Originally Posted by PJS32000
A little background info. I'm the planner for a group of 10-14 that will be embarking on our 5th annual Feb. ski trip this winter. Our group is 100% skiers of multiple abilities. There are 3-4 of us that can ski most expert runs, minus some of the real crazy stuff. The bulk of the group is in the "solid intermediate" category, and there are 1-2 "early intermediate" skiers.
On my radar for this year are Big Sky, Telluride, Lake Louise, Squaw, or a return trip to W/B. I'd love to hear some pros/cons from those of you that have been to some of these resorts since I haven't been to them except for W/B. I'm also open to new suggestions. Thanks!
At the risk of starting a food fight, I'd like to suggest you look for twofers, areas where there is more than one hill within reasonable driving distance. Perhaps you were already thinking this way. Big Sky has Bridger nearby. Lake Louise has Sunshine nearby. Revelstoke has Golden/Kicking Horse nearby (Forgive me; I know Canadian resorts best) Louise can be brutally cold in early February, but as another contributor noted, the scenery is amazing. Finding a house to rent in Lake Louise might be all but impossible, but I've never really looked.
My wife and I were married at Lake Louise in the winter time, stayed in the Chateau, skated on the lake, drank wine and ate raclette in the charming Walliser Stube, went for star-lit horse drawn sleigh rides around the lake, ate a fabulous meal at the Post Hotel. It's a fond memory.
What you might consider, if you did set your sights on Louise, are the rental cabins along Highway 1A, the backroad from Banff to Lake Louise. We often rent one of these at Christmas time. The drive to the mountain is only about 20 minutes. You're away from the noise and crowds, nestled in snow-covered trees, right across the road from beautiful (and free) cross country skiing.
We usually stay at Castle Mountain Cabins, which takes dogs, but there are even nicer cabins at Baker Creek, just down the road toward Louise, but they don't take dogs.
I lived in Whistler for the better part of a decade and I'd say the weather is enough of a gamble that I wouldn't want a trip to Whistler to be my big trip of the year. When it's good, it's pretty darn good, but you can get skunked by the weather. I don't want to overstate this since in a lifetime of skiing at Whistler I've never been rained out; for me it's always been possible to go up above the freezing level. It can happen though. Also the fog at mid-mountain is a very common feature of skiing at W/B. That's why my visits to Bridger Bowl and Big Sky have been such a treat. The snow has always been fabulous and the temperature such that I was never damp.
Wherever you go, have a great time.