Advise on a ski trip?

tRidiot

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So we're probably going to go over Christmas. Like actually gone on Christmas week. So here are our options and rationale:

Killington, VT - very scenic, a 'different' place to go for us. Spend a day in Boston, take The Boy to see where the Tea Party happened, etc. Rent a cottage in the mountains, we've done a lot of looking, this is a cool little place, and it's not likely something we'll do again. So, since it would be our first family Christmas "away" from any home, friends, family, just us, it should (to our thinking) be a really cool, memorable trip for life. Downsides, a bit more expensive - flying to Boston, renting an SUV for a week, renting a cottage, etc.

Colorado/New Mexico - so I have never been skiing, don't know much about these places except tourist info, I wonder if they're tourist traps or really crowded - although I would THINK on actual Christmas week, that might be less likely? If we do this, we could drive it, save the airfare, save the auto rental. We'd probably choose to stay at an actual ski lodge/resort, spending the extra there. I would again 'assume' that those kinds places, like resorts, would have some kinds of stuff on Christmas? Or would we be stuck in our room eating Spam or going to Waffle House? BTW, The Wife and I had to do that one Christmas in Fayetteville, AR and she has never let me live it down. Skiing in CO/NM is drier, more comfortable, from what I have gleaned? But it's also something we could repeat anytime, not as big a memorable experience, it seems.

So, I'm open to some ideas... we talked it over with The Boy and he has his heart SET on snowboarding now, so we've scrapped the cruise idea or NYC for the holidays or whatever.

This is about a memorable family Christmas trip that he will always remember and we can reminisce about for many years.

So I'm open to specific recommendations about places in CO/NM, ski resort type places, I know a lot of you guys have been there lots of times. But we're not camping, not RVing, no prolonged outdoor living. I like the idea of coming back to a lodge, sitting in the great room in front of a fire with a whisky, maybe getting to know some folks from around the country.

What do ya'll think?
 

TwoForFlinching

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The problem with a lot of ski places is, they're not super friendly to beginners. Not that you'll be teased or shunned, they'll go out of their way to share the sport with you, but a lot of resorts are geared towards the seasoned skier. When we went to Pagosa Springs, Telluride, and Vail over the years, we found that the trails were just too long. Vail in particular, made two trips down the mountain in one eight hour day.

Headed back to CO for spring break with my nephews, decided to go to a touristy place. Initially we decided on Nederland because we went there all the time when we lived in Denver. It's about an hour out of Blouder, super friendly to those who don't aspire to skiing greatness and such, but lodging was murder anywhere near for 16 people. Breckinridge is a solid option too. Shorter runs, more to do other than just ski. The whole fam wants to tube. We decided to try Winter Park. Never been there, but it has a great reputation even though it'll be full of tourists. Well, plus I want to rent snowmobiles to ride the continental divide.

My advice, if you've never been skiing before, look to the familiar places most tourists go. Meals and lodging will be more affordable, and the mountain will be more forgiving. Start doing your squats now, or you'll be riding a chair in the lodge on your second day.
 

swampratt

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Angel Fire is the first and only place I have been only been 1 time and it was fun.
Never went snow skiing before and it was an experience. stay off the Black marked trails.

We stayed at a house off the resort that was awesome.
So can't comment on the resort.
Plenty of flat good areas to ski and they had a kiddy tube ride. and instructor course.

I chose to just get very long fast skis and head up the mountain on the lift and make my way back down and figure it out on my own.
3 trips up and many falls later I was told by some girls how to do it correctly.
I asked them on the way up a lift.
Basically do a small bunny hop to unload the skis and during this hop you can shift the skis a different direction to change the course of travel.

If you just try to lean or push out on the skis you will only be making large turns. 40 acre turns.
Those little bunny hops did the trick.
The long fast skis were awesome.

I was moving super fast coming down the last slope, some girl about 14 years old cut in front of me I had to stop quick or run her over.
I did the little bunny hop and planted both skis sideways and shot snow all over her.. it was like a super quick stop.
It was dry powder so it just fell to the ground not sticking to her..
She said i did not even see you!!
I said my fault I was going really fast and this is my first time to snow ski.

She laughed and said you stopped quick for a first time skier.

You gotta go man..and go really fast!!!
 

Jwryan84

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I've never been skiing, but did get rangled into snowboarding. You better be in great shape or you will be dead before the lessons are over the first day. Wish I would of skied, but it's just not something we are into.

Have you guys been to NYC for Christmas before? LOT of stuff to do and the parks and tree at Rockefeller are awesome.
 

Perplexed

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Will this be your boy’s first snowboard trip? If so, then wherever you go - sign him up for a snowboard school the very first full day you’re there. He will learn a lot from the class, and save himself some frustration trying to keep up with the experienced skiers and riders. He’ll also have a fair share of bumps and bruises from falling, mainly on his butt and his wrists. For the latter, I highly recommend wrist guards with a plastic insert that can be worn under gloves. I wish I had done this right off the bat, and I wore them every single time out ever since, even when I was good enough to ride the more mild black diamond slopes. You never know when your edge will catch and snap you right into the ground.

A helmet too, of course.

Having said that, I would suggest the smaller ski areas in CO. Copper Mountain is a good one - smaller, more manageable runs, an excellent snowboard school when I was last there, and its location right on I-70 is such that you can easily catch a shuttle to other ski areas like Vail if you want to try those slopes or just look around. Can’t say how crowded it would be over the Christmas week though, as I religiously avoided the slopes during holidays.
 

Cohiba

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DRC458

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Personally, I would opt for Vermont. I've never been to that part of the country, and might never be. I can't speak from experience. I've only been snow skiing once ... in Breckenridge, CO. The whole trip was a nightmare, but I don't necessarily mean the skiing. As you mention, staying close has definite advantages, but if you're thinking it might be a once-in-a-lifetime thing ...
 

bubbaturbo

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We like Crested Butte. Whatever you do, do it quick. I would think you are already going to have trouble finding lodging at Christmas. One or two places used to not allow snow boarding (Taos I think) so check that too. If it is your first time, take lessons on your first day (really wish I had because the slopes look like they are vertical at first) and go some place with a high percentage of green beginners slopes.
 

xseler

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I was through Killington, VT a few days ago. The runs aren't very long if that's a concern.

Another spot worth investigating would be Snowbird, UT. It's a very laid back place and friendly to snowboarders.

As far as New Mexico, Red River is my favorite.

Best of luck in your Christmas adventure!
 
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