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ontarian guy looking for bigger and better on a budget

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
hey im from ontario, and sick of blue mountain! Iv never been out to the west coast but this winter im gonna try to get out their. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to go/places to stay. Im also trying to do this on a serious budget (teenagers dont have lots a cash). any suggestions are greatly appreciated
post #2 of 29
The Cottonwood canyons of Utah are about as cheap as they come. Brighton, Solitude, Alta, and Snowbird are all great mountain and the first 3 are among the cheapest places to ski. The airfare to SLC usually isn't that bad and the ski resorts are only 30 min. away. You can stay in SLC for cheap versus some other resort areas and ski towns.
post #3 of 29
You will probably save money by staying in Canada and not paying the 10% surcharge on everything in the US because of the exchange rate. Will you have wheels? If so, there are places in interior BC where you can have great skiing and find cheap meals and lodging just off the mountain. At least some of them have youth hostels that are very inexpensive. A little web research or a few questions on Epic might find you a way to do it. Use the "Search" function here on Epic to find older threads on these issues. There have been several.

Good luck, and go for it! You may never return.

Welcome to Epic.
post #4 of 29
I have a lot of poor ass friends here in So Ontario and often considered the cheapest trip west.

First of all, you need 3 really good buddies!

Second, you'll need car access... preferably a van or SUV. Colorado is a lot closer from Southern Ontario than you think. According to mappoint.com, its about 22 hours from Toronto to Denver (versus about 35 hours to Banff). That's because you're driving in a straight line there, and the speed limits are high. I'm not sure what kind of car you can get your hands on, but I'd conservatively budget about $600 (give or take) total for gas. Split between four guys, $150 round trip isn't that bad.

Once in Denver, you get yourself a CHEAPass hotel. When I was driving up I-70, just before heading into the mountains, I saw ads at the Motel 6 for $19.99 a night, and they aren't even too bad motels (relatively). Checking the "net" rates, they're asking $40 a night, but that wouldn't be too bad between 4 guys.

From the motel, you're a little over an hour to an hour and a half away from the ski hills if weather and traffic aren't bad... but you're probably used to this skiing Blue Mountain anyways. Weekends would definately be worse. Don't worry about being away from the nightlife action, because you're a teenager, its nothing but guys that hang out at the bars in Summit County anyhow. Picture a 4-1 guy-girl ratio (or worse). Hanging out in Denver would probably be more fun (see if you can get cheap Avs or Nuggets tickets!)

The last thing is that you'll need lift tickets... Loveland, which is your closest resort to the motel (about an hour according to mappoint) has cheap lift tickets (their site has 4 packs for $99US if you preorder them). As well, you can get package deals if you want to do the Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone or Copper, Winter Park thing. A local would know the best deals better than me. Just don't buy them at the resort. Overall, I'd budget $200-$300CN

So all tolled, for four guys you have $150 (travel) + $70 (lodging) + $200-300CN = $420-520 (plus food). That is the cheapest trip for a week of skiing in the Rockies you'll find. And you and your buds would have the road trip of a lifetime. See if you can spin it that way to your parents, who you'd likely be borrowing the car from!

As well, if you can budget a little more on the lodging, check the deals at www.vrbo.com for Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne. For another $100-200 per guy, you'll be anywhere from 10-40 minutes from about 6-7 resorts, and be right in the mountains.

Good luck!
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks allot joe Ill look into heading down to colarado instead of west coast, it sounds allot cheaper. my next problem is finding guys to ski with as none of my friends are serious about skiing.
post #6 of 29
Great advice from JoeSchmoe if you decide to dip into US Rockies. I've done several similar male-bonding roadtrips from mid-Atlantic US. I could honestly spend a whole week at Loveland under all slopes open conditions, but there is much more of course to CO. Should be lots of info you can get from a search of this website on discount lift ticket sales to other CO ski areas not too far from Denver like Winter Park and Copper Mtn. Glenwood Springs near Aspen has some cheap motels. Bring lots of instant noodle soups.

What about Mont Ste Anne or Le Massif in Quebec for a cheaper roadtrip from your area, but still very good skiing?
post #7 of 29
I'd second the Mont Ste Anne / Le Massif option. Its pretty close to the fun you'll have out west, its just that the resorts don't have quite as many runs. We did that last year and stayed at a motel in Ste Anne de Beaupre.

We left EARLY Saturday morning in time to check into the motel, and grab our lift tickets (they sell them at the motel). We then went to Mont Ste Anne, and night skied there. Sunday we hit Le Massif, and had a foot of fresh powder. That blew us away! Monday we went back to Mont Ste Anne, where in the trees the powder was still fresh and the runs were steep, but not icey like you'll get anywhere else in the east. We then came back Monday night.

As well, we hit up the Daigobert (sp?) in Quebec City, which might be the best club in Canada... better than anywhere I've been in the old T-dot anyhow. French girls all around!!!! C'est magnifique!

For three days of skiing and two nights accommodations, we spent $200CN each.

