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Family Christmas recommendations?Telluride?steamboat?

Discussion in 'United States' started by Parkesyau, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    Hey all hoping I can get some recommendations for our trip ( next Christmas yes I have to plan early)
    . Taking the family over to North America and want to incorporate a week in a ski resort. Kids love skiing and spent some time at Falls creek the last two years. Just starting to go down blue runs but we tend to put them in ski school the first day or two so we can board rather than cruise.
    The plan is we are going to spend 10 or so days in the banff area/lake Louise for Christmas and sightseeing and that’s more about a Christmas feel. But we also want to spend one week in an actual on mountain resort. Originally had considered Whistler due to convenience to Banff but I do know it is quite expensive. Am now looking into some of the USA resorts so we can swing past Los angeles( and Disneyland for the big kids) on our way home. I’m considering Steamboat (Colorado) or Telluride? These two seem to get great reviews for families, walkable villages outdoor ice skating. However I am not sure on snow that time of year. Plan to be at the resort from around 3rd Jan or so.looking to do a good week to 10 days maybe on snow so we can also have some rest days. Any other suggestions or info would be greatly appreciated. I don’t really want to go for the glitz and $$$ places. As you can imagine for a family of 4 is already expensive. Kids aged 12 and 10.
     
  2. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    Sorry I should also mention Beaver creek was in the mix
     
  3. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    we skied steamboat & brek/keystone just before xmas many years ago. breck & keystone had better skiing for that time of year - altitude plus good snowmaking. things may have changed but i think good snowmaking should be a criterion. keystone had a very good family reputation too IIRC. there is skating at breck. it is glitzy, but it was a real town before the ski industry.
     
  4. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  5. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    But you don’t want glitz and glamour?
     
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  6. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    I didn’t realise Beaver creek was glitzy. I just didn’t want Whistler I feel everyone from Aus goes to whistler.
     
  7. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    funny you should say Brek, our good friends worked there over 15 years ago and rave about it( although they haven’t been in that long either so things have certainly changed: Def going to look into it and keystone. I didn’t realise Telluride was so hard to get to.
     
  8. PerthBoarder

    PerthBoarder Hard Yards

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    Have a look at Solitude. I did similar research as few years back. Ended up booking at Solitude but never made it there due to unforeseen circumstances.
     
  9. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Like anywhere, Telluride depends on snow. I have been there in a relatively low snow year - there was no snow on the ground in the old town when we arrived although that changed. All the trails were open (I think) but the local advice was to avoid the trees because there was not enough cover to bury deadfall. Very few people were skiing the hike to extreme terrain. We were a bit later than super early January. There is lots of great cruising on the Mountain Village side. The old town side is a bit more challenging.

    The old town is great - a proper late Victorian mining town. There are a lot of tourist traps. Great restaurants. The Mountain Village is a bit soulless with not much going on. It does have a skating rink. The old town is accessible from the Mountain Village by a free gondola that runs from about 7-00 am to midnight.

    The Mountain Village has more ski in/out accommodation. Depending on where you are in the old town you have a walk of between 1 and 4 blocks. There are free shuttles. With kids ski in/out is a godsend. On the old town side I think the only easy way down is a cat track that criss crosses the hill. You can download on the gondola.

    Telluride is a bit isolated. It has an airport but, like most mountain airports, it is often closed through weather. Montrose (about 90 minutes away) is the fallback. It is about 6 hours drive from both Denver and Salt Lake City. Albuquerque is marginally closer - about 5.5 hours. Lizard Head Pass on that road scares the locals for some reason. My daughter didn't even notice we had crossed it.

    If you are planning to go to LA the road from Telluride has some pretty cool stuff - not least of which is the Grand Canyon. Las Vegas also, if you like that sort of thing.

