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Where to go out west?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm planning on going out west this march (7-14th) a am looking into resorts that would be good for my wife (lower intermediate) and myself (advanced) that has dry abundant snow, laid-back (not into the big nightlife scene) and long runs. I like steep/smooth terrain and a moderate amount of powder, but dislike moguls (old knees), my wife enjoys long groomed trails but is game to expand her capabilities.

I understand the the west coast resorts get a ton of heavier snow, but I'd like to try the truly light and fluffy stuff, being from New England we are strong hardpack and ice skiers, but hey I want to try the good stuff. Utah, Montana, Wyoming sound interesting? Any thoughts on British Columbia?

Thanks
post #2 of 19
Big Sky/Moonlight Basin could be good options for you. Not Utah snow, but pretty good, consistent snow with lots of terrain to suit every skier. Plus there's hardly ever a semblence of a crowd. Not huge on the nightlife scale either, but there's enough stuff around there that you'll have decent places to eat, grab a beer, etc. Targhee could be good too, lots more snow, not as much steeps though. Jackson is an easy 1hr day trip though. Driggs/Victor are very low key towns that are no frills but still have some "charm".
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by binobear View Post
I like steep/smooth terrain and a moderate amount of powder,
Sounds like Sun Valley.
post #4 of 19
That should be right in the scheduling sweet spot for many Western resorts -- after much or most of the season's snowfall, but before it starts to slush up.

I don't think that's a holiday or vacation week, although you may want to check some college calendars to verify.

If I were you, I'd think about it for a few months, but try to avoid booking either flights or hotels until late January early February. That will allow you to see who's gotten the best snow and who has the best deals.

For a week trip, you might want to consider basing where you can reach multiple resorts. Utah's a good bet, either Park City or the Cottonwoods. Tahoe is a good bet too, and Granlibakken (where the ESA will be a week after you leave) tends to have good package deals that would allow you to go to multiple North Lake Tahoe resorts (particularly Squaw, Alpine Meadows, Northstar, and Homewood too IIRC) by shuttle bus. Obviously, Whistler is its own beast.
post #5 of 19
In B.C. stay away from Whistler if you aren't into the "scene" scene. Interior B.C. areas have some great snow and long runs. The places I'm most familiar with are Silver Star and Sun Peaks.

For the most quaint time I suggest Silver Star. It has impeccably groomed, wide and empty runs. Its village is small scale and almost every place to stay is ski in - ski out. Great snow, great people.

Equally well groomed, but with more people on the hill is Sun Peaks. Still, it's not a crowded place by any means. The runs are longer and more numerous than SS but most of the lodging is not as convienient to the hill. The village aspires to be a mini Whistler.
post #6 of 19
Banff: the Ski Big3 pass allows you to ski Sunshine, Louise, and Norquay which provides a wide range of skiing, and should be able to accommodate you both.

Fernie: lots of terrain, and a good mountain for your wife to stretch her abilities.

If night life is a concern, go with Banff. As far as snow goes, Fernie is more likely to have a big dump, but the snow is a little drier at Sunshine and Louise.
post #7 of 19

Go out West

BINOBEAR, Welcome to Epic. You've gotten some great suggestions.


