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Canada (or USA) - help me sell it to the other half!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

So I'm mega keen for a 10 -14 day trip out of Europe. I think Japan is out of the equation for now as I just don't think we are good enough skiers to make the most of it.
The OH and I are both confident intermediates. Happy skiing reds, have done a few blacks. Go out in all weather. Can ski groomed pistes or powder (albeit still learning and getting better). I know for a fact I want to progress onto off piste eventually whereas the OH isn't too bothered.

So far, we have only done week trips in Europe. For our joint 30ths this year, we want to treat ourselves to a bigger trip and I have my heart set on Canada (or on recommendations on USA). The OH isn't overly keen at the moment as she thinks because we are still "learning" that we won't be able to make the most of the terrain available?

Is she onto something there or would we get the most out of a trip at our current level? She is just worried about spending out all that money and getting the most out of it.

Also I am led to believe that the North America resorts are somewhat smaller (or not as *linked*) as in Europe. Would it be better to go DIY and rent a car to maybe sample different ski areas (if that is even possible due to distances?) or go TO. I'm concerned that if we are in the one place for 10-14 days, we may get a bit bored (if that's possible?) of one area.

We may look to go away over either Christmas or New Year as well. Is this time of year fairly safe for snow in North America?

Finally, can anyone recommend resorts, hotels etc that may suit our level?

It's either the above or a two week trip in the Alps maybe a week in Austria and a week in Italy for example.

Cheers all
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I find skiing in North America to be closer to what I imagine when I close my eyes and think of alpine skiing. The places I have been have a lot more trees, which generally line the pistes and make the runs feel more unique, rather than the Euro style where you have no real trees between pistes, just sections of ungroomed snow. I find the american skiing a lot more "magical" (although that might just be because I went when I was younger, compared to an adult skiing in the alps

Whistler is always great, went there for 10 days as my first ever ski holiday, had one rest day in the middle to make the most of other facilities around the town

Lake Tahoe is my personal fave. We used to go 10 days at a time, get a 6 day pass at Heavenly, then have a day off the spend the next three days hitting up resorts around the lake (Tahoe is the perfect set up for that)

At the end of the day, it's skiing, you'll have a great time together
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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?
(stuck record) Banff (/stuck record). We're the same level as you and love it. 10-14 days perfect - agree to have a rest day in the middle. Not quite sure about Christmas though, Canada is notoriously cold in Jan.
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Orange200 wrote:
(stuck record) Banff (/stuck record). We're the same level as you and love it. 10-14 days perfect - agree to have a rest day in the middle. Not quite sure about Christmas though, Canada is notoriously cold in Jan.


Not sure about the snow cover or just that it's chuffing cold?

Banff has been suggested to me. Am I right in saying it's made up of 3 mountains/areas with smallish drive to each?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Only worth it if NA has great snow, this year is the worst season for 20 years in many US resorts. Lift prices are...pricey but you can get a lot out of them if you travel around (which I recommend) since basically all of the resorts have either the EPIC pass or whichever one Aspen uses. You'll find that the norm among the resorts are purpose-built (Aspen being a notable exception) so it's typically better to ski around then stay in a particular place if you're staying for two weeks.
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I'd recommend Banff. You've got 3 mountains to choose from on a single lift pass, with others like Kicking Horse and Panorama accessible without too much complexity. Town is good with plenty to do. Ok, you do have to get on a bus to get to the ski areas but they're free with the pass and run from a regular timetable with pickups throughout town. It's a quick transfer from Calgary, to where its an easy enough thing to go to Calgary for the day if you wanted to.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Bennisboy wrote:
I find skiing in North America to be closer to what I imagine when I close my eyes and think of alpine skiing. The places I have been have a lot more trees, which generally line the pistes and make the runs feel more unique, rather than the Euro style where you have no real trees between pistes, just sections of ungroomed snow. I find the american skiing a lot more "magical" (although that might just be because I went when I was younger, compared to an adult skiing in the alps

Whistler is always great, went there for 10 days as my first ever ski holiday, had one rest day in the middle to make the most of other facilities around the town

Lake Tahoe is my personal fave. We used to go 10 days at a time, get a 6 day pass at Heavenly, then have a day off the spend the next three days hitting up resorts around the lake (Tahoe is the perfect set up for that)

At the end of the day, it's skiing, you'll have a great time together


I've heard good things about Lake Tahoe. What are the other resorts in the area you would recommend a visit?
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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!
südtirolistdeutsch wrote:
Only worth it if NA has great snow, this year is the worst season for 20 years in many US resorts. Lift prices are...pricey but you can get a lot out of them if you travel around (which I recommend) since basically all of the resorts have either the EPIC pass or whichever one Aspen uses. You'll find that the norm among the resorts are purpose-built (Aspen being a notable exception) so it's typically better to ski around then stay in a particular place if you're staying for two weeks.


