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using AHP to choose a trip for 2014

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

i put this in general discussion becasue it is neither a trip report nor a resort/condition post. feel free to move it if you find it appropriate.

 

 

 

Hello,

 

We are currently planning our 2014 ski trip. We are planning a two week trip (around 12 days of skiing) this will also be our honey moon.

 

Having to do an AHP (analytic hierarchy process: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic_hierarchy_process) analysis for work I figured I’d apply it to something useful lie a ski trip.

 

So here are the results just for fun and because dreaming about next season is fun.  

 

 

Context:

We are a couple of advanced skiers from Quebec. We ski every weekend (around 25 days per year) and take a yearly trip.  We like having no crowds and fresh snow (but who doesn’t).  I like to venture off-piste in the steep and chutes and in trees but my SO is a bit less adventurous and sticks to open bowls and pistes.

 

Our previous trips were:

2011: Serre chevalier, France:  it was nice with my familly but didn’t have much new snow (but still no ice either) and in Europe I never feel like it’s as easy as out west when venturing off-piste and into fresh snow.

2012: Revelstoke and kicking horse: this trip was a blast, no crowds, fresh snow and lots of fun

2013: whistler: I was a bit apprehensive of the crowds but we never waited more than 5 minutes and the slopes didn’t feel crowded though fresh snow (50%of the dyas we were there) was quick to be tracked out.  It was a great trip.

 

The AHP analysis

 

The short version:

Doing the AHP yielded the same results as we obtained instinctively, so it really wasn’t that useful in this case…

 

The long version:

Criteria:

We decided on 6 criteria (crowds, snow, driving, comfort-convenience, novelty and cost) but we decided to remove the cost from the analysis.

 

Basically i ranked each Criteria relative to the other for example:  snow is extremely more important than novelty, driving is slightly more important than convenience and so on and asked my SO to do the same. This gives us the weight of each Criteria.

 

 

criteria

weigth (avg.)

me

SO

snow

24%

25%

19%

crowd

25%

32%

14%

driving

26%

9%

39%

novelty

7%

10%

3%

comfort/convenience

19%

20%

15%

 

Trip options:

  1. Whistler for 2 weeks
  2. Okanagan: A ski safari in the Kelowna area:  silverstar 2 days/ sunpeaks 2 days/revelstoke 5 days/big white 3 days
  3. AB loop: Fernie-kimberly-panorama-kicking horse-banff
  4. Salt lake city  for 2 weeks
  5. France: Serre-Chevalier and one other station, 1 week each.  

 

Ranking of the options:

So for each criterion you rank each trip against each other… for example:  France is much worse than salt lake city for snow, whistler is much better than the Okanagan for driving… that is quite a lot of ranking: 50 decisions to make…

 

This is probably the most subjective part of the analysis and the reason why our instinctive choice matches the result of the analysis so well… I guess the next step is to quantify each option with regards to each criterion so it is not so much a ranking but a “trustable” value…  like total kilometers driven or lift capacity/skiable acres…

So with that in mind we obtain the following:

 

trip

ranking (avg.)

me

SO

Whistler

37%

26%

48%

Okanagan

32%

35%

29%

AB loop

15%

16%

15%

Utah

11%

17%

5%

France

5%

7%

4%

 

As we can see based on qualitative aspects whistler and the Okanagan win out by a wide margin.

 

If we include a cost benefit ratio then the tables only change slightly:

 

trip

ranking (avg.)

me

SO

whistler

37%

31%

44%

okanagan

29%

32%

25%

AB loop

15%

15%

15%

Utah

14%

16%

12%

France

5%

6%

4%

 

 

 

Results

So the result of this unnecessary amount of work is what we already knew:

Whistler for 2 weeks or an Okanagan ski safari…

 

 

And some input required:

 

So now I have the whole summer to decide which one we want and at what time period…. Any hindsight?

 

I guess when to go to avoid crowds and maximize snow likeliness is the big question. Knowing the following holidays, when would you say is the best time for whistler and interior BC?

 

ML WE : jan 20

Family day (BC) : Feb 10th

President WE : Feb 17

Family day (Alberta) : Feb 17

post #2 of 18

I usually use the "go where there is the most/best snow" method. 

post #3 of 18
What methodology did you use to select trip options, or were they purely personal preference? Does "driving" for the North American destinations mean driving all the way from Quebec to the far west? If so, you might consider Big Sky/Moonlight Basin, saves hundreds of miles each way over some of your other contenders, known for small crowds, has big mix of extreme and easy terrain. Those two could keep you busy for two weeks, but you could also hit a few other MT ski areas to or fro to fill out the itinerary. Given your early to mid-season dates, Whistler and Utah might be good bets for snow and comfortable temps.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by core2 View Post

I usually use the "go where there is the most/best snow" method. 

yup.. but we will be booking ealry so we won't know in advance where the snow will be...  so far we have been very lucky with our early reservation striking powder on every trip.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

What methodology did you use to select trip options, or were they purely personal preference? Does "driving" for the North American destinations mean driving all the way from Quebec to the far west? If so, you might consider Big Sky/Moonlight Basin, saves hundreds of miles each way over some of your other contenders, known for small crowds, has big mix of extreme and easy terrain. Those two could keep you busy for two weeks, but you could also hit a few other MT ski areas to or fro to fill out the itinerary. Given your early to mid-season dates, Whistler and Utah might be good bets for snow and comfortable temps.

