USA 2016 - 2017 Trip Plans/Thoughts/Reviews

Discussion in 'United States' started by absentskier, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. PG2736

    PG2736 Active Member

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    Thanks all, my wife doesn't ski every day and hence likes to have a bit of a village that she can walk around (and spend money!)...hence why we aim for the bigger resorts...as opposed to some of the smaller Canadian resorts.
    The premium for an equivalent resort at Vail to whistler (i.e. The Westin , pan pacific etc excluding currency) is nearly double...and even that is for a smaller room. We have been spoiled by some good deals at whistler and we usually try and spend a couple of weeks there so is a bit hard to justify...if we want to have a similar standard accom and time at Vail. Steamboat could be an option.
     
  2. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Jackson, Snowmass and Telluride all have a real town attached or a short bus ride away. Jackson has other things like trips into Yellowstone.
     
  3. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    Jackson is awesome for kids, there is more than enough terrain to keep them busy and the ski school is amazing. I would never rule it out because you think it is to advanced. They are very well set up for families and I wouldn't hesitate to send someone there with little ones. Also there are many ways down through the hard stuff that any intermediate can do, just have to pick your lines and know the area a bit. I wouldn't hesitate to ski every lift with my whipper snappers now :D
     
  4. Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

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    Excellent. Someone has essentially asked exactly the same question I had. Kids even about the same age (will be 7 and 9 and hopefully both using poles by then).

    Looking at our current plans it seems skiing will be the first part of Jan (10 days or so), and also keen to do some other things in that time, but wanting to get an idea which areas tend to have more reliable snow (saw someone say maybe not Park City resorts???).

    My wife is an advanced skier who only skis some days as doesn't have the legs for it.
     
  5. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    Any of the above suggestions - Aspen, Jackson, Telluride, Steamboat, Big Sky - plus heaps more like Whitefish, Park City (normally good cover by January), Tahoe resorts, Mammoth, the list goes on.
     
  6. Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

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    Ha ha. Good to know!

    That's the problem. I'm finding the list overwhelming! First trip to US (for skiing). Been to Whistler before.

    I'm finding the Epic / MC to be an added complication. eg we want accommodation as close to mountain as possible (ski in ski out would be great but $$$$$), and it seems that most resorts would then throw in lift passes. Ski school can obviously be $$$$'s too so trying to juggle all of that and meet the needs of a decent village / other things to do near by becomes a brain explosion when it is so many potential resorts. Kind of fun though. ;)
     
  7. Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

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    For what it is worth we normally get a Thredbo Season pass, so a lot of options on there good.
     
  8. McNads

    McNads Dedicated Member

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    I'm a diehard advocate for Telluride. Absolutely love the place, awesome for families, caters to all skier abilitites.
    Cons (for you) to consider are that it is somewhat remote by US standards (this is a pro for me as it means no crowds) and it doesn't normally get as much snow as other areas that early in the season (Telluride snow depth peak typically occurs mid-March). A poor start to the season snowfall wise would be my only concern for your dates.
     
  9. silva

    silva Active Member

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    Hi PG2736 and Funky
    We travel with our now 7 year old and have been to a few of the resorts you are considering. We are very spoilt and have a long wish list for choosing resorts. The highlights are we like on snow apartment accommodation, close airport, a nice resort village, a town closeby for those afternoons off and grocery shopping (preferrably with a free bus connection) and a resort which will have more than enough to occupy all boarders/skiiers for the entire trip - we prefer to stay in one or two resorts and get to know them well.

    Jackson - awesome. Great facilities, nice village with access to town by regular paid bus service. Lots of things to do like dog sledding and the elk refuge. A Mountain you could stay at forever and never get bored. Fantastic kids snow school and terrain to satisfy everyone and the Adult Camps are something everyone should do at least once - your skiing/boarding will improve exponentially. Downsides - seriously expensive! The cheaper accommodation in the village we used to use has been knocked down for more expensive apartments. Lift passes are expensive and so is snow school (but it is excellent). The less expensive village apartment accommodation is really a bus ride to the village. The "extreme" attitude and frantic powder day craziness can be off putting, annoying and intimidating.

