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The Future of "Let's Go Colorado"  

post #1 of 115
Thread Starter 
The future of “Let’s go Colorado”

As many of you know, I indicated that this would be the last LGC event in Colorado. I should have been a bit more specific. It is the last that I plan to throw. A very busy upcoming year will not allow me the time to organize things.

I recently had dinner with jgiddyup and we discussed the whole thing and he has agreed to take the reins and keep the party going. Good luck Jim, it is a challenge. What we talked about was how to improve the event, keeping it in the same general time frame, and what the challenges are. We thought it important to get the word to all attendees and future attendees that, except for the “behind the scenes stuff”, not much will change.

The toughest part of the event is having enough qualified guides available to take members and guests around the various mountains we ski at, and getting them there on the days we need them. It makes for a far better experience if we can keep the groups small enough to keep everybody safe, happy and doing what they want to do out on the hill. There has been better attendance of qualified folks to help out this season, and I hope they can get out and help Jim next season. In advance of that……thanks guys and gals.

I hope that come September or so when Jim announces the event that I am the second poster to the thread, indicating that I plan to attend every day at LGC IV. The rest of you, feel free to jump on the bandwagon at that point.

I’m looking forward to skiing with you all again at LGC IV, and meeting some new folks at that event as well.

I only ask one small favor………don’t give the new guy a hard time.

UL
post #2 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Louie View Post

I hope that come September or so when Jim announces the event that I am the second poster to the thread, indicating that I plan to attend every day at LGC IV.
LGC IV=Let's Go Colorado 4 or Intravenous? I may need an IV just to survive III!

Good luck, Jim--and thanks for taking this on. While it can be quite a lot to juggle, getting out and seeing people just having fun on the snow is well worth all the work and occasional headache. BTW, did UL hand over his supply of Ibuprofin too?
post #3 of 115
No pain meds necessary at this point Nancy and I plan to make LGC IV as good as I can. I promise my utmost effort and time I generally have.

As noted by UL he will be in full attendance and is still the name on the marquee. I'll just be setting the schedule and handling request/PM's etc...

Sometime in Sep will be the initial post and I'm fully open to improving the event in anyway possible. Comments and suggestions are very welcome and will be promptly discarded(kidding)

Send em in folks and we'll continue to refine and improve one of Epic's best and most looked forward to events.:
post #4 of 115
I am planning to attend a few of those next year. What mountains you are going to ski? Can you recommend any lift tickets arrangements? I am getting my local Season pass for free, so I decided to purchase some seasonal passes in Summit County this year. Will Colorado pass cover it? What do you buy for Aspen? Copper?
post #5 of 115
Schedule is WAY up in the air right now Stroller, but the Colorado pass will serve you well and discount tickets are usually available for other areas via pass holders and local Bears. Look for more info in Sep.
post #6 of 115
i should be reppin' Cali again...

post #7 of 115
The question asked by UL applies to all gatherings. From my experience organizing the Tahoe Gathering this year, I think there are a few things that would help.

Each gathering needs a general event organizer to promote the event online and do the roll calls coordinate the dates and locations.

Each ski area where a gathering takes place needs at least one site host that can decide when and where to meet, and places to rendezvous at least twice through the day...preferably lunch, mid-afternoon and after skiing. Site hosts should offer insights on where to stay, where to eat or party, discount tickets and perhaps set up special events like a meal, tailgate, after-ski safety meeting, etc If an event will cover multiple ski areas, each one should have a host.

Participants need to understand that these events are worth going a bit out of your way and require some commitment. It seemed at Tahoe that lots of potential participants just waited for the gathering to come to them. "I ski Alpine, so...see you there, but I won't be at the Kirkwood or Squaw day" These things only take place because the members ask for them, and when you don't show up, it sucks. Some people travel across the country to attend events, while others who are practically on top of the event "might" consider showing up if things work out. Don't be that guy! Get psyched, commit, show up. Be on time, or carry a radio to hook up. The group should not be expected to stand around and wait for stragglers.