Canada is not in the US. rolling eyes Snow is pretty good here. snowHead
(US is also a pretty big place so though not a lot of snow in Tahoe, and maybe not so much in Colorado, pnw is probably good)


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Thu 1-03-18 14:58; 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.
It's cold, I've not paid attention to the snow cover.

Banff is three areas, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Norquay, with 45, 20 and 10 minute drives respectively. They are actually 2 1/4 areas IMHO! Went to Norquay once or twice and won't bother going back. We usually do one week in LL and one in SV. Don't be put off by the length of the drives, they have extremely organised and comfy coaches which allow you to wake up gently in the morning and have a doze to prepare you for the evening. I'm trying to get back there for the fifth time this Easter.

Here is my trip report from last time. TommyJ has done a couple also.
www.snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2874473

I have looked at Big White and Sun Peaks but so far can't build up enthusiasm to stay there with my two children for two weeks, the skiing is good but the resort looks tiny so cabin fever seems a possibility.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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The thing to remember about the US is that the rockies are 'old' mountains whereas the alps are 'young' ones.

What that means is that whilst the resorts are high the vertical difference between the top and bottom of the resorts is typically much less than in the alps.

And that means, in comparison, relatively short runs when compared with European resorts.

So, for a two week trip I'd only recommend a couple of resorts in continental US since at most resorts you will have skied most of the runs within a few days.

So, you need a large resort or somewhere like Lake Tahoe which has several resorts in the area.

So, I suggest Lake Tahoe or Whistler as locations with a lot of runs. However Jackson Hole has, in my opinion, the best skiing in the US.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
As mentioned above Lake Tahoe or one of the Colorado ski areas would be a good base for a 10-14 day trip.

I've been to both those areas - incidentally, we went to Vail in Colorado for our 2nd ever trip, the year after learning to snowboard in L2A. I can highly recommend Vail and surrounding area - we spent a week in Vail and there was more than enough terrain to keep us busy because they have 3 different areas as part of that resort - frontside, back bowls, blue sky basin. Also nearby to Vail, within reasonable driving distance is Breckenridge (another v. big resort) and a few smaller other resorts that are good for day trips i'm told (e.g. Araphoe Basin is supposed to be good). Could use Vail or Breck as a base and drive to other resorts for day trips?

Similarly, we did our honeymoon in Lake Tahoe, based in South Lake Tahoe (Heavenly resort), but did a day visiting nearby Sierra at Tahoe resort, but again there's a handful located all around the lake to visit (Squaw Valley, Homewood, Alpine Meadows, Boreal, etc.) - if we'd have had the time to visit all these we would have, and a 2week trip in the future to do these is definitely on the bucket list. Having 2 young kids are stopping us doing transatlantic ski trips at present.
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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.
Here's my reasons to sell Banff/Lake Louise to you! The Banff tourist board should pay me!

1)Stunning scenery - quite unlike the Alps, not better but different. A real wilderness
2)Good chance of wildlife spotting. Bears unlikely in winter, but Elk/moose/deer etc
3)Lack of people/queues - Even on a weekend around Easter most lifts were ski straight on and v quiet pistes
4)Lots of non-skiing activities if you want to go for longer and do more than skiing. Sleding, walking, dog rides and so on
5)Great instruction at all levels. Small groups, and of course guaranteed English instructors (although last time mine was from Quebec and at my request spoke French so I could improve mine!)
6)Three resorts on one ticket with a seamless bus service linking them
7)The chance to try easy 'off piste' inbounds skiing in safety
8)Plenty of skiing at all abilities, right across all the mountain.
9)Snowhosts doing free guided tours of the resorts
10)Winter is low season in Banff so great choice of hotels with far better facilities than similar price in Europe
11)Canadians. Possibly the politest, friendliest people in the world!
12)Direct flights from LHR and only 90min transfer (easy drive or plenty of coach options)

That's it for now but I could easily come up with plenty more to sell it!
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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
Fridge03 wrote:
I've heard good things about Lake Tahoe. What are the other resorts in the area you would recommend a visit?


