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Non Region Specific April skiing in the US from NZ - where should we go?

New2

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I'll have a good look at the pricing and pick. If I stayed in Sandy would I be able/possible to visit national parks from there on the warmer days? I am researching but your experience would assist greatly.
Definitely not something I'd recommend. Sandy is deep in the suburbs--if you stay there and want to go to a National Park for a weekday, you're going to deal with heavy morning traffic, then 3+ hours highway driving each way once you break free. And if you do get a powder day (and the roads up the canyons stay open), the massive crowds will show up (same problem with the highest-elevation Colorado resorts). If you want to set up a base and decide day-to-day whether to ski or visit parks, Brian Head is a solid, affordable choice (and they're open until mid-April). They don't have super-steep extreme terrain, but I think you'd have fun for a few days at least. It's adjacent to Cedar Breaks National Monument, and a very easy drive to Zion or Bryce. Grand Canyon and Capitol Reef are farther, but the drives are magnificent. If you book some nights in Sandy or up in Little Cottonwood Canyon, I'd recommend skiing those days whatever the weather brings, then relocate for your park-hopping.

As we get more details on what you're looking for, honestly Mammoth seems like the best bet--that's why everyone keeps bringing it up ;) It's closer to Vegas than Sandy is (and much closer to LA, of course), doesn't have as bad a powder-day crowding problem as the more urban areas, it's a real ski town, and it's got tons of terrain.
 

Jim Kenney

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April weather in utah natl parks is ideal for "tramping", highs 70 to 80 degs F.
 

James

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Breck is indeed high altitude. There’s no way to know if you have issues unless you’ve been. Then it can still be random.

Dillon and Keystone, CO you’re staying at about 9k ft also.

DAF0A866-E9BF-4C08-A9F7-FC655095361F.jpeg
May 1, 2022 Breck, top of Imperial.

You can hike up some from there-
7CFE23EB-5F97-4706-AA84-51187339F3EA.jpeg

Is skiing in NZ as bad as Australia?
 

4ster

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. I know you're a mammoth fan and there is Yosemite there
Tioga pass, the road from Mammoth to Yosemite will not be open. Maybe not till July this year.

My vote is for Snowbird, Arches, Zion, Vegas, LA. You could throw Bryce in there as well but it may still be somewhat snowbound as it is higher elevation then the other parks.
Crowds should not be a big concern in April at the ski areas even if you get a powder day. The national parks on the other hand have seen huge visitor increase in the past few years.
 

Tony S

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Oooh. My turn! (@Wade Ice that's me in the yellow coat, in one of those Colorado pics you liked.)

Gonna be contrary. (Whaddya know?)

I'm terms of pure skiing, yes, Utah is fabulous. (I was just there last week!) However, if I were coming from half a world away to experience the glory of the Rockies, I'm pretty sure I'd find staying in the Salt Lake City suburbs a major disappointment. No offense to those who live there, but aesthetically it's a grim wasteland of American commercial excess.

By contrast many areas of Colorado - and other states mentioned, such as Montana - are beautiful to be in as well as to ski in.
 

Jim Kenney

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The reason I suggested driving from LA to UTAH is:
1. perhaps OP would enjoy the drive, as I do
2. The route passes by points of interest (note - some national parks such as Zion and Arches require reservations)
3. probably cheaper to rent one vehicle for entire or most of visit to US, than renting multiple vehicles and flying to different locations
4. if op drives from LA to Utah including Moab, then continuing to drive to Aspen or even Vail is not much farther and could return to LA via AZ and see Grand Canyon

Points above not as relevant if OP intends to fly around most of the US and see multiple cities and cover many thousands of miles.

Related posts:


 
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geepers

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you can also use chatgpt

It's like 4:30am here - unable to sleep so driven by boredom....

