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Next skiing trip - resort advice?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hola,

Can't wait to get back to the US for some skiing next year (I am new to skiing, only been on one trip for 9 nights to Winter Park but I loved it).

My travel dates are restricted to 17th ish of Dec for about 10-12 nights. I am trying to explore the options available.

I found out that the lift tickets can be pretty pricey the closer to xmas you get, we were forking out $92 a day at the window which I would like to avoid next time around - so a resort that has cheap/reasonable lift passes and lessons will be preferred.

As I am from the UK, 16 hours of flying (Denver-MSP-AMS-UK) plus another 2 driving up into the mountains took it's toll on me, I'd like to cut down the travelling time a bit, or limit it at that. I guess I could plan a break in there somewhere if necessary though.

The resorts that I have taken a shine to so far are:

Somewhere around Lake Tahoe
Killington (seen it in inghams brochure)
Jackson Hole

I have no idea what the terrain is like at any of these resorts, ideally there would have to be a fair few greens (my husband is taking a while to pick it up) and some blues (not sure if i'll progress beyond that as I have not had that much experience yet, was skiing some blue trails at WP though)

Also - no snow = no skiing, I don't know what the average conditions will be like at that time of year in those places?

Any info greatly appreciated, plus other suggestions.
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 
Anyone??
post #3 of 27
My opinion, Killington sucks compared to any of the Western US Resorts. To much ice, too many unfriendly people and over priced.

The Utah Resorts such as Snowbird, Alta and Park City area, has great snow and better prices than the Colorado Resorts although there are many smaller ski areas around both that offer great skiing with cheaper costs.

There's a great discussion in the Resort forums about alternative Resorts. Check it out.
post #4 of 27
Looking for good beginner and intermediate terrain and reasonably good snow conditions starting in mid December, one word comes to mind - STEAMBOAT...
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicky24 View Post
My travel dates are restricted to 17th ish of Dec for about 10-12 nights. The resorts that I have taken a shine to so far are:

Somewhere around Lake Tahoe
Killington (seen it in inghams brochure)
Jackson Hole
I love skiing in the Lake Tahoe area....but don't plan a ski trip there in the middle of December. It is a rare year to have enough snow for skiing at that time of year. You're lucky to even have a WROD to ski upon.

Places that might have decent coverage at that time of year and be a shorter drive from airport to resort:

Bozeman, Montana. Bridger Bowl and Big Sky come to mind. Bridger is a jump away from Bozemen and Big Sky isn't too far.

Salt Lake City, Utah. Take your pick between numerous resorts that are less than 1 hour from the airport.

If it were me planning on spending the kind of money and committing the amount of time you're looking at....I'd be planning for January - March. The coverage at that time of year is much more certain compared to middle December.
post #6 of 27
Whistler, banff, Wouldn't your money go further in Canada.
post #7 of 27
I'll 2nd Whistler. When I went there, we flew from the East Coast of the US (where I live) to Seattle WA, met a friend and drove up to Whistler. Took us a total of about 13-14 hours including layovers. Talked to MANY Brits there, most of whom who took a 10 hour (IIRC direct) flight from London to Vancouver, then a 2 hour drive or shuttle to Whistler, for a grand total of 12 hours. I was blown away that someone from the UK could get there quicker than me and I'm on the same continent.

You could even stay a night in Vancouver, seems like a cool place.
post #8 of 27
Vicky,
17th sounds about when the Stowe EpicSki Academy would be, so you could go out to do it for the weekend, then go on from there.

...also, rather than looking at Inghams, try Ski Independence - http://www.ski-i.com/
They are based in Edinburgh, and their sales manager, Nick and his team have always been very helpful to me (no, I'm not on commission from them!)
post #9 of 27
I wouldn't fly trans Atlantic to any east coast resort that early in the season, Tahoe either.

You will always get better prices on a full package, than buying single days at the window.

Places with airports close by that should have good conditions:

Jackson/Targhee
Park City
Alta
Steamboat
Aspen/Snowmass
Vail
Whitefish

Whistler would also be good. I didn't know that YVR had directs from the UK.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
I wouldn't fly trans Atlantic to any east coast resort that early in the season, Tahoe either.

You will always get better prices on a full package, than buying single days at the window.

Places with airports close by that should have good conditions:

Jackson/Targhee
Park City
Alta
Steamboat
Aspen/Snowmass
Vail
Whitefish

Whistler would also be good. I didn't know that YVR had directs from the UK.
Well, based on this year, Whitefish could be iffy. We were open at that point (Dec. 17th), but just ramping up. Of course, we ramped up rapidly..... . This is Dec. 15th.



And this is January 12:
post #11 of 27
Well, I did a trip to Tahoe this year 12/20-12/24 and there was more than enough snow for great skiing in my opinion. And people said that there was normally more for that time of year.

As for East Coast, IMHO if you are looking for resort destination type quality Stowe is the place to go. It is expensive. Sugarloaf is also one of my favs but may not be worldly enough for a Brit.
post #12 of 27
I wouldn't do Jackson for 2 reasons:

1. It is pretty early, and a lot of the terrain may not be open.
2. The mix of terrain is orieted to expert skiers. There is intermediate terrain, but not that much of it. You could consider Grand Targhee, but the resort is pretty small.

