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Back to your favorite spot or try something new?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey, everyone. 

Like most of you, I spend my summers browsing resort websites and looking at pictures from last season.  Recently, my wife and I have just gotten back into skiing real mountains, not the "mountains" in Michigan.  In the past year we went to Sunshine Village, Big Sky, Snowbird and The Canyons, all of which were great.  So while we are planning our 2010 trips, we are debating on going back to a place we've been before or going to explore a new spot. 

What do you guys like to do?  Do you go back to your favorites that you know well or venture out to uncharted territory?
post #2 of 22
 I like to go exploring!
Mr TC is a creature of comfort.  I finally got him to go to Colorado to ski and he's hooked.  I can barely get him to try to ski different resorts on the front range, let alone go to a whole different region.
BUT, once I get him there, he's geeked for it.

For example.......He was hooked on Abasin Keystone and Breckenridge.  I could not get him to try anything else.  He was sure he hated copper because he suffered altitude sickness there, but last year.....whoo hoo......I got him to try copper again, as well as Loveland and MJ Winter park.....
Next year I'd like to get him to go to JH or Big Sky/Bridger bowl (stick his toe in other waters)
His reply....No no no, I want to go back to loveland and copper!

Ah well......I guess I'll keep going places without him.  I never seem to be at a loss for friends to ski with. 
post #3 of 22

Wow. You had a very good comeback last year.

This is a matter of taste.  Personally, I like to explore new places. But you can do both, for example, go back to Western Canada and do a day again at Sunshine, but then also ski Lake Louise, or maybe travel over to Kicking Horse. Go back to Utah and do Altabird again, but also maybe Snowbasin or Solitude, etc.
Like many long time skiers, I've visited a number of the big name places and they are great, but at this point I also enjoy "discovering" ski areas that are on the road slightly less traveled, for example Wildcat NH, Le Massif Quebec, Arapahoe Basin CO, Kirkwood CA.

Get to the Alps some day. The scenery and cultural stuff will blow you away.

Also, I can't do exclusively big ski trips, so I also enjoy local skiing in my mid-Atlantic area. Are there any ski areas within 2-3 hrs of Detroit that have 500-1000 feet of vertical?

post #4 of 22
 Jamesj, (MiRider,too)
I life in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula.
There are several decent places to ski within 1 hr of my door.
Are the big mountains better, of course, but I thoroughly enjoy my time with friends and family skiing on our 400 ish ft of vertical. 

If you keep an eye out, you should join us on one of our gathering weekends!
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
The closest hill is Mt. Holly.  It's decent, for lower Michigan, but not too exciting.

Trekchick - how is Caberfea?  We go up to TC usually once a month (wife's family) and I would like to give it a try this year.

Right now I'm drooling over going to JH and Telluride.  Those are the 2 new spots on top of my list right now.  They just look like a ton of fun!  However, I would love to get back to SLC and spend a few days at Alta and Snowbird.

As for the Alps, that's on the radar, but not for a few years.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...
post #6 of 22
 MiRider, Caberfae is fun, tho their snow management is not the best.  We ski Crystal more than Caberfae, but bargains can be gotten easier for caberfae.

I honestly like the runs at Caberfae better than Crystal, with the exception of the lack of bumps and good tree skiing.
Both of which Crystal has on a small scale.
If you get this way and want to meet up, give a shout!
post #7 of 22
I really like trying new places....  The first trip I took outside of Michigan was Killington.  I thought it was awesome.  The following season, a few of my buddies and I took a two week trip to Colorado.  We started off at Eldora and I thought it was great.  Over the course of  the trip, we skied Copper, A-Basin, Vail, Aspen, Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass.  Every place had it's good points.  In later trips, I skied at Keystone, Loveland and Crested Butte. 

Then one year I took a trip to Utah.  After skiing Alta and Snowbird, I had a feeling I would not be returning to Colorado for a ski vacation!  

When I got married, my wife and I took a honeymoon to the Tahoe area and skied Kirkwood, Sierra, Squaw and Alpine.  Some GREAT terrain.  

However.....   My ski life changed forever in 2002 when my wife and I made our first trip to Jackson Hole. 

