I'm 31 and have had a couple profitable, but soul sucking couple years of work. I got out on the mountains 23 days last season, which was quite a feat for a Brooklynite (hell, I don't think I spent that many days in Manhattan last year), and spent too much of my time wishing for more. I've decided I'm taking this season off and going west. I ski bumps & steeps. My dad and I go to Winter Park every spring and I spend most of my time on Mary Jane. I love it, but I don't love Fraser. We went to Park City a long time ago and remember liking the town a lot. I've been to a lot of other resorts out West over the years and am having a hard time deciding where to go. I'd really appreciate some suggestions.
Here's my priority list:
Here's my priority list:
- Quality of the mountains. I don't want to get bored. Mountains where 40%+ of the runs are black This includes the snow, too. 500 average inches in Utah vs. 350 in Colorado is a very compelling argument for Utah. Yes, I'm aware it's been much higher than that recently.
- Quantity of the mountains. If town X and town Y are equal except X has 1 mountain nearby and Y has 12, Y wins.
- Location and housing stock. If I could walk to the mountain that would be ideal. A bus would be a close second. I'd definitely drive at least an hour each way to hit another mountain a few days a week, but I'm trying to get away from commuting. I'm looking to rent a room in a group house or find an apartment sublet for 4 months or so. It seems like finding a place, at least through Craigslist, might be easier in Park City than in the Colorado Rockies, for example.
- Price. I can get an unlimited season pass for Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, and A Basin ($579) and one for Winter Park and Copper ($399) (total = $978) for hundreds less than a single season pass to Deer Valley ($1,525) or Park City ($1,350). I also noticed flights in and out of Salt Lake City are more expensive than Denver. Okay, maybe price should realistically be higher up on the list, but the others are so compelling.
- Town. While I'm coming to ski, ideally I would be in a proper mountain village. Not an Intrawest-Epcot village. A real town. I'll be happy in a house near a mountain or two. I'll be happier if there's a coffee shop with wifi and a few fun bars and restaurants nearby. I'll be happiest if the town isn't built as a really long strip mall on a highway and is aesthetically pleasing. I also want interesting people around. I don't want to get bored.