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Advice on Ski Sabbatical Needed

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So I'm a Washington DC resident planning an extended trip west next winter '15/'16.

 

I am either going to work 3 months in Salt Lake City (has to be SLC) for my current job or take 4-6 weeks off and probably do a few different cities and ski.  I'm pushing for the first option, but I have to get approval first.  As a life long east coast resident and considering this will probably be the most skiing I'll do in a season for my entire life, would like to get some input from people with experience on the following items.  I appreciate any help you can give.

 

-What's the best 3 month time range the for the West ski season? Was thinking of doing Jan1- March 31.

-I figured I would get season pass at Snowbird/Alta, any difference in opinion on that?  Any ways to get a pass that allows for more mountains?

-Currently have a pair of 172 K2 Men's Wired skis and Salomon boots.  They do the trick, but are pretty thin for powder.  I know I'd probably need an upgrade for this trip that will handle powder better.  Don't really know where to start, any thoughts?

-If I were to do a 4-6 week trip instead and you had to recommend a few mountains what would you recommend (Canada is not out of question)?

-And finally, I've seen a few of these mountains I've been looking do some 2-4 day advanced adult classes.  I'm a pretty confident skier that won't turn down a black diamond or double, but I know I could improve (skied for my first time at 22, 27 now).  How effective do you think these classes could be?  They're pretty expensive.  

 

Thanks 

-Tim

post #2 of 7

As someone who took a sabbatical to ski this winter, I can only say - DO IT! DO IT!  Jan 1 - March 31 sounds good, but weather is unpredictable - whatever you can make work is good.

 

You'll improve tremendously just because you'll be skiing so much, but lessons will help you get the most out of whatever mountains you're skiing. Yes, they're expensive, but if you can swing it, do it. Speaking of which .. if for some reason you decided to land in Breck, check out next season's lesson club: http://www.epicski.com/t/133825/2015-16-breckenridge-ski-ride-club-program .. it's a step down from previous seasons, but still an incredible deal.

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Reside View Post
 

So I'm a Washington DC resident planning an extended trip west next winter '15/'16.

 

I am either going to work 3 months in Salt Lake City (has to be SLC) for my current job or take 4-6 weeks off and probably do a few different cities and ski.  I'm pushing for the first option, but I have to get approval first.  As a life long east coast resident and considering this will probably be the most skiing I'll do in a season for my entire life, would like to get some input from people with experience on the following items.  I appreciate any help you can give.

 

-What's the best 3 month time range the for the West ski season? Was thinking of doing Jan1- March 31.

Makes sense to me.  You might consider shifting a couple of weeks later if Spring skiing sounds real good to you.

 

-I figured I would get season pass at Snowbird/Alta, any difference in opinion on that?

Yes, and lots of agreement as well.

 

 Any ways to get a pass that allows for more mountains?

 Yes, lots of 'em.

 

-Currently have a pair of 172 K2 Men's Wired skis and Salomon boots.  They do the trick, but are pretty thin for powder.  I know I'd probably need an upgrade for this trip that will handle powder better.  Don't really know where to start, any thoughts?

Get your boots dialed in, spare no expense.  Go for a two ski quiver, one versatile w/hard snow bias, one versatile set of powder boards.  Buy used.

 

-If I were to do a 4-6 week trip instead and you had to recommend a few mountains what would you recommend (Canada is not out of question)?

 Make that decision as late as possible, go where the snow is.

 

-And finally, I've seen a few of these mountains I've been looking do some 2-4 day advanced adult classes.  I'm a pretty confident skier that won't turn down a black diamond or double, but I know I could improve (skied for my first time at 22, 27 now).  How effective do you think these classes could be?  They're pretty expensive.  

Yeah man, make the most of your dream season by making the most of your new boards with some new technical direction.  Lots of options for instruction, lots of research to be done.

 

Have fun!

 

Thanks 

-Tim

post #4 of 7

It is unclear how much you could ski if you work in SLC.

 

This website has passes which are good for a lot of days at a lot of Utah mountains, however they are expensive and have a waiting list. http://www.skiutah.com/passes/gold-and-silver-passes

post #5 of 7

Sounds pretty awesome!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim Reside View Post
 

-What's the best 3 month time range the for the West ski season? Was thinking of doing Jan1- March 31.