My personal fave is Heavenly (for nostalgia reasons), but Squaw is iconic, Kirkwood has some very challenging terrain, and Sierra is pretty good as well.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We have been to America and Canada for the past 12 years

To sell it to the other half:

First and foremost the quietness of the slopes is amazing, and I mean at many times the pistes are deserted.
On the very few occasions when the slopes are busy (presidents day / Christmas) the lifties are amazing. As soon as there is a queue longer than a couple of minutes they start managing the lines as in loading up chairs to capacity to get everyone up the hill asap. There is also no argy bargy, pushing/shoving in the lines, it's all very civilised!!
Piste patrol on hand if you find yourself lost. As soon as you pull a map out there is someone saying do you need any help buddy?
No language barrier.
Everyone is friendly and the atmosphere is incredibly chilled.
The snow is mostly way better and more reliable (I know this season is massively unusual).

Given the choice (and the money) I would make the journey every time. Very Happy
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
What @TommyJ said, oh and yes the lifties - so polite, so organised, so friendly... The whole thing is a pleasure.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Fridge03 wrote:
We may look to go away over either Christmas or New Year as well. Is this time of year fairly safe for snow in North America?

NO!

It's not at all "safe". And particularly risky for Tahoe, which everybody blindly suggests!

There's "usually" some part of North America that has good skiing at Christmas time. But it's not always reliable as to where. Some of the more reliable places are: Utah, Colorado, northern Rockies (Jackson, Big Sky, Whitefish, Banff). Whistler and Lake Tahoe? It could be fantastic. Or it may rain at that time of year.

Also, that time of year will be quite busy. That applies particularly to ski schools. If you do decide to go. Don't forget to book lessons in advance.

Having gotten the BIGGEST NEGATIVE out of the way, the BIGGEST POSITIVE is ski schools.

Quote:
Can ski groomed pistes or powder (albeit still learning and getting better). I know for a fact I want to progress onto off piste eventually whereas the OH isn't too bothered.

The OH isn't overly keen at the moment as she thinks because we are still "learning" that we won't be able to make the most of the terrain available?

My opinion (worth what you pay for Wink ), this is the BEST REASON to ski North America, NOW!

Because all North American resorts do avi control within their boundary, you get to ski everywhere without having to hire a guide.

As such, ski schools in North America will happily take students to runs that hadn't be flatten to perfection by the piste basher. So you'll get proper instruction on how to ski 3 dimensional skis that hasn't been reduced to 2-dimension by the groomer. And after a few lessons, you're free to roam around the mountain to your heart's content, practicing and enjoying your new found freedom.

That, is the one and only reason to travel such a long way to North America. You may get addicted, that being the "danger". Wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We go to Whistler each year and enjoy it. As many have mentioned the friendly attitude of all the staff is what really makes it a pleasure. Managed lift queues running full lifts.

You will have plenty to do. "Old mountain." comment.... not sure what that is about as there is a mile vertical at Whistler and a 16km run top to bottom if you really did want to do it. There are seats on it for a rest part way down ! We normally stay in the tree runs anyway and have more than enough to ski. Normally top to bottom is 3 separate runs. The lessons are brilliant. Called Max4 and has 4 people in a class. You can go into a lesson together but the will suggest they separate you if they think you are different standards. You can stay in the lower class if you wanted though. They also have local people doing free hosting on the mountain that takes the different skiing levels around to show them their favourite runs. 11:15am on both mountains. Well worth it. Plenty to do for intermediate skiers. They will even take you down some of the bits of the black runs that are not too scary too.

It will be busy then though and a "special" price, yes there will be snow. Often for safety they have the top lifts closed above the snow line early season too. We have some Australian friends that go every year then and love it.

Often thought about Banff but the bus to the mountains just puts me off. A 10min walk from the hotel (we use the Delta and get a 1 bed suite) on pedestrianised walkway to the lift. Skis stay up at the lifts (we hire from Summit) so easy walk carrying boots, change and leave walking boots in their racks.

The rooms in Delta all have cooking facilities, Suite has a full kitchen. So you can have a nice lazy breakfast in your room. Then you can eat in/out as you please in the evenings. Over 20 good restaurants so you will not have to go back to one if you don't want. Do book them though, day before at least, as they do get full.

