Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Considering USA or Canada - recommendations/things we should know

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
As the title says.

We’ve never ventured over the pond to ski so have no idea about resorts over there.

We are looking for easy intermediate, good snow, shortest travel time UK to resort. Not bothered about night life but some shops/a centre for a stroll would be nice, as would non-ski activities. We were thinking about Christmas/New Year.

Interested in peoples’ thoughts and experiences. Thanks.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@bambionskiis,

Shortest travel time is to the east coast - which doesn't have the best snow Sad

You would be better off travelling a bit further west for better snow conditions (generally speaking) wink

I would recommend Colorado for a first time trip, or Banff in Canada.
latest report     
 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?
Two Banff trip reports in my signature.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Aspen, CO ... four separate ski areas on one ticket, nice town, bit expensive lodging. Unless flying to rather small Aspen airport it is a bit long drive from Denver.
Park City, UT ... two separate ski areas on different tickets (Deer Valley and Park City). Nice town, easy to get to from SLC airport with nonstop flights from LHR. Possibility visiting other world famous Utah ski areas within 30-45 minutes.
Jackson Hole, WY ... somewhat challenging skiing but still plenty of skiing to keep intermediates happy. "Western" town, ski area is 20 minutes outside of town, plenty of "cheaper" accommodation options.
Telluride, CO ... hard to get to (long drive from Denver), skiing could be challenging but the town is very charming.

California "resorts" are not that pretty or charming but skiing is great.

Of course there are many more great ski areas in the US with each one having its own pros and cons, the above mentioned are probably the most famous names.

Lift tickets are very expensive, it is probably cheaper buying a season pass if you plan on staying longer than 6 days.

Colorado would give you the most options with clusters of resorts being on one of two multi resort ski passes (Vail, Breckenridge and Keystone on EpicPass and Aspen, Winter Park, Steamboat, Copper Mountain on IKON pass). Possibility of altitude sickness for a day or two since CO resorts are quite high with Breckenridge base being at 2900m and Aspen at 2430m

Expect to pay more for anything (other than fuel) than in Austria, France or Italy. Expensive lessons and equipment rental.

Super friendly people and well behaved in lift queues.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@bambionskiis, keeping your intermediate and travel comments front and center, I would suggest a Utah or Colorado trip. If Utah, you'd need to stay in or near Park City because its the one with the town and between it and Deer Valley you won't ski the same run twice. Maybe the easiest airport-to-snow situation out there, too. Utah's elevation is somewhat lower than CO, a difference I'd only use as a tiebreaker unless you are susceptible. There are several Colorado options, but to keep your travel time minimized just fly to Denver and pick one of the resorts near it with a village that looks good to you. For you, there is nothing gained by going further, whether to the west coast of US or BC or to areas that otherwise meet your criteria in CO but can be complicated to fly in and out of, like Telluride or Aspen. Once you've picked your target, investigate lift pass options (lots of intel on this here) as we are not bashful over here about charging for uphill transport! Like everywhere else, expect substantially higher prices and more crowds because Christmas/New Year is High Season. Also expect basically everything to cost more than you're used to. One last thought, no matter where you go in North America: you need to know that unlike in the Alps, not all pistes are groomed daily. You need to check the "grooming report" which shows what got mowed and what didn't. These are on the resort's TV network or at the hill. Sorry, one more difference: the colors used to designate the difficulty of the piste....our green is your blue; our blue is your red; and we agree on blacks. You want blue.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I’d recommend Banff. Generally Canada is cheaper than its southern neighbour (Whistler aside). Direct flights to Calgary and a very easy 90min drive/transfer to Banff. Very touristy town with tons of non skiing activities. Stunning scenery and plenty of green and blue runs at both Sunshine and Lake Louise
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@bambionskiis, it’s not worth going just for skiing, IMO, is the one thing I’d offer in the ‘things we should know’ part.

If you’re adding some skiing on to a broader travelling adventure, that’s different.
Smile
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!
bambionskiis wrote:
We are looking for easy intermediate, good snow, shortest travel time UK to resort. Not bothered about night life but some shops/a centre for a stroll would be nice, as would non-ski activities.


Can only speak for SW Ca so here goes ......

No short trips to the good stuff, ok there are place on the east coast but there are often inferior enough to the better areas west ...... and not considered the effort.

Outside of 'Whistlerland' nightlife only generally exists, sporadically, in pockets ..... it's usually typically 'Canadian', which at my time of life is more than enough.

