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"Sorry folks, the park's closed. The moose out front shoulda told you" :-(

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Anybody ever drive through hell only to be turned back upon arrival because the resort was closed when you expected it would be open?  I've never had it happen at a ski resort but would love to hear some funny stories describing your disappointment, or embarrassment.


post #2 of 25
Arrived at A-Basin at 9:00 on the morning of May 31st to celebrate the last day of the season. The lift wasn't running because of heavy snowfall. We hung around until about 10:30 and the snow was still at near-whiteout on the mountain, and they still couldn't say when, or if, the lifts would open, so we packed up and drove home.

On the way home, we passed a state patrolman slid off the road and buried in the ditch.
post #3 of 25

Yes, back in 2001 there was a big dump ~2ft and I turned up at Love Land only to be told there was too much snow and the staff couldn't make it in to work.


So I got back in my Miata and drove home.

post #4 of 25

I once went to Jay Peak with my family.  It was late March, my Spring Break, and we really wanted to ski.  It started raining on the way over from Burlington and got harder and harder as we got closer.  We talked about skipping it, but time/location/inertia drove us onward.  When we got there and went to the window to buy four tickets, the woman behind the glass just looked at me for a long minute and then said "....Really??  You want to buy tickets?"  

When I confirmed I did, she paused a minute and then said, "OK, how about I give you two half-price tickets and the kids can ski for free."  
What could I say but "OK, sounds fair to me".


Then, after she handed out the tix, she said "wait a minute".  She rummaged around and handed out four garbage bags, saying "here, you'll need these."  We took them, wore them, and still got soaked all the way through within 30 minutes.  There were about five other folks on the hill and we still talk about that day.

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

I've also had some really fun and memorable times skiing in the rain, sometimes really hard rain hahaha.  I'll always call it a day when I hear THUNDER or see LIGHTING though.  I'm no electrician, but I always wonder why they don't stop the lifts when there is lighting in the area.  Bird on a wire doesn't get zapped but people unloading and loading might if the countermeasures fail somehow..

post #6 of 25

Made the perfect timing on a very big snow event. Got out of town before the total traffic chaos. Drove Vancouver to Vernon about 400k, 4x4 engaged for about 350k of it. Just got past before highway closures at Sumas and the Coquihalla. Made fresh tracks from Chilliwack to Kelowna. In some places it was over the bumper. Rolled into Vernon by midnight.


We were giddy.


Next 8am at the Silver Star ticket window we were informed the hill was closed for the day. Too much new snow and high winds. 

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

The last really good powder day I got in was a pretty wicked drive the last 20 miles.  Chains or 4WD rule was in effect for the resort road.  Arrived, booted up, and got to the lifts a little after 9.  It was self service loading because they didn't have a liftie there yet.  There were patrols taking turns standing next to the stop button.  Not sure what the plan was to start it back up but wasn't worried about that.  By about 11 there were more lifties there and less untracked.. Coincidence???:rotflmao:

post #8 of 25

Drove from San Diego to Mount Baldy one storm morning in the four wheel drive Ranger. I was teaching my son to drive so we were excited to actually hit snow on the way up. We waited an hour before they said that it was too windy to open that day. So my son drove us drove back out of the snow. Not a total loss but a bummer because the snow on the lower mountain looked great. (Baldy has an access lift from the parking lot to the top of the mountain with an advanced only run down. The bottom was reasonably wind sheltered but I believed the anemometer's high readings from the top.) We would have gotten a few sweet laps if they had opened just the access lift - but the general intermediate public might have presented a problem.


He had some homework to finish so once we got back into the rain he made me drive. As soon as I pulled back on the road, a huge mudslide slid across the road in front of us. Hand clearing a safe path and shifting into low four wheel drive, I climbed over the edge of the slide and made it past the blockage. A driver in a two wheel drive car without chains asked us how the road was going up?! Despite our warnings, he looked like he was going to head up anyhow. I'm not sure what eventually happened to him - he was poking unsuccessfully at the debris when we headed home and no way was I going to help him get in  deep trouble by loaning my shovel - but the road was reported as closed before we got to the freeway. Good driving lesson on many levels.



post #9 of 25

In early 80's I went on 3 hour bus trip with 45  coworkers from Dc to blue knob pa. it  was raining all the wway, but we had alll taken the day offf and were fired up to go anyway. triip orgaanizers werre newbs and failed to confirm ski arrea was open.  when we got there  it wasn't and wwe had to turrn arround and go home wwith no skkiingThumbs Down

post #10 of 25
Sometime in the 80s I drove out to the dinky downhill area outside of Fairbanks AK - Cleary Summit, rope tow - and it was closed because it was below minus 20 dF. Now I can't believe that I couldn't believe it was closed. It was a bluebird day, too.
post #11 of 25

No, but I've had almost the opposite experience. 


