Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

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TRC
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Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by TRC » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:02 am

Hi All,

I'm planning a guy's ski trip out west for February where about 6 of us will be flying in from all over the US. Last time we did this we stayed slope side at Snowbird. While it was fun, the nightlife and restaurant scene was virtually non-existent. Here's our criteria:

- Terrain for all abilities (we have some beginners)
- Solid shot of some powder days during Feb.
- Good local / fun nightlife with bars & restaurants.
- Slopeside lodging for 6 - 8 of us. Ideally a condo or house.
- A hub airport would be nice, but not critical.

We've already done Snowbird & Alta, so probably not looking to go back to Utah this time. I was thinking Jackson Hole, but a buddy thinks it's too advanced.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
TRC

ivk5
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by ivk5 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:04 am

Breckenridge.

spectec
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by spectec » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:43 am

You said you're ruling out Utah, but I'll post this anyhow. We've done Snowbird, Alta, Park City over the years. But our best trip overall was to Snowbasin (near Ogden). This was several years ago though, and I don't know if things are still the same there. Utah is hard to beat for short trips, since you can get off the plane at SLC and be on the slopes in an hour or so.
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by ChinchillaWhiplash » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:51 am

Snowmass, Crested Butte.

Chadnudj
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Chadnudj » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:53 am

Tahoe. You get skiing and casinos (great if your guys' group is into that.)

jodydavis
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by jodydavis » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:01 am

I agree with your buddy that Jackson might not be a good fit if you have some beginners, as it's pretty steep and not as beginner-friendly. (Otherwise, it's a great place to ski).

Maybe Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek?

runner262
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by runner262 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:10 am

I've been part of a guy's US ski trip the past two years and we went to Breckenridge and Crested Butte. Both excellent choices just depends what kind of vibe you want. Here are some quick high level thoughts. Let me know if you want any additional details and I'll be happy to provide.

Breckenridge would probably be perfect for your group if you're looking for a balance of skiing mixed in with some nice restaurants/night life/breweries. Pretty straight forward drive from the Denver airport as well (I believe like two hours). Plenty of condo's slope side or houses surrounding the mountain available. The mountain is very expensive where I think it approaches $200 a lift ticket on a weekend so make sure to buy in advance if at all possible.

Crested Butte was a little further of a drive out (4-5 hours) which could be a little much after flying if people are coming from all over. I wouldn't say there is a crazy night life in Crested Butte but it has an awesome local feel to it. Crested Butte is a smaller mountain in comparison and has some of the steepest terrain around so it may not be great for all abilities.

This year we are taking our trip international to Whistler just outside of Vancouver. I've never been but apparently it has some of the best skiing night life in North America and tons of amazing trails for all abilities (plus amazing heli skiing if anyone in your group is into that). There are plenty of condos on the mountain but we opted for a larger house that's maybe like a 5-10 minute drive away from the mountain.

We swung and missed the last two years on chasing powder between Breckenridge and Crested Butte and it's hard to plan so far out (we typically go in February as well). I like our chances with Whistler this year though.

SmallSaver
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by SmallSaver » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:16 am

Tahoe or Whistler? Both should have great nightlife, and just playing the odds you're more likely to get snow there than CO. Crested Butte is a cool town and great hill, but seems more like an apres beers scene than a swinging night life.

retiredjg
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by retiredjg » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:19 am

I think Park City has everything you listed.

Millennial
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Millennial » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:19 am

Whisler is perfect for this. Plenty to do in the village, and near a great city if you wanted to do first/last day there for even better nightlife (though direct flights are a little limited), all sorts of terrain, and so much that you won't even ski it all.

I was there for a bachelor party last year and it was great. Cheaper than CO/UT too because of the loonie.

Snowjob
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Snowjob » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:39 am

A few quick thoughts

My vote is for whistler but conditions are going to be more volatile (watch out for fog/rain if you are unlucky). Take a shuttle from Vancouver airport about 2 hours north. You got two massive mountains right there that can cater to the entire group -- I liked Blackcomb better than Whistler actually. The village at the base of them has like 60 different bars & restaurants.

Jackson is definitely out -- on top of the challenging terrain that was mentioned earlier in the thread, there is nothing much at the mountain for night life. the town is like 15-20 min away.

Tahoe -- depending on where you stay and what mountains you ski could be nice.

Utah - No night life and already done, that's out.

Colorado has a ton of places that might fit the bill (and probably less chance of unfavorable weather than BC) - My favorite spot out there was Telluride but you got a lot of options.

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Smorgasbord
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Smorgasbord » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:16 am

My vote would be for either Tahoe or Breckenridge.

