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How to ski out west *alone* reasonably (not necessarily cheaply)

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I'm getting really tired of arranging trips with people just to have people to travel with. I always end up skiing by myself or with locals that that I meet anyway so this year I want to take a trip out west alone to avoid getting money from people and dealing with the hassle of getting people to commit. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to do this reasonably? For example, I would like to go to Whistler or Park City/Canyons for a week for about 1500max. I don't want to stay in hostel, but I don't need plush accomodations. A simple hotel or small condo, reasonably close to the slopes (walking or *short* shuttle) with a communal outdoor hot tub would be fine. Any suggestions?

Everything seems to be priced for groups of 2-6 with not much available for people traveling alone.
post #2 of 31
I second that, and am interested to see responses. Suggestions for the same scenario in CO would be cool too. My ceiling is a little higher, but keep it reasonable.
post #3 of 31
Look for a ski club in your area and sign up for some of their trips. Some of our local ski shops even organize trips overseas pretty reasonably. You'll get the bonus of the group pricing and you won't have to be in charge of collecting!
post #4 of 31
Check out this thread which was focused on lodging suggestions for the Park City 2006 Gathering in early Feb.


I suspect that using the search function might turn up additional comments for Park City and other areas.
post #5 of 31

A lone voice from Oz...

bszekely, like you I got sick and tired of organising people (actually, I used to pay for the lodge and then hassle the attendees for money - not fun) so I can see where you're coming from.

I'm heading over from Australia to British Columbia alone over the Christmas/New Year and found myself in your situation. What I managed to snag was reasonably comfortable hostels in both Fernie & Whistler. They may be spartan but who cares when you're going for the skiing anyway? Rooms in both locations are on the shuttle bus route and have a maximum of 4 people to a room and use shared amenities.

In Fernie (BC), I'm staying at The SameSun Lodge and at Whistler (BC), The Shoestring Lodge. (Just to keep in the swing of things, I've booked a night at the Holiday Inn in Vancouver with a private bathroom.) Hope this is some help or gives you ideas on how to save some money on your trip. I've done the same in Switzerland and found it a painless and fun experience. There will be plenty of like-minded people as yourself to chat with and share stories/tales at night.
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies. I'm sure I'll be able to figure out something.
post #7 of 31
Contact some travel agencies that specialize in ski trips (easy to find on web- doesnt have to be a local agency. Tell them your situation and most of them will put you on their singles list (looking for double etc. occupancy). Make sure you tell them your choices etc. on roomates. Do this at several places to increase your odds. Pete ESNESC Idaho
post #8 of 31
A local ski club is a good idea. You could also do this in SLC easily, as long as you stayed at a hotel Sandy or Midvale.
post #9 of 31
Of course, you could also team up with some Bears (the ESA and Gathering are two obvious times to go) and make it work. That's why I often do, even around here.
post #10 of 31
1. Find ski areas that have nearby (or better yet, slopeside) dorms or hostels. Dorms are rooms that usually feature from 4 to 25 bunk style beds. You sleep with strangers. They cost less than a single motel/hotel room. You don't pay a premium for being alone. Some dorms also include a meal or meals in their rates. They are usually not fancy places. Hostels are similar, they are usually located in cities, believe there is a UTE hostel in SLC. The Rocky Mtn Inn and hostel is located near Winter Park Ski area in CO. Search the web for more hostels near ski areas.
2. Go to ski areas located near major airports so that you don't need to rent a car, best example is SLC Utah. Cheap slopeside accommodations are something of an oxymoron, but good if you find one, because they may help you avert renting a car which is expensive for a single.

Alta ski area in Utah has nice slopeside dorms in many of the lodges located at the base of the ski area. They are not cheap, but are a good value for a single traveler on a mid-level budget. Sunday River ski area in Maine has the Snowcap Dorm at the base of their slopes. It used to offer cheap lodging for individuals, but may be open only to groups now? The Abominable Snowmansion near Taos NM is a cheap ski dorm, but is not slopeside and is not near a major airport. Believe there are dorm type accommodations in Gorham NH near Wildcat ski area. Perhaps start a new thread on epic and ask for a list of dorms or hostels near ski areas.

