1 month with the Family - which resort?

Ret-ro

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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!
Only one ----- Sun Peaks. Good runs, good vibe , nice place.. Free guards at 130pm.. If you need it. I will see you there in 2023!~!
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
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I hope everyone is building up their fitness so they can ski to their full potential when we are finally able to welcome you again. All of the resorts under discussion in this thread have substantial vertical and varying quantities of steep terrain. Both those factors ratchet up the need for fitness, not just to ensure you are able to ski full days and get your money's worth, but also to be able to handle the steeps at all.

Skiing a few days at Baldy really highlighted this; skiing trees all day on their more moderate slopes was more or less effortless compared to the much steeper trees and bumps at Apex. You're working a lot harder to round out turns and control speed when the pitch heads above 35 degrees.

Get thyselves into the gym folks! If you're hoping for the white Christmas thing that means you'll be getting on a plane in just 9 months. About now would be a good time to change your way of eating so you aren't bringing 10 kg of belly fat into Canada.
 
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Captain Caveman

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I hope everyone is building up their fitness so they can ski to their full potential when we are finally able to welcome you again. All of the resorts under discussion in this thread have substantial vertical and varying quantities of steep terrain. Both those factors ratchet up the need for fitness, not just to ensure you are able to ski full days and get your money's worth, but also to be able to handle the steeps at all.

Skiing a few days at Baldy really highlighted this; skiing trees all day on their more moderate slopes was more or less effortless compared to the much steeper trees and bumps at Apex. You're working a lot harder to round out turns and control speed when the pitch heads above 35 degrees.

Get thyselves into the gym folks! If you're hoping for the white Christmas thing that means you'll be getting on a plane in just 9 months. About now would be a good time to change your way of eating so you aren't bringing 10 kg of belly fat into Canada.

Wishful thinking perhaps? God I hope so Sly.
We all have different ways of getting ski fit and for me there is no better way than to just ski and ski hard all day everyday. I find after about 4 days the quad burn goes and the recovery at the end of each day is easier.
I stretch for about 15 mins before first lifts each morning and a hot tub after last lifts with some slight stretching as well. I also do like to do a village walk after skiing. Just 20 mins I find is of benefit. Shed any winter weight before wheels up has always been a helper as well. I always get asked and especially from my Canadian friends and family the same thing. How do you ski first to last lifts 35 to 50 days straight every season and never miss a day or even take a long lunch? It's simple for me to answer. I am obsessed!!!

Come on Sly, put some logic into your answer as I know you will do. In your opinion as a percentage , what is the likelihood of us heading to Canada next season? Could be easier to just ask who built the pyramids
 
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zac150

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Not sure Sun Peaks should be lumped in, it has way more of a village feel than either big white or silver star.

for me these felt like club med on snow , which has its advantages if your looking for an easy family trip where they can experience everything Canada has to offer.

judging by the OP, they love to ski and are at the beginning of introducing family to skiing and hoping to get said family up to speed quickly.
 

Sbooker

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They are all excellent family resorts but all similar like Westfield malls.
I understand what you are saying but have you been to a Westfield shopping centre lately? Absolutely no soul, ugly but full of punters. So while they're not your thing they cater for the right group.
 
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Captain Caveman

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Not sure Sun Peaks should be lumped in, it has way more of a village feel than either big white or silver star.

for me these felt like club med on snow , which has its advantages if your looking for an easy family trip where they can experience everything Canada has to offer.

judging by the OP, they love to ski and are at the beginning of introducing family to skiing and hoping to get said family up to speed quickly.

Well said.
BW is a little bit vanilla
SS however is a little more quirky and different but both do have that corporate vibe. Flip that over. Open up your balcony doors, clip into your bindings , look at the view and then ski "down" to the lift. That's what you get and I would take that over the need for something more than the Westfields metaphor any day
SP however is nothing like SS or BW. Nothing Westfields about it at all. For me it has it all!
 

zac150

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Well said.
BW is a little bit vanilla
SS however is a little more quirky and different but both do have that corporate vibe. Flip that over. Open up your balcony doors, clip into your bindings , look at the view and then ski "down" to the lift. That's what you get and I would take that over the need for something more than the Westfields metaphor any day
SP however is nothing like SS or BW. Nothing Westfields about it at all. For me it has it all!

