Chester_Tartsnatcher op 11 October 2015 · 23:14
With the coming el Nino, the place to be is the far South West.
That said, I've lived in Salt Lake City, UT but now spend more time skiing around Ogden (Snowbasin and Powder Mountain) where it's more relaxed than Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) or Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC). Alta-Snowbird is an awesome complex, one of the best in North America, great terrain, super snow on average. There is good touring access from Alta, Snowbird is more restrictive. I do think LCC is overly crowded with too much cost and attitude. BCC is a littler mellower and there is great snow at both Solitude and Brighton and killer terrain too. Good touring there.
But as mentioned, the SW is a good bet this year, particularly after January.
One option is to fly into SLC, get a good car and scope options. You can ski around SLC for a few days to check things out and then if it's firing off around Taos or Telluride, drive Southeast from SLC, going through Spanish Forks, over Soldier Summit to the Green River plateau, past Moab and Arches National Park (worth a stop) through Grand Junction, then take 50 to 550 down through Ridgeway to Telluride. Telluride is awesome, among the best skiing and incredible touring. It's about 7 hour drive from SLC to Telluride. Good Telluride crash space is the Victorian (2 blocks from the gondola) or the Camel Garden (right on the gondy plaza).
After acclimatizing at T-ride (base is 8800 feet above sea level), drive over to Silverton in 2 hours (only open Thursday-Sunday) for great skiing. You can't tour there and will be required to carry beacon, shovel, probe and ski in a guided group, but it's really amazing skiing. Lift ticket @ Silverton are $140 and single heli drops are $150. But the town is very inexpensive and still an unfettered true American West town. There's lots of hotel options in Silverton.
From Silverton, drive 3 hours through Durango to Wolf Creek where the terrain is mostly mellow, but they get a ton of snow. You can stop in Pagosa Springs for hot spings. Taos is another 2.5 hours from there. Taos is another of the grande olde dames of Americn skiing and has a lot of choice steep terrain. Good lodging at the Abominable Snowmansion hostel in Arroyo Seco or Austing Haus for a little more upscale. Be sure to have a drink and dinner @ the St. Bernard in Taos ski valley proper.
You can arrange to leave your rental car in Albuquerque. Ski Santa Fe is an OK ski area and the old town Square in Albuquerque is another genuine taste of the American West.
I may be in Silverton and Telluride around the middle to ends of February.