    Some piccies https://www.flickr.com/photos/iansand/albums/72157628839719465
     
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  10. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    Amazing Pics looks like an epic trip. Thanks for the heads up on Telluride. The fact it’s so difficult to get to is basically putting it at the bottom of the list. I think I need to stick closer to Denver so we don’t spend the whole time travelling. Thanks for the insight though.
     
  11. Gregah

    Gregah One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yep, and Grand Targhee. Both of these have better early season reliability than most.
     
  12. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just so I am clear on this, what are you thinking in terms of flights? Flying to Calgary, then Calgary to Denver (or somewhere else), then to LA?

    Steamboat is my home resort and is great, but not necessarily for what you want. It’s a long way from Denver, does NOT have an outdoor ice skating rink (Keystone is good for this), and the actual mountain village IMO needs work. Where it excels is snow reliability, great intermediate and advanced terrain, tree skiing, and of course the fantastic town (5-10 minutes drive from the ski hill).

    For you, Copper or Keystone may be better.

    Fact is though, with the weak AUD, you are going to pay a lot to stay in a good location at any of the big Coloradan resorts (like you will at Park City too). Whistler may in fact end up being cheaper for example. I don’t know, but it wouldn’t shock me.

    If you are definitely going to Banff and weren’t going to Disneyland, I’d suggest going to one of the family resorts in BC. Big White, Silverstar, Sun Peaks do that very well. That said, I understand the Disneyland pull. We are going back there this January and the kids are looking forward to it far more than skiing.
     
  13. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    One of the Okanagan hills like Silver Star or Sun Peaks would be ideal and also close to Banff.
    If you’re going to be in LA then taking the scenic drive up to Mammoth may be worth considering.
     
  14. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    Thanks for the info. Yes was just planning to fly so prepared for the cost. It is a special occasion we are coming for so have time to save. And Disneyland is for the big kids( the small ones are probably over it now haha). I wasn’t sure if Sun Peaks or the other Bc resorts would be too “boring” for a week? I know Colorado has the name and everyone raves about Colorado resorts ( our friends love copper and beaver creek) so much choice but I must say I am balking on the loss of a whole day to travel there. I don’t know about Whistler I just feel like it would be overrated and full of aussies. Everyone goes to whistler. In saying that we loved niseko and that was full of aussies too haha. This is why I need to plan early to Sus all these details out. The Aussie dollar won’t improve let’s be honest so either way it won’t be cheap holiday. I like the fact keystone kids ski free
     
  15. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    Thankyou I didn’t really consider other BC resorts I was worried we would get bored for a week. But heat they do look close to Banff and a short flight is certainly more doable with kids. Not sure about mammoth and driving from LA. Reliability early jan? I am looking at webcams and some of the Cali resorts don’t have any snow right now when compared to Colorado or Canada. nov snow I imagine is a good indication of decent skiing in January. Oh it would be so much easier to just go back to Japan but I want a proper “ white Christmas “ with sled dogs and skating on ponds and ugly jumpers
     
  16. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    With shuttles, flights and hanging around airports travelling will blow a day whatever the distance.
     
  17. Dave6

    Dave6 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I doubt you would get bored in week at any of the BC resorts - depends what sort of skiing you want. They will be full of Aussies though.
     
  18. Harper11

    Harper11 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I wouldn’t be put off whistler because it’s popular and plenty of Aussies go there. It’s popular for a reason and what ever North American resort you choose you are hardly Robinson Caruso.
     
  19. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I never understand how anyone can worry about boredom on a skiing holiday o_O
     
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  20. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    you should also allow for losing some ski time because of altitude acclimatising, especially at Colorado or other high resorts. maybe an argument for canada out you can substitute latitude for altitude.
     
  21. Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan Hard Yards

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    Personally if I was ranking Banff sightseeing, Disneyland then skiing as my order of priorities as you seem to be indicating I’d just stay in Banff for the 2.5 weeks and do the sightseeing and skiing there (plenty of interesting skiing in the area - my brother managed to spend two full seasons there without getting bored!) then fly to LA for Disneyland. Moving around with kids is a hassle even when it’s just an hour down the road.... though at 10/12 you’re in a better spot than me (8/5/1).

