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Where in late April, mixed ability high school kids

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I've got a general sense where the odds are good for skiing in April and have reviewed a number of old threads here on that topic.  But I'm looking for input on some of the other factors for a trip that my kids and their friends want to put together for spring break of their senior year. 

 

The other factors:

 

---The core of the group is a handful of dedicated skiers who seek out moguls, powder, trees, etc., and will ski first chair to last in any condition.  Easy enough to keep them happy. 

 

-- They'll bring friends  with less interest and endurance, who'd probably rather go to the beach.    

 

-- The less enthusiastic skiers would really love any sort of pool / hot tub situation, and towns with shopping, entertainment,etc.

 

-- Dates are the week of April 18.

 

-- It's quite likely that a  couple of non-skiing parents may come along too so I can't just go to a great mountain in the middle of nowhere.

 

-- Easy airport access a plus

 

-- Canada a plus for adventure factor

 

-- Lodging concept, we'd like to rent a big house or condo for 6 or 8 kids and 2 - 3 parents, where you could at least walk to lifts; don't want to deal with cars, and would rather eat breakfasts and lunch out of a group kitchen not a ski lodge.

 

-- Lots of housing stock would be a plus so other kids or families could be invited if the idea takes off.

 

-- Money is a factor -- a lot of the kids will be paying some or all of this from their own pocket. I remember seeing some resorts out west with"Spring season" passes but don't remember which ones.

 

My thoughts were:

 

Whistler

Mammoth

Breckenridge

Crested Butte

Telluride

Sunshine/Lake Louise/Banff (but I really don't know anything about those places)

 

 

Any comments on those?  Other suggestions? 

 

I haven't been to any of those actually, most of my skiing out west has been Mt. Hood, Bachelor, Snowbasin, Snowbird, Alta, none of which would be good for the nonskiers. 

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 29

I believe you've thought of all the best usual suspects.  Banff (Sunshine) and Whistler were the first that came to mind for me.  Breckenridge also.  Looks like Copper (and Breck) plan to close on Apr 24.  Ideally, slopeside at a big mtn resort/town like Whistler would be great for your type group.  However, for budget reasons if you stayed off-mountain in Summit County/Frisco area that might be one of your most economical flight and housing options from NY and you could also visit A-basin, Loveland, etc. depending on best lift ticket deals. In Summit Co the kids could use the free Stage bus to get around on their own to various destinations.  If Snowmass/Aspen is open until Apr 24 that might also be a nice contender.

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

What's the town/lodging situation at Banff? I understand Whistler has the mother of all Intrawest villages, anything comparable in terms of convenience at Banff?

 

At Whistler is everything ownd by Intrawest and priced accordingly?  I have not fond feelings for the base village at Stratton - not just lodging but also restaurants and retail.  No need for debate but it is what it is ... kind of like shopping and eating at an airport.  Is Whistler also like that?  Same Q for Mammoth?

post #4 of 29

Other than Norquay, you have to travel a short distance from Banff to ski Sunshine and Louise. Not sure if they have a town shuttle to help with that? Ditto for Mammoth Lakes to Mammoth ski area. I overlooked the obvious - Vail might also be good for your group if it's open until Apr 24 and you find some late season bargains there.

 

Maybe someone will have some good suggestions for Utah?  I think Park City resorts will be closed by your dates.

post #5 of 29

Check out dates for Whistler Telus Ski and Snowboard festival. I've gone during that time several times.Not crowded. Usually cheaper because so late. Weather- could be mid winter, could be slushfest. You have to think about what parts of the mountain to ski on as altitude can dictate where the good conditions are. Always fun though and a bunch of stuff going on in the village to keep everyone happy.Haven't checked dates this year, but it's usually around that time.

post #6 of 29

Aspen Highlands closes 4/24. That's pretty late for Colorado in general.  CB and Telluride will both be closed.  Booking this far in advance,  I wouldn't recommend CO.

