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Northstar vs Telluride in January with Intermediate skier - Opinions?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone, need some opinions on two resorts I've never been to. I know, two completely different mountains! I am an advanced/expert skier taking an intermediate friend on his first trip "out west", and we decided to go somewhere I've never been to so it'd be new to me too. I've been to nearly every major ski area in CO, UT, WY and CA, but had never been to these two places.


He's solidly intermediate and in need of groomers...  I know Northstar is considered groomer-mecca outside of Deer Valley (which was just too expensive for us), but wasn't sure about options at Telluride.  I know it's a much more difficult mountain in general.  I'd prefer Telluride personally as I know they don't groom out the entire mountain and will offer me some more challenging options if my buddy calls it a day early, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't taking him somewhere with limited groomed terrain, since the primary purpose of the trip is to expose him to western skiing and bigger terrain.


Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 5

Never skied Northstar, I have skied Telluride.  Can't compare the two, but something to consider...based on everyones snowfall predictions this La Nina winter, neither one of those resorts are projected to get alot of snow.  Pacific Northwest, BC and Montana should do very well.  California, New Mexico and southern Colorado (The San Juans), are supposed to be below average, and the line between the two seems to cut across Colorado, so the Rockies, Utah and Wyoming will probably have an average snowfall year.


Edit:  I was pulling this from memory from some weather related threads, but on second thought, I suppose it would stand to reason that Wyoming probably falls in the above average category...being between Northern Colorado and the PNW. 

post #3 of 5

I would vote for Telluride. But...


I don't know where your buddy normally skis.


If he's coming from the northeast, Northstar isn't all that different. Compact mountain, tree-lined cruisers hacked out of dense forest... it's just a western version of Killington. Albeit less crowded and (likely) less icy.


Though if you guys are from mid-Atlantic, Northstar would feel plenty 'big mountain' already for your friend. And Telluride might actually be a bit too intimidating with its multiple base areas and "dead end" runs (need to take a chair back up to get out of).


Telluride is a beautiful, sprawling resort with a good varity of terrains. There're quite a lot of groomers to take it easy on for your buddy AND YOURSELF. BTW, a good portion of the groomers go by some lovely homes, giving a sense of "travel on skis".  


More over, there're a lot of easy diamonds for a solid intermediate to get his legs on too. That's what western skiing shines, in my opinion.

post #4 of 5

I've not skied Telluride, but would like to.  I've skied Northstar, but only when forced by extenuating circumstances (i.e., a kid's race).


Northstar is the skiing equivalent of Disneyland.  It feels -- at least to me -- completely artificial and designed to extract the maximum amount of money from your pockets per minute.  I can't imagine it's significantly cheaper than Deer Valley.


The only reason I can see to go there over Telluride would be that it is likely to be warmer in January.  But that would be true of nearly every resort in Tahoe vs nearly any resort in Colorado.


Actually, there's one other reason.  Northstar is 30-40 minutes from the Reno airport.  I don't think Telluride is nearly as accessible.  But Utah is at least as good from that perspective.


post #5 of 5

I would pick Telluride here... as other said, there are plenty of groomers for the intermediates to hang out on, as well as easy blacks. Plus the village and the mountain town... it's just unbeatable. I don't think I'd even hesitate to pick it over Northstar.


Get your friend a bunch of days on the hill before you go, and have a blast during it. Most "intermediates" I know more or less just lack the confidence to enjoy the blacks.

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