bridger bowl MT fo da powda
I'm not sure money wise but Whistler.
Try and make it as cheap as possible whatever ways you can and it's so worth it
oh and i'm all for sleeping in my car. I've been living out of my jeep cherokee for the entire summer already and its been great!
If you want bang for your buck, Go to Montana. Period.
Lost Trail was featured in Realtime, and has like 29$ lift tickets. Big Mountain @ Whitefish is like 50 bucks and is effing huge, and you can ski all night in pow, and they have a pretty legit park. Discovery is cheap, and has an entire backside riddled with gnarly sick terrain. Big Sky and Moonlight are at least affordable, and DAMN they have crazy terrain.. and Red Lodge is off the chain.
Oh, and pretty much no matter what, you will never see a lift line.
As for tahoe - if youre a full time student, you can buy a season pass for 300 bucks. Get a cheap ass hotel (I recommend a place in Kings Beach, or Truckee - typically the cheapest rates) and just shred Squaw the whole time. Yeah, Alpine's sick and Northstar has a pretty cool park... but if you're going to Tahoe, Squaw is the place to hit up. If you dont ski there, thats like going to SLC and not going to Alta or going to BC and not going to Whistler.