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Vector Fresh Tracks Breakfast, Whistler

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Upload early to Roundhouse for breakfast ("mountain-sized," $15) then wait for patrol to give the OK on avy clearance. You get first shot at upper mountain.
Anyone ever done this? On busy days they sell out, "they" say. I'd anticipate big-time busy over the next week.
Thanks for any first-hand feedback.
post #2 of 36
Been there, done that. Yes, it's worth it. Especially on powder days. But go early enough that you can be out the door when they make the announcement. Make a b-line for Harmony or Peak. The times I did it, peak wasn't opening right away, so we skated like he!! for the Harmony lift. It was a Chineese downhill one day (without the violence). But all the powder hounds are either straight running or tucking all the way to the lift. If it's crowded, you can get a few untracked runs in. If you don't do this on a powder day, by the time you make it to the top, it can be mostly skied out. You can get 3 runs in before the people make it from the bottom (depending on where you go).
post #3 of 36
Do it!! Its great!
post #4 of 36
It's definitely worth it if you don't mind getting up early. Given your time zone switch it should be a piece of cake. First 250? ( I forget the exact #) get to go up and after that you have to use your ticket and try again another day. For me the empty slopes and smooth groomed runs are worth it. It's about the only time you'll be able to ski faster. The President's Day week crowds are tremendous! Plan accordingly. skidoc
post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
First 650. Not aware of any time zone changes going up the coast. Now, if I'm flying in from, say, Maui( [img]smile.gif[/img] ), it'd be different.
post #6 of 36
Us right coasters have it great when we ski out west. Get up at 6:30?? No problem. That's 9:30 to me, and I don't sleep past 7:00am eastern time. Of course, waking up between 4 and 5 am, and not being able to get back to sleep can sometimes be annoying.
post #7 of 36
my bad, thought I read Wash. DC under Ryan! You're right about coming out from Hawaii to ski. I don't feel human until near lunchtime that first couple of days.
ski doc [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #8 of 36
My vote is to boycott any and all of these schemes. What you are effectively doing is stealing powder from your brothers and sisters.

As these schemes become more and more successful, here's a question for you. Will the price go up? Will you see these schemes at more and more mountains? The answer is yes, and the powder will go to rich hackers instead of those who know what they're doing and know how to get there when the lifts open.
post #9 of 36
I forgot to mention that in Jan. midweek I was told they were filling up fresh tracks only on weekends. My experience with Pres. Day week tells me it'll be nuts if there is a powder day. eg took us 50 min just to upload into the gondola last year at 915am (way after fresh tracks) skidoc
post #10 of 36
Thread Starter 

I am NOT being sarcastic - I'm trying to understand what you're saying, truly - but could you elaborate on the "scheme" part of it?



edit: a couple points regarding my confusion...
rich? $15 for breakfast is rich? no one, so far as i know, is paying anymore for a lift ticket than the folks who come up later.
i suspect there'll be more than just "hackers" up early for the pow. i suspect a LOT of the Rich Hackers will opt to sleep in. (personally, not being overly proficient in powder, MY attraction is the few early runs with reasonably uncrowded slopes. and, i know darn well to not hack away at stuff far better skiers will make better use of. i'm just trying to beat a bit of the crowd.)


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 15, 2002 01:31 PM: Message edited 1 time, by ryan ]</font>
post #11 of 36
If nobody forked over the extra money, there would be just as many powder turns for everybody. Actually more, because kooks who buy First Tracks aren't likely to spoon their lines.

It's like the kooks who line up at the ticket window at 7:15 even though they know it doesn't open until 7:30. If everybody just sat in their warm car, everybody would wait in comfort and they'd still get their tickets as soon as the window opened. They aren't getting something out of nothing, they're snaking their own fellow skiers.
post #12 of 36
Thread Starter 
Oh. Mmkay.
post #13 of 36
No friends on a powder day, shifty.
post #14 of 36
Strange logic shifty. Why can't we all just GET ALONG?!.
post #15 of 36
The solution to the problem is very simple. Go to less crowded ski areas if possible, get there early, know where to go, and ski in the trees.

For many years I went to Vail every Christmas and Spring Break. By simply being in line early, I was able to beat the crowd to the more popular bowl runs. Then excursions into glades would provide powder all day.

One other strategy works well. Ski the lower mt areas while others race for the summit slopes. For example, The lower face at Heavenly under the tram provides a morning of untracked steep lines, while most head for Milky Way bowl and Mott Canyon.

We must maintain the "first come, first served" access rule for skiing. Otherwise, the resorts will sell reserved lift seating like golfers who pay to reserve tee-times at public access golf courses. With the high prices of lift passes, it is terrible that some places offer early opening for an extra charge. Disney World does the same thing, early opening for Disney owned resort guests. Where does it end?

