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Good advanced and not too pricey mountain for my family?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I am looking for a good mountain out west for me to spend some time with my family.  My boys are great skiers (Probably better than me) and they ski blacks and some double blacks.  Places like Vail and Aspen were all way too expensive for me when I looked into it, so I was wondering if anybody had any other suggestions.

Thanks
post #2 of 18
Obviously, the biggest variables in ski trips usually come down to airfare and accomodations.  Flying into more heavily served gateways will, more often than not, be cheaper.  However, watch for specials since some airlines appear to partner with the areas to offer special airfares (e.g. Sun Valley apparently has a special deal with Horizon from LAX right now for $99 but that won't help you).  Additionally, staying further away from the areas increases the hassle factor but almost always decreases the cost. 

Paying attention to the special, all inclusive packages often helps (I have seen really good packages at both Snowbird and Jackson for example). 

In view of the above, areas which would provide a higher value for the cost for better skiers would be Reno/Tahoe, Salt Lake City/Cottonowods. Summit County, CO.  Also, although Bozeman is not a gateway airport, Big Sky seems to have a lot of good deals and Bozeman is often not as expensive to fly into as some of the smaller airports.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
 Thanks for suggestions... Big Sky seems like a good value and a great mountain.  I have never been to Tahoe, but I have always wanted to try it.
post #4 of 18
Big Sky has really good options for all levels of skier.  It has nice long beginner runs, good cruisers , long mogul runs, lots of good steeps and a fair amout of real hairball terrain..  The only thing it is lacking is a big name reputation.  Also, I understand that it tends to get more consistent smaller storms rather than 12" plus powder dumps.  But, the snow that they get tends to be very high quality.  The only real negative I can think of is that there is rocky shale everywhere.  If I manufactured p-tex, I would set up shop at the base.

Tahoe is a lot of fun too and usually has a lot of good values if you are willing to be flexible.  Lots of good advanced/expert terrain at a number of mountains including some that don't get a lot of press like Mt. Rose.  Your boys are probably going to want to say they've skied Squaw Valley and you should definitely indulge that (just not on the weekend). 
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input.  I'm thinking of Tahoe because I think it will have some more variety.  Big Sky seems nice, but I don't know if we will get bored of skiing the same mountain for a week.  I'm not sure if crowds will be a problem, but we can only go during school breaks... we deal with crazy crowds at Hunter every weekend so I'm sure we will be just fine.  
post #6 of 18
Interesting, you think you'd get bored at a huge place like Big Sky and you ski REGULARLY  that tiny little hillock called Hunter !  !-)
Its amazing most folks would say Windham is better than Hunter because the crowds are slightly thinner but both mountains are pretty terrible, in my view, some of the slopes are ok, but the lift system at Windham..its I daresay bordering on unsafe, the waiting markers are actually camouflaged, am being sarcastic! Frankly, Windham is probably the worst place I have ever skied, and almost everyone to the man or woman told me, if I hated windham, hunter is worse (note went on holiday weeked!! hear hunter and windham during the week are a lot better but generally just didnt think much of the slopes at Windham)

Anyway to your original question: seriously speaking, I researched spring skiing (OP did not mention when they plan to go so this is my assumption) and taking into account your boys are expert skiers, these are the best deals if one is not looking for the absolute least cost which comes at the price of major inconvenience, i.e. staying far from the slopes, major driving etc, the most economic deals for on-mountain or as good as ski-in/ski-out I found were at the following places,:
1. Big White Canada (if you can get to Toronto, the cost includes the flight from Toronto to Kelowna, BC and the shuttle into and return all the way to Toronto) and that price is in Canadian dollars..the entire village is ski-in/ski-out
2. Snowbird, Utah, the deals there are pretty serious
3. Mammoth Mountain, California - again totally in base village so ski-in/ski-out or ski in/ but walk to ski out. the pricing was really good.
4. Big Sky, Montana - you mentioned this and note of all the 4 places mentioned till now, of course the caveat being its the worst travel routing from the Eastern seaboard. I am not sure a mountain like Big Sky can be skied in a week or for that matter if you include Moonlight Basin, forget it..
5. I have not looked into it but almost certain Whistler has probably the best deals on the planet, and that is a big mountain on an European scale.
post #7 of 18
But do realize, a run like Upper Crossover is a lot easier then a double black out west like Big Couloir at Big Sky. We're talking about don't-fall terrain, not the fall and laugh it off that you experience out east.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post

