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Convincing the wife to take a ski trip out west [family from MN] - Page 2

post #31 of 150
@roverdisco and @SlowObstacle came last year with their families. You might ask them about here. SlowObstacle came from Minnesota and I think they took the train. I know Roverdisco took it from Wisconsin.
post #32 of 150
I was in the same boat as my son and I snowboard and ski, the wife does not. We took the train to Whitefish, as Sibhusky had mentioned, for WI. Does your wife enjoy outdoors? Mine went for an all day snowshoe treck with a guide in Glacier National Park. Downtown Whitefish has great shopping and restaurants with a small town feel. We rented a condo in town and caught the snow bus to the mountain. Another option is if she has a friend or family member that can go. We rented a nice condo on VRBO cheap for a ski area. My son and I also had a blast skiing with Sibhusky, she was a great host at the mountain.
post #33 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by roverdisco View Post

I was in the same boat as my son and I snowboard and ski, the wife does not. We took the train to Whitefish, as Sibhusky had mentioned, for WI. Does your wife enjoy outdoors? Mine went for an all day snowshoe treck with a guide in Glacier National Park. Downtown Whitefish has great shopping and restaurants with a small town feel. We rented a condo in town and caught the snow bus to the mountain. Another option is if she has a friend or family member that can go. We rented a nice condo on VRBO cheap for a ski area. My son and I also had a blast skiing with Sibhusky, she was a great host at the mountain.

The OP is not quite in the same boat.  His wife likes to ski in MN, more than once a week.  She's just not convinced it's worth the extra money to take a ski vacation out west.  He has two kids in elementary school who love to ski, so it will be three against one during any family discussions of the idea. :)

post #34 of 150

You have to take the kids out west!

Our kids were 9 and 12 the first time we drove to Summit County. The first twelve hours of the drive were pretty boring for them but I can still remember their excitement once we hit the front range. They were glued to the windows from the west side of Denver all the way to Silverthorne, it was the first time they had ever seen mountains outside of pictures.

The other thing about driving is it gives you time to acclimate to the altitude, you have your own car to get around in and your own gear to use.

In a place like Summit County your wife will have lots of options if she wants to have a down day and you will have a lot of dinning options for the kids. This would also apply to Steamboat.

Another option for driving from the Twin Cities is Bozeman MT. Staying in Bozeman gives you a lot of lodging and dinning options for the kids and you wife has the spa/shopping of a city. Skiing at Big Sky is great. Then there is the option of driving to Bridger Bowl which will make you feel like your at a small Minnesota area but with 2000 acres and 2700 feet of vertical. But the drive to Bozeman is boring.

 

We've done several spring breaks in Summit County, it's crowded but no worse than Florida and you can get a tan if you want. For your first trip you can't beat Summit County specially it you don't mind driving. There are just so many options in Dillon/Silverthorne/Frisco, there's even an outlet mall just like in Rogers. The skiing options include A-basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper, Beaver Creek and Vail. You can even ski most of them buy getting a season pass at Afton. If you want to ski alone put the kids and wife in ski school and do your thing. This past April I spend five wonderful days with my son and daughter in staying in Silverthorne and skiing Breck and Vail, they are now 25 and 28 and yes we drove out.

post #35 of 150

My son was 9 when we went to Whitefish and was his first trip out west.  If the Wife likes to ski MN, there is good terrain where she can ski at Whitefish and enough other things to do if she doesn't.  Not understanding their financial situation, the train is an option but a long ride.  I can say for us, even with a wife who doesn't ski, we will be going out west for most of our spring breaks; we just have to find somewhere that will appeal to all parties.  Being from Wisconsin, I fully understand mid-west skiing.  They will be amazed how quick the kids will progress given more space and longer runs.

post #36 of 150
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your imput everyone.

 

We had a nice talk last night and she's for sure down now.   I think I wore her down!  lol...

 

We havn't booked our Lutsen trip as the friends we're planning to go with are flaking out now.   I'm trying to convince her that we should just plan a trip to CO in late Feb and take a week off to do it.  We can take the kids school-work with and they can work on it at night.