Any other suggestions?
post #16 of 36
Often on Epicski, I get the feeling that their is resentment towards ski areas trying to make money. I wonder if this is a conflict between weekend warriors and, for lack of a better word, ski bums.

Obviously it is in every skier's interest who skis at ski areas (as opposed to heli, cat or back country skiing) that the area makes a profit. That is the only way that it will stay around.

If the ski area has customers who will pay more for better parking or lift line priority or a chance to make first tracks or uploading an hour ahead of everyone else, etc, etc. It should and needs to get that business from their customers.

I do the Vector breakfast because the line is shorter for the gondola at that time of the morning and the food is good. For U$10 it is a good deal. I don't feel that I get a bunch more runs because of it. Unless the light board says it is open, I'm hesitant to go over to Harmony. Usually Peak and Harmony don't open as early as Emerald so I stick to the trees on Emerald 'til I am sure those other ones open.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 20, 2002 07:37 AM: Message edited 1 time, by worldfishnski ]</font>
post #17 of 36
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TheRockSkier:
Strange logic shifty. Why can't we all just GET ALONG?!. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Steamboat tried to do this First Tracks scheme and the people there saw it for what it was. It never got off the ground.

You don't have to agree with me -- I think it's great that people have their own opinions. My opinion is that a boycott is "getting along" with ALL your fellow skiers and snowboarders. The Golden Rule, after all, does not say, "Do unto others before they do unto you."
post #18 of 36
The people at Steamboat saw it for a way to get nourishment before they started skiing?
post #19 of 36
Don'tcha love Whistler? Service with a smile, anything you want, have it your way, we'd be pleased to help with anything your heart desires... shall we put that on your VISA card, then?...

I guess the fresh tracks program is okay if the money isn't a big deal, which it shouldn't be if you've chosen to fly there and stay in the pricey village hotels. For me Whistler's usually a day trip, and I need that 15 bucks for the tank! Here's a few hints to maximize your pow:

If you want to do as most people and head to the Peak first thing to make sure your's are the first tracks in the whole bowl, Fresh Tracks is a great idea. Me, I don't care if I get the first and/or best line, so long as I get one. On a powder morning, forget about Whistler Mtn, unless you want to feel like a sheep. Take the bus to the Upper Village 1st AM and get in the line for the Wizard chair on the hotel side (always shorter till later, as vacationers sleep in and day trippers don't). Proceed directly to 7th Heaven and take two runs in virgin pow; after 3 runs, the line at the bottom will be brutal. This is because the majority of people access Blackcomb from the Excalibur gondola in the village, and it takes 4 lift rides (each with a long wait) to get to 7th Heaven instead of 3 (with moderate lines) from the Upper Village. From the Horstman Hut, ski down to the bottom of the Showcase T and go for a run down the Blackcomb Glacier, or scoot over to Spanky's Ladder if you'd rather. If the Glacier doesn't open in a timely manner, go back up the Horstman T for a run down the Secret Bowl or the Coulier or Pakalolo or something. Go up the Excelerator, then take a run or two on the Glacier chair in the Heavenly Basin area. Go for lunch, then spend the rest of the day playing in the trees in all the untracked you could wish for.

Not at all to dis Whistler Mtn, but it's always busier over there, and the Village Gondola sucks. I would imagine with the development at Creekside, WM will only get more crowded. Mind you, "crowded" is a relative thing; I figure a 10 minute lift line is crowded. Another good way to do it is to ski Blackcomb in the AM, head down to the village for lunch, then go up the Fitzimmons/Garbanzo lifts to access the trees and some rippin' groomed diamond runs.

Cheers, eh?
post #20 of 36

You are more than welcome to boycott Whistler. There are lots (all?) other ski areas that do not offer something like the Fresh Tracks Breakfast. Yet, they offer a service to people who want it, and you want to dis them for that.

As JR said, there is this little mountain nearby, called Blackcomb. If Fresh Tracks pisses you off, go over there, or to any other mountain.

And for those of us who decide it's worth an extra 10 bucks to get into the fresh early (and get breakfast as well), we'll spend our money however we please. You know, we don't all live in an area of abundant snowfall, big mountains and multiple terrain parks. So when we are dropping our hard earned cash to ski the goods for a week, it's nice to be able to have that option.

If we follow your logic, then they should build lifts all over the back country, because it's unfair that it's only accessable to those who have the time/ability/willingness to hike it.

No one is forcing you to ski Whistler.
post #21 of 36
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JohnH:
If we follow your logic, then they should build lifts all over the back country<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My already stated logic is, "If nobody forked over the extra money, there would be just as many powder turns for everybody." The rest (boycott Vector Fresh Tracks, not boycott Whistler Lift Tickets) is opinion.

