So here's what comes to my mind:
- SLC: All the Cottonwood Canyon resorts
- Denver: Loveland, A-Basin (Winter Park?)
- Vancuver: Whistler
Any others I don't know about?
I'm trying to put together a short list of potential Easter weekend candidates.
Easter's been great to me lately.
I've made two recent Easter trips to Colorado and got very enjoyable conditions including 12"+ snow dumps both times visiting the following ski areas: Loveland, Abasin, Keystone and Copper.
Someone said in another thread something that seemed to have merit: if it's been a big snow year and recent conditions are good go to UT (or anywhere for that matter). If Western conditions are less than steller leading up to your trip dates go to the high resorts of CO because the elevations will preserve a decent surface on the upper parts of the mtn no matter what.
Mt. Bachelor, OR is supposed to have great spring skiing. How about Crystal Mtn, WA? That would be convenient from Seattle.
Here's some ideas for the Alps, but I wouldn't recommend a visit shorter than one full week:
Alagna, Cervinia, Andermatt are all roughly two hours from Milan. Hell, the way people drive here, everything is two hours away.
Chamonix is slightly further. Zermatt is better accessed from Geneva (so is Cham, ditto Verbier). Engelberg is very close to Zurich. Flims/Laax, Davos/Klosters are pretty close to Zurich too.
Madesimo is exactly two hours from Milan. In case you were wondering. Even if I drive.
Skiing by train is best done in Switzerland, in my view, and even then, it's not as easy as it looks. But even so, a backwater dump like Made, with crap connections, is only three hours from Milan by train/bus.
Andermatt has a train station very close to the lifts, as I remember. Obviously Zermatt does too, but you have to switch off the main line onto a cog or something. I've never taken the train to Verbier, but it looks reasonably easy, there's something called the Verbier Express or something, seen the trains kicking around in Swiss stations. Train to Cham is OK, I've done it from France only.
The short answer: it's tough-ish to get a full day's skiing in if you're coming by train. Most people who arrive by train are coming for a week or so, and schedules are set up that way.
One thought, Buses blow. I hate buses. But if I were going to Made, for example, from Malpensa, I'd definitely take a bus over a train, simply because any train would go airport/city station/back out again. The bus, as pewey and stinky and depressing an option as it always is, hops right on the motorway, and plops itself down in traffic. Well, at least you only have to shuttle your gear around once...
Theorectically, it's doable to Europe like this:
Thu: fly out around 5-7pm
Fri: arrive around 7am, 2 hr train to the slope. "almost" full day skiing.
Sat: full day skiing
Sun: half day skiing, quit at 1-2pm and be at airport around 4-5, catch a flight back to the east coast.
Mon: at the desk by 9am!
2 1/2 day skiing out of the weekend.
At best, I see you skiing by around 2.
Then. Sunday, you quit at 2. How are you getting to an airport by 5?