I sure don't envy you driving from the Springs up to ski country. It isn't even the road conditions that are a problem, moreso the traffic and other idiot drivers. I guess you probably don't envy how expensive everything is for me though, either.
If you end up in the Vail area, check out www.vailonsale.com
. It is a lesser known site by the tourism bureau for last minute deals for lodging.
I like the idea of finding a little mountain somewhere close by. I'm not sure what all is near the Springs, but you can slide down a beginner run and learn just as well at a smaller resort than some place like Vail. You will pay a premium for the biggest resort in the country. I guess if you pick it up pretty fast, then you might be ready to explore lots of terrain.
Q: What's the difference between a first time snowboarder and his instructor?
A: 2 Weeks
I've done all three, so here is my take. Snowboarding definately has a faster learning curve. Skiing is starting to be "cool" again, if you are worried about that stuff. Telemarking is probably the hardest, but maybe it would be more natural if you starting learning it first off the bat.
Telemarking is cool because:
-boots more comfortable than alpine boots (at least mine are)
-You can put on skins and use them to climb up in the backcountry then ski down
-It is more of an old-school hippy mountain man version of skiing that is becoming more and more mainstream
-If you can master it, Tele turns are graceful
-It is more difficult to learn and harder work, so you get "tough guy" points
-Texans don't tele, so no one will mistake you for a gaper
Snowboarding is cool:
-easy to learn
-slutty snowboard girls get chick boners for good snowboarders
-half pipe, easy in the powder, no tips to cross
-Skiing is like soo 1980s!
-Hmmm these boots are comfy. I wonder if anyone would notice if I wore them to work.
Alpine is cool because:
-Carving high speed turns is easiest on alpine gear!
-hey, it's the new snowboarding! (check the twin tips, bra!)
-Snowboarding is like sooo 90s
-pain + walk like an Egyptian to your car
-A little more versitile (no crying about the cat track to blue sky basin, no unstrapping in flat places)
-My alpine skis have boobs on them (Rossi BC Scratch)
-You can wear a 1-piece Bogner "Fag Bag" ski suit and you will fit in with some other skiers