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1 month with the Family - which resort?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Inclder, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. Inclder

    Inclder Addicted

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    Hi All,

    My 40th birthday is happening in January 2023.

    My little one will be starting preschool that year (at 4.5 years old), so would need to be back in Oz by about 26th Jan.

    Would be able to leave Oz about the week before Christmas.

    Am thinking that a number of other families may also join us for at least week in Mid - January, so thinking that hiring a load of Chalets could work.

    I am looking for the following in a resort for say a month from xmas to late Jan:

    - family friendly
    - Resort big and steep enough to keep me entertained enough for a month without having to move resorts
    - Good beginner and intermediate to let my wife develop from green runs onwards
    - Good ski school
    - Ski in ski out if possible (mainly for child's sake)
    - Nice white xmas if possible
    - Bank for buck value-wise

    Am thinking Big White v Sun Peaks - what would you choose and why?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sun Peaks, but Big White would also work.
     
  3. PG2736

    PG2736 Addicted

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    Whistler. Has something for everyone and lots of things to do on non-skiing days. We have been to lots of the Canadian resorts and always end up back at Whistler. Over that January period they usually get great snow conditions as well.
     
  4. northsail

    northsail One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Sunny Peaks!
     
  5. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Moderator

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    Don't hold yourself to this constraint. Seriously. Not at that age.
     
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  6. KneeDeep

    KneeDeep One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Silverstar, good ski school, variety of runs, Silverstar Stays can help you with accommodation. Ski in/out if you select the right place. Some of the descriptions for ski in/out are ambitious.
     
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  7. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Another vote for Sun Peaks, where much of the accommodation is ski in/ski out. Good ski school, reasonably priced accommodation, big resort, and great run variety. Someone mentioned Whistler: personally I loved Whistler when we were there two years ago, but the snow can be fickle (ie it can be heavy slush or just rain!). Also very pricey and much of the accomodation is not ski in or ski out, unless you stay over at Blackcomb. Lessons were very good there, though. I also enjoyed Silver Star but it wasn’t as ‘ski in/ski out’ as Sun Peaks, and not as big. Can’t comment on the ski school.
     
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  8. Crystal

    Crystal (Sly made me Cry) - Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You can't go wrong with Big White or Sun Peaks. Silver Star would also fit the bill but less village eating options if you are looking for that. Oh and don't worry about being back in time for the little one to start preschool.
     
  9. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    When you say you want a hill that is steep enough for you, what are you actually looking for? A place with lots of genuine steeps? What comparison resorts have you been to with the type of terrain you are after?
     
  10. Inclder

    Inclder Addicted

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    In addition to the usual Aussie and QTown resorts, have done the likes of Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee, Zermatt, Tignes, Meribel and quite a few in Japan.

    So I guess something like Tignes / Meribel / Zermatt if possible, as those resorts would keep me interested for a month.
     
  11. Inclder

    Inclder Addicted

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    So it sounds like Sun Peaks, Big White, Silver Star and Whistler all seem to fit the bill. In which case I guess it comes down to a value proposition closer to the time.

    Given other families are likley to join us, key decisions will need to be locked in reasonably early, therefore we don't have the benefit of waiting to see how the season is playing out before selecting a resort. In this regard, do any of the mentioned resorts create a bigger risk than the others? Or are all equal in this regard?

    Thanks for all the guidance. Plenty to think about between now and then.
     
  12. Roymond

    Roymond One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Late to the conversation , but here's my 2C....
    Sunpeaks for the win...

    While it isn't Jackson Hole or Whistler, for a family holiday it can't be beaten.

    Given your +1 is beginner /intermediate, Sunpeaks offer a perfect gradation for developing her skills with good transition between the green/blue/black slopes. "Ski Adventures" with Heather Roubilliard is a wonderful program with the best coaching I've had. It's an independent ski school that runs at sun peaks for one week courses.

    Big White is excellent, but as @Astro66 has said in the past, we've lost too many days to the fog to go back.

    The resort is compact with a good range of bars and more shopping (for ski gear, mainly) than BW or SS (but less than Whistler).

    Ski in /ski out is more plentiful than Whistler, and it is much cheaper and less busy.

    As far as risks with booking a long way out, im guessing (no evidence) that booking agencies/chalet owners will be much more lenient with cancellations from here on in for obvious reasons. Snow wise, all the BC interior resorts are pretty safe. Whistler less so.

    We will be back to SP 2021/2022 with bells on...
     
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  13. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Big White will struggle to hold your attention IMO. Nice easy family place, not high on top end terrain at all. And frankly a bit dull IMO. Haven't been to Sun Peaks, so can't compare.

    Whistler and Red (for different reasons) are my favourite resorts that I have visited in Canada.
     
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  14. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us

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    I just thought I would jump on to reiterate this point. Seriously - if you have the option of pushing it back - consider it.

