I am going to try a 10 day to two week trip starting around December 10-14th. It will be a re-acclimation trip to the slopes for my wife after she tore her ACL at Snowbird (and me getting my butt kicked by the mountain) this spring and the most important thing is to have some nice long scenic groomed greens and blues.
It looks like the following are candidates for my trip (with High - Low temps (for December10 – 20)/ avg inches of precipitation): but I can still change the options for the next few days.
1.) Breckenridge (32 – 4/ .73 inches)
2.) Vail ( 25 – 4/ 1.5 inches)
3.) Winter Park (33 - 10 /.78 inches)
4.) Mt. Bachelor (39 – 21/ 3.5 inches)
5.) Mammoth ( 46 – 26 / 5.8 inches)
6.) Tahoe (42 – 14/ 5.4): (because I know a great instructor there)
7.) Alta (41 – 24/ 2.03 inches): I would consider Alta, but really, I probably want to stay away from the cottonwoods right now. The greens there were definitely easier than Snowbird, but I never really got to try their blues, so I don’t know how much the upgrade in levels actually is.
8.) Steamboat (32 – 7/ 2.37 inches):
9.) Keystone (44 - 17 /.83 inches)
Right now, it seems like Steamboat, Mt. Bachelor and Vail are leading the way. One thing I am keeping my eye on is the Epic Ski pass for $600 that will allow me to ski in Breckenridge, Vail, beaver creek, keystone heavenly and A-Basin for the 20010-2011 season. If you have any comments about these places let me know.
The deciding factors are (in order of importance):
1.) Lots of REAL groomed greens and easy blues that are long and scenic.
2.) A very good chance of snow coverage for early December (I don't care if it is artificial as long as it is not super packed in, ice skating stuff). I seem to prefer west coast snow (i.e. Tahoe) than the airy powdery stuff, but what do I know, really. For me it is important to have snow that I can get my edges into for better control. I am willing to go as far North as Canada to find this.
3.) Somewhere that is cold early (so there is less chance of that ice from melted snow).
4.) Other things to do very close to the resort (because I know there will be days my wife's knee will be sore, so she will need something to entertain her) INCLUDING HAVING OTHER RESORTS NEARBY (that would be a huge plus). This does not have to include a “night-life” but more like shopping, etc.
5.) Affordable (Down the list but still very important. This includes factoring in ski rentals, so places with cheaper rental prices may beat other similarly priced lift ticket resorts)
6.) Smaller crowds (my wife and I tend to get nervous when we have skiers and snowboarders whipping by us or worse, cutting us off). These dates should not be very populated
7.) On site lodging that is not an arm and a leg
8.) Somewhere where we don't need to drive and that is a reasonable transfer fare from the airport
I have been advised to wait until around Thanksgiving to my final plans because the best deals would be had then. If you have an opinion on this, please offer it. Any comments, suggestions, criticisms, etc would appreciate it greatly.