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TR: Alpine Meadows-WORST SKI EXPERIENCE EVER!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Okay this is a trip report from March, it is long overdue but I haven't had the time to give the detail that this thread will contain. In short, Alpine Meadows was the worst skiing experience of my 22-year-old life! It is a long read but I tried to be as detailed as possible since it was such a bad experience.

My girlfriend and I visited the Tahoe area this past March for our spring break, all in all it was a fun trip but the timing was terrible as each day the temps were over 70 degrees at the mountains. It's hard to swallow a big bill for a ski trip like that and have the weather conditions be the worst all winter just the week that we were there. Our trip was from March 6-11 2005. I won't get into the details about the other resorts we visited but the conditions were quite nice early in the morning but after lunch it got sketchy.

Alpine Meadows. Where do I start? Well let's see we went to Alpine Meadows on the day after Squaw (the day that I wanted to go back to Squaw!) since the gf wanted to try as many different resorts as we could.
We got there early, just like every resort. Not first chair but pretty close! So we went up the first lift with a ski patroller who was quite helpful and very nice. The qualities of Alpine Meadows began and ended with that ski patroller. As soon as we got off the lift we were surprised that the conditions were that bad that early in the day so we skied back down to go to the west side of the resort. When we got over there and began to go down we couldn't believe the bare spots on the run we were on (I forget the name of it.) The numerous bare spots, horrible wet snow, and my girlfriend's sudden illness (she was battling her period and began to experience cramps and nausea) lead us to call it a day after exactly two runs and less then 30 mins of skiing.

So after we skied back down I wanted to see if we could get a refund or a partial refund. I was full aware that the ticket states no refunds so my hopes were not high. I went up to the ticket window and they directed me to customer service or some other desk of that nature (Sorry but I don't recall the exact name.) I explained the story to the woman at the desk and she said that she wouldn't give us a refund but that my girlfriend could go over to see the nurse to see if she could help. We went over and explained the story to the nurse. I believe she asked the gf a whole bunch of questions and generally felt sorry for us and apologized for the conditions and gave the gf some Midol and some tips on how to feel better during her period. She said she would be able to give my gf a voucher for another days since she was ill but I was out of luck. I was happy with this outcome since I know most resorts don't give refunds. She told us to go back over to the help desk where we could get the voucher. She phoned over to tell the lady whom we already saw that we were coming over.

We went back over to the help desk and the first words that the lady uttered to us were "I can't believe we are giving you a voucher, we almost never do this." I told her that I felt it was warranted because of the terrible conditions and how my gf felt and that we literally returned to the window less then 30 mins after we purchased it. She gave us the voucher and told me that I needed to turn my pass in as well. When I asked why she said that they have a problem there with illegal reselling of passes. When I told her I had no intentions of doing this and that I collect the lift tickets of all the resorts that I visit, she rolled her eyes and me and said "I don't care if you collect them or not, we have a problem here and I need your pass so that you won't resell it." Shocked I said "I don't care about your problem, I paid for this ticket and I already told you I have no intentions of illegally reselling this ticket, in fact you will see this ticket again when I write a letter to your Manager telling him how unprofessional you are and how I have been treated."

As this was undertaking, a man walked over who turned out to be some type of managing director. Her tone immediately changed upon his arrival and she politely asked for the ticket again. My gf was pissed off as well at this point and just told me to just walk away. I told the man how unprofessional the woman was and that she demanded to give my pass in and accused me of wanting to illegally resell my pass. I told him that he would be seeing my ticket with a complaint to the resort. He gave me his card without saying much and told me to contact him if necessary.

Leaving quite pissed off I decided to go back to the ticket window to ask for a complaint form or to speak with a manager. I was told the manager was not available at that time and was given a written piece of paper with whom to contact.

The man from inside was outside just feet away from me following my every move. My girlfriend had already gone to get the car so we could load up the ski gear. As I was waiting for her just feet away from the ticket counter I noticed the man went over to the same window that I was just at. I turned around when I heard over the microphone the ticket sales woman asking the managing director if he had heard about the pissed off guy wanting to make a complaint. The man realized that I had heard this and motioned for the girl to go away. I approached the man clearly pissed off saying "do you really think this is how you are supposed to treat guests?" He said,” what do you mean?" I told him about what had happened and then for me to come out here and for a ticket woman to call me crazy over the microphone on top of everything else that happened was literally unbelievable. I told him that I couldn't imagine a more unprofessional place and that they would surely hear from me and that I would do everything in my power to inform other skiers about how horrific their resort is. The man challenged me to do so and that he looked forward to hearing from me.

