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Whistler vs. Tahoe vs. Utah..where to go this year? - Page 2

post #31 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl View Post
Going with 5 other people and splitting a place that sleeps 6. Lodging is about $600 each for 7 nights. Lift tickets were included with the packagefor $325 or so for 6 days skiing. Got airfare from Chicago to Seattle from Southwest for $217 round trip and renting a car for the trip up there and back for 3 of us is about $80 each.

Flying into Vancouver would add about $400 more to the trip cost after ground transfer is included and would have been a deal breaker had the Seattle option not been there.

How bad is the drive from Seattle to Whistler?
post #32 of 53
You should try some place different. If I were you I would go to either Tahoe or Whistler....I would personaly go to Tahoe if I were going in March do to the variability of the weather in Whistler....besides you will have other opportunities to go to Whistler. Tahoe has a Kick ass night life. Mammoth would be bad ass as well. I would not go to JH until the new tram is built if you are only going to be able to go once every couple of years.

To be honest Colorado has the best snow in the early season and the late season (not that March 1st is late at all). Alot of people hate the elevation though in Summit. Have you considered Crested Butte or Telluride?

You have to go to all of these places at least once in your life....hell go to Killington for the week...ski 5 days and save your money so you can ski in Chile or New Zealand in July/August!!!
post #33 of 53
Thread Starter 
Well the council of degenerate skiers just took place and we've decided to go to Whistler. I'm pumped, I've wanted to go here for so long.

Our tenative date is March 8-14, but with all of this rain talk, I'm thinking we should move it back to mid-Feb. Any thoughts?

So far we've looked at flight-lift-car-lodging and we're staying under $1000 for 4-5 days of skiing.
post #34 of 53
A few points.

Is there any particular reason to decide this now? The smart money says not to book your trip earlier than you have to, and choose where to go based on conditions as you get closer.

What do you like to ski -- how steep, groomed vs soft, etc.?

I've previously posted Tahoe lodging and discount thoughts here and here.
post #35 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
A few points.

Is there any particular reason to decide this now? The smart money says not to book your trip earlier than you have to, and choose where to go based on conditions as you get closer.

What do you like to ski -- how steep, groomed vs soft, etc.?

I've previously posted Tahoe lodging and discount thoughts here and here.
We decided on Whistler because none of us have ever been there, and have heard great things about it.

We are booking earlier because its a group (8-9) of us, we are looking for deals, we have to set a date and stick with it due to our busy schedules. Any reason why booking around this time is a bad idea?

We will book sometime in the next month, but regardless of the type of year that Whistler has condition wise, it will be far better than the bullshit we ski out east.

Tahoe was my second choice and I may go there next year, but as I said, I've been there and Whistler just seemed to be a happy medium between all of us.

I like blue/black fast groomers, hardpack, but not ice. I like steep as powder runs
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
Well the council of degenerate skiers just took place and we've decided to go to Whistler. I'm pumped, I've wanted to go here for so long.

Our tenative date is March 8-14, but with all of this rain talk, I'm thinking we should move it back to mid-Feb. Any thoughts?

So far we've looked at flight-lift-car-lodging and we're staying under $1000 for 4-5 days of skiing.
Kevin:

Good choice of dates, sun should be out but before Vancouver schools spring break! Have fun, drop me a PM if you want to go for a run or two....
post #37 of 53
Rain incidence is mostly random. And it's rare in the alpine where the best skiing is. You're going at a good time. The light is better than earlier. As I recall the mountain closing time is a half hour later in March than earlier.

If you were pleased with Park City's snow, don't worry about Whistler (or Tahoe). The Whistler alpine and Sierra above 8,000 feet are better IMHO. The Cottonwood Canyons, on the other hand, are the gold standard of snow conditions anywhere.
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
Any reason why booking around this time is a bad idea?
Just that the season may be sucking or rocking at any of those places at that time, but the possibility of it doing the same thing at all three is statistically negligible. Maximizing your flexibility may maximize your vacation.

Also, by February, a lot of places are starting to get a little nervous about whether they've got bookings beyond Presidents' Week. Some deals can pop up that won't be there now.

I favor booking early in heavy periods, because you have no choice. Otherwise, I think you do better waiting, both from the cost and quality perspective.
post #39 of 53
I am in general in favor of flexibility. But his price sounds competitive and the airlines make life difficult in that regard these days. Whistler's reliability issues relate to short term weather forecastable less than a week out, and he's not going to be able to wait that close. He's also doing a relatively short trip and if by delaying he winds up up with more expensive flights or tedious connections he won't be happy.
post #40 of 53
Fair enough.
post #41 of 53
Quote:
I like steep as powder runs
Make sure you check out, on Blackcomb:

1. Surfs Up
2. Double Rubble/Winky Pop
3. Diamond & Sapphire bowls, off Spankys Ladder, and the top entrance of Ruby bowl
3. Top section of Couloir Extreme, or False Face, or Hawaii-5-0

There are of course more tantalising pitches, but for that you'll have to book an instructor!
post #42 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaviaman View Post
Kevin:

Good choice of dates, sun should be out but before Vancouver schools spring break! Have fun, drop me a PM if you want to go for a run or two....