I'd avoid Whistler for a trip planned far in advance. While the conditions can be amazing, they can also be downright crummy, and my experience has been that the crummy days tend to outnumber the amazing days by about 5 to 1.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by kaudrey » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:22 am

Chadnudj wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:53 am
Tahoe. You get skiing and casinos (great if your guys' group is into that.)
+1

One of my best friends does a guy's trip there every year, and they love it.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:25 am

TRC wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:02 am
Hi All,

I'm planning a guy's ski trip out west for February where about 6 of us will be flying in from all over the US. Last time we did this we stayed slope side at Snowbird. While it was fun, the nightlife and restaurant scene was virtually non-existent. Here's our criteria:

- Terrain for all abilities (we have some beginners)
- Solid shot of some powder days during Feb.
- Good local / fun nightlife with bars & restaurants.
- Slopeside lodging for 6 - 8 of us. Ideally a condo or house.
- A hub airport would be nice, but not critical.

We've already done Snowbird & Alta, so probably not looking to go back to Utah this time. I was thinking Jackson Hole, but a buddy thinks it's too advanced.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
TRC
The Salt Lake side of the Wasatch is mostly a locals paradise - Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Solitude. The night life is on the other side Park City. There's a reason the WCI conference was at Park City and not Snowbird. (I tried Snowbird first.)

So I wouldn't bag Utah completely even if you go somewhere else this year. More moderate terrain on the Park City side too.

Colorado, Lake Tahoe, Jackson, and Revelstoke are all great options.
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William104
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by William104 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:33 am

Definitely either Tahoe or to Park City. For a guys trip its hard to beat Tahoe for the skiing & casinos.

alfaspider
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by alfaspider » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:44 am

I've spent a lot of time in Breckenridge. It's a decent place for nightlife to the proximity of the town (albeit not hard-partying club type nightlife), but it will be relatively crowded due to its easy access to the front range population centers. I wouldn't choose it for a vacation spot.

The crowds mean that powder is usually skied off by 10-11AM even on many of the out of the way "super secret locals only" spots. While it does have some pretty decent advanced terrain (the Lake Chutes are fantastic when they are in-condition), the beginner stuff tends to be a madhouse and relegated to the bottom of the mountain.
Last edited by alfaspider on Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pejp
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by pejp » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:47 am

I live in Denver, so I love Breck, but the nightlife is fairly laid back. If you're looking for more of a hard partying kind of place, it might not be quite enough for you.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by montanagirl » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:24 pm

jodydavis wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:01 am
I agree with your buddy that Jackson might not be a good fit if you have some beginners, as it's pretty steep and not as beginner-friendly. (Otherwise, it's a great place to ski).

Maybe Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek?
Jackson Hole still has its Apres Vous hill doesn't it?

But it would be tempting to try the main mtn..and get stuck halfway up... :|

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by FireSekr » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:49 pm

Jackson is too advanced for the type of group you're describing. It's a great hill and there is beginner terrain, but the options for beginners are limited. The Apres ski scene at Jackson is lacking as well. The town is very small. There's a few extremely good restaurants, but your options are limited. Jackson is my favorite place to ski, but the guys I ski with are either extremely advanced or expert level and we go there to do some serious skiing.

For a nice balance, I love Vail. The biggest challenge is getting there as its about 2-3 hours from Denver airport but you can also fly into Vail's Eagle airport depending on where you're flying from. The mountain is huge and has terrain for everyone. Tons of restaurant and apre-ski options and lots of slope side lodging.

I know you said you dont want to do Utah again, but getting to Park City is easy and Deer Valley is a great resort. The town itself is pretty good and there's a town shuttle to the mountains (think they're free can't remember) I don't particularly like Park City resort though because there are too many amateurs in too small of a space so the potential for crashes there is high. Deer Valley resort is much better than Park City Resort.

Lastly, I've hard great things about Breckenridge, but I've never been so can't comment. To sum up, you go to Jackson if your focus is purely on skiing, and hardcore skiing at that. Vail or Deer Valley is your best bet for mixed level groups looking for fun skiing but also wants things to do besides skiing.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Starfish » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:01 pm

TRC wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:02 am
Hi All,

I'm planning a guy's ski trip out west for February where about 6 of us will be flying in from all over the US. Last time we did this we stayed slope side at Snowbird. While it was fun, the nightlife and restaurant scene was virtually non-existent. Here's our criteria:

- Terrain for all abilities (we have some beginners)
- Solid shot of some powder days during Feb.
- Good local / fun nightlife with bars & restaurants.
- Slopeside lodging for 6 - 8 of us. Ideally a condo or house.
- A hub airport would be nice, but not critical.

We've already done Snowbird & Alta, so probably not looking to go back to Utah this time. I was thinking Jackson Hole, but a buddy thinks it's too advanced.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
TRC
Park City, Vail and Whistler are the places I have been to and match your criteria.
I like Park City (the town, for skiing Snowbird/Alta are better) but you have to go over the religious craziness having direct impact in quality and availability of beer and other alcoholic drinks.
Shockingly, a similar problem you will find in Whistler.
Maybe Vail?
I skied in Breckenridge but never stayed overnight. It looked like a good option too.

