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What Would You Do?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So its Nov 10; CO isn't getting its usual snow; Steamboats Web Cam shows dirt/grass trails with snow patches and they are supposed to open in 2 weeks.....

I've gotta make a decision in 2 days on paying the rest of the balance on a condo I reserved at Steamboat for Dec 16-20. If I cancel I'm out $100 deposit, but its only 5 weeks away and theres NOTHING to ski. I know alot can happen in 5 weeks, but I'm thinking it would take MAJOR dumps and the 2 week out weather still doesn't look promising.

I can dump the flight (Denver) and try my luck again next December (within 1 year) and pay the $100 change fee per ticket (2) and the difference in airfare

OR

I can just cancel the Steamboat accomodations for now and wait till last couple of days on the airline tickets and see how conditions are around Summit County right before Dec 15. If conditions improve dramatically, just get last-minute hotels and wing it. I'm thinking that's the best choice and based on reading other posts, am pretty sure that's the advice I'm going to receive.

I know I shouldn't have booked this that early as conditions are unpredictable, but went on odds that showed Steamboat was a pretty dependable "early season" place and was trying to get in on cheap airfare and lodging, and my son can only go skiing that specific week when he's out of college. So I took the chance. It looks like it ain't going to work out very well.

BTW, we are only intermediate skiiers, and I know there will be some stuff open. Question is will it be enough for us to really enjoy. I want to ski/leave the West with a better impression than what I can get at Snowshoe, WV or New England. I know that normally the skiing/consistency is better, but, my first trip out West was Utah this past March when temps were 70 and snow was slush. Wasn't a good impression (I know you can't control weather and that was not normal). But it was warmer in Utah than it was in Alabama. I want to go for cold (not bitter), snow, skiing, and the "winter look". But, it looks like this trip may be poor conditions also.

What would you do?
post #2 of 15
>and try my luck again next December
why are you hooked on December for skiing? that is how December is.
>What would you do?
5 weeks to go is a very long time, things can change very quick and they WILL, and i don't know what kind of base steamboat needs to ski well for an intermediate, but my gut tells me your odds of decent snow are 75%, at least. Keep your $300 of deposits and use them for your next trip. Any resort can have poor conditions are any time of year. You didn't make a big mistake, I am sure Steamboat is usually fine for xmas. Have a nice trip! I'll be out in Utah 10 days before you, i have complete confidence.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post
>and try my luck again next December
why are you hooked on December for skiing? that is how December is.
>What would you do?
5 weeks to go is a very long time, things can change very quick and they WILL, and i don't know what kind of base steamboat needs to ski well for an intermediate, but my gut tells me your odds of decent snow are 75%, at least. Keep your $300 of deposits and use them for your next trip. Any resort can have poor conditions are any time of year. You didn't make a big mistake, I am sure Steamboat is usually fine for xmas. Have a nice trip! I'll be out in Utah 10 days before you, i have complete confidence.
December because that's only time my son can go and because non-refundable airline tickets are only good for 1 year from travel dates.

I'll call on you Sbird. I appreciate your optimism and I know you have much more experience than I, but my gut (and most of the long-range weather forecasts) tells me that the whole middle/southern part of the nation is in a serious dry pattern and snow will be minimal between now and Dec 16. I live in Alabama where we've seen a the worst drought on record for the last 9 months with little change in site, so I'm not optimistic when the forecast for CO is for little precip either. I hope I'm wrong, but it hasn't snowed there (CO) in a month (pattern set with no site of a major departure from it) and only little spits on the horizon next week.

I know to you all who ski regularly, you are probably used to it. But to us who only have a certain time to go and its a big trip for us, it certainly is a let down. But thats life. Can't control the weather.

I've already cancelled my condo. I'll wait till day before departure before deciding on airline tickets. Hopefully, I won't have to cancel whole trip.
post #4 of 15
[quote=bamaboy;801664]...but my gut (and most of the long-range weather forecasts) tells me that the whole middle/southern part of the nation is in a serious dry pattern and snow will be minimal between now and Dec 16. I live in Alabama where we've seen a the worst drought on record for the last 9 months with little change in site, so I'm not optimistic when the forecast for CO is for little precip either. I hope I'm wrong, but it hasn't snowed there (CO) in a month (pattern set with no site of a major departure from it) and only little spits on the horizon next week....QUOTE]

Not what I see today; short term forecast (next 2 wks) looks promising:

http://wxmaps.org/pix/prec1.html
post #5 of 15
Steamboat does have the best early season record in Colorado, other than Wolf Creek, and is likely to have much more natural snow in December than Summit County. Since Dec. 16-20 is before the big holiday crunch, I would think you could still get Steamboat lodging at the the last minute.