Will do! thanks for the advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
Just that the season may be sucking or rocking at any of those places at that time, but the possibility of it doing the same thing at all three is statistically negligible. Maximizing your flexibility may maximize your vacation.

Also, by February, a lot of places are starting to get a little nervous about whether they've got bookings beyond Presidents' Week. Some deals can pop up that won't be there now.

I favor booking early in heavy periods, because you have no choice. Otherwise, I think you do better waiting, both from the cost and quality perspective.
Thanks for the advice. I agree with your point, but with a group of this size, that are all eager to get something settled, we cannot afford to wait. If I was doing this myself of with one other person, I think you points apply perfectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
I am in general in favor of flexibility. But his price sounds competitive and the airlines make life difficult in that regard these days. Whistler's reliability issues relate to short term weather forecastable less than a week out, and he's not going to be able to wait that close. He's also doing a relatively short trip and if by delaying he winds up up with more expensive flights or tedious connections he won't be happy.
Thats kinda what I was getting at. Not to discredit alpinedad, his points offered fair perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by veeeight View Post
Make sure you check out, on Blackcomb:

1. Surfs Up
2. Double Rubble/Winky Pop
3. Diamond & Sapphire bowls, off Spankys Ladder, and the top entrance of Ruby bowl
3. Top section of Couloir Extreme, or False Face, or Hawaii-5-0

There are of course more tantalising pitches, but for that you'll have to book an instructor!
I will print this and bring it with me! Thanks
post #43 of 53
Thread Starter 
Another question. Do US citizens need a passport when flying to Canada?
post #44 of 53
I think Powdr has good advice. I think Utah is the best place to go even if you have already been there. We went in late March last year too, but skiied mainly in the Cottonwoods. That is the place to go if you are going late in the season. Park City has a nice resort atmosphere though. Utah is always cheap and always accessible.
post #45 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
Another question. Do US citizens need a passport when flying to Canada?
Yes, you will need one if you fly after 1/8/07. If you drive, you won't this year.
The drive from Seatac is about five hours without traffic.
post #46 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
I will print this and bring it with me! Thanks
Incidently those runs won't be found on the regular trail map.....

You either need to ask a local, or get hold of this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Ski-Snowboard-...e=UTF8&s=books

post #47 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
Another question. Do US citizens need a passport when flying to Canada?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
Yes, you will need one if you fly after 1/8/07.
To clarify: If you fly before, you still need a federally-issued picture ID. A state-issued ID (i.e., a drivers' license) is inadequate.
post #48 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
Another question. Do US citizens need a passport when flying to Canada?
I went to Whistler last year and at the time it was in question as to whether you needed them and was soon to be necessary.

After looking at what I would need to take my Wife and daughter I found it was smartest just to spend the money and get the passports. I don't remember exactly but some of the things, due to divorces and such are rather obscure and not worth the effort to put together. And I got different information from different sources. So I just bit the bullet got them, it was worth the effort to avoid any problems, especially in the environment found in airports these days.

Allow yourself plenty of time to get them, you can get them expedited but it is expensive.

With the Passport you have all you need to get through customs, without it if you make a mistake and leave out a piece of necessary information you will be sent back, not worth it to take the chance.
post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by veeeight View Post
Incidently those runs won't be found on the regular trail map.....

You either need to ask a local, or get hold of this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Ski-Snowboard-...e=UTF8&s=books

If you are going to Saphire Bowl I would recommend you access it via the Blow Hole (at the top of the Blackcomb Glacier) then cut left under the rock face above Surfs Up, traverse over and hey presto ... this avoids the rock face which is the normal access via Spankies Ladder, also avoids the hike of Spankies Ladder plus you get to try the Blow Hole. Had some spectacular runs here last season and was especially amusing watching those that did not know better trying to bum slide over the rock face from Spankies : ... even in a good year there isn't much snow cover on that bit.
post #50 of 53

