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Van Camping and Beginner Skiing Recommendations [starting in Oregon]

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi - I'm embarking on a life redesign that begins with living in a van and learning how to ski (finally!).  I'd love to hear any recommendations of beginner- and van-friendly resorts.  Preferably cheap, with good XC, and dry snow (I'm from Oregon and I hear that such things exist, but have yet to see it).  Also any no-go's would be appreciated.  Thanks!  

 

Mod note: moved to General Skiing

post #2 of 23

Paging @DanoT

post #3 of 23

Not an expert but have been pondering the van question since I acquired my AWD Astro van recently. The most helpful thread of winter van camping tips I've seen is over at Teton Gravity Research: http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/169864-Sleeping-in-the-car-in-the-winter

 

As far as places to go my current research is leading me to believe that the smaller and more out-of-the way resorts are more likely to allow you to camp temporarily in their lots than the mega resorts. 

 

For me this means time at Loveland, Monarch and Wolf Creek. But if I were you I would start looking into a route along the Canadian Powder Highway for reasonable day pass prices and camping.

 

Also, highly recommend considering finding a home-locale and getting a season pass there. Even skiing one day a week on lifts will get expensive fast. 

post #4 of 23
RV thread http://www.epicski.com/t/120039/ski-resorts-that-are-rver-skier-friendly/0_10

I'd recommend getting a season pass and taking a lesson series, racking up ski miles for you, before driving around racking up miles on the van.

Is the "learning to ski" learning XC or alpine?
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks all.  @sibhusky looking to learn both XC and alpine and just more snow/winter savvy.  I love the mountains in the summers and would like to learn how to love them in the winters.   

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katieski View Post
 

Hi - I'm embarking on a life redesign that begins with living in a van and learning how to ski (finally!).  I'd love to hear any recommendations of beginner- and van-friendly resorts.  Preferably cheap, with good XC, and dry snow (I'm from Oregon and I hear that such things exist, but have yet to see it).  Also any no-go's would be appreciated.  Thanks!  

 

Mod note: moved to General Skiing

Welcome to EpicSki!  Are you in northern or southern Oregon?  Check out the Beginner Zone for some tips on how to get started, mostly for alpine skiing but also some advice on ski clothing.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

@marznc Awesome - thanks!  I'm in N OR - around Mt. Hood area.  I'll scope out the beginner section, thanks for the tip!

post #8 of 23

Anthony Lakes Eastern Oregon, not big but you can sleep 50 yards from the lift.

A few of the lift operators sleep in their campers there too usually 5- 10 campers there daily

Only open Thurs. - Sunday though that means untracked powder every Thursday morning.

Lost of Cross Country. Cheap tickets they boast the  Highest BASE elevation in Or.

http://www.anthonylakes.com/

 

Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/skianthonylakes


Edited by mikeo56 - 9/25/14 at 8:55am
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katieski View Post
 

@marznc Awesome - thanks!  I'm in N OR - around Mt. Hood area.  I'll scope out the beginner section, thanks for the tip!

Paging @vickieh 

post #10 of 23

SIB, thanks for the link I was trying to post a link to but I was having some difficulty due to my limited computer skills. The OP should also do a search by typing in RV or something similar.

 

As far as living in a van in winter, I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a fully winterized RV with heater and shower with a design that prevents the water system from freezing. And it helps to be an experienced RVer and winter driver and keep in mind that most RVer Skiers are going on weekend trips and not living full time in an RV in a ski area parking lot.

 

Instead, I recommend waiting until summer to live in a van and pick a resort to spend a winter at living in a basement suite or something similar at one resort as already suggested, get a season pass and learn to ski before learning to travel and ski.

 

BTW if the OP is looking for a place to learn to ski, Sun Peaks has a ton of suitable terrain as well as snow that is among the driest anywhere. We call it Ego Snow because it is so easy to ski. She should check out my unofficial guide, linked below.

post #11 of 23

I wonder about a winter in a van, but Mt. Bachelor has great terrain for folks learning to alpine ski and there is a huge network of XC trails in the very near vicinity. Don't know about where you might park, however.

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

I wonder about a winter in a van, but Mt. Bachelor has great terrain for folks learning to alpine ski and there is a huge network of XC trails in the very near vicinity. Don't know about where you might park, however.

Sorry to rain on your parade, Phil, but Mt. Bachelor does not exactly meet the OP's "dry snow" requirement. Pun intended.

 

Also Mt. Bachelor probably gets more snow than most first time beginners really want.

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

Sorry to rain on your parade, Phil, but Mt. Bachelor does not exactly meet the OP's "dry snow" requirement. Pun intended.

She said she wanted Oregon.  Bachelor is about as dry as it gets there.

post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 

To clarify, I'm in Oregon currently but looking to get out!  Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, etc.  A main goal of this trip is to explore the US and see where I want to settle down.  Oregon might be an easy starting place since I know it, but I really want to get out and see new places/learn new things.  

