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I got into snowboarding last season and got addicted. This year I'm looking to take a snowboarding trip in early December, so I’ll need to find a place that typically has snow then. I've done a little research, and Grand Targhee, Lake Louise, Sunday River, Timberline, Mammoth and Mt Baker come up a lot as good places for early snow. Which place is best for early December snow and a beginner? Or does it even matter that I'm a beginner?

It also looks like it's entirely possible that I'll be on my own on this trip (best friends can't go, trying to decide if I should ask high-maintenance friends but leaning towards no). Being alone, I'd like to go to a place with a laid-back, friendly atmosphere where someone would actually help me if they saw me lying unconscious in the snow or something. :eek:hmy:

Finding snow is probably the most important thing in early Dec, but it'd also be good if the place was not super crowded or expensive. I'm leaning towards Grand Targhee, but what do you think?
 

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I can't speak to where, but as to solo....what is your personality?

If you can talk to anyone and are outgoing you could go to any resort and have fun laid back or wild as hell.

I never understood this question. If you considering going solo and spending a boat load of money: travel, gear, lift pass, hotel, food, etc....you must already know your the kind of person that will meet someone to ride with and even if you don't that you'd still have a blast riding.

Loners or ppl that don't care wouldn't even ask this question, they'd just go and say "F all ya" go and ride where/when they want, type of personality
 

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You're a beginner? Everything you mentioned besides Mammoth and Sunday River are not places I would bother going. You need well groomed, well marked, well segregated areas since you're still learning.

December can be a crapshoot for some places too.
 

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I've never been, but I've heard from several people (here and in person) that Copper Mountain would fit this bill... Is the snow no good in Dec? I was thinking of planning a solo trip THERE next spring...:dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice everybody.

You're a beginner? Everything you mentioned besides Mammoth and Sunday River are not places I would bother going. You need well groomed, well marked, well segregated areas since you're still learning.
All places would have beginner areas, right? But maybe not a lot of options for beginners and I'd eventually get bored? And you bring up a good point about well segregated areas - my home "mountain" (hard to call it a mountain) doesn't have those . . .

You made me look more closely at Sunday River, and wow, they have some amazing deals in early December!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've never been, but I've heard from several people (here and in person) that Copper Mountain would fit this bill... Is the snow no good in Dec? I was thinking of planning a solo trip THERE next spring...:dunno:
I've heard good things about Copper too, but wasn't considering it because I wasn't sure if they reliably have snow in early December. The stats on their website aren't super helpful - 8 inches in November isn't going to make early December very good, but in a lot of years they got plenty of snow. So I dunno . . .
 

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I'd look into Sunday River. I've never had a bad time there and they're usually lucky with snow early in the season. They have plenty of mellow terrain to work with as well.
 

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I got into snowboarding last season and got addicted. This year I'm looking to take a snowboarding trip in early December, so I’ll need to find a place that typically has snow then. I've done a little research, and Grand Targhee, Lake Louise, Sunday River, Timberline, Mammoth and Mt Baker come up a lot as good places for early snow. Which place is best for early December snow and a beginner? Or does it even matter that I'm a beginner?

It also looks like it's entirely possible that I'll be on my own on this trip (best friends can't go, trying to decide if I should ask high-maintenance friends but leaning towards no). Being alone, I'd like to go to a place with a laid-back, friendly atmosphere where someone would actually help me if they saw me lying unconscious in the snow or something. :eek:hmy:

Finding snow is probably the most important thing in early Dec, but it'd also be good if the place was not super crowded or expensive. I'm leaning towards Grand Targhee, but what do you think?
I can't think of any place that will be very crowded in early December. Each week in December that you can go later will mean better snow conditions.

The week before Xmas is often a great time to go, conditions are getting better and people are laying low before the holidays so it's often not busy.

Whistler BC typically opens on US thanksgiving, sometimes a week before and in early December there's lots of terrain open that is great for a beginner/intermediate rider. At that point in the season there are also very good deals to be had on ski and stay packages. Whistler's not the cheapest resort but the discounts prior to Xmas make it a very good value, and the village is a lot of fun.

Can't comment on the US resorts you mention but if you want to come up north to Canada the snow comes earlier without the need to go to such high attitudes. I went to Big White Dec 15 a couple years ago, most of the resort was open and we got a great dump of snow while I was there. Even without the big snowfall there was a ton of terrain for beginner/intermediates.
 

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Mountain weather is nuts. No season is the same. Some seasons, December is rockin. In Summit, where Copper, Keystone, Breck, A-basin and other mountains are close too has had good early seasons. However I have also experienced really bad early seasons. The last 2 seasons where terrible in early December. The Season before those 2 was fucking dumping on the regular in December. That was such a dumpy season. Last season it did not dump until the spring and it was coming down. It was pissing off all the non snow people :cheeky4: It kept on until like late May.

That season 10/12 2 seasons ago was so insane, pow days from October to June. All the snow bitchers got their panties in a wad over that season on Facebook. You would not believe the shit I rode in November and June, lol. i rode shit in June that was unridable during the horrible 11/12 season. so crazy how different those 2 where. I thought last season was going to be like 11/12, nope.

Nobody knows what mountains will have snow in December or what the season will be like. There are averages to google, but it's still a crap shoot.
 

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Since ur a midwest noob…its not the snowfall that you pay attention to…it’s primarily the base and then secondarily the recent/current snowfall/storm cycle. However, base amount also needs to take into account the hill/terrain. On hills that cut their runs you can get by on a less amount of base; on hills that generally don’t cut their runs…you need a deeper base. Some hills will open with a 18-24”…at Baker their minimum is 36” base and that is a tough ride and requires more skill and knowledge than most beginners…the base really doesn’t get half way good til about a 60” base. Don’t remember what recent year…Baker noted a 60” opening day base…it was good, fluffy but due to the fluffiness…non-locs were tearing up their bases on rocks because it looked good and they didn’t know where to ride. Thus I’d rule out Baker unless there a significant base and a heavy puking storm cycle…but then again you would likely have problems as a noob trying to ride 24” of fresh Baker poo.
 

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if you're looking to save some cash, i'd recommend at least looking at some smaller resorts. there is one near me that is consistently open early, has a good amount of beginner/intermediate friendly terrain, friendly locals, not crowded at all, very thorough and responsive ski patrol that will find you, etc

here is the report from last year:
Sipapu Breaks Terrain Records for Opening Day

with the weather how it's been, i'm sure they'll be open by mid november. i'm also thinking they will be pretty snowy be december. i have a feeling that NM is going to have a good year this year.

with $20 lift tickets, and hotel rooms for about the same price, you can have some fun for pretty cheap here. and the area is absolutely beautiful, one of my favorite places to hike and fish.
 

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All places would have beginner areas, right?
You originally mentioned considering Targhee as your first choice. While I love that place, it's not a place I would recommend to a beginner to spend a week at. From what I remember there's only a very small beginner section. Most of Targhee is set up for pow and glade/tree riding. Also, maybe you don't care but it's in the middle of fucking nowhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I keep forgetting to give an update here . . .

I decided to go with Sunday River. I liked all the green & blue terrain and how a lot of it was grouped together. I had also thought that they had some excellent early season deals, since their website said their “Ski and Stay” rates for condos were $69/night.

Riiiiigghht . . . apparently that’s $69 per person if you have something like 4 people in a studio condo. My condo would only have 1 – 2 people and the quote they gave me was pretty ridiculous. I ended up finding a better deal on vrbo.com. And the vrbo condo looks nicer and got better reviews than the SR-managed condos. Hopefully that’ll be the case when I show up . . .

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, they were definitely helpful.
 
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