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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 242336 22-Oct-2018 19:59
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I have been thinking of taking a ski holiday overseas for a number of years but never really thought I would get WAF for it.  However when I suggested it turns out she would be game.

 

I have always wanted to ski Japan, I have been there a few times (never skied there) love the food and culture.  I know people that have been and they thought it was great.  

 

Now that I have approval I have also been thing what about the States or Canada (I have never been to either).  Europe is an option but my wife lived there for a number of years and we have both skied over there so it wouldn't be new.  Also Europe gets very pricey.

 

So the options

 

Japan

 

  • Niseko

     

    • Love the food, culture and they have incredible snow.

USA

 

  • Snowbird/Altra  Salt Lake City Utah
  • Jackson Hole Wyoming  

     

    • Amazing snow, massive fields
    • Never been to the states

Canada 

 

  • Revelstoke
  • Banff / Whistler 

     

    • Don't really know much about them
    • Never been to Canada

Travel wise they are all about 20 hrs flight time away (to the nearest airport) and cost wise all about $2000 a ticket.

 

I am an advanced skier wife is intermediate so would need non-ski activities available.  Would be looking at the whole trip being 2 weeks with at least half of that skiing.  I am a teacher so would have to go in January. 

 

Any one with any experience? 

 

 


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  Reply # 2112424 22-Oct-2018 19:59
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Allow me to introduce you folks to our new travel community: TravelTalk NZ.

 

We hope to see you there!

 





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  Reply # 2112567 23-Oct-2018 07:44
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I've skied mostly in France, with some in Austria and NZ.  The best placed I've skied by a long margin was Whistler/Blackcomb - this is a huge ski area with excellent facilities and (maybe I was lucky) amazing snow compared to what I was used to in Europe.  One thing I really liked was safe, patrolled off-piste areas - compared to France where you're either on piste (which are a bit like Auckland motorways in peak season) or skiing off piste is at your own risk.  Whistler is a lot warmer than the Rockies fields - like NZ conditions compared to the -10 or so which is frequent in inland north america (or so I've been told).

 

Vancouver and the surrounding area are really nice too, so if you want to combine some non-skiing activities it's a good option


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2112593 23-Oct-2018 09:22
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Did a bit of snowboarding while I was living in Japan and loved it. Went to a number of places including Hakuba and Niseko although I tended to gravitate to Gala Yuzawa in Niigata prefecture because it was closest to where I live. Tended to get quite crowded during busy season but orderly crowds made things bearable.






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  Reply # 2112598 23-Oct-2018 09:38
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We have been to Niseko 2 times over the last 2 NZ summers (went in Feb - time your dates with Chinese and Japanese New years) and its been the best powder I have ever been in (Have snowboarded in NZ, Austria, France, Canada, and Japan). We boarded at Niseko and Kiroro (waist deep powder and and no queues at Kiroro) - highly recommend a transceiver and avalanche bag for off piste riding, in saying that it was knee deep powder on the trails at Kiroro. We hired a car from Sapporo to make it easier to get around and got to the field in the Niseko area that had the best snow each day. We stayed at the Snow Dog which are apartments that opened 2 years ago (we were the first to stay there) and will go back there again in the future. The onsens are great after a days riding and the food is amazing in Japan. Would recommend to time your trip to catch the Sapporo Snow Festivals (massive ice sculptures and light shows). We flew with Air NZ and ANA to Sapporo (if transiting through Tokyo, make sure your flights go to the same Tokyo airport and not have to stress/worry about changing airports in Tokyo esp. if you are hauling your own ski gear).

 

I have been to Whistler at the start of the season before the crowds arrived. There are some very long runs and can see why its a popular place when its gets a lot of snow, it can be expensive as well depending on what part of the season you go. Whistler is about 2 hours by bus from Vancouver.

 

With Revelstoke and Banff, you will need to get to Calgary and then get car to drive which will all add to your travel time.

 

 

 

If I had to choose, I would choose Niseko over Whistler.


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  Reply # 2112603 23-Oct-2018 09:58
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Niseko has incredible powder snows. If you go late January you should be alright, although you might want to look into bookings asap as its already filling out quickly. If you want to stay in Sapporo for the snow festival (early Feb) its going to be pricey.

 

 

Return flights to tokyo are around 1.2k if you poke around deals. Another $200-350 from tokyo to sapporo return via one of many domestic flights that go there via ANA.

 

 

I suppose the only minor problem with niseko is it's pretty much Aussie town. Pretty good if you need to get around as tons of people (even staffers) are foreigners and speak english, bad only in the regard that its not really japan there.

 

 

The other place thats close to tokyo is Hakuba. A somewhat lengthy bus ride, but you don't need to take a plane to get to it.

 

 

Canada's Whistler would be good, I need to go visit myself sometime. US is off the books till the dollar comes back to a good price :(

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  Reply # 2112605 23-Oct-2018 10:01
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Been to Lake Louise in Canada twice.
Very pretty, quiet.

