where would you go??
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itdoesntmatter
February 11, 2008
Member since 01/17/2007 🔗
127 posts
I'm already planning for next year. Tired of the local resorts, did the poconos and snowshoe. Now I'm ready to venture with my 3 girls to someplace up north , can't afford to fly out west. All are intermediate skiers/boarders, but realize the local black diamonds will be blues up north. Gore seems promising, Mt. Snow looks to be the closest Vermont resort.

What is the best place with the minimum amount of driving?

I know there is no perfect answer, just looking for opinions and experiences.
scootertig
February 11, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Are you limited on when you can go? Are you taking the girls out of school, or are you going to try to align with a major (or minor) holiday?

Are you looking for some place that you can ski for several days, or do you want a few different areas within an easy drive so you can mix it up?

Are you the type that wants non-skiing activities nearby/at the resort? Do you like a resort vibe, or do you prefer a "ski area" and staying in a sleepy town with nothing to do at night?


aaron
Tucker
February 11, 2008
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
In my opinion, and this is always how I have figured it when making a choice for ski trip, if your willing to drive 12-15 hours north for a ski vacation you might as well drive 24-30 out west to get the real thing.

Lots options in the Colorado, Utah, and Idaho/Wyoming areas that are affordable(relatively) if you do your research and shop around.

Of course my view is tilted because when I decide on a ski destination I consider two things --how much pow does a place get and how accesible and plentiful is the backcountry.

I also don't have kids, so backcountry might not be a factor for yall, and for kids (and little people for that matter) the depth of the pow is relative to one's height.
JohnL
February 11, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
Can your group ski Cupp's Run? If not, the Mid-Atlantic still has some challenges for you...

Tossing some closer names out than Mount Sneaux.

Elk in PA?
Greek Peak in NY?
Belleayre in NY?
Windham in NY?

If you are intermediates, and Sneaux interests you, also look at Stratton in VT.
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Ullr
February 12, 2008
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
You say Snowshoe and the Pocono's, have you been to Seven Springs? How about the whole Whitetail, Liberty thing? If you have not been to the springs yet, you could go and hit up Hidden Valley as well. At your ability I would stay away from Blue knob for right now. Have you tried Wisp?

Where in the poconos did you go? Elk? I grew up in NE PA and it takes years to get tired of Elk.

Been to NC yet? There are lots of non-New England choices out there.
oldensign - DCSki Columnist
February 12, 2008
Member since 02/27/2007 🔗
437 posts
Hunter! The closest real New England skiing that is not in New England. Of course crowds are an issues on some weekends.

Your from NJ? What exit?
JimK - DCSki Columnist
February 12, 2008
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,723 posts
Tucker is a hardcore road tripper!

Mt. Snow, Stratton, Okemo in southern VT are all up your alley. But for bargains a couple other places I'd look at are Belleayre (in Catskills about 7 hrs from DC) near Hunter and Windham, and several places in northern NH (about 11 hrs from DC) like Cannon, Waterville Valley, Wildcat. Maybe consider going in late Feb or early Mar to avoid extreme cold of midwinter in New England.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 12, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
I'll tag on JimK's comment on Waterville Valley. Since you said you're with the girls, Waterville Valley is an almost totally self-sufficient resort, and with the new village improvements, a very relaxing, peaceful and yet upscale place with much more reasonable prices compared with Stratton. And the Kankamangus is but a stone's throw away, and so is Cranmore, Attitash, Wildcat, etc.
itdoesntmatter
February 13, 2008
Member since 01/17/2007 🔗
127 posts
Thanks for the suggestions. Yeah, we can spend a couple of hours on Cupp Run. We've been to Camelback and Jack Frost. But wanted to expose the girls to a bigger mountain. Would love to have someplace that you can ski in/out of. We don't care about a village like Snowshoe. Just being able to come back during the day to eat lunch is nice. My kids will all be in college next year, so I'm hoping to take advantage of the break between all and spring semester in January, right after the holidays. Will be able to go midweek and not fight the weekend crowds.
wojo
February 13, 2008
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
312 posts
I get the big mountain feel when there is 1500' of vertical and 35+ runs (feels bigger than the locals) so that's what I look for.

