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Great pow adventure '14... I hope.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
After gaining lots of knowledge from stealthily watching the threads I thought it was time i reared my ugly head and say hi! Great forums, lots of knowledge and balanced discussions here as opposed to other flaming-pits on the Internet which keeps my grumpy levels nice and low.

I am currently planning an adventure to the Rockies (and possibly beyond) in a few weeks time and was hoping for a bit of local knowledge to steer me right. I have had a long held dream (since I was about 11) to wander freely amongst proper mountains with waist deep powder and not a care in the world. Well, that time has arrived! As I'm just abut to sell my business and Scotland isn't renowned for 12000ft peaks or snow, I'm looking west.

I have made a loose plan so far (1st danger sign..) and I have been watching the threads for the snow reports before I firm up what I want to do. My original plan involved telluride, Durango and up past copper, a-basin then on up past wp (for a blast from the past) to steamboat. From there a long drive through to SLC area for alta, solitude and maybe a few others. I also plan on driving north again to hit grand targhee, Jackson and money/time dependent big sky before a long drive back to Denver for the big bird home!

I have a million questions so I'll limit myself to a few, sorry...

How's the Colorado snow? I know wolf creek is solid which is good for the south and steamboat sounds awesome, but I see mixed reports for elsewhere and Utah. Am I better driving to a few snowier Colorado areas then try to focus up north in Wyoming or Montana? I know a lot can and will change and I promise to keep watching but I have no idea how your winter patterns stack up so am a bit clueless here.

Any suggestions for cheaper, more local towns where my buck will allow me to go further? It's my aim to spank 2 months taking as many face plants as possible so I won't be skiing in/out, unless its from an RV! I would quite like to meet & ski with some real folk (maybe from this forum if available?) so please, steer me clear of the glitzy places. Ill last about 3 days before leaving a broke man!

What to do about travel? Looked at RV rental (maybe, but berthing would be a headache amongst a few things) car rental (made my eyes water when I googled it) or maybe even buy one for the time I'm over there?

And would a pair of Rossi soul 7's do me for the trip? I have skis here but they would be like ice skates out west!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, never mind those that reply!

Oh, a bit about me. Been on my skis since I was 8ish (33 now), spent every weekend as a teenager on the hills and am batshit-crazy about skiing. advanced/expert I'd say, but I'd leave the judgement to others. All I know is it comes naturally and you got to let it flow!

Cheers,

Keith

Or how about the powder highway up north? Hmm....
post #2 of 9

Welcome to epicski Keith!

If you want powder I suspect you may want to be in BC, Canada at the lesser known places. No one's there, great snow, lasts longer as far as getting tracked out, it's relatively cheap.

 

In Colorado, Telluride's a great idea. If out there, you should go to Crested Butte too. Then probably someone will say Silverthorn given what you want. I really don't think one should go all that way and ski Colo without Aspen/Aspen Highlands.

 

We'll see what the snow reporters tell us.

 

What are your current skis?

post #3 of 9

If it's a matter of thousands of dollars I'd rent a little economy car and just pick up a pair of $50 tire chains for snow days.  There are many days in CO when it's sunny and interstate highways are dry.   But chains are a pain if you have to travel hundreds of miles with them.  Lodging will be a big part of your costs.  Priceline.com is a way to bid on motel rooms that can sometimes get you a place for about $50 per night near nice ski areas. There are hostel type accommodations near Winter Park, Jackson Hole, Taos.  Search the heck out of this website for topics like "cheap lodging in ...".  Fill in blank with your destination.  The snow is good right now in much of CO and northern Rockies.  Not so good in Tahoe. Utah is a little sub par.  All that should improve as winter continues.

post #4 of 9

I met a guy on a lift at Big Sky last winter who was out from the east coast, USA powder chasing for 3-weeks.  He had flown into Salt Lake City, UT and rented an economy car.  He was free to drive to where the snow was, hence Big Sky where, he informed me, he had found a decent place to stay that had a deal for I think $119 a day including breakfast and lift ticket.  Salt Lake is a good central area to start for several reasons.  First, it is easy to get in and out of...lots of flights to everywhere (in the states anyway).  Second, there is a ton of great skiing within and hours drive and plenty of cheap places to stay.  Third, you are about a 5 hour (I think) drive to Jackson Hole and from there Montana areas are drivable.  Utah to Colorado is a longer drive but is also manageable and if you go through southern UT to southern CO the desert scenery is spectacular. 