I really can't envision spending my hard earned money to ever ski anywhere else on an "out west" trip.  
post #8 of 22
A mix of the two.
Because to learn all the secrets of a place one need to go there multiple times.
But then to discover new palces is also nice.
The drawback being that if one is to keep going into new places, theknowledge acquired is superficial, which here means sticking to the
groomed runs...Unless one gets to know locals or hires a guide in every place...
As an example I like to go to Made because its' a good mixture of groomed and off-piste terrain, because I can ski with another Euro Bear, because it's affordable for a day ski trip and/or multidays as well.
I love the Dolomites because that's were I used to spend my week long winter vacation every year.
But I also loved to ski with my friends in Champoluc, and to catch the bus and go a little here and there.
But I'd say that I'm stuck with 3/4 spots...
-Champoluc in the West
-Made and Tonale  in my region (and for a quickie, Bobbio)
-Dolomites in the East
post #9 of 22
JH is truly a fine piece of skiing real estate.  As is Discovery Basin, and Red MT, Lookout Pass, Monarch Pass, Willamette Pass, Lost Pass, Whitewater,....... and the list goes on and on.  Big is wonderful but not a requirement for being good, look at diamonds.

Could be a ski gypsy so easily.  The next hill down the road has got to have some really interesting stuff, and there are so many kinds of interesting.  Wonderful  thing there is a very good wife involved with decision making or I could be the hairy guy getting out of the camper in the parking lot. 

My favorite ski area so far is the next one, see you there.
post #10 of 22
It sometimes hard to force myself to go somewhere new since with places I know well I know exactly where to go in different conditions. A powder day in an unfamiliar place often means not getting the most out of it without local knowledge.

The best way is to go to places new to you but with people who know the area.
post #11 of 22
 Half the fun of skiing for me is discovering new spots and stashs when skiing. Theirs no better feeling then finding a secret entrance to an amazing stash. Well that of course 2nd to of skiing powder. I take lessons although they may seem expensive they REALLY do pay off. You learn alot and really get to know the mountain when a guide shows you around. My favorite 3 mountains are 1. Little cottonwood area 2. Big Sky 3. Crested butte. Crested butte has some sick terrain, but has an  inconsistent snowfall record. I went once around new years and their was hardly any snow at the base. Utah is a extremely dependent area on snow that has great terrain but because of its easy access the mountains do tend to get crowded and tracked out fast. Big Sky is a area that does cost a little extra $ to fly there and takes a little under a scenic hour drive. On a powder day though your just gonna be ripp'in pow with the locals. I promise you that you will have a time of your life at BIg Sky. The wildlife and feel of the mountain is undescribable. All of these mountains are legit and are great ski areas.
post #12 of 22
The Mona Lisa is not a very big painting.  Great comes in all sizes.  When at Big Sky try Bridger.  That is true of lots of regions. 

Every ski area has a little different personality and it is always good to make new friends whether human animal or mountain.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Powderhound: I was lucky enough to be invited out to stay with some friends in Big Sky last year.  We skied for 3 days and had a blast.  No fresh snow, but it was about 30 and sunny, so we weren't complaining. 

Actually, the best part about Big Sky was having my wife take a private lesson.  Her instructor (Kurt or Curt) was really great and even guided our group down from Lone Peak when the lesson was finished.  Great guy.  He was also kind enough to share a little local knowledge about which lifts to take, which areas would be best for us given our various skill levels.  More importantly, he told us which lifts to avoid! 

That's all part of our dilemma... do we go back to a place that was 3 solid days of fun, scenery and great skiing (and good beer) or try something new?!?!
post #14 of 22
The past ten years, my major trips have been to LCC with a snowbasin day trip here and there.  To me,  there really is nothing better then knowing the where you want to go -- off groomer but inbounds-- but adjusting for the given snow or conditions that day.  Knowing a stash of trees, or quick chute with new snow is great for the confidence or to compensate as you get older.  See, alta: wildcat chutes as an example.  That's  a relietively "safe" inbounds area, if you know the terrain. Its similar in other places as well.  As said in prior posts, each area and each section within an area, has its owns charms which may only become evident after being there before.  For me,  sometimes knowing where to go is more then half the battle.

With that said, for some reason this year, Big Sky keeps calling my name.  Dont know why, I havent been there since i was a kid in 1986...maybe its that i have my own kids now....or maybe you never forget seeing your first moose/bighorn. Or maybe im itching for something new.  And uncrowded

My vote is split the difference. Go somewhere new, but take a a few semi pvt or pvt lessons, Or even one of the "expert mountain tours" that most places offer.  That way you can gain real knowledge of the terrain on new visit.   Translation: When with a good pro or trustworthy "local" you can open it up, charge, relax and free your mind knowing your not going to go off a cliff, get stuck in a creek or exit a line miles from base after you turn around the next bend.

