The Apex thread

sly_karma

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We have a few forumites heading to Apex this winter, so post away as you feel led. Opening day is this coming Saturday December 7.

sly-karma - long time local - will be around during the season
Beerman and family - Maybe
Crystal Clan - Jan 8th - Jan 24th
Toff, Woggy, Hoppy - Jan 27, 28 approx
Copakid - Jan 14-24
Wasatchskier - local
 
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Beerman

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Thought you would have added yourself to the list @sly_karma, being a local and all ;)
Beerman and family is still tossing up SS or Apex/Manning Park etc. Will see who has the goods mid-late Jan.
 

sly_karma

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Apex got any snow?
Upper half has plenty but temps fluctuated a lot on the lower half so snowmaking only really effective the past two weeks. Opening day they will have the T Bar and magic carpet. I predict long lineups with racers, freestylers and excited public all hoping for those early season turns. I've decided to be part of the solution by staying home.
 

MarzNC

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@sly_karma : has there been much talk about the Indy Pass? I just realized that Apex is on it. A friend got Indy to check out Castle when she flies to Calgary for a late season trip. I know of someone in Washington State who plans to hit Apex and Castle on a driving ski trip.

I won't use Indy outside my home region this season. Got one because it was the first multi-resort and multi-regional pass to include the U.S. southeast and mid-Atlantic since it was announced before Vail Resorts added Peak Resorts locations to Epic. At US$199 for 2 days at each location, it was an easy decision.
 
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sly_karma

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Yes I noted they joined Indy Pass, it's on the Apex website but that's about all I've heard. Mostly a locals mountain, anyone in the south Okanagan skis either Apex (intense terrain) or Baldy (cheap pass, laid back vibe). Not many bother with the drive to BW or SS, it's at least double the time each way. The reverse is true though, albeit on a small scale: race and freestyle families from Kelowna come to Apex to train and compete because the facilities and access are a lot better. Always a few people from the metro Vancouver area who are regulars because they purchased property at Apex and spend every weekend here.
 
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MarzNC

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Mostly a locals mountain,
That's true of a lot of mountains on the Indy Pass. One idea behind the Indy Pass is to encourage folks to explore a new mountain that they may or may not have heard of before.

In some ways, the Indy Pass is a collection of regional multi-resort passes. With the advantage of being overseen by a life long skier who has a lot of experience marketing skiing and ski resorts. Doug Fish and his marketing company got Subaru started on the idea of co-marketing with ski resorts. Initially in the Pacific Northwest but spread to other regions. Recently Fish retired in order to have more time for projects like the Indy Pass. He'd been thinking about the idea since 2017 and had more than enough contacts in the ski industry to come up with a viable business plan and roll out. The list has gone from about 20 ski areas to 46 as of Dec. 4, 2019, with two added this week. The goal was 25 in the first season and 50 by the second. Might make 50 for 2019-20. Been fascinating to watch the list grow since June.

Nov. 30, 2019, NYSkiBlog interview
Doug Fish and Birth of the Indy Pass
 
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MarzNC

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We have Mission Ridge in WA season passes and hence Indy Pass benefits. I love Apex so a cheap deal is always an incentive to head there. And the wineries. And Sly :)
I'm a little confused. The Indy Pass is a separate purchase for about US$200 from a season pass. Although a few places are offering Indy at a discounted rate. Mission Ridge is also on the Powder Alliance, which provides 3 free days at Alliance locations. That list includes Castle, but not Apex. A couple Indy locations in the east are also part of the Freedom Pass, which works like the Powder Alliance for a different list.