PS- If you're looking for a west experience in the east, don't be tempted to go somewhere closer like Tremblant, Jay Peak, or Whiteface. The Quebec City area is SO much better.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
So le massif and monte saint anne are a better option than tremblant? I find tremblant gets alotta hype and its mad expensive. Im starting to think that this season even just getting up to le massif or saint anne will totally satisfy me, and be allot cheaper.
thanks guys
post #9 of 29
Salt Lake City. Cheap flights, lots of great skiing options. For a teenager (ie. Reno/Tahoe not as practical), SLC seems to offer the most options for cheap accommodations -which is exactly what teenagers excel at adapting to. Otherwise Denver for flights and shuttle options.

What about a less popular Mountain choice like fly to Spokane, shuttle to Schweitzer, or fly to Reno and shuttle to Mt. Rose.?
post #10 of 29
The thing with Tremblant is that its all hype. Mostly likely thats because of the village which is by far the best in the east... almost like a mini Whistler. As well its way closer to Toronto than Ste Anne and Le Massif (2-3 hours closer).

Skiing wise, Tremblant is way overcrowded (like 10 minute chair lift waits vs no waiting at the Quebec Resorts), way flat in too many sections (your boarder friends will likely have to unstrap in sections), and really bad man made snow. Drive the extra distance if you're looking to ski. If you're looking to party, go to Tremblant.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Now i just gotta find some guys to ski with (my buddies arent serious about skiing) and organize this thing. St anne it is, iv been doing some more reading and it looks like my best bet.:

That brings me to my next question il be 18 in a month and i was wondering if theirs any ski clubs for young dudes like myself that would be heading to st anne?
post #12 of 29
>Its pretty close to the fun you'll have out west, its just that the resorts don't have quite as many runs.

Wow! what?? excuse me please? What kind of advice is that? Does a young punk like you want to ski those flat Canadian intermediate slopes all day. Did you ever hear of a chute, how about a bowl, how about a big powder day, hows about landing on top with 60mph winds when it's fairly calm at the bottom? There is no comparison WhatSoEver btn many Western resorts and Le Massif and Flat St Anne. Not the snow, not the terrain, not the beautiful western pines you'll be skiing in all day(in many places).

Give yourself a treat, hop on a plane to Tahoe or SLC, with SLC being the king in many respects. $65/nt hotel room with breakfast in Sandy, lift tickets were still <$50. Other places are good too, but no place is cheaper and has it all like SLC.

Also, if your a young aggressive skier, how would you like to ski "scared" all day, well some of the day anyway, not too hard to do out west in the right places.
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
oh man snowbird now youv really thrown a wrench into the works. lol
post #14 of 29
Go to Mont Ste. Anne, Le Massif. There's plenty enough there to keep you interested. Once you find THAT boring, then go out west.

Why would anyone want to "ski scared"?
post #15 of 29
okay, you don't want to deal with U.S. or the currency stuff, did you ever hear of Whistler, your fellow Canadians don't want want to point you to the "good stuff", seems like you know more than them to ask about "the west" - my advice: fly west young man, there's big mountains out there, ya know.
post #16 of 29
Whistler is very expensive.

You may want to try Sutton/Mt Orford/Owls's head in Quebec's Eastern Townships -- they've got very cheap lift and lodging deals, and it's 2 hours closer to T. than MSA.

But you do get what you pay for. I personally really like skiing at MSA and Le Massif. And there is Le Massif du Sud to consider too.
post #17 of 29
First - on second thought you guys are probably right, this kid is not even 18 and I'm sure Mt. St. Anne would be perfectly acceptable and a great place to start for some "adventure" this winter! He will have plenty of years to venture out west. And it'll be easier when he's older with a little more funds and smarts. But his first post was about "out west", so that is what I directed my replies to.

why would I want to ski scared? Good ?, Because, if you fall while in the steep stuff, you could get hurt and I don't like to get hurt, so I get a little(but not too much) scared that I'll fall. The only way I can feel that Strong pull of Gravity, is to ski that steep terrain. And I have decided what I like about skiing, is that strong pull of gravity, and that's why I like Snowbird, it is very, very easy to feel Gravity. It might seem silly, because I'm going to wonder around my area here in Pennsylvania today, not scared at all, it's September, and I'll be thinking, won't be long before I'm enjoying myself "being scared" out at Snowbird this year. In fact, today I"ll be thinking, how do I get out to that Little Cottonwood in December, in addition to my usual feb trip. Oh well, I guess that's what skiing is about for me.
post #18 of 29
Have you been to Mont Ste Anne? It's not as flat as you think.

There's plenty to scare the bejebus out of someone who's only hit Blue Mountain (Ontario). My buddy once fell on "Le Gondololeuse" in about a foot of powder and slid for about 400 feet. Granted there were no cornices or anything like that, but he was very lucky not to hit a tree... that would have hurt for sure.

By the way, the "almost as fun" comment came from a friend who lives in Alberta, who has been to pretty much every resort in Western Canada. Chutes and bowls aren't as fun as what they're cracked up to be by all the hardcores on these boards. With chutes, you usually have to walk all day just to get to them and only the best of the best can actually ski them. Bowls get tracked out before you know it.