Radios are your best friend for guaranteeing you will hook up. Cell phones are OK, but are prone to signal loss or not being heard on the mountain. Invest the $36 in a set of FRS/GMRS Motorola radios at Costco or Sam's Club, and you won't be saying, "I thought I saw a group that looked like you, but I wasn't sure. We skied all day and never hooked up". Happens all the time.

Is the only time you carry a camera, when we are eating? Geez people, pull one out on the hill occasionally.

Anyone else have some insights? Maybe we should post an event planning guide thread.
post #8 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
The question asked by UL applies to all gatherings. From my experience organizing the Tahoe Gathering this year, I think there are a few things that would help.

Each gathering needs a general event organizer to promote the event online and do the roll calls coordinate the dates and locations.

Each ski area where a gathering takes place needs at least one site host that can decide when and where to meet, and places to rendezvous at least twice through the day...preferably lunch, mid-afternoon and after skiing. Site hosts should offer insights on where to stay, where to eat or party, discount tickets and perhaps set up special events like a meal, tailgate, after-ski safety meeting, etc If an event will cover multiple ski areas, each one should have a host.

Participants need to understand that these events are worth going a bit out of your way and require some commitment. It seemed at Tahoe that lots of potential participants just waited for the gathering to come to them. "I ski Alpine, so...see you there, but I won't be at the Kirkwood or Squaw day" These things only take place because the members ask for them, and when you don't show up, it sucks. Some people travel across the country to attend events, while others who are practically on top of the event "might" consider showing up if things work out. Don't be that guy! Get psyched, commit, show up. Be on time, or carry a radio to hook up. The group should not be expected to stand around and wait for stragglers.

Radios are your best friend for guaranteeing you will hook up. Cell phones are OK, but are prone to signal loss or not being heard on the mountain. Invest the $36 in a set of FRS/GMRS Motorola radios at Costco or Sam's Club, and you won't be saying, "I thought I saw a group that looked like you, but I wasn't sure. We skied all day and never hooked up". Happens all the time.

Is the only time you carry a camera, when we are eating? Geez people, pull one out on the hill occasionally.

Anyone else have some insights? Maybe we should post an event planning guide thread.
Thanks for posting Cirq.

I agree with most all your post except for the radio/phone part. I have noticed that as the numbers grow at an event is seems to be "acceptable" to call in if you are going to be late. We had 4 groups on a few days here and trying to catch a group based on ability level is VERY VERY trying. Then to have the latecomers show and find a group too slow and head off on their own with the "I'll meet you at the bottom" idea frustrates all.

There is ALWAYS a shortage of people to guide others around what may be a semi- or unfamiliar mountain. I limit guides to Instructors/Patrolers and in one special case Cgeib because of Chris' indepth knowledge.

We usually end up with hard charging intermediates - expert level skiers. Get a timid intermediate or slower and you instantly have a problem. The slower skier always feels they are holding up the group, but the reality is the group here has ALWAYS been willing to wait. WE DON'T GET ENOUGH INTERMEDIATES out to these events.

I've acted as the "Mountain Host" for all the areas here. I am very familiar with the areas and the towns and lodging options in the area. I do a lot of informing via the PM system here. Your host idea is a good one, the only problem now is getting someone to step forward to pick up the ball and run with it. The work load to throw an event like this and handle it alone is staggering. It looks easy......it isn't. There is a lot of research that needs to be done early season.

I have asked a lot of questions of those that attended LG III this season because the event needs to change due to it's size. It's getting a little out of control. I'm thinking of a question/answer PM over the summer/early fall to see what the attendees here think are the high points and what needs fixing.

If I or jgiddyup go ahead with this survery I will be glad to forward it to you (Cirquerider) and to any others that organize regional gatherings, should they wish.
post #9 of 115
Uncle Louie...you hit the nail on the head about Intermediates, at least in my case. I just started skiing the blues this year and I will admit I am more cautious and slower. So I see these "Let's Go" events and I automatically think it's way of of my league. I am totally the one that says "Go ahead without me" because I don't want to hold anyone up.

