Originally Posted by Jamesj
As you know there will be tradeoffs when looking for Nirvana and one person's Nirvana could be another's Hades.
A few random thoughts:
Hard to keep it real and not have to drive, maybe look at Kellogg, Idaho at base of gondi to Silver Mtn; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kellogg,_Idaho
, area has past pollution issues.
Believe there's a member named Pete No. Idaho that knows more about it.
Require short drive...
Sandpoint, ID near Schweitzer Mtn, and Boise near Bogus Basin ski area.
Nederland, CO near Eldora and Pagosa Springs near Wolf Creek.
Whitefish, MT near WMR (Big Mtn) and Missoula near MT Snowbowl.
Carson City, NV near Heavenly.
Lyndonville, VT near Burke Mtn.
Littleton, NH near Cannon Mtn.
Well, Whitefish has the snow bus, which is free, so YOU don't have to drive. It takes me 15 minutes from my house to the parking area if conditions are good. But the last two weeks has been endless snow, so taking a bit longer right now.
I know Whitefish isn't what it used to be, but it's still "real". The fact is, it's primarily a SUMMER resort destination still, with Glacier so near. (Yes, the stores make more money and the hotels as well in the summer. And the place is really overrun with tourists then.) In winter, the only time we're overrun is RIGHT NOW. Generally, I can't go anywhere downtown without running into someone I know, so I think we're still small.
We have a race program, of course, but in the last two years the program has gotten a new coach and the racer profile is significantly younger. The plus side is there is a great relationship between the race team and the school system, with the schools providing a way to miss substantial amounts of school and not get expelled. The down side is that everything in Montana is spread out. If you go to a race, you've necessarily got lodging and travel expense to contend with, there are no day trips. After a while when my daughter raced, I began to feel that Bozeman (six hours away) was "local".
There is a bit of "outside money" going on here, but nothing like Aspen or Vail, much as the locals complain. I've yet to see a mink coat skiing....they tend to steer away from the fog, the wimps. And yes, we do have normal conditions that pretty much force you to use your feet and not so much your eyes, or at least plan your routes to avoid wide open areas.