 

Thanks so much for all your insights.  Lots of fun homework to hop on! :-)  Please keep it coming. 

post #15 of 23
Was that in the original subject line before the thread was moved? In her posts she doesn't say she wants to stay in Oregon.
post #16 of 23

Info about Thread Starter

Quote:

Originally Posted by Katieski View Post
 

Hi - I'm embarking on a life redesign that begins with living in a van and learning how to ski (finally!).  I'd love to hear any recommendations of beginner- and van-friendly resorts.  Preferably cheap, with good XC, and dry snow (I'm from Oregon and I hear that such things exist, but have yet to see it).  Also any no-go's would be appreciated.  Thanks!  

 

Mod note: moved to General Skiing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katieski View Post
 

Thanks all.  @sibhusky looking to learn both XC and alpine and just more snow/winter savvy.  I love the mountains in the summers and would like to learn how to love them in the winters.   

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katieski View Post
 

@marznc Awesome - thanks!  I'm in N OR - around Mt. Hood area.  I'll scope out the beginner section, thanks for the tip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katieski View Post
 

To clarify, I'm in Oregon currently but looking to get out!  Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, etc.  A main goal of this trip is to explore the US and see where I want to settle down.  Oregon might be an easy starting place since I know it, but I really want to get out and see new places/learn new things.  

 

Thanks so much for all your insights.  Lots of fun homework to hop on! :-)  Please keep it coming. 

Title updated.

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo56 View Post
 

Anthony Lakes Eastern Oregon, not big but you can sleep 50 yards from the lift.

A few of the lift operators sleep in their campers there too usually 5- 10 campers there daily

Only open Thurs. - Sunday though that means untracked powder every Thursday morning.

Lost of Cross Country. Cheap tickets they boast the  Highest BASE elevation in Or.

http://www.anthonylakes.com/

 

Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/skianthonylakes

 

+1 For Anthony Lakes. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmeb View Post
 

Not an expert but have been pondering the van question since I acquired my AWD Astro van recently. The most helpful thread of winter van camping tips I've seen is over at Teton Gravity Research: http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/169864-Sleeping-in-the-car-in-the-winter

 

As far as places to go my current research is leading me to believe that the smaller and more out-of-the way resorts are more likely to allow you to camp temporarily in their lots than the mega resorts. 

 

For me this means time at Loveland, Monarch and Wolf Creek. But if I were you I would start looking into a route along the Canadian Powder Highway for reasonable day pass prices and camping.

 

Also, highly recommend considering finding a home-locale and getting a season pass there. Even skiing one day a week on lifts will get expensive fast. 

 

 

There is a guy in the TGR thread talking about sleeping in his Thule rooftop box.  :)

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post
 

 

+1 For Anthony Lakes. 

 

 

 

There is a guy in the TGR thread talking about sleeping in his Thule rooftop box.  :)

 

I bet he is not a beginner skier or beginner winter camper.

post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 

Ha - yeah kudos to him.  The Thule life might be better in 2016.  Before then I have some things to learn... 

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

Also thanks for the Anthony Lakes tip - looks sweet. 

post #21 of 23

Here is another recent thread that discusses living out of your car.

 

http://www.newschoolers.com/forum/thread/785991/How-to-sleep-in-your-car

 

 

The big problem I've always dealt with is condensation.  I've woken up with icicles inside my car before.  But other than that it is super fun and a great way to travel, save money, and live close to the slopes. 

 

Taos is a great mountain that allows people to camp out in the lot for as long as they like.  I know a few people that have spent the whole season out there. 

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katieski View Post
 

To clarify, I'm in Oregon currently but looking to get out!  Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, etc.  A main goal of this trip is to explore the US and see where I want to settle down.  Oregon might be an easy starting place since I know it, but I really want to get out and see new places/learn new things.  

 

Cool--sounds like fun! For exploring the US and cheap downhill skiing, I recommend you check out the Powder Alliance (http://www.powderalliance.com/), which gives you up to 3 free days (generally no Saturdays or holidays) at a bunch of different areas--you can let your free skiing possibilities help guide your exploration--and you get 6 free days on Mt. Hood, so you might start your learning closer to home. Not all the snow is dry, and a lot depends on the particular weather, but it's a nice assortment, and the price can be very reasonable (getting a Mountain High pass mailed to you is something like $370 right now, or the Mt. Hood Fusion Pass is only $349 if you're 24 or under). Leavenworth, Flagstaff, Eden, Gunnison, Wrightwood, Angel Fire, Fresno, and South Lake Tahoe are wildly different towns/cities, but I've had a lot of fun in all these places, and they're a pretty decent sampling of what the Western US has to offer. Alpine skiing can get very expensive very quickly, so something like this seems like a good fit for you.

 

As for sleeping in your van, I don't have much guidance for you... but in the Western US, most mountains are in the National Forest system, which in most cases allows pretty much unrestricted dispersed camping: you can find a pretty spot--maybe at a lower elevation to avoid the coldest weather--pull off, and camp. Definitely check with the local ranger offices first, though, for any restrictions or tips.

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post
 

 

+1 For Anthony Lakes. 

 

 

 

There is a guy in the TGR thread talking about sleeping in his Thule rooftop box.  :)

Is his name Vlad?

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