So maybe next year I will actually get the courage to come out and have some fun with the other Bears and maybe their are some other "slow" bears like me.
post #10 of 115
Allie G!

I was totally hesitant to attend any of the Gatherings as I don't really know what my level is. I routinely ski blacks, but I hack my way through a lot of terrain. I also tend to always ride with folks much better than I am and follow them down whatever (I don't huck cliffs or jump cornices, btw).

I attended 2 of the 3 days of the Tahoe Gathering and found that I fit in rather well with the crowd, both in terms of my skill sets and my personality.

Shortly after I attended a somewhat informal TGR/Maggot gathering @ KW. Felt a little out of my league, but held my own on the mellower "gnar."

Based on those two events I jumped head first into "crashing" a week of LGC3. I rode 3 out of 5 days with the group and loved it.

Uncle Louie did a great job, especially at Vail when like 30 folks showed up, of breaking us all into groups of like-minded skill and enthusiasm. I ended up riding with folks who were, in most cases, way above my skill level, but they were doing the terrain I wanted to ride, so it didn't matter. Everyone was pretty patient and more about staying together as a group and keeping things light, lively, and fun rather than hell-bent for doing laps.

I find that things just kind of work themselves out and you end up gravitating toward the other skiers who are on your same trip/vibe/wavelength. It's nothing personal, but it's a lot like summer camp. You end up hanging out with a certain crowd.

But it all ends up at the bottom of the resort at the end of the day and everybody gets together and shares their experiences over a drink or two.

Also there never seemed to be any pressure or dissing if somebody was like "Yeah, I'm not up for bumps, who wants to do some ripping on the groomers?"

Maybe I'm still a little new to the whole gathering thing, but I felt that there was a pretty good cross-section of folks out on the hill, with maybe the exception of Monday @ Breck where is was a semi-fresh powder day and i think there were more folks interested in hitting ungroomed bumps and back bowls than groomers.

The bottomline is, bite the bullet! Come to one of the events and I'm sure you'll find at least a few cats (and catettes) who are your level and whatnot.

Prime example, I never shared a single run with Jgiddyup or the Missus, yet we hung out after each day and did dinner, as well. There was no hard feelings or bias that we didn't ride together and I had great fun with them apres, so it made up for the fact that we didn't ride together. It all kind of works its self out in the end.

Then again, I'm not the one organizing the thing and filtering through suggestions/complaints during and after, either!

Whew, I'm longwinded. I do have to tip my skull cap to both Cirque and UL for setting up two great events which have enabled me to connect with some ripping plank riders and develop a network of folks to ride with next season! That's invaluable to no end.

Oh yeah, I still have a case of beer left over from teh Tahoe Gathering at my cabin in Truckee. I'll be at Alpine Meadows the next two weekends, so if you're in the area try and link up with me for a free cold one!

booga-booga!
post #11 of 115
Allie G (hey, I like that!), if you come out to ski at LGC IV and I am around, I will be happy to ski w/you. I'm an intermediate and one of those "I'm going to hold everyone up" kind of skiers so I ski alone some days because it's so much pressure to try to keep up.

One thing I've learned is when you ski with people who are faster than you is to not go last because inevitably you'll be the last one down. Going earlier may mean people pass you which is sort of normal, and you'll be more likely to all end up at the bottom more or less at the same time.

Really, come ski with us!! And bring some intermediate friends along with you! And Guides, we love you and appreciate you...could you occasionally slow down just a teense? If we don't know the mountain and we lose sight of you, eek!!:
post #12 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarCube View Post
And Guides, we love you and appreciate you...could you occasionally slow down just a teense? If we don't know the mountain and we lose sight of you, eek!!:
C'mon, Cube! I only lost the wedding party once!!!! :
post #13 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alliegator View Post
Uncle Louie...you hit the nail on the head about Intermediates, at least in my case. I just started skiing the blues this year and I will admit I am more cautious and slower.

So I see these "Let's Go" events and I automatically think it's way of of my league. I am totally the one that says "Go ahead without me" because I don't want to hold anyone up.
If I had a dollar for every Epic Poster that thought like this, I'm sure I could ski for a few seasons for free.

