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Have we ruined skiing forever?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
OK, so this Easter we had an amazing family holiday (kids are 16&20 - so not really kids) in Whistler. First experience of skiing over the pond having always skied in Europe. Question is... how do we follow that?

Next season we hope to ski New Year, which brings other elements to play (snow conditions etc) - where now, the pricing seems to be similar Europe or stateside, I want direct flights and shortish transfers (the Cali ones seem too long), which basically seems to point to Colorado in the states or maybe somewhere else in Canada.

Anyone got views on Winter Park (Colorado) or Mont Tremblant (Montreal)? Or other suggestions. We need plenty of cruisey pistes, used to big areas.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Mount Tremblant can be bitterly cold, to the point of almost being un ski able. It's also quite small, and being close to Montreal and Ottawa can get very crowded. Probably ok if you combine with trip to Quebec City and Ottawa or some of the larger resorts in upstate NY. Other consideration would be Banff area resorts with a trip to Revelstoke.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Tremblant at new year will be mind numbingly cold. If not then then the snow might not be all that
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Thanks guys... probably wouldn't go down well with the wife then I guess!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Haven't been but pretty sure Tremblant would be very cold and icy at that time of year. Colorado a much better bet. Haven't been to Winter Park but think it has a good reputation. Have done Breckenridge, Aspen/Snowmass. Would definitely recommend Snowmass for a family. Guess Vail would be good too.
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Thanks... Winter Park appears to be quite moguly from other reviews... again not the wifes fave (or mine for that matter!)
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Snowmass would be terrific. It's where I'd buy if the lottery comes up. Not a short transfer though, Vail is closer from memory unless you can afford Aspen's private airport.
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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!
No point skiing tremblant or anywhere on the east coast. If your going transatlantic might as well head out west where the skiing is better.

Colorado is a good choice as its as snow sure as anywhere early season thanks to the altitude (granted they had a pretty terrible season this year). There are lots of places that fit your needs. IMO your best bet is to buy an epic pass soon which gives you unlimited skiing at a bunch of resorts in Colorado. You could probably even get by with the epic local pass ($669) which gets you unlimited skiing at keystone, Breckenridge, and arapahoe basin plus 10 days between beaver creek and Vail (although these 10 are holiday restricted so can't be used 26-31 December).

If you want maximum flexibility and are ok with a short drive/bus to the mountain each day book a hotel somewhere like Dillon or Frisco. If you want to be able to be closer to the slopes you could looking at booking accommodation in a resort but its more expensive especially Vail and beaver creek.
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Delta do a direct flight to Salt Lake City.

Park City Alta Snowbird are all within an hour.

Generally Alta / Snowbird is the most snow sure destination for Christmas.. [ This year was an exception ]
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@TQA, I thought that - but can't seem to see any from London or Manchester?
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@TQA, Their route map shows it.. but doesn't bring up any direct flights when searching
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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.
@stevo_the_saddler, some areas of WP have moguls, but plenty of skiing without them. I am returning to WP for the 7th time in January, for 3 weeks this time. It’s a great place
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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
@graeme, Thanks - still on the list
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Delta flight DL 51 none stop LHR - SLC. Costly though!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@endoman, Still not showing as direct... via CDG... and yes, stupid money!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@stevo_the_saddler, your options will open up if you accept an indirect flight or a longer transfer. Why compromise an entire holiday for the sake of a few hours of inconvenience?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Jonny Jones, I hear your point, and on the way there its not so bad... the return from stateside always messes with my head anyway!
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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?
UK to Denver is generally cheaper and there are several carriers offering it. But the popular resorts transfer times are 2 to 4 hours plus in good conditions however the I 70 can be a nightmare especially at weekends with a recent snowfall.

Park City Canyons is 1 hour from SLC Alta Snowbird less. Alta and Snowbird are accessed via little Cottonwood Canyon and again this can be a nightmare at weekends with a recent snowfall.
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If you’re using Whistler as a reference point, you may find Winter Park tiny and disappointing.

Vail will be a better match in size. The transfer isn’t hugely different. Park City a similar experience if you can find flights to Salt Lake City.

