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Please help me plan my 07-08 pow trip..

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi. My brother and I are looking to plan a trip near the end of 07. Dec 26 - Jan 1st. We are looing for best avg powder conditions for this date range. We have done some research. We are open to any suggestions and will travel anywhere in North America. Suggestions / past experience would be appreciated.

post #2 of 10
Look at Tony Crocker's site, bestsnow.net.

But a Christmastime pow trip is going to be a crap-shoot at best, just from the point of view of snowfall to date at that time. When you add in the fact that you've identified the busiest week of the year, I would put money on you getting zero actual powder at any resort in North America.
post #3 of 10
Definitely a crap-shoot. If I had to place a bet now for that timeframe, I'd probably put my money on Targhee. Good odds of decent snow & OK odds of some powder. And even when "crowded" it is still relatively empty.

But then, I'd resist placing a bet now - either in time or place. If you are really set on pow-hunting you might want to stay flexible - which is extra-tough that week unless you play the cancellations game (which has worked OK for me in the past).
post #4 of 10
Based on my past experience, I would say go don't go wherever I go.

Seriously, though, I agree with alpinedad, it really is a complete crapshoot. When you plan a trip in advance, you just have to pick a place, cross your fingers, and have fun anyway.
post #5 of 10
Fly into SLC, rent a car with all-wheel drive & good tires then drive to Driggs, Idaho. This will put you at the resort with the highest chance of powder (Grand Targhee) plus it puts you within striking distance of SW Montana and the Utah resorts in case they are the areas getting powder. Plan on being flexible and staying somewhere close to the resort, but not at them since slope-side accommodations that time of year are hard to find and overly priced.
post #6 of 10
I think Rio has the right idea.

That way you can get flights way ahead but still be flexible. If it does snow, pick the least famous place OR a place with a reputation as an "intermediate mountain" (but still has some good stuff).

If you wind up somewhere with multiple mountains (Tahoe, SLC, SUmmit Co, probably others I'm not thinking of) get up early, get ready to go, then check the weather/snow reports to decide where to go that day.

For inspiration, check the archives for "powder safari." (If I'm remembering correctly.)

Anyway, that's what i'd do if I was still young and flexible.
post #7 of 10
I agree with Rio and mdf. Flexibility is always the key to maximizing powder. And during "zoo week" the more obscure the area the better. Powder Mt., Targhee, NOT Jackson, Alta/Snowbird.
post #8 of 10
What about the Banff areas? Might they have less zoo week visits, and hence a better chance of the powder (if any) lasting?

post #9 of 10
I think most of the likely North American contenders for best avg powder conditions in late Dec have already been mentioned. If it were me coming from the East I couldn't resist factoring in convenience and affordability - so I'd look at proximity to a major airport with good airfares, finding ski areas that have low crowds even during Xmas week, and a place where there is affordable and vacant lodging nearby. In that case I'd look at SLC UT (in particular Solitude& Brighton ski areas) or Denver CO (in particular Loveland & Arapahoe Basin ski areas). In both scenarios you could stay in roadside and/or suburban motels and make short drive to access the slopes. Both locations also allow for sampling numerous additional nearby ski areas if you want more variety or hear about better local conditions during your visit. You could even do the Utah trip without a car rental by using public bus.
post #10 of 10
Jamesj's advice is also sound. You will be gouged in price for resort lodging or for airfare into small airports. Therefore the cost savings for staying in a city instead of a resort are the most at this time.

Anyone planning a trip in the Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 timeframe needs to first ask, "Do I HAVE to do it then?" If it's because of school breaks, you're better off doing a spring break trip due to cost, crowds, and wider choice of resorts with snow reliability. If you're doing both Christmas and spring, then follow some of the advice here. If you're not tied to a school break schedule, I think it's dumb to take a destination trip that week.

I've done two "zoo week" trips, and both had significant crowd related problems. I've done close to 20 destination trips in late March/early April, only had problems (snow conditions) with one.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Please help me plan my 07-08 pow trip..