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December Skiing

IKam

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I want to start skiing in December (trying to make it to 50 days actually skiing this upcoming season) and am trying to decide between Breckinridge and Whistler/Blackcomb. We just got a timeshare type plan and both places work so lodging is not an issue. Snow is the issue. I've been to Whistler many times and really love it but I've never been there in December and the lodging would be on the Blackcomb side. I've never been to Breck and think the easier meandering trails (what I've read) would be a good way to start the season. Thoughts? BTW, if I go to Breck, I would need to find a gal interested in sharing the unit and skiing together. It's too high for my hubby.
 

RachelV

Administrator
Staff member
Colorado just varies a ton in December depending on how much snow we get.... it could be quite good or it could be very much early season conditions. You can take the bus to Keystone from Breck, and Keystone is where Vail Resorts really focuses their early season snowmaking, so between the two it probably wouldn't be bad, but it's just really hard to say with much more certainty than that. If you're looking for easier groomers just to cruise around, it will almost certainly be fine.

How late can you book? :smile:
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
I'm with your Hubby..Colorado and Utah are too high for me.
WB - only the top of the mountain may be open. So you might need to download from Olympic station.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
We used to go to Whistler in late Nov and early to mid December regularly, when it was cheaper and wasn't on Epic. It was often great, or great for that time of year anyway, but not always. Any chance you could reserve both places then cancel one? Early season is just tough to nail.

Something I always did for early season was choose a place I'd be happy if the skiing was awful. Granted I live near a lot of skiing, so it wasn't like any trip would be the only time I could ski.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I want to start skiing in December (trying to make it to 50 days actually skiing this upcoming season) and am trying to decide between Breckinridge and Whistler/Blackcomb. We just got a timeshare type plan and both places work so lodging is not an issue. Snow is the issue. I've been to Whistler many times and really love it but I've never been there in December and the lodging would be on the Blackcomb side. I've never been to Breck and think the easier meandering trails (what I've read) would be a good way to start the season. Thoughts? BTW, if I go to Breck, I would need to find a gal interested in sharing the unit and skiing together. It's too high for my hubby.
Last season I had an Epic Pass for a March trip to Crested Butte. To take advantage of it, I spent a few days checking out Vail and Beaver Creek in mid-Dec 2023. I found a small apartment in West Vail for a few nights that was very convenient. It was right on the bus line. The groomers were in decent shape at both resorts. However, there was an early December storm system that helped get the season going.

I also spent a day each at Keystone and Breck before going to CB. I was with Bill. From what we explored, I think you would like both of them. Keystone has longer groomers. It's a bit easier to figure out where to go than Breck. The town of Breck is more interesting and closer to the slopes than what is around the base of Keystone.
 

IKam

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I signed up for the Vail/Beaver Creek trip with the 70+ club. That will be late January, so it should be decent. I'm thinking maybe I should do Whistler early and try to get Breck in the late season. I can wait a little longer before scheduling Whistler. And yes, it is a place that we really like, just hoping the Symphony Bowl will be open. Thanks for the input. I can always use it. BTW, I'm planning on going to Keystone with Sanctuary Ski Club. That' the beginning of March. I'm looking forward to those long groomers.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
I signed up for the Vail/Beaver Creek trip with the 70+ club. That will be late January, so it should be decent. I'm thinking maybe I should do Whistler early and try to get Breck in the late season. I can wait a little longer before scheduling Whistler. And yes, it is a place that we really like, just hoping the Symphony Bowl will be open. Thanks for the input. I can always use it. BTW, I'm planning on going to Keystone with Sanctuary Ski Club. That' the beginning of March. I'm looking forward to those long groomers.
Why not do Breck and Keystone on the same trip? They are practically next door. I spent a week in Breck last February (literally 2 weeks after Steamboat) and really enjoyed the high alpine there. Also, it was not crowded on the high lifts. We had a blast as the summit is over 12k feet so the snow was very good the entire week. Not to mention the luxury ski in ski out accommodations ......
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Why not do Breck and Keystone on the same trip? They are practically next door. I spent a week in Breck last February (literally 2 weeks after Steamboat) and really enjoyed the high alpine there. Also, it was not crowded on the high lifts. We had a blast as the summit is over 12k feet so the snow was very good the entire week. Not to mention the luxury ski in ski out accommodations ......
Since @IKam is going with the Sanctuary Ski Club of Chicago, it will be easier to just go with the flow and ski where the club's itinerary dictates. The price is hard to beat. I expect lodging is slopeside. That ski club has been organizing trips since the 1980s. The advantage of going with the ski club is that it will be easier to find ski buddies on a given day.

Bill and I had a good time checking out all the black terrain off-piste at Keystone and Breck last March, but IKam is a 70+ midwest skier who is looking more for long groomers than bumps or trees. I had a good time checking out Boyne Mountain and The Highlands with her last January. Especially when we caught the rope drop after a lake-effect powder storm. She didn't start skiing until over 50 and likes speed.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I signed up for the Vail/Beaver Creek trip with the 70+ club. That will be late January, so it should be decent.
That sounds like a lot of fun! Plenty of long groomers at both Vail and Beaver Creek.

I noticed that the 70+ club has a March trip to Aspen/Snowmass. Have you been there yet?
 