If you are booking do it before end Aug as there are hefty discounts on lifts, hotels & hire before then. We use Ski-Independence most years but other package people go there. There are also people on here that do DIY and for a 2 week break that may be better. Use allura direct for a flat and they will also get you the lift passes etc. Ski hire can be done online with Summit. The lift passes can be bought with a rest day in and the hire shops are ok with that too.

If you are having a day or 2 off you can also have a trip down to Vancouver or make it a stop at the end of the trip. DO NOT hire a car fro Whistler. A you will be tired when you get off the plane and B there is no free parking. Just get a transfer bus to do it all for you door to door. If you are using a package they they will sort it, if not Whistler Connections or ridebooker are on line.

If you are staying in Whistler for the full time, i.e. not adding Vancouver to end, you will not be collected until 12:45 so you can get some skiing in on the last day too if you have not had enough. Delta have always managed to give us a late checkout to 12:30 so 1st lift and ski for 3hrs rush back to the hotel quick shower and change and does waiting for the bus.

Do it you will not regret it.
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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?
Just back from Banff and agree with what most people have said about it. It is very cold. I repeat - it is very cold! I like the ski-anywhere aspect. I like the lack of queues. There aren't many high-speed detachable chair lifts though, so you spend a fair time sat on each chair. Did I mention the cold? The coach journeys to the ski areas are not a problem, unless you are one of those people who cannot be ready to depart at a specific time. The coaches are not like the train-rouge in VdI (every few minutes), there are four or five in the morning to each area and the same in the afternoons coming back. Norquay is a great little area, especially when there is 18 inches of powder and everybody else is stuck on the road to Sunshine Valley due to an avalanche blocking it! Happy
Go to Canada and experience skiing on very cold powdery snow. It's much easier to ski than the stuff you often get in Europe.
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JUST GOT MY TICKETS TO CALGARY THIS EASTER CONFIRMED, YAY Very HappyVery HappyVery Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Generally good advice above - definitely don't recommend Tahoe for snow sure though!

The resorts are smaller in size, but as everything in bounds is avy controlled so there is generally plenty of skiing. That also means its a great place for intermediate level skiers to start getting off groomed pistes. You wouldn't get bored with 10-14 days at whistler or Banff. There are lots of options for road trips and multiple resorts - but I don't really recommend this approach for a couple of reasons: buying lift tickets as you go is expensive, road conditions can be hard work or even get closed, it will take you a few days to get orientated at each resort and work out where is good, not good for lessons, bit more familiarity with terrain is good for confidence.

My suggestion would be avoid Christmas if at all possible. Its early season so snow conditions not as good as if you hold off until a bit later. Plus its really busy. A few people above have commented on the lovely quiet runs and lack of queues - you won't get that at Christmas.

For a first time in north america whistler is a good choice. You can shuttle in from the airport and stay in the village so no driving/rental car needed. There is a huge amount of terrain to keep you occupied plus plenty of bars/restaurants and other activities going on (e.g. Olympic bobsleigh/skeleton rides, snowmobiling etc.) . Also works well if you want to add in a day or 2 in Vancouver. Personally I wouldn't do Banff as I don't want to sit on buses for 90mins per day, but if you are OK with that its another good option.

Whatever you decide you need to buy the pass online as early as possible for the best price.

I would definitely recommend n america for your trip. Its head and shoulders above Europe for me.
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I'd go for Banff &
This is how I'd sell it too your misses ..

Canada is so polite and they speak a similar language to us.

I dont know if you can get to Calgary with Air Transat any more, but its not too expensive to upgrade to a First class seat
Check with "Canadian Affair"

Stay overnight in a hotel on arrival in Calgary, they are not too expensive.

When you go to Banff I would recommend renting a 4wd and then stay at the Caribou Lodge.
(Book direct and they will give you the best prices and you can cancel 24 hours before if you want to {better check that})

It takes 2 to 3 hours to drive to Banff from Calgary and at first the scenery is dull and flat plains, but you can see the mountains getting closer each minute.

Go for a walk on the first morning and maybe just spend the afternoon at Norquay (that's all it takes)
There should be a free guide at Norquay to show you around for a couple of hours.

That is a big plus in Canada, they have a free guiding service which would cost you a fortune in Europe,
These guides are not instructors they do it for the love of the mountains and the skiing and you'll learn a lot from them.

