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Best holiday snow

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to find out what resorts will have the best snow just after xmas. I'll be going with my family and our ability levels range from lower intermediate to lower advanced. My dad seems to have his heart set on Big Sky, but i've heard the cover around the holidays is very shaky at best. I'd also rather not goto Utah as I'll just be returning from there with some friends. We'd be open to basically anything in the US or Canada and cost isn't the biggest issue. Also I know crowds will be huge everywhere but maybe someplace that isn't too bad. Heli skiing would be great, but at this point i don't think my family could handle it. Any advice would be awesome. Thanks.
post #2 of 15
From reading what you're willing to propose, it appears that money is no object. Although I sit here typing from the other side of the world, it seems obvious that you should be looking for a resort that has a high enough elevation to assure reasonable snow conditions.
post #3 of 15
Watch conditions up and down the west coast for the next couple of weeks. So far indications are for an early start in the PNW. Whistler, Bachelor, or other areas might turn out to be incredible. Still a bit early to tell, though.
post #4 of 15

Consider Telluride

If money isn't an issue take a look at Telluride. Last couple of years they've had great condiitions at Xmas. While it's more crowded at Xmas and Spring Break, I've never waited more than 5 minutes in a lift line and that was at the base lift on a powder day during spring break. The resort has terrain that will make everyone in your group happy, beginner to advanced, and offers Heli-skiing for those so inclined.
post #5 of 15
Big Sky might work well, esp if you kept an option open to visit Grand Targhee as augment or substitution. Both have comparatively low holiday crowds, good intermediate terrain and are well north. Targhee is renowned as more snowsure. Do they both have good connections from MI?
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
The most important thing is good snow. This could be our last family ski vacation for at least a couple years. From what I've heard Whistler snow can't really be counted on, but the early season certainly looks promising. I haven't heard much about telluride, but it's colorado so the snow should be there. My dad has no idea where he'd like to go beyond big sky. Of the three which is the best bet to have snow and moderate crowds? From what I've seen so far looks like Telluride is the best bet. Which would you chose? Thanks.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ELVF50
The most important thing is good snow. This could be our last family ski vacation for at least a couple years. From what I've heard Whistler snow can't really be counted on, but the early season certainly looks promising. I haven't heard much about telluride, but it's colorado so the snow should be there. My dad has no idea where he'd like to go beyond big sky. Of the three which is the best bet to have snow and moderate crowds? From what I've seen so far looks like Telluride is the best bet. Which would you chose? Thanks.
T-ride can be a bit iffy that time of year. The southern Rockies really hit prime conditions later in the season. Whistler can be really nice.

See http://members.aol.com/crockeraf/ for some great information on snowfall.

Have fun,
dan
post #8 of 15
I would bet that Tahoe would have the best coverage by then. Easy access from Reno and lots of places to choose from.
post #9 of 15
t-ride is not looking good so far and it is not a sure snow thing. Grand Targhee is very consistant for good quality and quantity. again, check crocker's siite - link posted above. i had very bad experience at tahoe. there can be great coverage w/ bad surface conditions; no guarantees.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj
Big Sky might work well, esp if you kept an option open to visit Grand Targhee as augment or substitution. Both have comparatively low holiday crowds, good intermediate terrain and are well north. Targhee is renowned as more snowsure. Do they both have good connections from MI?
The Ghee is not exactly a day drive from Big Sky, going from memory here but it's got to be around 200 miles over mostly local roads. Historically the Ghee gets alot of snow so if you went there, stayed in the Driggs/Victor area your chances of good snow are better than most places plus going over Teton Pass to ski JH is an easy option.
post #11 of 15
I would absolutely recommend Whistler for snow reliability, but if you go Christmas-to-New-Year's they will gouge you an extra 60% for lodging. I strongly recommend you go there the week before Christmas or the week after New Year's.

For "zoo week" off-the beaten track is best to keep crowd problems manageable. Here's the article I wrote for skiingmag.com on early season skiing, with some discussion of the holiday crowd issues: http://www.skiingmag.com/skiing/trav...328638,00.html.
post #12 of 15
What Tony said about prices plus if you haven't made your reservations already most of the resorts just have what's left in their inventory.

Having said that it's always possible to get lucky. So far this year holiday reservations are lagging when compared to previous years.
post #13 of 15
Gotta give the plug for Banff Alberta. Sunshine Village should be no problem being mostly open. Lake Louise is a somewhat safe bet for more that just open. Panorama is close ( and I have my bets laid it will be good), Jasper, Marmot Basis is always a option if Mother Nature co-operates and is a incredible drive North a couple of hours for sure to be open, snow quantity is the question.

Nelson and Golden are not far drives from Banff if that area is good as well.

Lots of choices in this area and all areas should be open to blow your mind good depending on weather.

Compared to other area's you can live like a king for the same buck.
post #14 of 15
Banff is indeed good value for the dollar. But I would not recommend at Christmas for advanced terrain without snowmaking. And I'll take that bet on Panorama, less snowfall and usually worse conditions than Banff, almost always snowmaking dependent in early season.

Nelson is a 9-hour drive from Banff. Perhaps you were thinking of Fernie at 4 hours? Fernie is the closest high snowfall area to Calgary/Banff.
post #15 of 15
Nelson 9 hours. your are right, I always get that mixed up. I am too used to just bombing around those parts on the motorbike where everything is just a blur. Yeah snowy roads right

no voodo talk about Panorama, I have more than laid my bets that it will be good. I may end up enjoying mostly man made but I have been making my sacrifices to the snow gods for far greater.

Regardless the whole area of Banff/Canmore, Radium, Golden, Fernie at Xmas time will for sure have great skiing, if not superb weather depending.
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