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Hey y'all

We have a chance to take a few day trip out West next month. Which resort would be best for snowboarding mid-December? I'll be flying from the East Coast.

Tahoe, Mammoth or Salt Lake?

Danke!
 

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Can't speak to Mammoth or SLC, but one thing I do know is that we haven't had much luck at Tahoe in December. They don't really seem to crank until later in the season -- Mid-January, February is even better. However, it varies a lot if you have the option of last-minute travel.
 

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I'll be going to Tahoe the last two weeks of December. I'm excited, but I went 2 years ago and all they had was 18 inches of man-made snow on a small fraction of their trails (at Heavenly) during that time of the year.

I convinced my family to do a snow vacation but they ended up picking an area with no early season snow!
 

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True that about Tahoe. I didn't go up in December last year, and it was a little shaky into Jan.

Never been to SLC, but I imagine it's easier to get to than Mammoth - so I would guess that's a good option IF the weather is right. I've read that SLC can get walloped in the early season, but its not a guarantee.

Mammoth is probably the closest you get to a guarantee. They open tomorrow. There's been years where they've opened mid October.

Mammoth is beast. I would have skipped Tahoe last season and gone to Mammoth every weekend if it wasn't such a pain to get to. I was working and had a long term rental rather than my own car - so it was easier to roll the dice on chain controls in Tahoe than catch a ride to Mammoth. If you are cool with the fact that its a haul from anywhere, Mammoth would prolly be your best snow bet.
 

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Hey y'all

We have a chance to take a few day trip out West next month. Which resort would be best for snowboarding mid-December? I'll be flying from the East Coast.

Tahoe, Mammoth or Salt Lake?

Danke!
You should go to Jackson Hole. They reported 50in in the last few days. If its between those three....SLC. All of those coastal areas struggle to get going early season unless........we have El Nino!
 

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Yep, the interior mountain states are the spots to go to. Utah has been getting good early season snow, much like Colorado. Right now, if you are sticking to your list I'd go with Salt Lake.
 

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Last year was quite a season in Tahoe. They got a pounding of snow in December and then the faucets just turned-off the rest of the year. Generally they do not get the snowfall until later in the season. PNW, JH, or SLC is where you would want to look at, right now. However, the weather patterns do shift and you could get skunked for fresh. But a base is better than nothing.
 

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I'll be going to Tahoe the last two weeks of December. I'm excited, but I went 2 years ago and all they had was 18 inches of man-made snow on a small fraction of their trails (at Heavenly) during that time of the year.

I convinced my family to do a snow vacation but they ended up picking an area with no early season snow!
Yeah two years ago we basically had nothing till the end of February and it dumped the whole month of march. It seems the last couple seasons we have been getting a lot of our snow later ok the season, and early season has been fairly dry.
 

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I don't know about SLC but aside from last season Tahoe usually does not have good snow in December. My main hill is Mammoth so I recommend that, but it's harder to get to than the other places.
 

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Having worked at Mammoth and Kirkwood (Tahoe area) here's my experience
-Mammoth-
Pros:
-HUGE mountain
-wide variety of park features so something for everybody
-did I mention its HUGE?
-transportation and nightlife are very easy, it's all there and most any time you can jump on a bus around town for free and hitchhike when the buses aren't running (as long as you don't have a group)

Cons:
-crowds, always people around. From what I've heard not quite like on the east coast but still very populated
-lots of shitty people with far more money than common sense, skills, basic manners etc
-It's all groomers, seriously aside from the backside, the whole mountain might as well be one giant groomer
-costly, it's a very isolated mountain resort town full of shitty socal snobs

*** disclaimer: If you go to Mammoth, also go by June Mtn, it's a smaller mountain owned by Mammoth and is a 20~30 min drive away. It is absolutely amazing for it's laid back vibes, fun park that flows together and fantastic trees. It's something of a local spot so it's ALWAYS quiet so I hate to post it but it needs the attention. If you've got a Mammoth pass you get into June free or the June pass is half the cost of a day at Mammoth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-Tahoe Area/Kirkwood, really if you're only going to one resort hit Kirkwood, if it's multi-day go experience how less awesome the others are and come back to Kirkwood-

Pros:
-NO crowds EVER!!! seriously a crowded day just means the backside or lower mountain groomers have some people on it.
-amazing people, very friendly, polite and laid back
-incredible off-piste terrain, a huge variety of gullys, chutes, cliffs, trees etc basically if you've got the skills to handle it just wander off the groomers anywhere on the mountain and you'll find something fun
-lots and lots of powder

Cons:
-no really nightlife on the resort in Kirkwood and it's a 45min drive to South Lake Tahoe (which is a beautiful drive btw)
-not much in the way of park, I mean there's some but it's kinda just there so we can say we have park
-terrain gets big and nasty really fast everywhere off the groomers, its fun but you have to look and think ahead or you're going to end up hurt
-not as much vertical as Mammoth.

Other Tahoe resorts:
-Northstar: great for park, otherwise vertical is like the east coast
-Heavenly: lots of vert, also lots of shitty people and bland terrain and tourists/gapers but great view and right in town
-Sierra-at-Tahoe: fantastic trees, not as great for snowfall as higher resorts but makes up for it by being privately owned and good vibes
 

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-Tahoe Area/Kirkwood, really if you're only going to one resort hit Kirkwood, if it's multi-day go experience how less awesome the others are and come back to Kirkwood-

Pros:
-NO crowds EVER!!! seriously a crowded day just means the backside or lower mountain groomers have some people on it.
-amazing people, very friendly, polite and laid back
Can't argue with that! I have a Kirkwood t-shirt they sent me when I worked for them (I did their e-newsletters and web promotions for a while) that says "If you find the mountain crowded, pick another trail until he's gone." Really...even on the main trails it is like that. The backside is even better. It is truly an amazing place. The most serious shit you'll ever ride, or the nicest groomers and glades...take your pick. I can't say enough good things about this mountain. Best kept "secret" in Tahoe.
 

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Kirkwood is AH-MAZING! Dunno if it will be in mid December though.
 

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What about Squaw and Alpine Meadows? Have any experience at these locations?
Hee, I learned at Alpine Meadows. Started Dec 26th last year and it was dumping. What I remember is that the drive was hell due to the storm(5ish hours out of the Foothills), the first day of lessons, I didn't have a helmet, so my hat got soaked, that's how hard it was snowing! The major pro was that falling didn't hurt at all.

Overall, I like both resorts, so much so that I got a season pass this year. But being a noob, I can barely even do blues, so it doesn't take much to make me happy at this point.

Kind of worries me if that amount of snow that early on is the exception. I plan to go up there on the 14th this year. Will probably hit Squaw, since I can ride at the top and there's a bit more snow there. Still hoping for a storm this weekend (which means it would be raining where I am, but I'm willing to endure biking in the rain for some nice snow ;) )
 

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I was just in Utah and Tahoe and they all have shit for snow. Colorado is full On winter.....

Utah and Tahoe just got a little snow but not enough to make it worthwhile....
 

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I was just in Utah and Tahoe and they all have shit for snow. Colorado is full On winter.....

Utah and Tahoe just got a little snow but not enough to make it worthwhile....
Many thanks for the info! I think I might cancel that trip... waiting until early next week to be sure.
 

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Tahoe sucks ass in December. Wait until late February or early March. We've never found good snow in Tahoe in December, even January...
 
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