Plenty of activities otherwise ...... most Canadian towns have shopping, sledding, shooing, train rides etc etc

You need to go for at least eleven days, preferably longer ....... it's pretty much a full day travelling out and then again back, assuming you live within a few hours from an airport here.

If jet lag is your monkey you could have up to a week of waking up at all hours when returned ....... although 'flying with time' going out isn't usually a problem.

I'd avoid Christmas and NY like the plague, short days, it can seem very dark and generally miserable ....... and unbelievably cold. Feb & Mar are better choices.

Depending on how 'intermediate' you are would affect recommendations.
snow report     
 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.
“Easy int” ... not sure it’s worth the effort ...
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Like others it totally depends on what you want from the trip. If you want to explore the inbounds ungroomed stuff (basically patrolled off piste) or have a chance of powder then it’s amazing. If you want to visit North America and have a holiday doing loads of stuff including skiing then it’s fab. For many people visiting Canada, the scenery, the touring and the other activities are part of the reason for the trip
If you just want six days cruising groomed pistes like in Europe then I’m not so sure

Certainly for the Canadian rockies is go for March if I had a choice. We usually go Easter and the snow has been great. If you have children and are stuck to the school holidays worth noting the price difference is much less during European holidays and the resorts are much much quieter.
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Cheapski wrote:

Expect to pay more for anything (other than fuel) than in Austria, France or Italy.


We found eating out last year in Colorado a lot cheaper than eating out in France. wink We were in Summit County (Dillon), Georgetown, Parachute, Ouray and Silverton and averaged less than $15 for main courses - including burgers, Mexican, Thai and pizza. Very Happy
latest report     
 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.
PeakyB wrote:
@bambionskiis, it’s not worth going just for skiing, IMO, is the one thing I’d offer in the ‘things we should know’ part.

If you’re adding some skiing on to a broader travelling adventure, that’s different.
Smile


But the whole experience is different to Europe - so even if someone goes "just for the skiing" a Transatlantic trip would still (IMHO) most definitely be worth it.
ski holidays     
 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
In Banff you could definitely eat out cheaper than in Europe - lots of good value burger and pizza style offers. You could also spend an awful lot on fine dining as well!
Accommodation is usually much better value. Winter is low season in the Rockies, so we found we could easily afford a nice hotel with pool etc, huge rooms and often a kitchenette, for the price we'd pay for something much smaller and less pleasant in Europe
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
TommyJ wrote:
I’d recommend Banff. Generally Canada is cheaper than its southern neighbour (Whistler aside). Direct flights to Calgary and a very easy 90min drive/transfer to Banff. Very touristy town with tons of non skiing activities. Stunning scenery and plenty of green and blue runs at both Sunshine and Lake Louise


Another vote for Banff, as long as you're ok that it's a drive to the skiing every morning. This is something quite common amongst a lot of USA/Canada resorts.

If you want a more ski in ski out experience, then you're limited to which resorts this is available. In Canada you're looking at places like Mont Tremblant (East Coast, so for the sake of a couple of extra hours in a plane, I wouldn't bother), Sun Peaks, Big White, Whistler, Panorama, off the top of my head that's your more "European resorts" where the skiing and town are together, lots of others involve a drive.

In terms of Banff, you've got 3 resorts, Mt Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise. Lift passes are a lot more expensive, and if you want to save some money, there's a bit of playing around with lift passes. You can keep it simple and buy the Ski Big 3 pass, but you do pay a premium for this.

See the below thread where lift passes are discussed:

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=149301&highlight=

The distance between the town and each ski area is around 10 minutes to Mt Norquay, 20 minutes to Sunshine and 45 minutes to Lake Louise. There's a bus that runs to each, or you can drive yourself.
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I am heading out on a USA roadtrip and will report on the major resorts over the course of this winter.

How long are you thinking of going for? What type of budget are you targetting (low/mid/high)?
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
BCjohnny wrote:


You need to go for at least eleven days, preferably longer ....... it's pretty much a full day travelling out and then again back, assuming you live within a few hours from an airport here.


Not necessarily.... Though a longer trip would be great, a shorter trip shouldn't be ruled out.