    Steamboat - family fun. Nice village but get ready to walk up or down - not flat. Great bus service to town and around the village. Good variety of restaurants in the village. Nice town with all the services you would expect. Lots of fun activities in town - particularly for little tackers. Strawberry park hot baths are a great side trip. Steamboat powder cats are sensational but will ruin you for riding in bounds. Downsides - seriously expensive snow school which was a bit average. Village is very spread out and more car orientated than most. We found the resort to be fun but not amazing (we may have been spoilt by the cat skiing) and if purely based on inbounds terrain we wouldnt head back.

    Telluride - have not been there but it is on the list. Accommodation being on the expensive side means we have not got there yet.

    Aspen/Snowmass - Great people watching town. Surprisingly we did not find it expensive (except snow school at Snowmass - take out a second mortgage). Heaps of restaurants, galleries and shopping and lots of things to do. Downsides - snow school had more of a child minding attitude, yes, we will look after your child while you have a fun day rather than let us teach your child to board/ski. None of the 4 resorts will keep everyone busy for more than a few days - you will be taking the bus to different resorts each day. Taxis around town are expensive - no free bus to the supermarket etc.

    Others to consider: Copper, Mammoth, Breckenridge and many more.

    Our Pick - Whitefish Resort Montana. Small village with extremely well priced ski in/out (or close) accommodation. Large uncrowded resort with great terrain and very economical lift prices and snow school prices. Amazing snow school which really focuses on getting kids up and going and riding with their family - can not rave about them enough - the only one close would be Jackson which was twice the price. Free bus around the resort and Free bus down the mountain to the town of Whitefish. Glacier National park to explore, town of Whitefish is great fun. Down to earth, relaxed resort.
    Downsides - village shopping and restaurants are limited and the convenience store in the village does not have a lot of options. No nightlife in the village - nothing like Whistler or Aspen - one pub and a couple of restaurants and shops. Kind of isolated - flights in and out not as frequent as the more popular resorts (you fly in to Kalispell)
    Pro or con depending on your output - after a couple of days you will be recognised regulars - particularly your kids. The bus drivers, ski school organisers and coffee shop attendants will call you by name, know your favourites and in our case divert the bus to drop you at your door as Mr 5 looks a bit tired.
     
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  10. Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

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    Silva, thanks for the long and considered post. Kind of the post I was looking for! Everything has it's pluses and minuses... which is fine, but when the list is long... I get headaches.

    I'll check out Whitefish. Getting there may well be an issue, given where our side trip is to afterwards.

    It looks like Jackson may be another option too if we can get good prices.
     
  11. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    Where is your side trip?
     
  12. silva

    silva Active Member

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    You can fly into Kalispell from Denver, Salt lake city and Seattle several times a day. There is also direct flights from San Fran through winter. The airport is about 25mins from the resort.
    We have booked airfares - got a good deal so booked early - flying Virgin and Delta - just under $6K for 2A1C depart Jan 6 and return Jan 25. If you do decide to go there start checking the resort website as they have some good deals - up to 40% off accom and lift passes which come up every now and again. The central reservations is very good to deal with.

    Jackson is a great holiday - if you can get accommodation and lift passes at a good price its a great place. You can often get ski 14 pay 10 and kids ski free deals if you book accom through Australian agents. We asked for the same deal from Central Reservations and they equalled it as long as we paid before leaving Australia.
     
  13. Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

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    Orlando for Disney and to visit relatives... Skiing will be first.

    We may break up the trip on the way there and back too (maybe Hawaii), once we get an idea of things.
     
  14. silva

    silva Active Member

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    From all the resorts I mentioned I think there would be 2 flights to get to Orlando - the hub city would depend on which airline you flew with ie: from Jackson, Aspen, Steamboat and Whitefish flying United you would fly through Denver or Salt Lake City.
     