He waited for me to upload all of my gear into the car and for my gf and I to drive off. He made sure we exited without trying to resell my ticket.

That day was easily the worst skiing experience of my life. I'm sorry about the delay in posting and the length of the post. I just feel that my situation was unbelievable and that I should share it with all of the fellow bears.

I didn't resell the ticket, unfortunately, because I wanted to be a man of my word and not stoop to their level. I also really wanted to send in a complaint but unfortunately I never got a round to doing it.

Hopefully no one will experience what I did but nonetheless ALPINE MEADOWS SUCKS!
post #2 of 27
So the GF did not get an opportunity to use the Voucher?
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT
So the GF did not get an opportunity to use the Voucher?
Nope imo it wasn't worth to even wipe my you know what!
post #4 of 27
Let us note that you titled the thread "Alpine Meadows-WORST SKI EXPERIENCE EVER!" It appears that skiing was not your issue, customer service was. And when it comes to customer service I suggest that you did not attempt to compare customer service at other ski areas given comparible situations. Squaw "we care" comes immediately to mind. I appreciate that you probably feel better venting about your experience though.
post #5 of 27
I skied Alpine from the 4-8 of March. I agree it was very warm and Sierra Cement conditions. There were a few bare spots on Sherwood chair. But compared to the rest of the PNW which had no Snow I had a great time.
post #6 of 27
I thought Alpine was one of the friendlier big mountains I have ever been too. When I bought my lift ticket the person at the ticket window was eating an orange, I was like yummy, so they gave me a piece. That to me was Alpine Meadows. Oh and of course skiing corn snow down to the ice bar
post #7 of 27
You can't make up your mind if you wanted a refund because the conditions were bad or because your girlfriend was incapacitated. And you admit you'd have resold the ticket (so someone else could bear the cost of the ticket to ski bad conditions?) if it didn't mean breaking your word.

Yep they were careless to let you hear them badmouth you, but...
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonse
I thought Alpine was one of the friendlier big mountains I have ever been too. When I bought my lift ticket the person at the ticket window was eating an orange, I was like yummy, so they gave me a piece. That to me was Alpine Meadows. Oh and of course skiing corn snow down to the ice bar
Yes.....the Ice bar and trophy wives.
post #9 of 27
At a future Epicski gathering:

Blizzboy283: Hi everybody, good to finally meet you! This is my girlfriend Flo.

Bonni: Oh, you're the one who has those horrible periods and gets all bitchy and crampy!
post #10 of 27
Sorry you had bad experince, that kinda thing happens. I personally have always found the Alpine staff to be very nice and mellow (pehaps that's part of the problem sometimes), and obviously if you were there just a bit later when it started dumping again your ski experience would have been totally different (it was during that next dump cycle that my tooth got infected and I needed a root canal, but I put it off for almost a week because the skiing was so good it made me forget my tooth hurt).

The one thing I will vouche for them, knowing some employees there, they have had a lot of problems in the past with people re-selling tickets and right or wrong, it sounds like you got marked as a potential offender.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB
This is my girlfriend Flo.
that's pretty funny
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
You can't make up your mind if you wanted a refund because the conditions were bad or because your girlfriend was incapacitated. And you admit you'd have resold the ticket (so someone else could bear the cost of the ticket to ski bad conditions?) if it didn't mean breaking your word.

Yep they were careless to let you hear them badmouth you, but...
What story did you read? Where did I say that I was going to resell the ticket? : I said the exact opposite!
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_rick
Sorry you had bad experince, that kinda thing happens. I personally have always found the Alpine staff to be very nice and mellow (pehaps that's part of the problem sometimes), and obviously if you were there just a bit later when it started dumping again your ski experience would have been totally different (it was during that next dump cycle that my tooth got infected and I needed a root canal, but I put it off for almost a week because the skiing was so good it made me forget my tooth hurt).

