Where to go?
Okay. So the wife and I are planning 2 weeks boarding
in the US or Canada next February. We live in Scotland so this
is a big, expensive deal for us.
Where should we book for? We were thinking Whistler but read
that the snow's not great there this year.
Where is consistently good year after year? Not too bothered about
night-life, just great piste action.
I'm intermediate and the wife is pretty advanced.
Don't want to blow a load of hard-earned cash on a disappointing resort.
All suggestions appreciated.
The snow was pretty excellent this year everywhere except Northern California.
NorCal - a lot of great resorts all very close together. Amazing terrain. Usually good snow. Terrible this year. Good night life available if you hit the Nevada side casinos.
Pacific Northwest - plenty of good resorts, but nothing particularly centralized. Plenty of good smaller mountains. This area would require a lot more traveling. Usually good snow. Night life would depend on where you stayed.
Whistler: amazing mountain(s), but I would get tired of even an amazing mountain in two weeks on a vacation. Usually good snow. Good local night life. You would not be disappointed in the mountain!
Utah: lots of good mountains with a lot of varied terrain. Not so much night life if you stay in SLC. Better in Park City. Utah is pretty reliable for good to great snow, but there are certainly down times. You can take a couple days and drive up to Jackson Hole as well. I think SLC is the best option for a cheap trip because you can stay at a cheap motel in SLC and drive or take the bus up the hill.
Colorado: lots of great mountains, but you have to get up a couple hours out of Denver to get to them, unlike SLC. Colorado is probably least reliable for snow, but with that length of trip you would certainly still get something. Night life varies depending on where you were staying.
For Money and variety I would do a couple things. Buy and epic pass and mountain collective pass. Epic Season Pass | EpicPass.com and The Mountain Collective 2014/15 Pass: AltaSnowbird, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Whistler Blackcomb
Fly in to Denver and rent an AWD SUV.
Drive up to the mtns, breck is 90 minutes from the airport straight through.
Spend a couple days at breck.
Drive to vail, like a 40 minute drive from gondola base to gondola base.
Ride a couple days in vail. Beaver creek is right down the road so grab a day there too...... Drive 3 hours to aspen that day and stay the night. Ride 2 days in aspen/snowmass.
Drive to Jackson hole, it's like 8 hours, if you have the money, fly from aspen to JH ride 2 days.
Drive or fly to salt lake, 6-7 hour drive from Jackson. There you can not snowbird for 2 days and unlimited days in canyons.....
Fly home from the salt lake.
If you have more time than 2 weeks then go hit Tahoe too. It's a short flight to Reno from salt lake or a 7 hour drive from canyons/park city to northstar in truckee. There are 3 epic pass resorts and 2 days on the collective pass at squaw/alpine.
Also, February seems to be the greatest all around month.....
Argo's list is great.
If you want to do pacific northwest (pnw) either south to north or north to south. Mind you that most of these hills are more small ski areas and not resorts with lodging like in Colorado...thus the camping.
Fly into Portland Oregon or Vancouver BC/Canada, rent a Van or suv and sleep in the van with an occasional motel. All of these hills are about 2-3 hours or less from each other. It would be easy to do a hill, then drive to the next one, sleep/camp in the lot (except Whistler...no camping in the lot), get first chair, ride all day and move to the next one. Whistler to Portland is about an 8-10 hour drive if you want to fly in/out of the same place. Also if you do this be prepared for dampness...but you don't have the cold and altitude to deal with. Additionally make sure to do BlackComb > Whistler...its a much better layout that follows the fall line much better than whistler.
Baker...has the legendary banked slalom in Feb.
Wow. Thanks guys. You've certainly given us food for thought. It's a once-in-a-lifetime vacation so we want to nail it. I always thought that Colorado was the most reliable for snow so it's a good job I asked. Cheers.
Another option (if you'd rather be in Canada) would be to fly into Calgary AB then drive to Banff
Then drive to
Then drive to
In terms of snow conditions, its really hard to say. You could hit during a storm cycle and get dumped on, or hit during a dry spell and be disappointed
FYI - I'm not sure where in Scotland you're from, but some of the mountain passes are really avalanche prone and can get closed + driving conditions can be a little sketchy (especially if you're not used to driving in the mountains in the winter)
Thanks Kalev. That sounds like a good option. I've always liked the look of Lake Louise. I'm used to driving in adverse weather conditions so I should be ok.
Thanks again :)
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