When Mrs B was a teacher we did about 15 7-night trips to the USA or Canada at Feb half term, as that was all we had time for. And most trips included 3 flights from Newcastle - usually to Denver or Calgary, via Amsterdam and Minneapolis. The jet lag worked ok for us as we would wake up bright and early each day for skiing then crash out at night. On a couple of occasions we were able to get evening flights back from Denver on the Saturday so managed to ski on our last morning (ski day 7) at Winter Park or Breckenridge. wink

It's definititely worth it if you put in the effort. Very Happy

This season, however, we've booked to fly to Denver with BA, via Heathrow, and take only 2 flights. We won't know we're born! Very Happy Very Happy
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Bergmeister, what about the overall price ticket, for a week skiing in a mid range (cost wise) area, rather than just comparing the cost of eating out?
snowHead
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?
PeakyB,

I was replying to the comment that bambionskiis should "expect to pay more for everything other than fuel"; and pointing out that that isn't necessarily the case, as eating out in the USA can be cheaper than in France.
latest report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
You can go for the "local" regional ski passes. E.g. epic ski pass Tahoe region $609 which is currently around £450 (£/$ 1.30 ish) , still bloody expensive but cheaper than a 7-day pass bought on the door now.

Get access to a number of resorts, just have to work around the 'blackout' dates. Perhaps do another activity those days.

@bambionskiis, make sure you sort ski passes well in advance i.e. in the summer.
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Also, you need to tip, tip and tip again at every opportunity. So add 20% on your mental costs.

For this reason I never go to the USA on holiday.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
under a new name wrote:
“Easy int” ... not sure it’s worth the effort ...

Not that I have been but this seems a very good point to me. Unless you've already done every corner of Europe and have plenty of dough....
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Bergmeister, that’s fair comment. I found food good quality and value in USA and Canada. Service in food establishments generally better than Europe too.

I have no problem going to N. America. I’ve been on many occasions, all times of year. Just think that at Christmas/New Year, for about a week of intermediate piste cruising, and not much else, it’s not worth the effort and money.
snowHead
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
PeakyB wrote:

Just think that at Christmas/New Year, for about a week of intermediate piste cruising, and not much else, it’s not worth the effort and money.
snowHead


I am Banff’s number one fan, but honestly I’d agree with this.

Do what I did, make the most of the early morning private lesson discount and get off the cruisey blues onto the more interesting stuff Smile
latest report     
 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.
Upon further review: Since you said "thinking about Christmas/New Year", let me add to the others: don't go then. Too crowded, unnecessarily expensive. Too far to go for that. I would also say that it would be insane for any person, but especially an intermediate, to leave Europe to ski in Eastern NA.
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I've skiied Heavenly Lake Tahoe and Vail a number of times and enjoyed both. However, this was on the back of being on the West Coast already, for business. So for Tahoe, we were able to leave SFR around 10am and do a fairly unstressed drive in the daylight. Flying form the UK, you don't arrive in SFR until around 4pm and personally, I wouldn't want to go through immigration, baggage, car hire etc and then start a nigh time trek up the mountains.

For Vail, I was able to fly out from SFR, pick up the hire car and meet my wife late afternoon, off the LHR 'plane, then get away quickly. However, she was pretty jetlagged, and what with the altitude, it took her 2-3 days to really get back to normal. I also didn't like driving up into the mountains in the evening in a snowstorm.

I know many people don't have a problem with jetlag, a long flight, or a drive in the dark. But my conclusion was that I wouldn't go the North America unless I could make it a longer trip, and ideally, a combined city visit e.g. 2-3 days in San Francisco first, then daytime drive to Tahoe, i.e. at least 10 days.
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Bergmeister, "eating out last year in Colorado a lot cheaper than eating out in France"

So it's cheaper to fly to the US to eat out? I really don't think so ...

Going to the 'Merkins is good for a number of reasons. 1. Off piste. 2. Heliskiing.

Otherwise, not so much and the luncheoning is generally rubbish or expensive. IME.
snow conditions     
 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.
Lift tickets can be crippling, you need to navigate carefully. Found Canada pretty reasonable for food (depends what your dining goals are of course). Sadly a long flight is inevitable, accept it don't stress about it..
ski holidays     
 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
I'm currently in SLC skiing the cottonwoods on Ikon - Solitude, Alta and Snowbird have so far been very uncrowded, especially compared to the Portes du Soleil at the same time or Heavenly (Tahoe) on most weekends. The snow is great right now, but maybe not a lot to offer for someone looking for easy intermediate terrain.

