I'm currently trying to make a decision on where I should go to school next year, as well as looking for some new skis and boots. Any help is much appreciated. :)
1. Skis- I am a decent skier, can ski pretty much everything inbounds at Crystal/Alpental. I am working on improving, and wouldn't call myself an expert, but I would say I am advanced. I need a new pair of skis for the next few years, something that I can ski fast over the whole mountain, with pretty good performance in deeper snow, good in crud, something that isn't going to be really hard to turn in some tight PNW trees, and acceptable performance on the groomed/moguls.
I was considering skis from around 100-110 at the waist for this. I had been thinking about the Blizzard Cochise since it has received such excellent reviews and seems to be what I am looking for, but I can't find it in stock anywhere this year. I was thinking about perhaps ordering next years version as the graphics are much better and I can get it in whatever length I want, but I don't really want to spend $750-$800 on my skis alone. Does anyone have any recommendations for a ski that is good for what I want, or a place where I can get a good deal on the Cochise?
Additionally, if I was going to get the Cochise, would you recommend the 177 or the 185? I am 6'0" and 160 lbs, I usually ski 177 Volkl AC3s, and I have demod some 179 Volkl Bridges, which were pretty fun, and also tried some 185 Nordica Radicts that a friend of mine were skiing on which were also good in the deeper snow of course but felt pretty clumsy on the groomed.
2. Boots- Does anyone have any recommendations for a good bootfitter in the Seattle-Redmond area? Looking for a place to get new boots for next year, but again I can't spend too many hundreds of dollars on these.
3. Colleges- I have to decide between Western Washington University and University of Washington, I know that Western is much closer to Baker which is awesome, but UW is about an hour from Alpental, so although it wouldn't be quite as awesome, I could still ski quite a bit. However, although UW is regarded as the better school, Western is significantly less expensive for me due to scholarships there. However, I was also thinking that perhaps with the additional prestige of UW, maybe I would get a better job that would help me to pay off those loans faster and go skiing more in the long run, even though I would be giving up 4 years at Baker. I would love some input from anyone who is currently at or went to either of those schools on what they think about them.
4. Majors- What majors will get me into the jobs that you all do that allow you to ski so much and still support your families? My dad is an engineer, which pays pretty well, but he doesn't have much time to ski, and he only goes around 3 times a year, which is a pretty large disadvantage. Any recommendations for a good major/job to look into that will pay well but still give me plenty of time to ski would be awesome.
Thank you for your help!