New to the area ... and the US
September 7, 2006
I've recently moved from the UK to the US and I'm looking forward to a winter with a bit of snow rather than a lot of rain!
Over the last few years I've skied a few places in Europe - Austria, Switzerland, Andorra and Italy, but have never skied or boarded here yet.
From reading all of the helpful info on here I'm looking forward to hitting all of the local slopes of a weekend and I'm also keen to venture further afield. Does anyone have any recommendations on good intermediate resorts for a week in March, that aren't silly expensive and have good apres ski (ideally I'd like to walk somewhere to enjoy several beers as in Europe rather than having to drive)? Where are your favorite resorts in the US?
All advice rewarded with chocolate if you bump into me on a lift!
A good first step to recomending a resort would be you telling us where you're from. There are literally dozens of resorts in the mid-atlantic region (covered by DCSki)
Welcome to DC!
With respect to a ski week: go West young man! March is the busy month out West, but you can score good deals in late March or early April (April is a powder month out West, but places are beginning to close down and it can get quite warm). Most of the US resorts that have Euro style villages are not cheap (e.g. Vail, Aspen), but there are a few that have great shuttle systems that can ferry you from cheap lodging to the slopes and great "village type" apres ski.
Summit County, CO (Copper, Breckenridge, Keystone and A Basin) would be the most Euro like in terms amount of terrain and choices of drinking establishments. Lodge in Frisco or Silverthorne to save $$$
Steamboat, CO is a real town and a unique vacation experience. Stay in town to save $$$ and get the real experience. Great tree skiing for all abilities. Champagne powder.
Jackson Hole, WY is another real town. Stay in town to save $$$. It gets knocked for having too much expert terrain, but there's enough to keep an intermediate happy.
Park City, UT - harder to find in town cheap places, gets a knock for weak beer, but the microbreweries have the real stuff. Plenty of intermediate terrain at 3 resorts.
South Lake Tahoe, CA (Heavenly) has mega box casinos that would be more of an American version of the Euro village experience, but it kind of fits the bill.
Mammoth, CA is a bit of a pain to get to. The village/main drag is a bit of a stretch for walking, but it's truly an awesome resort.
Whistler, B.C. Canada has alp-like terrain (including a glacier), two awesome somewhat interconnected villages and reasonably priced off village lodging that is bus accessible.
For even better deals, there are a whole slew of second tier resorts that have small villages. But it would take a book to cover them all and they require a bit of logistics to be taken advantage of.
For local skiing, don't worry about snow. Around here, it's all about the snowmaking. The conditions are best when you least expect it. You can find me at Whitetail most weekends from Dec-March.
Welcome to DCSki and Welcome to DC!
The tempertures more than the precip determine local ski areaconditions. This is becuase nearly 100% of our locla lsopes are man made snow.
As for where to go for a week in march, most people on this board seem to favor an annual (or often multiple) pilgimage to Utah. Of the Utah resorts my personal recomendation for an enjoyable resort experience would be Deer Valley.
Welcome to the US. I moved here 6 years ago from Ireland. The local hills around here offer decent maintenance skiing but as Rusty said we rely heavilly on the man made. You'll see plenty of discussion on here when the season gets going about optimal snowmaking condiditions and before you know you'll fall asleep thinking about dry vs. wet bulb temperature, humidity, hygrometric charts etc. Everybody is pretty spot on about the major out west trips though. I personally think Utah provides one of the more affordable options provided you stay in Salt Lake City and drive to the local resorts. I know you said preferably no driving but it can save you a lot of money and if you stay in downtown SLC there are plenty of restaurants and bars within reasonable walking distance.
Local: Timberline/CV, 7 Springs, Snowshoe, Wisp.
Long-distance: much bigger choice...
* Stowe, Okemo, Sugarbush or Killington in VT for a drive to destination.
*SLC--the favorite of DCSki, especially Canyons for intermediate skiing.
*I-70 Resorts outside of Denver (Keystone, Vail, Breck, Beaver Creek, etc) Scott Smith likes these resorts.
* Tahoe Resorts (Heavenly, etc)
* Whistler in Canada.
Wow! Thanks for all of the replies (especially Rusty)! I wasn't expecting a reply for a few months ... little did I know you were all counting the days until it snows again!
It looks as if I need to pack my bags and head west. I think the suggestion of staying in a town and driving to the resorts sounds like a good compromise - I don't mind a bit of driving ... just not when there is beer to be drunk!
Utah sounds top of my list to look at for the moment, but I am also going to check out all of the other options suggested. I'll report back when I've decided.
Thanks again for all of th suggestions - it is really nice to have such a warm welcome.
Mr richH, Don't pack your bags so fast & blow off the local skiing! These "dcskiers" are so fast to push you out west they should be called "utahski"!! The way these guys talk you would think it doesn't snow here. How about 166 to 190 inches of snow last year up in the West Va Alps??!! or about the 120 to 150"'s at the western PA slopes? These guys are SPOILED! Our Mtns are devided by what is called the alleghany front. On the east side, the Mtn's recieve only small amounts of snow...maybe 30 to 50"'s a year...but the west side picks up what we call "Lake effect" snow that is moisture from very cold air coming down from Canada that passes over the Great lakes..picking up moisture that is dropped as it rides up the "western front".These Mtn's also are freqently visited by "Alberta Clippers" another source of snow from canada! Just remember, when your local weather person is calling for "flurries in the Mtn's...That could mean a half foot up in West(by god) Virginia!!
Welcome to DCSki and the US!
We use this forum to get us through what we call the "UnSeason"
. It's pretty active year-round.
Andy is right. Be sure to hit some of the local slopes. It's fun to try a new place every weekend and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by some of the local mountains. But don't miss Utah.
Like you, I wanted a vacation from my car when I travelled to UT last year. Hence, I chose to stay right at Canyons, which turned out well. Park City has a super shuttle system that allows you to get around without a vehicle and the airport shuttles (which you pay for) are also very convenient.http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=886&mode=search
Canyons has a lot of intermediate terrain, and a lot of in-bounds off-piste (open space skiing). It's double black trails are comparable to some of the tougher EXTREME ski routes at St. Anton. The Canyons does not groom all of its marked trails so if you want more "paved" terrain, then Deer Valley might be a better bet. However, Canyons has enough itermediate piste to keep anyone happy for a week.
Welcome to the neighbo(u)rhood.
If and when you go to Utah you might consider staying at both Park City (for the Canyons, Park City and Deer Valley ski areas) and then transfer to downtown Salt Lake City and take the cheap and timely bus service to the Cottonwood cnayons...Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solutude resorts.
But by all means enjoy yourself here in the Mid-Atlantic first. Spend a few weekdays or a weekend at Snowshoe (4+ hours (800-1500 vertical with about 60 trails); a few days at Cannan Valley (both Timberline and Canaan Valley ski areas (approx 3+ hours, 1000 vertical feet, stay at the CV Lodge, relax, enjoy the wildlife, etc.); hit Seven Springs resort in western PA (900 vertical, lots of trails, crowded but all inclusive) try Wintergreen in VA near Charlottesville (about 3+ hours, 1000 vertical (maybe stop in Charlottesville and visit Thomas Jefferson's incredible home, Monticello and UVA); and a day trip to Whitetail and Liberty (both about 1.5 hours, 700-1000 ft vertical).
I have been skiing for 35 years (did not start until 29) and have always enjoyed the mid-Atlantic areas... with longer trips to Utah, Canada, Colorado, Ca, and Europe.
WELOCME...maybe we will meet up on the slopes some day.