Or, better, Europe. If you don't go in peak season it shouldn't be much more expensive to fly, depending where you come from.

Snowbird is the place to "commute" from Park City. I would not stay there much.
Last edited by Starfish on Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Starfish
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Starfish » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:05 pm

SmallSaver wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:16 am
Tahoe or Whistler? Both should have great nightlife, and just playing the odds you're more likely to get snow there than CO. Crested Butte is a cool town and great hill, but seems more like an apres beers scene than a swinging night life.
I go to Tahoe area almost every weekend in the winter. The mountains are very good, but the snow is a hit or miss, and the town itself is not a place I would like to be stuck for a week. It's a good local place, but I would not come from far away for it.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Starfish » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:11 pm

.....

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by KyleAAA » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:21 pm

Breckenridge or Park City would probably check all your boxes. I really enjoyed Deer Valley last time I was out that way.

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praxis
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by praxis » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:24 pm

You can rent a mountain-ready van with ski rack at Denver airport and in under two hours be in Summit County anywhere (Copper, Breck, Keystone, Vail, Winter Park, Beaver Creek). Lodging, apr'es ski, great food and party bars are everywhere. We have stayed slope-side at almost every one of these resorts and it's great to ski in-out. It sounds like price isn't a priority for this group, so you might consider Vail. You can't ski all the runs on this enormous mountain in a week and they are fantastic. I've tried. The last four years we have rented lodging at Copper Mountain and some of us took lessons, some of us skied moguls and powder. I love Copper and it is pretty affordable. If your priority is powder, you already know that the western Utah slope gets the best. Jackson can be steep and cold. So can Whistler. But they are great skiing.
Last edited by praxis on Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by LarryAllen » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:28 pm

I love Tahoe. South Lake Tahoe is about an hour from the Reno airport or two hours from Sac airport. Casinos, nightlife, decent restaurants, etc.... We did the pub crawl one night. Met a ton of people. Fun times! Tons of lodging right at bottom of gondola so easy to get in and out.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:48 pm

I'd vote for Park City.

Mostly because it is super easy to flyi into to SLC from different parts of the country, and unlike other options which will require a 2+ hour drive once you arrive at airport, you'll be mountainside in 45 minutes.

As far as nightlife - DW and I (mid 30s, live in Manhattan) were there last year and wandered into The Spur on a Friday night after a late dinner. There was an 80s hair metal cover band playing, multiple bachelorette parties, and a bunch of random dudes on business school/adult spring break in the crowd wearing costumes - it was definitely a scene.

We've been doing Park City/Deer Valley every year for the past few years as our Western ski trip. Did Aspen before that, but driving a rental car white-knuckled thru the Vail Pass hungover in a snow storm to make sure we caught our flight from Denver was too much for me.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by golfCaddy » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:05 pm

- Solid shot of some powder days during Feb.
Powder is not guaranteed anywhere, and certainly not before the season starts. I've come to the conclusion that if you want powder, you need to do one of the following:

1) go heli or cat skiing
2) go back-country skiing out of bounds
3) be flexible enough in your plans you can chase the storms

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Starfish » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:13 pm

LawyersGunsAndMoney wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:48 pm
I'd vote for Park City.

Mostly because it is super easy to flyi into to SLC from different parts of the country, and unlike other options which will require a 2+ hour drive once you arrive at airport, you'll be mountainside in 45 minutes.

As far as nightlife - DW and I (mid 30s, live in Manhattan) were there last year and wandered into The Spur on a Friday night after a late dinner. There was an 80s hair metal cover band playing, multiple bachelorette parties, and a bunch of random dudes on business school/adult spring break in the crowd wearing costumes - it was definitely a scene.

We've been doing Park City/Deer Valley every year for the past few years as our Western ski trip. Did Aspen before that, but driving a rental car white-knuckled thru the Vail Pass hungover in a snow storm to make sure we caught our flight from Denver was too much for me.
The only time in my life I lost a plane was trying to get in Denver from Vail.
However the road between SLC and Park City in a storm can be also pretty challenging.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Bengineer » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:35 pm

praxis wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:24 pm
You can rent a mountain-ready van with ski rack at Denver airport and in under two hours be in Summit County anywhere (Copper, Breck, Keystone, Vail, Winter Park, Beaver Creek). Lodging, apr'es ski, great food and party bars are everywhere. We have stayed slope-side at almost every one of these resorts and it's great to ski in-out. It sounds like price isn't a priority for this group, so you might consider Vail. You can't ski all the runs on this enormous mountain in a week and they are fantastic. I've tried. The last four years we have rented lodging at Copper Mountain and some of us took lessons, some of us skied moguls and powder. I love Copper and it is pretty affordable. If your priority is powder, you already know that the western Utah slope gets the best. Jackson can be steep and cold. So can Whistler. But they are great skiing.
This. Summit county offers you a huge range of slope and the ability to call an audible. The group can do different slopes and nightlife on a daily basis. They're all great in an inch-an-hour storm :D