Ss is quirky, my only issue with it as a resort is the cold factor, the whole backside of the resort was closed for most of our stay (it was very cold) and the front side had something but not enough. To many uphill starts to runs as well. big white’s issue is in the nickname, white out. If these were the only stays on the trip you could be seriously disappointed.

That said I reckon you could pick most resorts apart, they all have that one thing that can cause an issue to a trip.
 
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Roymond

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Well said.
BW is a little bit vanilla
SS however is a little more quirky and different but both do have that corporate vibe. Flip that over. Open up your balcony doors, clip into your bindings , look at the view and then ski "down" to the lift. That's what you get and I would take that over the need for something more than the Westfields metaphor any day
SP however is nothing like SS or BW. Nothing Westfields about it at all. For me it has it all!
I started skiing late, age 44 (51 now) and now the family has the bug badly. We try to get away at least once a year and managed sunpeaks (x2) aspen/snowmass (x2) big white (x2) sahoro , niseko and coronet/remarks in that time.
I appreciate there are a million different hills in the world and we’ve got a bucket of destinations to cross off but there’s something about the feel of sunpeaks that makes it the place to which we always want to return.
It’s the gradation of the slopes- easy green to double blacks, the side bits and tree skiing at gils, the excellent ski school (ski adventures), the relatively affordable cost of accomodation and friendly locals that make it special. I know there’s a few punters on the forum that are leagues better on the skis than me and had I started earlier I might be with @dawooduck and want more demanding territory but for a young family of different skill levels, (which the OP intimated was the case) SP can’t be beaten.
 

Captain Caveman

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Ss is quirky, my only issue with it as a resort is the cold factor, the whole backside of the resort was closed for most of our stay (it was very cold) and the front side had something but not enough. To many uphill starts to runs as well. big white’s issue is in the nickname, white out. If these were the only stays on the trip you could be seriously disappointed.

That said I reckon you could pick most resorts apart, they all have that one thing that can cause an issue to a trip.

Luck of the draw my friend.
Sorry to hear about the back side at SS as that has some seriously great runs. Long and steep and lot's of bumps if you want them. The views coming up the Powder Gulch chair are incredible. I
I don't know how I have been so lucky with BW. Been there half a dozen times and circa 70 days are had only a handful of white out days.
SP is however where I choose to spend the rest of my ski days and just do some smaller trips whilst I am there.
The 3 that I haven't ticked off yet that I really want to are Apex, Revelstoke and Panorama
 
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dawooduck

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I started skiing late, age 44 (51 now) and now the family has the bug badly. We try to get away at least once a year and managed sunpeaks (x2) aspen/snowmass (x2) big white (x2) sahoro , niseko and coronet/remarks in that time.
I appreciate there are a million different hills in the world and we’ve got a bucket of destinations to cross off but there’s something about the feel of sunpeaks that makes it the place to which we always want to return.
It’s the gradation of the slopes- easy green to double blacks, the side bits and tree skiing at gils, the excellent ski school (ski adventures), the relatively affordable cost of accomodation and friendly locals that make it special. I know there’s a few punters on the forum that are leagues better on the skis than me and had I started earlier I might be with @dawooduck and want more demanding territory but for a young family of different skill levels, (which the OP intimated was the case) SP can’t be beaten.

Not so much "demanding territory", more quirks and foibles and unique travel experiences.

The thrill of a local store full of random produce and quirky things unique to the locality run by weather lined locals with intriguing dialects.

Back roads with local architectural styles, crusty critters and views less gazed upon, a glimpse of Moose or a Steinbock gazing down.

Local ski clubs, friendly random chair chats and maybe even a warming stop at a hut in the woods

Some resorts, while offering great skiing and comfortable stays remind me of an airport shopping experience.
 

Beerman

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Not so much "demanding territory", more quirks and foibles and unique travel experiences.

The thrill of a local store full of random produce and quirky things unique to the locality run by weather lined locals with intriguing dialects.

Back roads with local architectural styles, crusty critters and views less gazed upon, a glimpse of Moose or a Steinbock gazing down.

Local ski clubs, friendly random chair chats and maybe even a warming stop at a hut in the woods

Some resorts, while offering great skiing and comfortable stays remind me of an airport shopping experience.
I agree with all the above, but kids wouldn’t, OP is a family trip.
 

dawooduck

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The defining moments of a Canada trip with two of the sons was seeing elk close up in the wild "like narnia" and timing how fast water froze in a glass on the balcony and similar games.
 

