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2013 Ski Vacation Dilemma. Help me decide what to do!

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 

It is only July but I am already stressing on what to do with my ski vacation this coming season.  I basically have two choices, 1 is go to Whistler in late January and 2 is to go to Snowmass (and Aspen and Highlands) in mid March.

 

A little backrgound.  I moved to OH 6 years ago and fell in with a great ski club that takes one western trip per year.  But they also particpate in an adult race league which they got me hooked on.  Who knew I would love racing as much as I do at my advanced age?  I have done well with racing moving up from B Vet through BB Vet to now A Vet.  While moving up, I won the B Vet class once but wasn't able to duplicate it in BB Vet due to getting bumped out in the middle of the season before I could earn enough points to win the division.  I now have a goal of winning the A Vet division which brings me to my dilemma.

 

My ski club is running the Whistler trip and I have been wanting to go back to Whistler (I was there 20 years ago) ever since I was there back in the early 90's.  I have even lobbied my club to plan a trip there so I could get back there.   They just announced that Whistler is where we are going in 2013 and have a great package price.  The problem is, they scheduled the trip right in the middle of race season and I would miss 2 weekends and 4 races which would pretty much gurrantee that I won't earn enough points to win the season. 

 

My other option is to wait till the end of race season and go to Snowmass with the ski council that oversees our race program.  They have also put together an attrative package.  I spent a week in Aspen 10 years ago and also love that area, especially the Highlands.  There will be more than a few racers on that trip which would make it a lot of fun, not that W/BC wouldn't be fun.

 

So what do I do?  Go on the vactaion I have lobbied for and forget about winning my division this year or do I go for the win and have fun in Aspen after the race season ends?

 

Both trips will sell out by the end of summer so I have to make my choice soon.  So help a brother out and tell me what to do.  Who do you think would have the best conditions for each trip?

 

Rick G

post #2 of 83

Both sound like great trips at the right time.  Whether the conditions are right the particular week you select is always a toss up.  So, I'd go with the most potential for "win-win", the later trip, allowing you the opportunity to succeed in your racing goals, AND be in the best shape possible for a trip out west and be with the people you have spent the most time with over the season, making for an even better trip.  

post #3 of 83

If the racing is that important to you, then it sounds like Snowmass is your best bet.  Mid March is pretty much prime time in Aspen and I would assume that there won't be any skiing in OH in March.

post #4 of 83

First. World. Problems.   Haha.

 

I'd go to Whistler.

post #5 of 83

Whistler.  Why?  Besides the fact that it sounds like you really want to go back there after 20 years, it's simple: You only get one chance to hit Whistler and follow through on your lobbying and their impression of your actions.  But you'll have more than one shot at the A Vet win; there is next year.

 

Whistler isn't about winning; it's about conviction. Going to Whistler will make a great impression on those around you.  Then you'll savor the victory in the race league next year even more.  You get the best of both worlds this way. Win-win right there.

post #6 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

If the racing is that important to you, then it sounds like Snowmass is your best bet.  Mid March is pretty much prime time in Aspen and I would assume that there won't be any skiing in OH in March.

 

The racing has been huge fun for me and has taken my skiing to the next level.  But at 57 I am not headed for the senior Olympics and would opt for Whistler if that were my only option but options I have and that my friend is my dilemma.

 

As for skiing locally in OH,I do most of my skiing in Western NY where you have some pitch and length with seasons that last to late March and occasionally early April,

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

Rick G

post #7 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

Whistler.  Why?  Besides the fact that it sounds like you really want to go back there after 20 years, it's simple: You only get one chance to hit Whistler and follow through on your lobbying and their impression of your actions.  But you'll have more than one shot at the A Vet win; there is next year.

 

Whistler isn't about winning; it's about conviction. Going to Whistler will make a great impression on those around you.  Then you'll savor the victory in the race league next year even more.  You get the best of both worlds this way. Win-win right there.

 

You make a strong case and pretty much nailed my desire to go back to Whistler.  My first time there was my frst official "guys trip" out west with a couple of guys I patrolled with and thier friends.  I had almost missed the trip due to spraining my knee 5 weeks before leaving.  But I did rehab and a brace and made the trip.  I was 3rd in the pecking order and learned a lot that week and had a couple of break throughs,  Mostly that I was a better skier than I had thought and I ony lacked the experience not the skill and I gained confidence in both my knee and skiing all week.

 

Flash forward 20 years to the present, and my racing has taken me to new heights in skiing that I am eager to take back to mountains that I had skied as a lessor skier so that I can now kick some mountain ass and Whistler has been at the top of that list for a while now.  The trip leader is getting some infor on a 1 or 2 day Heli option which will just about seal the deal.  I can rationaize that I would save money on the 2 missed race weekends so it would almost be a wash.