 

She found the idea of the train to Whitefish interesting...  Which surprised me...  She's also interesetd in the history of a place like Steamboat as well.  I threw the 'educational for the kids' angle at her. That's a hard argument to overcome.

 

I'm looking at 3-4 places right now.  Red Lodge, MT (shortest drive),  Whitefish, MT (on the train), Steamboat, Staying in Frisco/Dillon and skiing at Keystone/Copper. 

 

We've already explored Frisco/Dillon and Copper so that would be my last choice, but it might be the cheapest as well..

post #37 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roverdisco View Post
 

My son was 9 when we went to Whitefish and was his first trip out west.  If the Wife likes to ski MN, there is good terrain where she can ski at Whitefish and enough other things to do if she doesn't.  Not understanding their financial situation, the train is an option but a long ride.  I can say for us, even with a wife who doesn't ski, we will be going out west for most of our spring breaks; we just have to find somewhere that will appeal to all parties.  Being from Wisconsin, I fully understand mid-west skiing.  They will be amazed how quick the kids will progress given more space and longer runs.

 

Can you advise how long that ride on the train was to Whitefish from Madison?   Did you get a sleeper car?   Whitefish looks really cool as it's a unique destination and a little cheaper than anything in Summit county would be.  It looks like a car isn't needed there really either.

post #38 of 150

If the idea of skiing bigger, better mountains isn't enough to entice her (perhaps she's intimidated by big mountains?), maybe compile a small slideshows of the extraordinary scenery where you hope to go.  Also play up the soft snow/no ice factor.

post #39 of 150

The train was 30 hours so a long ride.  We did get a sleeper and since we got the condo cheap, we spent the extra money ad made it part of the experience.  One nice thing with the sleeper is all meals in the dining care are included, and all were VERY good (very nice surprise) and the car attendant made us reservations.  The ride through North Dakota and eastern Montana is a little boring but much is at night and going through Glacier National was a treat.  As sibhusky said, you have the option of a direct flight from Minneapolis to Kalispell which is very close.  We had good luck with VRBO.com on finding a nice condo.  What made us feel comfortable about the town is when we arrived, the condo door was unlocked and the keys were on the counter.  We had a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo with cable and wifi, 2 blocks from downtown and the snow bus.  The hill is only 15 minutes from town and easy to get to with a good road.  If you look in Sibhusky's signature window, she has a great review of the mountain, Local' Guide, with photos documenting all it has to offer.

post #40 of 150

Unfortunately,  in the US trains aren't romantic. They're more like slow buses on rails, with the same clientele.  By the time you get a sleeper car, it also way more expensive than flying.  10X more than driving, which is still quicker than the train.

MSP has a bunch of direct flights to ski resorts that would be much quicker and just plain easier for your first trip.

 

From your choices I'd rank them for a first time trip as follows:

 

1. Steamboat

2. Red Lodge

3. Summit County

4. Whitefish

 

I love Whitefish, but it's foggy there a lot.  It's not the place I'd take my hesitant wife, on her first trip out west.

post #41 of 150
She has a history with altitude sickness, which can ruin your ski trip. That, for me, would eliminate Colorado, although I've done a fair amount of skiing there. She can always ski chair two here. Even with the horrible number of foggy days here last year, and I was pretty sure it was the worst I'd seen, the majority of days were just overcast or sunny-with-inversion. The timing of the trip can influence this. Once the lakes freeze, which never happened last year, the fog is reduced. Don't get me wrong, this is not the place to get a tan, but altitude sickness is not an issue. If you're like me and get SEVERE migraines and breathing issues, it's hard to get past that, especially if the trip is just a week.
post #42 of 150

Curious to know if your wife has ever been to the Rockies. I have driven from Ontario to British Columbia via Michigan, Wisonsin, Minnisota and North Dakota 30 times often in the dead of  winter. Just tranquilize everybody with Gravol and wake them when you get there. Much cheaper and faster than the train. Just hit I 94 or Hwy 2. Two long days would get you to Whitefish, Three days if you want to admire the prairie scenery ;)

post #43 of 150
Quote:
but we did stay in a house at Copper Mtn for a wedding in 2009 at ~10,000 ft. My wife had a HELL of a time acclimating to the altitude for the first 36 hours. She was pretty sick. The kids and I had no issues at all. She d definitely need 24 hours at altitude before skiing, or a resort with a slightly lower overall elevation (such as Steamboat).