Was site of winter Olympics many years ago.
Might still be the biggest field in Canada. Might have the longest run at 7km

Could be an option if based in Baff.

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  Reply # 2112612 23-Oct-2018 10:22
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From my wife who is from Canada

 

 

 

Banff is about 1.2/2hrs drive from Calgary.  Is mostly the town you would stay for accommodation however all the mountains are a short drive, so from Banff you have Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mt Norquay.  This gives you options in terms of mountains and ski area. Sunshine village is beautiful and offers great skiing with a variety of run levels - its mostly geared towards skiers so if you are a snowboarder there are numerous flat areas. Lake Louise again beautiful, lots of range of run and levels. Mt Norquay is mostly beginners and intermediate, as an advance skier you might not find it challenging.   If you are going to drive to Revelstoke from Banff you could stop in Golden and try out Kicking Horse, which on a good powder day is epic, mostly intermediate and advance skiing here, there are a few beginner runs. Throughout the Banff national park you have loads of non skiing activities such as skating, dog sled, cross country skiing and walking. Banff has nice dining and shopping. There are plenty of hot springs which are amazing after a day of skiing.  Revelstoke I haven't been but it is meant to receive  from 8m to 12m of snow every year.  


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  Reply # 2112625 23-Oct-2018 10:48
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afe66: Been to Lake Louise in Canada twice.
Very pretty, quiet.

Was site of winter Olympics many years ago.
Might still be the biggest field in Canada. Might have the longest run at 7km

 

7km doesn't come close these days,

 

The current longest in Canada is Revelstoke's "Last spike" - but its a pretty tame green trail that snakes back and forward across the mountain. Whistler's "Peak to Creek" at 11km is a great run when its open,   But a better challenge is down through Whistler bowl and draining out via the lower Dave Murray... That will let you know how good your pre season training was :)

 

 


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  Reply # 2112631 23-Oct-2018 11:02
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Best skiing I have ever experienced was the Tignes/Val D'Isere area in Savoie in France. Tignes in high (the village is at 2100m) and so if you take the lifts as far up as you can go, you can ski most of the day without needing a lift and just get the ski bus back up to Tignes! Many world class events are held in the area too.

 

 

 

I have skied in Whistler as well and that was pretty good, but the long runs and infrastructure in the Tignes area have it beat for variety and the sheer number of pistes and off piste areas.






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  Reply # 2112636 23-Oct-2018 11:11
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Geektastic:

 

Best skiing I have ever experienced was the Tignes/Val D'Isere area in Savoie in France. Tignes in high (the village is at 2100m) and so if you take the lifts as far up as you can go, you can ski most of the day without needing a lift and just get the ski bus back up to Tignes! Many world class events are held in the area too.

 

 

 

I have skied in Whistler as well and that was pretty good, but the long runs and infrastructure in the Tignes area have it beat for variety and the sheer number of pistes and off piste areas.

 

 

 

 

Val DiIsere/ Tinges would be my favorite spot in France out of there, Val Thorens, and Argentiere


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  Reply # 2112649 23-Oct-2018 11:47
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darkasdes2:

 

Geektastic:

 

Best skiing I have ever experienced was the Tignes/Val D'Isere area in Savoie in France. Tignes in high (the village is at 2100m) and so if you take the lifts as far up as you can go, you can ski most of the day without needing a lift and just get the ski bus back up to Tignes! Many world class events are held in the area too.

 

 

 

I have skied in Whistler as well and that was pretty good, but the long runs and infrastructure in the Tignes area have it beat for variety and the sheer number of pistes and off piste areas.

 

 

 

 

Val DiIsere/ Tinges would be my favorite spot in France out of there, Val Thorens, and Argentiere

 

 

 

 

I never skied in Argentiere, but it was the base for my summer Alpine expeditions such as the Tour de Mont Blanc and the Haute Route when in my late teens and early 20's.






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  Reply # 2116866 30-Oct-2018 14:39
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darkasdes2:

 

If you are going to drive to Revelstoke from Banff you could stop in Golden and try out Kicking Horse, which on a good powder day is epic, mostly intermediate and advance skiing here, there are a few beginner runs. Throughout the Banff national park you have loads of non skiing activities such as skating, dog sled, cross country skiing and walking. Banff has nice dining and shopping. There are plenty of hot springs which are amazing after a day of skiing.  Revelstoke I haven't been but it is meant to receive  from 8m to 12m of snow every year.  

 

 

Have done a lot of Europe and Canada - Whistler, Red, Big White, Fernie, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke (back when it was catskiing only and a tiny field) etc. 

 

Plus 1 from me for Kicking Horse - there's some amazing skiing & riding there and is up there with the best. And its close enough to Revelstoke that you could do both - bonus! 


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