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Trying to Decide on a location for DEC 19-23...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi, I am trying to find a good location in Utah or Colorado for my yearly ski trip. I am in the Army and this is really my pre-deployment vacation as I leave in Jan for another desert trip.

Anyways, I have 4 years experience skiing and would consider myself to have just crossed over into the Advanced level though I have no formal ski instruction. All of my experience is from skiing in Europe as I was stationed there. I've done runs in Sarajevo, Garmisch, and the Dolomites primarily on groomed trails and I've yet to hit a groomed trail that was too complicated for me. Even the very steep trails havn't caused me much issue (I'm not at the level where I am comfortable in powder or back country trails).

I prefer a resort with varied and long runs (key) with some nice scenery. I really don't care if there is a bunch of shopping and restaurants as the skiing is my primary concern.

This year I would actually like to get some classes in powder skiing so I can broaden my horizons so a resort that offers classes or has a guide would be great.

Right now my primary choice is Steamboat unless someone has a better suggestion.

Thanks.
post #2 of 14
I don't know much about Col. but according to Tony Crocker's snow guide, Steamboat is a good early season choice.
post #3 of 14
I would think most places in SLC & Colo should offer good skiing by then. You could stay in Salt Lake City and ski the Cottonwood Canyons, Snowbird/Alta/Solitude/Brighton for almost guaranteed snow. Most other places I would think are at least 75% chance of good skiing. Also you could go to Summit County in Colorado, there are likely some affordable places to stay and ski and a bunch of resorts to choose from. For a powder skiing class you will need some powder. And unfortunately you have a somewhat less than 50/50 chance of skiing powder anywhere on a trip less than a week. To practice on dry land - stand and hop with legs together side to side, on a mattress helps. When you powder ski remember that both legs do almost the same thing at the same time, different from the more drastic unweighting in parallel skiing. Just keep at it, no matter how often you fall. Soon enough you will get sick of snow going up your nose and figure it out.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
So far Steamboat is seeming like a good choice for time of year.

In regards to powder, I'm just looking to get some back country lessons so I am not limited to just groomed trails. I have no fear of any groomed trail...
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast GTO View Post
So far Steamboat is seeming like a good choice for time of year.

In regards to powder, I'm just looking to get some back country lessons so I am not limited to just groomed trails. I have no fear of any groomed trail...
Learn to ski bumps next. There are always bumps to ski and they're fun. When you can ski a couple of thousand vertical feet of steep bumps then you won't feel the need for "powder lessons."
post #6 of 14
Steamboat is a good early season choice. We went to Steamboat at that time last year, and there was plenty of powder. The ski school is good, and I recommend Derek as a guide (can't recacll his last name, but how many Dereks can there be in the ski school).
post #7 of 14
I personally really like Steamboat and try to go there once a year, but - - - - -

You talk about steep groomers quite a bit, and I know Europe is mainly above the treeline (I go to Lech/St. Anton, Kitzbuehl), but that's not Steamboat's forte- when I go there it's for my tree skiing fix, not for groomers or steeps (it's a bit challenged as far as steeps - no pun intended.)

Steep groomers sounds like Beaver Creek, Snowbasin (men's downhill run area)., some parts of Vail (not too steep).

If you go to the I-70 areas, it's only 1.5 hours to Steamboat, so you can always give that a try. Again, I love the place, but it doesn't sound like what you're looking for.
post #8 of 14
1. Steamboat
2. Snowmass

Snowmass will have the longer runs.

Check with both about getting active military passes.
post #9 of 14
I don't think you could go wrong with any of the big name resorts in either state. All will offer lessons for a variety of terrain and have plenty of opportunity to ski non-groomed runs. If all you've skied is groomers, you're in for a treat (as long as you like a challange)! The runs that are not groomed at resorts will offer far more challanging terrain and plenty of chances to learn. I'll be here in CO... Enjoy your trip.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for the advice.


How good will the snow be this time of year comparing steamboat to snowmass?
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast GTO View Post
How good will the snow be this time of year comparing steamboat to snowmass?
Steamboat gets more snow and would probably be better early season.
Snowmass is better late season because of higher elevation and better exposure.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
just wondering how the snow is looking right now in steamboat.
post #13 of 14

Steamboat

I'd vote for Steamboat subject to the snow news. Great powder days have been had and the trees are very good.

Snow is too shallow unless the goods bless us soon but if you want steep, plan on Taos for your next year ski trip. 51% expert. Steep and narrow chutes plus a bit of hiking gets you some unreal terrain!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well Steamboat just got a nice dump.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Trying to Decide on a location for DEC 19-23...