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Old 03-13-2011, 11:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trip Planning for next season...what is the best place to go at the worst time to go?

Ok so here is the deal...we (wife, son and I) want to go out west and snowboard some big mountains next year, the problem is that he is in school and we both work so the best time to go would be between Christmas and New Years. Yes we FULLY understand that this is when everyone goes, the airfare, the hotels and the lift tickets will all be at their highest prices of the year...there will also be lines (this really sounds like a bad plan the more I think about it).

But so if you were going to go at this time where is the best place to go? My wife's brother lives in the Denver area and his wife and daughter snowboard as well...typically going to Keystone. So if we can leverage using their house for a way point when we arrive and leave it would help..plus her brother can watch our littlest one (will just be getting on the snow, turns 2 tomorrow) when she isn't on the snow.

In my youth I have been to the Boreal, Jackson Hole, Breckenridge, Killington and a few other north east (VT, NH) resorts, but I'm sure most of the bigger, more well known resorts will be packed. Also I am a little worried about snow cover at the end of Dec...is that even a concern out west?

Basically I'm at the really early stages here and am just looking for ideas of family friendly spots for a week of snowboarding.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Honestly I would pick the bigger resorts in that area you want to go to. THey can handle the crowds on the busiest days which is the weekend before christmas, the week end after christmas and the weekend around the new year. These are the busiest because all of the locals will be at the hill as well as the tourists. During the week it is just the tourists.... If you go to the smaller hills they will have huge crowds without the capability of handling them. Around denver I would stick with Breck or Vail just because of their size and ability to handle the crowds....

The other option is going to a place to ride that is REALLY out of the way for most tourist, having no airport nearby will hamper them.... I have been going to wolfcreek in southern CO for the 2 weeks of christmas for the last 5 years. This place is about 5 hours from denver, 3 hours north of sante fe if you drive fast and about 90 minutes from durango(the nearest regional airport). Next winter I plan to be living in vail and plan to work the weekends so I dont have to mess with the dual convergence from tourest and locals on the weekend....
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Also, Wolfcreek is pretty family friendly but lacks the true beginner areas that bigger resorts have. I feel having learned to board there made me a better rider because there is no real bunny hill for beginners.... If you are looking for a house on the mountain to rent in any places just use VRBO.com I use it religiously now for vacation unless i am going somewhere that has my timeshare....
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Argo - thanks for the feedback...I'm taking notes.
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