Several years ago, in a major snowstorm, I was in one of three cars heading from Silverthorne, Colorado, to ski Loveland, up on the Continental Divide at the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70. At the on-ramp, cops were turning back all vehicles that didn't have all-wheel or 4-wheel drive. My Subaru made it through, along with the other two cars in our caravan. But 10 or so miles later, at the Tunnel, they had closed the highway, and were turning everyone around. When I asked why, they said that the road was closed on the other side, from Silver Plume to Idaho Springs. We begged, telling him we weren't trying to get to Denver, but just to Loveland Ski Area at the other end of the Tunnel (the lifts actually run directly above the tunnel). He finally relented and allowed the three of us--and only us--to go through the Tunnel. 


At Loveland, there were probably a dozen cars in the parking lot, and a whole bunch of snow. We expected the mountain to close for the day, since so few people could get there--including employees. But to our surprise (and my undying gratitude), they opened the place up. The upper management was out shoveling snow and loading lifts, since many employees did not make it in. And we had the mountain to ourselves--a private powder day party!


Loveland deserves kudos and more for that extra effort and expense!


Merry Christmas, everyone!


Best regards,


post #12 of 25

Drove a couple of hours through back roads in freezing rain, a good stretch of it twisty turny up and down, to find the ski hill closed.

post #13 of 25

No great story to tell, but at almost all the ticket windows I've ever been to the they said something along the lines of "you suck at skiing and the moose out front shoulda told you";)

post #14 of 25
Happened this last Monday at solitude. High winds.... Very disappointing
post #15 of 25

February 2012 I was running a man-cation for several buds at Jackson Hole, point man herding cats.  I had a few hours before picking one up at the airport, so I hit Snow King for a couple of hours.  I'd never skied it before (only did the alpine slide in the summer), and buying a 2 hour ticket was a novelty too.  Turns out the hill kicked ass, and I was hoping to talk the guys into a day there instead of the 4 days we had planned at Jackson Hole proper.  We headed out the next day (Monday) in two cars, and the lead car turned the wrong way - towards JHMR instead of Snow King (we were staying in a sweet cabin near the Aspens).  I thought I had talked the gang into skiing a day at Snow King, especially since we all had 3 day special passes and had to burn the 4th day somehow.


I got the lead car turned around via frantic cell phone call, and we made the 20 minute drive to Snow King.  Pulling up into the lot, the hill seemed strangely quiet, even for poor bastard stepchild Snow King.  For a bluebird day, it was practically deserted, just a few people skiing (turns out they were skinning up - the Jackson city workout).  I went up to the ticket office and read the sign "Closed on Mondays"


Hnuck, hnuck, I heard Marty Moose say to me.  I walked back to the cars, 7 sets of eyes boring into me.  "Duh, they're closed on Mondays".  We turned around and went to Jackson Hole, about an hour wasted on a perfect powder day.

post #16 of 25
The only experience I've had anything like these was one night driving from northern Virginia to Canaan valley West Virginia. 4 of us in my Jetta through a pretty heavy snow storm late at night. We waited for other cars to come down some of the switchbacks before we went up so we didn't have to pass on the twisties. At times it was complete whiteout (at night) and we had to stop and wait until we could see where the road went.

Wound up getting there fine, and skiing the next day in great conditions. That's the only time I've been skiing in any kind of powder... shin deep in places but kind of heavy and thick. Still loads of fun!
post #17 of 25
Originally Posted by Colorado View Post


So I got back in my Miata and drove home.

there for  a moment I expected you to say Prius......:eek

post #18 of 25
In my teens, late 70's, So Cal...

Dad called ahead to Dodge Ridge for the snow report. "3 feet, c'mon up!". We arrived a couple days later to find exactly 3 feet of snow in one lone pile at the end of the parking lot. The slopes had 100% cover of rocks and dirt mad.gif .

Ended up being a great vacation anyway and skiing was only a day or two of the itinerary. Dad and I were the only skiers so the rest of the family was laughing about the conditions. Explored gold country and did a little panning- I still have a little vial of gold dust from that trip. Had the best trout dinner I have ever eaten- IIRC it was at the Strawberry Inn. biggrin.gif
post #19 of 25

A few years back my brother and I drove 4.5 hours to Flagstaff's Snowbowl. Poor guy was sick as a dog, which added more time for pit stops, but we were determined to get up there - only to find out they closed for the day due to high winds. Bummer. Quality time with my brother, though. 

post #20 of 25
A few years back- 2011? Monarch got hit with 30" in 24 hours on top of a few inches the day before. Minutes before 9:00 a groomer ran over a transformer totally buried in the snow. Killed power to the entire mountain and mountain did not open that day. The cat ski group that day was diverted inbounds and anybody with skins set out up the mountain.

I was on my way but stopped in Buena Vista for coffee, and found out before I got there. Went to Ski Cooper instead (had free tickets off a Sunlight pass) where they only managed 8", which is about perfect for their very mild slopes. Lots of first tracks because who goes to Cooper on a poweder day? Fun day.