Reno NV is a unique gateway city to fine skiing. Because of the Casino influence, it can offer standard motel rooms almost at the price of a dorm and also offers bus transportation to local Lake Tahoe ski areas which might suit single travelers. Some casinos offer room/ski bus/lift tic combo packages.

Good luck. Sorry if I stated the obvious or went on the dorm/hostel tangent you're not interested in. Teaming up with epic or other internet friends may be a good solution too. Other than powder days :-) skiing is meant to be a shared experience. I've got 4 kids now which gives me guaranteed ski companions.
post #11 of 31
In Utah I've always stayed in SLC area and never paid more than $45 a night the problem is that you need to rent a car and they can be expensive that time of the year. I've done Colorado several time's solo and I've got it down to where I can get 4-5 days in snowcats and not pay more than $2200 for everything. If you stay in Hostels be prepared for some funky rules at some of them.
post #12 of 31
Originally Posted by Jahmi
In Utah I've always stayed in SLC area and never paid more than $45 a night the problem is that you need to rent a car and they can be expensive that time of the year. I've done Colorado several time's solo and I've got it down to where I can get 4-5 days in snowcats and not pay more than $2200 for everything. If you stay in Hostels be prepared for some funky rules at some of them.
If you stay in SLC, DO NOT rent a car if you're on a budget. Take the bus. It's cheaper, faster and easier - PLUS you will meet some other skiers on the bus ride who may make the whole trip more fun.
post #13 of 31
I stay in Midvale/Sandy (usually extended Stay Midvale) in SLC quite often. I've got a condo in Solitude but if that's rented (like during this Christmas New Years period) I just stay in the valley (gotta take anything I can to make the mortgage payments!). However, that's not where I'd necessarily stay if I was on my own.

As was already said, Alta is a good source for hostel accomodations but they are not inexpensive. Some (maybe most or all), I think, include breakfast and dinner so it might be a great way to meet people while on your own.

Another place I would consider is Jackson Hole. While lift tickets and flights may be more expensive there, the Hostel X is a great deal. There you get your own room ($57/night I think this year) with private bath and you are right in Teton Village. There is also public transportation to town for any night you wish to go in. Additionally, there are a couple of communal TV's and lot's of people (younger people mostly -whatever that means) hanging out in the common areas in the evening.

In Whistler I would also make the suggestion to look at Extremely Canadian's programs. If you are interested in advanced terrain they are a good group to ski with. They also have their own lodge now. I'm not sure of pricing but a package deal with them might work for your budget. Their website is www.extremelycanadian.com
post #14 of 31

alone in SLC or JH

I go alone every year to SLC with a package deal from Travelocity (usually the better deal) or Expedia.

Package the air, hotel (the city is cheaper), and car. You will save a $100 plus for a week stay.

Purchase your lift tickets from the ski rental places in the city (big discount, except for Alta... I think.)
For JH the HostelX is a great deal.
post #15 of 31
Well, there is always Alta's Peruvian lodge dorm rooms. At $110 per night, with all meals included, it's a pretty good deal. And yes it does have a pool, and hot tub, and bar, and post skiing snacks, and ... well, you get the idea. Plus, it is slopeside at Alta so you can ski Alta and Snowbird without trouble. They may have shuttle service to other areas but you need to check on your own.

Add airfare and lift tickets and you have a vacation (I think they pickup at the airport but again check it out don't rely on me).

Oh, you need a web site? Try this one: http://www.altaperuvian.com/rates/rates.htm

post #16 of 31
Phase II: Southwest airlines: Since I don't know where you live, but I do know where I live, this vacation is from Portland OR and includes airfare.
Airfare and hotel (Homestead Suites - Mid Valley) is $521.50
Car rental (Subaru Outback) is $339
Lift tickets (5 out of 7 days at Park City) is $319
Package price total $1203.10

Leaving you about $300 for food, booze and hookers (sorry but looks like cheap hookers this trip).

Need a web site try this one: https://www.secure02.com/ovm/cgi-bin/iprice.asp

Or if that doesn't work try this one: http://www.swavacations.com/

This is not the cheapest car rental in the package.
post #17 of 31
Don't forget, if you are flying into Salt Lick City the Park City Chamber of Commerce has a deal for you:

See here: http://www.parkcityinfo.com/skiing/quickstart/

In essence, they will let you ski free at the Park City area ski resorts on the day you fly in.

