What matters when it comes to snow for December skiing:
Finding good snow early in the season is often a game of chance. But there are mountains and regions that historically perform better than others. We take these factors into account when grading out our scores for resorts and the given season. That said, it's almost always a better bet, in terms of snow and open terrain, to ski in January or Feburary compared with December.
But skiing during the December holidays is a great tradition and it's also one of the only times many families can get away for extended periods.
Those skiing December should look for ski resorts with high average annual snowfalls and low standard deviations. In addition, steep and rocky ski resorts need more snow to get terrain open compared with ski resorts with more modest terrain.
This is also the time of year when slope aspects—north, east, south, west—matter the least. The sun is at it lowest angles in North America in December and has less effect on the snowpack at this time of year than at any other. So ski resorts that possess lots of south-facing and east-facing terrain will generally ski better—assuming there is enough snow—during these darkest times of winter rather than the spring. More explanation on this topic can be found on our snow rankings page.