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Question for all the avid skiers out there
Old 08-30-2016, 12:39 PM   #1
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Question for all the avid skiers out there

Normally around this time of year I start to develop a pretty good idea of what kind of ski trip(s) I'm interested in for the upcoming season, but this year... not so much. The only thing I know for certain is that I want to ski for at least two weeks (possibly three) somewhere interesting in the U.S. in the late January - late February time frame.

I would love some advice from fellow skiers on this board that might help me decide where to go. I am open to pretty much any destination within the lower 48, but I do have a slight preference for the west (i.e. Colorado, Utah, and nearby areas). Also I would love to find a place where lift tickets could be had for well under $100/day. If this requires purchasing a season pass, that's fine. Essentially, I'm looking for the most bang for the buck, and in recent years I've been able to average about $50/day by purchasing season passes well in advance.

One thing I should mention is that I'm only interested in larger ski areas... say, those with at least 1,000 skiable acres.

Any suggestions?
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Old 08-30-2016, 01:04 PM   #2
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I think large areas & lift tickets under $100 is pretty much an oxymoron, so the season pass is likely the only way to do. An then you're restricted to the areas/resorts that honor that pass.
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Old 08-30-2016, 01:20 PM   #3
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Check out an Epic Pass or a Mountain Collective Pass. This info may not be up to date as it's a couple years old, but is probably generally close:


Picking the Best Ski Pass: Epic Pass vs. Mountain Collective - Curbed Ski


Specifically where to go is complex. That's a cold time of year, good chance of major storms, so you might look for places where you can stay on the mountain or aren't too remote, and maybe not go too far north. I went to Winter Park in January once and wind chills hit close to 60 below. Summit County (Copper, Breck, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin) are close together and close to I-70 so that can be a good choice as they dig out quickly after storms.


It also depends if you want to be nearer a larger city (Denver or SLC), have a choice of multiple resorts, or would you be happy staying the duration in a classic ski town like Telluride or Steamboat?


Other factors are what kind of skiing. You can find some of anything anywhere, but, for example, Jackson Hole has a lot of steep expert runs, Snowmass is famous for long wide intermediate groomers, Steamboat has some good tree skiing, and so on.


Cost to stay is a big factor as much as lift tickets, though often those go hand in hand. Vail is world class skiing, but lift tickets and lodging are both very pricy. Utah seems to be a bit more reasonable, though I haven't been to CO or UT in 3-4 years now.
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Old 08-30-2016, 01:23 PM   #4
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Also, I don't know how old you are, but if you really are Don Knotts (that's a really disturbing profile pick, btw), check to see who has the best senior discounts.
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Old 08-30-2016, 02:04 PM   #5
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We go to Utah (Park City/Deer Valley) every year. Alta has the best prices; not sure how much at this point. Senior tickets help but still nudging $100

I've skied every year in the East and Europe...Utah has the best snow hands down.
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Old 08-30-2016, 02:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post

but I do have a slight preference for the west (i.e. Colorado, Utah, and nearby areas). Also I would love to find a place where lift tickets could be had for well under $100/day.

One thing I should mention is that I'm only interested in larger ski areas... say, those with at least 1,000 skiable acres.

Any suggestions?
yup, my ski hill - bogus basin - my season pass is under $300 a year, day tickets are under $50 I think

just make sure we are having a good snow year...

Brundage mountain (in McCall) may be a bit more pricey but the snow is always better than Bogus and the drive from town is much easier - bogus' base is 15 miles from my house but the road has 200 turns and you really need awd/4wd with studded tires

There are rarely if any lift lines at bogus or brundage plus bogus has night skiing which is pretty bada$$

Sun Valley may be out of your price range (I can't afford it )

http://bogusbasin.org/
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Old 08-30-2016, 02:18 PM   #7
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I've skied every year in the East and Europe...Utah has the best snow hands down.
no love for WY or ID?
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Old 08-30-2016, 02:35 PM   #8
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One of the best deals around is the Ski Vermont 5 Pass offered by the Vermont Ski Areas Association. Not sure what the 2016-2017 pricing will be but I looked back and for 2015/2016 the pricing was $205 for 5 days, $130 for 3 days.

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This deal is good for one day of skiing or riding at 5 different Vermont resorts, for a total of FIVE days of skiing or riding. Resorts do not need to be selected at time of purchase. Ski or ride any day, midweek or weekend EXCEPT during specified holiday periods (which vary by individual resort, but generally include the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the Martin Luther King Jr. long weekend and President’s week in February). Participating Resorts: Bolton Valley, Bromley, Burke, Jay Peak, Killington, Mad River Glen, Magic Mountain, Middlebury Snow Bowl, Mount Snow, Okemo, Pico Mountain, Smugglers' Notch, Stowe, Stratton, Sugarbush, Suicide Six
www.skivermont.com/3and5

Best thing to do is to email the Vermont Ski Areas Association and get on their email list if you are interested. Stowe, Killington and Sugarbush are each probably close to $100 a day for day tickets but I don't know because i would never pay that much to ski.