 

Whistler during Telus sound's awsome.

post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 

I just looked at the schedule for TELUS and methinks the young ones like that sort of thing.  If anything, TOO much fun.  This year's dates are April 15 - 24. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui Steve View Post

Check out dates for Whistler Telus Ski and Snowboard festival. I've gone during that time several times.Not crowded. Usually cheaper because so late. Weather- could be mid winter, could be slushfest. You have to think about what parts of the mountain to ski on as altitude can dictate where the good conditions are. Always fun though and a bunch of stuff going on in the village to keep everyone happy.Haven't checked dates this year, but it's usually around that time.

post #8 of 29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

 

Maybe someone will have some good suggestions for Utah?  I think Park City resorts will be closed by your dates.


In UT skiing in LCC is the best option --probably the only option -- in late april. Skiing could still be like midwinter.

 

Alta says they will be open that week (close 4-24) and Snowbird will be open through May. 

post #9 of 29

I recommend Mt. Bachelor.  Its not as easy to get to but it will have the best chance for decent snow that late in the season.  I would shy away from anything but resorts far out west that late since Rocky Mountain snow gets ugly when warm.

post #10 of 29

Snowbird will be cheap and have the best skiing, but not enough to do for the not really skier and probably will scare the crap out of them as well.

 

Mammoth looks like a winner here

post #11 of 29

Sunshine Village had a ton of snow and whiteouts and Sunshine when we were there almost into the last week of April in 2008, though note with global weather changes nowadays wreaking havoc (all the snow in the East really fell South of the NY city area so resorts north were starved of snow in 09-10 winter) Sunshine did not get that much snow in 2010. On the other hand, Banff is a real nice town, the area is spectacularly beautiful, and it is generally reasonable in terms of cost if you stay in Banff. You can also stay on the mountain at the Sunshine Inn, nice lodge, good staff, one bar used by staff and guests outside Lodge, note once on mountain, no getting off after final gondola at 5pm, and its still a 20min drive to Banff. Its a big area with all kinds of terrain. Lake Louise, about 30mins north is also a serious mountain but not sure when they close, they close before Sunshine Village. Terrain ranges from mellow to very difficult and at that time, powder conditions are pretty prevalent at that time.

 

For your visual scouting, here is a 10min film of Sunshine Village from April 08, scroll through, get lay of the land, the "easier" parts, and the base etc - I was a beginner then and just in my first season of skiing as my son had just turned 5 and so I was learning so we could ski together, i.e. so I could learn to stay with him on the mountain, has turned out to be a sisyphean task ... the distance in ability has become a chasm...

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone, especially for the video dustyfog.  

 

Keep it coming -- especially suggestions for Whistler lodging strategy / locations?

 

Thanks.

 

post #13 of 29

Love the video Dustyfog!  I assume that was Mom skiing with Bond?  IMO very nice first year skiing.  I'll bet he has gotten much better since them.

post #14 of 29

Banff may be the best skiing in mid-April, and may have the best town.  

 

Adding to this, the scenery is most magnificent of all North American ski resorts- bar-none.  

 

Many travel experts refer to it as the most beautiful place on earth.  Imagine the amazement of the kids seeing deer and elk freely roaming about the town (because it is in a National Park).  I know as a high-schooler, I was awestruck by Banff and it's beauty, and have never seen anything since that really has come close.  The hotsprings were pretty cool too.

 

As well, I'm not sure who liberal as a parent you are, but the drinking age is 18 in Alberta.  It might be fun to take them to Wild Bill's for their first "legal" drink.  

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hotsprings would be a good draw for the kids who really want to go to the beach, thanks.

 

You're not the first to inform me of the drinking age up there.  Some of our kids will still be just 17.  There are some things I don't want to know.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post

Banff may be the best skiing in mid-April, and may have the best town.  

 

Adding to this, the scenery is most magnificent of all North American ski resorts- bar-none.  

 

Many travel experts refer to it as the most beautiful place on earth.  Imagine the amazement of the kids seeing deer and elk freely roaming about the town (because it is in a National Park).  I know as a high-schooler, I was awestruck by Banff and it's beauty, and have never seen anything since that really has come close.  The hotsprings were pretty cool too.