The food is terrible and overpriced but I've become used to that now. Biggest complaint is struggling to find somewhere serving anything but beer at the bottom of the hill for an apres drink before getting the bus back to our hotel in SLC/Cottonwood Heights. This is a Utah thing I think, and if you went to Park City I imagine you could find an actual bar in town.

addendum: I have an Ikon pass and currently live in San Francisco so this requires less time/money investment than from the UK
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@driz, is the bus a hotel shuttle or public transport? Is it easy to get to and from cottonwood/SLC to and from the Utah resorts (Park City et al.)
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Public transport - there's 3 hotels near the entrance to BCC (Marriott, Hyatt Place, Hampton Inn) which are on the 953 and 972 bus routes. We're at the Marriott and it's a bit dated and dusty, but has hot tub/pool and large studio rooms with an OK kitchen.

The 953 goes to Snowbird/Alta and it's roughly 30 minutes to the first Snowbird stop (a bit longer to continue up the canyon). 953 Buses are not super frequent but frequent enough to not be a problem. 972 goes to Solitude/Brighton and run roughly every 15/20 minutes, all day. Also takes about 30 minutes.

Buses are free with the Ikon pass although we needed to get it coded onto the pass after our first trip up to Solitude. Not sure if you can do this in advance in SLC somewhere or not - our bus driver was not that cooperative and made us pay cash and then get a refund from the resort.

I think getting to Park City is a little less convenient by public transport as the bus isn't free and goes to Kimball Junction transit center where you then change onto a resort-run bus.
latest report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@LaForet, +1
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Agree with others that there are better options for "easy intermediate" skiing in Europe than n america, although my definition may be different to yours.

Christmas is perhaps the worst time to visit - crowded, expensive, and if it's been a slow start to the season the whole resort might not be open.

Shortest flight would be east coast, but the skiing is far interior.


Quote:

it’s not worth going just for skiing, IMO, is the one thing I’d offer in the ‘things we should know’ part. If you’re adding some skiing on to a broader travelling adventure, that’s different.


I would disagree, n America skiing is better in some respects (more snow and controlled off piste spring to mind). Also I find it amusing that you have some of the best cities in the world in Europe in fact many fly I to Paris or Venice for their ski holidays, yet nobody would say you have to visit those places if you ski europe
latest report     
 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?
Had a few excellent days in Solitude. Nice restaurant at base.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
LittleBullet, The cottonwoods - 2 canyons have 2 ski areas in each - these are totally difrerent areas from Park City. From the base of the Cottonwoods you would be looking at a drive of around 40 - 50 minutes to Park City, traffic and weather dependant.

Some hotels in SLC and suburbs run their own shuttle buses, but these would usually be to the base of either canyon - from there its another bus ride up the canyon. A car really is your friend in UT Smile

driz, easy to find other drinks besides beer, and yes in Park City there will be plenty of bars, being totally aimed at tourists, its reasonably flat too, with less snow.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Breckenridge had a fair amount of cruisey blues, but I have to agree with those above me...for easy intermediate week long skiing stay in europe. It really is only worth the travel time and horrendous lift pass prices if you go for 2 weeks I reckon.

Banff might be an option though as Sunshine and LL are more "European" in flavour then the other smaller canadian resorts I've been to, which I wouldn't recommend to anyone wanting easy intermediate stuff, paticularly KH & Rev. Having said that, Fernie might open your eyes in a nice way to the advantages of Canadian trips.

Just my thoughts whilst waiting to slide again on the 5th!
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Bergmeister wrote:
BCjohnny wrote:
You need to go for at least eleven days, preferably longer ....... it's pretty much a full day travelling out and then again back, assuming you live within a few hours from an airport here.


Not necessarily.... Though a longer trip would be great, a shorter trip shouldn't be ruled out.


Completely, and utterly, disagree .......
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
under a new name wrote:
@Bergmeister, "eating out last year in Colorado a lot cheaper than eating out in France"

So it's cheaper to fly to the US to eat out? I really don't think so ...


This isn't a serious post is it? Puzzled

Where have I suggested the above?

As I said earlier, I was responding to the point that "everything in the USA, except fuel, is more expensive than in Europe."

We found that eating out in Colorado was cheaper than eating out in France, so I simply said so.

In other words, I was trying to assist the original poster with budgeting and planning for a Transatlantic trip. I presume s/he may already be aware that a flight to the USA will be more expensive than a flight to the Alps... wink
latest 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!
bambionskiis wrote:
...We are looking for easy intermediate, good snow, shortest travel time UK to resort. Not bothered about night life but some shops/a centre for a stroll would be nice, as would non-ski activities. We were thinking about Christmas/New Year. ...
Clearly different people have different views, which is possibly just as well or they'd all be wanting to do what I do, and I don't like crowds.

