OK, it's May again -- only 8 months til Christmas! -- so time for my annual "where should we go?" posting. The last two years we've skied at Smugglers Notch over the Xmas break but have all decided we want to try someplace else this year. We are a family of four who, by next Xmas, will be:
me: age 56 ski level 6-7
son: age 15 ski level 7-8
daughter: age 9 ski level 5-6
wife: age (confidential) ski level (non-skier)
Please rate the resorts by these criteria:
1. Quality of snow for that time of year. Doesn't matter if East or West, as long as good.
2. Variety/challenge of slopes. We (the three skiers) have all graduated from greens; have all skied 1BDs; the kids like moguls, dad not as much (yet); we all love terrain parks; we're all open to more glade and ungroomed skiing; none of us has done backcountry skiing (yet).
3. Slopeside lodging that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Aspen and Deer Valley are out (too $$$). Whiteface is out (no slopeside lodging).
4. An interesting (or semi-interesting) nearby town for non-skiing wife. She keeps threatening to stay home, but we don't want to leave her because (a) it's Xmas break, and (b) she puts on the soup and stuff for lunch.
5. Ease of trip from DC. We don't mind flying (non-stop a plus), but would prefer not a long drive (e.g., over three hours) after arriving at the destination airport.
6. Altitude. My daughter and I have skied in Utah (The Canyons) with no real altitude issues. My son and I have skied at Sugarloaf (4400 ft) and camped/hiked in Yosemite with no problems. But other than that, we're untested. (OK, I camped in the Rockies when I was a kid and was fine...)
I am grateful for any and all thoughts and advice.