    Prior to and including Xmas is still early season so you have issues around that (lower snow base/possibly limited terrain, colder and less daylight etc.) plus that holiday period is SUPER busy plus SUPER expensive so whilst you will be trying to secure a longer booking they are going to sting you big time for that holiday week and even things like flights etc. will be more expensive.

    About the only reason I could see to include the Xmas/New Year period in a month long proposed trip would be to specifically experience a white Christmas. Even just a week past New Year (so like 10th Jan - 10th Feb) is gonna make things all round easier and less expensive (and seriously the kid doesn't need to be there for the start of preschool).

    Good luck with whatever you go with :thumbs:
     
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  15. Crystal

    Crystal (Sly made me Cry) - Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting to hear you say that.... you need to spend a day with me and some local friends...ski the runs between the runs, the hard to find meadows and bowls. :)
     
  16. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah absolutely, there is some good skiing to be had there. And when it's foggy, it's between the runs where you want to be.
     
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  17. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    If you went to either SS or BW you might even consider an overnighter or two at Apex if you were getting bored.
    Our first OS trip (20years ago) was 6 weeks in Canada; 1 week at Apex, 3weeks at Big White and 2 weeks at Silver Star. Kids were 3&5 and a BW/SS combined season pass kept costs down. BW/SS season passes probably not a thing now.
     
  18. Crystal

    Crystal (Sly made me Cry) - Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nup not a thing, but if you have a pass at one you can get cheaper tickets at the other.
     
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  19. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Now Red is on Ikon there's the chance of staying in a relatively small geographical area and getting 7 days at Revelstoke, 7 at Red and 7 at Lake Louise/Sunshine. Sounds like a nice way to spend a month given a day or two between areas and maybe a diversion to Whitewater, Kicking Horse etc for a day here and there.
     
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  20. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    You just described my (hopefully) 2022 trip, but 5 days at each plus 10 at Whistler.
     
  21. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fancy. Epic and Ikon.:p
     
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  22. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well the Ikon was supposed to be for next year, but I will defer it. And have now put a deposit on Epic for next year. So might as well take advantage. Last trip was epic and MC, similar without Red.
     
  23. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds great. I expect to have an extended period somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere in 21/22. I'm thinking mid December to the end of March. Canada is a big chance.

    Did you get the full Epic so you can get the 7 days at Fernie/Kicking Horse?
     
  24. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    No the Australian Epic.
     
  25. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    SP for sure
     
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  26. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Value for money loads it up in favour of the Interior Big Three: BW, SS, SP. So much ski in/out accoms so there's a lot of choice. Whistler has the big terrain but the crowds and sheer size make it pretty confronting for first time visitor with family in tow. Those can be overcome but the steep prices remain, especially for ski in/out. Seriously any of the interior three probably have close to or even more ski in/out rooms than WB.

    For the needs/wants expressed by the OP I'd select SS for the best combination of challenging terrain for him, green/blue for her and top quality snow school. SS by a bit, but any of the three would make them happy.
     
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  27. Kash

    Kash One of Us

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    This thread has been fascinating to me. I've ridden heaps of north america, but only Whistler and Big White within Canada. Loved Whistler (but not the prices/crowds), and Big White was good but wouldnt rush back but had always written the idea of Sun Peaks off as being a resort for family skiing only. Checking out the above, looking for affordable ski school for 3 kids and the powderhounds comments it looks amazing. I'll also be considering it now also - especially with 4300 skiable acres.
     
    #27 Kash, Sep 24, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  28. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Red Mountain for an alternative that will provide some more interesting skiing whilst accommodating the whole family. Also Rossland town 15 mins away for down days.

    SP is nice in that PB with a village kind of way, certainly ticks all the boxes if a bit contrived.
     
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  29. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sun Peaks is a large resort with a variety of single and double black diamond runs as well as the cruiser runs plus off-piste. It is a lovely family resort but it has its share of challenging terrain too.
     
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  30. Chalkie

    Chalkie A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have to add my discouragement for Whistler. It is fantastic and I love skiing there and have skied there a lot over the years. But it can get very crowded, is breathtakingly expensive now and unless you're right at the lifts (and paying serious $$$), the logistics with a family getting to and from lifts would be irritating I should think.

    I have not yet skied at Sun Peaks (having my first trip this season), but from what everyone says and what I've learned about SP, it strikes me it would fit your needs the best.
     
  31. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think way too many write Red off because they think it won't have enough intermediate terrain. It does IMO. And clearly it is far superior to most of the others at the top end of terrain. And a real town too (albeit very small).
     
  32. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ditto. Have been to all 3 a couple of times with youngsters. SS would be my pick as well.
     
  33. Captain Caveman

    Captain Caveman First Runs

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    First Post back in here in over 10 years. So long so that my old profile has disappeared.