 

As well, I'm not sure who liberal as a parent you are, but the drinking age is 18 in Alberta.  It might be fun to take them to Wild Bill's for their first "legal" drink.  

post #16 of 29

No TetonP-Junkie, the hapless character behind Bond was M, i.e. yours truly, his Dad, he had just turned 5, we put him on skis in the yard when he was around 3 and half and he hit his local slopes a few months shy of his 4th birthday. I just tired of waiting for him down at the base with coffee and Winstons, so put on skis in Feb 08. And thanks, he has improved in leaps and bounds..is now a serious big mountain skier. 

 

Ts01 - for snow, you've LCC or Banff or Mammoth at that time

 

And I have to concur with Joe Schmoe, there is something amazing about driving into Banff as you hit Canmore...the world seems to just open up and its majestic...something pristine and spectacular.

post #17 of 29

What would the non-skiers want to do?

 

Mammoth is definitely a strong sell if the non-skiers are happy doing other outdoorsy stuff.  But there's not much else to do if they don't.  And you'll definitely want a car for them to tool around in.

 

I'd seriously consider Snowbird, but perhaps staying downhill, if the non-skiers would be happy seeing the SLC environs.  Road closures are fairly unlikely that late in the season.  

 

Tahoe is always a good bet too.  At least Squaw and Alpine will still be open that week (i.e., the week leading up to Easter).

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

What would the non-skiers want to do?

 

Mammoth is definitely a strong sell if the non-skiers are happy doing other outdoorsy stuff.  But there's not much else to do if they don't.  And you'll definitely want a car for them to tool around in.

 

I'd seriously consider Snowbird, but perhaps staying downhill, if the non-skiers would be happy seeing the SLC environs.  Road closures are fairly unlikely that late in the season.  

 

Tahoe is always a good bet too.  At least Squaw and Alpine will still be open that week (i.e., the week leading up to Easter).

 

I've never really understood non-skiers -- hard to answer!  I think the music/film thing at Whistler would be a huge draw for the less ski-focussed kids. And pools / hot tubs would be a draw cause, um, they're 17, it's spring break, and I don't want to know the rest.

 

The nonskiing parents (including my wife and a few random others who might join in)  would probably like the outdoorsy stuff at Mammoth -- certainly would do some hiking or snowshoeing.  So depending on other variables that could be better than base village at Whistler, if Whistler is  half as cheesy as Stratton.  But being car-free is a huge draw so that's a big question about Mammoth.  

 

Ruling out Snowbird simply because I think the non-skiers would feel like hostages up there, and the logistics of getting up and down the road would be no fun.  Even if we use the buses instead of driving it involves planning and coordination, something that is hard enough with teenagers, hard enough with large groups, and nearly impossible with large groups of teenagers.

 

Tahoe - Where would you recommend at Tahoe?  I've only been to Squaw -- which certainly was nice but not much for non-skiers, not that I was really looking.

post #19 of 29

Good idea.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post

Ruling out Snowbird simply because I think the non-skiers would feel like hostages up there, and the logistics of getting up and down the road would be no fun.  Even if we use the buses instead of driving it involves planning and coordination, something that is hard enough with teenagers, hard enough with large groups, and nearly impossible with large groups of teenagers.
post #20 of 29
Quote:

 there is something amazing about driving into Banff as you hit Canmore...the world seems to just open up and its majestic...something pristine and spectacular.


There is nothing like it.  

post #21 of 29

Quote:

Originally Posted by ts01 View Post

Ruling out Snowbird simply because I think the non-skiers would feel like hostages up there, and the logistics of getting up and down the road would be no fun. 

 

The logistics really aren't bad.  It's a straight shot when there are no weather issues.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ts01 View Post

Tahoe - Where would you recommend at Tahoe?  I've only been to Squaw -- which certainly was nice but not much for non-skiers, not that I was really looking.

 

Tahoe City.  Maybe Granlibakken.  Shuttles to various hills, close enough to the cuteness of town to make it work otherwise.

