New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Opinions Needed

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Need some opinions. I have been working at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas for 6 years now. The time has come to move on. I have the oppurtunity to request a few top picks of where I want to go. I can't stand living far away from the slopes any longer so here's what I'm thinking:

California
U.K. (Relatively easy access to French Alps)
Alaska
Germany
Japan

I think i only get 3 picks so I need to narrow the list.

Colorado is probably out of the question. I might get closer but not close enough. I want to be Season Pass close. Looking for opinions on what is best, and suggestions on anywhere else I might want to consider.

Has anyone skied the Alps? How do they compare with places like Colorado?
post #2 of 25
The Alps would be completely different from Colorado. Think HUGE lines and huge areas. Plenty of snow. Season pass close from the UK? I am not so sure about that. I had a friend stationed in Germany that went there because of the skiing. Sounds like he enjoyed it.
Tahoe is fantastic if you are stationed anywhere near that.
Japan has started to become popular. Why not, they get dumped on. Again it depends on where you are stationed and how far from the ski areas. That could be a very kewl and very different place to be.
post #3 of 25
Cool question. My suggestions and why:
1. Germany; after your post military life you'll probably never again get a chance to live in Europe full time (I might be wrong on that). Therefore, you should explore the heck out of the Alps over the couple years you might be stationed near them. Frankly, unless you pick a big place like St. Anton, I wouldn't get a season pass, just feast on as much variety as you can, which I know won't be cheap…but this is once in a lifetime opportunity! Alps more spectacular than Rockies, huge ski areas around every corner, every manner of uphill conveyance, high adventure factor. You don't say what part of Germany, but that could drive whether you ski mostly in Austria or Switzerland. A lot of retired military people talk of fun had at the US military recreation center at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, but I'm not sure it still operates, and that is not the best of Alpine skiing.
2. California; again you don't say which part, but anywhere near Tahoe or Mammoth would make you very happy for the next few years. Southern CA would involve more compromises or more driving to get to really good stuff. In some ways being close to Tahoe would be better than Germany, it's just that you will probably have more chances later in life to ski extensively around the US.
3. UK, AK, JA; this is a toss up for me, I don't know enough about AK and JA to intelligently comment although there are only a few ski areas in AK and I've heard the ones in JA are very crowded. The non-ski cultural attractions of the UK would lean me towards that choice with the opportunity, as you say, to get to the Alps frequently for ski weeks or long weekends.
Good luck.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj
....A lot of retired military people talk of fun had at the US military recreation center at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, but I'm not sure it still operates, and that is not the best of Alpine skiing.
.......
Yes it is still open. They have closed the AFRC's in Chiemsee and Bergastgaden(sp?) though .

I do agree completely that Germany is the place to go.
post #5 of 25
Eazy: the UK's a great place, and I love it - been here for 19 years, and one of the reasons is because I can ski from here.

But if you're a working stiff, then in order to ski anywhere in Europe regularly from the UK you are going to need time and money and a fair amount of both.

First, you will need to get yourself to the nearest airport. Particularly in light of today's developments, you'll probably need to check in about three hours ahead of your flight. Then it's an hour or more to Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble, Munich, Turin ... wherever. Then you have to get to the slopes; minimum of an hour, usually more like two, could be three to four.

How many days off do you get? Is all the above worth it (coz, of course, you then have to do it in reverse) for two days' skiing every month? Try to do it every week and, frankly, if you can afford that then you don't need to be working and could live in the resort.

Go for Germany. Everyone should ski in Europe if they get the chance; get a decent car and be prepared to drive, and it will be worth it. But don't get a season pass - stir around a bit, check out the options. You'll love it.
post #6 of 25
Not sure where you would be stationed, and I'm not in the military, but ...

Ramstein/Landstuhl AFB is near Kaiserslautern, which is not too far from Switzerland and western Austria. You'd be in the Black Forrest, which is nice on its own merits, too (although not really for skiing).

There are also bases in Würzburg (Army, I think) and I think Bamberg (AFB?). Beautiful country, but not great ski slopes, although you're not too far from Austria in that case, either.
post #7 of 25
Is Hill AFB in Ogden, UT, an option?

That would be cool.
post #8 of 25
If you go the California route, try getting stationed at Beale AFB in Marysville/Olivehurst, Ca.

The area is w/in 2 hours of the north/west shore of Tahoe (Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Donner's Summit, Boreal, Homewood and Sugar Bowl).

It's w/in 3 hours to the South Shore (Heavenly, Sierra at Tahoe and Kirkwood) and also close to Diamond Peak and Northstar.

The Marysville/Olivehurst/Yuba City/Sutter area is kind of a dump for the most part, but it's w/in 45 minutes to downtown Sacramento and w/in one hour to Chico, so if you are into the party scene you're covered.

