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Resorts in California

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@abc, noooooooo. Not another choice.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Dave of the Marmottes, thanks. Skiing certainly looks better.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
SF is pretty iconic. Second only to NYC for UK visitors I'd say. Now I don't really rate big cities anywhere for more than a couple of days touristy stuff but SF qualifies with bridges, movie sets, nice park , a few museums and uber wealthy hipsters and decent pro sports (though you have to know the way to San Jose for hockey)
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
henzerani wrote:
@abc, noooooooo. Not another choice.
Laughing Laughing Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@abc, you may laugh but I’ve spent the last hour looking at accommodation and flights to Vancouver rolling eyes
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I found SF mildly disappointing, simply because it seemed so very European, it felt a bit like London-on-Sea! Vancouver has a beautiful setting but boring buildings on the whole; the museums and art galleries there are terrific, though, especially the Inuit art. It's appealingly simple to travel to Whistler, a direct flight to Vancouver and a short transfer; I like that, as complicated and lengthy travel makes me too tired to enjoy the skiing properly.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@henzerani, sorry to send you down another time sink. Smile

But seriously, if you're inclined to combine a bit of sightseeing with skiing, you're on the right track.

A city on the coast, with mountain nearby, that really shouts Vancouver/Whistler. Obviously, the other 2 similar city options are SF and LA. Both are perfectly good candidates. But the mountains are further away from the coast in California.

The interior may have better snow. Good scenery too. But typically, it's colder in February. Not so great for walking around doing touristy things.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
henzerani wrote:
@sbooker, thank you. We are struggling with logistics. Part of the aim was to combine it with a city break in San Francisco. We were also thinking of N American skiing being the equal of Europe. And it doesn’t appear to be true for California.

So I have looked at Salt Lake City and Denver. Salt Lake City airfares are about twice those to San Francisco but Denver is quite similar. On top of which the resorts in Denver appear to be much bigger and a bit closer. But the downside is that we don’t get to do the touristy city break. In which case is the extra time and the extra money worth it?

That is the joy of snowHeads. You can read all the literature you like but it doesn’t beat the opinions of people who have been there.


I wouldn't be downbeat NAmerican skiing isn't the equal of Europe because Western Europe is densely populated with a huge customer base for 1 week hols by road or 90 min flight to convenient airport. But it has its compensations including at times massive snowfalls etc.

Re Denver, whether you go Epic ( Breck, Vail, the Beav) or Ikon (Winter Park, Copper, Aspen) you get a multi resort experience and are in range to trip out to Moab to do touristy stuff in incredible surroundings. I'd always recommend it if you are going for 2 weeks or more.


A big plus one to the Moab suggestion. Arches National Park is breathtakingly beautiful and the quiet winter time is a great season to see it. It beats a city break for mine.
I have flown into Salt Lake City to ski Alta and Snowbird then driven through southern Utah to Moab and then a quick drive to crowdless skiing at Aspen/Snowmass. You can fly out of Aspen itself or Denver.
An Ikon Pass is what you will need. It will also allow access to Solitude and Brighton in SLC and Copper Mountain which is a bit further from Aspen.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Fri 17-05-19 21:17; edited 1 time in total
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quiet, yes. But there's a reason for that quietness. It's quite cold in February.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
abc wrote:
Quiet, yes. But there's a reason for that quietness. It's quite cold in February.


I’ve been there in early January and it was cool and crisp. The fact they’re on a skiing forum suggests they’re ok with cool weather I would think?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
sbooker wrote:
abc wrote:
Quiet, yes. But there's a reason for that quietness. It's quite cold in February.


I’ve been there in early January and it was cool and crisp. The fact they’re on a skiing forum suggests they’re ok with cool weather I would think?

But there maybe a difference between "ok with" and enjoyable?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
abc wrote:
sbooker wrote:
abc wrote:
Quiet, yes. But there's a reason for that quietness. It's quite cold in February.


I’ve been there in early January and it was cool and crisp. The fact they’re on a skiing forum suggests they’re ok with cool weather I would think?

But there maybe a difference between "ok with" and enjoyable?


Fair point I guess.
The cooler the better for my crew.
I do live in sub tropical Australia though so I’m well and truly done with heat. Smile
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
henzerani et al

We have just booked BA flights for another Transatlantic jaunt next Feb. Very Happy

We couldn't resist the lure of revisiting Silverton - not least as Mrs B was too ill to make the most of it on this year's trip.

We are flying into Denver then hiring a car and doing a 17 day road trip and skiing again at the places we visited this year ie Loveland, A-Basin, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Powderhorn and Sunlight, as well as Silverton. Our 3 Valleys season passes will give us 6 days free skiing in the Vail resorts - so no complaints there!

We finish the trip with 3 nights in Las Vegas, after a quick (United) flight there from Denver. Then we fly home from Las Vegas, which was the same price with BA as flying home from Denver.

I did fancy driving to Las Vegas but the internal flights give us more time there (and are cheaper than the 1 way drop off charge for the hire car).

Only 9 months to go... rolling eyes
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Bergmeister, snowHead
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Bergmeister,

If it takes you into the month of march, you could be in Vegas for Spring Break!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mr.Egg,

We fly home on 27th Feb. Missing spring break might explain the cheap Las Vegas hotel price. £68 for 3 nights in the Stratosphere (for 2) - plus the now obligatory "resort fee" of $112, payable on arrival. rolling eyes

Still a great price, however, and a great way to end the trip! Very Happy

I fancy the idea of the Skyjump from the Stratosphere - but can't imagine having the nerve to do it! Crying or Very sad We did the 3 other rides on the tower last time we were there (and they were scary but great Toofy Grin ) but the jump was "a bridge too far."
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
henzerani,

One of our past trips included a week at Heavenly, at Tahoe, with day trips to ski Sierra and Kirkwood.