Take your dear wife up to The Fairmont Chateau, its like a baronial Scottish castle and it is just fabulous have some tea and cake or if you have deep enough pockets spend the night there.
Its a great place to walk around there the Bow river should be frozen enough to walk on or it may be melted by the hotel ...
probably a hot spring there.

Ah that reminds me .. The Hot Springs are a must in Banff, its an outdoor swimming pool heated by geothermals, look it up.

There are loads of restaurants in Banff and its quite lively but nowhere near as raucous as Folie Douce or Mooservert.
There is dancing at Wild Bills
There is live music in the Irish bar.

The only downside is so many TV sets everywhere you look showing highlights of Ice Hockey games ... this tends to make a bit of a conversation killer.

I'm a bit of a fan of The Caribou Lodge, but it is a ten minute walk from the centre of town, although there is a free bus service, but the walk is pleasant but coooowld.

Now the skiing, it sounds from what you said that Sunshine and Lake Louise would be perfect for you.

As others have pointed out, the drive up to Lake Louise takes about an hour but ....
If you drive up there on a sunny morning, its about the most beautiful scenery the good Lord put on this earth for us sinners to enjoy.
It is "Jaw Droppingly beautiful".

And its just empty, that part of Canada is a National Park of wilderness.

What else would turn your dear wife on?
When you get up to Lake Louise as the sun sets, before you come back to Banff ... or stay up there at the Fairmont's sister Chateau,
Go down to the lake .. There will be something going on ...
Either an ice sculpture exhibition ...
skating ...
Or perhaps a bride arriving on a horse drawn Cinderella Coach style slay.

Are you bored yet?
Have you ever thought of going ice fishing to a lake in the wilderness by skidoo ?
It sounds really dull dosen't it?

You'll have to go over the pass to Golden (Kicking Horse) to do that as they wont allow it in the park.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent there honeymoon somewhere over the Hill from Lake Louise in a lodge away from prying paparazzi.

I asked my Duchess, what she liked most about Banff while at supper tonight ..
She said she got really excited when she saw deer in the back yard of the Hotel and then walking down the street later.

Whats the draw backs ?
Well its a long flight, you'll have to go for 10 days at least to make it worthwhile.
Lift tickets are expensive.
Ice Hockey on TV

I've not been to Whistler and I'd be concerned that it could rain ... I know a guy who went for skiing and said it rained the whole time.
I've been a few times to Kicking Horse (see the signature link) but its a long way and its not ideal to take your timid skiing misses to.
That's more of a place to go to for a lads fortnight, with Heli Skiing and Ice fishing and Skidooing etc.

I've been to Tahoe but its not that great or polite,
The other end of the lake at Truckee is much better .. but you need local knowledge and never ask for a Donner Kebab.

Park City and Deer Park ... your wife would like that I imagine.
and there is tough skiing at Alta & Snowbird, but getting to Salt Lake is complicated, and the apres ski with alcohol is not understood in Utah.

That should be enough to persuade your lady.

I forgot the shopping!!
Actually there is not much great shopping in Banff, my favourite was the "Dollar Store" Smile
But when you get back to Calgary when you have some time before your flight home make sure you go to the "Bass Pro Shop"
there is a great mall behind it and the shop itself is amazing, the fish tank alone is out of this world.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hi @TommyJ
I'll see you at the Banff Tourist office Chistmas party or later .. we can watch Ice Hockey Laughing
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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!
Wow. Amazing advice everyone. Knew Snowheads wouldn't let me down!

I'll start working through all the suggestions and put together a plan of attack on the OH!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
boarder2020 wrote:
Generally good advice above - definitely don't recommend Tahoe for snow sure though!


I went to Tahoe eight years in a row and never had anything less than great snow. They've had a bad season this time, but generally it's great. Never been at Christmas time though, but Christmas is hit and miss most places
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
So avoiding Christmas and New Year, when would people recommend is the optimal time to go? Best snow and more than likely, best weather?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Bennisboy wrote:
boarder2020 wrote:
Generally good advice above - definitely don't recommend Tahoe for snow sure though!


I went to Tahoe eight years in a row and never had anything less than great snow. They've had a bad season this time, but generally it's great. Never been at Christmas time though, but Christmas is hit and miss most places

I used to live there, for 3 years.

And I've also been skiing there for the 10 years since moved away.