I've got a few very good ski buddies of mine that live there, so hooking up w/some skiiers will be easy...It use to be my old stomping grounds. I was a sheriff's deputy out there.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
If I go to Cali it will be either Beale or Travis. I'll have an easier time getting to Travis, but I think I would rather be at Beale for Skiing.

I didn't even consider Utah! I'll see what is available there as well.

Germany is starting to sound better and better. The UK earns extra points because I know a ton of people over there.

Still undecided, need more research. I'll figure something out.
post #10 of 25
Re Germany:
Pretty much all AF facilities are in the southern states (Baden-Wuertemberg, Bavaria, Pfalz), so as far as skiing is concerned you'd be lucky.
From Ramstein Switzerland is the way to go - it's a 3hrs drive to the greater Zurich area with plenty of skiing around. If around Wuerzburg or Grafenwoehr then head to Austria, 2.5-3hrs as well. The further south, the closer to skiing. From Ramstein it's an hour into Heidelberg with one of the biggest US Facilities there - they pretty much own the city on weekends.

If skiing is your main concern then I would not necessarily opt for the Yoookay since it's way more inconvenient (2-lane motorways often jammed) and pricier to access good skiing on a regular basis.

If you need more info PM me after you clearly know which place it would be in case you'd opt for going over here.
post #11 of 25
Germany, as a previous poster mentioned, you may never again be able to live in Europe!
post #12 of 25
Germany definitly. Lots of public transportation to resorts like St Anton.
post #13 of 25
Germany for sure. I lived in Italia for 3yrs and living in Europe is an experience you don't want to miss.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazyrider View Post
I didn't even consider Utah! I'll see what is available there as well.
From Hill Field near Ogden, UT to Snowbasin (one of the best ski resorts in the state), it's only about a 15-20 minute drive. If you weren't living on base, you could affordably live even closer than that. I'm considering season passes at Snowbasin this year even though I live much closer to Alta and Snowbird.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazyrider View Post
If I go to Cali it will be either Beale or Travis. I'll have an easier time getting to Travis, but I think I would rather be at Beale for Skiing.
Is Edwards AFB an option? It's about 3 1/2 hours to Mammoth from there.
post #16 of 25

Ski the Alps (Or)

I was in the USAF and stationed at Rhine Main AFB. Skiing the Alps was very cool, but not something you could do as a day trip. The Train systems get you down there very easily. So if you want to use up your money and time off to ski the Alps Go for RamstienAB.

Now if you just want to ski allot. Go for Hill AFBUtah. If you station there you could work swing shift and ski pretty much every day.

Beale and Travis put you within 3 hours of great Sierra skiing, but not close like Hill would in Utah.

Also when you list bases on your Dream sheet don't list every base you would settle for, any base on the sheet fulfills the Dream sheet.

Just list one or two.
post #17 of 25

USAF Ski Areas

Germany is great,. lived in Ober/Garmisch for 2 years. Rhine Main a long way to skiing. Another possibility not a lot of glitz but great skiing and snow.

Fairchild AFB Spokane Washington:

1. 15 min to Mt. Spokane
2. 45 min to 49 degrees north
3. 1 hour 15 min to Schweitzer Mt. Idaho
4. 1 hour 15 min to Silver Mt. Idaho
5. 1 hours 35 min the Lookout Pass, Idaho
6. 1 hour 35 min to Red Mountain, BC Canada

2hrs to 4 hrs to: Fernie Ski Resort BC
Whitewater Ski Resort BC
Unlimited Cat Skiing Nelson BC
Kimberly Ski Resort BC
Big Moutain, Montana

Although we don't have the glizt of CO/Utah/Tahoe there are some things we have that theyt don't:

First and Foremost: A LACK OF CROWDS
Good dry snow
Good fair lift ticket and seasson pass prices

Check the internet for these areas they have so,me great military rates.
Don't know anything about the AFB. This post also doesn'tinclude the Ski Resorts farther West in Wash or overnighters like Sun Valley, Tamaracketc.