The difference from a business perspective is that the Indy Pass has a small cost to join, but brings in revenue to a ski area each time it's used. So it not only provides marketing outside the local region, it also can produce lift ticket revenue.
 

gortonator

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Never got off my butt to ski Mission Ridge. What do you like best and worst about it?

no crowds. excellent long groomers. some really good trees and the odd steep. there's lots of little hidden shots that you need to ski there a lot to know about. And Wenatchee is a fun town for the weekend

Also doesn't need much snow. if midway base in 20 inches, the whole mountain is skiing well. If it's 30, you can do anywhere.
 

sly_karma

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3 cm overnight but clear now. Temps have been stubbornly mild and snowmaking on the lower slopes for access to the quad has been very slow or not worth it at all. Still just the Okanagan run open plus beginner area. More snow expected tomorrow.

First snowfall of the season downtown this morning, let the shoveling begin!
 
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sly_karma

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First day for me yesterday. The mountain received some much needed snow, about 50 cm in the past 5 days. Other resorts like Fernie, Pano, Revy and Mt W were hit with truly epic dumps of 70-100 cm, but we are thankful for what we got. Quad and triple are now open but a lot of the terrain is not. Patrol is assessing and managing avalanche hazard, always a risk in early season, especially when you get new snow followed immediately by warm weather. Bombs were being thrown as we were waiting for the first chair, and you could see the craters from the quad. Good outcomes in general, with only small releases despite hearty use of ski cutting and explosives. The base is well bonded, and once skier and boarder traffic knocks the air out of it, we should have a trouble-free season. My favourite turns of the day were railing it on Okanagan and reacquainting myself with the pleasure of load-release-rebound. More snow is needed, but there's hope now.
 

sly_karma

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Apex missed out on the big NYE storm that tracked north and nailed SP, Revy etc. They got 50+ cm of dense base building snow while Apex received 10 cm. But things are coming along nonetheless and most terrain is now skiable. Yesterday was the best day of the season so far, and it was one of those odd ones where the numbers gave no clue of how nice it was going to be. 5 cm overnight but it was all wind settled and therefore dense and of course many pockets much deeper. The freezing rain crust of a few days ago has mostly been skied into the base and gone. We got some sunny breaks and the north wind died down to a breeze.

We found unskied lines in many areas, Essendale was probably the pick of them, but also good in Grouse Gulch and the Pit. Yes there are rocks to be hit, but they're in the same places they've always been. Steep bump runs like Hank, Tongue, K2 and Magnum still have tips of small trees showing but are skiing a lot better than they look.

More snow is predicted this coming week and the resort is poised to move into full cover mode with one good snow cycle. It's certainly in far better shape than this time last year. The Crystal Clan are due in a couple more days and should find things to their liking.
 

Crystal

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sensational @sly_karma good to see the resort is sorting things out for us :) . We will arrive on Wed night, after diner as we have a drop off at the airport on the way. I think Pedro is not far behind us on the 15th for a good ski.... hope you will be arriving on the weekend with obligatory food in tow...you will be hung if you don't by the ratbags.

Big White has turned on the goods and we are getting good snow over here, anyone coming up soonish will love the snow base and conditions. Got the freezing rain here the other night too and then had dust on crust the next day.... stayed on the groomers. Today was great skiing although moist with freezing googles which made it hard...hence the pub stop and hockey watching, it did now heavily in the afternoon. I believe more weather is on it's way in the next day or so.
 
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Sbooker

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I see Apex is on the Indy Pass.
https://www.indyskipass.com/
I'll be heading to the Okanagan area next Christmas. For US $239 you get two tickets a bunch of resorts. If I used two days at Apex I would only need to use two days at another hill nearby to make it worth while. From what I can tell the ski resorts on the pass in the general vicinity are 49 Degrees North, Silver Mountain, Mission Ridge. Have you been to any of those? Worth visiting?
 

absentskier

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@sly_karma
I see Apex is on the Indy Pass.
https://www.indyskipass.com/
I'll be heading to the Okanagan area next Christmas. For US $239 you get two tickets a bunch of resorts. If I used two days at Apex I would only need to use two days at another hill nearby to make it worth while. From what I can tell the ski resorts on the pass in the general vicinity are 49 Degrees North, Silver Mountain, Mission Ridge. Have you been to any of those? Worth visiting?
I know people (very good skiers) who have skied at those three hills and had fun for a day or two at each.
 
