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Help Needed: Four weeks, small(-ish) budget, spring skiing?


Diva in Training
Hi there!

I've skulked around these parts for a long time, but find myself with a question (well, several):

I don't know how to drive, have a budget that's a hair over a modest---I'm loath to call it comfortable---and have so much vacation time built up that they're threatening to start paying it out if I don't use it in 2017. I want to ski and read and drink tea and be away. Though, I'm also from a city (New York), and need to occasionally have palatable coffee made by someone who isn't me.

I had an ACL replacement in March 2015 and wasn't cleared to ski last season (I may or may not have let physically therapy slip very early on---learn from me, kids), but damn it, I finally got the green light two weeks ago. I'm scared (considering Fear Camp at Windham, as a primer, and would definitely spend as much time as possible on the mountain before the longer trip) and I'd be going alone, but it seems like the right thing to do. Official medical advice on skiing for a month is to do nothing stupid, but why the hell not. As far as levels, I have always had solid technique---parallel linked turns, and so on---but no confidence (notes from instructors have consistently been "Would that you weren't so anxious," etc.), and think that going to a big mountain for a long period of time might help with that.

You're me. Where do you go? What do you do? Where do you stay? I've looked at private rooms and whole condos in Airbnbs in Avon, Colorado; Canmore, Alberta; and what is allegedly just outside Whistler, though who's to say. I've sniffed around some smaller hotels in Banff and considered holing up in a small ski town off the beaten track. I've also investigated condos in Chamonix. This problem needs constraints, I think, and I would love to hear feedback or input from any of y'all who've embarked on similar long-term stays. March might be the best month for it, I'm thinking. Plus, the Epic Pass deadline has been extended to a week from today, so I am calling this fortuitous. What do you think?

Thanks in advance!

ski diva

Staff member
I don't have a specific suggestion for you, but you might want to investigate someplace that has a women's clinic you could attend. It might help with your anxiety issues and provide a measure of companionship that could make the trip really fun. I did a blog piece listing a whole raft of them not long ago. You can find it here.

And welcome to the forum!
Welcome! What a cool idea.. You sound like you need a nice ski vacation with all the time you've saved. Hurrah you are healed

Personally if I was you and just mended I would definitely find a Mt that has a woman's ski camp, you'll meet some new skiing friends and gain skill and confidence. Since you don't drive I would suggest a town that you don't need a car (free buses to the ski area) and one w/Airport shuttle to the Mt lodging.

Salt lake city is 40min from Several ski areas. there are shuttle buses to take you up to the Mt. some have 'towns' but others like Alta/Snowbird there is no town just great skiing, and a few lodging options. and if the canyon rd. is snowed in you get the place to yourself..

The Epic pass is great. I love that ski areas are teaming up to get us to the slopes!! I have the Mt Collective Pass my 2nd year skiing on it. This year I'm Going to Alta, then Aspen for Diva week (jan 15-21) then to Taos then to Whistler & Revelstoke, and I get 2 free days at Stowe (Diva East) I wish I had more vacation time to go to all the Mts on the MCP!!

and Best part is, I travel with women I've met on this forum- wonderful to ski w/like minded women

Last year on the MCP I went to Sun Valley, Alta, Aspen, Highlands, Snowmass/Buttermilk . I loved SunValley, Airport to fly into. (although we had a car and drove up from Salt Lake) it has very good terrain, plenty of steeps, bowls w/bumps, trees. Big groomers.
I liked that the town of Sun Valley is Flat and easy to walk to. There is ice skating and a beginner Mt to warm up on if you need too behind the SunValley lodge. We stayed at a Best Western across from the Mt. We walked up the driveway to a free shuttle right to the front door of SV! We walked into town every night for dinner. @Christy gave us great advice and tips where to eat etc.

Snowmass/Aspen/Highlands/Buttermilk while very $$$ also have SUPERB bus service in between the Mts. you can ski 1 Mt in the am and take a bus others for the Pm. and take a shuttle to Aspen town or Snowmass village for dinners and not drive a car. and an Airport to fly into.. There is good mass transit too (w/ski racks on the buses)

I've also vacationed in Keystone and took a shuttle from Denver to a condo on the river in Keystone, w/free bus to the Mt. Also the county bus provides bus service to other Mt.s We rode the bus to Breck, A-Basin and hitched a ride to Cooper, Copper and Vail w/friends we met at the Mt.