Good luck on your next assignment.
post #18 of 25
Germany: Obvious positives that others have already covered
California: Are there any bases outside Reno, as the ski commute from that side of the Sierra is much easier?
Utah: Won't argue that within the States it's #1 for both convenience and snow.
Spokane: Good point. You need to look at everything available to you in the West, and how close they are to which ski areas. You may want to ski some off-the-beaten track areas for a few years.
UK: Too far from the skiing.
Alaska: Lift service is fairly limited. The heliskiing is spectacular but you're not going to be doing that on a regular basis.
Japan: Main island of Honshu is crowded, and at many of those areas off-piste skiing is prohibited. BUT if there's anything on the northern island of Hokkaido that's a different story. Niseko averages close to 150 inches a month from Dec. - Feb. with lots of great trees to ski all that pow.
post #19 of 25
mate, i'd take the opportunity to live o/s! skiing aside, you'll be a better person for it. skiing not aside, you'd have to look at germany wouldn't you? depending on where you are based, you'd have reasonable access to austria, switzerland, italy and france. even if you can't make it somewhere every weekend, think of when you get leave or extra days off.

japan has huge wraps for it's snow and culturally it would be awesome. i have mates who did seasons in canada and holidayed in niseko. they said the terrain was good but has nothing on bc, but powder by the truckload....and big trucks!

if you are organised, you can get to the snow from london relatively easily but it's not as straightforward and banging down the autobahn in your awd audi!
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tief schnee View Post
Yes it is still open. They have closed the AFRC's in Chiemsee and Bergastgaden(sp?) though .

I do agree completely that Germany is the place to go.
Berchtesgaden
post #21 of 25
Germany - Rhein Main is basically in caretaker status. Almost no active duty there any more. Unless you're a weather-guesser , there's virtually no USAF in Bavaria and never was. Ramstein is about all that's left for major bases in Germany and it's in west central Germany, closer to Belgium than to Switzerland/Austria. I lived near Nuernberg (Nuremburg for Americans) for 4 years and it was a 3+ hour kamikaze ride to get to western Austria. The drive from Ramstein to Switzerland may be better, but season pass close? Not for me.

Hill - I think it has pretty much shut down except for some depot-type services, mostly manned by civilians. You may want to check to see if there's any jobs there in your field.

There's quite a lot of active duty in Co Springs still.

I like the suggestion about Fairchild. I used to go up there about once per quarter and just loved it. Again, it's mostly a Reserve component base now with the USAF Survival school and a few other activities for active duty types.

I've heard, first hand, that the cost of living in Japan makes it unreasonable for anybody that's not independently wealthy.

On the other hand, there's nothing like living in Europe if you embrace it and don't get the bunker mentality that many American servicemen seem to have. If you don't have a lot of family pressures, you can get 30+ days per season in Austria/Switzerland. I found the costs much lower in Austria and therefore did a lot of weekends in the Tux valley, Kitzbuehl, Arlberg (St. Anton, Lech, Zurs, etc) and Ischgl. The cost of a decent hotel room with breakfast and dinner included was generally less than a night of beer-drinking : .
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post
I found the costs much lower in Austria and therefore did a lot of weekends in the Tux valley, Kitzbuehl, Arlberg (St. Anton, Lech, Zurs, etc) and Ischgl. The cost of a decent hotel room with breakfast and dinner included was generally less than a night of beer-drinking : .
Looking at the list above that may be true in case you stay well outside of the resorts. Else Kitzbühel, Arlberg and Ischgl belong to the priciest in the whole Alps so the thought of being cheaper than a good night of drinking seems a bit too optimistic here.

Eastern Switzerland (Appenzell, Toggenburg, Glarus ect.) regions are considerably cheaper than the ones mentioned above plus the drive from Ramstein is except for the Arlberg way shorter.
post #23 of 25
Things must have changed significantly in the last 15 years (ya think?: ).

In the early 90's I could stay in St. Anton for less than $50 per night and that price included breakfast and dinner. I guess it's not like that any more...Switzerland and France were siginificantly - prohibitively - more expensive than Austria was. I spent many a night at the base of the lifts in Hintertux for under $30 per night including 2 meals. These days, that doesn't even cover happy hour!
post #24 of 25
Consider those days gone for long!

I recall having spent $20 per night bed and breakfast at Lech am Arlberg during the late 80s which today is their priciest ski town besides Zürs. Prices today are at least 5 times if not up to 8 times higher.
post #25 of 25
What about Aviano Air Base, Italy?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From their site, http://www.aviano.af.mil/ :
Aviano Air Base, Italy
Aviano is located at the base of the Dolomites at the northern end of the Po Valley, the largest agricultural plain in Italy. The base is 35 minutes from skiing at Piancavallo and an hour from the beaches of the Adriatic. The closest large city is Pordenone, about 10 minutes away, and Venice is only an hour and a half away by auto or train. The host wing at Aviano is the 31st Fighter Wing, which maintains two F-16 fighter squadrons to conduct regional and expeditionary operations under NATO, SACEUR or national tasking.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
While I never skied Piancavallo, the whole Eastern Alps are in drive reach (it beats a flight from U.K., or not?)and not only Italy, but Slovenia and Austria too.
And then, as said, the sea is near too.
Since it's Italy, you may not want to come here, but I'd check carefully the wikipedia entry, and do some research about it.

Cheers. Matt.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel