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Suggestions for a January Ski trip

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Taking a long weekend ski trip in January over Martin Luther King Day weekend. Planning on leaving thursday night from Cleveland OH and coming back on monday.

Wants:
Less then 8 hour drive from Cleveland OH (can be compromised if worth it).
As open as possible at that time.
Variety of skiing available
Good value for the $
Nice town for staying in, food, beverages and such

We will be looking for lodging and tickets and such. 2 couples, intermediate skiers and a boarder.

The obvious choice (to me) is Holiday Valley. Not sure if we'd get bored skiing there for 3 days though. If they get some good storms and the trees stay nice and fresh I know I'll have fun but not sure how much the other 3 people enjoy trees.

Also thinking about MI Upper Peninsula but I've never ski'd there and know nothing about it.

Seven springs doesn't have anything to do other then skiing and don't think the back side would be open enough for us not to get bored. Snowshoe is not something we want.

Looked at places like Whiteface, Mt Snow, Killington, etc but not sure if the drive would be worth it over something closer.

Suggestions? Thoughts?
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgelj View Post
Taking a long weekend ski trip in January over Martin Luther King Day weekend. Planning on leaving thursday night from Cleveland OH and coming back on monday.
I'm going to strongly encourage you not to do that if you can. MLK weekend is one of the busiest all year and you'll find half the crowds if you can go the weekend before or after. If you have a way of making your schedule a bit more flexible, I think it'll really pay off for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgelj View Post
Also thinking about MI Upper Peninsula but I've never ski'd there and know nothing about it.
You're a lot further away from that skiing than you probably think. It's probably 11 hours from Cleveland to the UP, though you could get somewhere like Boyne in 8. However, Boyne pales in comparison with the places in NY and Vermont. So, that's the area you want to look at.
post #3 of 10
N Vt would be a good choice I'd bet and you'd have some great skiing available (Stowe, Smuggs, Sugarbush, Jay etc).
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn View Post
I'm going to strongly encourage you not to do that if you can. MLK weekend is one of the busiest all year and you'll find half the crowds if you can go the weekend before or after. If you have a way of making your schedule a bit more flexible, I think it'll really pay off for you.

You're a lot further away from that skiing than you probably think. It's probably 11 hours from Cleveland to the UP, though you could get somewhere like Boyne in 8. However, Boyne pales in comparison with the places in NY and Vermont. So, that's the area you want to look at.

Unfortunately changing the weekend isn't an option due to the professions of some of the people involved. Could you go in some more detail about comparing Boyne to NY places?
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ct55 View Post
N Vt would be a good choice I'd bet and you'd have some great skiing available (Stowe, Smuggs, Sugarbush, Jay etc).
I'm not a huge fan of Killington, but I think Stowe is worth the drive. (I've experienced way more crowds at Killington)

I haven't skied in the UP, but having gone to school at Michigan Tech and doing the downstate commute more times than I care to think about, I can pretty confidently tell you that if you were thinking of Mt Bohemia, the drive up there will be well beyond your 8 hour goal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgelj View Post
Unfortunately changing the weekend isn't an option due to the professions of some of the people involved. Could you go in some more detail about comparing Boyne to NY places?
I know there are other factors to consider, but one way of looking at it - 500' vertical at Boyne vs 2300' vertical at Stowe
post #6 of 10
It looks like Whiteface would be your closest big mountain skiing and that looks like a 9+ hour drive. So you're looking at 11+ to get to say Stowe or Killington.

To me, the vertical drop would be worth the drive. I would probably opt for Whiteface. I much prefer the VT areas because I think that Whiteface lacks a lot of variety in it's terrain, but they are adding some new trails this year and it does have the biggest vertical drop in the east. When I lived in Southern California I once drove 11 hours to ski at Lake tahoe. It was good, but I should not have driven past Mammoth Mountain at the 8-hour mark.

I've been skiing MLK weekend every year and while it is crowded, it is also manageable and worth going. We will likely ski either Gore or Whiteface this MLK.
post #7 of 10
You can get to the UP from Cleveland in about 7 hours, but it's another three to to six hours to the ski resorts - the eastern end of the UP is basically a shallow spot in the great lakes, it's as flat as Kansas.

The closest UP skiing would be Marquette Mountain, about 11 hours from Cleveland. Boho or Indianhead would be more like 13 to 14 assuming the roads are clear. If you're going to drive that far, you should probably just go to Iceface or Vermont.

Boyne country (the two Boyne resorts plus Nubs and Schuss) is fairly similar to Holiday Valley - a bit smaller but not by that much. It's about 6 to 7 hours from Cleveland. Nubs is laid out in such a manner that they can absorb large crowds without ever seeming crowded, so that might be a good bet if crowd-avoidance is your aim. Still, I'd probably opt to drive 3 hours to a 700' hill instead of 7 hours for a 500' hill.

Bristol is a good sized hill (1200' of vertical) that's not too far. No idea about holiday crowds.

You could get to Searchmont in about nine hours - good terrain (arguably the best in the midwest) but not much in the way of apres ski. Since it's in Canada you might not get the MLK day crowds as much.
post #8 of 10
I think OP answered own question with HV.
post #9 of 10
Have you considered looking for some cheap airfares to, say, Tahoe or Salt Lake City? A little tough for a 3- or 4-day trip, but if you're already looking at 8-12 hours of driving each way...
post #10 of 10
I am a huge fan of Whiteface. It is about 6 hours or so from Buffalo if that is any help. Most of the driving is highway.

Whiteface has historically been about 90% open in January. Their new trail system "Lookout Mountain" will be open, they are planning on having the new 2.5 miles intermediate trail open by christmas week. My favorite point is the sustained vertical, leaves your legs burning and I love it!!!!


The weekend you are considering is not super busy, you may have to wait in a lift line for about 5 min max. They have World Cup Freestyle in town that weekend. Nightime ariels competition which is awesome and new this year on Monday they will have a skier cross on Lower Valley.

Lake Placid is a fantastic town only 7 miles from the mountain. Lodging of all levels are available. My favorite town night activity is to check out a movie at the Palace theatre. It is old fashioned, the owner still takes your ticket at the door, movies cost $6.00, you can get a small soda for .75 and a box of popcorn for $1.00. classic..........dog sledding on the lake, bobsledding, toboganing onto the lake, skating on the oval. It is a very complete vacation.

Very sweet lodging deals too!!! www.lakeplacid.com or whiteface.com for more info.


Hope this helps and is not too impartial. Either way you go, it is awesome just to get out there and ski!!!!!

Good luck!!!!!!
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