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Ski travel questions

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Starting this summer, I have been taking a year off from my work.  I was planning to ski Summit County and work part-time in a ski resort this winter.  I have already gotten a Colorado Pass (or Buddy Pass or whatever they call them now).  It is going to be a great winter.  But the thing is- I did this before 12 years ago.  I know exactly what the deal is. I was very happy that I did that.  But may be I should try something different this time.

So I am thinking about a ski safaris in the Northern Rocky.  I have never been to Big Sky, Bridger Bowl, White Fish, Sun Valley etc.  I will be driving from New York State.  I have a limited budget and don’t mind to hang out in the hostel.  Let’s say I will travel for 2 months.  Where do you think I should go?  I don’t mind going into Canada or the Northwest.  Can you formulate a route with the ski areas?

I know Colorado, Salt Lake City, New Mexico, Lake Tahoe, and Northeast very well.  I don’t want to visit the same places again.  Any insights would be appreciated.

post #2 of 22

Consider Big Sky, Whitefish, (maybe Schweitzer).  Cross the border and ski Panorama, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, and Red Mountain - all in British Columbia. 

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Sounds like a plan.  Are those roads in good conditions?  I drove from Calgary to Powder Cowboy a few years back.  I did not like the road conditions (Route 3?).

post #4 of 22

Have you been to the southern Colorado areas? Wolf Creek, Purgatory, Telluride, Crested Butte, Silverton? Some of the hardest terrain around.

post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianskier View Post

Consider Big Sky, Whitefish, (maybe Schweitzer).  Cross the border and ski Panorama, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, and Red Mountain - all in British Columbia. 

 

You left out Whitewater.  

 

 

post #6 of 22

Dude, just watch the weather and chase the powder

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

 

You left out Whitewater.  

 

 


my mistake.

 

Roads can be great or really really crappy at the passes, but generally OK.  Roger's pass, in particular, can be awful with lots of delays during big snows, but so can the roads from Salt Lake.  But hey, the delays are usually due to snow.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiPork View Post

Sounds like a plan.  Are those roads in good conditions?  I drove from Calgary to Powder Cowboy a few years back.  I did not like the road conditions (Route 3?).


You would drive north from Whitefish to Pano on 93, which is generally good.  I also didn't mention Fernie, which is also a great hill and  half way between Whitefish and Panorama.  If you are in the area, also consider Castle, which has some of the steepest continuous vert found in north America.  If good snow, do a day at Castle for a small but very cool hill and kind of retro skiing.   Castle can have AMAZING snow days and the Hostle is nice.

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

That's not a bad idea.  I have been to Crested Butte and Telluride.  But I have not done Wolf Creek, Pugatory and Silverton.  It is worth a consideration.  If nothing else, this trip is economical.


Edited by SkiPork - 10/8/12 at 11:39pm
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Canadianskier,  Fernie and Castle are both great.  I skied them. Castle is one of those place no one ever talks about.  It's great pace.  I didn't know that there is a hostel there.

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiPork View Post

Canadianskier,  Fernie and Castle are both great.  I skied them. Castle is one of those place no one ever talks about.  It's great pace.  I didn't know that there is a hostel there.

http://www.skicastle.ca/on-mountain.cfm

 

Other than renting a house or condo from a private owner, the hostel is the only on mountain place to stay.  I've had some of the most memorable apre ski evenings there.  Nothing special - the hostel basement has a shared kitchen, pool table and TV.  There is also an "old time bar" on hill - something out of a 1940s movie.  This place has character!   Rated 0 on the 0 to 100 scale, with 100 being huge mountain resort -like amenities (e.g. Whistler or Vail), which can be a good thingsmile.gif

 

You need to reserve the hostel a head of time as there are a limited number of beds - the nearest motel is in Pincer Creek, about 35 k away.

post #12 of 22

For Castle:  Pincher Creek is not a great place to stay and ski from - not exactly a ski town and not exactly economical. There are a couple of very small "inns" on the road from there cheaper/closer but not a lot of availability so reservations a must. Google the area they will be listed but would also recommend the on hill if possible. Highway driving in the BC Alberta mountains in winter is rarely a problem but you must have good snow tires. 4wd is always better but I usually find I use it most in the parking lots. As with all areas if a road is not safe for vehicles with good snows it is probably closed until plowed. 

 

Highway 3 is much slower than you would think.west will take you to Red/Whitewater. An easier second loop after Whitefish/Fernie/Castle is to head to Banff (4.5hr just don't arrive on Friday or Saturday night)  then Sunshine, Lake Louise Kicking Horse Revelstoke more hills less driving.    

post #13 of 22

Further to Noncrazycanuck's comments about Castle. Hostel is definitely the way to go. Cheap, modern and right across the lot from the hill. Midweek is best as it is pretty deserted. This Youtube gives an accurate picture of the vibe. The snow conditions you see are like that about 50% of the time, 25% more and 25% less other times. Actually the snow is not usually as grabby as in the video but I think it was shot late season. That's also why it is so empty - there are usually more people but it's never crowded midweek. Also it's usually greyer with light snow not so bluebird.

They mention the wind but don't show it. It can be brutal but like the guy said 'put up your hood'; it keeps away the posers and gives lots of wind sift freshies. 

http://ca.mg6.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.partner=rogers-acs&.rand=88d39dq2b8v6j

post #14 of 22

If you get to Big Sky, then you won't be that far from Targhee and Jackson Hole.  Cheap rooms to be had in Driggs, ID.  Side trip to Yellowstone is fun I hear.

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for reminding me of good snow tires.  Any recommendation?

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiPork View Post

Thanks for reminding me of good snow tires.  Any recommendation?

What kind of car?

post #17 of 22

Go where the storms go.  Be ready on a 6-hour notice to chase the powder.

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

What kind of car?

4 X 4 Highlander

post #19 of 22
post #20 of 22

Send me your address and I will mail you a Powder Highway map and you can lay out a good route.  Remember gas, food and lift tickets are pretty high in Canada.  There are a lot of hostels however.  You will find them on the net.  A good route could be;  Whitefish, Fernie, {Panorama, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, Red and Whitewater.  If you can plan you trip time wise etc. but leav e open exactly where you will ski and go where the powder is.   Montana could be better than BC, North Idaho and Wash could be better etc.,

 

Also don't agree on tires.  Bridgestone Blizzac would be a better tire and Discount tire will beat Tirerack.  If you want to include Silver Mt., Lookout, Schweitzer or 49 Degree you  will find Bears willing to be your guiide.  Depending on where the snow is falling.    Also there are some pretty good cat ski rates on a standby basis. Something else to consider.Here's a couple pics of Big Red Cats out of Roissland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #21 of 22

The November 2012 Consumer Reports has winter tire ratings.  Their top picks are the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 and Xi3.  They both do poorly in three-season braking and hydroplaning.  The BF Goodrich Winter Slalom KSI seems to avoid any major deficits.

post #22 of 22

Not sure what size tire you need but tread wright makes some sick tires for cheap. They are retreads and some people don't like that but I have had mine for about 1 year and a half and they have been fantastic.

 

I'm buying a new set soon but only because I bought aggresive off road tires with soft rubber and then used to drive between, C Springs - Breck, C-Springs-Moab and C Springs- ABQ. Soft rubber off road tires already where faster then normal and I put a ton of miles on mine.  

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