IKam

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
That sounds like a lot of fun! Plenty of long groomers at both Vail and Beaver Creek.

I noticed that the 70+ club has a March trip to Aspen/Snowmass. Have you been there yet?
I believe I did go there a few to several years ago. However, the Sanctuary trip comes back on March 8th and the 70+ trip to Aspen is 3/8-15. I'll need to catch my breath. I'm also on the wait list for the 70+ trip to Banff in Feb.
 

IKam

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Since @IKam is going with the Sanctuary Ski Club of Chicago, it will be easier to just go with the flow and ski where the club's itinerary dictates. The price is hard to beat. I expect lodging is slopeside. That ski club has been organizing trips since the 1980s. The advantage of going with the ski club is that it will be easier to find ski buddies on a given day.

Bill and I had a good time checking out all the black terrain off-piste at Keystone and Breck last March, but IKam is a 70+ midwest skier who is looking more for long groomers than bumps or trees. I had a good time checking out Boyne Mountain and The Highlands with her last January. Especially when we caught the rope drop after a lake-effect powder storm. She didn't start skiing until over 50 and likes speed.
I think you know me pretty well.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I think you know me pretty well.
It's great that you have more than one ski club to choose from. For slopeside lodging at destination resorts, that's the best deal. I'm keeping an eye on the 70+ club trips. Especially for Europe. I've noticed they go to Big Sky every year.
 

IKam

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
It's great that you have more than one ski club to choose from. For slopeside lodging at destination resorts, that's the best deal. I'm keeping an eye on the 70+ club trips. Especially for Europe. I've noticed they go to Big Sky every year.
I don't see Big Sky on their list for this year. I haven't been there yet, have you?
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I don't see Big Sky on their list for this year. I haven't been there yet, have you?
Ah, 70+ was at Big Sky in 2023 and 2024, as well as earlier years so I thought it was an annual trip. Although it wasn't sold out for 2024 by Nov 2023. There was a Senior Skiing article that mentioned spots were left.

Big Sky is on my Top Five list. I've been there five times so far, including in March 2023 and March 2024. I always ski a few days at Bridger Bowl as well. That's close to Bozeman but there is no slopeside lodging.

You would like Big Sky. Quite a few long green/blue groomers in more than one section. It's huge. I think of it as a "4 day" resort. Meaning it would take an advanced skier four days to explore every section of the resort enough to have ridden all the lifts and ski at least 1-2 runs off each lift.
 

IKam

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Ah, 70+ was at Big Sky in 2023 and 2024, as well as earlier years so I thought it was an annual trip. Although it wasn't sold out for 2024 by Nov 2023. There was a Senior Skiing article that mentioned spots were left.

Big Sky is on my Top Five list. I've been there five times so far, including in March 2023 and March 2024. I always ski a few days at Bridger Bowl as well. That's close to Bozeman but there is no slopeside lodging.

You would like Big Sky. Quite a few long green/blue groomers in more than one section. It's huge. I think of it as a "4 day" resort. Meaning it would take an advanced skier four days to explore every section of the resort enough to have ridden all the lifts and ski at least 1-2 runs off each lift.
That Lizette Trail in the article looks fabulous! Lots of room around trees, just how I like it! BTW, 70+ seems to go to Utah every year. I went last year or was it the year before to? Anyway, getting to around 5 different resorts was like a Reader's Digest of Utah skiing. Last session I got to see all that I missed in Alta and some of Snowbird. I'd love to spend some more in-depth time in the other resorts. So much great skiing, so little time.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
That Lizette Trail in the article looks fabulous! Lots of room around trees, just how I like it! BTW, 70+ seems to go to Utah every year. I went last year or was it the year before to? Anyway, getting to around 5 different resorts was like a Reader's Digest of Utah skiing. Last session I got to see all that I missed in Alta and some of Snowbird. I'd love to spend some more in-depth time in the other resorts. So much great skiing, so little time.
There are several long trails besides Lizette on Andesite Mtn. at Big Sky you would like. Plus other on the front side of Lone Peak. The new lift being installed this summer at Moonlight will make that area more fun.

You went to SLC before we met in person for a chat in Chicago last summer, so either 2023 or 2022. I showed you around Snowbird in April 2024 when you were staying at Alta Lodge with my friends.

The only Raleigh ski club trip I did back in the 1990s was to SLC. Other than Alta and Snowbird, I didn't really remember the other places we went. I'd skied at Alta before that trip. I was only skiing blue groomers then. The other intermediates were the cautious type. They opted not to ski at all during a powder day storm. I caught a ride up to Snowbird with advanced skiers but stuck to Baby Thunder.
 

DebbieSue

Angel Diva
Lizette is a favorite of mine…low angle bumps and pretty aspen trees and enough width to choose your own adventure. And it’s often sunny. I learned about it here on SkiDiva! I was at a conference at Big Sky and dragged some “regulars” mostly older skiers 60+ but some whipper snappers in their 30s too over there when I was a first timer, based on SkiDiva intel. The group was very impressed. Another favorite, if there’s “enough” snow, is Elk Park Meadows, for that open bowl feeling. It is perhaps a bit more challenging once you’re down in the gully, but still lots of choices to pick your way through.
 

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