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The Annual Ski Trip

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
usually it's also a vacation.

for many of us, it's "the" ski trip for the year, even though we may have access to smaller hills and get to them on the occassional weekend.

i ski with my cousin once a year; he flies to wherever we're meeting from texarkana and we ski a few days. it is all the skiing he'll do over the course of a season, so i pretty much try to get a feel for what he's up for. someplace new? a particular region? how pricey?

how do you decide?

are there places you keep going back to because it just fits?
do you try to go someplace new each year?
some spot you have vowed to ski?
vowed to get back to?
book way in advance or follow the weather?
do you meet up each year with the same friends/family?

even if you're able to get a lot of skiing in, is there that ONE trip a year that for whatever reason is special?

if your yearly trip(s) involve plenty of planning (maybe you organize it for family and/or friends) is it something you enjoy doing, or is it a headache?
post #2 of 24
Just finished booking ours. It is some work, I have to coordinate family and friends from multible states Trying to figure lodging, needs, rental cars the works can be tough. Slope side vs. base vs. off the mountain. Someoen has to take the bull by the horns and this year it was me. We settled on Steamboat in March. I booked through "Moguls" tour and Tony Porter 800-666-4857 x6155, he was awesome. He had very good prices and gave great suggestions. I highly recommend him.
post #3 of 24
[quote]
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Originally Posted by ryan View Post
someplace new? a particular region? how pricey?
how do you decide
Because of the diverse nature of our group we try to visit ski ares that offer something for everyone. Some come just to experience the mountains others to ski non stop. Over the last 11 years I have found that Aspen/Snowmass offers everything to keep everyone happy.


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do you try to go someplace new each year?
With a wife that likes to ski I book one trip a year with just us two. WE ski a different place each year.

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some spot you have vowed to ski?
Would love to try Lake Tahoe area.

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vowed to get back to?
I have a special love for New Mexico, like to retire there one day!

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book way in advance or follow the weather?
The family trip (anywhere from 10 - 18 people) is booked far in advance. The trip with just the two of us is booked last minute.

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do you meet up each year with the same friends/family?
Same cast of characters with a few new faces each year.

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even if you're able to get a lot of skiing in, is there that ONE trip a year that for whatever reason is special?
I do enjoy the family trip; there's always someone who wants to go skiing no matter what the weather.

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if your yearly trip(s) involve plenty of planning (maybe you organize it for family and/or friends) is it something you enjoy doing, or is it a headache?
I do the booking of rooms, lift tickets and airline schedules. Along with pre-cooking all our cajun meals!!!! However I do use the reservation services in Aspen/Snowmass to finalize everything. I really enjoy setting it up.
post #4 of 24
Um... No.

My family (meaning parents, sibling, and in laws) don't ski.

My special once a year trip is my trip to Killington the second week of December, for the PSIA Master's Academy (Pro Jam). My buddy who moved to Denver comes back east for that every year. And with all the kids I have now, I usually don't get another trip.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Phil, have you/your group been to Steamboat previously?
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan View Post
Phil, have you/your group been to Steamboat previously?
No. we haven't. My wife lieks to go someplace "new" every year, this year it's Steamboat. I would be happy going back to Snowbird Alta evey year. Part of our decision process is varied terrain, we have 3-4 solid intermediates with us so blue & blue/blacks are a must. As far as expert terrain, with Steamboat, I am giving up steeps for trees. a fair trade off for me. I jsut hope we get some of that powder they are known for.
post #7 of 24
I like to go someplace new every year. Still lots of places to go and explore. This year it's Park City. Had to coordinate with the relatives this year. Normally it's just me and the misses. But I also usually like to go back to one of my favorite places for a long weekend, Whistler, at least every ski season.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
No. we haven't. My wife lieks to go someplace "new" every year, this year it's Steamboat. I would be happy going back to Snowbird Alta evey year. Part of our decision process is varied terrain, we have 3-4 solid intermediates with us so blue & blue/blacks are a must. As far as expert terrain, with Steamboat, I am giving up steeps for trees. a fair trade off for me. I jsut hope we get some of that powder they are known for.
Along with incredible tree skiing Steamboat is loaded with great bump runs so don't forget to pack your knees for the trip....
post #9 of 24
We have been going to Utah 4/5 years. The first 2 years we stayed in Park City and the last 2 we have stayed in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Factors for our family trip include:

1.snow (our spring break is in late March)
2. price (aifare to SLC is reasonable, plenty of cheap lodging)
3. access (who wants to drive 4 hours to the resort)
4. variety (7 resorts within 45 min., can't go wrong there)