  15. Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

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    Yes it looks that way, which is a bit meh... but it will depend on connection times I guess. The flight times are fairly long from the hub, so will likely lose the day anyway, but it may cause me to go somewhere else once I work everything out.
     
  16. PG2736

    PG2736 Active Member

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    Silva, thank you very much. This is really helpful. For this trip I think we are getting close on Snowmass but still could change!
     
  17. silva

    silva Active Member

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    You will have a great time at Snowmass. If you are planning to use ski school both your children are over 7 so it is much more affordable ($229 for 2-6 year olds, $134 once they are 7). Make sure you use the free bus service to explore the other mountains - they are well worth it. On a clear day the hike to the top of the bowl at Aspen Highlands is worth it. A few evenings exploring the town of Aspen are also well worth the effort. Lots of shops, galleries and people watching. The VIK program at Snowmass (Very Important Kid) is worth a look - lots of great free activities for kids, check it out here: http://viksnowmass.com/ the Wildside with ACES and ALL Access Snowmass are particularly good.
     
  18. PG2736

    PG2736 Active Member

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    Update - we have booked vail! Managed to get a good rate staying at the Manor Vail Lodge hotel.
     
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  19. silva

    silva Active Member

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    Vail will be awesome. Have a fantastic time
     
  20. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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  21. miss_b_haven

    miss_b_haven Dedicated Member

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    Now that I'm home and sorting through pics, and with most Aussies finished with the northern hemi season and a new thread has already begun for next season, I thought I'd add a few more pics (ie, flood) to the collection here.

    For those not interested, or for those who will be profoundly and irrevocably aggrieved by ski report pics in a ski report thread (as occurred last time), then rather than complain about ski report pics in a ski report thread, simply DO NOT PROCEED.

    [​IMG]

    DO NOT SCROLL DOWN! HALT! CEASE! DESIST!

    These are of Homewood. Considering it's a small ski resort, right on the lake's edge, yes, the pics are fairly similar.

    @Snorkler had recommended the resort to me for the views, and I'm glad I finally got to spend a day here. For anyone considering skiing here, I'd highly recommend it for a fun day's skiing, and for the views. It was definitely a great day after a good snowfall.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
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  22. miss_b_haven

    miss_b_haven Dedicated Member

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    I warned everyone the pics are fairly similar. That's the epic Homewood scenery for you. So. . . sorry not sorry.

    [​IMG]

    The following two are Heavenly from Homewood:

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    Epic scenery on the drive from Sth Lake:

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. miss_b_haven

    miss_b_haven Dedicated Member

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    A few more pics below, and that's it from me. I don't know which model these fighter jets are, but the mountains were buzzed by these babies almost daily. Very cool. Even cooler would have been sitting on the interior side of the metal. How awesome it would be to have a little ride in one!

    [​IMG]

    lulzy. No jumping required - so much snow you could just step directly off the chair. LOL
    (Note they even had to dig out the lift line/pole)

    [​IMG]

    Not bad, but aint got nothing on our cinnamon sugar mini donuts at Buller.

    [​IMG]

    Made in Japan - maybe I should have posted this one in the "Only in Japan" thread! LOLLOL

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    Dem blizzardy feels.

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    Dude's got his work cut out for him

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    [​IMG]


    :emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2::emoji_snowflake::emoji_snowman2:
     
  24. gortonator

    gortonator Dedicated Member

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    we're still skiing ... belated report and pics from Crystal and Mission in mid April here

    Blackcomb was pretty special last week and we're heading down to Mt Bachelor this weekend. There's even the chance of pow in the forecast :)
     
  25. PiedPiper

    PiedPiper Well-Known Member

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    Thought i would post a few pics of my trip to The US.
    I had 3 lovely very spring days @ mammoth!
    I rode over 31,000ft of vertical on the first day, but sadly not quite breaking the 10,000m mark!

    Lucky for me the back bowl area was open on the sat and Sunday, which made for some nice riding.

