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USA 2019-2020 ramblings/plans/reports

Discussion in 'United States' started by mx_boarder, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Alta. It’s an icon and has terrain for all levels of experience. The snow is usually in beautiful condition.
     
    Sean Sunley and ponyrider like this.
  2. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Location:
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    The Albion side of Alta is cruiser heaven.

    Do you have any snowboarders? Is that still a thing?
     
  3. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not Park City during the holidays, unless you really enjoy being around a lot of people.

    Depending on snow conditions, my suggestion would be Snowbasin, Alta, or Solitude. The lodges at Snowbasin are worth the drive on a clear day. At Alta Sunnyside has more than just greens, while Supreme and Sugarloaf are good fun for intermediates. Solitude might be a little less crowded, but note that there is no longer an free parking.
     
  4. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Do you mean is Alta still for skiers only? The answer is yes. Deer Valley also doesn't allow snowboarders.
     
  5. Gumbie

    Gumbie First Runs

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    No snowboarders.......yet......sort of. The kids understand that I want them to ski this season and then maybe snowboard next season. I occasionally head over to the dark side.
    After this we're off to Calgary for the year, where we ended up getting Lake Louise season passes. 20/21 we'll head to Whistler and Vail on the northern hemisphere EPIC pass and at Whistler I can imagine the kids wanting snowboard. My daughter has definitely expressed an interest.
    Thanks for the tips. Alot will depend on snow and weather, but Alta sounds good.
     
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  6. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    When driving up, probably better to keep going to the end of the road to start at the Albion side. If you park in the Wildcat lot, then either have to take the transfer tow or ski down from the top of the Collins lift. The Sunnyside and Collins lifts run until 4:30, if you all have lots of energy.

    If you do go skiing at Alta, consider having lunch at one of the lodges. Alta Lodge or Rustler have nice views, table service, and great food. Depending on what you choose, can end up less expensive than eating on the mountain.

    Alta is a collection of independent businesses that have worked together for decades so that everyone succeeds. Alta Lift Company only owns the lifts, the buildings, and Alta Ski Shop. That makes the food at Alta a bit different from the typical destination resort. The on-mountain food vendors are independent owners who are long-time leasers of the building. So what's offered and prices vary. At Alf's (mid-mountain at base of Supreme and Sugarloaf lifts), if you buy a hot chocolate, can get a 2nd one free later on the same day.
     
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  7. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  8. Gumbie

    Gumbie First Runs

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    Awesome advice, thank you.

    Our friends have now also recommended a day at Wolf Creek. I'm in, I'm keen to get around as much as possible. Who has been there? Any tips? Their pricing for all day 9-12 year olds' lessons sound brilliant (Master Gumbie is 12 and Miss Gumbie is 9).
     
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  9. Harper11

    Harper11 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice seeing that 2 foot at mammoth
     
  10. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    From what I've read, Wolf Creek is a true independent ski area. It can get a lot of snow, especially earlier in the season than most places in Colorado. My ski buddy who lives out west likes Wolf Creek a lot. He prefers the vibe of an "old school" ski area over a destination resort like Aspen or Park City. However, he's a bachelor who's been an advanced skier for decades.

    Lessons at ski areas that cater more to locals are always more reasonably priced. Check out the prices at Arapahoe Basin and Loveland. Loveland is a bit more intermediate friendly. Has an area that is completely separate from the main area where beginner/intermediate group lessons are done.
     
  11. Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan Hard Yards

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    Anyone else getting a bit too excited about the snow falls last week....? Maybe just me.... I know it is still early but 5 ft in 5 days is pretty cool whenever it happens!

    Now I just have to focus on finishing my work projects over the next few weeks and stop watching snow cams and youtube clips!

    Separately, conditions permitting my mates have pitched in to organise heli-skiing for me whilst I'm over there (not sure how I landed such a good group of mates either...!) but nobody is quite sure what to book in. Has anyone had any experience heliskiing in Utah? We'll be based in Park City and Alta. Any recommendations?
     