For us, Utah is the perfect combination. We usually ski in little/big cottonwood canyons and a park City resort for 1 or 2 days. It's a great place, keep going back.
post #10 of 24
My 2 c.: Try a different place each year until you "fall in love" with a particular mountain, then repeat that every other year.
post #11 of 24
i'm all for the trying a different place modus operandi. that's one of the reasons i enjoy being close (3 hours) to Tahoe. i can ski So. Shore one weekend (Heavenly, Kirkwood, Sierra) and No. Tahoe the next (Squaw, Sugarbowl, Alpine, Northstar) and if so inclined I can make the trek to Mt. Rose.

that said, I've been going to Colo for the past two seasons and will be going again this season. I got a Heavenly pass which allows me 3 free days at either Vail/Breckinridge/Beaver Creek/Keystone. 2 seasons ago my dad and I skied BC, KS, and Vail. Last season we decided to stay in Breck and we skied Breck 3 days and KS 1 day.

in addition to the yearly Colo trip I've been making at least one other out-of-state trip. 2 seasons ago it was Sun Valley. last season it was Utah and JH. talking about Utah again and possibly Big Sky. although my dad, who is getting up there, has talked about a trek to Kitzbuhl...
post #12 of 24
I'm often struck by how the ski resorts state they want to try and convert visitors into return visitors, while so many guests evidently try a new place every year. Chasing the new dream or what have you.
post #13 of 24
how do you decide? IF IT CATCHES MY FANCY AND I CAN CATCH A GOOD DEAL.
are there places you keep going back to because it just fits? USUALLY NEW PLACES, BUT HAVE RETURNED TO WILDCAT NH, SNOWMASS CO AND KILLINGTON VT BECAUSE THEY SUIT MY PREFERENCES.
some spot you have vowed to ski? VALLEE BLANCHE ABOVE CHAMONIX, FRANCE, ALSO LAKE LOUISE WESTERN CANADA
vowed to get back to? MUST SEE MORE OF EUROPE'S ALPS, AMAZING.
book way in advance or follow the weather? ADVANCE FOR FLIGHT TRIPS, LESS ADVANCE FOR ROAD TRIPS.
do you meet up each year with the same friends/family? USED TO DO "GUYS TRIPS", BUT NOW DO FAMILY (OF SIX) TRIPS, MORE HASSLE, BUT LESS GUILT. ALL GOOD.
if your yearly trip(s) involve plenty of planning (maybe you organize it for family and/or friends) is it something you enjoy doing, or is it a headache? PLANNING AND ANTICIPATION IS PART OF THE FUN. INFORMED VACATIONERS MAXIMIZE THEIR EXPERIENCE.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treewell View Post
Along with incredible tree skiing Steamboat is loaded with great bump runs so don't forget to pack your knees for the trip....
That's what I like to hear..trees and bumps.
post #15 of 24
My favorite ski trip each year is just to one of my local areas. A good friend from high school and I go up to my cabin and do some male bonding during a couple of mid-week days. He's a great skier and we have a blast skiing ourselves silly. Since we don't live in the same area it gives us a chance to catch up on the families, etc. We also enjoy whisky.

I usually go on other trips as well, but my couple of days with Tony have been the highlight of my season for over 20 years now.
post #16 of 24
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are there places you keep going back to because it just fits?
Mammoth since it's driveable. Snowbird, since it's my favorite area plus a great group with a timeshare week there that I've been visting since 1996.
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do you try to go someplace new each year?
Obsessively, that's how i'm up to 121 areas skied. I usually go to Canada for a mixed week of lift service and cat/heli skiing.
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some spot you have vowed to ski?
Europe is probably the weak spot in my experience with only one trip so far.
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vowed to get back to?
I usually go to Canada for a mixed week of lift service and cat/heli skiing.
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book way in advance or follow the weather?
I usually advise to follow the weather, but Mammoth and Snowbird are nearly automatic at the times I go those places. Canada cat/heli there's no choice, you have to book ahead. I got burned by the Tropical Punch rain in 2005 and had a couple of other close calls.
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do you meet up each year with the same friends/family?
Snowbird. Also the NASJA trips.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan View Post
usually it's also a vacation.

for many of us, it's "the" ski trip for the year, even though we may have access to smaller hills and get to them on the occassional weekend.

