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Where to ski in US and Canada

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am planning to visit the US or Canada on a skiing trip. Our initial thoughts and ideas seem to be are taking us to Whistler/Blackcomb resorts. This would be my first skiing trip outside of Europe and am not sure which ski resport would be best to visit. We need to find our own accomodation also, any recommendations. Also any don't would be be welcome sinc we are newbys. Since I know you are are a capable and experienced bunch here at Epic, I figured you could dish some good advice and possible recommendations on where to go, where to stay and where to eat even. Here are the specifics that will give a good idea about me and my group.

- 5 capable skiiers travelling in early february (probably 100% groomed/piste skiing on medium and hard trails)

- accomodation budget apprx $1500 in total for 7 days

- Would be nice to ski on long groomed hardpacked trails mainly as well as some softer ('alpish') snow every now again too.

- A biggish resort with bars and clubs would be nice since this is our first visit to Ski-America, thus it would most probably turn into a touristy type of holday to be perfectly honest.

Any recommendations would be highly appreciated .
post #2 of 18
Whistler/Blackcomb without a doubt is what you're looking for. It has everything your looking for and in 7 days you will never exhaust the possibilites.
post #3 of 18
Is this February 2008?

Whistler/Blackcomb is definitely what you are looking for. As Wizard said, you will never run out of runs/places to ski, in seven days.

Damn, I've lived in Vancouver the last 14 years of my life (the only 14 yrs of my life) and Whistler/Blackcomb always have something new to ski on!

The 1500 should be enough for 5 people, just. Whistler/Vancouver is expensive.
post #4 of 18
Whistler Blackcomb.
post #5 of 18
Whistler is definitely a good choice, buy maybe also check out Park City? Fun town (an actual town as opposed to a "mountain village", or whatever), 3 mountains (Park City, Deer Valley, The Canyons) that you can get to free on the bus, and only about a $30, 30 minute shuttle ride to the airport. You can do it with no car no problem. Since you're looking to ski mostly groomers you'd likely enjoy all 3 places, but especially Deer Valley.

Check it out before you decide on Whistler.
post #6 of 18
Originally Posted by wizard View Post
Whistler/Blackcomb without a doubt is what you're looking for. It has everything your looking for and in 7 days you will never exhaust the possibilites.
It'll probably rain there.

Snowbird, Aspen, find some place with light powder. Aspen can be a fun town. So can Whistler.
post #7 of 18
I love snowbird, but it definitely isn't the place to go if you're looking for "bars and clubs". Unless you stay in Salt Lake City and drive up the canyon everyday, but that's more hassle than it's worth.
post #8 of 18
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
It'll probably rain there.
No. It'll probably snow at Whistler, but it might rain. It does happen.
post #9 of 18
Given your criteria you should enjoy Whistler Blackcomb with 5280 foot of vertical with blue intermediate trails from top to bottom. Whistler Blackcomb is an international town with people from all over the world. Friendly people with great night life. Public transportation even better. Most of the buildings have been built recently. I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast there a few years back that was extremely clean, brand new, and hot tub.

If you go, ski the top 2/3s of the mountain. The bottom 1/3 of the mountain sucks.

BTW you may even want to consider Killington on the east coast of the United States. Obviously Killington is no Whistler Blackcomb but it does get a fair number of skiers from Europe.

Lake Tahoe area has some very reasonable deals. Stay in a casino hotel with public transportation to a number of ski areas.

For dry powder you can't beat Salt Lake City Utah area. The powder is so dry and fluffy that its like skiing on hard pack groomers. You just can't see your skis. Well almost

Good luck.
post #10 of 18

Canada or US Trip

Whistler/Blackcomb good but there are other possib ilities.

Lake Tahoe Northshore. Can ski at Squaw Valley, alpine Meadows, Homewood, Northstar, Sugar Bowl, Mt. Rose, Diamond Peak. You can get them all on Google and compare runs etc. Good prices are available by renting a house/'cabin or condo. Some of the private homes are a really good deal. Fly into Reno. Somee of the pluses are the variety of your ski choices. Night life is good in Tahoe City and GTruckee, just ask locals here on Epic say a month out and they'll steer you the right way. Ditto on restaurant and other good deals.
post #11 of 18
A few comments...