 

Or if you have gamblers, somewhere in Incline Village.

post #22 of 29

Don't count on Norquay to be open in April unless there is exceptional snow.  Sunshine gets windy at the top, a little too much steeps for high school kids unless they are experienced.  I prefer Louise of the three, but do take my kids to Norquay, as it's less busy, easier to teach as they learn their skills.  but, hands down, you would not be disappointed by Louise, ever.  It's a short drive, or shuttle bus to the hill (sunshine as well) and it's big and varied enough to have something for everyone.  Being a prairie boy, I've done most of my days at Louise as the Banff area is closer to me, never been weathered out, always had a great day at Louise.

 

I have taken a youth group to the mountains, to Big White near Kelowna.  You can stay at Kelowna, which by April will be quite warm with plenty of hotels.   Big white has a lot of on-hill accomodation, but you may prefer the flexibility of being  a short drive away for the non-skiiers to tour around ( do the bus service to the hill). There are more wineries, tourist trap,shopping etc in the area than you can wave at, and Big white is freakin awesome.   It is my first choice for a winter trip, the snow is exceptional, it's huge, with terrain for everyone.  I would highly recommend a day at nearby Silver Star as well if you like to ski trees. Go there and burn your legs off for a day.  It's a short trip away, worth every mile of the drive. Easy to do as a day trip.

-james

post #23 of 29

ill give you a second vote for Mt. Bachelor.  Always a deep base well into may.  Actually it will still be growing in april (I got my best powder day last year mid April).  Great grooming and Terrain Parks.  They likely will have the backside open which gives you 360 degree skiing off the top, which is very cool.  Also the last couple years they have offered Spring passes which is unlimited skiing after march for like 125$.  The only problem is you stay in bend, or Sunriver, both are 30min plus driving to the mountain.  But, for those not skiing, Bend and Sunriver are great.  There will be great weather in Bend, probably low 60's and sunny. (other side of the cascades are always reliable)  The good weather gives options to golf, bike, rock climb (smith rocks) or shop.  Its where ill be in April, but i don't have to travel too far.

post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks Dad for the Tahoe suggestion.  No gamblers so Nevada side = out.

 

Mechanist - thanks for the suggestion re Big White, I'll look into it.  Skill levels = core of the group is (IMHO) high level - eastern skiers who hit every square inch of Mad River, Magic, Whiteface, etc., seek out trees, bumps, etc.  Looking for challenge and excitement for them, and enough blue terrain for the hangers-on.

 

Cascade - thanks for the tip re late season passes.  I knew they had those at Mt Hood Meadows but I wouldn't want a destination week there; Bachelor though, I could see it.  Nonskiers would be very happy with weather and amenities in Bend and other outdoor activities.

 

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post

Thanks Dad for the Tahoe suggestion.  No gamblers so Nevada side = out.


Thinking about it more, though, I realized that you may want to look into what bands and comedians are playing in Reno during that time frame.  It might actually work out quite well.

post #26 of 29

One more advantage of the Bend area is the kids are going to start grating on you after a few days and the Deschutes Brewery will be a great place to escape to.

post #27 of 29

Reno would work out very well...for everyone.

 

Stay at the Peppermill.

 

Edit:;.........Oooopps. High School Kids.....I was thinking College Kids.

 

Not Reno.

post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugaree View Post


Edit:;.........Oooopps. High School Kids.....I was thinking College Kids.

 

Not Reno.


Yup - I've got to give the kids room to roam, AND bring 'em all back at the end of the week. 

post #29 of 29

I vote for Whistler and TELUS with the group as described. The only deterrent will be if cost is too high.    For consistent conditions that late Mammoth and Bachelor are probably the best. For the core group Mammoth has more steep terrain.  For the non-skiers Bachelor is better than Mammoth in that time frame because it really is spring down in Bend and most of the other activities will be available.  Mammoth will likely still be snowbound, Yosemite not accessible for at least another month, etc.   Bend/Bachelor should be cheapest for lodging but you will need cars there.  Coming from NY you may need cars to get to Mammoth from Reno. 

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