They haven't skied the Rockies, but they've been at altitude. The northern Rockies are less risky.
post #44 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCC55125 View Post
 

Another option for driving from the Twin Cities is Bozeman MT. Staying in Bozeman gives you a lot of lodging and dinning options for the kids and you wife has the spa/shopping of a city. Skiing at Big Sky is great. Then there is the option of driving to Bridger Bowl which will make you feel like your at a small Minnesota area but with 2000 acres and 2700 feet of vertical. But the drive to Bozeman is boring.

 

 

My family lives in Minneapolis and we drove to Bozeman over Christmas two years ago for our first real ski vacation out West.  We stayed in Bozeman to save some money on lodging, and spent three days at Big Sky (fantastic, although the drive to/from Bozeman every day was a bit long) and one at Bridger (meh, but only because the snow cover was very poor at the time, think it would be great with more snow).  Had fun walking around town and going to nearby hot springs.

 

We also stopped at Red Lodge on the way home.  By that time my wife and daughter were tired out, so my son and I just took a few runs.  My wife really did not like the vibe there (the lodge is not very nice, small, dirty when we were there, crowded) and could not wait to leave.  The terrain and snow were great there, would have liked to explore more if the lodge was nicer.

 

Overall, we had a great time, and are planning to do a similar trip this year.  That much driving is not for everyone, but it worked for us.  

post #45 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTMac View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCC55125 View Post
 

Another option for driving from the Twin Cities is Bozeman MT. Staying in Bozeman gives you a lot of lodging and dinning options for the kids and you wife has the spa/shopping of a city. Skiing at Big Sky is great. Then there is the option of driving to Bridger Bowl which will make you feel like your at a small Minnesota area but with 2000 acres and 2700 feet of vertical. But the drive to Bozeman is boring.

 

 

My family lives in Minneapolis and we drove to Bozeman over Christmas two years ago for our first real ski vacation out West.  We stayed in Bozeman to save some money on lodging, and spent three days at Big Sky (fantastic, although the drive to/from Bozeman every day was a bit long) and one at Bridger (meh, but only because the snow cover was very poor at the time, think it would be great with more snow).  Had fun walking around town and going to nearby hot springs.

 

We also stopped at Red Lodge on the way home.  By that time my wife and daughter were tired out, so my son and I just took a few runs.  My wife really did not like the vibe there (the lodge is not very nice, small, dirty when we were there, crowded) and could not wait to leave.  The terrain and snow were great there, would have liked to explore more if the lodge was nicer.

 

Overall, we had a great time, and are planning to do a similar trip this year.  That much driving is not for everyone, but it worked for us.  

Bozeman has a really neat museum with dinosaur stuff that are unique to MT.

 

Bridger is great fun in my opinion.  Also a very good deal if you want to have some private or semi-private lessons.  After my first trip to Big Sky and Bridger, it was an easy decision to go back the next year when the EpicSki Gathering was there.  A few Bears only drove over to ski at Bridger.

post #46 of 150
Thread Starter 

Big Sky looks interesting, but you basically have two options:  Pay out the ass to stay at Big Sky or drive an hour twice a day and stay in bozeman...  I haven't looked into costs to stay at the mountain but have heard it's quite expensive.   I may start pricing out different resorts to see what kind of deals I can get.   We really want to try and do ski in ski out (or at least a walkable distance) for this trip.


Edited by focker - 10/25/13 at 6:00am
post #47 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by focker View Post
 

Big Sky looks interesting, but I how you basically have two options:  Pay out the ass to stay at Big Sky or drive an hour twice a day and stay in bozeman...  I haven't looked into costs to stay at the mountain but have heard it's quite expensive.   I may start pricing out different resorts to see what kind of deals I can get.   We really want to try and do ski in ski out (or at least a walkable distance) for this trip. 

It's worth calling to see what kind of package deal you can get at Big Sky that includes lift tickets.  Since there are condos, if you are willing to eat in most of the time that saves some.  Can stock up in Bozeman.

