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2021-2022 Ski Recommendations

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Our family, due to the kids being in school, only gets to do two ski trips a winter. At this point all of us are fairly competent skiers, as we have all been skiing multiple times a year for the last few years. Like every year, we must decide where to go. Here's the deal: we live in New York City, with a fairly ample budget, and care about run / snow quality above all else, followed by beauty, followed by food options, followed by hotels, followed by après ski. Our two trips will be in February and March respectively, and they are both going to be major, eight day trips. The biggest challenge is picking a resort that has challenging content, but enough to entertain a family for six days of skiing. The resort can't be in Australia or Asia, and must be relatively affordable. I am not a veteran skier, nor do I have extensive knowledge of resorts, but I know many of you guys do. So: I pose the questions to you all here, what two places should our family ski?

Thanks. Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Where have you previously visited that you enjoyed?
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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?
As @endoman says, which previous trips have been the most memorable?
The Dolomites (justifiably) has a lot of fans amongst SnowHeads. Looking at your list of priorities I suggest Arabba.
But it is quiet in the evenings
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@precipiceofinfinity, as in other threads here may I suggest you get hold of a copy of Where to Ski and Snowboard. This is an english guide to mainly european resorts and is very comprehensive.

Most of the big european resort are, well big, and have sufficient terrain to keep competent skiers happy for weeks and weeks not just 8 days.

Since you are going on two separate trips, going to 2 sepearate countries may be a good idea - such as Arraba in Italy in Febuary and a high French resort in March such as Tignes
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Where have you previously visited that you enjoyed?

We have skied in many places in Utah, Colorado, and the North East. We haven't been to Europe for cost reasons, but we now have more income so we are considering it. Some of the more memorable places for us have been Snowbird, Telluride, and The Canyons. (pre-Park City merger. I heard Vail has basically been destroying it ever since...)
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@johnE Thanks for the recommendations! Madeye-Smiley
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
You might consider making a virtue of necessity in terms of the transfer, and flying into somewhere like Geneva, then take the train/télépherique up to the resort and vice-versa. Like most places, though, it'd be better to arrive morning/lunchtime in order to make the most of the journey. If you're looking at Switzerland, then the Swiss Tourism website has various offers on it including combined rail/accomodation. It drops you onto the current month but use the slider at the bottom to move to your Feb/Mar dates. And they'll also post you various glossy brochures which will look nice on your coffee table. The Swiss rail website (SBB) also has information for foreign tourists and accomodation offers.

As an example, take a look at flying into Geneva Airport (GVA) then taking the train to Verbier via Martigny. The Swiss Rail website (SBB) has a timetabler that integrates rail, télépherique and bus times. You'd be travelling from Genève-Aéroport to Verbier (télécabine) - use the current dates to get an idea of feasibility as the winter timetable won't be out yet. FOr an idea of Verbier, take a look at the official Verbier winter website.

I'm only suggesting Geneva-Verbier as a way to narrow down what is otherwise a very broad range of potential locations. THere are loads of other places in the Alps that would fit the bill equally well and I'm sure you'll get loads of suggestions.

If you have to transit through Heathrow or Gatwick, it would be a shame if you couldn't tack-on a couple of days 'doing' London onto the front of the trip. This would give everytone time to get over jetlag and mean you could travel to the Alps on a morning flight and arrive with loads of time to transfer to the resort. Or even just two nights, with a whistlestop bus tour of the city on the intervening day. On the other hand, I flew Boston>Heathrow>Geneva on the way back from a company trip and I didn't get to our place in the Verbier 4 Vallées until 10.30pm - it was OK and not too bad as long hauls go. ALthough it didn't leave much margin for flight delays.
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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!
It would seem to make sense to choose two rather different destinations, probably different countries. I am not sure where your style fits between "fairly ample budget" and "relatively affordable" but it it fits you might want to target the more iconic destinations. And as comments above say, you may be constrained by needing to be in range of an airport with direct transatlantic flights.