Tahoe area is a dramatic "feast and famine" destination. For those going in mid-to-late season, you can (and SHOULD) wait till you see sufficient snow on the ground before committing. For Christmas, you'll be counting on big storms hitting it in the 1 month before Christmas.

Mind you, having a big storm hitting the area while you're there isn't that much better. All the slope will be close for avi work for days. That's the down side of the "feast" part of that equation.

Last but not least, Tahoe has the heaviest snow of all the North America. Great if you're into skiing 40+ degree double black chutes. Not so great LEARNING to go off piste. For intermediates getting a taste of what's so great about off-piste and powder, stick to the Rockies (Banff, Colorado, Utah, Jackson Hole)
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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.
I think that bars full of TVs showing hockey (only an ignorant foreigner like me would call it ice hockey) is a very good thing! I love watching it, especially a good fight.

For Banff the locals all suggest that March is the time to go. Should be past the extreme cold of winter but snow still great, and often a very snowy month. We’re restricted to school holidays so always go Easter rather than Christmas. Last year we have three great powder days.

Only four weeks tomorrow......
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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
Quote:
These guides are not instructors they do it for the love of the mountains


Think the free season pass may be a motivation too!

Regarding whistler rain. Early or late season may be a problem. Generally top to bottom rain during the season is really not that common and when it does happen often gets reset quick. Rain at base is not uncommon, but usually means dumping up top. I wouldn't really worry about rain there if I was going between mid Jan and early march.

From what ive heard Jackson hole may be a little too much for intermediates? Colorado is a good choice and epic pass is cheap and gives you lots of options. Utah is also a good choice.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Fridge03, firstly, lift ticket prices are a real bum clenched especially if you want to tour around. HOWEVER THERE IS A FIX, and it entails thinking ahead and buying ahead. 1) https://mountaincollective.com . . . it does wot it says on't'interbox. 2) Choose a resort and buy next year's season pass on line and go whenever you want.
As for resort that has similar vertical to Europe, a modern(ish) lift system, a good mix of pistes with long fast greens through to I never want to do that again DDblacks, lots of trees and some open top of mountain bowls, I'd take look at Copper Mountain, Colorado, You will need a car though as accommodation on the mountain is limited but quite good. Food and bars are OK to a lot better than expected. But Frisco, about 20 miles East is much livelier to stay in. A season pass should cost about 400£ and day trips to Steamboat, Breck, Leadville (very old style party town and ski hill) Loveland would be very quick and easy.

Day passes in most resorts START at $110.00 a day . . . Oh, and weekends on most US/CA hills are rats nests poked with a stick Evil or Very Mad

Plan on 3 weeks. wink
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
NB the https://mountaincollective.com $409 18/19 deal is nearly sold out and it's worth it for the 50% additional day ticket saving alone . . . That's a lot of beer tokens freed up Twisted Evil
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
If going to Banff mountain collective is best deal $409 for 3+2 days at lake Louise/sunshine and then 50% lift tickets after that. Works out about £452 for 10 days skiing (additional days £33 each).

For £620 you could get full epic pass which gives you unlimited days at whistler and some free days at euro resorts. If you only want 10 days you could get epic local pass for £460 but there are some blackout dates.

If you decide on Colorado or Utah ikon or epic full or local pass are good options depending on where you want to ski. Mountain collective can be cheap but means lots of travelling to take full advantage as limited number of days at each resort.

Regarding when to visit - early Jan to early march is good for snow. Early Jan can be very cold in interior so perhaps later is better.
snow conditions
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Get a Mountain Collective pass and fly into Salt Lake City and hire a car.
Ski at Alta for a couple of days which is reliable for early season snow. Then head north to ski Jackson Hole and Big Sky. You can check out Yellowstone NP as a diversion. Come back to Snowbird and Snowbasin which are at/near Salt Lake and fly out from there.
It’s super easy and you definitely won’t get bored.
snow conditions
 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?
Quote:
Canada (or USA) - help me sell it to the other half!


I can't really. In terminable flights. Jet lag going out - sort of manageable if you stay up till your standard bed time (in North American time). Horrific jet lag on return. Sod all alpine charm. Grim to non-existent mountain eating palaces (OK that's based only one trip to NA skiing, at Fernie some years back. Expensive lift passes.

Very few positives. Stay in Europe.
Well, you did ask Toofy Grin
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
To comment again on the choice of dates for Banff. Christmas/NY, half of North America will be there; if not, it's because it will be -20C.

If you can leave it until March, that will be excellent.

