Fishbowl

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So,

The wife and I have a road trip planned starting next Saturday, January 20th. We are leaving from Flagstaff AZ on the Saturday morning, and can go any where we wish, as long as we are in Sandy Utah on the evening of Wednesday the 24th for a ski gathering with friends. That means we have five days to drive and ski. We do have Snowbowl season passes, which means we have the Powder Alliance benefits, plus some reciprocity with other resorts. Our original plan had been to drive to Durango and ski Purgatory for three days before heading up to Salt Lake, but as the infamous "cancel my plans" thread points out, there is no snow. We can book hotels through Booking.com with free cancellation, and we don't mind driving. However, we are now a week away and need to make some choices. The best skiing we can find is at the top of our list, but not exclusive. The lodging roughly costs the same wherever we go, but ticket prices range from free, to discounted, to full window price. Driving is tertiary, but does carry some weight. We are also basing our choices on current skiing conditions, as snow is, well, not exactly reliable this year.

So, here are the options we have so far.

  • We can make the 8 hour drive to Monarch, ski for free for three days then make the seven hour drive to SLC for the gathering.
  • We can also ski Crested Butte for free for three days, but can't find reasonable accommodation in the area
  • We can make the eight hour drive to Ogden and ski PowMow for free for three days, then drive down to SLC on the Wednesday.
  • We can make the seven hour drive to Sandy and ski the Cottonwood resorts at window price for a few extra days before the gathering begins
  • We can make the twelve hour drive to Jackson and ski the Hole with a 40% discount for three days, then make the four hour drive back to SLC on the Wednesday
  • Anything else anyone can come up with
If it were you, were would you go?
 

Phelmut

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If it were me I'd take the ride to Jackson (never been and snow is probably great now) and head back to SLC Wednesday 10ish to relax before meeting up with the gang. O don't think Powmow will keep you interested for 3 straight days based on what I've heard here (again, never been:( If not that, then maybe go to SLC, ski Powmow for a day or 2 and the rest at a LLC/BLC resort that you've never been. Sounds like a fun trip either way.
 

Uncle-A

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Go with any of the locations that accept your ski pass.
 

Slim

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Drive to SLC, then:

Brighton has an offer stay 2 nights, ski 2 days right now, for $299, for 2 people.

And if the forecast snow happens next weekend, PowMow might open up enough terrain to be fun for several days, one day should be fun there for sure.

That way you don’t have to drive so far, and you don’t pay lift tickets.

Do any of your passes offer anything at Grand Tharghee? They have a ton of reciprocity deals of 3 night lodging, ski free (not cheap lodging though)?
 
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Tricia

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We can make the eight hour drive to Ogden and ski PowMow for free for three days, then drive down to SLC on the Wednesday.
This would be my first choice. I've heard incredible things about PowMow, but have never been there.
My second choice would be...
We can make the 8 hour drive to Monarch, ski for free for three days then make the seven hour drive to SLC for the gathering.
Not that any of your other choices are bad, but I always find it fun to do something a little less obvious if its possible.
 
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Fishbowl

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Brighton has an offer stay 2 nights, ski 2 days right now, for $299, for 2 people.
That's a nice otion, do you have a link to the deal? I can find similar offers through the Visitors Center, but not at that price.
 
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Fishbowl

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This would be my first choice. I've heard incredible things about PowMow, but have never been there.
My second choice would be...
We have been to Pow Mow several times, and it is one of our favorites. Unfortunately it seems to have the least coverage of the SLC/Ogden resorts right now. So even for free, it may need a good storm to make it worthwhile.


TNot that any of your other choices are bad, but I always find it fun to do something a little less obvious if its possible.
Yes we like the smaller resorts as well, like Beaver Mountain, but are just a little worried about the lack of vertical for three days.
 

Slim

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We have been to Pow Mow several times, and it is one of our favorites. Unfortunately it seems to have the least coverage of the SLC/Ogden resorts right now. So even for free, it may need a good storm to make it worthwhile.




Yes we like the smaller resorts as well, like Beaver Mountain, but are just a little worried about the lack of vertical for three days.
Didn’t I understand you were looking for 3 days of skiing before your group trip?
So if you do 2 days at Brighton, the coming winter storm should open up enough to make at least 1 day at PowMow worthwhile right?
That gives you 3 days, with no tickets bought and no extra driving to get to your gathering.
 
