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Western IKON trip recommendations

COcanuck

Angel Diva
Throwing in another plug for Copper for the instate trip idea. Have had a couple days there and definitely think it would be a fun place to ski more with the family!

Absolutely, we're just waiting on a little bit more terrain to open up, I've never skied there before!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Awesome, thanks for the information! You think Alta would be ok for lots of beginner terrain for the kiddos?
Alta is a wonderful place to learn to ski. Last week on Friday afternoon, the Sunnyside lift line got long around 3:30 when the local groups of kids showed up. Meaning little ones ages 4-10. There is a pass that's almost free for skiing after 3:00. Sunnyside and Collins run until 4:30.

One of my ski trip travel buddies last week was a cautious intermediate skiing Alta for the first time. She was thinking she'd stop at lunch time, but ended up having so much fun that when the sun was out she'd ski until 3:00 before heading back to Snowbird where we had small condo rooms at the Iron Blosam. We took the free UTA bus up to Alta every day.

Alta instructors are very good. I took my daughter for spring break trips ages 7-12. She learned enough in VA to ski blues after the first day of ski school. She was better than I was by age 11 since I hadn't really started taking lessons regularly at that point and was mostly still skiing groomers based on what I'd learned skiing a couple seasons during middle school.

The easy blues off Supreme are quite skiable for advanced beginners. Now that Supreme starts at Alf's (mid-mountain, access from Sunnyside), it's pretty easy to take people up there.

Did you see my post about free lodging for kids at Alta Lodge during selected weeks this season? Staying there is how I got completely spoiled as a parent traveling solo since my husband is a non-skier. The free Kids' Program runs from 4:30-8:15, and includes feeding them dinner. I ate lunch and a dinner at Alta Lodge last week. With the adjustments they have in place, I was quite comfortable. The option to eat in your room is available this season. Breakfast and dinner is included when staying at any of the lodges in the town of Alta.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I knew about the Big Sky IKON reservations, I'm hoping to do mid-week there and I definitely will be planning everything pretty carefully because of all the new protocols. It may or may not happen, just wanted to see if people had good recommendations and felt that the rest of the family would be ok on the mountains available!

Do you have any recommendations for lodging in Utah or at Big Sky? Not looking for expensive, just clean :o)
Big Sky has lots of lodging options. As long as it's okay to drive 10-15 minutes, the condos in Meadow Village are a better deal. If you want slopeside, check out the condos near Moonlight. That base is smaller and less crowded. It's possible to ski over to the main Big Sky area but it can take 15-20 minutes to get to the nice green trails near the main base or on the back of Andesite Mt. There are also condos with "transportation" lifts in between the main base and Moonlight.

The shuttle from the main base parking lots are open tram style. Usually my ski buddy, Bill, drops off passengers and we take care of his ski gear while he parks the car.

The greens at Big Sky are long and wide. Also long easier blues on Andesite and the front of Lone Peak.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Hubby and I have the IKON base pass (came free with our Aspen SkiCo passes) and we actually want to try and use it this year. I'm a front-line physician and so I'm very careful with COVID protocols, etc, (wouldn't go if there are state restrictions) but if it is possible to do a trip in mid-February, I can really use the break!

We live in Western Colorado in Glenwood Springs and so we are possibly thinking about driving west into Utah and then north into Montana.
Which of the Aspen mountains do you ski the most?

If you stayed in SLC, Brighton is where some local families send their kids to learn to ski. Midweek I don't think it will be too crowded. Solitude also has a good ski school but the green trails are a little on the short side.

Lots of VRBO/AirBnB options in SLC, with many relatively near the base of LCC/BCC. Unless it's a powder day, I don't think parking will fill up midweek. That said, I'd say staying at Alta or Snowbird for 3-4 nights would make for a more relaxing ski vacation.

Mask usage at Alta was quite good last week. Lifties were reminding people to cover their noses on a regular basis at all the lifts. My friends who skied at Snowbird also found that mask usage there was good. But Snowbird is not the best for beginners and intermediates. Definitely not in comparison to Alta that's a mile up the road.
 

COcanuck

Angel Diva
Alta is a wonderful place to learn to ski. Last week on Friday afternoon, the Sunnyside lift line got long around 3:30 when the local groups of kids showed up. Meaning little ones ages 4-10. There is a pass that's almost free for skiing after 3:00. Sunnyside and Collins run until 4:30.

One of my ski trip travel buddies last week was a cautious intermediate skiing Alta for the first time. She was thinking she'd stop at lunch time, but ended up having so much fun that when the sun was out she'd ski until 3:00 before heading back to Snowbird where we had small condo rooms at the Iron Blosam. We took the free UTA bus up to Alta every day.

Alta instructors are very good. I took my daughter for spring break trips ages 7-12. She learned enough in VA to ski blues after the first day of ski school. She was better than I was by age 11 since I hadn't really started taking lessons regularly at that point and was mostly still skiing groomers based on what I'd learned skiing a couple seasons during middle school.

The easy blues off Supreme are quite skiable for advanced beginners. Now that Supreme starts at Alf's (mid-mountain, access from Sunnyside), it's pretty easy to take people up there.

Did you see my post about free lodging for kids at Alta Lodge during selected weeks this season? Staying there is how I got completely spoiled as a parent traveling solo since my husband is a non-skier. The free Kids' Program runs from 4:30-8:15, and includes feeding them dinner. I ate lunch and a dinner at Alta Lodge last week. With the adjustments they have in place, I was quite comfortable. The option to eat in your room is available this season. Breakfast and dinner is included when staying at any of the lodges in the town of Alta.