But I think you were right to not pay in full for lodging based on current conditions. And to roll over the air tickets if it does not improve.

In the future I would recommend not depositing far in advance for the lodging for mid-December. And once you use up the air tickets in December this year or next, don't reserve then again either, as SnowbirdDevotee said.

Last March's sustained heat wave was very unusual. You're far better off reserving for March than December. Skiing spring conditions is far preferable to looking at rocks and closed runs. And in many areas (see my article http://webpages.charter.net/tcrocker818/fam_ski.htm ) you will usually get winter conditions in March. I'm guessing that trip last year was to Park City, which is very sloppy in warm weather.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaboy View Post

BTW, we are only intermediate skiiers, and I know there will be some stuff open. Question is will it be enough for us to really enjoy.

Short answer: Yes. If you remain flexible.

Keep an eye out over the next couple weeks on where the snow falls. Even if you came out this weekend you'll have plenty to ski splitting a couple or more days at A-basin/Loveland and the Summit Co areas. You can be guaranteed winter weather (at least the cold part) above 11,000 feet. You will not have slush at the higher areas. By mid December, there will be more snow and more terrain open thus giving you more options when you arrive. Best suggestion is to wait on lodging till you know where the snow is. It could be Steamboat or it could be Summit County; or neither or both. It all depends.

As lodging goes, mid-December is still low season so you'll be able to find reasonable lodging wherever you choose to go.
post #7 of 15
>You're far better off reserving for March than December.

who can wait?
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for Advice

Thanks all for the advice. I don't mean to come off as negative. I'm just trying to make logical and cost-effective decisions based on current conditions, which seem to be behind normal for this time of year. I made my bed with early reservations/plane tickets, but I can minimize the damage. If conditions improve, my son and I will be there having a blast. If not, I'll try again next year.
post #9 of 15
November is going to end up exceptionally dry, in the ballpark with 1976-77 and 1980-81. If you can bail out without losing many $, I'd recommend that.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

What about Grand Targhee?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
November is going to end up exceptionally dry, in the ballpark with 1976-77 and 1980-81. If you can bail out without losing many $, I'd recommend that.
Exactly what I'm going to do with Colorado. However, I can still get decent airfare into Jackson Hole right now for Dec 16-21 on a different airline and save my CO ticket for next December. GT is looking okay right now. My son has been looking forward to this ski trip for months and would love to go somewhere where there is something decent. Could a couple of East Coast intermediates realistically enjoy GT for 3 days of skiing? Don't need nightlife at all. Just some father/son time on the slopes. GT has some excellent on-slope lodging deals for our time period.
post #11 of 15
Grand Targhee would be a good bet for you guys right now. They already are 75 percent open and will be getting more snow shortly.
post #12 of 15
From what I hear, GT is a great intermediate mountain.Would think it would be perfect for intermediate east coasters. Looks like that's where I'm headed for Dec. 6.Given no big changes in snow, I'm hoping it's entertaining enuf for 3 days skiing. Looks like only decent option.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaboy View Post

BTW, we are only intermediate skiiers, and I know there will be some stuff open. Question is will it be enough for us to really enjoy. I want to ski/leave the West with a better impression than what I can get at Snowshoe, WV or New England. I know that normally the skiing/consistency is better, but, my first trip out West was Utah this past March when temps were 70 and snow was slush. Wasn't a good impression (I know you can't control weather and that was not normal). But it was warmer in Utah than it was in Alabama. I want to go for cold (not bitter), snow, skiing, and the "winter look". But, it looks like this trip may be poor conditions also.

What would you do?
I wouldn't worry about it. Go for it. Got back from Keystone last week, where I was able to ski with my wife and kids on manmade. It wasn't the best snow, nor the best terrain, but any day skiing beats any day...

Lots of people skiing, so it was circus-like at times, but mornings and late afternoons were great, as were the weekdays.

I'm going back to Summit County same time as you, and am watching the snow forecasts which are looking up, but I'm not sweating it at all. It's getting colder, so I wouldn't worry about slush.

Keystone has plenty of terrain open for an intermediate father-son duo to have fun, and it's still several weeks away from your target.

Just my opinion/guess.

-Z
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Change in Plans

Too late DockerZ.

I've booked airline tickets to Jackson Hole. Got my deposit back on the condo rental (vrbo.com and the owner didn't have to refund it, but he was super-nice), so not out anything there. Just out $200 change fee on airline tickets which I'll use again next year to Denver.

Now where to stay for under $100 night??? Got rental car. JH actually looks like it has some nice intermediate runs. Maybe stay in Driggs or Jackson and split up skiing between GT and JH.
post #15 of 15
I think Targhee is a good choice. I would not bother with Jackson unless Bob Peters says it improves a lot between now and your trip. Your ability profile fits Targhee much better anyway.
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