The main difference is the "in bounds off piste" thing, which explains the size and layouts of the resorts and delivers a fundamentally different experience. If you've never tried it so you know you don't like it, then obviously don't go. On the other hand, if you like different experiences, then you'll definitely get one, and it may change your attitude to skiing forever. I've done 7 day trips before, and even done 2-day trips when I've had a business meeting somewhere snowy. If you whine about jet lag, clearly it's not for you.

If you care about flight time... well you don't need me to tell you how long the various flights are, there are we sites for that. Similarly for getting from airport to resort.

If you're imagining a village centre and "non ski activities", then you'd probably need a "destination resort" which provides those. Whistler or Banff would work. SLC isn't really that - the hills are near the city, but the city's just a city. Park City is a destination, so may work and it's set up for tourists rather than locals. Most of the Colorado stuff is mellow but not close to the airport.

Many Americans stay home at Christmas and come out for new year, so that may be a factor, although you can tell what the pressure is broadly from the prices. Seasons are moving later, so your poor-snow-risk increases the earlier you travel.... however that's more of an issue for off piste.
snow report     
 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.
bambionskiis wrote:
As the title says.
We are looking for easy intermediate, good snow, shortest travel time UK to resort. Not bothered about night life but some shops/a centre for a stroll would be nice, as would non-ski activities.


Short answer: Whistler.

The long answer is more complex. As you can see from the responses to your original question, some people hold some slightly strange views about North America. It's too far, too expensive, or not European enough for them, so they express incredulity that anyone would be stupid enough to go there. Fortunately, we aren't all the same; I ski about the same amount on both sides of the pond so I can see the attractions of each type of trip.

Travel: Door-to-door, it takes me about 17 hours to get to Whistler; most other NA resorts take longer. For reference, it takes me about 11 hours to get somewhere like Val d'isere. You may consider the extra 6 hours to be a deal breaker, but it doesn't feature in my decision: either way, it's a day spent travelling. If you travel back overnight, you can leave in the evening and ski on your last day; that's rarely possible when you ski in Europe unless you take the train. If cost isn't an issue, you can fly Business or First and actually enjoy the longer journey as part of the holiday.

Costs. Flights are more expensive but often not much more so. Hotels are much cheaper in some resorts (especially Whistler and Jackson as they have a big summer trade) on a like-for-like basis: in recent years I've twice booked the 5* Fairmont Chateau in Whistler (palatial rooms, ski in/out, outdoor pool, etc) for little more than £100 per night per room. Eating out varies with resort but tends to be cheaper than the Alps. Lift passes are pricey, but deals usually exist to bring them down to maybe 30% more than a big European resort. Lessons are hugely more expensive. Equipment hire is a little more expensive. You don't need a guide, which saves me a fortune. Overall, I find that a holiday in NA costs within 10% of something equivalent in a big Alpine resort, with the Alps being decidedly less luxurious.

Resorts: apart from Whistler, Vail and Big Sky, most resorts in NA are small. Many places have fewer than 10 lifts, and an intermediate may be able to ski all the blue runs in a day. Queues are rare and, when they appear, are well managed. The slopes are blissfully quiet and usually groomed to perfection. For an adventurous skier, though, even the smallest NA resort offers more fun than a big resort in Europe (unless you hire a guide). Many runs are left half ungroomed so huge moguls form, and you are actively encouraged to deviate from the marked runs into the trees and other more interesting terrain. A typical European itinerary run (usually ungroomed and the hardest marked run in resort) would be classed as a single diamond black in NA. The double diamonds are something else, and invariably mix at least two concurrent elements of extreme steepness, deep powder, tight trees or rock chutes. If you want to push your boundaries, this is paradise.

Uplift: almost all uplift is in uncovered chairs. Gondolas, cable cars and drag lifts exist but are rare. Funiculars are unheard of.

Culture: NA tends to have a laid-back vibe that suits lovers of beards, craft ale, beanies, burgers and pizza. Fine diners should generally look elsewhere, although big resorts will have a small number of posh restaurants serving things like elk and buffalo. Vegetables are rare: this is meat and carbs country.
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I'm off to Banff in February to try Canada out so will report back once I've been. Never been to the States or Canada before so that is why I thought Banff would be a good start.
ski holidays     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy