Quick stopover solo ski trip

Discussion in 'United States' started by Fast Eddie, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Hard Yards

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    This question has been partially addressed in previous threads, but I am potentially looking at a work trip to LA in Feb/March 19. The plan is to arrive 5 days early and try to get 3-4 days skiing in before I need to be in Santa Monica. I would be without a car and travelling solo, so would be looking to fly somewhere close the same day as I land in LA, with easy access to a resort. Initially I was thinking Mammoth, but then started looking at Utah resorts as they are so close to SLC airport.

    What are people's thoughts? Anyone done a similar trip? If I choose Utah, is it easier to head straight to say Snowbird/Alta or stay in SLC and get a shuttle to different hills each day? Kind of like the idea of those Alta lodges as they seem quite social/inclusive as I'll be on my own.

    Any other areas I should consider? Basically want to maximise ski time with the least hassle.
     
  2. MarzNC

    MarzNC Hard Yards

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    Without a car, flying to SLC is easier than Mammoth.

    If staying in a motel in SLC, would be taking the UTA Ski Bus to Alta/Snowbird or Solitude/Brighton. Works pretty well as long as it's not a powder day. What are you doing for lift tickets?

    My favorite destination out west is Alta. I'm totally spoiled by staying at Alta Lodge. Fly into SLC, get the Alta Shuttle to Alta, then spend how ever many days without having to think about anything but skiing. Breakfast and 4-course dinner included. Stopping in for a la carte lunch means being able to stick my boots in the boot dryer. Easy to make new friends at the community table at dinner time.

    All of the lodges at Alta have dorm beds available for pretty reasonable rates considering the meals included. Goldminer's Daughter has a 3-night minimum, Alta Lodge is 4-night minimum. Don't know about the others. Snowpine is just completing a huge rebuild so might have a deal come Jan, assuming they open on schedule.

    For more than you need to know about Alta, including terrain and travel tips:
    https://www.snowpak.com/utah/salt-lake-city/alta
     
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  3. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty
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    If you want to maximise ski time, stay slopeside somewhere. Don't stuff around with buses to and from the hill (even if the service is good). Alta sounds like a great option, hop on a flight to SLC, catch bus, easy.
     
  4. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    What MarzNC said. Utah. It is the only one that makes sense. Assuming you land mid morning in LAX you can be at SLC by late afternoon that day and in your accommodation an hour later. Canyon Transport run regular shuttles from SLC to all resorts. Denver has much longer shuttles, and almost everywhere else involves transiting through Denver or SLC. Aspen and Eagle Vail have some connections direct from LAX, but, as they are mountain airports diversions are frequent (particularly Aspen).

    If you want on-snow (and you ski) look at Alta. All of the lodges there have bunk rooms which are (relatively) dirt cheap.
     
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  5. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Hard Yards

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    Really great advice. Thanks all. Loving the look of those Alta Lodges. Remind me of a cross between the NZ Club lodges and Perisher Lodges but so much better with a serious mountain right there. The commute from LAX seems straight forward too.
     
  6. Summit

    Summit Part of the Furniture
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    Yeah, Utah close to SLC would be great. Flying to Reno and catching the shuttle (an hour or so) to Squaw Valley would also be an option. You would also get to ski Alpine Meadows and you could catch the local bus to Northstar. No dorm beds at Squaw, so accommodation cost will be higher.
     
  7. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    Alta lodge.
    Done.
     
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  8. Summit

    Summit Part of the Furniture
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    Hey Fast Eddie, unfortunately the Papoose Peak Ski Jump at Squaw has been demolished to make way for a ski lift :D

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Hard Yards

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    No more 90m jumps on my knees these days!
     
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  10. ponyrider

    ponyrider Hard Yards

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    Hey Fast Ed, similar to you I'm looking at a work trip but NYC in my case. Decided to lock in 5 nights at the Snowpine in Alta for early Feb. Appears to have cancellation option so not a bad holdover until I can firm the plans up.
     
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  11. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Hard Yards

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    Great idea, as I don’t think I can confirm plans until early Jan. Will check it out. Thanks!
     
  12. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    I did similar a few years ago. Flew into LAX, connected easily through to Aspen. Shuttle from airport easy to Snowmass. Then 4 days skiing using the intra-resort shuttle. Then headed off to work.

    You have may options.
     
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  13. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Hard Yards

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    Agree. As It's probably going to be a fairly last minute decision will ultimately decide based on snow cover and accommodation availability.
     
  14. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    4 years ago Aspen airport closed if the wind was over 10 mph. That is not very strong. Eagle, about 90 minutes down the road (and near Vail), is a bit better but they are both mountain airports with all the problems of mountain airports. That can mean diversions to Denver. Even in good traffic on I-70 Denver is about 3.5 hrs from Aspen.
     
  15. Summit

    Summit Part of the Furniture
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    You can fly LAX - Jackson Hole return for less than $500 return, one stop with total time of about 4 hours. Stay at The Hostel in Teton Village cheaply or in Jackson town a few miles away for the wild west vibe.
     
  16. ponyrider

    ponyrider Hard Yards

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    Yep I took a look at Jackson Hole myself, but The Hostel looks pretty busy for my proposed dates.
     
  17. Summit

    Summit Part of the Furniture
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    I've stayed at the Hostel in summer, great place to stay. Maybe the hostel in Crested Butte would be the only comparable youth hostel in a US ski resort ??
     
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  18. MarzNC

    MarzNC Hard Yards

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    Not really youth hostels, but there are a few hostels for people looking for budget lodging in western U.S. These come from a thread on TheSkiDiva.com .

    * Mello Mountain Hostel, South Lake Tahoe
    * The Bunkhouse, Minturn, CO, near Vail
    * Bunk and Brew, Bend, OR for skiing Mt. Bachelor

    There are hostels and ski club houses in New England. But not much reason to fly from Australia to ski there unless just want the experience where skiing began in the U.S. back in the 1930s.
     
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  19. Summit

    Summit Part of the Furniture
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    Yeah, Minturn has been on the radar for a while. Think it might even be on the Vail ski bus route.
     
  20. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    The daughter stayed in The Bivi at Breckenridge. She thought it was all right.
     
  21. ponyrider

    ponyrider Hard Yards

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    Unless, you've got to do some work in Boston and are considering adding in a sneaky East Coast ski as well ;). I think the challenge of skiing both West and East on the one trip is hard to pass up. Killington maybe?
     
  22. MarzNC

    MarzNC Hard Yards

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    If using Ikon, then from Boston during early season or late season then driving to Killington makes sense. Although if limited to a weekend, going north to Sunday River is worth considering too. Killington draws from Boston, Connecticut, and New York City so tends to be pretty crowded on weekends. Both have very strong snowmaking.

    My daughter is in boarding school near Boston. This is her final year up in New England (will go to college in the southeast where we live). In recent years, I've had to most fun at Pico, Tenney, and Wildcat when I've driven up a few days early before picking her up for school vacations. Hoping to check out Magic. For a quick day trip, much to be said for Wachusett, which is only an hour from the city. Original trails were cut in the 1930s. Can get fresh cider donuts in the 1930s stone "lodge" that is now mid-mountain. Three high-speed detachable quads, including one for the long green trails, and good snowmaking and grooming. From what I hear about Aussie slopes, would feel right at home. Owned by a sensible family who makes their money from Polar soda. Third or fourth generation running things these days.

    The hard chargers who live in Boston talk the most about driving to Cannon or Wildcat for day trips or weekends. Challenging terrain as long as you don't mind cold and wind. On a clear day the views are spectacular.
     
    #22 MarzNC, Nov 16, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  23. ponyrider

    ponyrider Hard Yards

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    Great tips MarkNC, I'm going to have fun researching, thanks.