    The first day was also "party day" for the kids form UCLA, lots of guys and girls in not very much clothing!
    [​IMG]

    Snow coverage was VERY good,
    this is taken from the carpark at the Mill, was ncie to be able to park 20 meters from the slopes :)
    [​IMG]

    Last pic is off the backside
    [​IMG]

    and thats that!
    Mammoth is imho a great mountain, Huge, but not huge by Euro standards.
    Super easy to get around, great access, great variety of terrain, but sort of lacking some "charm" i guess?
    Maybe it was cos i was riding alone, or just cos it was full on spring conditions.... but it didn't strike me with the charm of some other resorts.

    still an awesome place though, would love to ride their in some powder!
     

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  26. gortonator

    gortonator Dedicated Member

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  27. mx_boarder

    mx_boarder Old And Crusty

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    I'm going with FA18 Super Hornet.
     
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  28. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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  29. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps Addicted Member
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    Still plenty of snow at Whistler and Grouse got 25cm on earlier this week but we've packed away the gear and are taking the kids to Seattle as it's a long weekend in BC. Looks like we're finally going to get some warmth with 24-26C predicted over the next week. Would be an awesome Spring closing weekend at Whistler but I've got no complaints. 39 days of skiing this season, nearly all at Whistler Blackcomb with some magnificent days of powder.

    Already put down the deposit for next year's pass. One more month and the days start getting shorter :D almost winter again............
     
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  30. gortonator

    gortonator Dedicated Member

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    Will let you know - heading to the Gondola soon. It's a beautiful day in Blackcomb.

    Enjoy Seattle. Should be a great weekend there!
     
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  31. miss_b_haven

    miss_b_haven Dedicated Member

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    Well, isn't that unbelievable, as that's exactly what I was thinking, too! I figured it was a toss-up between that and the Super Fast Loud Jet.


    <appreciative smile as the ODC-pedant-aviator-wannabe in her always likes to know these things, yet pleased with herself that, despite having no idea what jet it was, she deftly managed to conceal it>
     
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  32. Williamson

    Williamson Just Registered

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    Mrs W and I just got back from two months (April & May) touring the US and Canada. Oh boy, do they have snow over there!!!

    We first hit snow at Crater Lake, OR - plenty of snow, but not much action going on there.

    We were on our way to visit family in Vancouver, BC - plenty of action on Grouse Mountain and at Whistler.

    Then on to Lake Louise, should be re-named "Louise" for the winter because you can't see the lake, it was under a couple of metres, or more, of ice and snow. Stayed at the Fairmont, a bit exy, but very nice, come on fellas treat the bride to some luxury and pampering next trip. Asked the receptionist for a discount, because we couldn't see the lake from our Lake View room. Some Canadians don't have a sense of humour.

    Stayed with a friend in Laramie, WY. She still had a metre of snow in the backyard in late April.

    On to Steamboat springs, hardly any snow but the town was buzzing, hate to be there in mid season.

    Dillon / Breckenridge, - 6 Celsius during the day on Hoosier Pass (3,518 m), -14 one night at Dillon, still snowing steadily and heavily, could not drive anywhere / do much one day (the rental car didn't have snow tyres and I wasn't gunna buy chains).

    Left the snow for a couple weeks whilst we went through Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas (40 Celsius), Death Valley, etc..

    Then on to Lake Tahoe. Radio reports were to avoid Monitor Pass (2,534 m) on the way to Tahoe due to the road, SR 89, not clear of snow but when we got there late afternoon they had just cleared / opened the road. Plenty of snow laying around at South Lake Tahoe, locals still skiing crossing country. Maintenance guy at the resort we stayed at said that he and his mates would get a couple of hour in before starting work each day.

    Saw the last of the snow as we looked in the rear view mirror on the way to San Francisco. Never thought we would be glad to see the end of it.
     
  33. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    What do you mean? The town of Steamboat is one of the best things about a holiday there.
     
