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Old 11-29-2012, 11:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Breckenridge - Jan vs March

Planning a trip to Breckenridge.

Currently reserved for Jan 8-12 (3 days riding, 4 night stay)
Considering moving reservation to March 27-30 (2 days riding, 3 night stay) for slightly higher cost due to current lack of snow and predicted snowfall thus far.

Historically, when would be a more advisable time to visit this area? Is it worth paying more for less days on snow but later in the season? Those are the only times I would be able to go. Please advise.

Thanks.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but March is historically the snowiest month out here.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would seriously recommend changing your trip to elsewhere. Seems that Utah, Wyoming, and Montana are doing fine for the inner mountain states. Colorado is in a dry spot. With the forecast being what it is, we are going to be lucky to get three feet of snow in December at this point. So far a dead on repeat of last season. On top of that March saw no snow last season. None. February and April were the only months with snow, and basically at the time the snow came it was just covering the dirt. We would need a historic turn around at this point.

You would be much better off just canceling and saving your money to go elsewhere. Probably better snowboarding in Texas right now...
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would seriously recommend changing your trip to elsewhere. Seems that Utah, Wyoming, and Montana are doing fine for the inner mountain states. Colorado is in a dry spot. With the forecast being what it is, we are going to be lucky to get three feet of snow in December at this point. So far a dead on repeat of last season. On top of that March saw no snow last season. None. February and April were the only months with snow, and basically at the time the snow came it was just covering the dirt. We would need a historic turn around at this point.

You would be much better off just canceling and saving your money to go elsewhere. Probably better snowboarding in Texas right now...
I badly want to disagree with you...
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Man, I want to be proven wrong. It isn't too late, a strong second half of December could very well save the season.

Here is the thing. I have been here since 1990. I've seen several dry Decembers what ended up as strong seasons. All of them had at least decent snow in November, or just enough in December for resorts to be about 70% open. All of the seasons that were basically high and dry through December turned out to be a bust. All of them. Of course I have never seen back to back bad seasons here either. A bad season followed by an average one sure, but not two horrible ones in a row. Which at this point we are staring down the barrel of one. First road trip of the season is probably coming up next weekend. At this point, I think I can take a 4 day weekend every two weeks through February to go powder hunting. If the snow ain't going to come to me, I am going to go find it.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Looking into rebooking

All things said, I am seriously considering rebooking now, with a couple restrictions.

Dates:
- Jan 8-9 through 12
- March 27-30

Transportation:
- Air - Ideally somewhere Southwest flies, since I can rebook air travel without fees, and I don't have to pay extra to take my board
- Ground - somewhere I can use ground transport from airport to hotel, and shuttle from hotel to mountain, because I am not a fan of driving

Location:
- Heavenly?
- Park City?

I looked at southwest's packages for both of these in Jan and March and they look about the same price as my trip to Breck for Jan. Opinions on how these places compared with my current trip? Jan vs March better for either?

Sorry for sounding so inexperienced with this-- I'm from Illinois and this will be my first trip to a real mountain. I honestly didn't do much research, but the travel agents I know don't do snowboard trips, so I kind of just took a stab in the dark. I really appreciate all the help!
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
Man, I want to be proven wrong. It isn't too late, a strong second half of December could very well save the season.

Here is the thing. I have been here since 1990. I've seen several dry Decembers what ended up as strong seasons. All of them had at least decent snow in November, or just enough in December for resorts to be about 70% open. All of the seasons that were basically high and dry through December turned out to be a bust. All of them. Of course I have never seen back to back bad seasons here either. A bad season followed by an average one sure, but not two horrible ones in a row. Which at this point we are staring down the barrel of one. First road trip of the season is probably coming up next weekend. At this point, I think I can take a 4 day weekend every two weeks through February to go powder hunting. If the snow ain't going to come to me, I am going to go find it.
I'm with you, I didn't travel anywhere last year and stuck to the 5 mountain pass resorts. Last year was my first season out here though after riding midwest hills for 14 years... I can get a 4 day weekend every week so this year I'll definitely be searching for it!

Ashley, I'm originally from Chicago and I feel your pain. Heading out west for the first time can be intimidating. Look into Tahoe they seem to be having a good start!
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashleyalcan View Post
All things said, I am seriously considering rebooking now, with a couple restrictions.

Dates:
- Jan 8-9 through 12
- March 27-30

Transportation:
- Air - Ideally somewhere Southwest flies, since I can rebook air travel without fees, and I don't have to pay extra to take my board
- Ground - somewhere I can use ground transport from airport to hotel, and shuttle from hotel to mountain, because I am not a fan of driving
Ohh boy.....well let me chime-in. I love these questions.