To say sorry, Monarch had a free ski day on April 4. Everybody that showed up rode for free. Also a powder day and it happens to be my birthday.
post #21 of 25
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post

there for  a moment I expected you to say Prius......:eek


I don't do FWD! :D


...and yep, my 96' had studded snow tires all round.

post #22 of 25

Me and my buddy were tracking a storm that was going to CRUSH Stowe/MRG/The Bush so we decided to leave a few hrs earlier than usual and left on what is usually a 5 or 6hr trip.  NY it wasnt snowing, CT had flurries until we got to Hartford, Mass had alot of snow but the roads were plowed, the second we crossed from Mass to VT it looked like there wasnt a single car on 91, we took my 03 Camry as far as she could go in the unplowed storm which was Brattleboro (Southern VT).  We checked in a hotel and decided to wait until the morning and hope the roads got cleared.  Upon waking up, the roads were still AWFUL but manageable, we drove up to Sugarbush and while driving up the access road my car would get 3/4 of the way up the road and lose traction resulting in us sliding backwards (thank God nobody was out there) after attempting to get up this access road time after time (and getting a TON of smack talk and hate from Patriots fans, this was right after the last Giants SB and my car has a few NYG stickers, telling us to go back to the city, this aint NY, etc) we decided to chalk the day up as a loss, go back to our hotel in Montpelier and wait yet another day for the roads to clear..... The next morning we set out to The Bush again, roads were PERFECT, nobody was on the mtn and we had thigh high deep pow pow to ourselves all day, it was totally worth the 12hr drive from NYC


1 of if not THEE best day of skiing Ive ever had

post #23 of 25

For this one, the mountain opened - late, but it opened. And I did not drive anywhere.


I was up in Winter Park for spring break. My condo was in town, about two miles from the ski area. Skis, boots, pants, etc. already at the area. My usual method of getting to the area was to just step out to the highway in front of the condo and wait for someone I knew to come by and pick me up.


On the day in question (a Wednesday, I think), it had been snowing all week, but the night before, it had really picked up and dumped (this is not a typo) 48" overnight! CDOT has some large and impressive equipment for keeping Berthoud Pass open, and Highway 40 through town was actually open. Berthoud Pass was not. Major slides, as you might expect. Berthoud did not re-open for something like 4 days. Flights were missed.


Someone did pick me up, but when I got to the ski area, I found that all employees were being recruited to shovel. The lifts were buried, of course. The Zephyr didn't turn until 10:30, or something like that. I took a picture of a friend of mine in the elevator with a snowblower to take it to a second floor deck that was normally heated for snow removal. The storm had completely overwhelmed the heating system. The snow usually fell through the steel mesh tables on the deck, but today they had 4 feet of snow on them.


When we were finally able to go up the mountain, we eagerly headed up to try out all this wonderful powder (as soon as we were released from shoveling). Well, this was in the Olden Days, before fat skis. The powder was of reasonable quality, but it wasn't 5% moisture, and it was quite a bit denser as it got deeper, just because of settling. What this meant was that most of the mountain was almost unskiable on the 70mm-80mm width skis of the day. If you tried to stand normally, the snow would come to the middle of your chest while you were standing still. Even straightlining a fairly steep run, you would just grind to a halt and have to push yourself down the hill. Some experimentation by some very good instructors revealed that it was actually possible to move down the hill by sitting way back so the skis would rise up enough to get your body sort of out of the snow and reduce the resistance to forward movement. Turning was not possible or required. It was weird and not that much fun.


Falling could be a disaster. The Ski Patrol rescued several people who nearly suffocated when they fell down.


Visibility was poor. It snowed hard all day.


Late in the afternoon, I was skiing more or less normally in a corridor on a black run that had been chewed up by dedicated souls pushing their way down the hill. The run was still littered with big blocks of unskied snow. Foolishly, I headed toward one at speed, thinking I could blast through it.


WRONG!! Idiot!


It turned out to be a large unskied area at the side of the run. Seconds later, I was stopped, standing in snow up to my chest, 15 feet into the deep area, with my skis still on my feet. It took me a good 10 minutes to kick my way out backward.


I don't know what it was about the snow that day that made movement down the hill so difficult. Just the wrong combination of density and depth, I suppose. I have since skied 36" of untracked on 78mm skis. Given enough pitch, it works fine, although fat skis make it much easier. That day, I needed something with a waist of about 120mm. Or more.

post #24 of 25

Maybe fifteen years ago, my boyfriend and I planned a nice little spring break trip - two or three days of skiing. This was in the mid Atlantic. I think the ski resort was Wisp. Hotels were nice and cheap!  And empty. And the hot tub was luke warm. But there was fresh snow - the weather was great! So anyway, in the morning, we head over to Wisp nice and early. Only to find that they're on their spring schedule, and won't open till noon. We sat around in the base area for several hours. Eventually, they did open, and I got my first taste of powder (2-3 inches over a groomer), and we actually had a pretty great time. But I learned my lesson about assuming anything for a vacation trip.

post #25 of 25

Worked at a very little ski area called Hillburg on Elmondorf AFB in Alaska for several years. Had a poma lift a couple of rope tows and lights then. You could see the whole thing out the lodge windows.  When a moose wondered out of the woods to munch on the willow buds they would close that side of the hill. The lifties loved it, but it was not so good if you were running gates.

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