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UNCROWDED Family Mountain out West? - Page 2

post #31 of 51

I've skied the week after Xmas in Utah the last 3 years. While not empty, I have not found it to be unreasonably crowded. The first time, I expected it to be, but was pleasantly surprised. Really not that much in the way of lift lines.  

post #32 of 51

+1 for Silver Mountain -- I only "waited" in line twice last season and those were on weekend in April after a powder dump. They have a bunch of activities for kids as well -- tubing, indoor water park. No high speed lifts at Silver though and some of the more advanced terrain is "hike-to".

 

Also worth checking out:

Red Mountain or Schweitzer (not that little.. 90+ runs + catskiing) -- both about 2 hours +/- from Spokane International Airport.

 

Both have ski-in/ski-out lodging and lighter lift lines. Saturdays are pretty busy at Schweitzer, but still you wont wait longer than a couple minutes to board the lift. ;)

post #33 of 51

Targhee. 

 

In UT:

Snowbasin

Powder Mt.

Beaver Mt.

post #34 of 51

There are a lot of people in a lot of ski towns, especially here in Whitefish, that still haven't gotten bored after 5, 10, 20, or 30 entire seasons skiing at just one little resort. I guarantee you won't discover all Big Mountain has to offer in just 10 days, but you'll have fun trying.

 

@sibhusky: thanks for the kind words about Whitefish, and nice photo. 

 

Donnie (I work for WMR)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier27 View Post


 

Thanks...I think that staying at one BC resort for a week and a halfish would definitely get boring though... It's fun to have some variety, which is why I'm thinking going to Utah or Colorado might be better, even though they are more crowded and expensive.  I don't think I would go anywhere near Summit County though.  Shredhead said Aspen wasn't crowded, although I know it is very expensive.  So, I think I will check out Utah and Colorado. 

post #35 of 51

I admit I have not read each post in this thread carefully, so this may have been mentioned before.  However, if you're looking for a place to ski in EARLY December, then it's a crap shoot.  Interior BC is more iffy than coastal places like Whistler for snow that early in the season, whether or not there are crowds.  Even at Christmas it can be problematic.  Holding off on making your decision until the snow flies would be the best of worlds.  Otherwise, I'd think hard before committing to an interior place, crowds or not.

post #36 of 51

Oh, no, management has arrived.... I'll be "outed" next.  On the other hand, maybe they'll see they owe me a free pass for all the nice things I've said over HOW MANY YEARS...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie Clapp View Post

There are a lot of people in a lot of ski towns, especially here in Whitefish, that still haven't gotten bored after 5, 10, 20, or 30 entire seasons skiing at just one little resort. I guarantee you won't discover all Big Mountain has to offer in just 10 days, but you'll have fun trying.

 

@sibhusky: thanks for the kind words about Whitefish, and nice photo. 

 

Donnie (I work for WMR)
 


 
post #37 of 51

Over the past 25 years I've spent Christmas - New Years at Big Sky 9MOST YEARS) and Whitefish and never had a year that I wish I had stayed at home - and never had a year where the crowds limited my skiing. Either are big enough for a full trip without needing a backup but you could go to Bridger from Big Sky is you felt the need to wander around. December snow is by definition still early season but seek and ye shall find good snow at either hill in most years. As for crowds I recall a beautiful warm - blue bird Saturday, following 8 inches of fresh snow, between Christmas and New Years where the crowds were smaller than Vail on an average midweek day in March. I'd bet a week's pay you will run out of leg before you run out of snow or daylight at either hill. I'll be at BS again this year.

post #38 of 51

Beaver Creek is a terrific option!

post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

I admit I have not read each post in this thread carefully, so this may have been mentioned before.  However, if you're looking for a place to ski in EARLY December, then it's a crap shoot.  Interior BC is more iffy than coastal places like Whistler for snow that early in the season, whether or not there are crowds.  Even at Christmas it can be problematic.  Holding off on making your decision until the snow flies would be the best of worlds.  Otherwise, I'd think hard before committing to an interior place, crowds or not.


Almost word for word what I would have said. 

 

Also, the Beaver Creek comment made me think of one more dimension. Different resorts and regions offer different flavors of skiing. In December, you need to think about both risk and "flavor". In terms of risk - looking at places that are high and cold & can make snow will reduce your risk. Even if it is just WROD, you'll have something to ski on. OTOH, if you hope for good off piste skiing, many of those places just do not deliver IMO. Many coastal areas rely on natural snowfall - and if you get a banner year, by late december you can have a settled snow base deeper than most places in CO will see in a a good year. And when the snow falls, it can fall "big". But if it does not fall...