 

But, I will be 58 when the season starts and I am not getting any younger.  Yes I just got to A Vet and I am proud of that accomplishment but how many more years will I be able to race at this level?  I am already racing against guys either younger with more race experience or my age and older with even more race experience.  If I am going to do it I have to do it while still at the top of my game and in good physical shape.

 

And of course a week skiing Snowmass, Aspen and Highlands wouldn't suck at all!!  So here I am back at the beginning.

 

Rick G

post #8 of 83
Aren't NASTAR championships at Snowmass in March?
post #9 of 83

Since Whistler is an official "club trip", lobby to get the races altered....start the season a week early, end a week later....add in a few night races...etc. Then get your race buddies to join you in Whistler.....winners are all around. 

post #10 of 83
Hah. Sounds like a real dilemma. Why not do both? 

Edited by tromano - 7/9/12 at 10:14pm
post #11 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Since Whistler is an official "club trip", lobby to get the races altered....start the season a week early, end a week later....add in a few night races...etc. Then get your race buddies to join you in Whistler.....winners are all around. 

 

Nice suggestion that would only work if the world revolved around me which of course it doesn't.  Our ski council had the race dates set in stone by this past May.  We do a traveling race series going from one resort to another just about every weekend and those plans must be firmed up.  Over 15 clubs participate in our league so changing dates now wouldn't work.  But thanks for the self serving suggestion.  LOL

 

Rick G

post #12 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

Aren't NASTAR championships at Snowmass in March?

 

 

If that was being held at the same time as the March trip that could be a consideration.  I will have to check.  I have been invited to the Nastar Nationals the past 3 years but I only get in a handful of Nastar days per season concentrating more on our race league which is run more like an FIS program.

 

As for the suggestion to do both, I somehow slipped that past SWMBO last season going to Mammoth in January with my club and Big Sky in March with the ski council.  I had the same race dilemma then as well but a cousin that I hadn't skied with in about 15 years wanted to do a trip with me and he couldn't do March so I sacrified my race season to ski with my cousin.  But this year, only one western trip is in the cards.  So do I sacrifice another ski season and then try again when I am 59?

 

Rick G


Edited by rickg - 7/10/12 at 6:48am
post #13 of 83

just to add to your decision. If you last skied Whistler twenty years ago it is easily twice as good now. Actually twice is very much an understatement.

New lifts since then give access to many bowls that used to require considerable hiking, and if you are still up for a  hike after the fresh is skied off those same new lifts give even more access to the still untouched. 

post #14 of 83

From what you describe, sounds like Whistler is the a one shot deal, given the circumstances.  Snowmass will still be there next year, so will racing.  You may not be getting younger, but is racing about winning for you, or is it to see what your limits are and what you can accomplish?  If it's the latter (and it sounds like it is), then it won't matter if it's this year or next. 

 

I know it is exceedingly difficult to interpret what someone says on the Internet, as opposed to being there in person to communicate.........but reading what you wrote.....it's very clear that Whistler holds more passion for you.  Your enthusiasm practically oozes off the page.  Racing, not so much.

 

You live only once.  Sounds like your heart is gunning for Whistler.  Look at it this way: Heli-skiing.....or crashing gates?  I'd say no contest right there wink.gif

post #15 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

From what you describe, sounds like Whistler is the a one shot deal, given the circumstances.  Snowmass will still be there next year, so will racing.  You may not be getting younger, but is racing about winning for you, or is it to see what your limits are and what you can accomplish?  If it's the latter (and it sounds like it is), then it won't matter if it's this year or next. 

 

I know it is exceedingly difficult to interpret what someone says on the Internet, as opposed to being there in person to communicate.........but reading what you wrote.....it's very clear that Whistler holds more passion for you.  Your enthusiasm practically oozes off the page.  Racing, not so much.

 

You live only once.  Sounds like your heart is gunning for Whistler.  Look at it this way: Heli-skiing.....or crashing gates?  I'd say no contest right there wink.gif

 

 

You are making another great case for Whistler and have interpreted my feelings quite well.  I will always be a hard core skier that dabbles in racing rather than a hard core racer who dabbles in skiing.  I think I am the only guy in A Vet without a race suit.  After my lone GS win last season, I overheard someone asking who had won my race, the other person's reply was, "That guy who doesn't wear a speed suit."  I kind of liked that.

 

I was discussing my dilemma to my non skiing wife, and she is encouraging me to look into a day or two of Heli skiing.  I had told her I wanted that for my 60th but I will take it 2 years early!  My club is going to have info on the Heli skiing at tomorrow night's meeting. 

 

Has anyone here heli skied out of Whistler?