  12. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Although there is heliskiing based out of Snowbird, I've yet to hear or read much about the experience. The operation north of Ogden called Whisper Ridge is on my bucket list. Although more for cat skiing than heli. Flying around in a heli gives me too much motion sickness. I've had a chance to chat for a while a couple times with the father and son who co-founded Whisper Ridge. They brought one of their snowcats to the Boston Ski Expo. Also have heliskiing.

    https://www.whisperridgeutah.com

    In general, the Americans and Canadians who talk on forums about heli skiing go with an operation in Canada or Alaska. They tend to be experts who want very long runs and steep terrain. So Utah doesn't quite have the terrain they want for the money it takes to use a heli.
     
    #162 MarzNC, Dec 2, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  13. Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan Hard Yards

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    Thanks for that recommendation Marz.

    Despite my best efforts, I don’t think my fitness at this point will quite hold up to multiple days of mega-vertical heliskiing so a less extreme sampler should be fine!
     
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  14. oreo

    oreo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'll preface my advice; I'm a certified ski guide ski guide living in Utah for the northern winters. Powderbirds, which is owned by Snowbird and operates out of a base in Park City or Snowbird is the only viable option for heliskiing in Utah. I've never worked for them but they have a potential to provide a good product, not super long runs by heliski standards but good skiing.

    For other mechanised skiing, you can do cat skiing at Park City Powdercats - which is about a 30 minute drive from Park City, near Oakley, Ut or at Whisper Ridge which is up near ogden about 1.5hrs north of Park City. You can also have shorter cat ski day from Snowbird Mountain Guides / first tracks in mineral basin and then a few laps in a snowcat outside of the resort.

    Further afield, there is a well established heliski operation over the border in Elko, Nevada (Ruby Mountains Heliskiing) which is about 4 hours west of SLC.

    Feel free to hmu if you want any further info.
     
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  15. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    There is cat skiing out of Alta in Grizzly Gulch, but only when conditions are favorable. I was around when a group staying at Alta Lodge went during late season. They had a good time. The organizer was a regular participant in the multiday camp. She had the lead instructor go along to provide tips as needed.

    For an introduction to cat skiing in Utah, check out the info and videos on SkiUtah.

    https://www.skiutah.com/blog/authors/yeti/cat-skiing-and-skiing-with-cats
     
  16. oreo

    oreo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Grizzly gulch isn’t a large area and is heavily frequented by ski tourers. :emoji_call_me:YMMV.
     
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  17. Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan Hard Yards

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    Thanks again Marz and oreo. Sounds like the limited heliskiing will suit and there might also be some other good cat options.
     
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  18. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us

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    I ended up booking the flight into LA on 18th March and will see were conditions are best at that time. Plenty of time for the season to play out but current favoured options based on the awesome advice of this forum on what we like are big sky, south Tahoe for Kirkwood/Heavenly or Snowbird. Seasons looking very good in Tahoe & Utah currently
     
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  19. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Drive up the road to Mammoth for a few days and then onto Tahoe? Spring is prime time for Colorado due to their height.
    So many options................
     
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  20. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Old n' Crusty Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    News on the web, RE: new developments commencing next Summer:
     
  21. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    Back from Park City. Compared to PC side, Canyons was "more crowded" because it had a bit more open. Caused a mix of high end fast skiers and slower skiers on the same piste, then add some boarders too.
    Had one day of a fog blanket white out which was challenging to navigate.
     
  22. gortonator

    gortonator One of Us

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    Things look like they are about to kick off in the Pacific Northwest this week finally. I skied Crystal yesterday and it was ok - good snow, just not enough. By end of week this problem should be fixed!!

     
  23. Harper11

    Harper11 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    esta visa application x4 is a real chore
     
  24. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fly out this morning, toddler in lap for 15 hours, forecast looks middling so I’ve packed my Enforcer 88s, can’t find my Epic Pass, see you for a white Xmas in Utah!
     
  25. Harper11

    Harper11 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Go aud

    nearly 70 cents
     
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  26. Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan Hard Yards

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    How is it over there? Hope you’ve been having a good time. Reports and forecasts look solid......

    I’m doing the same flight tomorrow just with some slightly older skis and a couple of extra kids in tow!

    Due to new arrival last Christmas have been waiting 2 years for this trip so getting pretty excited!!
     
