Our twitter friends are buzzing about Colorado's first big snow fall of the year. We couldn't be more excited for them. In fact, this week we started planning a ski trip for January. How did we start?
First asked ourselves, do we feel like flying international? We've skied in France, Switzerland and Austria. The major advantages include getting the Euro experience, skiing on slopes that are more natural, less groomed and eating great food. Once when we were in Davos, we stumbled upon a little chalet that served up the best spaghetti bolognese of our lives. How they got supplies to that place is a mystery since the place was literally buried in snow (only the door was dug out). The disadvantage is the jet lag, it is hard to fly east anyhow and in the winter with less light, you have to be particularly diligent to wake up on time or you'll sleep away the day underneath the unbelievably thick down comforters that all the hotels have there. Also, on one trip to Chamonix we traveled all the way over and they were having a drought. Sadly the skiing was slim.
How about Whistler? We've been to the Olympics before and we're not sure we want to deal with the building out and fussing around that comes with the event. We'd like to head up there next year to take advantage of all that they've done to improve the site; but avoid the crowds this go around.
Utah is always a great choice. Easy direct flights to Salt Lake, a short drive to Park City and easy access to many different cool resorts. Park City has great lodging and a super fun strip for night time carousing. Utah also has the best snow, consistently, that we've ever skied. This was definitely in the running.
East coast skiing, a la Vermont? Sadly, as we get older, we get fussier about the cold weather and we swear it's colder (my dad calls it a wet cold) in Vermont than out west. Plus, our past few trips up there have been on icy slopes.
We ended up choosing Vail/Beaver Creek. The deciding factor was the amazing deal we got on plane tickets: $118 round trip, D.C. to Denver! We go each year with a group of friends, and yes we should probably branch out. At least we're staying somewhere new-- literally new, The Westin Riverfront Beaver Creek just opened last season. We're excited that they have a gondola that runs from the hotel up to the slopes, there's an outdoor lap pool (okay, we may not do laps; but we'll definitely hit the hot tubs), and we're looking forward to the new Anjali spa. If you ski Vail/BC you know how good it feels to take the first trip up the mountain, to find your favorite pit stop for chili and beer, to find a path through the trees and sit for a few minutes on the edge of a slope, saying hi to the familiar view, which is always breath taking. January can't come soon enough.
Need more inspiration? Check out this video: