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Last minute ski trip - where to?
February 20, 2012 12:42 AM   Subscribe

Where's the good snow right now?

I want to go skiing and snowboarding this week, and I've been kind of overwhelmed by possibilities. Need help narrowing it down. I can go anywhere in North America, but ideally someplace I can get to from an airport that Southwest Airlines flies to (since I'm buying tickets last minute). I know that the weather has been unseasonably warm in many places. Does anyone know where there are good ski conditions right now, and expected through the rest of the week and next weekend?

Bonus points if you have tips about how to get a good deal on lift tickets and/or a place to stay.
posted by treehorn+bunny to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
No Southwest access (and possibly undoable airfare, depending on where you are flying from), but all my crazy ski people friends have had an awesome time at Alyeska (in Girdwood, Alaska) on this long weekend. It's a 45 minute drive out of Anchorage and the weather in Southcentral Alaska has been pretty much perfect this month; longer days, often sunny, temperatures in the 20s or low 30s, more than enough snow. Not a lot going on if you are a very beginning skier but it's great otherwise. There's also heli skiing etc. available in Girdwood if you are super, super flush but, ah, I would have to hang out more with the super-flush to know much about that.

You can stay at the fancy hotel but there are other options available. The Costcos in Anchorage have slightly discounted lift tickets and often discounted fancy hotel tickets, but it's usually a decent but not great deal. The resort's special offers page sometimes has things like their current deal with Subway ($15 off mid-week lift tickets if you buy a value meal) and it looks like Liftopia has some 30%ish off lift passes too.
posted by charmedimsure at 1:41 AM on February 20, 2012


Whistler has been getting consistent dumps all season. Open Snow has good reports of conditions in the states.
posted by xotis at 6:35 AM on February 20, 2012


Epic Ski is also a good place to post this question.

From what I've seen, a lot of the places save perhaps for Lake Tahoe, have recovered quite a bit from the December/January snow drought. I was in Colorado for December so I can tell you first hand how little snow there was. With that said, most of the I-70 Colorado resorts are at or almost 100% open. You really could do a lot worse.

Salt Lake City is another good city for transportation reasons and places like Snowbasin are essentially almost entirely open. Plus with SLC, there about 6 super close resorts you to go to (Alta and Deer Valley are excluded because of your desire to snowboard).

I'd say unless you have an absolutely have a need to hit some very specific terrain, almost any of the big place (save for Tahoe) is going to be able to accommodate you. Oh and untracked powder while fantastic is going to be a crap shoot to predict out that far so you really can't depend on it. Its like market timing on wall street.
posted by mmascolino at 6:51 AM on February 20, 2012


Just got back from park city, they had decent snow (and it was snowing when I left), but it hasn't been as spectacular as usual (ie no fresh powder every other day). On the plus side, park city is rediculously conveniant, with their free bus system (no need to rent a car) and choice of 3 mtns. Salt lake city, Utah is a southwest hub, so that might be your best value. (Or if you find a great deal go to snowbird/alta. Mmmmmm magical snow)

Jackson hole has been getting a good amount of snow recently, but it is a pricey place to stay. Alasaka has been getting hammered with snow, the rockies, not quite as much this year.


Use liftopia.com for lift tickets. I saved about ~30% on tickets, which is a pretty substantial amount when tickets are edging close to $100 out west. You can usually buy 2/7, 3/7 lift tickets which let's you play around with the timing a bit.

The tgr (teton gravity research) forums are an amazing resource for sorting out snow. They are a bit more backcountry oriented, but theres lots of good stuff in there.
posted by larthegreat at 8:28 AM on February 20, 2012


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