    Wanted to also add a few things that may sway your thinking and picking up on the fact you may have multiple families and why in my opinion Sun Peaks would be a slightly better choice over Silver Star and Big White. Taking nothing away for SS and BW as I love them both .
    With SP there is such good lift placement with respect to the runs and the village and the fact that most runs flow and funnel back into the main village. With this no matter how large your group is there is less planning needed as to who is skiing with who and at what time etc that you meet. Just stand at the bottom between the 2 main chairs and you will bump into your crew eventually.
    This also benefits immensely if there is a large group of kids. The resort is so safe and with a little bit of trust we often let the kids ski by themselves in particular parts of the resort where taking a wrong turn doesn't have them km's away or dropping into double blacks. Strongly recommend a whole bunch of radios.
    Your choices are spot on in regards to terrain, steepness, snow quality , lack of crowds , bang for your buck, views,ski in ski out, funky village vibes etc etc . All 3 have differences so possibly don't rule out a road trip and get to see all 3.
     
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  34. zac150

    zac150 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’ve skied all the resorts recommended and to be honest the one we are planning to head back to is Sunpeaks.

    As others have said BW had fog issues for us and whilst the trees were fun I found it a bit meh. It is however basically a club med, no village really just a cluster of shops. But ski school is awesome and the kids amenities like skating etc are very good hence the club med tag.

    silver star is the same, as big white albeit it has the best kids amenities of all the resorts, we loved the pond. The skiing however was mixed some great runs on the back side of the hill but front side wasn’t as good.

    Whistler is awesome but as has been said before the snow is mixed; when it’s on it’s on but when it’s off it’s boring as bat xxxx. It may also challenge given the diversity of skiers in the group.

    Sunpeaks is my winner as you get diversity of skiing a true village feel, decorated for Christmas and great ski schools and programs.

    having said all that I wouldn’t rule out driving about, our last trip we had a bit of everything which made things fun. We stayed in a unit in the heart of whistler, ski in ski out in Sunpeaks and in a cute cottage in silver star. This gave everyone a true feeling for ski holidays ( we have done similar before with whistler, big white, lake Louise banff etc).

    also look into Vancouver as there are some really fun Christmas things to do like huge light displays in the park and Granville island.
     
    #34 zac150, Sep 25, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
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  35. Shouldastayed

    Shouldastayed Hard Yards

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    Another option worth considering is Panorama. Its never busy and has great long runs for all abilities. It has some of the best terrain for progression stepping up from super easy greens through to longggg double blacks. Its mostly ski in ski out or only short walks, plus the scenery is as good as any in Canada. If you are there for a month you have day trip options to multiple other resorts within a couple of hours for a change - Kicking Horse, Lake Louise, Kimberley, Fernie, Sunshine. It doesn't have as many non skiing options as some of the others already mentioned, but it will give you more of a Canadian wilderness experience if thats of interest.
     
  36. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is good advice - and Pano is unique in that it is locally owned now but has great infrastructure and a nicely designed slopeside village from the days when it was part of the same ownership group as Whistler. Kids will go crazy for the outdoor hot pools and waterslides facility.
     
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  37. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Get’s less snow than most of the other hills I believe. Reliable early season?
     
  38. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The biggest issue I have with the interior resorts is that the “villages” are small manufactured places with no soul. It’s why my personal preference, particularly for longer trips, is a resort/ town combo. I love strolling around a beautiful real town after a day on the slopes (or in a day off). Not all that easy to find that combination in Canada though.
     
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  39. zac150

    zac150 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    true and I guess i feel the same, one of the reasons I’m not a fan of one NSW resort which just doesn’t have any feel for me.

    I was surprised with Sunpeaks which I thought had managed that village feel where silver star and big white failed. Sure it’s not a banff, fernie or Revelstoke but it had enough in terms of shops and feel but maintained the ability to be the “get your Canada experience in one stop” capability.

    I tend to agree the Canada resorts tend to be a compromise / juggling act between access, travel time, club facilities (ponds tubing etc), genuine town, access to larger town, skiing for the advanced family member and skiing for all the family. Not easy.
     
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  40. Crystal

    Crystal (Sly made me Cry) - Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    yes less snow and early can be sketchy...but that's everywhere. Panorama is in a weird location that does strange things with weather....big blue ice cookies can pop up on the runs :( but that said it is an awesome hill, we loved it and had our next Dec trip not been cancelled due to this pox we would have been at Panorama for 2 weeks :)
     
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  41. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    True that Canada doesn't really have any true towns with skiing right from them. Kimberley is almost there, Rossland and Fernie close behind but still it's a short drive to the lifts. Resort villages aren't real towns, so that is not what they're selling. The product is quality snow and terrain with uncrowded slopes and affordable accoms.