equipment is often poorly maintained and likely heavily used. ..If you are intent on quickly making great strides in your skiing, make sure you rent high quality equipment kept in top notch shape. I have been with many beginner groups where I have seen people trying to learn on equipment I would have a hard time skiing comfortably on. A trip of this nature is too large an investment in time and money to skimp on factors(equipment and lessons) that will sustain an enjoyable return for your efforts.

post #44 of 49
Skip Utah, Your in Georgia. Get your plane tickets @ www.airtran.com Ski Monarch! Check out this Smoking Deal... 3hrs from Denver. Snow will be better, they got 20" two days ago. Any questions let me know!
post #45 of 49
Just checked Airtran $159. each way for Dec Bookings. It won't get any Better!
post #46 of 49
Definitely go to SLC. Ran into some folks at Alta last year who got a great package staying in Sandy, with a free shuttle out to the Cottonwood Canyon resorts. However, Sandy and even Salt Lake aren't too exciting. Park City is much more interesting, but you should definitely ski Alta. They have great beginner and intermediate trails, and it's just awesome. You should know that the lifts at Alta don't have bars on them. You won't fall off, promise. And you will have fun, even if it's frustrating at times...no one has mentioned the fact that you will have trouble even walking in your ski boots for the first few days. And dealing with the equipment will seem like a pain, but that's only until you get totally hooked, which will be on Day Two. You just have to remember that it can't be true that ALL of us are insane -- it is worth it, trust me.
post #47 of 49

No safety bars on Alta lifts?

Wow, this is incredible! It reminds me of stories I've heard about my "home" resort back in the 1950s. Are other SLC resorts like this or just Alta? Personally, although I don't ski in a helmet (unless I'm racing or doing steeps), I find the idea of sitting unrestrained tens of feet above the surface very scary indeed! I guess it just goes to show that it takes all sorts...
post #48 of 49

Beginner Advise


Pick a resort with a Magic Carpet beginner lift and take a lesson on your
first day and and practise on your own the second day. I made my first
turn on my own on the second day and was hooked. Skiing is more about
overcoming fear than actual technique and you will have a lot of falls
working your way upward in ability. From my experience the better you
get the less harder your falls are. Once you progress in ability make sure
you upgrade your boots and skis also as you will always have more falls
on rental gear especially boots and skis with blunt edges.

Good Luck
post #49 of 49
SLC- Delta Alanta to SLC flight
LCC - Alta beginners lift ticket for you 3 lifts to keep you interested - no crazy's in that area - wife can get a full area lift and ski it all to keep her interest, you can meet up for lunch at alps. (packed lunch or buy on mountain, your chice) If wifes the skier, she carry's the backpack, Oh almost forgot camelpack for water - stay hydrated its important for everone but us flatlanders especially.
Get motel in Sandy - Get on Canyon Bus route (well Identified, see SLC maps) - Bus right to Canyon. Rental cars no problem either and you can still use the bus to get up in the canyon if you want.
I think you will enjoy Alta and it will give your wife a different perspective on skiing from Colorado -
I like both Colorado and Utah - But with your criteria; Alta is where you need to go.... Just a opinion
Almost forgot .. canyonsports.com Locations in town, rent gear, buy discount lift tickets, they treated us with good information and prices.
Half or more skiers/snowboarders are now wearing Helmets - I've been skiing for a long time, bought a helmet 3 yrs ago - yeh I'm a vol. patroller- many years, Natl Appoint #9776 .
Ski in the flatlands, dream in the mountains, dance in the clouds
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Advice on Beginner Trip/lots of questions.