What do you Intermediates think of an Intermediate ONLY couple of days during LG IV ?
post #14 of 115
hey J Giddy (due to the dookster we all get cool hip-hop names now)

You can always count of me for some behind the scenes help/coordination of next springs event. I usually can only get out to ski for a few days, though.

thanks,
kiersten
post #15 of 115
you are now "K-Money"

:P
post #16 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Louie View Post
If I had a dollar for every Epic Poster that thought like this, I'm sure I could ski for a few seasons for free.

What do you Intermediates think of an Intermediate ONLY couple of days during LG IV ?
Fantastic idea! I'll do my best to get out to guide/coach for one of them...
post #17 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Louie View Post
What do you Intermediates think of an Intermediate ONLY couple of days during LG IV ?
We like!
post #18 of 115
I think a day or so for Intermediates would be fantastic

You may just want to make it clear that it could be for the turtles and the bunnies. That way all intermediates can be included. Then people like me will still want to participate.
post #19 of 115
Curious -- what would be different about this intermediate day? The whole group would ski intermediate terrain, and at slower speeds? What's to keep the better skiers from breaking off and doing their own thing, as long as there were designated meeting times/places for lunch, apres, etc.? How would that be any different from a "regulay" day?
post #20 of 115
I’ve been thinking a lot about this since I’m one of the few intermediate skiers who participated in LGC2, 2.5, and 3.

When only one or two less-expert skiers show up on any given day, and only one guide is available, the guide is stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s hard for the intermediates to know what’s ski-able at their skill level on a mountain they’re never visited before. This happened to me last year at the Basin—it was my first time there, it was dumping, and I didn’t know where to ski (that’s when I had my close encounter with a tree ). So if guides are a limited resource—a constant issue with these events--and a bunch of enthusiastic intermediates show up, an ‘intermediates only’ day is a good option to keep LGC more inclusive.

Maybe 2 things need to happen: first, we need more skiers who are slightly less hard-charging (but still enthusiastic!) to come out to ski with us, and second, we need a guide who knows the terrain, what’s ski-able at their level, and, like the more advanced group, make sure everyone is ok.

My two cents!
post #21 of 115
^good point.

I'm getting a vibe that Alliegator is a bit intimidated by the whole event.

To that I say: there is no reason to feel intimidated!

These are a great group of folks who just plain love to ski, whether that be easy groomer or deep powder bowls.

The best thing to do is just come out and get in where you fit in!

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that if I didn't ski with someone because we were of different abilities, we still ended up hanging out at lunch, apres, and dinner and sharing our experiences from the day, which was great.

Also, the terrain ridden really depends on who shows up. The 3 days that I rode with the group the Vail "Special Suprise Wedding" day was the largest and featured the most diverse range of skiers. I believe we broke off into 5 different groups. But we all converged for lunch and apres to share and hang out, which was great.

I say come on out you cannot possibly not have a good time regardless of your skill level!

post #22 of 115
I was pm'ing with Louie on this subject and told him how I was both nervous and excited when I showed up for the first LGC event. Could I keep up with these folks, etc, etc? I ended up totally comfortable. One of the great things I have learned from these events is to quit "doing laps" and enjoy the company, the view, and the free coaching. I have even slowed my skiing speed down much of the time so I can understand what I am doing. As Bong said to me, speed masks many flaws.

I am what I call a "terminal advanced" skier as opposed to the terminal intermediate. I have been skiing forever, but I am not a great athelete or a quick learner. I enjoy skiing the groomers with intermediates while the younger and better skiers do the bumps and trees. If a bumpless powder field is available I will jump in, but I am not as adventurous as some and have always found a good group to ski with.

I also want to see more intermediates come, and am happy to ski with them. Though my improvement may be slow or non-existent, I have seen some skiers improve markedly in a short time from the help they get from Louie, Bong, SSh and others. These guys are all instructors, which means they have plenty of patience and don't want to see people get discouraged or hurt. Ask Don, Betsy, or SegBrown (Segue to me, others know her as Sue) how Uncle Louie has helped them with just a little tip or short drill.