The one thing I will vouche for them, knowing some employees there, they have had a lot of problems in the past with people re-selling tickets and right or wrong, it sounds like you got marked as a potential offender.
I don't know what I did to get marked that way. If the woman would have asked for it in a nicer way and not accused me of wanting to resell the ticket then I may have been compelled to give it to her. "You can catch more bees with honey then you can with vinegar."
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckeeLocal
Let us note that you titled the thread "Alpine Meadows-WORST SKI EXPERIENCE EVER!" It appears that skiing was not your issue, customer service was. And when it comes to customer service I suggest that you did not attempt to compare customer service at other ski areas given comparible situations. Squaw "we care" comes immediately to mind. I appreciate that you probably feel better venting about your experience though.
Let's see I'm 22 and in my 12 or so years of skiing that was the first time I have ever stopped skiing due to conditions. If the conditions were favorable my girlfriend would have easily toughed it out however they were far from that. I am from PA and we have a whole three mountains in the entire state with a vert over 1000' and my closest hill has a miniscule 400' vert. In all my years of skiing I have never seen a bare spot on any of those hills in fact Alipine was the first time ever! So when I titled the thread worst ski experience ever I believe it fit quite well.
post #15 of 27
"I didn't resell the ticket, unfortunately, because I wanted to be a man of my word and not stoop to their level."


Why unfortunate? It's not an issue if reselling a ticket is something you just wouldn't have thought of doing? You give the reason you didn't sell it as being that you said you wouldn't sell it. That's not the same thing as saying you wouldn't sell it because you wouldn't.
post #16 of 27
What I read was that you got an acceptable remedy, a coupon - what were you going to do with your coupon given your judgement that the skiing was bad there ? You even got a business card from a manager who said to call him if you had a problem. Yet you didn't drop it and accept the offered remedy (despite advice to the contrary from your girlfriend). I guess, given that you'd quit skiing, you didn't have anything else to do other than continue to give the minimum wage earners grief. It sounds like you got yourself into a tizzy when they wanted to clip your ticket for no reasonable reason. And off you went and now we're reading about it. Bummer. But please recognize that it's not their fault you, and more specifically your girlfriend, are having a bad day. It's not their fault it gets warm in California (duh !) and snow turns to slush which I accept can be tough to ski. It's not really their fault that they can't farm the snow to cover all the bare patches. You and your girlfriend should consider accepting some of the responsibility and even recognize that the ski area attempted to offer an acceptable remedy. What was your realistic expectation ?
post #17 of 27
The situation sounds unpleasant.

But I do not think Alpine owes you a refund for soft surface conditions and your girlfriend's bad period - unless they advertise a try before you buy program.

Although to be stalked by mgt is very, very weird and threatening.

I have had issues with Alpine's mgt, but as a mountain - it really is tops in Tahoe, one of the best.
post #18 of 27
Tks Blizzboy, quite a report! Unfortunately, your attitude towards this mountain is based on what you thought should have been done, not on the reality: bad snow conditions don't happen overnight, you may known it would not be perfect, and the mountain was not at fault over your gf's problem. In fact, I think they were nice about giving her a rain-check. Then again, I wholeheartedly agree with your position on their "attitude" and demeanor. Me, I would have used foul language at some point, but only for the "human" errors, not the mountain.

Given perfect conditions, do you think this mountain could be fun?
post #19 of 27

2 run ski days

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283
Let's see I'm 22 and in my 12 or so years of skiing that was the first time I have ever stopped skiing due to conditions. If the conditions were favorable my girlfriend would have easily toughed it out however they were far from that. I am from PA and we have a whole three mountains in the entire state with a vert over 1000' and my closest hill has a miniscule 400' vert. In all my years of skiing I have never seen a bare spot on any of those hills in fact Alipine was the first time ever! So when I titled the thread worst ski experience ever I believe it fit quite well.
I'm sorry, I missed this post which was a reply to mine. I've actually skied a load of those mountains in PA (the Pokonos). To complain about snow conditions strikes me as absurd when PA skiing is your experience. One time, I think it was at Montage, I only had a monoski available to ski what is laughingly referred to as snow there. I took 2 runs and quit. No thought of refunds. Similar thing happened at Mount Hood in Oregon (that time it was because of the limited lifts only servicing flat runs ), and again at Hoch Fugen in Austria (which had much to do with too early and often beer consumption precipitated by the snow conditions ). Then there was the time at Squaw where we didn't even make it to the mountain 'cause while avoiding a flatlander we did a 180 so were pointing away from the hill which was a message, to us, to go for breakfast - at least that time we weren't out any coin.

And perhaps you don't understand the rough and tumble of skiing Alpine. There are bare patches, especially in spring conditions. We ski round them. We ski through bushes to catch corn. We take our skis off and hike down a rock face. We deal. Then we party and compare the near misses. It's unfortunate that there were bare patches on the groomers though - generally they're at least marked.