 

For my .02: If I *had to* book in advance for December & really wanted to be assured I could ski, I'd probably go for minimizing risk. If I wanted to ensure the "best" (by my definition)  skiing, I'd push the decision out & pay the price of optionality. And I'd also look at less resort-ish areas for peak periods.

post #40 of 51

Grand Targhee could be a good fit with a side trip over to Jackson.  Jackson it'self will be fairly crowded on Christmas week and almost deserted a few days after the new year.

post #41 of 51

Are you still looking?  We have the same issues you do with constraints of school holidays and have skied in Utah seven years in a row.  We go the week between Xmas and New year or over new year depending on our kids' back to school date.  We stay at Solitude and have NEVER had any crowds or serious lift lines - in fact my husband is completely spoiled by that now and reluctant to go anywhere else.  Our kids  (two families with four kids who were between four and eight when we started and are now between ten and fourteen) love, love love it - very family friendly pedestrian village with condos right there, great outdoor heated pool, good instruction. There is no nightlife or shopping to speak of but we go there to ski and have all these kids in tow so we don't mind at all.  Like the break from bustle actually.  We usually go to Brighton for a day and would probably go there two days if we stayed longer as you will - nice change of pace with the atmosphere and skiing. Only five minutes away. (We have tried days at other places around thee to explore but haven't like the set up for a base camp as much as at Solitude.)

And it's only 45 minutes from the airport.

Overall, very very family friendly.

post #42 of 51

Most of the big name resorts are going to be crowded during the holiday times, so look for some of the mid size resorts.

 

Although, Snowbasin is big in size, its not a big name. So in different areas I'd choose:

 

Snowbasin, Grand Targhee, Mt Rose & Homewood (Lake Tahoe), Schweitzer & Beaver Creek (I used to head to Beaver Creek on powder days since Vail was getting tracked out & the $ peeps @ the Beave would be in the lodge)

post #43 of 51

Targhee is a great pick, that's where I would go under the circumstances. I've never been to Whitefish, though. Whitewater, BC might also be a reasonable pick that time of year.

post #44 of 51

A possibility, if you can get  by not having  the Glitz and Glamour resort.  Silver Mountain, Idaho, Kellogg Idaho.  Silvermt.com.  Screamer deals at Morningstar Lodge.  Fly into Spokane, about 90 min drive from Airport.  Never crowded, the 2 1/2 mi Gondola cannot put enough people on the mt. to ever make it crowded. 

post #45 of 51
Solitude. Tons of snow. Always empty. Very affordable and a great mix of terrain. Also very easy to get to.
post #46 of 51

--Big Sky/Moolight Basin (you won't find a weekday lift line at MLB. An hour from Bozeman airport. Shop at Publix near airport before driving up).

--Bridger Bowl (even closer to Bozo).

--Sun Valley, ID (3 minute lift lines at Christmas! 2 hours from Boise or a short drive from Ketchum).

--Whitefish , aka Big Mountain (the description and pics above say it all).

--Grand Targhee (2+ hours from Idaho Falls. Tons of snow and no crowds).

--Snowbasin/Powder Mountain (Ogden is a fantastic town...I'd rather stay here and drive 20 minutes than stay closer to the mountain).

--Schweitzer (cool mountain, up and coming town).

post #47 of 51

I would echo donnie's sentiments regarding the mountain formerly known as the big mountain (its still big mountain to me, but what's in a name really?), in whitefish, montana.  In fact, the Whitefish Mountain Resort is where i'm taking my family this year.

 

The new beginner area by the new base area, is truly for the "never ever."  The old beginner area, is great for a beginner with a few skills.  Then, the backside, can cater to the new intermediate skiier.  Routes back down to base area are realtively easy for the new intermediate to find.

 

 While Whitefish, Montana, may not the most sophisticated ski town in the United States, if what you seek is short lift lines and low stress and hassle then it's your place.  The old base area has a rental shop (underneath moguls) with a nearby locker room with tall ski lockers than can be rented for your stay at a reasonable daily price like 6 or 7 bucks a day.  The ski bus provides rides up and down from whitefish if necessary and has its benefits.  The locals are easy going and not only love, but live to ski.  The locals who work on the mountain take good care of their guests, better in my opinion that the huge resorts with $90 lift tickets. 

 

With all the feedback, i suspect your choice is getting more difficult than easier.  Nonetheless, another vote for the bigs!

 

dave mcleod

post #48 of 51

In Tahoe Homewood and Diamond Peak are hidden gems for families.....

 

Great views, uncrowded hills, nice people....

 

post #49 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbombjim View Post

In Tahoe Homewood and Diamond Peak are hidden gems for families.....

 

Great views, uncrowded hills, nice people....

 


Homewood on a powder day is good, whereas the masses are at the bigger Tahoe ski areas.

post #50 of 51

Would highly recommend Solitude in UT I have taken my family there last 2 years and it's uncrowded, great snow and family oriented.  Brighton is 5 min drive and a great place to ski.

post #51 of 51

Moonlight Basin is perfect if you have younger children. Beautiful, uncrowded, friendly. Easy to navigate. Cheap lift tickets (at Publix) and kids under 10 free. Condos are not cheap, though.

Have I mentioned you can connect to Big Sky?

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