HOWEVER, they go on sale on October 1 and typically sell out before the day is over so if you want to do it be quick.. I bought mine just after midnight on October 1 and talked to a friend who tried to buy one in the afternoon on October 1 and they were sold out.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:08 PM   #9
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I have very fond memories of skiing at Alta. Tickets were the most affordable in the area and we stayed in a no-frills lodge right at the resort. I have heard prices are considerably pricier since a larger company took them over, but maybe still more reasonable then other places.

I have skied a few times at the Snow Bowl in Flagstaff, AZ. Having enough snow can be a hit or miss, but there are tons of other things to do there do. Not a large ski area, though.

cd :O)
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:10 PM   #10
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I'm so burned out on golf right now I'm ready to do some skiing after I get burned out on football
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:12 PM   #11
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Also, I don't know how old you are, but if you really are Don Knotts (that's a really disturbing profile pick, btw), check to see who has the best senior discounts.
Hahah, well I'm under 50 so I don't think I'd qualify for any senior discounts.

And why do you find my classic Don Knotts / Mr. Furley profile pic disturbing? Not a Three's Company fan?
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:17 PM   #12
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We go to Utah (Park City/Deer Valley) every year. Alta has the best prices; not sure how much at this point. Senior tickets help but still nudging $100

I've skied every year in the East and Europe...Utah has the best snow hands down.
I'm also a big fan of Park City, Deer Valley, Canyons, and others around SLC, and would definitely consider this area if I could find some good deals.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
One of the best deals around is the Ski Vermont 5 Pass offered by the Vermont Ski Areas Association. Not sure what the 2016-2017 pricing will be but I looked back and for 2015/2016 the pricing was $205 for 5 days, $130 for 3 days.
Thanks for this tip. Definitely worth looking into. I haven't skied Killington or Pico before, so this might be a nice change of pace.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:21 PM   #14
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Hahah, well I'm under 50 so I don't think I'd qualify for any senior discounts.

And why do you find my classic Don Knotts / Mr. Furley profile pic disturbing? Not a Three's Company fan?
I loved Don Knotts as Barney Fife and Mr. Limpet. I absolutely hated him as Furley. All over-the-top, and making faces like your profile pic, with none of the balance and range he showed as Barney. Ruined my memory of him for awhile.

But I shouldn't have said anything, use whatever pic you like. No matter how much it bugs me.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:30 PM   #15
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I loved Don Knotts as Barney Fife and Mr. Limpet. I absolutely hated him as Furley. All over-the-top, and making faces like your profile pic, with none of the balance and range he showed as Barney. Ruined my memory of him for awhile.
Ahh, I see. I grew up watching Three's Company and had no other knowledge of Don Knotts until much later, so to me, he is Mr. Furley. To this day, it seems very strange seeing him as Barney Fife. Funny how deeply these impressions get burned into our brains when we're young.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:59 PM   #16
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Why limit yourself to the USA? Sure, a plane ticket to the Alps isn't cheap, but my experience in the Italy/France border area of Claviere/Montgenevre last February was that lift tickets were about $32/day, rental skis were about half the price of the US, and the lodging cost less as well. And I thought it was awesome that on the sign at the top of the chairlift, there were arrows guiding you down to the country of your choice. Eating at restaurants on the slopes was very reasonable too, unlike most US ski areas. I think in 2 weeks you would save money despite the airfare.
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Old 08-30-2016, 04:25 PM   #17
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Why limit yourself to the USA? Sure, a plane ticket to the Alps isn't cheap, but my experience in the Italy/France border area of Claviere/Montgenevre last February was that lift tickets were about $32/day, rental skis were about half the price of the US, and the lodging cost less as well. And I thought it was awesome that on the sign at the top of the chairlift, there were arrows guiding you down to the country of your choice. Eating at restaurants on the slopes was very reasonable too, unlike most US ski areas. I think in 2 weeks you would save money despite the airfare.
This is true. In addition to lift tickets, equipment rentals are also more than reasonable. Add in a certain 'knowing how to live' on the part of the people and the experience is well worth the airfare.

Snow grooming can be sketchy though sometimes....
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Old 08-30-2016, 05:54 PM   #18
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Ever been north of salt lake? Powder Mountain Resort
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:38 PM   #19
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I know you said "the lower 48" but, with the exchange rate, you may want to consider Whistler Blackcomb. You can easily spend two or three weeks exploring there.

The "Epic Pass" is a great deal too.

We're going on our 33rd annual "stag" trip to Telluride this year and have already booked our VRBO accommodations. Watching for the right plane fares now. We've skied ~50 Western US and Canadien resorts during that time! However, as we are approaching our 70's, we're no longer the first ones on the mountain and the last ones off.
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:32 PM   #20
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Pick up the epic pass by Sept 5 for lowest cost. Several big CO resorts, with Park City, and consider a tag on trip to the included CA resorts. The combined Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows pass offers alot of excellent terrain, but not on the scale of the CO resorts with the epic pass.
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