- Overall Rating 5
- Family Friendly 4
- All-Mtn. Terrain 5
- Terrain Park 4
- Nightlife 3
Pros: powder days, tree skiing
Cons: unlike Snowbasin & Whistler/BC there is some aged infrastructure and a couple lifts
Recommended For: Singles, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters
Date Visited: Nov 1, 2010
When we retired we could have moved nearly anywhere in the rockies but chose to recreate (ski, mtbike, hockey) here. We've lived here the past 4 seasons and log between 65-110 partial ski days a year, 40% tele. On a powder day (usually too many to count during a La Nina year) the tree skiing is the best ever through varied lines in Closet, Sideburn-Kegger and countless unnamed others. Many lines are not too radical for my spouse and she enjoys it since it isn't too steep through the aspens (note no tree wells when skiing through aspen but still bring your whistle in case). Despite being within 3 miles of the continental divide there isn't as much wind here (grew up on the west coast) or all too many tree wells (but have had a couple of very unfortunate deaths the past couple seasons on conifer dominated runs off Morningside) with aspen groves. The ski resort has limited bump runs (Whiteout, Vertigo, Oops, Nelson's) but a couple hour drive over to Mary Jane can readily consume that urge and it is true that there aren't that many steep runs like Crested Butte or Telluride. I haven't found that to be an issue especially on teles and a trip to Silverton Mtn also can cure that urge.
This is not the place to come if you are wish to attempt your best Scott Schmidt (youngsters may not be familiar with him) immitation off cornices or star in the next Matchstick productions flick. If one wishes to ski 20-30K ft vertical of "off trail" powder with a lower water content than Utah (I've skied countless days in Utah and love to ski Snowbasin-John Paul and Alta, check out Desert Research Institute web site-weather station is on top of Mt. Werner on the resort), this may be worth it if one is very lucky with the snowfall (my brother visited and on the day he left we received 18" by morning but snowed another 9" before noon when he landed @ SeaTac-bummed for sure).
If frequent, formal and elegant dining is high on your list during a ski sojourn then one had better stay at Whistler, Sun Valley, Aspen and Vail/BC. If you want to throw back a couple of cold ones or sip some wine with appetizers, consume some carbohydrates in attempt to resuscitate the quads, this may be the place since one needn't rent a car to reach every corner of town (i.e. not just a resort) with the free bus system (hey I'm not a business owner, have nothing to do with the resort. I'm retired & don't want thousands more in town during weekends and spring break).
For a needed day off from alpine one can have a great day skate, classic XC skiing (skate is not really a day off for the legs or cardiopulmonary system), lace up a pair of skates or fly fish. Correction: there is night skiing and tubing a few nights a week at the city owned, Howelsen Hill but it is limited.