Is my logic debatable?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 20, 2002 12:38 PM: Message edited 1 time, by ShiftyRider ]</font>
post #22 of 36
First tracks for money...then, there might be a cut off?....when I lived there in the 70's first tracks were all day, the gov. liqour store was at the dump (now downtownish) and nary a Yank knew what a Whistler was....sigh...TOAD HALL LIVES!!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 20, 2002 12:56 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Robin ]</font>
post #23 of 36

Yeah, your logic is debatable. And it would be a very valid point if there weren't another mountain located 100 yards to the left that didn't offer the pay-for-play breakfast that Whistler does.

There is also the premise that W/B is not a playground for people pinching pennies (excluding the hard working, under paid locals). Therefore, Intrawest's attempt to make an extra buck off people with money to spend is not hard to fathom.

I think it may be akin to going heli-skiing. Damn expensive, but freshies all day long. Since the heli-skiing outing includes lunch, I'll call it a $450 ham and cheese sandwich, with free pow for the day.

What it sounds like you're arguing is that you want to get up as late as possible to make the first chair, not pay any extra, and be the first guy down. This is the land of opportunity and capitalism. If enough people are willing to pay the extra money to go up early, then you can bet someone will take their money.

Sometimes, if you want a benefit or better product, you need to pay extra. Or you can go to Blackcomb and get the same service as everyone else.

I guess I don't understand why you are so upset about it, when there are options so close by. The market will determine the price and availability. If people are willing to pay, then it will be offered. If EVERYONE boycots it (ie., no one pays the extra $$), then the product will go away. I just don't see it as anything other than a company trying to offer a product that people will pay extra for.

Mercedes can charge $100k for a car. But you can buy some other car for a whole lot less. However, if you want as nice a car with a Benz star on the hood, you'll have to fork over the cash.
post #24 of 36
John, if nobody forked over the extra money, there would be just as many powder turns for everybody. If you're saying that's debatable, please discuss why there would NOT be just as many powder turns for everybody.
post #25 of 36
...cuz everything else you wrote just now supports my previously stated opinion.
post #26 of 36
Shifty is rejecting capitalism. Nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately for him, it appears to be the only system that works.

I would expect that a ski area would open at 4 a.m. if they thought they had enough business to more than cover their costs by opening so early.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 25, 2002 02:22 PM: Message edited 1 time, by worldfishnski ]</font>
post #27 of 36
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by worldfishnski:
Shifty is rejecting capitalism.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Huh? I understand supply and demand -- that's what boycotts are all about.

Again, if nobody forked over the extra money, would there be just as many powder turns for everybody? Or conversely, if there is more demand for powder, will there be more powder on the same acreage?
post #28 of 36
Thread Starter 
Hey folks. Lines to PEAK chair today were - duh - considerable. The good stuff gets tracked out FAST. Due to group dynamics, I didn't do the breakfast deal. Still plenty of goods to be had.
Anyway, one more day then - sigh - home. HARMONY was also quite excellent and, yes, a wait to get on the chair. I have to say, though, that given the appearance of millions of people waiting to hop on, it goes pretty fast.
The best mob scenes are by far at the stops along the shuttle route. Manners? Civility? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Right.
post #29 of 36
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by worldfishnski:
The people at Steamboat saw it for a way to get nourishment before they started skiing?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

They saw it as a way to sell first tracks glory to cappuccino cowboy tourists. It is still available this year. There was a huge protest from locals who saw it as another dismissal of the community by ASC bigwigs. After hearing that they are only saved a small portion of a boring blue run the hubbub died down.
post #30 of 36
How many people go on Fresh Tracks at Whistler now? When I was there as a staffie in 1995/6 it had just started, (I did it 7-8 times) and unless it was a really big dump you wouldn't get more than 40 people up there at Pika's. Even a couple of hundred people doesn't make much of a dent on Whistler in the 1 hour or whatever they have. And like has been mentioned, if most of the Fresh Trackers are tourists they probably don't know where the good stashes are anyway.

I don't see what the bother is about. I think it is a great idea, very leisurely and pleasant way to spend a morning wiht some friends. And $10-15 hardly makes a dent in the budget...maybe a couple less packs of smokes, or a few less beers. A good pay-off for decent pow.

Shifty - you are as elitist as the "rich hackers" you despise. You keep mentioning "hackers" and "kooks", and "instead of people who know what they are doing". Regardless of ability, no-one has more of a right to hit the pow than anyone else, whether you are a beginner or an expert, but if there is an option to pay for it, then that is what freedom of choice is all about (and don't misconstrue this last sentence to mean I am inadvertently supporting your views, as you seem to have misconstrued many others in this post). [img]tongue.gif[/img]
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