Lurkers who have followed this thread need to take the risk and come join us. Just be on time!! LewBob

PS: Sugarcube, I will be glad to spend more time skiing with you next year. Remember what a good time you and Louie and I had last December?
post #23 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by faisasy View Post
Curious -- what would be different about this intermediate day? The whole group would ski intermediate terrain, and at slower speeds? What's to keep the better skiers from breaking off and doing their own thing, as long as there were designated meeting times/places for lunch, apres, etc.? How would that be any different from a "regulay" day?
Keeping in mind I have 2 problems with this big ability split.

1) Not enough intermediates come out to form a group of more than one or two

2) I never have enough guides.

How about this......Run the event for 9 days.

I usually head out and ski the day before the official start so anyone who wanted to head out could certainly join me, on Friday.

* Sat (day one) is open to all. Most of the usual folks will show who are advanced and located close to Summit County. At the same time I would expect most that are coming from far away are either in an airplane or taking a warm-up day if they got here on Friday.

* Sun is slated as an intermediate day. All the guides lead the Intermediate skiers only. The advanced skiers can meet and ski on their own without a guide. Most will know the area anyway, so skiing around as a group really presents no problems.

* Mon and Tue are also scheduled Intermediate days. I know Jgiddyup will be here and I will too, so as long as we get fewer than 18 Intermediates we have no problem with comfy group sizes.

Sun - Tue would be held at one mtn. I would suggest Breckenridge. I can certainly give tips and drills to quickly increase the Intermediate skiers' ability as I have done before with people such as Candy (Mrs. Gary skier), Batgirl and others.

Wed and Thurs are days off. The Intermediates have the option to free ski alone or with the group they had been skiing with the last three days. Any upper level skiers can go skiing solo, join on and ski with any of the intermediates or form an expert group and free ski unguided.

Friday - Sunday we open the event up to everybody again and try a few new mountains. Split the groups up as usual and go have some fun.

Hold all the events at Vail Resort areas (Vail / BC / Breckenridge / Keystone ? and A-Basin) to eliminate any ticket issues.
post #24 of 115
In my most humble opinion ... I think there may be another element here ... Guides v. Instructors.

It seems like one of the main differentiators between "intermediates" and "advanced" (or beyond) is confidence/fear/comfort level ... which typically comes from snow conditions, speed, crowds, and terrain.

So, my hunch is that the "intermediates" will feel more comfortable skiing together midweek as opposed to weekends (few crowds, snow conditions less deteriorated) and whoever goes with them should be someone they trust and can give them some valuable ski tips (instruction light). You might even go one step further and have a "chick-only" type of ski group that can go off on their own.

I also think that if quantity of guides is an issue then why not go the route of a bonafide instructor guide with a "tail guide" who just makes sure everyone stays together ... then you could handle slightly larger groups -- tolerate being spread out more on the slopes.

that's my 42 cents!

hahaha
post #25 of 115
I would be willing to lead an intermediate group at Breck where I teach.

I think safety needs to be a priority, specifically, guidelines for group skiing.

Nancy
post #26 of 115
It may be just me, but I'd rather see less rules and guidelines than more. So far the only "rule" we've had is: "Show up at this ski area on this day at this time." Then we go ski. If there are different abilities, we split up. If not, we all ski together. Why won't that work? Why do we need specified intermediate days?

The main challenge for the organizer(s) would be getting enough guides for the groups. The way I see it, you'd need at least 3 guides for 3 ability groups: low intermediate, strong intermediate, advanced. If there are more than 3 guides, they can help on groups that are too big for a single guide (or create perhaps a women-specific group as klkaye suggested).

To me, to attract intermediates, we need to communicate better that there will be multiple groups split by ability, and that there will be guides for each. That's it.

On my first day at LGC 1, I was the slowest and worst skier in the group -- the lack of ability-split made me struggle, not the lack of an intermediate day. If we had an intermediate group that day I'd have been fine.