 

If you can customize this a bit more, I'd push it back a few days--try to start once the winter break crowds have gone home, and trade it for a few days in April. 

 

Quote:

-I figured I would get season pass at Snowbird/Alta, any difference in opinion on that?  Any ways to get a pass that allows for more mountains?

 

I don't think (anyone know different?) that there's a combined season pass. You'll probably need to look at the details once they're on sale, but it probably won't make sense to get full-price passes at each... both resorts have offered free days plus discounted per-day upgrades to the respective passholders in the past.

 

What will your work schedule be like? If you'll be working most weekdays, then quality night skiing (Brighton, Powder Mountain, Sundance, Park City) might be higher priority; and weekends/holidays will be busier at Alta/Snowbird than some of the other options. Right now the Snowbasin, and Epic (Park City & Canyons) passes are great deals, and they both include free skiing at other spots that are reasonable for a 3-day weekend, but no extra time near Salt Lake. Other passes aren't on sale yet, so it's hard to say what prices/benefits will be like.

 

I think the Big Cottonwood pass is supposed to be available again (good if you're working weekdays because it has nights at Brighton and you can head to Solitude to avoid weekend/holiday crowds). The past few years, Alta, Snowbird, and Deer Valley have teamed up to give one anothers' passholders free days. Now that Deer Valley's about to take ownership of Solitude, though, it's definitely less clear what'll happen this year. Based on recent years' track records, all of these options should be significantly more expensive than Snowbasin or the Epic Pass.

 

Quote:

-Currently have a pair of 172 K2 Men's Wired skis and Salomon boots.  They do the trick, but are pretty thin for powder.  I know I'd probably need an upgrade for this trip that will handle powder better.  Don't really know where to start, any thoughts?

 

Unless you're going to have a chance to try them this spring, it probably makes sense to wait until you're in Utah to make a decision. This season some of the local shops had great deals on season rentals. There's an oldish article here, but from what I saw this season it's about the same--with top-of-the-line umlimited demo deals something like $350-$450 during the early-season sales.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Reside View Post
 

So I'm a Washington DC resident planning an extended trip west next winter '15/'16.

 

I am either going to work 3 months in Salt Lake City (has to be SLC) for my current job or take 4-6 weeks off and probably do a few different cities and ski.  I'm pushing for the first option, but I have to get approval first.  As a life long east coast resident and considering this will probably be the most skiing I'll do in a season for my entire life, would like to get some input from people with experience on the following items.  I appreciate any help you can give.

 

-What's the best 3 month time range the for the West ski season? Was thinking of doing Jan1- March 31.

-I figured I would get season pass at Snowbird/Alta, any difference in opinion on that?  Any ways to get a pass that allows for more mountains?

-Currently have a pair of 172 K2 Men's Wired skis and Salomon boots.  They do the trick, but are pretty thin for powder.  I know I'd probably need an upgrade for this trip that will handle powder better.  Don't really know where to start, any thoughts?

-If I were to do a 4-6 week trip instead and you had to recommend a few mountains what would you recommend (Canada is not out of question)?

-And finally, I've seen a few of these mountains I've been looking do some 2-4 day advanced adult classes.  I'm a pretty confident skier that won't turn down a black diamond or double, but I know I could improve (skied for my first time at 22, 27 now).  How effective do you think these classes could be?  They're pretty expensive.  

 

Thanks 

-Tim


Have you skied out west before?  What is your favorite place to ski now?

 

If you were working, would that mean only skiing evenings and weekends?  If so, then taking 4-6 weeks off to ski is a better way to go.  For instance, a group lesson mid-week in non-holiday periods could be one way to work with good instructors for less money.

 

I'm retired.  Starting skiing more out west about 5 years ago.  My skiing improved a lot last season when I got in 60 days on snow, with about 35 either in the northeast or in Utah.  I did a few lessons with a friend or two at JH or Alta.  Plus lessons with Level 3 instructors at Massanutten (northern VA).

 

Regardless of when you ski out west, it will pay to start working on ski conditioning now.

post #7 of 7

Paging @Jamesj 

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