Old 08-10-09, 07:29 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2
Best ski slopes in USA for begginers?

Hello Friends,

I am planning to take my wife for a ski vacation this Dec09 in US. We both have not skied before. What is the best ski resort to go too?
Would appreciate if I can be suggested of some alternative slopes than the best, if the best slope is very expensive to go to.


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Old 10-10-09, 01:13 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 12
Early December is a good time to go skiing in Colorado. For the past few years I have been going around the 08-20 December time frame and skiing at Vail/Beaver Creek. The snow has been excellent and most if not all the mountain was open.

As for never skiing before, you’re obviously going to want a few lessons. I’d recommend doing your lessons at Breckenridge for a couple of days, then taking a day off, and then going over the hill to Vail and Beaver Creek once you have your new ski legs under you. Many people make the mistake of a) taking a lesson on the last day of their ski vacation and b) not giving themselves enough time to actually dive into the sport. If you are coming here from sea level, ideally you’ll want a day to acclimate.

Beaver Creek is a nice area for beginners because all the easy stuff is on top. And, you can download off the hill if you don’t want to ski down.
As for lodging, there are many choices. Frisco/Dillon/Silverthorne is in the middle of the ski areas with abundant cheap(er) lodging options. Try Bookit.com, orbitz.com, or do a Google search for “town_name lodging” Also, look at packages available at snow.com (operated by Vail Associates – Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Vail, and Beaver Creek).
If you go to Vail a car is sort of liability. There is a superb free bus system and many of the hotels have shuttles that will take you to the base of the ski area. Note: At Vail, you want to be dropped off at Lionshead otherwise it’s a two or three block walk in ski boots, with stairs, from the drop off area to the lifts. At Lionshead is a flat block and a half walk.

As for getting to ski country from the Denver airport, if you rent a car it is interstate highway – about a two hour drive – to Frisco and about 30 minutes beyond that to Vail. Another option is the Colorado Mountain Express – a shared van service that runs between Denver airport and the high country about $60 each way – Search for "ridecme" on the internet. This is a good thing if you are going to Vail. You can use the bus system and hotel shuttles and not pay for your rental car just to sit there.

Don’t get me wrong, Vail is a wonderful place to learn to ski, and so is Beaver Creek. But the overall area around these places can be pricey and Vail is HUGE and may be overwhelming . Beaver Creek is small, but very, very, very nice. Other options are Winter Park and Steamboat Springs. These are off the beaten path and you’ll be more apt to want to spend your whole trip time there. Both of these areas are more laid back than Summit County resorts. You can also fly right into Steamboat.

Also look into flying to the Eagle County Airport – about 45 minute drive west of Vail and much easier in/out than Denver or dealing with snow/bad weather on I-70 (airport code EGE).

One other thing is to make certain you have proper clothing. It’s expensive. But, if you want a good introduction into skiing, then get the clothes that will keep you warm and dry. You’ll be falling down a lot and there is nothing worse than being tired and cold. You’ll want a base layer (polypropylene or wool – brand names are Smartwool, capiline (Patagonia), under armor), then sometimes a thin mid-layer – like a light fleece jacket, followed by a ski suit (pants and jacket). Layering made of wicking, mad made fibers allows the moisture to be collected up from your body and escape through the high-tech materials of the ski suits. A couple of thin layers will keep you surprisingly warm in very cold conditions. Add a few zippers in strategic places and you can regulate temperature just like the thermostat in your house. Of course, goggles, sunglasses, and gloves are important too.

Brand names here are Obermyer, Spyder, Patagonia, Phoenix, Columbia, LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, Kjus and can be found at Peter Glenn , Cabelas, LL Bean, Gorusch.com (expensive but a good place to see what is out there) and other on-line merchants. Don’t buy skis and boots yet. Rent these when you get to the ski area. Once you rent for a year or two, buy a good pair of boots – especially if you are in a place where you don’t have skiing close. It’s better to have good boots and rent the latest skis for a week or so than to have a pair that your need to store and schlep around for use one or two weeks a year. I like Surefoot – way expensive but they have an orthotic insert and molded right to your foot. Last pair of boots I’ll probably have.

Drop me a private message if you want some more details or bounce some ideas around

Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Old 10-10-09, 02:35 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2
What about Salt Lake City?

Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback! I really appreciate the tips you have provided. I was also looking at Salt lake city as an option. Some of the forums suggested there is more to do in Salt lake City compared to the Colorado slopes because of the downtown.

So basically take a hotel in downtown, then rent a car and go to the slopes nearby which is not more than a 30 minute drive. The hotels are comparatively cheap and if there is bad weather then you can spend time in downtown and enjoy the activities there.

Any suggestions or feedback on Salt Lake City?

PS: I am planning to go skiing during Christmas time
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Old 12-10-09, 07:47 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 12
I can’t recommend Salt Lake City (SLC) as I have never skied there. People that I know that have skied there think it is a great place. Well, just about anywhere you can ski is great.

Don’t know much about downtown SLC or nightlife there either. Maybe some more internet research is warranted. I don’t know about activities down there.

I do know that there can be quite a bit of nightlife/bar crawling in Breckenridge and in Vail. But then again, you’re going someplace to ski and that may crimp your nightlife activities. Any ski area during Christmas is going to be expensive and crowded.

My advice would be to plant yourself in one place and make forays out on public transportation. Find a condo on a bus route or ski in/out from there. This way you can cook up most of your own meals and don’t have to worry about going “out” to get dinner. If you ski a respectable part of the day you’re going to be tired and not do much besides a shower, dinner, and a few beers. Add to this that you are a new skier – you’ll be doubly pooped and will melt into the hot tub.

Vail is suited well for this as the bus system is extensive and free throughout Vail and there are connections to Avon (the town where Beaver Creek is next to – about $5 but be careful of the schedule so you don’t get stranded in Avon – limited buses). Also from Vail, for a limited fee, you can get the bus to Minturn (more bars, restaurants) and then up to Leadville (old mining town, but few nice places to eat too).

Breckenridge has a nice downtown area – mostly shops, restaurants, and bars and is off the beaten path a bit.

Steamboat Springs, well, this is a destination resort. Once there, you won’t want to go anywhere else. It’s a long way to other ski areas from here.
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Old 14-10-09, 02:40 PM   #5
Ski Condo Rentals
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Park City, Utah
Posts: 4
Go to Park City. Only a 35 minute drive from Salt Lake City International airport. 3 resorts are located in the Park City area and there are 11 resorts in a 60 mile range of Salt Lake.

Let me know if you need info on Park City.

Good luck...
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Old 16-10-09, 02:57 AM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 42
You didn't say where you live. But I would advise starting modestly. You might really like it, you might not. Not everyone was born to ski/slide/carve. Try a two day trip as an appetizer. Have modest expectations and you will have fun. Do not expect that you will look like the people in a ski movie after a few days. That having been said, sometimes the smallest places are the worst at which to learn because the beginner terrain is so limited. Look for a place with long very gentle beginner terrain. In the east, Belleayre, Bromley, Gore come to mind. I am sure one can find comparable situations out west. If, after a short trip, you have the bug, then spend some real money and go for a week somewhere, And sign up for a full week of lessons as a learn-to-ski package.
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Old 16-10-09, 10:22 PM   #7
I Like Ice
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 37
The north Conway Area in New Hampshire would also be a great choice. There are 4 or 5 different areas to choose from among Attitash, Cranmore, and Wildcat. you really have to think what is important to you and how intense the lessons you want. you have to consider group or private lessons? Full day or half day? Does the resort have easy slopes coming down from the top?

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