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Crystal

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We have arrived 81972415_10221752721666791_1091634374287294464_o.jpg more pics to come I am sure.
 

gortonator

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@sly_karma
I see Apex is on the Indy Pass.
https://www.indyskipass.com/
I'll be heading to the Okanagan area next Christmas. For US $239 you get two tickets a bunch of resorts. If I used two days at Apex I would only need to use two days at another hill nearby to make it worth while. From what I can tell the ski resorts on the pass in the general vicinity are 49 Degrees North, Silver Mountain, Mission Ridge. Have you been to any of those? Worth visiting?

I know them all rather well. We are Mission season pass holders and ski 49 and silver every year. If you check out my old blog on wordpress you'll find lots of posts, esp on Mission with pics. Silver probably further from Apex, other two are kinda in the same area. Kinda .... recommend all 3 as long as you are not looking for a Vail like experience (eg fast lifts and crowds!!)

Questions - fire away. Off to Mission this weekend ;)
 
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Sbooker

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I know them all rather well. We are Mission season pass holders and ski 49 and silver every year. If you check out my old blog on wordpress you'll find lots of posts, esp on Mission with pics. Silver probably further from Apex, other two are kinda in the same area. Kinda .... recommend all 3 as long as you are not looking for a Vail like experience (eg fast lifts and crowds!!)

Questions - fire away. Off to Mission this weekend ;)

Great info. So many options around Okanagan area and a bit further east and south.
I think I'll book in somewhere over Christmas and then wing it from there.

Edit - at what point in the calendar would you suggest there is enough cover for decent skiing at the Mission, 49 and Silver? End of December? Or later?
 

Crystal

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ScrApex today: -10C today, felt the cold and I reckon it was -20C at the top of the quad...and -200C on the triple....wow it was cold on there.

Overall the conditions are pretty good, lots of wind blown stashes so fresh tracks all day, still soft off the groomers and nice and crisp underfoot. Loving it and not looking forward to the cold to come next week.
 
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sly_karma

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There'll be a nice powder day coming this weekend as the polar air pushes out the Pacific air, then sunny and cold will be the rule for 5-7 days. Hopefully the front will have broken up and moved on by the 18/19 weekend, we have a race for 10-14 y.o. age group. Tough on kids and vollies alike in those temps.
 
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gortonator

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Great info. So many options around Okanagan area and a bit further east and south.
I think I'll book in somewhere over Christmas and then wing it from there.

Edit - at what point in the calendar would you suggest there is enough cover for decent skiing at the Mission, 49 and Silver? End of December? Or later?

In normal years end december is super safe. Usually all skiing well before Xmas. This year it's basically now. Not normal ...

Great thing is no advance booking needed at any. For Mission you stay in Wenatchee with tonnes of choices. 49 only has about 3 hotels in Chewelah, and apart from probably between Xmas and NY, no one there. Can stay in Colville too - not too far.

Silver had base condos but there are tonnes of them so usually availability there or at one of the 3 or 4 local hotels in Kellogg

All deserted midweek - just check, think 49 and silver may close for a day or two?

We might go to 49 next weekend. Not booked anything :)
 

sly_karma

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Apex is a bit funny for booking accoms these days. There's lots of beds, but most owners are locals and use the place for themselves and their families. For the rental properties, there's no one dominating rental property manager so you have to hunt around and contact several agents and/or Air BnB/VRBO/Facebook. Just contacting the one hotel - Inn at Apex - would have you believe that the place is chockablock every weekend, but more than half of the owners of these units don't rent them out so the 'hotel' has maybe 30 rooms on its books most seasons. Emblematic of Apex really, there's lots more going on than you realise - you just have to do some work to make it happen.
 