The Lowdown on W/B

Kevin, This info is from '02. My last trip to W/B was my first totally researched/booked using the 'net. I live in SoCal so my deals will be based on that. Lodging: I highly recommend the Crystal Lodge(used to be the Nancy Green Lodge) for its location and price but it might not be suited for your group size. Dining/overall lay-of-the-land: http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/piq...ew=bestresults . Hoz's for BBQ is my recommendation and a pasta place(name escapes me, in village in a stand-alone building). Transportation: I've flown into Vancouver the two times I've been to W/B. I think a car in W/B is a waste of money, shuttle and local buses are adequate. http://www.translink.bc.ca/ http://www.whistlerbus.com/details.html . Again, the size and attitude of your group is everything. Me and my bud had to take a local bus from the airport(Airporter?) to the Greyhound terminal to board the Greyhound to W/B. Look at the prices, a cheap option. Lift Tickets: http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/tic... Findex%2Ehtm During the time we went (Jan.-Feb.), these tickets were available at SportsChek(local sporting goods store) only. I needed to take a bus to Landesdowne(sp) Center for the nearest store to the airport. I did this while we were waiting for the bus to the Greyhound terminal(I allowed plenty of time to coordinate this, scheduling is everything if you want to be a cheap-ass like I am!). I was able to purchase two "Gold Express" passes cheap. Definitely worth the effort. I think we got a 2 or 3 day. We skiied for four days, would have been better to buy more days 'cause they had a "buy 5, get two days free" deal. Supposed to be for WA or BC residents only but they didn't check with me. Currency: http://www.x-rates.com/calculator.html Right now, not as good as in '02(.75US to 1.00CAN). One last thing, W/B had a real bad year last year or the year before. There is a weak El Nino this year that could affect the snowfall(Might want to check that out, great for us in CA, though). You will have a blast with that many people 'cept when you go out to eat/drink(big group). About all I got for you, PM me for any other Q's.
post #51 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
How bad is the drive from Seattle to Whistler?
I didn't see anyone answer this so I will.

It will take you about 5 hours to drive the distance. A great deal of the way is freeway. If you choose to drive it, take the Guide Meridian exit off of I-5 in Bellingham and follow this road north to the border at Lynden, WA. Cross into Canada (you won't need a passport, but will need a birth certificate and driver's license) and go to Canada Highway 1. Head west on 1 and it basically takes you to Whistler. Do not go up I-5 to Blaine this year as there is construction at the truck border crossing and it can get to be a real mess there.

There is also construction along the highway from Vancouver to Whistler, but you will have to go that way no matter what unless you want to charter a helecopter, so just relax and enjoy the beautiful views if you get slowed down. There's a great brew pub and eatery in Squamish along the way. Turn left at the 7-11 and follow the street to near its end. It's called the Howe Sound Brewery. Yummy food and good beer. You'll want a stop when you get to Squamish.
post #52 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmthmtskier View Post
Kevin, This info is from '02. My last trip to W/B was my first totally researched/booked using the 'net. I live in SoCal so my deals will be based on that. Lodging: I highly recommend the Crystal Lodge(used to be the Nancy Green Lodge) for its location and price but it might not be suited for your group size. Dining/overall lay-of-the-land: http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/piq...ew=bestresults . Hoz's for BBQ is my recommendation and a pasta place(name escapes me, in village in a stand-alone building). Transportation: I've flown into Vancouver the two times I've been to W/B. I think a car in W/B is a waste of money, shuttle and local buses are adequate. http://www.translink.bc.ca/ http://www.whistlerbus.com/details.html . Again, the size and attitude of your group is everything. Me and my bud had to take a local bus from the airport(Airporter?) to the Greyhound terminal to board the Greyhound to W/B. Look at the prices, a cheap option. Lift Tickets: http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/tic... Findex%2Ehtm During the time we went (Jan.-Feb.), these tickets were available at SportsChek(local sporting goods store) only. I needed to take a bus to Landesdowne(sp) Center for the nearest store to the airport. I did this while we were waiting for the bus to the Greyhound terminal(I allowed plenty of time to coordinate this, scheduling is everything if you want to be a cheap-ass like I am!). I was able to purchase two "Gold Express" passes cheap. Definitely worth the effort. I think we got a 2 or 3 day. We skiied for four days, would have been better to buy more days 'cause they had a "buy 5, get two days free" deal. Supposed to be for WA or BC residents only but they didn't check with me. Currency: http://www.x-rates.com/calculator.html Right now, not as good as in '02(.75US to 1.00CAN). One last thing, W/B had a real bad year last year or the year before. There is a weak El Nino this year that could affect the snowfall(Might want to check that out, great for us in CA, though). You will have a blast with that many people 'cept when you go out to eat/drink(big group). About all I got for you, PM me for any other Q's.

We're getting two cars. Fullsize car with snow tires and ski rack for $254 after tax, for the whole time. 4 people to a car = $63 (usd) which is highly worth it. We are staying a couple of minutes away from the lifts soo the car might be very worth it in that sense.
post #53 of 53
Kevin, if you have that big a group look into the limo from the Airport. If you have 6 to 8 it is a good deal and when your party sees the Black Expedition Stretch Limo you will be a hero. The drivers are great and will stop on the way for libations or some groceries.

The Market in the village has all you will need in the way of groceries.

When you get there the shuttle bus is the best means of transportation.

Once you get used to using it you can get anywhere easily on the shuttle.

I walked my ass off trying to find my way around, nobody gave much instruction as to using the shuttle and the maps are vague.

Basically it runs in a circle from the lifts at Whistler around the base of the village,(where the market is) back around to Blackcomb and then over to Whistler.

If you are not staying at the Village area their are shuttles from any area that will take you there.

My recommendation is when you get there jump on a shuttle at the nearest stop and ride that thing twice around the loop to get your bearings. Will take under an hour and from then on you will have no problems with getting around.

The walk from the Market up to the lifts at Whistler right through the village is a great evening of fun things to see, great dinging, and shopping.
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