i ski with my cousin once a year; he flies to wherever we're meeting from texarkana and we ski a few days. it is all the skiing he'll do over the course of a season, so i pretty much try to get a feel for what he's up for. someplace new? a particular region? how pricey?
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how do you decide?
usually, wherever my friends book a trip for 1 week, and wherever I get a trade for my timeshare for the other.
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are there places you keep going back to because it just fits?
I've been to Summit County, Colo. at least 6 times, plus other parts of Colo. multiple times. Elsewhere, most places I've been back to twice, and I've yet to find a place in the Rockies that I would mind returning to.
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do you try to go someplace new each year?
I usually try a new place for at least one of my trips every year, but I'm running out of them.
some spot you have vowed to ski?
I want to get to Taos, but the iffy weather is a deterent. I also want to get to Chile one of these summers.
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vowed to get back to?
Jackson Hole, I finally got there 2 years ago after 2 aborted trips due to injuries, and will return, maybe this year. Also will eventually go back to Switzerland and New Zealand.
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book way in advance or follow the weather?
When I was younger, I followed the weather, now my wife keeps me fiscally responsible and my job isn't as accomodating with last minute time off as it used to be.
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do you meet up each year with the same friends/family?
varies, but usually travel with some of my local ski buddies.
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even if you're able to get a lot of skiing in, is there that ONE trip a year that for whatever reason is special?
Of course, I ski 4-5 days a week on the east coast, but those trips west, that trip to Sugarbush where just my wife and I do the Bed and Breakfast thing, and those last minute "follow the snow" trips to northern Vermont are special.
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if your yearly trip(s) involve plenty of planning (maybe you organize it for family and/or friends) is it something you enjoy doing, or is it a headache?
Unless one of my friends plan the trip, planning is definitely, positively dreaded.
post #18 of 24
how do you decide? I've always wanted to do that thing with the blindfold, map, and pin.

are there places you keep going back to because it just fits?
Utah. I don't get out of the cottonwood canyons as much as I'd like, because they are so damn good and convenient.

do you try to go someplace new each year?
Absolutely. I'm going to see the Monaco GP this spring, so maybe I'll find a glacier in Europe?

some spot you have vowed to ski? I hope someday I can ski Iran.

vowed to get back to?
BC, when my money gets a bit more valuable. I'm going to add "vowed to avoid if possible" for I-70 in Colorado. Great skiing, but why bother with that hell? I left the northeast for a reason.

book way in advance or follow the weather? Follow the weather if possible, but choose a region far enough in advance to get cheap airfare. I am a student after all.

do you meet up each year with the same friends/family? There are certain folks I've been on ski trips with many times. Usually the group is a bit different from year to year, but there is one guy I've gone on a trip with every year since 1998. I think having the right people on the trip is of critical importance.

even if you're able to get a lot of skiing in, is there that ONE trip a year that for whatever reason is special?
I'm from a small town with a peculiar involvement in skiing. All my best childhood friends are frequent skiers, and not a single one of them lives in the hometown. Ski trips are a way for us to get together and drink and ski like we are 16 again. I have the sinking feeling that some of the guys are going to get less involved as they get "real" jobs and wives, but I'm enjoying the hell out of these trips in the meantime.

if your yearly trip(s) involve plenty of planning (maybe you organize it for family and/or friends) is it something you enjoy doing, or is it a headache? Huge headache. I think the best ski trips are the ones with the bare minimum of organization and the maximum chance for something interesting to happen. Last year the Washington trip ended up involving a weekend trip to Jackson Hole, which was an interesting aside. I think if you can organize reliable transportation, pack well and light, and carry enough cash to enjoy yourself, you are golden. If we were well organized, I would have had a talkabout to find my buds when I lost them at JH last year, but then I wouldn't have met the guy at the lodge who was also waiting with a pitcher for his friends that hadn't showed. Personal pitchers with strangers is a good way to hear some stories.

I feel a lot of empathy for those that have to organize trips for diverse and large groups of people. Last year the ex-girlfriend was whining about the long car trip, so we dropped her off in Missoula. In retrospect, I probably could have avoided some hell on that one with more planning. One of my buds didn't even get in the van, we got him a ticket to see another bud in Bellingham and they went to Whistler. When I used to work in rental, I felt truly sorry for large families that weren't really skiers....its such an overwhelming thing.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan View Post
how do you decide?

are there places you keep going back to because it just fits?
do you try to go someplace new each year?
some spot you have vowed to ski?
vowed to get back to?
book way in advance or follow the weather?
do you meet up each year with the same friends/family?

even if you're able to get a lot of skiing in, is there that ONE trip a year that for whatever reason is special?

if your yearly trip(s) involve plenty of planning (maybe you organize it for family and/or friends) is it something you enjoy doing, or is it a headache?
Well ALL my skiing is on vacations or holidays, as we would call them. There is no skiing close to me. I could maybe get a weekend in, now that cheap flights have become readily available; but you get in a mindset that looks for a week or fortnight minimum.

I do like to try somewhere new if I can, as there are so many places in the world I have not been and new experiences are something to look forward to.