  27. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snow is pretty good for this time of year, above average and a big storm coming in tomorrow. It certainly doesn’t have that restricted early season feel and another foot or two of snow will make it even better. Had a great day at Snowbasin yesterday. Such a good hill.

    Has been pretty cold though which I’m not used to as I tend to ski in spring.
     
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  28. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal Ski Pass: Gold

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    Skiing off the very top lift where they have the downhill course is superb
     
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  29. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good early season conditions here in Steamboat too. Will be better after the next couple of days of snow.
     
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  30. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

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    How long you there absentskier?
     
  31. tonks

    tonks Hard Yards

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    Hi friends. Heading over to Utah for a repeat trip in February. Have a pass for Snowbird, which I skied at last trip, but am planning to get to Alta, Deer Valley, Brighton and Solitude as well. Seeking some advice on areas/runs to hit at each of those resorts. Happy to keep recommendations to myself (can PM me if you prefer).

    Looks like they've been getting loads of snow... something like over 300" at Snowbird already this season.
     
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  32. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Will you be around the week of Feb. 10? I'm staying in SLC that week with a few friends. We have Ikon. Mostly going to be at Alta and Solitude. My primary ski buddy hasn't had a chance to get into Honeycomb Canyon with good snow yet.

    If your willing to spend a little money, the Adult Mountain Workshop at Alta can be a good way to learn where to find the good stuff. It's a guided tour for 2.5 hours for around US$100 with a very experienced instructor. Not a lesson but can ask for tips. Especially useful for first-timers when there is low visibility.

    What were a few of your favorites at Snowbird?
     
  33. tonks

    tonks Hard Yards

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    We arrive on the 15th, so not sure our stays will overlap?

    Favourites at Snowbird? Ooooh that's tough - the whole hill is good (the terrain is one of the main reasons I'm going back there). I didn't get to do much off the cirque traverse as there wasn't great coverage while I was there and I was there on my own. But I skied a lot of what else that was on offer. In terms of on-piste runs, few faves were regulator johnson, chips face, and election off Gad 2.

    The Alta workshop sounds good but will be on a bit of a budget (especially with this exchange rate). I'll keep it in mind though.
     
  34. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sorry, missed this chunky.

    We arrived on Christmas Day and leave Steamboat on the 21st Jan. Been a great break, although I am finding it harder and harder to get my 12 and 9 year old girls out skiing. We have been with other family and friends here though so it’s been a lot of fun.
     
  35. gortonator

    gortonator One of Us

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  36. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just snaffled October Perth - West Coast USA return flights for $1,100 in the Qantas sale...yippeeee

    My trip isn't ski related, but I imagine you can also get great deals for Nov and early Dec. I think the sale finishes at the end of January, unless allocations get fully booked earlier.
     
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  37. PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Exploring some of the Jackson Hole BC today!

     

    Attached Files:

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  38. Crystal

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

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    sensational shots
     
  39. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice photos. I'm there in a month. I hope they hold on to some of the snow they've had.
    You've obviously had all time conditions.
     
  40. PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Today was great, resort is starting to get pretty chopped up. Need some more snow.
     
  41. Harper11

    Harper11 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Really impressed with mammoth so far
    Weather has been great so that helps
    Huge resort with four base lodges and endless runs. It’s not busy at all and barely an Aussie about

    ski school has been great for the kids on their first ski trip
     
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  42. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm glad you've liked Mammoth. It's a great destination and one I've visited quite a few times.
    Without much new snow you would have been enjoying their groomers mainly I'm sure.
    If you've been impressed with Mammoth in it's current condition maybe a trip to one of the massive connected Euro areas would suit your crew. I'm sure you would be blown away. Some of the areas are 10 times bigger than Mammoth.
    *The only negative to those Euro areas is the relative difficulty of skiing off piste in the event of fresh snowfall. That's where North America shines in my view.
     
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  43. Harper11

    Harper11 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’ve skied most of the big euro resorts
    maybe in a few years when the kids,6 and 8, can ski better we’ll head back

    for the kids the single 12 hour flight and easy highway drive up was a big plus and accommodation you can swing a cat in

    probably doing Colorado next trip at this stage
     
  44. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I must admit our first 8 big overseas ski trips were to various locations in Canada or the US. It really suits families wonderfully doesn't it.
    And you're right. The flight into LA is easy and the drive up the 395 is super scenic.
     