@marzNC thanks so much! It looks like I'm going to have to look at Utah anyway since Big Sky is all sold out for IKON during the times we want to travel. I'll take a look at the program and rates, I really appreciate the advice!!
 

COcanuck

Angel Diva
Big Sky has lots of lodging options. As long as it's okay to drive 10-15 minutes, the condos in Meadow Village are a better deal. If you want slopeside, check out the condos near Moonlight. That base is smaller and less crowded. It's possible to ski over to the main Big Sky area but it can take 15-20 minutes to get to the nice green trails near the main base or on the back of Andesite Mt. There are also condos with "transportation" lifts in between the main base and Moonlight.

The shuttle from the main base parking lots are open tram style. Usually my ski buddy, Bill, drops off passengers and we take care of his ski gear while he parks the car.

The greens at Big Sky are long and wide. Also long easier blues on Andesite and the front of Lone Peak.

@marzNC lol, I checked out the prices for the stuff slopeside and my eyes almost bugged out of my head! I would have booked at the 320 ranch suggested above if Big Sky had any days available for IKON. Alas, I'll just keep these posts bookmarked as suggestions for 2022!
 

COcanuck

Angel Diva
Which of the Aspen mountains do you ski the most?

If you stayed in SLC, Brighton is where some local families send their kids to learn to ski. Midweek I don't think it will be too crowded. Solitude also has a good ski school but the green trails are a little on the short side.

Lots of VRBO/AirBnB options in SLC, with many relatively near the base of LCC/BCC. Unless it's a powder day, I don't think parking will fill up midweek. That said, I'd say staying at Alta or Snowbird for 3-4 nights would make for a more relaxing ski vacation.

Mask usage at Alta was quite good last week. Lifties were reminding people to cover their noses on a regular basis at all the lifts. My friends who skied at Snowbird also found that mask usage there was good. But Snowbird is not the best for beginners and intermediates. Definitely not in comparison to Alta that's a mile up the road.

@marzNC as a family we ski Buttermilk and Snowmass the most. I'm a fan of Highlands though, it's my favorite! I think I'll take a closer look at either Alta or Deer Valley, I need to make sure that they have a good cancellation policy if they decide to implement IKON pass restrictions...
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
@marzNC as a family we ski Buttermilk and Snowmass the most. I'm a fan of Highlands though, it's my favorite! I think I'll take a closer look at either Alta or Deer Valley, I need to make sure that they have a good cancellation policy if they decide to implement IKON pass restrictions...
In some ways I like Highlands better than Snowmass because it has terrain for all levels in a more compact area. Buttermilk a couple days after a powder storm is great for easy powder turns since advanced skiers don't bother to go. Had a very good time one afternoon after skiing a few runs with a friend who was a cautious intermediate.

DV is unusual in that it's always has limited days for Ikon holders. Last season they only got up to their capacity limit for a few days, which were all during holiday periods.

@marzNC lol, I checked out the prices for the stuff slopeside and my eyes almost bugged out of my head! I would have booked at the 320 ranch suggested above if Big Sky had any days available for IKON. Alas, I'll just keep these posts bookmarked as suggestions for 2022!
Yep, slopeside at Alta is pricey. In a normal season, it's possible to book a dorm room at Alta Lodge for a family. But not sure that's an option this season. In general for all the lodges at Alta, best to call and not just rely on the websites. Each one has a different personality.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
@marzNC thanks so much! It looks like I'm going to have to look at Utah anyway since Big Sky is all sold out for IKON during the times we want to travel. I'll take a look at the program and rates, I really appreciate the advice!!
You might check Ikon reservations again in a couple weeks. It's possible that Big Sky is being conservative in how many slots they open up far in advance until they get the hang of adjustments needed this season. Could also call and see what Guest Services says.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
@COcanuck : it occurs to me that you might take a look at the lodging at Solitude. Have heard good things about staying there with kids. The little "village" is nicely laid out even though it's relatively small. Especially if have a car. Brighton is just up the road for a little variety. Close enough for a day trip to Alta to get a feel for why Alta is a favorite for spring break trips even as late as mid-April.
 

bsskier

Angel Diva
I’m in Big Sky now. It’s absolutely packed, but this is not uncommon for Christmas week. Slopeside hotels are sold out and BaseCamp and ticket windows are turning people away who want tickets as walk ups (usually part of a group staying in a private home). Putting reservations and what if’s aside, the best way to guarantee you get access to this mountain is to book lodging with the resort.
 

COcanuck

Angel Diva
@COcanuck : it occurs to me that you might take a look at the lodging at Solitude. Have heard good things about staying there with kids. The little "village" is nicely laid out even though it's relatively small. Especially if have a car. Brighton is just up the road for a little variety. Close enough for a day trip to Alta to get a feel for why Alta is a favorite for spring break trips even as late as mid-April.

@marzNC thanks, I'll check into that too, it's hard to beat about $100 per night in SLC vs. slopside though!!
 

COcanuck

Angel Diva
I’m in Big Sky now. It’s absolutely packed, but this is not uncommon for Christmas week. Slopeside hotels are sold out and BaseCamp and ticket windows are turning people away who want tickets as walk ups (usually part of a group staying in a private home). Putting reservations and what if’s aside, the best way to guarantee you get access to this mountain is to book lodging with the resort.

@bsskier yeah, I felt that my timing this year was a little off because of the holiday, we'll probably try and do it next season at a more off-peak time. No way I'm going to pay that kind of money just to guarantee lift ticket access when we have unlimited access at our home mountain. Was hoping to make it work, but no biggie!
 

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