But do realize, a run like Upper Crossover is a lot easier then a double black out west like Big Couloir at Big Sky. We're talking about don't-fall terrain, not the fall and laugh it off that you experience out east.




Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog View Post

Interesting, you think you'd get bored at a huge place like Big Sky and you ski REGULARLY  that tiny little hillock called Hunter !  !-)
Its amazing most folks would say Windham is better than Hunter because the crowds are slightly thinner but both mountains are pretty terrible, in my view, some of the slopes are ok, but the lift system at Windham..its I daresay bordering on unsafe, the waiting markers are actually camouflaged, am being sarcastic! Frankly, Windham is probably the worst place I have ever skied, and almost everyone to the man or woman told me, if I hated windham, hunter is worse (note went on holiday weeked!! hear hunter and windham during the week are a lot better but generally just didnt think much of the slopes at Windham)

Anyway to your original question: seriously speaking, I researched spring skiing (OP did not mention when they plan to go so this is my assumption) and taking into account your boys are expert skiers, these are the best deals if one is not looking for the absolute least cost which comes at the price of major inconvenience, i.e. staying far from the slopes, major driving etc, the most economic deals for on-mountain or as good as ski-in/ski-out I found were at the following places,:
1. Big White Canada (if you can get to Toronto, the cost includes the flight from Toronto to Kelowna, BC and the shuttle into and return all the way to Toronto) and that price is in Canadian dollars..the entire village is ski-in/ski-out
2. Snowbird, Utah, the deals there are pretty serious
3. Mammoth Mountain, California - again totally in base village so ski-in/ski-out or ski in/ but walk to ski out. the pricing was really good.
4. Big Sky, Montana - you mentioned this and note of all the 4 places mentioned till now, of course the caveat being its the worst travel routing from the Eastern seaboard. I am not sure a mountain like Big Sky can be skied in a week or for that matter if you include Moonlight Basin, forget it..
5. I have not looked into it but almost certain Whistler has probably the best deals on the planet, and that is a big mountain on an European scale.




 
Yeah Hunter and Windham are not great, but it what we have for the weekend and there aren't many other great options... accept plattekill for some powder .  Anyway,  I think I will look into Whistler.  After watching the olympics, it looks like a huge and beautiful mountain.  They had some good deals on their website that I might take advantage of.  The flight might be a little long for only about 6 days of skiing, so I'm not sure about that.  Does anybody know if the Tahoe resorts are easy to get to?
post #9 of 18
I found Heavenly and Squaw to be reasonably easy to get to. We also drove from SF starting at midngiht to about 4 in the morning to our condo at Heavenly and found the only difficult part to be the end, where you're driving on the side of a steep mountain.
post #10 of 18
 Whistler-Blackcomb is the only place in North America that compares to the European resorts in terms of size, scale and variety of terrain, and its vertical is only matched I believe by Alyeska, Alaska. And its got expert terrain up the ying-yang. You cannot go wrong going to Whistler, and the likelihood of major deals is very high. This is hearsay and reading opinion. If you ask the specific question, lots of folks on this thread are Whistler experts and can give you a very good idea. There are probably threads and reviews on Whistler too.
For the most snow and expanse in terms of size and variety, the nod would have to go to Mammoth or Whistler for mid-April onwards.(we are going to utah though, end of March through first few days in April 
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog View Post

 Whistler-Blackcomb ........., and its vertical is only matched I believe by Alyeska, Alaska. 