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  45. Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan Hard Yards

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    I just got back today after 3 weeks in utah. If the snow holds anything like it is at the moment, everywhere is good! The only resort we overlapped on from your list was Alta. We had a ball all over but found Wildcat and Supreme/Catherine’s had really fun terrain and were a bit less busy than skiing off Collins. My sense of the place is that the best idea is to just get out there and explore the various zones yourself (it’s pretty compact really) - don’t be afraid to hike/traverse but do believe the ‘cliff area’ signs .....!
     
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  46. Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan Hard Yards

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    Ha! I thought in that ski school 20 years ago! Plenty of Aussies about in the ski school back then, and the village didn’t yet exist but very fond memories of a fun resort and a fantastic time in my life.... other than the usual annual leave and 1 sabbatical have been chained to a desk pretty much since then!
     
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  47. Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan Hard Yards

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    I agree with US/Canada with kids - particularly the resorts with easy access and ski in/out accommodation. I’ve also been lucky enough to live in Europe and ski many resorts there but am finding the US options best suit us with primary school and younger aged kids. So far my recent trip to Utah has been the best - will write a trip report on that a bit later in case it helps someone else out in planning something in the future!
     
  48. PiedPiper

    PiedPiper One of Us

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    Looks like I've gotta go to Vegas for work in Mid April, so i'm gonna try and tack on a few days skiing - well snowboarding at the end. My first free day will be April 23, which significantly limits the resorts that will still be open.
    Pretty much Mammoth, Snowbird, and a few of the Colorado, and Pacific Northwest resorts.
    Last time did this I had 3 days riding @ Mammoth, and had a ball, and all up i think 3 days was enough.
    My current plan is to hire a car in vegas, drive to snow, ride 3 days and drive back to mammoth, but i would be happy to change plans is people think there are better options?
    I'm considering seeing if i can fly out of Salt lake so i dont need to drive back to Vegas...

    Is 3 days enough @ Snowbird, I'm usually riding backcountry in Aus, - touring on a split, and in japan.
    i think 3 days in a resort will be enough?
    Whats accom prices like in april in salt lake city? I assume since it's a big city there will be a big range and plenty of options?
    Anywhere better than snowbird for riding in late April? ( no going to BC its too far, i'm trying to do it on the sorta cheap.)

    Any other thoughts / options?
     
  49. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snowbird is perfect for 3 days. Heaps of cheap accomodation in the valley. Arapahoe Basin also a good call for that time frame.
    As mentioned Mammoth is usually good as is Bachelor in Oregon.
     
  50. J_busworth

    J_busworth One of Us

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    Spent a couple of weeks in Aspen throughout January. First time skiing in Colorado and the US and it was simply a class above Australia. I would say its the best skiing experience I've had, better than multiple Canada and Japan trips.

    Base fluctuated between 130cm and 155cm, with about 80cm falling across my 15 days in three seperate systems. It would have been nicer to have more snow, but the quality of what was there was so good its hard to complain. It was also so quiet! I'm not sure if thats the Epic pass drawing people elsewhere, but never a line, even on MLK Day weekend. Apparently it has a been a quiet season or two for them, but again, it made it just so good. I've never been anywhere where you can get fresh cord or fresh powder at any time of the day like you could in Aspen.

    All four resorts were so different and so good it was really hard to pick where to ski every day. My favourite mountain there was probably Highlands, and there was some epic pow to be had there. Snowmass seemed more family oriented and was the busiest of the four resorts (meaning you saw other people, not that it was proper busy) and seeing the X games set up at Buttermilk was really cool. Kinda wishing I had stuck around to watch! All the mountains had such beautiful vistas as well, making it such an amazing place.

    Easy flight from Aus straight to Aspen via SFO to avoid the mess that is LAX. Friends that went via LAX reported 90+ minute waits for immigration. Nothing of the sort at SFO and very easy transfer from QF to UA. Local transport in Aspen is awesome! Free frequent buses and no traffic.

    Wouldn't hesitate to go again and now I really wanly to explore more of Colorado.