If you can figure out a job that will let you telecommute, it might make the the move somewhat less problematic. The inexpensive, but close to skiing is going to be the tough one unless you are willing to go a bit farther out...
Steamboat: Intrawest has been good for the mountain, but real estate prices have escalated accordingly. It is no longer particularly affordable (at least in the town of). Farther out might be a different story, but Colorado is generally very expensive. Somebody mentioned Crested Butte--well, that is getting pretty steep real-estate-wise. If that is true for you, you might consider Gunnison (which is where the people that are priced out of CB are buying). Its around 45 minutes away, I think.
Ogden may well be a good call. We have friends that live there & like it. Also, Park City.
Probably not Whitefish, but maybe Kallispell. Somebody mentioned Annaconda which is close to Discovery Basin. Libby has Turner Mt. Personally, I'd look into Missoula. Nice town, great skiing (if you can survive the road :)). Bozeman? Also, check out Red Lodge. Jobs might be the problem in Montana.
Idaho has Sandpoint which is a great town, but unfortunately, I think it may have crossed the inexpensive threshold a while ago. Kellog (Silver Mt) is getting there, but it is worth a look. There is always Driggs. Donelly would have been great, but Tammarack is unfortunately DOA. One area that has always intrigued me is Pomerelle. Twin Falls is the closest civilization, but there are small towns that are closer. Again, jobs may be the problem.
New Mexico--check out Santa Fe. I know nothing of the real estate market, but I do know its a great place to live.
Washington has great skiing. Enumclaw gets you close to Crystal Mt (~45 minutes) and Crystal Ranch is probably around 20 (its a neighborhood, not a town). Wenatchee has great skiing at Mission Ridge and its East of the crest so you get lots of sun year round. Bellingham is a nice town and you can ski Baker (~45 minutes). There are also a couple of small areas like 49 Degrees North, Bluewood, and Chewelah that will involve small town, rural living.
Oregon has Bend (I think prices are back within the realm of reasonability now).
California: Tahoe is probably out, but maybe something somewhat close to Kirkwood? Also, while you probably can't live at Mammoth Mountain, it may be possible to find something in the area (just guessing--I have no idea what prices are doing there).
If jobs are going to be the problem, there are some bigger towns that might work. Besides Ogden, check out Seattle, Portland, Reno, Spokane, and Boisie. With all of them, you can live outside the town, but pretty close to skiing. In the Seattle area, consider Snoqualmie (town of) and North Bend.
Canada. If you can move there, I'd look BC interior. Rossland or Nelson would probably be my first two choices. Fernie tried to go big time and while the mountain definitely isn't, I thnk the prices are. Kimberly, Inverness, Revelstoke would be the other options, but not sure what real estate is doing. Also, the Canadian Okanagan has some nice skiing (the town would be Kelowna). The other town to check out would be Kamloops which is close to Sun Peaks.
Big city-wise, Vancouver actually has lots of skiing close in. You can ride the city bus to Grouse and Cypress & Mt. Seymour are close by. And of course Whistler/Blackcomb is 1.5 hours away.
Good luck in your search. I hope you find a way to make it work!
Edited by geoffda - 4/15/2009 at 02:27 pm GMT
Edited by geoffda - 4/15/2009 at 02:15 pm GMT