I'm sure others will give tips ideas too, perhaps you'll come to a diva week we have a blast and you'll meet like minded women for sure!! you need 20 posts to get into the diva only section but we'll all help you get there :-)

Glad you're able to ski this winter here's to a Snowy Winter on the East Coast!


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Welcome! I had ACL surgery in June and will find out next month if I'm allowed to ski the bunny slopes. I've been diligent about PT, but that has led to other issues - I've had some minor pains unrelated to the knee, and it's hard to figure out when to back off and when to keep pushing, and I suspect I've been dealing with overtraining from pushing so hard to get back on the slopes.

Anyway, I think the ski diva week at Aspen really might be a great fit. You would need to bus in to make it affordable, or stay in the super noisy older hotels close to the slopes. I'm the princess and the pea when it comes to sleeping, so we actually left early rather than deal with it.

I ski at Breck regularly. It is crowded, but if you are able to ski mid week and not during a holiday, it's pretty glorious. You could stay in Frisco to save money. I will say that coffee at altitude is tough to get right (or at least, that's my impression). The best coffee I've found in Breck so far is at a place called the Coffee Depot. The best gluten free baked goods are at Clint's, but their coffee is only so-so IMO.

Important question - when are you planning to take this vacation? Snow so far along the Vail corridor has been pretty sparse, and it's been crazy warm. It looks like that's turning, but you never know.


Angel Diva
Another option to consider is Jackson Hole. Although it is known for its steep terrain, Jackson has a lot of diverse terrain that I think would suit.

You could start with the March Jackson Hole Elevate Women's Camp which if you are interested @snoWYmonkey could give you more info on as she is a coach at the camp. But having done one of their camps I would say that it would meet your requirements for getting back into skiing and skiing with some awesome people admirably. I rate elevate as one of the best camps I have done ever.


There are direct flights to JH from NY and the public transport system in Jackson is one of the most efficient that I've come across. Good priced accommodation can be found in town or if you wanted on mountain at the Hostel.

It is one of my top rated mountains for friendliness too, staff, locals etc they get tourism.

In town there are several good coffee shops in town (and I am a coffee snob who lives in a coffee capital of the world - one of the last things we do before leaving the country to go to North America is have a good coffee and one of the first things we do when we come back is have a good coffee).


Staff member
Canmore without a car might be a problem. Banff would be better as the shuttles go from there.

Have you considered Whistler-Blackcomb? Shuttle from Vancouver and pedestrian village. No need for a car. Also check out SkiCan. They do ski trips and will arrange a flight for you to a Canadian gateway for Canadian areas.
and what is allegedly just outside Whistler, though who's to say.
If you post the address or location, we can say. :smile: Though BC is expensive. You will get sticker shock at the grocery store and everywhere else. Canadians come down here to WA to shop for everything, groceries included. But Whistler is definitely a no car needed place.

I dunno about Avon. I've stayed there a few times when going to Beaver Creek for World Cup races, and it's a serviceable place, but not somewhere I'd want to spend a month. It's very suburban, not terribly interesting or scenic. They do have very good and fast bus service up to Beaver Creek.

I agree with those that are recommending real towns like Ketchum (Sun Valley), Aspen or Jackson. The problem with all of these is affordability. Not only will you get your good coffee but also decent groceries, bookstores, movie theaters, all in a very walkable compact area. Ketchum is my favorite ski town and Sun Valley is my favorite ski resort, and I don't think it would be as pricey as Aspen, but I also doubt it will be cheap (though who knows if you are open to shared Airbnbs). If you can find a place you can afford in Ketchum that would be pretty sweet.


Diva in Training
Oh, what responses! Thank you all. This is likely poor thread etiquette, but I just wanted to let you all know that I've read your posts and want to respond in kind to your suggestions---I'm the tiniest bit swamped right now, and really just want to make a spreadsheet out of this thread.

I so love this community and your openness (and thoroughness!) with your suggestions. Response/s forthcoming once I emerge from under this pile of papers.

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