 

Rick G

post #16 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

Has anyone here heli skied out of Whistler?

 

Rick G

 

I haven't heli skied out of Whistler.  But if your looking for a bucklist type of experience.  I would point you away from any day operations.

I think you get a much nicer experience, typically, at a lodge with a three day package, cat or heli.  I would wait and do a dedicated trip for your 60th.

post #17 of 83

You can always do the snow cat off of the top of Aspen Mountain...

 

Mike

post #18 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

You can always do the snow cat off of the top of Aspen Mountain...

 

Mike

 

 

If I am already at the top of Aspen, I don't think I will need a cat.  Now, to get to the top of Aspen or another peak, I cat might be nice.

 

Rick G

post #19 of 83

Aspen's cat is nice!  But for a once in a life time, I'd still go with a lodge type operation.

post #20 of 83
Quote:
So help a brother out and tell me what to do.  Who do you think would have the best conditions for each trip?

 

Rick G

 

Easy....go to CO.  Kick butt in your races and then celebrate your victory in style.  Besides, March in the Rockies is typically sweeeeeet.

post #21 of 83

Whistler will always be there.  Your injury-free competitive athletic body may not.  If winning is really a goal, maximize your chances.

post #22 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post

 

Easy....go to CO.  Kick butt in your races and then celebrate your victory in style.  Besides, March in the Rockies is typically sweeeeeet.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

Whistler will always be there.  Your injury-free competitive athletic body may not.  If winning is really a goal, maximize your chances.

 

Just as I was leaning towards Whistler you guy have to go and make a good case for making racing a priority and then hitting the pow in Aspen.  I also have very fond memories of my trip to Aspen back in 2002.  Had 3 great powder days, 2 at the Highlands where I hiked Highlands Bowl for a pristine run.  And I also have my best story involving a skier of the opposite sex that can not be told in this family oriented forum.  LOL

 

Racing has been a blast for me and really picked my game up.  I had skied for 35 years and was considered to be a pretty good skier when this club introduced me to racing.  They really had to convince me at first and I agreed to qualify just to shut them up.  Then after qualifying into B Vet, leapfrogging over guys who had been in the program for a decade or more and the next day taking 3rd place and a medal in my first race ever, I was hooked.  I have pretty much raced a full season ever since.  But in B Vet and BB Vet I could miss a couple of races for a trip and still compete for the overall as those guys aren't quite as serious as the guys in the A classes and don't race every race like the A boys.  Now if I don't race every race, chances are quite slim of taking the overall.

 

It might be intersting to note that other than a couple of years in a beer soft ball league after college, I have never competed in competitive sports.  Skiing was always an individual sport for me.  Something I did for fun and of course the thrill.  My motivation to get better wasn't to win races but to have more fun.  I use to live by this ski motto, "The more fun you have the better you get and the better you get the more fun you will have!"  I just never knew that racing would be so much fun for me especially at my advanced age.

 

Rick G

post #23 of 83

Rickg,

 

I am really enjoying your posts regarding racing.  "I never thought racing...was for me/could be fun/would be so enjoyable/I am hooked/etc/etc"

 

 

Racing is awesome, and anyone who says otherwise, 99% of the time, never tried it.  My wife started ski racing in her 30s after I convinced her to give it a try...she was hooked after he first run.  My father, same thing...although he started about 30 years ago now....

 

Fact is, I think you are in the norm, and its a real shame that so many skiers are being turned off of one the great joys of skiing due to bad/uninformed/ignorant press on the subject.  Fact is: sure big mountain skiing is awesome too...but 50-70%? of people don't ski anywhere near "big mountains". 

post #24 of 83

Go for Whistler. You miss that, right?

post #25 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Rickg,

 

I am really enjoying your posts regarding racing.  "I never thought racing...was for me/could be fun/would be so enjoyable/I am hooked/etc/etc"

 

 

Racing is awesome, and anyone who says otherwise, 99% of the time, never tried it.  My wife started ski racing in her 30s after I convinced her to give it a try...she was hooked after he first run.  My father, same thing...although he started about 30 years ago now....

 

Fact is, I think you are in the norm, and its a real shame that so many skiers are being turned off of one the great joys of skiing due to bad/uninformed/ignorant press on the subject.  Fact is: sure big mountain skiing is awesome too...but 50-70%? of people don't ski anywhere near "big mountains". 