    If you are keen to explore more though, I think Keystone sounds like a perfect fit for what you want, assuming you don’t care about not being able to brag about a brand name resort when you get home. I think it’s the most underrated resort in North America, especially for families. It covers everything you listed brilliantly and has excellent skiing for all levels - just stay somewhere near the lifts at River Run. It sounds like your family likes the extra non-skiing bits and pieces so look up things like the sleigh ride dinner and the alpenglow stube (dinner at the top of the gondolas). My family loved those adventures and still talk about them. We also had lots of fun in the pool and hot tubs staying at the springs. As mum or dad with kids of 10/12 I think you will have even more fun than we did by being able to stay in the hot tub! Also, ski day trips nearby are easy if you like to explore on skis - A-basin was our favourite 15 mins down the road, but Breck is huge and offers good skiing and an interesting town and Copper also nearby. All achievable in easy Uber ski rides. Grab a babysitter and head to dinner at the ski tip with your partner one night too.

    Keystone costs are quite reasonable (within ski resort norms) for basically everything other than the Vail Resorts ski school which, like all the other Vail ski schools, is truly excellent but frightfully expensive. A basin is a LOT cheaper than any of the other resorts if you are doing ski school.

    Re snow reliability, I’ve been there in January when they were having their worst season ever and still found excellent skiing and lots of fun to be had.

    Having said all that, I’m heading to Park City and Alta myself this Jan, though for the big kids in this family Alta is our Disneyland!
     
  22. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Being difficult to get to is one of the attractions of Telluride. Like anywhere, is snow dependent, but I would rate it (based on experience limited to all Tahoe resorts and Jackson Hole) as the best NA place I have skied. Huge variety of terrain and a way down for every level of skier.
     
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  23. Roymond

    Roymond One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The other place to consider is Big White- has skating, ice climbing etc as well as a good varied terrain and a great ski school for kids.
    Kelowna is the local airport and is international, to the states at least. We travelled from Kelowna direct to LA and then Disneyland a few years back- not sure if that is still an option but it cut down travel time dramatically. The cost of Canadian resorts is better than US, lessons are cheaper and the early season snow a little more reliable at a lower altitude.
     
  24. Parkesyau

    Parkesyau Hard Yards

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    Thanks for the info and suggestions, maybe I do need to consider Canada a bit more and not scrap Whistler just yet. I would love to stay and not have to move but I also want to spend a week on mountain skiing/boarding hence why I won’t just stay in Banff the whole trip.
    Keystone is sounding more like the place for us Colorado wise. Now I just have to figure out if it’s worth the trek or do I stick around Bc. Hoping the week or so in Banff allows us to adjust to altitude(hopefully kids are ok). Am def planning a day trip to ski lake Louise however as I said we did want to also spend a week on mountain ski in ski out style
    Thanks again for all the advice so Valuable and useful
     
  25. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I know this is not a long thread yet but I haven't read every post in detail.

    However......

    1. Beaver Creek's slogan is - "Not exactly roughing it......" It's magnificent, escalators to take you from one level to another, staff in chef's outfits to greet you at the bottomof the slopes end of day with warm chocolate chip cookies, are you seeing a trend here

    2. The AUS$ vs USD$ vs CAD$ - you're going to get a lot more bang for your $AUD in interior BC than CO, plus you don't need to fly from Alberta to Denver. So many great BC resorts to choose from and Whistler really is a great resort if you want a big time resort experience. Otherwise I'd consider Silver Star - I've been there once and it was a great trip, my SIL has been there the past two Jan and loved it and it is the resort of choice for a lot of expat Aussie Vancouver families over Christmas to avoid the Whistler chaos and $$. No chance you'll get bored in a week in BC unless it's bullet proof ice but that can happen anywhere in Nth America if you're unlucky.