Meeting the criteria you've laid out consider Mt. Bachelor, Oregon. Big and plenty of stuff for you and the wife. Inn of the 7th Mt. lodging is good and there's other options on the net. Take a look at their trailmaps etc.
post #8 of 19
I agree with Mt. Bachelor. An excellent choice. However, you need transportation since there is no accomodation on the mountain.
post #9 of 19
Utah is the no brainer option. The Cottonwood Canyons has abundant poweder and little nightlife, which you requested. Snowbird and Alta are good for an advanced skiier and also offer some groomed runs for your wife. Your best bet for her may be Brighton/Solitude because it offers easier groom and also has some good advanced terrain for you. You can always count on plenty of powder.
post #10 of 19
Most places out west will be fine! Don't think that Utah snow is necessarily so light and fluffy, I've skied in lots of regular, heavy stuff. With a week, in Utah you have a better than 50% chance of snow, probably 80%-90%(for a week) at that time of year, but for sure you can miss the storms and have skied out conditions. Stay away from Jhole in March, mtn points southern, could be warm and slushy(of course it could be good too, but go in Jan/Feb). BC is a great! place to check out, but sometimes it rains...I have checked most of them out, and those I haven't I would like to, but I'm stuck on Utah, becasue it is by far the easiest to get to, great terrain, cheapest(sandy, midvale), best snow, it's all good, but any place can be good and it is nice to see lots of places! Would love to get to Aspen sometime.
post #11 of 19
Just something to consider. Your time frame is spring break for many people so you might want to think about going somewhere that is off the beaten path a bit.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnjantzie View Post
Banff: the Ski Big3 pass allows you to ski Sunshine, Louise, and Norquay which provides a wide range of skiing, and should be able to accommodate you both.

Fernie: lots of terrain, and a good mountain for your wife to stretch her abilities.

If night life is a concern, go with Banff. As far as snow goes, Fernie is more likely to have a big dump, but the snow is a little drier at Sunshine and Louise.
My $.02

Having been in your very situation I second Banff. Sunshine Village will be very good for your wife and you. Lots of confidence inspiring intermediate terrain that she will love and some good advanced terrain for you. The views are truly spectacular, in my opinion the best I've seen anywhere. Lake Louise is also spectacular but overall more challenging that Sunshine. The beauty of Banff is you can stay in town (highly reccomend the Banff Springs hotel) and be at Sunshine in 15 minutes or Louise in 45 minutes.

After skiing roughly 15 western mountains I still look back at my trip to Banff as the most spectacular trip. Not the biggest, nor steepest, not the most snow, nor the best terrain. But overall with a nice friendly town and wildlife to spare it is hard to beat for a trip with a significant other.
post #13 of 19
Hi binobear,

my opinion? Big Sky - no question. No crowds, great runs for any level and I will give you a mountain tour.

Little Bear
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dburdenbates View Post
Just something to consider. Your time frame is spring break for many people so you might want to think about going somewhere that is off the beaten path a bit.

ditto this one.....

and book well in advance if you are going to a popular destination....like maybe today.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by binobear View Post
I'm planning on going out west this march (7-14th) a am looking into resorts that would be good for my wife (lower intermediate) and myself (advanced) that has dry abundant snow, laid-back (not into the big nightlife scene) and long runs. I like steep/smooth terrain and a moderate amount of powder, but dislike moguls (old knees), my wife enjoys long groomed trails but is game to expand her capabilities.

I understand the the west coast resorts get a ton of heavier snow, but I'd like to try the truly light and fluffy stuff, being from New England we are strong hardpack and ice skiers, but hey I want to try the good stuff. Utah, Montana, Wyoming sound interesting? Any thoughts on British Columbia?

Thanks
Beaver Mountain Utah...dry plentiful snow..cheap..no nightlife (ya can't even buy a beer) and exotic culture opps at the temple in Logan
post #16 of 19
Not sure if this has been mentioned, but sounds a lot like Winter Park, CO. Not too touristy and has groomed runs from top to bottom that are 5.4 miles (if I remember correctly).
post #17 of 19
Steamboat has plenty of great groomers and a nice quite little town. Shouldn't be too crazy during that time frame. Got some great tree skiing in the Closets and the chutes at the top of Werner, although short, are nice and steep.

Bachelor in OR is another good choice.
post #18 of 19
Dont overthink it too much, youre going to have a great time at most places. Any of these places have their plusses and minuses. It WILL BE spring break for many colleges in the country. Good Luck
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBowers View Post
Big Sky/Moonlight Basin could be good options for you..

Good advice but a little backwards. Moonlight Basin/Big Sky!

Actually, any of the slightly less well known western areas should be rockin by then. Personally I think all the suggestions here are pretty good and it would be hard to go wrong.
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