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by geno974 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:38 pm

Agree Park City. Or Deer Valley. Great airfare, easy airport. Quick trip to the slopes.
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by SoAnyway » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:57 pm

Another vote for Park City if you can get over the Utah issue. (Attended lots of industry conferences there; as WCI mentioned, there's a reason they're held there.) If Utah is absolutely a no-go, vail or breck.
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by BolderBoy » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:54 pm

TRC wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:02 am
I'm planning a guy's ski trip out west for February where about 6 of us will be flying in from all over the US.
If you are considering Breckenridge or the like, make your trip something like Wednesday-Wednesday; not weekend-weekend. The traffic on weekends is literally unimaginable during ski season.
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Ztx » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:04 pm

Another vote for Colorado : Breckenridge, Vail etc. We've been skiing there for the last 9 years, usually staying in Frisco or Silverthorne and hit different mountains every day (you have Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek within 60 minute drive in good weather). But got tired of it a bit and want to try Whistler this year :)

EDIT: Vail is one of my favorites. If you go to the higher terrain right away, or even go to the back bowls there is not that many people and lift waits are very short.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Starfish » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:40 am

I stayed 2h in line in those bowls....

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by BoglePaul » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:40 am

Winter Park (value), Breck (mid), Vail (luxe). The area between Winter Park and Vail has predictable snow quality (and this is really what you want if making one of the few ski trips West in your lifetime). Jackson Hole, Tahoe, Telluride, Salt Lake, etc. have hit or miss snow conditions and can be icy. Jackson Hole especially can be a miss on snow. I found the very high altitude of Telluride unattractive and my girlfriend wound up with nosebleeds. Winter Park was very nice.
Last edited by BoglePaul on Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by ChinchillaWhiplash » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:38 am

Telluride is good. Beautiful mountain and town. Forbes ranked it #2. Not a lot of true beginner runs though. Small town with lots of restraunts and bars. Kind of on the spendy side, but never gets very crowded. Weekday lift lines are non existent. Feb is usually a good month for snow, but not guaranteed. It is also pretty remote. Put it on your radar though. Definitly worth a look.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by pejp » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:38 pm

BolderBoy wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:54 pm
TRC wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:02 am
I'm planning a guy's ski trip out west for February where about 6 of us will be flying in from all over the US.
If you are considering Breckenridge or the like, make your trip something like Wednesday-Wednesday; not weekend-weekend. The traffic on weekends is literally unimaginable during ski season.
That's a bit of an exaggeration! I live in Denver, and head up to Copper and Breck pretty often. We've had a few bad experiences, but it's not that bad most of the time.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:24 pm

spectec wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:43 am
You said you're ruling out Utah, but I'll post this anyhow. We've done Snowbird, Alta, Park City over the years. But our best trip overall was to Snowbasin (near Ogden). This was several years ago though, and I don't know if things are still the same there. Utah is hard to beat for short trips, since you can get off the plane at SLC and be on the slopes in an hour or so.
Snowbasin is pretty good (near Ogden) and Powder Mountain is amazing skiing when the conditions are right and February is pretty good. Total hero snow, and beginner runs all over the mountain.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Ztx » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:26 pm

Starfish wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:40 am
I stayed 2h in line in those bowls....
in Vail? weird... I skied back bowls (Blue sky basin etc) there even on weekends and never had to wait more than few mins

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Starfish » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:49 pm

It was between Christmas and NYE week, maybe that was the reason.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Ztx » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:13 pm

Starfish wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:49 pm
It was between Christmas and NYE week, maybe that was the reason.
could be... we usually go in February

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by WhyNotUs » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:41 pm

Stay in Aspen, ski at Snowmass.
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3504PIR
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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by 3504PIR » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:47 pm

Guaranteed good snow at Tahoe and a wide variety of nightlife. Stay in Nevada, ski mostly at Heavenly and have fun.

My plan b would be Whistler, but I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners.

Breckinridge is a good option and you have a variety of mountains close by to provide variety.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Starfish » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:58 am

Out of all the options mentioned here, Lake Tahoe is definitely the least guarantee in terms of good snow. Lately good snow became pretty rare.

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Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Post by Norsky19 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:10 am

Stay away from Big Sky....overrated. Locals are upset since they hire from overseas...not willing to hire local kids. Jackson Hole is great with amazing steeps. Targhee is also really fun..other side of the mountains from Jackson. Prices are more competitive as well.

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