I don't know that we need to put LGC into a straitjacket of lots of rules, regulations, and guidelines. I like the impromptu feel of LGC -- I don't know who'll be there or what I'll be skiing (but I know I will be safe and I will have fun!). Let's not over-elaborate so that it squeezes the fun out of skiing or organizing these gatherings.

Just my $0.02. But then again, I just show up at LGC, I never have to organize, so what do I know!
post #27 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post

....I think safety needs to be a priority, specifically, guidelines for group skiing.
Hmmm, guidelines such as "Don't become mesmerized by the fresh snow in the trees and keep turning until you've skied right out of view and/or earshot of everyone else??"

I skied only one day with LGC 3 (as alluded to, it was almost "only one run"), and I skied the warmup day with LGC 2.5, so I am not very experienced with this particular group, but I have skied annually with two other groups over the past 6 years or so. We have guides for these groups, but at different levels.

With one group, it's the full treatment: no more than six to a guide, full time, everywhere we go for four days, along with varying levels of instruction (and the corresponding ka-ching $$$). With the other, it's basically utilization of the free mountain hosts for the morning or sometimes morning and afternoon, depending on the resort. (Do all mountains have these?) If you are short on guides, it seems that you could use this service, especially during the first days on a mountain until people know where they are. That has worked fairly well with this second group ... and we always hook up at lunch and apres, to make sure everyone has a chance to see each other.

[Aside: in my experience, the mountain hosts worked much much better for the intermediate levels. I'm sure there are very capable hosts, but for some reason both times I have used them, they haven't been up to speed. The guy in Whistler gave us very specific directions to avoid some cliffs, ie, "turn RIGHT at the bottom of the moguls to get to the chutes," but we discovered on top of the cliffs that apparently he meant to say "LEFT" ... and then the guy at Keystone this year admitted after a couple of runs that he assumed we had overstated our ability and he didn't really like bumps and would prefer to be on blue groomers. Whatever.]

You often have group switching, as well. When my daughter was skiing at a more intermediate level, my husband and I would swap groups at lunch (I'd go with son and advanced group in a.m., then with daughter in p.m.-- then I would often act as tail guide for the intermediate group when I was with them). So perhaps you can use the more experienced skiers as needed with the intermediate groups.

The lower-level skiers (relatively speaking) always get the best deal, though, because generally there are fewer of them. At least that's how I think it should work. They should get priority when there are guides ... the higher-level people can figure out a mountain soon enough.

Obviously the difference between my other experiences and this is that LGC is amorphous, and people show up and don't show up randomly. To ensure that people show up, you usually have to exact some promise from them, which normally means money ahead of time. And that's really a different animal from what I think LGC is supposed to be ....
post #28 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by faisasy View Post
...

The main challenge for the organizer(s) would be getting enough guides for the groups. The way I see it, you'd need at least 3 guides for 3 ability groups: low intermediate, strong intermediate, advanced. If there are more than 3 guides, they can help on groups that are too big for a single guide (or create perhaps a women-specific group as klkaye suggested).....
Is it this, or is it the fact that you don't know how many people are coming, thus you don't know how many guides you need?
post #29 of 115
The two days my son and I skied at LGCIII, I thought the way things split up worked fine. My son and I had a good time skiing with every one. Look how much fun he had at BC on the 5th.

OTOH, I think if I had brought my daughter along, she would not have been happy. When I skied with her Friday and Saturday, she had trouble with some sections on green runs. She's a great kid, just not really a skier yet.

I had a really great time skiing with everyone (I have never had a bad time skiing with other Epic Bears) and I look forward to doing it again. I'm sure Jim will do a great job next year as he demonstrated his superior cat herding ability at the jgiddyup Copper day in January.

Props to UL and SC on doing a great job this year. I wish I could have stayed another week and caught all the fresh snow. The weather hasn't been good for anything here. In the meantime I WILL watch the threads and try to make some days at next year's event.

Have a great summer!

Mike
post #30 of 115
Just look how much fun my son had skiing at BC
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