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Out West For First Time

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Seanyo23 View Drop Down
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  Quote Seanyo23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Out West For First Time
    Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 8:25am
I am going out west for the first time after only snowboarding in Pennsylvania my entire life. I will be going in early January. This is my first time out west and i want to make it memorable with the insane scenery and awesome riding and some nice pow. What are my best options for best all around resort? I am looking for tons of terrain, some terrain parks, and some back country on the resort(easy to medium backcountry not black diamond stuff). I was thinking like Vail, Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Park City or Breckenridge. Any info is much appreciated and also new suggestions. ThanksBig smile
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  Quote mmang85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 8:38am

Just my two cents.  I have snowboarded lower east coast (Cataloochee SC, Snow Shoe WV) and West (Breckenridge, Vail, Beavercreek, Parkcity) .  Of those three places on West, Park city was our least favorite.  It might have just been that year, but it was late december and they had very little snow.  Runs were brown and had rocks. :(.  Our faviorite, and resort we still go to every year is Beavercreek.  Runs are nice, and big.  Second Fav. would be breck, and last would be vail.  Breck has some amazing parks, and vail has lots of area.  Back bowls are super sweet.  Beavercreek is our fav. because the people are always nice, and area seems to be well kept.

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  Quote Seanyo23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 8:45am
Thanks for the reply. What is the back country at vail, beaver, and breck like? Are the back country areas accessible by ski lifts?
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  Quote spenser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 8:54am
check out the northwest!

i guess it depends on the experience you're looking for.  more touristy or more do-it-yourself.  terrain varies a lot between colorado, the northern rockies, and the northwest.  pick your poison.
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  Quote sourgummies Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 9:15am
which place is more touristy and which place is more do it yourself? i've heard people raving about utah but haven't heard much about the northwest. how does it compare?
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  Quote spenser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 9:20am
colorado attracts so many people because it's marketed well. for a lot of people, it's the first place they think of when they think "out west." they'll have a lot more tourist attractions and facilities than you'll find in the two northwest-most states.  i'm not implying anything about the terrain or riding, but expect people and tourists and that sort of feel.  the northwest is more on the raw and natural side of things, where you'll more or less do the trip all yourself, and it's all about getting out there and shredding natural terrain and doing whatever you want, whereas you could do a colorado trip through a tourist organization that lines up your time for you (not that you have to - you can still play it by ear).  two different places, both good for a first trip away from the east, but it just depends what type of experience you're looking for.

it's possible that colorado would be a better choice for this guy, since he's new to bigger mountains and resorts.  it may make it easier to figure everything out and have a lot to do when not on snow.  the NW on the flipside tends to plop a chairlift on a mountain and the rest is up to you.  some people just want to be on the mountain all day, and hang out in a hotel after that to relax, while others want things to do when they're not riding, which i think colorado would provide better, in terms of dining, restaurants, shopping, and more of a ski-town feel, since many of those resorts have villages right at the bottom of the lifts.  for me personally, i'm the northwest guy that wants to shred all day and hang out with a few beers in my hotel the rest of the evening, but everyone's different.
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Seanyo23 View Drop Down
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  Quote Seanyo23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 9:30am
Yea thanks i am new to bigger mountains so i think for now an easier assessable mountain would be a lot nicer. I am looking for a mountain where i can go up a lift and either chose to ride down a nice groomed trails or ride down some natural terrain and then after all that hit some rails and jumps. I just do not know how to search for that or which one would be better for my first time.
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  Quote spenser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 9:33am
yeah, i'm thinking colorado for you based on your criteria, but some others on here are far more familiar with it all and may offer a different suggestion.  normally i would just tell you the northwest is the place to be, because of the mountains and snow (can't really be beat), but it lends its self more to someone who has been out west a few times and kinda has a feel for the riding and everything.  you'll have a blast in CO.
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  Quote Seanyo23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 9:38am
Alright thanks for your help.Big smile
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  Quote robnezz23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 9:48am
Man, if you have your choice of where to go I would say wait until as late as possible to see what area of the country is getting snow dumped on.  That will completely eliminate the problem of "brown runs" and rocks.  Plus, since you've never ridden powdah before, I see you've got a Burton Custom in your profile pic, why not try that thing out in some deep snow?
 
So, I'll give you a rough breakdown of the ski areas by geography (in no particular order, just what came to mind):  Alaska, Pacific Northwest (anywhere in Washington state or Oregon), Mammoth (Central CA), Tahoe (Northern CA), Utah (ParkCity), Colorado (Vail, Snowmass, Breck, etc...), Wyoming (Jackson Hole), Idaho (Sun Valley), Montana (Big Sky).
 
While I'm partial to Tahoe because I've never ridden anywhere else extensively, any of the main resorts in these areas will have what you are looking for:  "up a lift and either chose to ride down a nice groomed trails or ride down some natural terrain and then after all that hit some rails and jumps." 
For the "natural terrain" part, I'm not quite sure what you mean by that because up above you mentioned Backcountry, which I interpreted to mean out-of-bounds riding, which is something completely and totally different than in-bounds natural terrain riding on ungroomed runs or in the trees.
 