Fed the OP's question into ChatGPT and this was the reply:

For a family ski trip during the first week of April in the USA, I would recommend checking out ski resorts in Colorado. Colorado typically has a longer ski season than Tahoe, and the higher altitude can help maintain better snow conditions in April. In addition, Colorado tends to have a drier climate which can result in less slushy snow.
Some ski resorts in Colorado that may be good options for your family include:

  1. Vail: Vail is known for its extensive terrain, challenging runs, and excellent grooming. They have an average base elevation of 8,100 feet, which helps to maintain good snow conditions.
  2. Beaver Creek: Beaver Creek is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and excellent grooming. They have an average base elevation of 8,100 feet and tend to have good snow conditions in April.
  3. Breckenridge: Breckenridge is known for its varied terrain and lively atmosphere. They have an average base elevation of 9,600 feet, which helps to maintain good snow conditions.
  4. Keystone: Keystone is known for its extensive terrain and family-friendly atmosphere. They have an average base elevation of 9,300 feet and tend to have good snow conditions in April.
Overall, I would recommend looking into ski resorts in Colorado for your family's ski trip in April. It's worth noting that snow conditions can vary from year to year, so it's important to keep an eye on weather forecasts and check with the resorts for the latest updates on snow conditions. Additionally, be sure to check local COVID-19 protocols and travel restrictions before planning your trip.
 

Tony S

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It's like 4:30am here - unable to sleep so driven by boredom....

Fed the OP's question into ChatGPT and this was the reply:

For a family ski trip during the first week of April in the USA, I would recommend checking out ski resorts in Colorado. Colorado typically has a longer ski season than Tahoe, and the higher altitude can help maintain better snow conditions in April. In addition, Colorado tends to have a drier climate which can result in less slushy snow.
Some ski resorts in Colorado that may be good options for your family include:

  1. Vail: Vail is known for its extensive terrain, challenging runs, and excellent grooming. They have an average base elevation of 8,100 feet, which helps to maintain good snow conditions.
  2. Beaver Creek: Beaver Creek is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and excellent grooming. They have an average base elevation of 8,100 feet and tend to have good snow conditions in April.
  3. Breckenridge: Breckenridge is known for its varied terrain and lively atmosphere. They have an average base elevation of 9,600 feet, which helps to maintain good snow conditions.
  4. Keystone: Keystone is known for its extensive terrain and family-friendly atmosphere. They have an average base elevation of 9,300 feet and tend to have good snow conditions in April.
Overall, I would recommend looking into ski resorts in Colorado for your family's ski trip in April. It's worth noting that snow conditions can vary from year to year, so it's important to keep an eye on weather forecasts and check with the resorts for the latest updates on snow conditions. Additionally, be sure to check local COVID-19 protocols and travel restrictions before planning your trip.
So basically the fix is in for Vail resorts.
 

dbostedo

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So basically the fix is in for Vail resorts.
Yep. ChatGPT is a Vail fan... who knew?!? :P

I asked it "Should I ski Epic or Ikon resorts in Colorado?" and got this response:

"Both Epic and Ikon resorts in Colorado offer great skiing experiences, so the choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs. Here are a few factors to consider when making your decision:

  1. Location: Epic and Ikon resorts are located in different parts of Colorado. Epic resorts include Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone, while Ikon resorts include Winter Park, Copper Mountain, and Eldora. Consider which location is more convenient for you to get to and which offers the terrain and scenery you're looking for.
  2. Cost: Epic and Ikon offer different pricing structures, so consider which pass makes more financial sense for you. Epic offers a variety of pass options, including the Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, and Epic Day Pass, while Ikon offers the Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass.
  3. Terrain: Each resort has its own unique terrain and skiing experience. Epic resorts are known for their large, open runs and abundance of intermediate terrain, while Ikon resorts are known for their diverse terrain and challenging skiing opportunities.
  4. Crowds: Epic resorts tend to be more crowded, especially during peak season. If you prefer less crowded slopes, Ikon resorts may be a better choice.
Consider these factors when making your decision and choose the pass that best fits your needs and skiing style."
 

geepers

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So basically the fix is in for Vail resorts.

To which ChatGPT replied:

As an AI language model, I don't have personal opinions or biases. I recommended Vail Ski Resort as a great option in Colorado because of its reputation for having some of the best snow conditions in the country, a massive ski area with plenty of trails for all skill levels, and a wide variety of amenities and activities for families. However, there are many other great ski resorts in Colorado that could also be a good fit for your family, including Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Copper Mountain. Ultimately, the best resort for you will depend on your family's preferences and priorities.

Still Vail biased... so I asked: Aren't Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Copper Mountain owned by Vail Resorts?

You are correct, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Vail are all owned and operated by Vail Resorts. Copper Mountain, however, is owned and operated by Powdr Corporation. While all of these resorts are owned by Vail Resorts, each has its own unique character and offerings, so it's still worth considering each one individually when deciding which resort to visit.
 

geepers

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it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing for us

No chance it's a one off.