Then there was the time I sustained a head injury at Alpine first run on a powder day going through a rock band, unmarked, to get to a stash. I leaked all over the Ski Patrol First Air floor. Didn't even ask for a refund then. Go figure (I was p*ss%d though - they wouldn't let me go back on the hill to catch more powder, they shipped me to the hospital instead : )
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
"I didn't resell the ticket, unfortunately, because I wanted to be a man of my word and not stoop to their level."


Why unfortunate? It's not an issue if reselling a ticket is something you just wouldn't have thought of doing? You give the reason you didn't sell it as being that you said you wouldn't sell it. That's not the same thing as saying you wouldn't sell it because you wouldn't.
Apparently you missed this whole part.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzboy283
She gave us the voucher and told me that I needed to turn my pass in as well. When I asked why she said that they have a problem there with illegal reselling of passes. When I told her I had no intentions of doing this and that I collect the lift tickets of all the resorts that I visit, she rolled her eyes and me and said "I don't care if you collect them or not, we have a problem here and I need your pass so that you won't resell it." Shocked I said "I don't care about your problem, I paid for this ticket and I already told you I have no intentions of illegally reselling this ticket, in fact you will see this ticket again when I write a letter to your Manager telling him how unprofessional you are and how I have been treated."
Based on your signature I can understand if you lack basic reading skills. Always a liberal to take words out of context. :
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
After rereading my post I can totally see now why people thought the period was the reason we stopped. It wasn't. The gf the day before was feeling the same way but Squaw is worth the effort to tough it out and so she did. Unfortunately Alpine Meadows was not and the conditions were the worst that I have ever experienced in my entire skiing life! The condtions were the reason we stopped not the period. It made no sense for her to continue skiing when the resort was as bad as it was. I also mentioned in my post that the conditions at the other resorts was just fine in the morning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzboy283
I won't get into the details about the other resorts we visited but the conditions were quite nice early in the morning but after lunch it got sketchy.
I understand that I most likely wasn't clear enough in my post and coupled with its length, probably confused some of you but tell me how are some of you making me to seem like the villian? I just don't get it.

Why is there such corrosive cynicism on this board? I thought we all enjoy skiing and that is the reason we post here. It's bad enough to have to read some of the unfortunate signatures every time the person posts for the first time but to have the same attitude coupled with it as well : That just plain sucks. I'm all for free speech but tell me what the hell does politics have to do with skiing on a skiing forum outside of a political thread (which this clearly was not, though I fear I opened a proverbial can of worms : .)

I feel that a signature that will offend even just one person shouldn't be allowed. I thought there was a members only forum where politics was to be discussed? Why then are politics allowed to permiate into the public board via a signature?

I am a political science major and politics are my life however I don't expect to have to view politics or even discuss them when I come to a freaking ski site!

People come to this site for valuable information pertaining to skiing. If they wanted to discuss politics they would go to a political site.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283
In all my years of skiing I have never seen a bare spot on any of those hills in fact Alipine was the first time ever! .
Wow. never seen a bare spot. How many times a year do you actually ski?
post #23 of 27
Blizzboy -

I don't know what to say. I have a pass at Alpine and I do not recall a bad day skiing there last year. (Is "bad day skiing" an oxymoron?) I'm talking about the snow. The customer service at Alpine has defintely gone downhill, but it isn't worse than any other resort I've been to.

Greg
post #24 of 27
It certainly does suck to drop a big wad of cash on a trip and have lousy conditions. Adding further aggravation like a grilfriends period.. and to top it off, poor customer service. Very miserable.

But what might be driving some of the cyniscm here is: with time you get used not expecting anything close to a perfect experience. The important thing is you got to go ski. If condtions, terrain, company, and customer service are good... well thats just icing on the cake. Maybe Ive been brow-beaten into accepting whatever I get, but I prefer to look at it as cutting my losses and making the most of my experience.

Also consider the demographics, what kind of customer service do you really think you're going to get from a meagerly paid seasonal worker in a low population area?
post #25 of 27
Wow, you mean Alpine Meadows give refunds when you're sick ? :
How cool is that !
Thanks for sharing this, it's now on my list for an upcoming US ski trip.
post #26 of 27
It's just like a liberal like me to side with the interests of a business over that of a consumer.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283
Based on your signature I can understand if you lack basic reading skills. Always a liberal to take words out of context. :
I was on your side 'til that line.
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