Canadaskis... trust me, you will have a great time hitting the Quebec City area resorts.

And, for a guy turning 18 (drinking age in Quebec is 18), the Quebec City girls alone will make the trip worthwhile... I'll take a beautiful French Canadian girl over a Utah Western Pine anyday!!! Be sure to hit the Dagobert... you won't find a club anywhere like that in Cottonwood Canyon!
post #19 of 29
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post
why would I want to ski scared? Good ?, Because, if you fall while in the steep stuff, you could get hurt and I don't like to get hurt, so I get a little(but not too much) scared that I'll fall. The only way I can feel that Strong pull of Gravity, is to ski that steep terrain.
Are you sure that you've been to either Ste.Anne or Le Massif? There is plenty of pucker factor there for a Blue Mountain boy. Add to that, the conditions can be icy, esp bullet proof MSA -- In fact, they will close trails when a fall means you'll only stop in the trees at the bottom -- these are the times I won't ski the steeper trails.
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
I just got back from montreal with 3 other buddies and i have to say, i love quebec! The girls are awosme and as the whole drinking thing is concerned, i was 17 and didnt get carded once (not evan at cafe cleopatra). I thank all you guys for the input but realistically i can see myself getting to monte sainte anne this winter, and it should be a blast.
post #21 of 29
You will LOVE msa. Make sure you stay in Quebec city. Thers is SFA at the hill.
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
post #23 of 29
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
post #25 of 29
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post
And, for a guy turning 18 (drinking age in Quebec is 18), the Quebec City girls alone will make the trip worthwhile... I'll take a beautiful French Canadian girl over a Utah Western Pine anyday!!! Be sure to hit the Dagobert... you won't find a club anywhere like that in Cottonwood Canyon!
I will second this. As an 18 year old (11 yrs ago this winter) I ventured to QC for the first time with some buddies. The Dag was and could still be the best bar I have ever been to. Better than T., or anywhere else I've been to in ON, QC, BC, NY, or MI. If you want to meet girls, you have foudn the city to do it in.

Oh yeah, the skiing....well I still have not forgotten about Mt St. Anne or le Massif. Great skiing. It will blow your mind if you are used to the S. Ont. speed bumps we call hills. It does not compare to the west in sheer size, but it was excellent skiing and very economical. If you do go west, avoid Whistler. Expensive and busy. Look for an interior resort. You will get better deals.
post #26 of 29
I'm going to echo the sentiments of others here and suggest a trip to the Quebec City/Charlevoix area. The skiing at MSA and Le Massif is fantastic (compared to Ontario) and is IMHO easily the best terrain and snow in la belle province.

Also as others have mentioned, be sure to hit the Dagobert nightclub in Quebec City. I was there for New Years in 2001 and it was one of the best parties i've ever been to!
post #27 of 29
If it's skiing over nightlife, I'd humbly propose catching a cheap Westjet flight to Calgary and getting into the hostel/hotel at Castle Mnt.
There's really not much there, apart from one killer mountain and lots of snow, so there's no doubt that Quebec would offer more apres activities. But for mind numbing terrain and great skiing, it would be a good choice.
post #28 of 29

Other western Canadian options

You could also check out the Raging Elk hostel ($23-25) in Fernie just a little bit down the road. Castle Mountain is just a little isolated from the rest of the world (although great skiing) as it sits at the end of a forestry road. Fernie has a town centre and the cost of food and beer hasn't quite reached the average resort level yet. Fernie is accessible by bus or shuttle from Calgary, (under 25 I think you would find it difficult to rent a car, so you'll need some type of other transportation or be riding your thumb).

Banff also has some comparatively cheap (hostel style) accommodation. Be aware that lift tickets might be a little pricey. Here's a comparison chart with the base adult/youth one day costs:

Blue Mountain (ON) 52/34
Lake Louise (AB) 69/48 ("peak" season add $5)
Castle Mtn. (AB) 50/40
Fernie (BC) 69/48 (again with "peak" increase of $5)
Sunshine (website is down but will be similar to Lake Louise)

In past years both the Banff and Fernie IH hostels have had package deals for skiing.
post #29 of 29
I grew up skiing in Ontario with Blue and Georgian Peaks (before they went private) basically every weekend. My first ski trips were to Quebec and you'll find Mte. St. Ann great. A welcome break from Blue with lots to keep you going.
That will also leave the added bonus of getting out west for a future trip - be it some of the great US resorts or good old Whistler/Blackcomb here in BC. I moved to Vancouver 12 years ago so I'm a little biased towards WB. Just look at the stats for the mountain on their website (8100 skiable acres, over 200 runs, one mile of vertical skiing, etc. etc.) and it will give you an idea of what a treat you have in store. A new lift at Whistler this year will give even more skiable area and open up new bowls.
The cheapest way to ski WB is to take advantage of the last minute deals. You can get great discounts on lodging, tickets, etc. Again keep an eye on their website.
Oh - bye the bye the women and beer are great also
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