2 hours - Blue Knob mid week is pretty good and pretty cheap. I have been there 3 times (2 with great snow). 1000' but feels pretty big. Can stay ski in/out. Can support a 3 day trip without getting boring.

4 hours - Sno Mt (two recent threads) and Elk are pretty nice and about 4 hours. 1000' but feel pretty big. Stay in Scranton. Each hill could support 2 days of skiing easily.

6 hours to Catskills - Wyndham, Hunter (been), Bellayre (haven't been) and 1500+ Can ski in/out. I had a great time at Wyndham mid week. Virtually private lessons and no lift lines, the runs were long and varied enough to keep me and a 4th and 8th grader happy for 3 days.

3 hours - Wisp, haven't been since the expansion, but does feel pretty big to me considering the vert.

Dulles Airport and BWI are close and have Southwest (you are now free to roam about the coutry) and I have been able to get 200-250$ flights to Denver and Salt Lake. MY CHOICE.

I don't get worried about the runs. There is always an intermediate way down from the top of any hill, it may involve alot of sideslipping though :-) Of the list, if it was a three full day skiing, and it sounds like you got two drivers, I would go with Southwest Airlines first and Catskills second.


 Originally Posted By: itdoesntmatter
I'm already planning for next year. Tired of the local resorts, did the poconos and snowshoe. Now I'm ready to venture with my 3 girls to someplace up north , can't afford to fly out west. All are intermediate skiers/boarders, but realize the local black diamonds will be blues up north. Gore seems promising, Mt. Snow looks to be the closest Vermont resort.

What is the best place with the minimum amount of driving?

I know there is no perfect answer, just looking for opinions and experiences.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 13, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
wojo, a great recap. Only difference and I see itdoesntmatter's point, I travel with my pooch and he's really the reason why I bought a permanent place at Snowshoe. As a result, SLC is out of the question, even though half of my old flying squadron buddies somehow gravitated towards Park City and environs and I keep on getting shamed into going there...

Virtually everywhere you mention there are pet friendly accommodations available, so Fido can enjoy the snow too...
wojo
February 13, 2008
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
312 posts
 Originally Posted By: lbotta
even though half of my old flying squadron buddies somehow gravitated towards Park City and environs and I keep on getting shamed into going there...


what did you fly? I flew USMC Phantoms.
Ullr
February 14, 2008
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
 Originally Posted By: itdoesntmatter
We don't care about a village like Snowshoe. Just being able to come back during the day to eat lunch is nice.


Great! Now I know what you are looking for in a mountain. I start in mid-atlantic and work up the coast.

7 Springs - Has some ski in and ski out without the whole big village thing.

Blue Knob - Ski in and ski out, and a wide range of slopes for everyone (note: this is a bare bones kind of place and not a lot frills).

Hunter - I'll 2nd & 3rd this choice. big mountain, with a huge hotel/condo thing at the base. Big outdoor heated pools & hot tubs.

Gore - Out. I don't remember any ski in ski out there.

Stratton - Out. If you hate Snowshoe, you will really hate Stratton.

Okemo - Good choice here. Lots on on hill, ski in ski out. Everything from a hotel/condo at the base of the main mountian, to multi-zillion dollar homes. It is one of the few place I have seen people stop in the middle of the trails just to take pictures of other peoples houses!

Killington - Out

Sugarbush - This may be a good choice. I have not been there in a while. I think they have recently added some lodging.

MRG - Out

Stowe - Out

Smuggs - This may be your best bet. Every there is in walking distance.

Jay - Also one to look at. My favorite place to ski in all of the east.

With the low dollar, I'd forget about Canada for a while.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 14, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Hey wojo! I flew Herks, all kinds, from "vanilla" to spec ops low level assigned permanently or temporary in Litle Rock, Clark PI, Osan, Yokota Japan, Mildenhall England, Athens, Incirlik, Pope NC, ad nauseam. During my embassy assignment in Bogotá Colombia, I flew C-12s.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 14, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Mmmm... I think you will notice that the Intrawest model of the walking village is rapidly becoming the standard in new or updated ski resorts. Waterville Valley, for example... And the new Stowe experience is sort of like a walking-only Beverly Hills or New York's Fifth Avenue with snow.