 

The alternative for Big Sky is to get a VRBO condo in Meadows Village.  About 10-15 min drive, with a free shuttle bus if your wife and kids want to go in early and you want to ski a bit longer.  More options in the valley for eating out once or twice.

 

By balancing with a few days in Bozeman and skiing Bridger, the total cost for the trip may not be that bad.  Bridger is non-profit, run by locals for locals.  So no lodging at the mountain.  Low cost lift tickets and lessons though.  Very nice vibe too.

post #48 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Unfortunately,  in the US trains aren't romantic. They're more like slow buses on rails, with the same clientele.  By the time you get a sleeper car, it also way more expensive than flying. 

Keep in mind that you don't have to sit still on the train. You can get up and walk around. Also the seats are more comfy than a plane and have way more legroom. It's more comfortable than driving and you arrived at your destination rested. While a sleeper car adds to the cost, you would otherwise have to pay for an extra night or two for a hotel or motel, each way.
post #49 of 150
As some of you may have noticed, I'm a fan of Gravity Shots,

http://player.vimeo.com/video/18962545

Above is eastbound.

Tried embedding it, but can't get it to work..
Edited by sibhusky - 10/25/13 at 2:32pm
post #50 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Unfortunately,  in the US trains aren't romantic. They're more like slow buses on rails, with the same clientele.  By the time you get a sleeper car, it also way more expensive than flying. 

Keep in mind that you don't have to sit still on the train. You can get up and walk around. Also the seats are more comfy than a plane and have way more legroom. It's more comfortable than driving and you arrived at your destination rested. While a sleeper car adds to the cost, you would otherwise have to pay for an extra night or two for a hotel or motel, each way.

Tween kids can have a lot of fun on a train.  Way more than sitting in the back of a car for 10-15 hours or sitting around an airport.  Haven't taken a sleeper in the U.S. but have elsewhere and enjoyed it.  Saving the cost of lodging for the night can make the price reasonable.  Less for parents to think about too so they can relax and enjoy the vacation that much more.

post #51 of 150
Thread Starter 

Well I priced out a few resorts last night and here's a bit of my findings:

 

Keystone looks pretty practical.   You can stay ski in ski out for less than $200 per night and some places say that kids under 12 ski free with a paid adult and 2+ nights on mtn lodging.    That's a tough deal to beat.

 

Steamboat has ski in ski out lodging for less than $250 per night, but the lift tickets are outragious, and there are never deals for there.   I'd pay more for three days skiing than for everything else in the trip combined.   Ouch.

 

Red Lodge, MT looks interesting, but I'm not sure it's enough of a 'vacation' for my wife.   That's basically a pure ski trip, with not much else to do.

post #52 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by focker View Post
 

Well I priced out a few resorts last night and here's a bit of my findings:

 

Keystone looks pretty practical.   You can stay ski in ski out for less than $200 per night and some places say that kids under 12 ski free with a paid adult and 2+ nights on mtn lodging.    That's a tough deal to beat.

 

Steamboat has ski in ski out lodging for less than $250 per night, but the lift tickets are outragious, and there are never deals for there.   I'd pay more for three days skiing than for everything else in the trip combined.   Ouch.

 

Red Lodge, MT looks interesting, but I'm not sure it's enough of a 'vacation' for my wife.   That's basically a pure ski trip, with not much else to do.

 

That surprises me, since the only discounts I've ever seen for Steamboat tickets are connected to lodging. (Yes, they are outrageous.) Did you go through the official site, or did you look at mgmt companies? http://www.steamboat-springs.com/LOVE   < They are running a sale at the moment, don't know if it helps.

post #53 of 150
Thread Starter 

I though I saw something for 25% off lift tickets with a paid stay, but it was listed on a VRBO site.

 

The Keystone 'kids ski free' thing was also listed on a VRBO site.   I'd need to book through Keystone to actually get that deal though I imagine.   I doubt renting from the owner would allow me to get that deal.   I don't trust the owners on that one.

 

Sunlight resort has the absolute best deals I've found.   Cool little town too.  It's quite a bit further of a drive past several better resorts though.

post #54 of 150

The only down side to Steamboat is (I thought I read somewhere earlier in this thread) your wife's altitude sickness concern. 

