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Western trip on a weekend (crowd avoidance)

Edd

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I've got two options:

-Take a trip west in April for say, four or five weekdays.

-Take a trip west earlier (Jan through March...but over the weekend + Monday)

These options are due to my GFs work schedule which loosens up in April. I'm lucky and spoiled enough to turn my nose up at skiing on Saturdays so the thought of paying big $ to wait in lines kills me. I've been to Whistler and Tahoe in April and it was awesome but I caught nearly zero powder. I know snow in April is very possible but I'd think it would be not the light, dry, stuff you'd hope to see out west.

I'm thinking Colorado (never skied there) or Utah. I'd like to ski a place I've never been before but it's not mandatory. Also, as my GF is an intermediate skier something mellower (or with variety) would be good.

So here's the question:
If I wanted to ski someplace Saturday through Monday in Colorado or Utah,
with lighter than average crowds (think Burke or Solitude),
with options for mellower terrain,
Jan - March to hopefully catch light dry powder,
where should I go?

Worst case, I could say screw it and go weekdays in April which would lead me to ask for a good spring skiing destination.
 

Blizzard of Wahhs

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Fernie Alpine Resort

 

jaytrem

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I'd hold off until April. Less crowds, more time, cheaper eveything. I did an early April trip a couple years ago to Colorado, 9 out of 17 days were fresh powder days, the rest were left over powder days. Mostly light stuff except for the 1st day in Aspen. It's all luck though, another year I had no snow, but that was a much shorter trip. It was still nice skiing soft sunny bumps all day.

I assume you're leaving from Boston or Manchester, so that kinda limits your direct flights. All the really empty places would require a connection. Let me know if you're end up flying United, I have a couple discount certificates that expire on Dec 31. They're yours if you can use them.

$25 off $175-$274
$50 off $275-$399
$100 off $400+

Only good for $20 off anything if you leave from Newark, thus they're not so great for me.
 

St. Bear

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I've done some research over the past year with similar parameters, but could never pull the trigger. I'd suggest Big Sky. You'll never have lines, and the lower mountain is predominantly intermediate. Getting there could be a PITA, though.
 

snoseek

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If you're going early in the season on the weekend:


I would avoid colorado on the weekends at all cost. I70 is where you'll have to ski and while there are some nice resorts both the road and resorts will be insane, especially if its snowing. If you do I would do a loveland/abasin combo and maybe a bigger resort on the monday.

I would go to Utah. you could do a solitude/brighton thing or you could do a snowbasin/pow mow thing. Avoid park city. Those areas will have the cruisy stuff she want and the best chance for untracked/soft snow. If she's a really strong intermediate then maybe do that monday at Snowbird, It's pretty awesome and somewhere you might want to check before leaving.

If you're going late season there are no guarentees. Colorado would be great as its high. Leave your actual schedule flexible as you may want to follow the sun if its full on corn cycle. Generally LL/Abasin/Breck are the best at keeping winter snow in the spring.
 

steamboat1

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I've done several trips out west in mid-April (Snowbird/Alta, Summit County, CO, Big Sky). Don't know if I'm just lucky but everytime we received copious amounts of snow while there. One time we even had to stay an extra day at Breck because Denver Airport was closed on April 22 because of snow. The only lift line I encountered was for the Snowbird tram on a weekday powder morning in April, chairs were empty.
 

ScottySkis

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Sent from my ADR6410LVW using Tapatalk 2

Utah Saturday is not crowded compared to north east hills, but you could go to Snowbasin and Powder both big hills that are about an 1.5 hours from SLC and have fewer people that go on weekend but maybe average 400 inch a year. Also Solitude and Brighton have few crowds and powder stays for days- just not quite as vertical in one shot as Alta_ Snowbird.
 

Edd

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Let me know if you're end up flying United, I have a couple discount certificates that expire on Dec 31. They're yours if you can use them.

$25 off $175-$274
$50 off $275-$399
$100 off $400+

Only good for $20 off anything if you leave from Newark, thus they're not so great for me.

Thanks very much but I definitely can't use them prior to the 31st.

Yup, April it is. You guys talked me into it. Maybe my powder luck will change.
 

ScottySkis

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Thanks very much but I definitely can't use them prior to the 31st.

Yup, April it is. You guys talked me into it. Maybe my powder luck will change.