Ozgirl

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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.
Interesting as it was a big draw card for Perisher ski patrollers. Not sure if they would go for work if no steeps to hold their attention for a season.
 

absentskier

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Interesting as it was a big draw card for Perisher ski patrollers. Not sure if they would go for work if no steeps to hold their attention for a season.
Big White has very little steep terrain. It has some decent trees but frankly it is just about the last resort I would target for a season. The village is nice and convenient for a family trip but very limited and lacks atmosphere imo. There may well be other attractions for ski patrollers, but just about every other Canadian resort has better steeps.
 

absentskier

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And look, this is all relative. Big White still offers good skiing obviously. Plenty of people love it. The snow is generally good and there is some fun terrain. It’s not bad, it’s just that there’s better IMO.
 

Sbooker

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Not so much "demanding territory", more quirks and foibles and unique travel experiences.

The thrill of a local store full of random produce and quirky things unique to the locality run by weather lined locals with intriguing dialects.

Back roads with local architectural styles, crusty critters and views less gazed upon, a glimpse of Moose or a Steinbock gazing down.

Local ski clubs, friendly random chair chats and maybe even a warming stop at a hut in the woods

Some resorts, while offering great skiing and comfortable stays remind me of an airport shopping experience.
Red or Whitewater or Fernie more your style?
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
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Come on Sly, put some logic into your answer as I know you will do. In your opinion as a percentage , what is the likelihood of us heading to Canada next season? Could be easier to just ask who built the pyramids

Four vaccines approved now in Canada and after a frustrating winter with sporadic deliveries from capricious suppliers, immunization is ramping up well now. Although cases haven't dwindled away to nothing, deaths and hospitalizations have dropped considerably. Maybe it's the general feelings of hope that spring always brings, but there are promising signs.

In BC, Dr Bonnie is saying we can expect some relaxation of restrictions within a month, but tempered that by cautioning us that some covid measures will be around for months to come. She has notified post secondary education facilities that they can plan for in-person instruction to resume when the academic year begins in September.

But... the highest risk category - and the last to have its restrictions removed - is still assemblies and events of over 500 people, and open international tourism. Canada plans to have everyone vaccinated by the end of September, so the summer tourist season will be restricted to Canadians only. Lots of tourist focused businesses and events are already announcing their plans for the summer, which sadly includes the cancelation of sports events, music festivals and so on.

My guess is health authorities will spend the summer assessing the effects of the vaccine rollout. Working against this is the warm weather and the Canadian population's mass transition to living outdoors. It makes it hard to see whether the reduction in transmission is due to vaccines or just being outside and well separated. In September they'll still be trying to sort this out. In October they'll be wondering if the virus has mutated its way around the vaccines and is making a quiet surge as people move back indoors. In November the picture starts to become more clear: either the cases are on the rise again or they've flatlined because we've finally achieved the much sought after herd immunity.

At the same time the federal govt will be looking at case loads abroad. Allowing tourists in also means Canadians will be moving in great numbers and importing some of the pathogens they encounter in their travels. There will be much talk of vaccine passports, but the practicalities and legalities of such will make implementation slow and inconsistent around the world. I'd expect that in the early part of travel reopening that we will still be deciding on a country by country basis rather than individuals based on vaccine. On that front, Australian citizens should be favoured early on, but what of the Australian government? Fortress Australia, girt by sea, will be very cautious. The genie can't be put back in the bottle once Aussies are allowed to roam abroad once more. The pent up demand will cause an explosion of flights, and every one of those returning travelers is a risk. Canberra will be agonizingly slow to lift the travel bans.

My best guess, Canada will open its borders in December. Australia around then, could be as late as February if things aren't smartening up in a lot of countries.
 
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Wardy

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The edge of the bell curve
Whistler. We (family of 5 over the last ten seasons) have had long stays in Whistler, Big White, Sun Peaks, Revie, Fernie, Kicking Horse, and Banff (LL and SV). Also Jackson, Crested Butte, Telluride and Niseko which I mention only to establish the breadth of the towns surveyed. For the OP's criteria, in Canada, we would stump for Whistler. And if you need a side order, Big White. Hope you make it. Really hope you make it.
 
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