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Fishbowl

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Didn’t I understand you were looking for 3 days of skiing before your group trip?
So if you do 2 days at Brighton, the coming winter storm should open up enough to make at least 1 day at PowMow worthwhile right?
That gives you 3 days, with no tickets bought and no extra driving to get to your gathering.
We basically have five free days before the meet up. We have drive wherever we go, so I just split that up into two days driving and three days skiing, but whatever works is good. The lure of free skiing is nice, but we do want to ski more than just groomers, so conditions factor in as well.
 

tball

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  • We can make the 8 hour drive to Monarch, ski for free for three days then make the seven hour drive to SLC for the gathering.
  • We can also ski Crested Butte for free for three days, but can't find reasonable accommodation in the area
I love a ski road trip! So jealous! Some input from CO:

I'd think about two days at Monarch and a day at CB. There are lots of reasonable CB accommodations in Gunnison 30 mins away. I'll dig up the decent place I stayed at recently for $60/night with breakfast if you want.

Salida is the fantastic little town where you'd stay for Monarch. If you'd be happy for 3 days at Purg, I'd think you'd enjoy Monarch and the typically better surface conditions.

I did the Gunnison to SLC drive in a day then went out that evening. It was easy on a clear day but would have been too much if stormy/icy. If that's the case, I'd suggest driving part of the way Tues afternoon.

I believe your pass also has 3 free days at Copper and Loveland which are sporting some of the better conditions in CO. They both have some decent terrain open and are about open more.

Copper and Loveland are 1.5-2 hours from Salida and don't add much to the drive to SLC. You could head west Tues afternoon after skiing Copper or Loveland and stay in Eagle, Glenwood, Rifle or GJ/Fruita then finish the drive to SLC Wed morning. You might also consider moving from Salida to Leadville Mon night, then you'd be 30 mins from Copper Tues morning.

Here's the most reliable CO snow report that also shows you how much terrain is open by difficulty:
https://www.coloradoski.com/snow-report

In general, I'd delay the decision and go to the best snow wherever that is, CO, UT or WY! The nice thing about the areas you are considering is they all have readily available reasonable last-minute accommodations.
 
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Fuller

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I'm sitting in a hotel room in beautiful Junction City KS on our way to ski Loveland / Red Lodge / Whitefish. The GFS weather model is looking better for the near future and Targhee or Jackson will have the goods. They both have excellent coverage already.

I get sunny skies at Loveland to get my feet underneath me for the first time this year, a nasty drive to Red Lodge where it may snow a whole lot on the Saturday and then extended snowfall for Whitefish for the last week in Jan. I'll take it.
 

oswaldr2

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I vote the Jackson Hole golden ticket deal.

Do you also get any Power Pass benefits? Not sure exactly how that works vs. the Snowbowl Season pass.
 

oswaldr2

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I'm sitting in a hotel room in beautiful Junction City KS on our way to ski Loveland / Red Lodge / Whitefish. The GFS weather model is looking better for the near future and Targhee or Jackson will have the goods. They both have excellent coverage already.

I get sunny skies at Loveland to get my feet underneath me for the first time this year, a nasty drive to Red Lodge where it may snow a whole lot on the Saturday and then extended snowfall for Whitefish for the last week in Jan. I'll take it.
This is a nice little road trip. How are you doing lift tickets for these three? Any pass special or just going with the lower priced windows?
 
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Fishbowl

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I vote the Jackson Hole golden ticket deal.

Do you also get any Power Pass benefits? Not sure exactly how that works vs. the Snowbowl Season pass.
Because the snow in Purgatory is so poor, we bought the pass that gives us the Powder Alliance benefits and then three day reciprocity at about ten other random resorts. The only JH benefit is the 40% discount from being a general season pass holder. We gave up the free Purgatory days by not taking the power pass, but did save on the cost.
 

Sibhusky

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This is a nice little road trip. How are you doing lift tickets for these three? Any pass special or just going with the lower priced windows?
His season pass at Whitefish gives him Red Lodge (5 days) and Loveland (3). Also Diamond Peak (4), wherever that is. He and his wife are probably two of maybe six people actually going to use those benefits.
 
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Fishbowl

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Just wanted to thank everyone for their input. I read all the posts and considered all the options.

With up to a foot of new snow predicted for the region by Sunday morning, we have decided to drive from Flagstaff to Salida and ski Monarch Mountain for three days. Four nights at the Silver Lodge cost us $250 and the skiing is free on our passes. We do have the option to drive over to Crested Butte for the day if we need a change of scenery. We will take the drive up to SLC on the Wednesday and join our friends for four days in the Cottonwoods before heading home. lots of snow in the forecast, so, good times ahead.
 

oswaldr2

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With up to a foot of new snow predicted for the region by Sunday morning, we have decided to drive from Flagstaff to Salida and ski Monarch Mountain for three days.
Not a bad choice. Let us know how Monarch is skiing and the Silver Lodge is staying once it's all said and done. I'm hoping to get down to Monarch this year or next.
 

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