I cannot endorse Breck. Breck was my first "out west trip" and it is beautiful. I'm from PA and I was hooked. Then I got to experience Utah. Then I got to experience Tahoe.

Breck is a Pain in the Hiney to get to. Fly to Denver and take Shuttle for 2 hours to Breck or rent a car? Meh. Breck doesn't get the huge snowfalls, generally. It can get decent snow and on certain years when everyone gets snow (2011), it can get a ton. However, In January....Breck IS FRIGGEN COLD!!!

Heavenly (South Lake Tahoe) is also difficult to get to with the drive from Reno to SLT. Beautiful views, decent snow, and local mountains that when it snows....IT SNOWS!!! (Kirkwood)

Park City....A little of the same, but much easier to get to from the Airport. While Breck is COLD with OK snow, PC can be a little Warmer with about the same snowfall. PLUS, there are some resorts near Park City that generally get much more snow than all of the above places, similar price, and easy access to the airport.

Soooo......It depends on what you are looking for. If you want to stay in a ski town....I might suggest Park City or Breckenridge. South Lake Tahoe is pretty spread-out unless you are staying at the base of Heavenly.....plus, the whole Heavenly layout blows for ski-in/ski-out. If you are going with a specific focus on riding, stay somewhere in the Salt Lake City area and ride Brighton or Snowbird. Unlike the other places, you can spend part of one (or both) of your travel days on the mountain before or after you get on a plane. It is very difficult to do that at Breckenridge or Heavenly.


PLUS, trying to Judge now, what the snow will be in Jan or March is very difficult. I will say this. I've given-up traveling in January. The base/snowpack is usually mediocre and it is much colder at all spots. If it snows, thats great. If it doesn't, then it is boiler-plate/hardpack/gnar/yuk! IN MARCH, it still snows (usually more than January) and if it isn't snowing and the sun is out, it is usually much nicer weather and the hard-pack becomes mashed taters.

FOR SURE, I suggest booking in March.....take a sick day on March 31.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well Colorado used to be a good bet. Evidently Ullr has canceled winter around here.

So, Utah is one of the better places. Good snowfall and snow quality. Powder stashes last for a decent amount of time after a storm. The airport is pretty decent. The biggest advantage there is if you are renting a car, once you complete your paperwork you walk out the door, across the street, and get your car. No shuttling around to get your vehicle. The ski areas are anywhere from 30 minutes to just over an hour away.

You can find cheaper lodging in Salt Lake too, and be very close to the areas. I believe if you stay in Sandy, you can be a little over 15 minutes away from Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton. Park City gives you the Canyons and their name sake. Less snow there than the aforementioned Cottonwood resorts. Powder Mountain and Snowbasin are north of Salt Lake above Ogden. Less crowded, with a big less snowfall than the cottonwoods too. At least as much as the Park City areas though. With less visitor demand at places like Powder Mountain, stashes last. There is lodging to be found in Eden and you can catch a free bus from there to Pow Mow. Snowbasin is maybe a 15 minute drive. You can also stay in Odgen for probably less and have just over a 20 minute drive to either area.

Drawbacks are basically the after you're done riding scene. Some are going to disagree with me, but finding outstanding food is not easy in Utah. Pretty plain jane. Not horrible, but I have yet to go to a place that I have to revisit when I am there. Alcohol rules are messed up, but have relaxed a bit recently. Still, if you want to drink at where you sleep, 3.2 beer is what is sold at the grocery stores. The state run liquor stores charge more and are open weird hours. Plus only one location per city. The snow and terrain are killer though, and the aside stuff has never made me not do a trip to Utah.

Tahoe. Kind of feast or famine. This year seems to be on feast though. Also, if it's not snowing it's typically sunny. Lake views are stunning around Tahoe. I'd look at Squaw/Alpine, Sugarbowl for North Shore stuff. Though Lake views are not really there for those areas. The terrain is far superior to Heavenly. South shore is where Heavenly lies. Which is decent, but if you go there, plan on hitting Kirkwood too. 30 minutes or so West from SLT. Great area and one of the snowiest in the US. Sierra and Homewood are nice small areas to visit too.

March is the snowiest month at both locations. January can be just fine at either of the two spots, just colder. Especially in Utah.

*sorry missed your part about ground transportation, Park City best fits the bill. Though if you just did Heavenly and fly into the SLT airport, you can walk out of the hotel to the lift on the south shore. Probably good rates to be found at some of the casino hotels.*

Last edited by killclimbz; 11-29-2012 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Not horrible, but I have yet to go to a place that I have to revisit when I am there.
You've never gone to the Cotton Bottom for a burger have you!?!
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