We then took internal flights and had 2 nights in Los Angeles, 2 in San Francisco and 2 in Las Vegas.

We had a fantastic time! Very Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Bergmeister wrote:
Mr.Egg,

We fly home on 27th Feb. Missing spring break might explain the cheap Las Vegas hotel price. £68 for 3 nights in the Stratosphere (for 2) - plus the now obligatory "resort fee" of $112, payable on arrival. rolling eyes

Still a great price, however, and a great way to end the trip! Very Happy

I fancy the idea of the Skyjump from the Stratosphere - but can't imagine having the nerve to do it! Crying or Very sad We did the 3 other rides on the tower last time we were there (and they were scary but great Toofy Grin ) but the jump was "a bridge too far."


my 1st trip to vegas we stayed in circus circus because it was cheap ($19 a night!). Big mistake as what we saved was spent on busses & taxis.
I have not been for 6 years, but next time, I think I will stay in Fremont st.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Mr.Egg,

We thought the Stratosphere location was ok last time. We walked a lot and also used the cheap bus along the Strip.

We visited Fremont Street but would prefer to stay on the Strip. It's over 8 years since we were there so we are really looking forward to it. Very Happy

The additional "resort fee" is a fairly new concept though. Sadly it looks like all hotels are now at it. Sad
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
In terms of a week plus trip to CA for snowsports, be sure to plan passes well in advance - like now! The early bird deadline and option to lock in that price for $49 ends on 27th May for the epic pass and related Tahoe passes that cover Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar. While you might go for a day or two to other resorts, you seriously do not want to be paying the rack rate at the ticket window on the day every day - a Tahoe Value Pass (if the few blackout dates don't affect you) is currently $499 and 4 days riding you'll break even on it.

Another option for getting to South Lake Tahoe from San Francisco / Bay Area that is widely overlooked is with Amtrak's Capitol Corridor, train to Sacramento and dedicated coach connection from the station to South Lake Tahoe. Lets someone else do the driving (and deal with chains if needed) and you get a much better view from the high floored coaches than a car. Big trains so no issue getting gear and luggage on them, and shed loads of space on the coach too, never had a problem doing this with ski gear.

One thing thats sadly dropped off in recent times is the number of resort shuttle services operating from South Lake Tahoe, Vail Resorts has only done 1 day to Kirkwood and 1 day to Northstar per week the past 2 seasons, down from 2 per week to each, still several shuttle times per day to Sierra at Tahoe though.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
abc wrote:
Quiet, yes. But there's a reason for that quietness. It's quite cold in February.


It's not bad. Wear a sweater. You want bad Moab weather? Late May to late September. It's the damn hot desert, with, like, 10% humidity. Don't dare do anything without a half gallon of water at your side.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I live in California and have skied most of the resorts here. Few of them are as big as those you'd find in Austria. And sometimes snow can be a hit or a miss.

That said your two best options are Mammoth and Truckee. Truckee is a smallish town off of highway 80, north of Lake Tahoe. It's less than a 30 minute drive from Squaw Valley-Alpine, Sugar Bowl and Northstar, all decent resorts. There's enough to keep you entertained after a day of skiing and it isn't effected by the casino business.

Mammoth is my favorite place in the state. It's located on the Eastern Sierra and has a magical quality to it. There's plenty of terrain on and off piste and some serious black inclines to test your limits. It is mostly intermediate skiing (red in Europe) and is family-friendly, if that's a concern. Housing/accomodations can be expensive, particularly if you want to be close to the mountain. There are plenty of places to wine and dine there. I doubt you'd spend more there than at St. Anton or Soelden.

The drive from San Francisco to Truckee is usually 4 hours. It can be more on the weekend. The state will close highway 80 if it's snowing hard. It's a guaranteed 6 hours to Mammoth. Squaw-Alpine and Mammoth competed for most snow in the U.S. this year. They both received over 30cm of fresh snow this month and will be open until July 4th.

I would recommend going to Mammoth and stopping at Kirkwood ski resort (smaller, but quality), which is half way, for a day of skiing and then heading down to 395 and to Mammoth Lakes.

San Francisco is a destination itself. There is no better city, with the exception of Los Angeles, in the western half of North America. The best Chinese food outside of Hong Kong. And home of the San Francisco burrito. Not to be missed.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@monkbeer, thank you very much. That’s really helpful information. I like the idea of a couple of destination. It breaks the drive and gives variety. But it means finding somewhere else to stay. Have you any recommendations for Truckee?
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@henzerani, as for lodging in the Sierras, for the most part, I've stayed with friends and family over the years. A number of people in the San Francisco Bay Area have vacation homes/cabins in the Tahoe-Truckee area. If you look at Airbnb, Home2Go or any other vacation rental site, you see a lot of these properties for rent. This would be the direction I'd take for housing. Donner Lake is within the Truckee town limits. It's a nice spot. I'd be happy to find a rental thereabouts.

As I mentioned, highway interstate 80 from San Francisco to Truckee can be shut down if there's a big snowstorm, like there were this winter. I hear horror stories of people going to the mountains for the weekend and getting stuck in traffic for hours. You can't control the weather, but if you have the option, it'd probably be better to drive up during the week.

Mammoth is the place where people from Southern California go. It's less than 6 hours from LAX to Mammoth Lakes. I mention this, if you're interested in L.A.

SF at the end of your trip, you might want to consider a drive up to Napa or Sonoma for some wine tasting. Of course, you'd need a sober driver. Cool
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