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which resort for next powder trip?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone

well the seasons just about over here in Europe and i've hung up my skis- but i have been promised by my wife that i can go to the U.S. in December (early December) .I want a resort with the famed dry powder that you guys are known for , not too crowded or expensive and has good snow in early December. I thought you guys could come up with a few suggestions . Maybe reccomend your home resort?

I,ve skied powder and off piste in Europe but never to the depth or type that you have there. Would like to find a resort with a real mix of easy and challanging off piste.

have done some research and thought of Grand Targhee in Wyoming , but thought you guys could probably steer me straight and come up with the best resort for me.
post #2 of 19
I'd like to know as well keir
From Denmark myself and I've mostly been skiing offpistes of Verbier & Ischgl and it's getting kind of boring.. But isn't a trip to US expensive?

Otherwise Aspen Highlands is kinda attractive to me

There are some thread i read earlier this week where they discussed 10 dreamplaces to have driven where some good offpistes were on the list.. If you find it you should check it out..
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooK View Post
But isn't a trip to US expensive?

If our currency continues to tank vs. the Euro, you'll keep getting in better and better shape to get out here on the cheap...

Skiing in the states does get expensive, but there are always ways to keep the costs down (get a place w/ a kitchen, stay in a hostel, make your own lunches, etc)...

As for early Dec. and great fluffy light powder? That's a bit tougher... Your goal is to aim high, look for high elevations.

The trouble is that the lighter powder comes in areas that are dryer, meaning I generally have to wait a little later in the season to be comfortable with the light stuff accumulating enough to make me comfortable putting big money down on plane tix, hotels, etc.

Looking forward to seeing what others have to say though -- maybe there's some good advice out here.
post #4 of 19
Well.. The flight is very expensive..
If going to "over there" we would go to Banff or Aspen and it would probably get expensive anyways - wouldn't it?
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
The cost is relatively cheap with the pound agaisn't the dollar -like you Grook i skied Verbier but am getting a little tired of it. I must get over and try the US scene - so any suggestions anyone ? Come on a few of you must want to big up your own resorts ? or are you all worried about giving away your secret spots?
post #6 of 19
Are there secret spots of America!? :O

Aren't the famous places the best ones?
What is the difference between east and west? I heard west is for better skiers..?

I wanna go to America too keir :P
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooK View Post
Are there secret spots of America!? :O

Aren't the famous places the best ones?
What is the difference between east and west? I heard west is for better skiers..?

I wanna go to America too keir :P
You heard wrong :. Te problem with your plan is that December is just too early and really if you are looking to have a "powder trip" there are no guarantees. Alta is pretty close. It's hard to go wrong with Jackson Hole in late January, but you never know what you are gonna get. Right now we are skiing powder in Vermont, have been for a few months now, but you wouldn't have wanted to be here in December or January.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
on the research i've done i understand Grand Targhee is full of powder and relatively quiet and cheap compared to the likes of Vail etc, would be interesting to see if i can get some feed back from guys who've skied it. I think East coast is more like Europe - wetter snow , icy more piste orientated whereas out west because it's so dry the powder gets that "champagne" quality - light , dry and fluffy

Can't wait
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooK View Post
Well.. The flight is very expensive..
If going to "over there" we would go to Banff or Aspen and it would probably get expensive anyways - wouldn't it?

Banff is very popular with the UK set http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=53627 , but it does not get consistant powder like Utah.

Michael
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir View Post
I think East coast is more like Europe - wetter snow , icy more piste orientated
Yes, like this - http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=82421
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
very nice Epic - but surely i'm right that i should go West to find the best - could delay my trip to end of january and by the sound of it that's probably the best thing to do .
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir View Post
could delay my trip to end of january and by the sound of it that's probably the best thing to do .
Absolutely. Early December is a receipe for disaster, while late January is perfect timing. The Utah areas, specifically Alta and Snowbird, would give you the best chance for that light, dry stuff you crave IMHO.
post #13 of 19
Where would you go in week 8 and week 12?

Any western creme de la creme powderplaces at that time a year?
post #14 of 19
In all honesty, it's too early to tell. The western US is kinda strange. Once a weather pattern sets up for the winter, it's usually like that all winter. So keep asking questions, narrow it down to a few places and take the plunge.

I'll also agree with the other that early December might be too early. Most resorts here in Utah don't open until the 3 week of November. In big snow years it's earlier, in lean snow years (like this one), it's later. Also, the places you are able to ski on the mtn once it opens is more limited early season.

So play it by ear, and hopefully things will work out for you...
post #15 of 19
If you have to make it early, Grand Targhee is probably your best bet for early powder and it's got intermediate terrain for powder 'learning.'

Another option for early season powder is Wolf Creek, CO but it's a small resort and may bore you after a while. It also is an odd duck in that it'll get great deep poweder 8 out of 10 years - even in November. but the other years will be total drought. feast or famine type of thing.

Last year, Mt. Baker seemed to have the best early snow in the country if you go by the posts here. Whistler is also known for decent early snows, but it won't be the light, dry powder that utah and the rockies get and you wont' get the benefit of a cheap dollar.

If you can wait until january, late january preferably, then Utah will be your most likely candidate.

But understand that powder days are all about 'what have you done for me lately.' that is, it matters less how much overall snow a place has gotten (except for rock coverage of course) than when it snowed last. If it doesn't snow when you are there, you may have great skiing, but no powder.

check out Tony Crocker's website for an analysis of snow patterns for your most objective answer.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone - some good info there.I'll probably post a thread on the resorts that i narrow it down to and see who prefers what
post #17 of 19
January would probably be better but, I think you can come in December. The key to getting good powder is to be flexible. Fly into SLC and rent a car.
Between Grand Targhee/Jackson to the north, Wolf Creek/Silverton to the south and Tahoe to the west there are a lot of micro climates. Someone will have powder.


Grook: Highlands is a great mountain! They should open on December 8th next season and its almost always pretty good. I'll be there!
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Highlands? dso you mean Aspen Highlands? The good thing is that i can be very flexible so i can go at the last minute once i know the snow is there . Would like to stay in one resort though - that way i can get the same guide and really get to ski it all. Also after 12hour plane trip and the time difference driving around doesn;t appeal too much
post #19 of 19
I understand that, but if you really want powder, that's basically what you have to do. Picking a week at one resort, months in advance, is a total gamble. Even booking a heli skiing trip is no guarantee of good powder, but that might be your best bet.
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