Put it this way, its a nice dilemma to have.  Given the economy and two wars

Caveat: If you are skiing only groomers there is IMHO an entirely different set of critera for choosing a mountain. e.g., weather, grooming, food, lifts etc.
post #15 of 22
I've found that when I have had an "exceptional" experience, such as yours at Big Sky, I am often disappointed when I return as I cannot duplicate it. Now if it was only an "enjoyable" time, I am quick to go back because the bar has not been set as high. All that said, I really enjoy searching out new places, especially if I have a partner or a group to ski with. Something about the comraderie I think.

The closest hill is Mt. Holly.  It's decent, for lower Michigan, but not too exciting.

Shoot me a line if you ever go to Pine Knob. I realize that it doesn't offer much for challenge but, it is convenient and the beer is cold!

post #16 of 22
Hi Rider,

I have over 100 North American resorts on my "visited" list, but I do visit some resorts multiple times. Last season, for example, I did 3 trips in addition to skiing at my home resort in Pennsylvania. The first was to Mount Snow, which I've been to several times. The next trip was to a little NY resort that I'd never been to called Peek'n Peak. Finally, I returned to Taos after a many year absence. On the way there, I stopped at Ski Sante Fe to add another resort to the list. So I try to add new resorts to the list when I can, but I still like to make return visits. Sometimes doing side visits to new places is easy. Sometimes resort hopping requires a lot of effort. Whether you're revisiting an old friend or finding a new hidden gem, it's all good.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Wow!  Over a 100 resorts is pretty impressive.  I like the idea of hitting some other resorts "on the side."  I guess that is the best way to get some runs in at the favorites and also check out some new places.
post #18 of 22
I also like a mix of the two.

I'll ski Alta & Snowbird every year, It's has the best snow and very challenging terrain. But I also like new resorts. Not many U.S. citizens take the trip to Lake Louise or Sunshine Village, but this is some of the best skiing in North America. I'm glad I made the trip there in 2008. I skied Jackson Hole for the first time in 2009, another great location.

Ski new resorts, You'll be glad you did!

post #19 of 22
I really do like going back to a place that I really love to ski. It's kind of like visiting an old friend.  You get that sense of comfort of knowing the mountain.
 Then again There is adventure and discovery in finding a new mountain.
post #20 of 22
i like going back to the same old spots having been to all my "have to ski that - ie - whistler".

there's tough enough terrian in my same old, same old that a challenge is already there waiting and i love knowing all about the mountaain, town, travel.

sure. i'd like to ski aspen, but vail's got just enough tough stuff and is a lot easier to get to and back from, allowing me more time on the mountain.

i've already skied 3 times the mountains in 7 years that my dad has in 28 and all my favorites get me excited every time.
post #21 of 22
Never have to think too hard. I always wanted to go back to the same place but ended up on a new place. Well, not ALWAYS, but often.

I'd like to try new places. But most ski area in CO/UT are pretty big. So in pratical terms, one never explore ALL of one resort in a week. Let alone those "cluster" of resorts next to each other. So I'd like to go back to the same place, only to ski the lines I hadn't tried...

What often happen in reality, is either my buddies decided to go somewhere else, or we found a better deal at a different destination! So we ended up going some place else instead of going back to the same resort. The end result of course, is we get to try something new ALWAYS! Whether that "something new" is at the same resort we had visited before or a totally different one is irrelavent

The only time I feel a bit more strongly about going some place different, is after I've gone to the same resort for more than 20-30 days (even if it's over a few years). That's when I really itch to move on. Aside from the northeast, which I'm "stuck" in, there're only two areas that fit that description: Lake Tahoe & Summit county. I don't exactly "mind" going back to either. But I'd rather prefer somewhere else for some change.
post #22 of 22
Like many here I enjoy the comfort of a "home" resort but find it exciting to visit new places.  The advantage of the home resort is that you learn all of its nuances and secret places and never have to consult a map.  The fun of a new place is, well, it is new.  I have learned that if you are not going to be at a new resort for long it is worth the money to hire a guide/instructor to show you around.  We did that last year at Snowbasin and skied in places we likely would not have found in a week of skiing.  It was well worth the money.
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