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Western Ski Trip - Presidents Week Best Bets

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
i am looking for some ideas for a trip out west during presidents week 2009. my girlfriend is a teacher. normally, i would avoid this week. she has never been out there, so we are looking into it...i would like to avoid as much of the presidents week crowd as possible...

the plan/what we are looking for:
  • we are flying out of nyc.
  • would like a mountain with variety & challenge. (i usually ski jackson & squaw. my girl can handle most groomed diamonds, and i hope she will be able to experience powder for the first time.)
  • ski on - ski off lodging with a decent base village would be preferred. (drinks after skiing and then dinner, in bed early- no wild nights closing the bars.)
basically i am trying to decide on these two strategies-

1. should be looking for the mountain with the most lifts and most acreage, ie vail or whistler...

or

2. should i try to find an out-of-the-way mountain that isn't crowded- skiing mag in oct listed the following as 'best places to ditch the crowds' - schweitzer, snowbasin, kirkwood, grand targhee...

if anyone could share any ideas, tips, stories, advice, it would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 12
SLC (including Snowbasin) is crazed on the actual 3-day weekend, but crowds drop off remarkably after that. I guess they go sledding or to the outlet mall. I have flown out on Monday and gotten plenty of skiing in the remainder of the week.
post #3 of 12
fdskier,

There are some other things that would be helpful to me to know before answering your question:

How long of a trip, and what days of the week are you thinking about?

How many days do you want to ski?

Do you mind having travel only days?

How cost sensitive are you?

Is being at the base of the area at which you will ski (either ski-in, ski-out or short shuttle) important? Or, would you be okay with staying somewhere and skiing multiple areas?

Would you like to mostly ski together, but not necessarily on the same runs (e.g., meeting up at the tops and bottoms of chairs)?

Do you want to eat out, or eat in a condo?

Smiles
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdskier View Post
should i try to find an out-of-the-way mountain that isn't crowded- skiing mag in oct listed the following as 'best places to ditch the crowds' - schweitzer, snowbasin, kirkwood, grand targhee...

if anyone could share any ideas, tips, stories, advice, it would be greatly appreciated!
Snowbasin does not have any ski-in/out lodging.
Kirkwood will be very busy.
Targhee would be good but not a huge mountain & hard to get too.
Schweitzer, I've never been.

I would suggest Big Sky. Lots of acreage & variety, not crowded, good lifts & slopeside lodging. I don't know about flying into Bozeman, but that would be ideal.


JF
post #5 of 12
Do both - large acreage and few crowds: Big Sky/Moonlight, Jackson, and Snowmass all come to mind as good options.
post #6 of 12
Schools in most of the West has President's Day itself off, but not the whole week. (Pick a representative city for the state, google the public school district website, and find the school calendar.)

So you only have to deal with us crazy New Englanders and New Yorkers (if I remember right -- maybe California??). And most families who go for the week are getting tired by about Wednesday, so the end of the week will be less crowded.

Last year I skied off the beaten path (Crested Butte) for the first half of the week and met friends in Summit County (Breckenridge, to be specific) at the end of the week. (I flew through Denver, so had to go back that way anyway.) We had a great time at CB, and the crowds were pretty minor at Breck by then.

My original plan was to ski one day at Monarch to break up the drive, but we lost a day to travel delays, so we skipped it.


edit - Oh yeah -- staying in Crested Butte (not "Mount Crested Butte" which is the base village) and taking the 7 minute free bus up the hill works very well. I highly recommend it.

edit2 - I got some spam about new cheaper, more frequent flights to Gunnison from one of the airlines -- that would make it a very easy trip. (That was months ago - havent checked lately).
post #7 of 12
Big Sky has small crowds that weekend and Moonlight is even sparser. One reason is Bozeman is not an easy place to get to for a long weekend due to connections. Trying to fly here from many locations require two lay-overs or one long lay-over. Coming from New York you'll probably be able to do it with only one lay-over & should be able to limit it to something reasonable.
post #8 of 12

Pres Weekends

Big Sky. Also could fly into Spokane and ski Schweitzer and Silver Mt. The Sat. ski Silver and the other days Schweitzer as it can get a little busy on saturdays and holidays but Silver is never crowded. Neither area however has the expert terrain like Squaw but does have some really good off piste areas.

Schweitzer has lodging right at the base and Silver has a nice condo's at the base of the Gondola.
post #9 of 12
Bozeman is actually easy to get to from east - one connection thru Denver and relatively frequent flights. Not particularly cheap, but nothing is.
post #10 of 12
I have a timeshare in Vail for rent that week, it's posted in the Classifieds. It's not ski in, ski out, but a very short walk to golden peak. http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=71810
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
I would suggest Big Sky. Lots of acreage & variety, not crowded, good lifts & slopeside lodging. I don't know about flying into Bozeman, but that would be ideal.


JF
Second that. I usually go around President's Day weekend every few years to visit relatives, and it's really never been crowded there.
post #12 of 12
Uncrowded, with GF, during Prez Weekend? If I were doing that, then I'd prolly look into Telluride or Crested Butte.

That said, if I went with my GF, then my wife would kill me!
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