The list of places I intend to go but have not decreases as I eventually visit different ones over the years. Ischgl is on my list along with Alpe d'Huez and Serre Chevalier. I would like to ski Colorado one day if/when the current air travel hassles disappear.

Plenty of places I would not mind returning to, but there is nothing much stopping me doing that. Some places are just 'been there, skied that'

There used to be special annual trips, but not so much these days.

Planning does not bother me. I like looking at ski brochures websites etc. It gives me something to do outside Winter. However, if you really want a bargain a last minute booking saves money and you know what the snow will be like before you set off.

If I had to book well in advance I would book a French resort with a glacier for guaranteed skiing - probably Tignes/Val d'Isere. Another trick is just book the flights and leave accommodation until snow conditions become more apparent.
post #20 of 24
We've done it both ways. When I was first learning to ski, we lived in SLC, and pretty much stuck with Powder Mountain, which my parents LOVED.

After that, we lived in Europe for 12 years, and skiied all over. Val Thorens, Val d'Isere, Chamonix, Grendelwald, St. Anton, San Moritz, Kitzbuhel, Kaprun, Arabba, Cortina, I could go on and on. Some places were favorites that we would return to, but in Europe we were generally chasing the snow, as conditions in the Alps were often less than desirable.

Now, I'm trying to experience all the US resorts I've missed out on. In the past few years we've been doing Vermont, Summit County, and Vail, but this year we'll probably do either Utah or Tahoe.

Just gotta find the funds! I'm still young (26).
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reisen View Post
After that, we lived in Europe for 12 years, and skiied all over. Val Thorens, Val d'Isere, Chamonix, Grendelwald, St. Anton, San Moritz, Kitzbuhel, Kaprun, Arabba, Cortina, I could go on and on. Some places were favorites that we would return to, but in Europe we were generally chasing the snow, as conditions in the Alps were often less than desirable.
Sounds awful.
post #22 of 24
I used to want to go somewhere different every trip but after living in Utah for 20 years and experiencing the mega resorts in CO., ID., CA. and here we have found that Grande Targhee has all that we look for in a great trip. You can literally ski right to your doorstep, Bitchin Powder, Cat Skiing a Great Pub and a down home family atmosphere. Oh and great package deals. Things we dont want: Crowds, too many restaurants to choose from, slopes lined with guady homes and hords of unhappy people who are going crazy trying to get their moneys worth for the $1000 a day they are spending for a family of 4. We go to Targhee every year in Jan. and love it. Snowbasin is my home but Targhee is a pure vacation for our family!
post #23 of 24
No trips at all this year, I plan to focus on staying home and working more.

Oh, except for the early season trip to Colorado later this month. After that, I really plan to stay home.
post #24 of 24
For the longest time my "annual" trip was to our cabin in Tahoe over Christmas/New Years.

Then several seasons ago a friend of mine's younger brother moved to Denver. I went and visited two seasons in a row and skied Copper and Breckinridge.

Following that trip my dad got ansy to try someplace other than Tahoe and booked he and I a 4-day stay in Bend to ski Bachelor. We followed that up the next year with a trip to Whistler.

Between those 4 out-of-state ventures, I got the itch to do more trips and ended up purchasing a Heavenly pass that gives you 3 free days in Colo. My dad and I have made the trek to Summit County the past 2 seasons.

Additionally, 2 seasons ago a friend's brother was working in Sun Valley. We had free lodging, so I went. Last year the same friend, same brother, and I went to Utah mid-week for 3 days. I think we're talking about doing that again.

I also went to Jackson Hole for a quick weekend last season after I learned the tram was being torn down (rode the final ski season tram, too!).

This season it's looking like Summit County Colo (got the Heavenly pass again), most likely Telluride (the brother of my friend who lives in Denver just bought a timeshare with some work buddies, so I'd be tagging along as the brother's cool guest), probably Utah, and my old college roommate is talking Big Sky/Moonlight Basin. I'm also looking at Girdwood, AK and my pops has been talking about a trip to Kitzbuhl before he gets too old.

Long story short, my trips are based partially on $$$ (I blew more on the weekend in JH than an entire week in Colo, but that was because I booked the flight less than a week before I went) and partially on where my friends are willing to travel and partially on where I am interested in skiing. For example, I want to hit all 4 resorts that don't allow snowboarding (Alta, Taos, Deer Valley, Mad River Glen). It will just be a matter of finding the wherewithall to go.

Also, it's a bit about getting my money's worth. With the $320 Heavenly pass I have, I need to ski about 6 times to have it pay off. I also plunked down on a serious brick (30 count) of discount tickets good at 7 different Tahoe resorts, so I need to use those up, as well. As long as I take care of that end, then I'm all for traveling as much as possible, money and time permitting.
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