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Please tell me your experiences on these resorts in mid-December

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to decide if and where to go starting Dec. 17th.

I have an idea of the places which will have the most snow by then (natural or man made), but what I really want to know is how much of these resorts is actually going to be open (e.g. 50%, 75% of their trails, etc.) to be able to decide if it's worth going to if I'll wait till next year.

If you've been to these resorts in the last few years (or have been paying close attention to their snow reports), can you please let me know how much terrain you think will be open by mid-December at:
- Alta/Snowbird
- Park City/Deer Valley
- Vail (Back bowls?)
- Heavenly
- Steamboat
- Killington
- Okemo

thanks!
post #2 of 7

Resorts Dec l7th

The only o ne I can comment on is Heavenly. The below comments are based on the average year. Tahoe is fortunate to have "good" natural snow b y Christmas. Heaven has good snowmaking on Calif side but in a normal year you will have very limited use of this big mountain. personally I wouln't even consider Heavenly this early.
post #3 of 7

December 17th Ski Trip

[quote=jalexc;555768]I'm trying to decide if and where to go starting Dec. 17th.

I have an idea of the places which will have the most snow by then (natural or man made), but what I really want to know is how much of these resorts is actually going to be open (e.g. 50%, 75% of their trails, etc.) to be able to decide if it's worth going to if I'll wait till next year.

If you've been to these resorts in the last few years (or have been paying close attention to their snow reports), can you please let me know how much terrain you think will be open by mid-December at:
- Alta/Snowbird
- Park City/Deer Valley
- Vail (Back bowls?)
- Heavenly
- Steamboat
- Killington
- Okemo

We live an hour from Killington and Okemo.
At that time of year the odds are very much against you that you will have decent snow.
I WOULD NOT spend $$ ( certainly not in advance) on that trip.

I would, however, plan a trip to Alta/Snowbird for that time of year.
My wife and I went last year and have already planned this years trip.
We arrive on 12/15.
I would stay near Alta/Snowbird/Solitude etc. as opposed to Park City/ Deer Valley.
Alta/ Snowbird will probably have better coverage at that time of year.
You can always drive over to Park City if you want to
post #4 of 7
Although it's not on your list, I've had good early season luck at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. Also a good article on the general subject: http://www.skiingmag.com/skiing/trav...328638,00.html
post #5 of 7
As the author of the above article I'd rate Steamboat, Alta/Snowbird and Vail favorably (but by no means guaranteed) for mid-December, but at Heavenly and Park City/Deer Valley you'll need to be lucky with early season snow to see much advanced terrain covered.

Killington and Okemo are near the top of the snowmaking list in the East, which is what matters at that time of year. Nonetheless the record of recent seasons is not good, with rain and thaw often setting back snowmaking efforts in November/December.

On my snow reports page http://bestsnow.net/snowrpts.htm is a table of my prior seasons' analyses and summaries. On each analysis page there is a season progress report around mid-December. For the more recent seasons I kept fairly good track of percent of terrain open for major areas.
post #6 of 7
Skip the east for sure. If you can go to any of the areas on your list there is clearly no reason to go east especially at that time of year.

I have been at Vail on your anticipated date for the past few years and have found conditions to be reliable. There is usually about 7'-9' total snowfall there by then. (btw....it's snowing in Summit County quite hard at this moment)

Vail SCHEDULES the opening of the back bowls based on date....not coverage. They usually have plenty of snow but wait on it's opening till right about the 17th. Bet the bowls will open on a Friday around that date.

Have Fun !
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

Thanks all for the comments.
I'm only considering the East because I live a 5 hour drive away from Killington and that makes it a bit cheaper than going out west.

I'm a little suspicious of the fact that most places have better package deals up until Dec. 21, but obviously that's because there's no guarantee any resort will be 75%+ open.
I guess, I'll be more than happy if I get what I pay for and can get more skiing on less crowded mountains.

Tony - great work documenting the seasons!
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