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Powder Days??

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am starting to think about my '17 ski trip. I make it out west for a week once a year. I have had some great trips, but haven't hit any powder days in 5 years (Big Sky in 2011). This year instead of booking early and keeping my fingers crossed, I think I am going to keep an eye on the weather reports and book a few days before the trip. My job gives me the flexibility to do this. I am coming from Cincinnati, which has direct flights to Denver and SLC.

 

I realize this is not a foolproof plan, but figure it will increase my odds. Also it at least gives me some control. Has anyone else tried this approach? Any pitfalls or advice? 

post #2 of 12

We did that last season did a last minute trip to SLC on Christmas day, flew home NYE.  We used frequent flyer miles and hotels in Sandy were plentiful and reasonable.  Worked out great!  I have some ski buddies who hit Jackson Hole every season and they follow storm tracks, book last minute and ski a lot of powder.  I am planning on joining them this season.

post #3 of 12
Flexibility and value do not always go together as most businesses want you to book early to secure the best deals. This can make last minute trips expensive. Booking.com has many deals where you can cancel for free up to the day of arrival and some of the airlines like Southwest has fares that can be transferred without cost. I have a week booked in SLC for the last week in January using these two companies, but if the conditions don't look good I should be able to push the dates back without too much trouble. Especially in Utah, storms can be local to specific resorts, so you need some flexibility with your lift tickets as well.
post #4 of 12

An Option for some:

 

Book ahead of time a central city airport.  SLC is the first choice and probably Denver is the second, but you can figure this out by looking at a map.

 

SLC has about the best chances of pow so you got that right there. Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Bridger Bowl are all possible drives if you leave by 3.  To the South Telluride and Silverton.

 

Book hotels ahead of time and cancel where you don't go.

 

Explore the same possibilities with Denver and maybe Spokane. 

 

The some this works for are those who don't mind driving and for whom the effort is worth the reward.

post #5 of 12
I have a ton of miles on Southwest. I just book every weekend, six weeks out and keep rolling them over if I don't use them.
post #6 of 12

The approach I've taken for my trips to SLC is to pick a week to book in advance, but I'm flexible about changing the arrival or departure date.  I fly Southwest.

 

I'm willing to head out a day or two early if a storm is expected.  More often, I've extended a trip by a few days because of a powder storm.  Been lucky even during late season (April).  Note that I'm spoiled and stay at Alta Lodge for most of my Utah trips.  A dorm room there beats having to deal with a snowy road up LCC.  Even mid-season, getting a dorm bed is usually possible at the last minute mid-week.  I would guess that's true of the other lodges at Alta too.

post #7 of 12
Quote =MrGolfAnalogy:
Flexibility and value do not always go together as most businesses want you to book early to secure the best deals.

With the airlines you may have to live with this.  For lodging Salt Lake and Jackson are never a problem scoring last minute reasonable lodging, as Salt Lake is a good sized city and Jackson is primarily a summer resort. Reno always has bargain lodging too. 

post #8 of 12

I have tried to chase powder from afar 3 times. Twice to SLC. 1st time went to pow mow and skied a foot of fresh. 2nd time to snowbasin on 16". Both times skied through the storm with low viz. The snowbasin trip would've been amazing but I crashed after 3 runs and ended up in the ER. That was an expensive 3 runs. 3rd attempt was a little crazy. I tried to chase a storm in north Idaho and got a great deal on a ticket from LAX to Spokane 2 days in advance. The storm was looking really good but on the day I was scheduled to fly out there the temps warmed up and the Epic locals I was going to meet up with told me the snow turned to mank and it was not worth the trip. I was able to exchange the ticket and cancel my hotel without penalty so no biggie just a bummer. So the take home, IMO, is it is definitely doable and can be affordable just pay close attention to temps. Looking back on that N. Idaho attempt I remember seeing the predicted temps in the high 20s/low 30s and was a little worried but was so eager to chase that I became blinded by optimism.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks, all. I will consider these options and give it a try this year.

post #10 of 12
Are you traveling solo? That changes the economics a little.
Most resort associations or large consolidaters should be able to get you Block Air Fares last minute, as long as your not flying on a holiday.
Post up a week prior to your departure and we will send you on the trip of a lifetime.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Most resort associations or large consolidaters should be able to get you Block Air Fares last minute, as long as your not flying on a holiday.
Can you please elaborate a bit? I guess I'm quite lost regarding the Blockk Air Fares. Never heard of that
post #12 of 12
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