Follow the direction at the web site. Yeah, I know its hard but you gotta follow the directions or no free skieee.

post #18 of 31
The Peruvians a great place. Generally in low season they will give you a Nordic room, basin only, for $10-15 more a night than the dorm. Two years ago I showed up the night before they opened and was the only guest in the hotel.
Personally for me it may cost twice as much as staying in the valley, but it's 10 times the experience.

The Lodge won't pick you up, but Canyon Transport or the Alta Shuttle are about $60 RT.
post #19 of 31
Originally Posted by Maddog
....you are flying into Salt Lick City...
I know the jack Mormons can be quite the partiers, but WOW!

post #20 of 31

As several have noted, SLC is the best area for these kinds of trips. The Cottonwood Canyon based resorts are better for this than the Park City resorts. It looks like my favorite Motel 6 in Midvale is closed, but there are two new ones and a ton of other places in the $35-45/night range. The Alta Peruvian is more expensive, but it's a classic throwback to the old days of skiing and worth a stay at least once in your lifetime and doable on your $1500 budget. They have dorms and regular rooms. Although bus service is fine in SLC (and best for the canyon resorts), you can usually get a car for $20/day and still save money over the fancy places at the resorts (e.g. Cliff Lodge at Snowbird). From Midvale, it's about 45 minutes to Park City. There are a couple of cheap spots maybe 10-15 minutes closer to Park City. There are dorm rooms in Park City, but not many "cheap" places for a single to stay.

There used to be a bunch of el cheapo places for singles to stay in Whistler, but that was before the place went upscale. I just did a quick search, $100 Canadien/night looks like cheap now. Ouch!

Before I started teaching, I took most of my trips this way. Many of the trips I took without any reserved ahead of time lodging. This worked especially well when I had wheels. I would roll into town and arrange lodging simply by driving around. Back in those days there were plenty of places that were not online, not bookable through central reservations and would not charge a "single supplement" (the price was for the room not per person). Because they did not have to pay referral fees and weren't high rent places, the prices were less than what you could get with package deals. Nowadays, there are enough places online that you can book a deal ahead of time. There are a lot of resort areas that have Motel 6 type lodging nearby. Just don't expect to get away with this during holiday periods at destination resorts (although I have been lucky arriving in the morning and getting a room before skiing - then finding the resort is sold out in the evening). Outside of Salt Lake, travellgin single and cheap works especially well for hitting less well known resorts.

Having wheels has allowed me to hit many different resorts on the same trip. I've done several trips where I've hit several "normally destination only" resorts in a circle around a major city. But driving in the mountains in the winter in a dinky rental car can be a bit hairy and skiing all day and then driving 4-5 hours to the next place ain't for the faint hearted either. But it sure is worth it when you can change your plans mid trip with no worries and do whatever you want with no bitching. When you "wing it" you might get burned into paying a high rate or travelling more than you planned to find a room, but you'll make up for it by adding "adventure" to your trip and being able to drive to where the snow is.

I once rolled into Targhee on Xmas eve. I stopped at what turned out to be a great Mexican restaurant in town (the parrokeet in spanish? - looks like it's history now). I asked a waitress for a recommendation for a place to stay. It turned out the owner of the restaurant also owned some cabins in town. Because he was there, I "checked in" as I paid for the meal. The cabins were cozy (e.g. instructions to leave the sink cabinets open so the pipes won't freeze). If I'd had a travelling partner, I would have been assaulted for being insane (no room and no food by 5PM on xmas eve). But when you don't have (cough) excess baggage, these things just work themselves out.

If you go in the off season, you can get some really good deals at some really nice places. I did one trip where I flew into in Spokane and took the train to Whitefish. I stayed at Grouse Mountain Lodge (one of the nicer places) for $40/night (early dec). They ran a shuttle into town and to the mountain. I then hopped the train back to Sandpoint and did a couple weeks at Schweitzer. The place I stayed at was a relative dump in town, but it was $23/night through xmas and new years and they did have a couple of cable channels and a hot tub (I think they gave me the pre holiday rate because I stayed so long).