 

 

When I started skiing at 17 in the early 70's I was a skinny Hippie kid who thought organized competitive sports were for jocks which is why skiing appealed to me so much.  I could learn at my own pace and wasn't competeing against anyone.  To me, racing and most other sports meant rules and regulations which was like poison ivy to an aspiring Hippie.  I just wanted to go skiing, hide in the woods, eat a granola snack and smoke a doobie.  I did have a fondness for bumps so when the freestyle movement started, that appealed to me way more than racing.  Then extreme skiing started and I started dreaming of hucking cliffs and getting a spot in a Warren Miller Movie, who of course never came a calling.  Those zipper line bumpers and adrenaline crazed extreme skiers were my heros not the olympic racers though I certainly respected what they could do on skis it just wasn't for me or so I thought at the time.

 

When I started patrolling at Seven Springs in W. PA one of the guys I patrolled with also ran the race team for the Pittsburgh Ski Club and tried in vain for several years to get me interested.  When Nastar came, and an instructor friend started running the Nastar venue he also tried in vain to get me interested in Nastar.  I would maybe sneak into the course a couple of times a season but really had no idea what I was doing in gates.  I still remember the last time I ran Nastar at the Springs back in the 90's, I hooked a gate, crashed and broke my thimb.  Racing?  Not for me.

 

I really think that after the novelty of placing in or winning a race wore off and wearing the medal home, I started realizing the positive impact that racing was having on my free skiing, espeially when I travelled out west.  I was becoming even more confident in my abilites and more precise.  Narrow openings to chutes that required precise turns right here and not there, that I might have skied past looking for more friendly terrain, I now attack!  So though the winning aspect is still fun, and I do want to win A Vet without a speed suit, my motivation for racing is that it is still improving my skiing which takes me again to that moto of mine:  

 

"The more fun you have the better you will get and the better you get the more fun you will have."

 

Rick G

post #26 of 83
Thread Starter 

A couple of other things...

 

Back when I was that skinny Hippie kid, after I started skiing I realized that I wasn't in too good of shape.  Throwing a Frisbee didn'tt really build muscle and that was about the extent of my conditioning.  While in college a couple of years later, I told myself that if I wanted to get better in skiing I had to get myself in better shape and started a lifelong desire to stay in shape and hit the gym 3 days a week which later became 4-5 days a week.  Just don't ask me how many days a week I go to the gym now.  LOL

 

Second, being that I did not come from a wealthy family and my Dad could not afford to even pay for my High School Ski Club, I had to get a job to pay for that and later my equipment.  That taught me early in life that in order to play one must work to be able to afford to play.

 

Two lessons that have served me well in life.

 

Rick G

post #27 of 83

Agreed, two very good life lessons.

post #28 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Aspen's cat is nice!  But for a once in a life time, I'd still go with a lodge type operation.

Yea, my first cat experience was at Aspen the winter of 10-11.  The cat operation is very well run -- they only go if the skiing is good.  The only gripe I'd have about it was that the terrain was pretty low-angle stuff.  The goods, however, were excellent, with 18+ inches of untracked.  There was little wind-affected snow either.

 

I've not skied Whisler since becoming an expert skier.  I will say, however, that Aspen has world class terrain.  Not only do you have Highlands bowl, but there's a ton of gnarly stuff if that's what you really want.  I love some of the steep terrain off of Thunder Bowl (through the trees), and the Steeplechase and Oly Bowl area are interesting as well.  There's the stuff in Hidden Valley and the Headwall at Snowmass.  And the great trees off of Bell at Aspen Mountain.  IMO, Aspen has the best skiing in Colorado.

 

The thing about Whisler is you never know what kind of snow conditions you are going to get.  With the marine influence, it can be very good or very bad.  Even in January, when we were very dry, the skiing at Aspen was ok.  Yes, you had to pick your way through steep gnarly rocky rooty spots, but when the slope is over 45 degrees and you've got those challenges, it is truly expert skiing.  And once through those spots, the snow was pretty good.

 

Mike

post #29 of 83

Rick,

 

Just a thought here, as there are no bad outcomes:

 

If you weren't into racing, which trip would you choose?  It sounds to me like it would be Whistler.  And there is the factor that you've already spent a lot of effort into championing for Whistler, and if you gave up the opportunity to get all the points in the racing season, that would prove you have committment to group decisions as well as your personal racing goals.

 

Consider also that age 57 or 58 is not the end of your physical life.  If your are truly paying attention to your body, taking care of yourself and staying in good enough shape to race, I doubt this is the only year you will ever have a shot at winning A Vet.  How about a longer-term goal of winning in style by blowing away the rest of the field when you're 60?   In that perspective, this year is just practice, building towards your inevitable domination of the racing schedule.

post #30 of 83

I'm with the group that thinks you should do the racing thing while you can.  Anything can happen, I'm a walking example of being a hospital magnet since I turned 50.  Whistler will still be there the following season.  You could tear an ACL or something this coming season and be back SKIING, but not RACING, the following season.  

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