Easter next year is clearly in April, so if you can go 2 weeks in March, you get warmer weather AND no holiday crowds.

Last time I took the middle (Easter) weekend off to allow my old legs to recover, and I'm glad I did as it was also really crowded by comparison to the rest of the time.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
"Grim to non-existent mountain eating places..."
True, very true.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I took Mrs LOTA (a cautious skier) to Lake Tahoe two winters ago. We were extremely lucky with the weather - the best snow for a decade. And she got on really well, making full use of the mountain. Her skiing came on leaps and bounds with three or four private lessons. The lift pass was pricey - for eight days it worked out cheapest to buy a season's pass for me and to use the associated discount vouchers for her to buy day passes!

Loads of accommodation options - pretty good value all told, enjoyable apres and an easy transfer from Reno airport.
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Fridge03 wrote:
... I'm mega keen for a 10 -14 day trip out of Europe. I think Japan is out of the equation for now as I just don't think we are good enough skiers to make the most of it.
The OH and I are both confident intermediates. Happy skiing reds, have done a few blacks. Go out in all weather. Can ski groomed pistes or powder (albeit still learning and getting better). I know for a fact I want to progress onto off piste eventually whereas the OH isn't too bothered. ...


The first point suggests you're aware of jet lag and know how to deal with it. I regularly take 1 week trips (surf, snowboard) to North America and don't bother about jet lag any more than I'd bother about driving to the Alps. Different people have different approaches to such things, but all that is irrelevant to me. If you're looking at a decent distance, then the flights are going to cost more... than less distance. I'm sure you didn't need to ask about that.

Japan... interesting you should phrase it that way. I'd say Japan would be a good choice if you've not been: culturally interesting, and powder with mellow terrain. I know more about North America though.... Canada and the US are very different, although there are some places in each which are more similar than others.

Canada
  • Whistler's a good place for Europeans to start if you're unsure what you're getting into. It's like a European resort, and not with "grim" anything yet with excellent service and a lot of fresh snow, which you can either enjoy or avoid.
  • Banff is another tourist magnet, although it's not "ski in ski out", which many here like. It's generally colder with less fresh, and doesn't have the "hard core" scene of Whistler.
  • Smaller "town" hills, like Fernie, Golden etc aren't "grim", but they're less developed and harder for some tourists to fathom. Compare them with small European resorts which aren't set up for British package tourists. They're actually way better than the tourist trap places, but you may miss the point entirely if you're not paying attention.
USA
  • I can't see why a tourist would go to California unless you're there for other reasons. It's a fine place, but people there fly elsewhere for better snow.
  • Colorado is the place for tourists and destination people.
  • Small places like Taos, Brian Head etc are like the Canadian equivalent: brilliant, but not for people asking where to go.


Overall, if you want powder, coastal is your best bet and Canada is colder than the US so Whistler is the obvious choice. If you don't care about that, then Colorado is probably a good introduction, although I'd go to one of the big name places if you're there for that long, or move about.
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Fridge03, confident intermediates are the people who benefit most from North America. The inbounds off-piste concept means that you can dabble with gnarlier stuff without the expense and hassle of a guide, or without needing to commit to spending a whole day away from the pistes.

I'd go to Jackson Hole in late February. Make sure you dodge President's day, and it will be blissfully quiet. Stay in town and the prices are great, as winter is low season. Maybe take a day out to go to snowmobiling in Yellowstone - tell the OH that you'll be spotting elk and bison in the snow. And a couple of day trips to Grand Targhee will add some variety to the skiing.
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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.
Been skiing usa and Canada for my yearly hols now for last 20 years .
Currently in the wonderful resort of panorama been here 6 times .
In the last few years I've always either skied for 10 or 14 days and the done bit of a road trip added on .makes it much more of an experience and very memorable for a big birthday treat .
Jet lag can be a problem the older I get the more I feel it .
But if your pre planning is done well it can be an utterly life changing holiday .
Last year was park city for 10 nights back to slc the hire car and road trip to moab . Monument valley . Grand canyon. Zion national park . Vegas . Over another 10 days . Would recommend something like that .
P's for my 40th flew san fran few days in city up to tahoe heavenly for 10 days then drive to la for few days . Drove down desert side of sierras . Loved every minute
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Would also recommend the ski camp in whistler for intermediate skiers . Bought my skiing on loads and really increased my confidence levels .
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