 

However, Utah is not having the best snow year so far (Fingers crossed I am flying to SLC next Sunday).  Of course Denver ain't a bad place to start either and it has been snowing in Colorado.  

 

I was toying with the idea of driving out west for a month this winter myself, but have put those plans on hold for at least another year.  

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

Welcome to epicski Keith!

If you want powder I suspect you may want to be in BC, Canada at the lesser known places. No one's there, great snow, lasts longer as far as getting tracked out, it's relatively cheap.

 

In Colorado, Telluride's a great idea. If out there, you should go to Crested Butte too. Then probably someone will say Silverthorn given what you want. I really don't think one should go all that way and ski Colo without Aspen/Aspen Highlands.

 

We'll see what the snow reporters tell us.

 

What are your current skis?


currently on Head xrc 800's, they have served me well in Scottish snow but will need something wider for the west. (I just need the smallest excuse to buy new kit!) Looking at rossi soul or super 7's or armada tst's, would dearly like all 3 but i need to fly home at the end..

 

Accommodation & lift tickets will be the big hit hence why i am trying to save in other areas, would anyone recommend doing a trip in an RV at this time of year?

 

Thanks for the advice, here's hoping for a mega-dump in the west soon!

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith3004 View Post
 

 

Accommodation & lift tickets will be the big hit hence why i am trying to save in other areas, would anyone recommend doing a trip in an RV at this time of year?

 

 

 

RV's are expensive to rent and park in campgrounds.  You're better off going in stealth mode in a van and only camping when it's practical.  Get something like this and sell it when you leave.

 

http://denver.craigslist.org/cto/4277696648.html

post #7 of 9
Several forum threads about RV camping in the winter if you search for them. While not say you can't do it, you'd better have a bit of experience with RV's and cold weather. Plus, they handle like greasy hogs on snowy roads.

Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee are looking good compared to Colorado and Utah so far. Grand Targhee just sent out an email bragging about their best-in-the-West snow coverage.
post #8 of 9

I'm doing a 3-4 week trip in a truck camper 4x4 starting the last week of Jan. However it is not a rental unit, I have a generator, 20,000 BTU furnace and 2 20lb propane tanks and lots of insulation, I will not be using the water system (carrying water in jugs) and I am a experienced winter RVer/Skier. I would not recommend renting an RV for skiing other than for skiing at some specific place like Lake Louise that has non mountain pass access and a plug in camp ground with showers/washrooms. RV rental plus camping fees only works financially if shared by several people.

 

Keith, why don't you co ordinate your travels so that you are in Utah Feb. 1-7 and then attend the EpicSki Utah Gathering?

post #9 of 9
Summit County is the place to be at the moment. Breck has received 39" of snow int the last week, copper 29" and more is in the near-term forecast. I skied Aspen Mon-Wed this week and it was good but it has been dry in the central and southern mountains (including WolfCreek and Telluride). Utah is behind normal. I'm in Big Sky now and while they've received snow everyday this year, the wind is howling and affecting coverage. But things can change quickly with one or two storms or extended dry spells.

I suggest you monitor a good snow forecasting site. I personally like opensnow.com. Joel is honest and does his best within the limits of knowledge and data, meaning no one really has a clue out beyond about 5 days. Still, he gives you a bit of info to help prepare where to be.

Best of luck..


Mike
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