So possible solutions are major Swiss resorts like Zermatt and Davos, they all have the benefit of a superb transport system allowing easy train access from the airport. Or the big French resorts within reach of Geneva like the Three Valleys, though you will need to organise a transfer by mini-bus. I agree with others' comments about the Dolomites as somewhere to consider, they are very special with the bonus of Italian food, but I doubt either Innsbruck or Venice (nearest airports) have US flights. I haven't been to enough Austrian resorts to suggest a frontrunner, but I suspect you would need one with decent access from either Munich or Vienna.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@j b, There are lots of flights from New York to Venice, most with only one change
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
precipiceofinfinity wrote:
with a fairly ample budget, and care about run / snow quality above all else, followed by beauty, followed by food options, followed by hotels, followed by après ski. Our two trips will be in February and March respectively, and they are both going to be major, eight day trips.
Thanks. Very Happy


I would recommend Zermatt. Meets all your criteria and has excellent skiing with amazing long runs in a stunning location. Whilst it would be fine in February, I think it really comes into it‘s own in the second half of the season, and would for sure be quieter in March, so I‘d pick it for your March trip.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
precipiceofinfinity wrote:
Our family, due to the kids being in school, only gets to do two ski trips a winter. At this point all of us are fairly competent skiers, as we have all been skiing multiple times a year for the last few years. Like every year, we must decide where to go. Here's the deal: we live in New York City, with a fairly ample budget, and care about run / snow quality above all else, followed by beauty, followed by food options, followed by hotels, followed by après ski. Our two trips will be in February and March respectively, and they are both going to be major, eight day trips. The biggest challenge is picking a resort that has challenging content, but enough to entertain a family for six days of skiing. The resort can't be in Australia or Asia, and must be relatively affordable. I am not a veteran skier, nor do I have extensive knowledge of resorts, but I know many of you guys do. So: I pose the questions to you all here, what two places should our family ski?

Thanks. Very Happy


I'm still not really clear on what your definition of competent is nor your expectations re terrain and snow quality nr what ample budget but relatively affordable means. For me that's probably not a suite at the 4 Seasons with full ski valet but clearly there are options for you if that is your definition For Europe as @Gamsbock identifies Zermatt/Cervinia is a good choice that would tick many boxes (but there is a difference cost, cuisine and terrain wise which side you choose to stay). Bonus for you if you went that way would be is Zermatt is AIUI tied to the Ikon Pass so you could possibly team it with a visit to a US/Canadian Ikon resort.

I would generally avoid Europe in February due to school holidays so I'd suggest that's your time for staying in N America. Whistler maybe worth considering - when it snows it can be nice and deep , downsides being rain is not unknown plus crowds. Banff is REALLY scenic but can be cold and the hills are a bit of a commute (unless you stay at Lake Louise in which case you are sacrificing on apres somewhat), Tahoe is another destination where you can often get good west coast snow and enjoy sampling the different character of different hills.
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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.
@precipiceofinfinity, you realise that European resorts are not like n American in regards to avalanche safety? There is no "in bounds" off-piste in Europe. As soon as you leave the groomed trails you require the kind of kit you would need for backcountry skiing in USA and the knowledge of how to deal with avalanche terrain. So unless you have that you may find European skiing somewhat limit in comparison.

If skiing and snow quality is your main concern I'd say just stick in North America. There is also the benefit of cheaper and much shorter flights and epic/iKON pass can save you a lot of money. Canada is also favourable in terms of the exchange rate.

So maybe something like:
Trip 1 Jackson hole or big sky
Trip 2 Banff (sunshine village and lake Louise)
Both on the iKON pass.
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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
@precipiceofinfinity, that's two distinct trips though, right? one in February, one then in March?

Makes a wee difference.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@johnE, I assume with one change there are a lot of destinations available from New York. But for eight days I would want a direct flight, which is more likely to Zurich, Geneva, probably Munich.

@Dave of the Marmottes, you are right to point out the horrors of February school holiday crowds in Europe which will be a shock to many Americans. But in my experience Switzerland remains OK at that time of year. So possibly Zermatt in February (possible alternatives Davos or Verbier) and Three Valleys or Val d'Isere in March with the confidence that if we happen to get a warmer Spring there is plenty at altitude. (I would love to suggest Dolomites but not sure about the transport).
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