Went for a once in a lifetime 2 weeks ski vac in British Columbia in 2005. And we've been been back every possible season we could. One of my (now adult) kids now lives and works at the resort we visited. We'd be there now if it wasn't for the wife's long covid.
 

raytseng

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The reason I suggested driving from LA to UTAH is:
1. perhaps OP would enjoy the drive, as I do
2. The route passes by points of interest (note - some national parks such as Zion and Arches require reservations)
3. probably cheaper to rent one vehicle for entire or most of visit to US, than renting multiple vehicles and flying to different locations
4. if op drives from LA to Utah including Moab, then continuing to drive to Aspen or even Vail is not much farther and could return to LA via AZ and see Grand Canyon

Points above not as relevant if OP intends to fly around most of the US and see multiple cities and cover many thousands of miles.

Related posts:


Great itinerary. Just for me personally, rocks and canyons are not my park jam, but maybe it is for op.

I'll also throw out the following idea on fly-to-SLC for op to consider:
Given that they have no passes, they can take a look at 5-day snowbird ski-and-stay promotions which includes lift tix for the whole family and can bundle airport transport. For a family without passes it is breakeven or even ahead vs town and a lot less hassle (more time to ski/relax).

If they want to see Alta they can do the addon for access. These 2 mtns are aready more than enough for 5days. Actually enough for a lifetime.

This allows them to save on the rental car too which helps offset the flight costs. Then they can decide to start the non ski portion whether it is from SLC or fly somewhere else for the sightseeing road trip.
Downside is they are locked into those ski days rather than allowing a chase but it seems like that lockin may be happening anyway.
Another downside is also sleeping at much higher elevation than town which could be an issue.
 
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Wade Ice

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Breck is indeed high altitude. There’s no way to know if you have issues unless you’ve been. Then it can still be random.

Dillon and Keystone, CO you’re staying at about 9k ft also.

View attachment 196197
May 1, 2022 Breck, top of Imperial.

You can hike up some from there-
View attachment 196198

Is skiing in NZ as bad as Australia?
Far out that's so nice I think you're so lucky I hope to experience this. Skiing in NZ would be better than AUS it's far colder and the south island is all alps so there's a few options. A lot of full-time skiers come to NZ in the summer. I would come to NZ to tramp and definitely fish and throw a ski / hunt in if I wasn't from here. MTB is very good too.
 
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Wade Ice

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Great itinerary. Just for me personally, rocks and canyons are not my park jam, but maybe it is for op.

I'll also throw out the following idea on fly-to-SLC for op to consider:
Given that they have no passes, they can take a look at 5-day snowbird ski-and-stay promotions which includes lift tix for the whole family and can bundle airport transport. For a family without passes it is breakeven or even ahead vs town and a lot less hassle (more time to ski/relax).

If they want to see Alta they can do the addon for access. These 2 mtns are aready more than enough for 5days. Actually enough for a lifetime.

This allows them to save on the rental car too which helps offset the flight costs. Then they can decide to start the non ski portion whether it is from SLC or fly somewhere else for the start of the sightseeing road trip.
Downside is they are locked into those ski days rather than allowing a chase but it seems like that lockin may be happening anyway.
Another downside is also sleeping at much higher elevation than town which could be an issue.
Brilliant advice. I'll look into the ski and stay promotions. many thanks
 
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Wade Ice

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No chance it's a one off.

Went for a once in a lifetime 2 weeks ski vac in British Columbia in 2005. And we've been been back every possible season we could. One of my (now adult) kids now lives and works at the resort we visited. We'd be there now if it wasn't for the wife's long covid.
haha more the price that makes it a one-off but I guess priorities change :) I hope my kids would spend time working there so I could visit. Best regards I hope you're wife recovered soon.
 
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Wade Ice

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Oooh. My turn! (@Wade Ice that's me in the yellow coat, in one of those Colorado pics you liked.)

Gonna be contrary. (Whaddya know?)

I'm terms of pure skiing, yes, Utah is fabulous. (I was just there last week!) However, if I were coming from half a world away to experience the glory of the Rockies, I'm pretty sure I'd find staying in the Salt Lake City suburbs a major disappointment. No offense to those who live there, but aesthetically it's a grim wasteland of American commercial excess.