If you’re willing to relax the size requirements, I think Steamboat is a better choice than Winter Park over Christmas-New Year period. Much less crowded and statistically better snow record in early season.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Problem with Utah is that no pass covers all the resorts. Best option is probably ikon full pass which would get you 7 days between alta and snowbird plus 7 at deer valley. IMO not as good skiing options as epic local pass gets you and its $230 more than epic local. Also completely useless ifmany of you snowboard as deer valley is ski only.
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stevo_the_saddler wrote:
@endoman, Still not showing as direct... via CDG... and yes, stupid money!


https://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/DAL51
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I don't know and have never been but what about Japan? I guess it will be eye-wateringly expensive for a family but if you want somewhere different then that seems to be the place.
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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!
endoman wrote:
stevo_the_saddler wrote:
@endoman, Still not showing as direct... via CDG... and yes, stupid money!


https://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/DAL51


If Delta are doing the same as before, its not direct during the winter wink
We go via AMS to SLC. works well for us and don't mind paying extra for the convenience. This years flights were £600 so not too bad, just waiting for them to drop again for next season. Madeye-Smiley
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Just a quick question, why was Whistler so much better that you now need to go transatlantic?

(also, I echo, avoid the East Coast, not worth travelling for. Also, allegedly, California, but I've never been).
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Also, why not go back to Whistler?
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Bones wrote:
endoman wrote:
stevo_the_saddler wrote:
@endoman, Still not showing as direct... via CDG... and yes, stupid money!


https://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/DAL51


If Delta are doing the same as before, its not direct during the winter wink
We go via AMS to SLC. works well for us and don't mind paying extra for the convenience. This years flights were £600 so not too bad, just waiting for them to drop again for next season. Madeye-Smiley


You'd think they would keep the flight in the winter, seems a bit odd. Perfect for a BA tier point run though if that's your thing Happy I'm flying to Phoenix for a conference next month, and it's half the price to start in Dublin and fly to heathrow, than it is to start at Heathrow. Bonkers.
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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.
Quote:
Just a quick question, why was Whistler so much better that you now need to go transatlantic?


That's a good question. What did you specifically like about whistler? As its not necessarily the typical north american resort in some ways. Also you specify cruisey pistes and big areas which would tend to point towards Europe over n american.
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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
Having just come back from Banff we are having similar thoughts! Having skied both Europe and Canada there are lots of reasons why my preference (if time and money allow) would be to return to Canada.
Superb teaching for adults and kids, very small groups
Mix of sloped from easy cruises to extreme stuff
‘Off piste’ that’s still patrolled and avalanche controlled.
Minimal lift lines and empty pistes, even over the long weekend.
Great customer service attitude and everyone very friendly.
Cheap meals out in town
Large hotel rooms with pools/hot tubs pretty much as standard
Great snow. I know this years been great for Europe but having skied a poor snow year in Europe and Canada I know which one I preferred.

Of course it’s not all positive and for many people Europe is better. But for us Canada ticks so many of the right boxes it’s hard to see a resort in Europe that does the same. For me it’s all about the safe steep in bound terrain. I know nothing about avalanches and don’t want to hire a guide so in Europe I’m stuck to the pistes. Here I can try stuff I wouldn’t think about - and meet MrsJ at the bottom who’s cruised down a groomed run.

So Banff might be a good choice, although can be pretty cold at Christmas
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@stevo_the_saddler, ...how do you follow that? Perhaps with something very different.

Us....

1 wait for the weather reports - chase the snow
2 snow is important
3 snow is very very important
4 beautiful tiny resorts in Europe - road trip!
5 use the Magic Pass - 30 resorts across Switzerland and bordering France - all beautifully formed
6 note Magic Pass is 399chf ... er less than 8 days’ pass price for a whole year, for 30 resorts, bonkers
7 get on the road to the best snow
8 since after all, snow is important
9 this year, spend time on empty pistes with half a metre of fresh on them ... in April....

Yes, BC has bonkers powder, incredible heli-skiing, and people who speak a form of English. But stop that carbon dump from intercontinental flying, and hit the road, (Jack)....
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Mammoth in California may be worth considering - lots of powder and long season, tho can get windy.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
yes Valais2 ..... snowHead snowHead
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stevo_the_saddler,

We've been to Winter Park 3 times and love the place. But we love mogul skiing!

I think it's really limited for piste skiing - particularly if (as you say) you are "used to big areas." I don't think you will find WP particularly "big" if you stick to pistes.
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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?
Last xmas snow in Colorado sucked while Europe was going off but relative to Europe at the same time historically it is much more reliable.

Ikon base pass $599 ( buy by 30 April) will get you unlimited skiing at WP and Copper ( stay in Frisco) plus 5 days in Aspen ( not 26-31 December) and Steamboat possibility. Which would if Ullr delivers is a great 2 weeks skiing particularly Aspen
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stevo_the_saddler wrote:
how do we follow that?