* I have skied Whistler-Blackcomb (3 trips) and North Lake Tahoe (3 trips). I have researched Park City a lot as I plan to go there soon for a ski vacation. Having said that, I think you would like Whistler-Blackcomb the best.

* Having said that, consider North Lake Tahoe (the north end of Lake Tahoe) for two reasons...
- It's probably the cheepest of the 3 destinations because of the casinos (lift tickets cost about the same as the other places, but lodging is really cheap)
- If you or anyone in your group likes gambling, then Lake Tahoe is the only place to go to of the 3 destinations



* Park City will have the best snow of the three destinations listed in my post.

* No offense to our east coast USA ski buddies, but you will want to travel somewhere on the western half of North America (USA & Canada) for the best snow.
post #12 of 18
Whistler is a perfectly good destination, as are any number of others that have been mentioned.

However, you wrote:
probably 100% groomed/piste skiing on medium and hard trails
Judging by some things that have been said in some other threads, in Europe, you are apparently strongly encouraged to limit your skiing to groomed piste.

This is not true in North America, and, in fact, the most interesting and challenging terrain is rarely groomed.

Most ski areas offer a "lesson" product which allows a small group to be guided as much as instructed. If 5 of you show up wanting a private lesson together, you'll get an instructor who can, at your request, show you parts of the mountain you might otherwise ignore or avoid - and give you tips on how to ski those areas. Given the large amount of off-piste terrain available at most North American ski areas, doing this could significantly enhance your experience here.

If you truly do wish to spend all of your time on groomed runs, you might seriously consider Deer Valley, Utah, or Vail, Colorado, both of which offer excellent grooming on widely varied terrain. Whistler, of course, is a huge mountain and provides a large variety of groomed terrain as well.
post #13 of 18
Good catch!

Reminds me of the "Whats' the definition of off-piste" thread and the heated debate of some non-american insisting NOT to ski off the groomed trails!

The concept of un-groomed, WIDE OPEN, bowls in North America should be the #1 highlight of any European skier's (particularly intermediate) experience skiing outside of Europe!
post #14 of 18
Definately there is no one right answer.

You won't go wrong wtih Whistler / Blackomb.
The nice thing about other areas (Utah, Tahoe, Colorado) is the ability to ski a number of different resorts over a few days (If you have a car).

One resort I have not seen mentioned that is one of my favorites is Steamboat, CO.

I'm an east coast guy, but I would not recommend coming here (unless you have friends or family to visit here). It is just too hit or miss depending upon the weather. You might come and think it is terrific or you might leave wondering why people ski here at all.
post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by boston_e View Post
You won't go wrong wtih Whistler / Blackomb.
The nice thing about other areas (Utah, Tahoe, Colorado) is the ability to ski a number of different resorts over a few days (If you have a car).
The not-so-nice thing about Tahoe and Colorado, and even Utah is they all REQUIRE driving! While in W/B, you can just kick back at the end of the day and still ski an area just as big as those "cluster" of resorts combine.

The way I see it though, the snow itself itself is the key. That's when Colorado and Utha wins. Tahoe, on the other hand, has the million dollar view!

So, the bottom line is, as boston_e puts it best, you can't go wrong with any one of them.
post #16 of 18
As others have said there are many good choices. I'm guessing that Canada might be more affordable for visitors from Europe so in addition to Whistler you might consider Banff. It has many restaurants/bars and three nearby ski areas, not as convenient as the slopes are at Whistler, but served by busses from town: Sunshine, Lake Louise and Norquay. Banff is about 90 minutes drive time from Calgary airport. Many consider the scenery around Banff to be the best in North America.
post #17 of 18
Vail would seem to be the other choice outside WB I think. Tahoe is not that great for groomer runs compared. Utah is not great for bars and clubs. EC is not really worth considering, we go west for our vacations.
post #18 of 18
I love the East Coast and it's where the majority of my skiing is done, but don't take a trip here if you're traveling that far. Out West is far more fun. We have our days here, but still.
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