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Crystal

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SkyRun here is not bad as they have a large selection in many buildings. Have found it easier to do word of mouth and get a contact base happening though
 

Sbooker

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In normal years end december is super safe. Usually all skiing well before Xmas. This year it's basically now. Not normal ...

Great thing is no advance booking needed at any. For Mission you stay in Wenatchee with tonnes of choices. 49 only has about 3 hotels in Chewelah, and apart from probably between Xmas and NY, no one there. Can stay in Colville too - not too far.

Silver had base condos but there are tonnes of them so usually availability there or at one of the 3 or 4 local hotels in Kellogg

All deserted midweek - just check, think 49 and silver may close for a day or two?

We might go to 49 next weekend. Not booked anything :)

Fantastic info. Thanks.
Obviously Apex is good for at least a couple of days but the other three? I assume there’s enough to keep a family of four advanced intermediates (who unrealistically aspire to be experts) interested for two days?
That Indy Pass deal is awesome.
 

sly_karma

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If your driving past in the next day or so......it's amazing up here. Boot deep fresh tracks all day, lots of wind blown and lovely soft bumps you can just push. More than enough to keep aspiring peeps amused.
So do we have a powder morning coming tomorrow?
 
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TOFF

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Can’t wait to be there in 2 weeks.
I am currently in air flying home after being in Hobart to bury my father in law who passed suddenly on 2/1.
fcuk I need a ski and a whiskey
 

sly_karma

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The past week with its 50 cm made a huge difference and the mountain now has full basic cover. The polar high is in place now so there will be no loss of snow quality and almost zero skier traffic during this midweek stretch. Lots of good snow in pockets and trees for those willing to brave the cold.
 
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gortonator

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Fantastic info. Thanks.
Obviously Apex is good for at least a couple of days but the other three? I assume there’s enough to keep a family of four advanced intermediates (who unrealistically aspire to be experts) interested for two days?
That Indy Pass deal is awesome.

Easy 2 days at each. i ski about 20 a year at Mission and don't get bored. Like all hills, there's lots of local knowledge - much of the good stuff is not on maps, or obvious from maps. Mission especially has some killer hidden stuff in the trees and 49 has endless tree lines.
 
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Crystal

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Apex today was amazing, lots of new snow, crisp and lots of wind blown and -10C. Triple chair was closed so we had to earn some of those turns and walk back to the quad after skiing sensational powder at 12:00... no lines down some runs. Epic day.
82358624_10221827171968002_2933513713149280256_o.jpg
 
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sly_karma

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Temps back to more normal now, base is decent - but not spectacular - and the hill is skiing nicely. We just had a busy weekend with the resort crowded with a hockey tournament and 120 racers and their families, all of those folks using the T Bar and the quad and triple barely noticing the extra people. The coffee shop and pub were busy though, and casual ice time was not to be had of course.
 

sly_karma

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The other big news this past weekend was Reece Howden winning the world cup ski cross round at Nakiska. Reece nd his brother Jesse grew up skiing at Apex and worked their way through the alpine racing programs run by Apex Ski Club before branching out: Jesse onto the free skiing circuit and Reece into skicross. He went to the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer 2016 and won the skicross gold, then got a trip to Pyeongchang 2018 as a forerunner. He became a full member of the national team last season but backed off race commitments somewhat this season to accommodate his studies at U of Calgary. Then he wins his first world cup at the local event, not bad for a part time racer! Needless to say the news electrified our club, gathered as we were to host a race. Head coach Jorgen is delirious at the success of his protege. Mum and Dad were of course on hand to see the win live and are even more delirious. Our race went well too, happy delirium was the order of the day.
 
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Crystal

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-5C this morning in the village and warming during the day...very balmy. I must say I do prefer conditions at -10C. Lovely on the groomed a little slick off the sides and on the wind blown. Made for a wonderful slick and fast day.
 
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