 

Keystone has a bit higher elevation and may be an issue for a first time tripper. 

 

Steamboat is much better for that. 

 

If you're looking for other options in Summit County area, consider Copper Mountain.  Lower elevation for that area, and some good packages can be found if you shop well. 

 

Steamboat is still a bit better for the elevation reason. 

post #55 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

The only down side to Steamboat is (I thought I read somewhere earlier in this thread) your wife's altitude sickness concern. 

 

Keystone has a bit higher elevation and may be an issue for a first time tripper. 

 

Steamboat is much better for that. 

 

If you're looking for other options in Summit County area, consider Copper Mountain.  Lower elevation for that area, and some good packages can be found if you shop well. 

 

Steamboat is still a bit better for the elevation reason. 

Well, no, the base is 9700. It's lower than ABasin, comparable to Breck, but otherwise ... 

 

I would try to find a deal at Steamboat, otherwise maybe a different state (if you are trying to stay low).

post #56 of 150
Thread Starter 

We went to Copper in Sept of 2009 and my wife was pretty sick for the first 24 hours.   If we go again we'd likely spend 1-2 days in Denver before heading up which I've heard should help some.   We also might hand out for a day before we start skiing, to make sure everyone is good to go. 

 

Ideally I want to drive as it's so much cheaper.   LIkely take a week off total which would leave a lot of time for everything

 

Copper would definitely work for us, but the fact we've already stayed there, and explored Breck for a full day, makes it less appealing.   As far as skiing goes I know deals are good there, and it's a good mtn for my family as well.

post #57 of 150

If ski-in, ski-out is your thing I wouldn't try and change your mind.  Steamboat has a great shuttle and free city bus system that makes getting to and from the gondola base pretty convenient.  If you're open to this, there are many additional options for lodging that could bring the numbers down.

post #58 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Well, no, the base is 9700. It's lower than ABasin, comparable to Breck, but otherwise ... 

 

I would try to find a deal at Steamboat, otherwise maybe a different state (if you are trying to stay low).

Thanks for the clarification.  I know that we went to Copper our first day when Terry was with me because altitude was a concern for him.  He still got sick, but it worked itself out after taking a supplement and consuming high volumes of water. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by focker View Post
 

We went to Copper in Sept of 2009 and my wife was pretty sick for the first 24 hours.   If we go again we'd likely spend 1-2 days in Denver before heading up which I've heard should help some.   We also might hand out for a day before we start skiing, to make sure everyone is good to go. 

 

Ideally I want to drive as it's so much cheaper.   LIkely take a week off total which would leave a lot of time for everything

 

Copper would definitely work for us, but the fact we've already stayed there, and explored Breck for a full day, makes it less appealing.   As far as skiing goes I know deals are good there, and it's a good mtn for my family as well.

Try to get her on a supplement like New Chapter Breathe. 

I have no medical experience but my x used it when he traveled to the mountains and it made a huge difference in how he was able to handle it. 

Also, check out this article by DP about managing Acute Mountain Sickness

http://epicski.onthesnow.com/a/altitude-adaptation-and-acute-mountain-sickness

Also, plan on skiing a couple days and taking a day off in the middle.  You can always ski every day, but if you set time aside for those in your group who may get fatigued it helps. 

post #59 of 150
Thread Starter 

I think we're planning on having the kids ski 2 full days with a day off in between.   I'd likely ski that day to get some steeps and bumps in while mom and the kids go shopping/hot tubbing.

 

I priced out coppper, and it's not overly expensive.  $200 a night.   Don't they offer some excellent pass deals there?   3 pack or something like that?

post #60 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by focker View Post
 

I think we're planning on having the kids ski 2 full days with a day off in between.   I'd likely ski that day to get some steeps and bumps in while mom and the kids go shopping/hot tubbing.

 

I priced out coppper, and it's not overly expensive.  $200 a night.   Don't they offer some excellent pass deals there?   3 pack or something like that?

They offer 4-packs, but you have to buy the first one in person, and they stop selling 11/4. (Although I think last season they extended it to Thanksgiving...)

 

 But if you are planning on 3 ski days, this might work well.

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