Japan
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
How about aiming for something a bit different and combine skiing with something else? I'm thinking either (a) San Francisco for a few days then drive to Tahoe or (b) Swiss thermal spa resort combined with skiing.

(a) gives you time to get over jetlag, and see the sights in SFR (admittedly in the winter), then drive to Tahoe in the daytime rather than late afternoon. Really, the drive is so much easier if you can start at 10am in SFR instead of 4pm after flight and immigration etc.

(b) Swiss Thermal resort like the Bains de Saillon, between Martigny and Sion) https://www.bainsdesaillon.ch/en/ places you right in the middle of a ton of resorts like Verbier, Crans, Champéry (PdS), Glacier3000, and even Chamonix by train perhaps? The Swiss Magic Pass covers lots of these ('though not 4 Vallées). And if the weather is rotten, then you can do the spa/wellness/swimming thing.

I only suggest (b) because I'm familiar with this area - I've posted this previously and people have come up with a load of places across the Alps where you can do combined spa/ski holidays. The Bains de Saillon are more family-oriented than some of the other expensive ultra-chic Swiss spas. There are also combined ski/spa resorts like Ovronnaz but their ski area isn't big and it'd mean a drive down the mountain to get anywhere else.
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fly to Vegas, hire a car, then either drive North to Tahoe and/or Mammoth for a bigger resort and/or try Big Bear / Bear Mountain (California) for a smaller more laid-back vibe; one of the "Bear" resorts is very park orientated with kickers on every slope. Great fun to have a road trip, try a couple of different areas and then return for a couple of days in Vegas. We went in early April - great snow still in the mountains and sunshine/pool weather in Vegas.
.
Alternatively Engelberg in Switzerland is gorgeous - stunning scenery, lovely village and it has a glacier too. Not too expensive for a few days / long weekend either, easy 2hr train ride from Basel.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Woah... I missed all the questions and some answers. Thanks for the feedback guys.

Firstly - That Delta flight appears NOT to be direct when we need it.

Next - no particular reason for transatlantic, other than if I am paying stupid money (New Year trip) - then I'd prefer to try somewhere new and we do love the states.

What was go great about Whitsler? Having skied 15 years in Europe, it was amazingly refreshing the 'little things' they do over there.... like queuing in an orderly fashion, having a ski valet to take your skis at the end of the day, the lift people being polite and friendly (most of my skiing has been France where none of these apply).

I'm not against skiing in Europe... just everywhere is so damn expensive. Thought about a 'road trip' to follow the snow, but at that time of year we'll end up out of resort.

As a family we like to ski distance... cruisey blues and reds with variation... hence a large area is our preference. Will study replies above.... if only we all knew where it was going to snow in advance snowHead
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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!
I live in CO and really wouldn't want to fly over here to just go to Winter Park. The advice to get the Epic Pass and then base yourself in between Breck and Vail is what I would go along with. This gives you access to a number of world class (but, by 3 valleys/EK standards, relatively small) resorts that you can pick and choose from. You can hit Vail, Breck, Keystone, Beaver Creek and A Basin within a short drive in the morning. Apres is more limited here than in Europe as most skiers drive up for the day from Denver so having a short drive after your day's skiing won't necessarily cramp your style as much as it might in Europe.
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I've done 10 days at Breckenridge and skied Vail, Beever creek, Keystone and obviously Breckenridge. Hired a car at Denver, and drove up to Breckenidge to a chalet in first December week of season. The chalet was very quiet at that time of year, as was the skiing. I believe the new year is when most go skiing in the states rather than the "White Xmas" fallacy.

I liked the difference, but for the money I would probably prefer Europe such as Espace Killy, or three valleys. It was a long time ago, and recreational use of cannabis was illegal when I went. It is now legal in Colorado, so something to bear in mind if you take teenagers.
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Well, there are plenty of places in the USA which are good, although I'd only go there if the snow was good, myself. I ride Snowbird a lot, but not this year... the snow wasn't great, so I went north, where it was. But if you just want snow on the ground, as opposed to good off-piste conditions, then that's easier to find.

I like Winter Park a lot - my favourite place in Colorado for snowboarding, because it's got some decent tough terrain and I can drive there with jet lag. But I don't seem much in the OP which suggests that's an attraction.

Variety is the spice of life - pick somewhere, preferably somewhere the people here don't know about, and go there.
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