If I were you, I'd consider a Colorado resort. Aspen/Snowmass might be ideal, and Steamboat would be pretty good as well. Summit County would also work (Breckenridge/Keystone/Copper). If you are going to ski 10-12 days, you might even purchase an Epic season pass that will give you unlimited access to the Vail Resorts resorts (Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek, and Arapahoe Basin) for around $600, which is a considerable savings over the walk-up lift ticket prices.

Mike
post #13 of 27
Go to skireport.com and look at the stats section for any state/resort you pick. It shows a graph of snowfall for all the winter months. Current year compared to last. No way would I fly across continents to go anywhere except a sure bet on snow. Lots of big name resorts still are barely open at that time of year.

Salt Lake City gives you 9 options within an hour's drive. Alta / Snowbird generally lead in snow categories.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

I'm guessing Colorado or Utah are preferred options then for the snow reliability reason. I would be devastated to fly all that way and not be able to ski!
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicky24 View Post
Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

I'm guessing Colorado or Utah are preferred options then for the snow reliability reason. I would be devastated to fly all that way and not be able to ski!
Vicky, one more thing I'd like to add. Traveling on the early dates you have listed would not guarantee real nice snow conditions anywhere. History tells us most of the Colorado Resorts are open by Thanksgiving with snow coverage due to natural snow events coupled with their snow making capability. But the total amount of terrain open at these resorts is limited compared to mid January. That said, because of the high elevation of most of these Resorts, their chances of getting snow and keeping what snow they have received or made is much better than most places in the US. Utah, at a slightly lower elevation, a close second, but in some years have received more early snow due to storm cycles.

i don't think you would be disappointed if you chose either.
post #16 of 27
banff:

direct flights from the UK to calgary,

easy bus to banff (90 minutes)

bus to 3 local hill,

lots of terrain options and hill options

will be a bit cheaper then the US.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
I had noticed that most of the terrain opened up only a few days before we got to WP, I think it was this that made me worry about the conditions etc.

Unfortunately, and much to my annoyance, my husband gets 2 weeks annual leave at xmas and any dates outside of that he has to take unpaid leave. That pretty much discounts any other dates sadly.

I had considered Canada, there are flights from manchester and a lot of the tour operators do packages there. We originally had a trip to Banff booked last year but the airline went bust and it all went pete tong.

I might look into Canada options again to compare prices.

Are the rentals/lesson/lift passes reasonable in Banff?
post #18 of 27
If I were going to consider Canada, it would be Whistler/Blackcomb as they get more early snow in the Coastal Mountains than they do in the Canadian Rockies.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Did I hear there were problems with rain at Whistler or something like that? Sorry I might be spouting rubbish there and not knowing what I am talking about...
post #20 of 27
Vicky, Whistler would be great at Christmas.
The "rain" issue is one you'll hear about a lot - particularly from people who ski only in Europe!

Whistler village is low, and not too far from the sea. The mountains are quite high. So you get a lot of precipitation.
Sometimes it rains in the village. When it's raining in the village, that means it's snowing on the mountains.

So, it might be an excellent option, but it will be busy, and mainly with Brits!
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Ah...I see. So they have a good early season snow record there then?

Have you been there? I really need to get hold of that book where to ski and snowboard. Does Whistler have some nice easy runs?
post #22 of 27
I've been a couple of times.
The Daily Mail Ski Mag used to do a reader trip there at the start of December. (the managing editor of the Daily Mail Ski Mag is the same Dave Watts who is one of the writers of Where to Ski & Snowboard.

Whistler has some great runs that aren't difficult. You'd have a blast there.

I'll try to dig up some of my photos - but they are from the turn of the century, so I'm not sure where they are stashed.
post #23 of 27
Apparently some haven't been paying attention. It's been dreadful at WB this year, and when I was there the third week of December, they had less terrain open than some areas in VT.

Besides that, next year will be the Olympics at WB, and getting a room at most anytime in the season before that will be a challenge.

It would seem either CO or UT will be your best bets, but nothings assured at that time of year. I've just spent a week in UT, and now in CO, and there's been a dreadful drought for the past two weeks - nothing has fallen from the sky except for a lot of pollution in SLC.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks WTFH - very kind of you!
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Oh, just read the following post... Olympics @ Whistler. Didn't know that. Maybe that will price me out then
post #26 of 27
Hello Vicky,

Tony Crocker has awesome historical data. I have always based my ski trips on his advice and have always been pleased.
http://webpages.charter.net/tcrocker818/

As an east coaster, I can honestly say that you SHOULD NOT under any circumstances come to the east coast just to ski. That time of the year can yield ANY type of weather. You could be up in VT. and it could be 58 degrees and raining. Much too iffy, I think.

Some mentioned Banff areas. I think that might be a good bet. Sunshine usually opens before Thanksgiving. You also have Lake Louise there. But consult Tony, he knows! Good luck and happy skiing!
post #27 of 27
the alps
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