By contrast many areas of Colorado - and other states mentioned, such as Montana - are beautiful to be in as well as to ski in.
Ah yes the photo of Arapahoe Basin in May? If so, you ski well I can tell by just that one pic. I have form on the hard-packed but I'll be eating snow if I get a chance in anything that deep.
A few people have mentioned Utah suburbs aren't exciting and a more ski resort-type experience would be worthwhile I guess it was price but I'll continue to look at a ski and stay option in Utah as well. Montana maybe a little too far away but Colorado is still on the cards it was the flights that mucked that plan up originally but Maybe it's worth driving the extra...

dbostedo and some others that have helped me and always hint at making the extra drive if Utah doesn't look ideal.
 
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Wade Ice

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The reason I suggested driving from LA to UTAH is:
1. perhaps OP would enjoy the drive, as I do
2. The route passes by points of interest (note - some national parks such as Zion and Arches require reservations)
3. probably cheaper to rent one vehicle for entire or most of visit to US, than renting multiple vehicles and flying to different locations
4. if op drives from LA to Utah including Moab, then continuing to drive to Aspen or even Vail is not much farther and could return to LA via AZ and see Grand Canyon

Points above not as relevant if OP intends to fly around most of the US and see multiple cities and cover many thousands of miles.

Related posts:


^^^ True but … the national parks in Utah are magnificent! Stay somewhere to ski and then relocate to visit national parks. When we did the Utah park safari, we moved closer to the park we were visiting. I will say that Moab is one of my favorite all time places to visit!
Yes, we'll be doing Moab and the parks for 5-6 days regardless of where we ski. And I hear there's some MTB in Moab. I'm very much into MTB and the family doesn't know I'll sneak a day out for that if possible with my sons :)
 

geepers

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haha more the price that makes it a one-off but I guess priorities change :) I hope my kids would spend time working there so I could visit. Best regards I hope you're wife recovered soon.

We felt the same way before our 1st trip re the price. But can (almost) guarantee it will cause a re-assessment of priorities. The scale of North Amex skiing is hugely different to that available in Australia or NZ. And in the end it's only money - more of which can be generated. ogsmile

We didn't have to nudge our kid - did it of his own accord. Although we didn't expect him to set up in Canada for life! The grand kids are a long way away. :(

One thing it didn't do was stop our skiing in Australia. Yes, in Nth Amex the snow is nearly always much better, the terrain more varied and (generally) there's more challenge available. But resorts in Aus/NZ are ok - and better than waiting 11 months to ski again.
 
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Wade Ice

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Definitely not something I'd recommend. Sandy is deep in the suburbs--if you stay there and want to go to a National Park for a weekday, you're going to deal with heavy morning traffic, then 3+ hours highway driving each way once you break free. And if you do get a powder day (and the roads up the canyons stay open), the massive crowds will show up (same problem with the highest-elevation Colorado resorts). If you want to set up a base and decide day-to-day whether to ski or visit parks, Brian Head is a solid, affordable choice (and they're open until mid-April). They don't have super-steep extreme terrain, but I think you'd have fun for a few days at least. It's adjacent to Cedar Breaks National Monument, and a very easy drive to Zion or Bryce. Grand Canyon and Capitol Reef are farther, but the drives are magnificent. If you book some nights in Sandy or up in Little Cottonwood Canyon, I'd recommend skiing those days whatever the weather brings, then relocate for your park-hopping.

As we get more details on what you're looking for, honestly Mammoth seems like the best bet--that's why everyone keeps bringing it up ;) It's closer to Vegas than Sandy is (and much closer to LA, of course), doesn't have as bad a powder-day crowding problem as the more urban areas, it's a real ski town, and it's got tons of terrain.
Thanks. Yes, now after advice from here, regardless of where we ski we'll be relocating for the national parks in Utah for 5-6 days. I'm going to look at Brian Head now I wasn't aware and that's good advice..

Yosemite and Mammoth / Tahoe etc has come up a lot. The travel back to Utah makes for too much travel and we decided that the Utah National Parks was very different to what we have in NZ, so we settled on that part over yosemite at least :) At this stage it's between Colorado and Utah for the skiing which I want to do in the first week to be sure (as sure as the weather gods can provide)..
 
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