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North American skiing(22 Posts)
We are thinking about a long haul skiing holiday for next year. I’m loving the look of whistler but due to flight restrictions I think we’re limited to flights to Boston, Las Vegas and San Francisco.
We have skied a lot around Europe but never elsewhere. What are the differences skiing Europe vs America? E.g. are there free resort buses or do people drive to lifts? I think I read they don’t have snow chains and there’s are speed limits for skiers on pistes?? Are the resorts easy to drive into or terrifying like a lot of European resorts? Is it possible to go car free and just get transfers? Are all resorts child friendly or are there separate family resorts and adult/party resorts?
We will be taking our son who will be 6 and is a good skier so a really good ski school is important. We’d like a nice hotel, preferable with pool and kids facilities but with an apartment layout with kitchen so we don’t have to eat out everyday. Nice Ski in/out preferable too.
We’d probably go at Easter so it would need to be snowsure in April. We’ll go for 2 weeks so maybe have a weeks skiing then a week somewhere else.
Any ideas?? 😃
I highly recommend Utah for skiing. Salt Lake City is an easy hop from LV or SF and then it's max a 45 minute drive to several great resorts. Deer Valley is lovely (but spendy) as are Alta, Snowbird, Canyons.
The three differences I noticed were, the slopes are bigger, they are very quiet during the week because most of the Americans are at work, and you aren’t allow alcohol on the slopes.
Also they seem to have mad people who go for the day, rent skis they have never used before and have a go at a black run without taking any lessons. maaad.
I liked Tahoe but found Whistler very expensive. Tahoe is a proper town but Whistler is a manufactured resort where all the shops & restaurants are owned by the same company so it can feel a bit dull.
Squaw Creek might suit you. We flew to SF and then a quick flight to Reno. Do the transfer from there.
Tahoe (squaw) is gorgeous but insanely pricey! Last Easter 4 days lift pass was $360 buying in advance - a day pass if you buy on the day is $150. Private lessons are 3 hours only for $500.
I loved the skiing - we had fresh powder mid April but the cost is prohibitive
I learnt to ski in Tahoe when I lived in SF 20 years ago.
You can rent a car with snow tires and drive up. You only really need snow tires if there has been a bad snowfall just before. They clear their roads very quickly.
THAnks. I’ll have a look at the suggestions. Budget is not massive. Maybe 2.5k excluding flights. Is that realistic?
Definitely check the lift pass prices in advance. Much more expensive than Europe normally.
I’ve not skied in the USA only Whistler so many assumptions here - 2.5k excluding flights will be tough esp. if you want ski school included. In Whistler no speed limits but slow zones as you move down the mountain to family/learning areas. Are the flight restrictions due to using air miles? Because Whistler ski school is brilliant, no car required and transfers easy to arrange.
celtie yes we have reward flights and will buy the other flight with air miles but restricts us to a specific airline. Whistler would definitely be my first choice otherwise.
The lift pass prices in Lake Tahoe!!
Has anyone been to Smugglers Notch? They do all inc packages with lift passes included that are within our budget and looks very family friendly but I’ve never heard of the resort. It’s near Burlington.
Never been skiing in New England but first glance makes me think it’s a bit low to be guaranteed snow at Easter.
Last year we found ski hire for an extended period to be really expensive. It was actually cheaper to buy our youngest skis and boots. We bought previous seasons stock and they were v cheap, we will get another season out if them and then sell.
Smugglers notch is fab for beginners but not the hugest ski area - Tahoe much nicer. Wouldn’t want to predict snow at Easter at smugglers notch either. Plus food options very very boring! And lifts very very slow which if it’s cold is a nightmare!!! We were there when it was into negative Fahrenheit...never been so cold!
Hmmm. This seems like a lot of hassle and expense, even with the 2 free flights, for something that we could do much cheaper and easier closer to home. Maybe we should just stick to Europe. ☹️
But thanks for the advice.
Also keep in mind the jet lag issue. We've looked into going back to Utah from the UK but the length of travel and jet lag both ways has kept us from it.
If you want to use miles to go to the US then you could do a lot for 2.5k - just not skiing or Disney!
The thing is, I don’t really like it in the USA. I’ve been to a fair bit of it and I just don’t really like it there. I do like skiing and with School holidays being so expensive to ski in the alps and Easter being late it seems like killing 2 birds with one stone.
Are there any resorts like smugglers notch but a bit more snow sure for April? We don’t need a big area as either ski with DS or need to be close to drop off and collect him from ski school.
Maybe I should repost in Longhaul and ask for general USA holiday ideas.
Extra cold on east coast but I love Canada and US for skiing. Quiet runs, better powder, more guarantee of snow, a lot of accom is on the slope so no driving/getting bus to lifts. Are there cheaper internal flights? You could do a few days in one of the American cities then head to west coast for skiing? Though not sure how convenient that would be!
When I started doing some research into skiing in North America, I stopped pretty quickly. $100 - $150 pp per day lift pass is out of budget for our family of 4. Feb HT in Europe may well be expensive but not compared to that! Never mind the fact that we can buy cheap flights with our airmiles (just pay the taxes).
We have skied Smugglers Notch and although the after skiing activities are great for child your ds age, it won’t be snow sure at Easter. And as a pp posted mentioned the food was really dull.
Big White and Silver star are our favourite Canadian destinations. Will have lots of powder at easter still. Both have really good kids ski lessons and family friendly after skiing activities. Although you can drive from Vancouver or Calgary we always take an internal flight to Kelowna as then it’s only an hours transfer.
Next year it a bit depends on when your easter holidays are - I know Big White is closing before the easter weekend, not because of lack of snow, just that by that time in the year historically their main visitors have got bored of snow!
If you are planning to go for 2 weeks and can decide soon on resort, look in September for season pass deals. They are often cheaper the earlier you buy and generally anything more than 9 day’s and you save money. They also come with other discounts.
Breckenridge is great, so is Vail, Copper Mountain and Beaver Creek.
When we went we found that the slopes were far better policed than in Europe, so it felt safer for small children. The lifts were also really good, lots of heated seats and covers etc. No alcohol sold at the slope side restaurants though, so no sneaky gluveins to help you ski better on the way home!
Eating out is cheaper and you get mahoooosive portions everywhere.
I found the altitude really difficult and felt barfy on and off for most of the 10 days we were there.
I also found the jet lag on the way home grimly as well, as you are quite far west.
Tahoe's awesome. IMHO you need to rent a car.
We've had 2 hols there and only skied Heavenly once - too busy! Drive round the lake to the smaller (and cheaper) resorts such as Kirkwood or Sierra.
Stay in South Lake Tahoe - loads of restaurants and casinos (on the Nevada side) to choose from.
If you can fly into Denver a 2hr drive gets you to Keystone, Breckinridge area. Fab skiing lovely powdery snow but yes the attitude can effect some more than others (I was lucky to spend 3mths living there & had one guest on oxygen tank but they were overweight & unfit not at all prepared for exercise at 10,000ft!)
SW airlines do cheap internal flights
Yes rent and car but they all drive to the slopes so it’s set up for it more than Europe ski resorts
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