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  34. Scooter

    Scooter Dedicated Member
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    Yeah - I wondered the same thing. @Williamson was there late April or Early May - so the Ski Hill was long closed and I would have thought the town would have been pretty quiet and I took the "town was buzzing" comment to mean they thought it was busy thus wouldn't want to be there mid season as it would be much busier/more buzzing?

    Anyway, sounds like a decent road trip - you do any skiing/riding @Williamson ?

    Gotta love the Rockies :D

    Hi @absentskier - you been doing any local Buller trips so far this season?
     
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  35. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    Steamboat is pretty much always buzzing, as it is a real town. That's what we love about it!

    Mate my kids are like yours - have never skied in Australia. We just are not in the position financially to afford both. To be frank, we are not really in the position to afford to go to Steamboat again this coming season, but we are going!
     
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  36. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    For a few towns winter is their low season for tourists. Jackson is the exemplar.
     
  37. chicski

    chicski Dedicated Member
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    Steamboat is great for kids. It was a few years back but we managed to get an apartment right under the gondola pretty reasonably. My kids didn't do ski school but we did hire a local to ski nanny them so I could go some places they weren't quite up to yet.
     
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  38. Williamson

    Williamson Just Registered

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    Steamboat was good, very good, restaurants excellent (went to a little Italian place, downstairs, off the main street - very very good). The local pool had an 'adult' night, swim wear and clothing optional, just right for a dirty old man, but we didn't go.
     
  39. Williamson

    Williamson Just Registered

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    Yeah great road trip. Don't ski any more, too many injuries over the years, back, hips, ankles worn out, still getting over a broken tib and fib from June 2016 (slipped over in the local dog park, bloody hell!!!), like the snow atmosphere, camaraderie and friendships made over the years.

    Riding? Funny you mention that, the road trip was originally supposed to be on a motorcycle, but due to above mentioned injuries and old age catching-up, the ride changed to a drive. Just as well, due to the extensive snow and cold we encountered, we would not have been able to ride, well not for two months anyway.
     
  40. Scooter

    Scooter Dedicated Member
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    Hey @absentskier - yeah but late April into May would be a fair bit quieter than ski season. I have been there past season close and for the Ski Hill there is a distinct change - i.e. it goes dead (maybe starts picking up again in June) and whilst down town as you say isn't as impacted - definitely quieter.

    Thought you might have snuck a couple of sneaky weekends in locally but no doubt the thought of your pending US road trip will keep you going and ease the pain somewhat ;) That June 1 deadline loomed for passes so had to give some serious consideration to a trip and for a couple of reasons have decided to let it slide. So no extended trip for us this coming season. Never going to say never (have sorted it in late Sept one season) but at this stage not on the cards so will just have to enjoy it vicariously through others such as yourself (no doubt will be very jealous :p).

    Would be interesting to see the stats for a lot of places in terms of Summer v Winter visitation. As you said you would probably find a mix - am sure some dedicated ski hills/towns would have higher visitation in Winter whilst others that have a wider offering (popular national parks for example) might have way higher Summer visitation. The Banff area would be the example that most springs to mind for me - Summer visitation is so far ahead of winter its not funny. One things for sure for the Mountain locals that I know - I keep hearing them say that they came for winter but stay for summer.
     
  41. Scooter

    Scooter Dedicated Member
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    I'm with you @Williamson - gotta love the snow :D

    Just being in it - don't have to ski/ride - just love being in it and it doesn't matter wether that is urban or alpine. Have great memories of a couple of road trips in Canada and snow in cities like Edmonton etc.. FYI when I said skiing/riding I meant skiing or boarding - given you went to places like Louise and Whistler whilst in season for them wondered if you had had a go on the lopes. Couldn't imagine a winter motor bike trip - definitely save that one for a summer road trip :)
     
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  42. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

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    I came home a tad disappointed from a ski improvement camp at Steamboat at the end of February. But on the slopes the other day I felt that I had benefited from it after all in terms of matching what I had hoped to get from attending. Not unusual for me where there is often a lag between receiving input and being able to reproduce it, especially when feeling a bit out of place.