Bed and Breakfasts can be another alternative worth checking out.
post #21 of 31
Find a liftie in a bar and tell'em you'll give him $100 to sleep in his bed for a week. I'd suggest bringing your own sheets and earplugs.
post #22 of 31
In reponse to doublediamond223 question on something similar in CO, I have stayed at: http://www.friscolodge.com/ to ski Summit Co. areas a couple of times. Usually, I will rent a car, but the bus service is pretty good to get to Copper, Breck, Keystone, etc.

The cheapest rooms have a shared bath, but I have never waited to use them. They serve a free breakfast and after skiing snacks. They have a ski tune-up room available and a communal hot tub. It is convenient to walk to bars and restaurants in Frisco and pretty much everyone staying there are skiers who are saving a few bucks, without being too grungy

I have had good times just skiing with folks I met over breakfast. Folks horse-trade coupons for lift tickets etc.

PS I have no financial connection with the lodge, just a satisfied customer.
post #23 of 31
I have been to SLC the last few years and will be back again next month. I always go alone as a break from the job, kids, wife, everything. If I stay in the valley I stay at the Days Inn in Midvale, with AAA discount it's $45 a night. You can also get discount lift tickets their for the 4 Cottonwood resorts. Doing this however you need a rental car (unless you bus it which is a hassle), but you can choose your ski destination each day.

Last year I stayed at the Snowpine in Alta. The early season deal got me Room/Board/Meals/Lift Tix for about $115 per night and I only needed to buy lunch. This option you can take Canyon Transportation from the airport, but this way you can ski Alta and the Bird.

I am coming out again in December from Baltimore and staying in SLC or at Alta will run me about the same. RT airfare on Southwest, meals, lift tix, rental car or canyon trans will run about $800 for 4 full days of skiing.
post #24 of 31
Originally Posted by bszekely
For example, I would like to go to Whistler or Park City/Canyons for a week for about 1500max
Here's what I do for Whistler:

flight: Air Canada - YYZ to YVR about $600 in the spring (early mid April)

accomodations: go to the Allura direct website, listings of owner condos renting directly to you, usually you will get a discount if you rent for a week

transfer from YVR to Whistler: Perimeter express bus

lift tickets: get them from the 7-11 in Squamish, they were about $32 each in '02, NOT the 7-11 in Whistler (they dont sell them there)

and with what I spent on food, it came to around $1500
post #25 of 31
Hostels are great for single travellers because you meet lots of people, and have plenty to ski with if you want them! Seriously. Sitting around the loungeroom with a few beers, you make some great ski buddies. And, many hostels have small rooms nowadays that cost a bit more than the dorms, but if you don't want to mingle snores, they are good. They are designed for 2 people, and they call them single rooms.
Hostels often have the cheaper lift tickets, too, and good info on transport and other available deals.

When you stay in a hotel, you can be pretty isolated from people and that kind of info.
post #26 of 31

Reasonable prices in Whistler

I'm heading up to Whistler for Thanksgiving, and scored a 1BR condo in the Creekside area, four nights for just over $55 per night. I found it through OwnerDirect.com, which is basically a referral service for condo owners. You find the place you want, pay them a fee for the connection, then directly contact the condo owner and pay the rental fee and work out the details. Many offer weekly rates.

post #27 of 31
Stay in a cheap motel in South Lake Tahoe or Kings Beach and eat at a Casino buffet.
post #28 of 31
Originally Posted by bszekely
A simple hotel or small condo, reasonably close to the slopes (walking or *short* shuttle) with a communal outdoor hot tub would be fine.
'The perfect accomodations will suffice'. Ahh, and a couple bikini babes in the hot tub wouldn't hurt either. I had this same dilemma and finally moved to Colorado...living in Austin you had to plan around everyone's dedication and vacation allowance - too hit and miss.
post #29 of 31

For the best bang for your buck, and total experience Whistler/Blackcomb is second to none.
post #30 of 31

CO, WY and UT

Based on previous posts, the Sandy, UT and Frisco, CO options sound the best to me.

A couple more for you-- I've stayed at the 49er in Jackson, WY. It's decent and fairly inexpensive. Unlike the other options, you'd be limited to just one mountain Jackson Hole (although that's not a bad mountain to be limited to). Also you could theoretically go over to Grand Targhee-- a mountain that I found to be a lot of fun.

I've also stayed at the Park Meadows Lodge in Vail. Walking distance to a lift and rather affordable considering that fact.
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