Good luck and I hope I was helpful.
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Seanyo23 View Drop Down
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  Quote Seanyo23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 9:52am
By backcountry i mean like in bounds natural runs sorry, i just didn't know how to say that. So ive atleast narrowed it down between vail and breck. Thanks for the help.
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  Quote killclimbz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 10:15am
I love the PNW, I'll be there again this year.  Some of the best terrain in the lower 48 is in Washington.  As a destination spot though it is kind of rough.  No real slope side lodging to be had, except at Crystal.  From what I hear that is pretty limited too.  Seems like most spots it's tough to be within a half an hour of the area.  Not a deal breaker, but you will definitely be wanting the terrain that the PNW offers above all else.  It can also have horrible flat light conditions.  Some of the most brutal I've seen.  Fortunately, during my trips, it's been mostly sunshine with just two or three days of storm conditions.  Anyway, don't over look it.  Pretty sweet riding, and relatively inexpensive lift tickets.

For the full on resort experience type of thing.  In Colorado, I would recommend getting out of the Front Range if your budget will allow.  Telluride, Aspen, Crested Butte, Steamboat all have their charms and less crowds.  Aspen might be the best ski town this side of Whistler for after riding action.  It costs though. 

Other spots that are full service, Park City, Tahoe, Big Sky.

For bang for your buck, Salt Lake City is kind of hard to beat.  You can stay in Sandy and have a five mile drive give or take to all the areas in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton.  Lift ticket deals are pretty easy to come by, flights are reasonable.  If you time your flight right, you can ride the day you arrive too.  Restaurants and Bars, well it's kind of weird there, but you can get around it easily enough.

Myself, I'm a Colorado guy, but if I was to leave this state, Washington would be at the top of my list of spots I would want to relocate to. 

Between Breck and Vail, I would go with Vail.  It's still a front range resort, but just a little further away, so it brings slight less Denver traffic.  Plus it's a big mountain, though it's not steep.  The other nice thing is if stay in Vail Village, you won't really need a car for anything.  Just walk around to where you are going.  It's a cheesy European Village but it's a good cheesy. 
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  Quote robnezz23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 10:37am
Originally posted by Seanyo23

By backcountry i mean like in bounds natural runs sorry, i just didn't know how to say that. So ive atleast narrowed it down between vail and breck. Thanks for the help.
 
Cool, those are places I've wanted to go myself but haven't been just yet. Vail is just massive with over 5,000 acres and Breck is just impressive with the multitude of peaks around there and the hike-to terrain that looks like it could give any level of rider a run for their money.
 
Speaking of cash, you've checked out how much these places cost right?  Ouch
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  Quote gunda pickle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 10:40am
any tips on getting discounted tickets?
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  Quote killclimbz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 10:49am
Buy their multi day packages.  You are not going to find any cheaper deals.  If you are planning on getting 7 days or more of riding in, it might be worth your while to just buy a season pass. 
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  Quote gunda pickle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 10:51am
I was hoping for some Wahhoos 2:1 coupons.
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  Quote Piranha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 11:17am
early season last year was sketchy pretty much everywhere except alaska and the pnw.  However, utah just got a 4 foot dump of snow, so a dirty/rocky ride in early january doesn't appear to be very likely.
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  Quote kikko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 11:32am
Originally posted by Seanyo23

Yea thanks i am new to bigger mountains so i think for now an easier assessable mountain would be a lot nicer.  Iam looking for a mountain where i can go up a lift and either chose to ride down a nice groomed trails or ride down some natural terrain and then after all that hit some rails and jumps. I just do not know how to search for that or which one would be better for my first time.

The Canyons, Utah. search youtube for some videos on The Canyons 9990 lift, i think you will really like that
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  Quote Angry Midget Yo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 11:33am
Originally posted by gunda pickle

any tips on getting discounted tickets?

Check out Liftopia and other discount sites or memberships that may offer discounts for whichever resort you're going for.
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  Quote cds4288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 11:47am
do resorts give military discounts much these days? its worth it to see if they do but they don't list it online.
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  Quote MTpow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2012 at 12:13pm
Originally posted by cds4288

do resorts give military discounts much these days? its worth it to see if they do but they don't list it online.


the only way you will find that out is by calling them individually
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  Quote sourgummies Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/15/2012 at 1:25pm
last year, they had some 5 dollar off coupons on top of the liftopia price. have a season pass this year so i'm not sure what the deals are.
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  Quote Commissar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/23/2012 at 12:10pm
For best bang for your buck I haven't been able to find anything that can touch Jackson Hole.  Going that early in the season is going to be hit and miss on amount of snow, although they open tomorrow.  Check out JacksonHoleWY.com for discounts, currently offering $250 off ski, stay, and flight.  I have only been to JH and Winter Park.  WP was cheaper only due to the fact that we took a train out there.  The Mountain was nowhere near JH.  Good luck to you.  I am from the Midwest, and every time I go out west I come back a hell of a lot better at snowboarding than when I go out. 
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  Quote CassinoNorth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/25/2012 at 6:43am
Originally posted by Seanyo23

Yea thanks i am new to bigger mountains so i think for now an easier assessable mountain would be a lot nicer. Iam looking for a mountain where i can go up a lift and either chose to ride down a nice groomed trails or ride down some natural terrain and then after all that hit some rails and jumps. I just do not know how to search for that or which one would be better for my first time.


Check out Snowmass. The Cirque (which the lift to the very top is an annoying T Bar) sounds exactly what you're looking for. Skiers' right is some insane trees and steeps and left you can cruise down a blue all day. And about half way down you can easily make your way into their parks which are consistently rated some of the best in the world.

http://www.aspensnowmass.com/en/-/media/ACB59D07776D47DCBEA8FF2D0E4FAC4E.ashx
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