Originally Posted by northeasterner
A lot of people had a hard time meeting up on the 40 mile trip to Snowbasin, so I can imagine the problems if we were to drive to Jackson. Factor in the potential of storms reaking havoc on travel and there is a good chance that a lot of people who opt out of SLC and go only to Jackson will never meet up with the group. Ask Jgiddyup about his fun trek from Jackson to SLC.
SPeaking for myself, I will only get 4 days out there and would like them all to be in one place. My time away from my family is too precious to lose ~ 2 days travelling. I think a lot of people will feel the same way. It's great that this is being discussed so early.
The most people we ever seem to see in one place for a Gathering is about 20-30. A Gathering is, by definition, an incredibly loose amalgam of people with different budgets, skiing levels, and objectives for the trip. It is nearly impossible to agree on lodging, for instance, because everybody has different price points and preferences.
In my own opinion, I approach one of these with the idea that if I get to meet and ski with a few new people the trip has been a success. I think SLC is nearly the perfect place to do a Gathering because of the enormous selection of skiing and lodging within a very short distance.
The "locals" who volunteer as the cat-herders for one of these tend to hear a lot of back-channel lobbying for this ski area on that day or that hotel and so forth.
Witness this year's disagreement between the chargers who wanted to be in the liftline by 8:30am so they could get first tracks versus those who preferred to approach their vacation in a bit more leisurely fashion. This is ALWAYS going to be the case and the poor stiffs that try to organize things have to take that into account.
Having been involved in a few of these, I eventually came to the conclusion that we're theoretically dealing with people who have all reached the age of adulthood. Somebody announces the morning and afternoon meeting place and time and then anybody who is resourceful enough to show up at the designated spots can easily assimilate into a group. If "stuff happens" and somebody misses the arranged time, then that's life. I think that's all the organizers can do. Personally, I'm not interested in wearing a ribbon or carrying a radio.
So back to the idea of a 7-10 day Gathering. A lot of people can make one weekend or the other and some can make it for the entire time. If a side trip to JH/GT is included within that seven or ten days, some people will go and some people won't. Depending on the dates, I'll be happy to serve as one of the organizers at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. It would be great to ski with a few people who haven't been here but I also know perfectly well that a side trip to JH won't fit into the time or financial budgets of many people. That, also, is life.
All of that said, Salt Lake City is pretty hard to beat from the standpoint of cheap and convenient air connections, cheap and abundant lodging, and fantastic access to some of the best skiing anywhere.