Sent from my ADR6410LVW using Tapatalk 2

In April I would stick to the highest elevation mountains, Snowbird could be great or or could be bad I think Snowbird top elevation is 10,000 if you have book in advance I would think Colorado 12000 foot mountains are your best bet.
 

steamboat1

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Thanks very much but I definitely can't use them prior to the 31st.

Yup, April it is. You guys talked me into it. Maybe my powder luck will change.
If you're going in April I'd wait till the last minute to book. There are some good deals available late season but they usually don't advertise them till the last minute. For example the summit county trip I mentioned we went on in April. It was Easter vacation & I was planning on skiing VT. with my wife & daughter. The weekend before the trip I skied VT. & it was almost washed out so I told my wife we have to change plans but I'm not spending a ton of money to ski out west. I called the airlines & told them I was looking to book a flight to ski Summit County. All the airlines were quoting me round trip air from NYC/ Denver between $800-$1100 just for airfare. This didn't include lodging, ticket, car rental just airfare. The last carrier I called was United & they quoted me the same rate. I told the girl what I was trying to do & she was nice enough to tell me you shouldn't be talking to me. She said United has a travel agency that offers package deals & she gave me their ph#. Well I called the number & the girl said yes we buy packages that are all inclusive (round trip air, lodging, lift tickets & rental car). She said they buy these packages early in the season & that towards the end of the season they are just looking to unload any packages they weren't able to sell. I asked her if they had any packages left to Breck & she said yes. I asked how much & I almost fell on the floor. Round trip air, 6 nights lodging in the Hilton right across the street from one of the chairs at Breck, 5 days of lift tickets good for any of the Vail owned resorts & a rental car. Price was $379pp, a few bucks less for my daughter because she was a child. I immediately said sold. When I got there it cost me another $100 to upgrade from a sedan to an SUV & I'm glad I did because with all the snow I needed it to get around to the other areas included with the lift tickets. Even though we were staying right at Breck we only skied there one day. This was about 10 years ago & I don't think you'll be able to duplicate this deal today but it's worth the wait & a look.

Similarly 2 years ago we went to Snowbird in April. Round trip air was about $550 but Snowbird was offering a late season lift & lodging package for $99. They even put us up in the Cliff Lodge. Snowed about 2ft. the week we were there.

Both these trips were booked within 3 days before we left.

edit: Scotty Snowbird's top elevation is 11,000 with the base around 8,000.

edit edit: spell check.
 
Last edited:

jaytrem

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Thanks very much but I definitely can't use them prior to the 31st.

You welcome, sorry you can't use them. If anybody else would like them send me a PM and I'll send you the codes. The flights just have to be booked by Dec 31, the actual flights can be a later date.
 

millerm277

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Never seen much in crowds in April or late March (outside of the big vacation week, whenever it falls). Go to places that already don't have a reputation for being crowded and you'll probably have a great time.

When I went out to Tahoe, Heavenly was a bit crowded, there were some short lines and a decent number of people. Went out to Kirkwood, never a line anywhere.
 

thetrailboss

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I've got two options:

-Take a trip west in April for say, four or five weekdays.

-Take a trip west earlier (Jan through March...but over the weekend + Monday)

These options are due to my GFs work schedule which loosens up in April. I'm lucky and spoiled enough to turn my nose up at skiing on Saturdays so the thought of paying big $ to wait in lines kills me. I've been to Whistler and Tahoe in April and it was awesome but I caught nearly zero powder. I know snow in April is very possible but I'd think it would be not the light, dry, stuff you'd hope to see out west.

I'm thinking Colorado (never skied there) or Utah. I'd like to ski a place I've never been before but it's not mandatory. Also, as my GF is an intermediate skier something mellower (or with variety) would be good.

So here's the question:
If I wanted to ski someplace Saturday through Monday in Colorado or Utah,
with lighter than average crowds (think Burke or Solitude),
with options for mellower terrain,
Jan - March to hopefully catch light dry powder,
where should I go?

Worst case, I could say screw it and go weekdays in April which would lead me to ask for a good spring skiing destination.

If you go in April almost any place will be quiet, relatively speaking. As to options for mellower terrain, if you are going earlier in April, you can look to Snowbasin or some of the Park City Resorts. Alta has some decent blue terrain, Snowbird is pretty steep overall.

For earlier, Snowbasin is pretty quiet overall. You can also day trap to Pow Mow and Wolf Mountain.
 
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