Revelstoke.

Alyeska's lift serviced vertical isn't that impressive.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog View Post

1. Big White Canada (if you can get to Toronto, the cost includes the flight from Toronto to Kelowna, BC and the shuttle into and return all the way to Toronto) and that price is in Canadian dollars..the entire village is ski-in/ski-out
2. Snowbird, Utah, the deals there are pretty serious
3. Mammoth Mountain, California - again totally in base village so ski-in/ski-out or ski in/ but walk to ski out. the pricing was really good.
4. Big Sky, Montana - you mentioned this and note of all the 4 places mentioned till now, of course the caveat being its the worst travel routing from the Eastern seaboard. I am not sure a mountain like Big Sky can be skied in a week or for that matter if you include Moonlight Basin, forget it..
5. I have not looked into it but almost certain Whistler has probably the best deals on the planet, and that is a big mountain on an European scale.

Good list except for Big White. It is a good hill with nice snow, but not the best choice for experts. There are some inbounds steeps, such as the Cliff area, but if you are specifically looking for expert terrain, there are many Canadian and US resorts that would be a much better choice.
post #13 of 18
manchester is correct.
http://www.verticalfeet.com/
post #14 of 18

If you can fly to Vancouver, stay there and ski there for a good price you should definitely give Whistler a go.  Tons of expert and advanced terrain (and virtually everything else to boot).  Both mountains serve up extensive skiing and beautiful scenery (assuming you can see it).  You can count on losing a day's skiing coming and going so it definitely pays to schedule a longer trip.  Vancouver is a great city to boot and Whistler Village is full of good food and a fun vibe.   

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SB77 View Post

If you can fly to Vancouver, stay there and ski there for a good price you should definitely give Whistler a go.  Tons of expert and advanced terrain (and virtually everything else to boot).  Both mountains serve up extensive skiing and beautiful scenery (assuming you can see it).  You can count on losing a day's skiing coming and going so it definitely pays to schedule a longer trip.  Vancouver is a great city to boot and Whistler Village is full of good food and a fun vibe.   


I actually never thought of staying in Vancouver, but that would definitely save some money.  Is it a big hassle to the mountain from there?  If not, I think I will just find a hotel and book it!
post #16 of 18

Sorry--I did not mean that you should stay in Vancouver but that you ought to try to take in some of the city on a travel day or something. Whistler was about two hours from downtown Vancouver last time I was last there.  Maybe with the Olympic-related improvements to the Sea-to-Sky Highway it is a little closer but is probably farther than you are going to want to drive each day.

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
 Ahhh ok.  As you can tell I'm not familiar with that area... I thought it would be closer.  The Whistler/Blackcomb website has some good deals that I will take advantage of.  Thanks for the help everyone. 
post #18 of 18
when are you planning to go? it matters.
Alta closes mid-april - for lease reasons, snowbird is open longer.
mammoth stays open the latest except for some oregon locations.
whistler should be open till end of april.
sunshine village in banff national park normally gets serious snow in march and april...here are some links to snow history past and present: (2.54m to an inch) and canada is cheaper in general than the US. But for kicks..here they are..

www.igluski.com/canada/whistler-snow-history_695
www.igluski.com/usa/mammoth-snow-history_25661
www.igluski.com/usa/snowbird-snow-history_25711
www.igluski.com/usa/alta-snow-history_25582
www.igluski.com/canada/sunshine-village-snow-history_25762
www.igluski.com/canada/big-white-snow-history_64
www.igluski.com/usa/deer-valley-snow-history_25739
www.igluski.com/usa/park-city-snow-history_25797
www.igluski.com/usa/big-sky-snow-history_836
www.igluski.com/usa/vail-snow-history_1516
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Family Skiing Discussions › Good advanced and not too pricey mountain for my family?