 

Trip options are based on preliminary research and subjective preference (the whole thing is very subjective and threfore kinda defeats the point of such an anlysis but it was fun to do), as for driving it's once we get there (i'm not counting the plane ride in the transport).

 

Big sky, jackson hole and grand targhee are on my bucket list for a two week trip at some point but not just yet (not the most convenient place to get to from here and costs are a bit high). one day....  there you go! you cost me another 30 minute of work as i now have to go look at videos and trails maps of that area... thanks!  ;)

post #5 of 18

There is a serious flaw to your analysis.   Clearly you are new to this, as you've averaged your preferences with your SO's.    Hers should be weighted 95% and yours 5% (so you can't say you didn't have any input).  Fix that and you'll be on the right track.

 

I'm making a huge stretch here and assuming you are the groom smile.gif

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by yann View Post

yup.. but we will be booking ealry so we won't know in advance where the snow will be...

 

 

Why?  IMHO, I'd rather pay a slight premium by booking at the last minute and go someplace that's getting slammed.

Even on your Okanagan ski safari you already have your days planned out.  That defeats the whole purpose of a ski safari.

post #7 of 18

Kelowna >Big White  > Red  > Whitewater  > Cat skiing  (white griz,SWS,retallack or great northern) > Revlestoke  > Kelowna. 

 

Mid January for the best powder. Early March for easier driving and daylight. 

post #8 of 18
Is the bride a total geek as well?

Also, if this wedding has any complexity at all, I'm thinking you're going to want "simple" not a bunch of dragging around on a safari.
post #9 of 18

Simple story: your wife really doesn't like driving.  Try to average that away and you'll end up single.

post #10 of 18
Question: what methodology did you use to pick your bride-to-be?
post #11 of 18
I personally like all the options. Since cost is not factored into the analysis I think you should pay me to field test all the trips for you and report on my conclusions. That way you'll be assured of the perfect trip.

OK seriously now, I have to agree with Xela. Ease of travel is the highest priority for your SO; this is the criteria with the biggest gap between your rankings. Choosing Whistler results in her getting her most-favored option and you getting your second most-favored option. In my opinion that's a win-win. A safari does not make sense since it requires the most driving of any option. And as a marriage and couples therapist, I can tell you that making an effort to make your partner happy goes a long way. You would be treating her most important criteria with some respect and this paves the way for reciprocation on her part.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Don't worry, for sure i'm not going to unilaterally decide for the both of us based on a flawed analysis like that and i am perfectly fine with any of those trips... But it was fun to do... And it keeps me thinking about skiing... Now what would be interesting is wether our factor weigths will be different later in the year... I suspect they will....

As for the factor/methodology i used to choose the bride it's a bit fuzzy but it all happened in a matter of minutes! But a big plus for her, she got me hooked on skiing so that's gotta be worth some points whatever the methodology....


Anyways back to the main question of the post on the dates. I was going to say early feb for crowds but that was a good point for early march... More dayligth and longer hours...
post #13 of 18
Early Feb has enough daylight to get you through the day of skiing. Daylight is a bigger factor if you're driving on a safari.

That said, snowfall in the PNW and BC is often greater in March than January or February, and much fewer crowds.

Are you planning the ski trip first and then the wedding? Or do you already have a wedding date and might delay the honeymoon trip?
post #14 of 18

Why not go to Whistler...no car or driving needed. Then take the mid-week shuttle to Sun Peaks. It goes the back way via the Duffy Lake Road thru Gold Bridge and Lillooet. At Sun Peaks no car is needed and if there are enough people sign up, on Thursdays there is a day shuttle and return from Sun Peaks to Revelstoke.

 

One other tip: If doing the Okanagan tour, I would skip Big White unless there is a high pressure system in effect that guarantees clear skies because otherwise there is way too much fog at Big White (Out).

post #15 of 18

I also say Whistler.  

You can't beat the convenience, as no car is even needed.  Your wife seems to put a pretty high priority on the issue of driving.  

It has more than enough of any sort of terrain either of you could hope for, and it usually has pretty good snow.

 

OTOH, if you go over a holiday weekend, it will be crazy-crowded.

 

BTW, didn't you mean insight rather than hindsight in your initial post?  Sorry, I couldn't resist.....

post #16 of 18
I have to say, I admire the level of obsessive analysis of the various options, whether a formal or informal process. While I often use similar value-weighted decision making techniques, it's also fun to utilize WAGNER methodology (wild-ass guess, not easily referenced).

My SO likes to tease me about how much I obsess about skiing , ski equipment, destinations, trip options and details, but when the trip is over, absolutely loves that she didn't have to mess with the details. So you get points for all the planning, as long as it makes it easy for your SO.
Edited by DesiredUsername - 6/30/13 at 12:22am
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

Simple story: your wife really doesn't like driving.  Try to average that away and you'll end up single.

This. The wife is always right. Even when she isn't. So you messed up the relative weights.

post #18 of 18

AHP for fun? Oh, you crazy, wild engineers... biggrin.gif

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