Having said that, when my extended family is visiting me at Snowshoe, we normally go home during lunch and eat at home instead of some of the cheesy Intrawest restaurants. Makes for a better time...
North Conway
February 14, 2008
Member since 11/18/2003 🔗
17 posts
 Originally Posted By: lbotta
I'll tag on JimK's comment on Waterville Valley. Since you said you're with the girls, Waterville Valley is an almost totally self-sufficient resort, and with the new village improvements, a very relaxing, peaceful and yet upscale place with much more reasonable prices compared with Stratton. And the Kankamangus is but a stone's throw away, and so is Cranmore, Attitash, Wildcat, etc.


If on the 93 side of NH, add Loon to the list. Between Waterville and Loon, no need to travel the Kank. If on the 16 side of NH, stay in North Conway and hit Attitash, Wildcat, Cranmore, Black, King Pine, travel over to Sunday River. North Conway not the little town it once was, but still fun
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 14, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
I remember with a bit of melancholy what North Conway used to be... One of my best friends in College had his parents own a New England inn in Redstone, now covered by outlet malls... At leat there's no Wal Mart... or... is there?
wojo
February 14, 2008
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
312 posts
 Originally Posted By: lbotta
Hey wojo! I flew Herks, all kinds, from "vanilla" to spec ops low level assigned permanently or temporary in Litle Rock, Clark PI, Osan, Yokota Japan, Mildenhall England, Athens, Incirlik, Pope NC, ad nauseam. During my embassy assignment in Bogotá Colombia, I flew C-12s.


I was out of KBay. We tanked off of 130s all the time. I hit Clark, Osan, Iwakuni, & Misawa. I did most of my time in the 80s, so I never had to do anything too, ruff. I flew outta Andrews in the reserves for a few years too. Good times for me.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 14, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Iwakuni... Brings memories. I lost two engines on takeoff on the way to Iwakuni with a 40K loader and Marines on board. I shouldn't be alive today but something kept the airplane on the air while we turned around. I remember the snow in Misawa, Kushiro, Chitose, Sapporo...
itdoesntmatter
February 14, 2008
Member since 01/17/2007 🔗
127 posts
Thanks for the answers. Hunter seems to be the best bet since it's the closest. But I have to say the pictures on the website don't do it justice. It doesn't look like much of a mountain from what's posted on the site.

Off to Whitetail this weekend!
tommo
February 15, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Gore is very nice, but no ski in/out there as it's state owned. I think lbotta hit it right - Okemo has extensive terrain with good vertical and quite a few slopeside accomodations. If you drive at "off hours" it's really not a bad roadtrip at all.

Somewhat further away, Waterville and Loon are easy access for sure and both have a good bit of close to the slopes lodging. They also have the benefit of being close to several other areas (Cannon, each other, Wildcat) to lend a bit of variety to your trip.
George
February 17, 2008
Member since 01/14/2008 🔗
5 posts
We just returned from Stratton in southern vermont and would strongly recommend. Lots of well conditioned terrain and lots of lifts with NO lines. (I wrote a first hand report that hopefully will be posted soon) From Stratton you could also easily ski Bromley Ski Resort and Magin Mountain, but Stratton shoud easily keep one's interest for a three day trip.
Ullr
February 17, 2008
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
 Originally Posted By: itdoesntmatter
We don't care about a village like Snowshoe.


 Originally Posted By: George
We just returned from Stratton in southern vermont and would strongly recommend. Lots of well conditioned terrain and lots of lifts with NO lines.


Although I agree Stratton has nice rolling groomed terrain, it can get very crowded at time. One of the longest lift lines I ever stood in was at Stratton one Pres Day weekend (yes, all lift lines are long at that time). The original poster stated he didn't care much for the "village" thing, which is why I steered him away from Stratton. Remember, this type of set-up is not for everyone. I have been to every Intrawest Resort, and for me the only one that did it right was Whistler (go figure).

Oh, and welcome to DCSki.
Scott - DCSki Editor
February 18, 2008
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts
I just posted George's Firsthand Report from Stratton. You may view it at:

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1083
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