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Laid off, help me decide where to ski

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I read through the thread here regarding a guy who went out west for last winter. Lots of good suggestions, but figured I'd start a new one.
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=59989


I was laid off this week. Luckily, this layoff included a severance package, which gives me some freedom to go ski without working . In addition, due to the requirements of the severance, I cannot take a new job before January 1st (hooray). Because the economy is pretty bad, I really can’t just ski bum all season. However, I don’t think I could forgive myself if I didn’t spend a large chunk of time out West, as this opportunity might not occur again. (I'm in central Massachusetts)


Mitigating Factors in decision:
·Wife cannot come with me, as she has a good job and cannot get away
oImpact: Cannot spend too long away, as that would ruin her ski season here at home, as we ski together every weekend
·Should be drivable from New England so I have a car
oImpact: This really just means I need enough leeway on either side of my time to drive out and back. I figure I can drive almost anywhere.
·The economy is bad, so I really need to be looking for a job sooner rather than later
oImpact: The earlier I go, the sooner I can be back and gainfully employed. This cuts out full season ski bumming, or waiting for February/March
·I’m mid-thirties
oImpact: Probably not very interested in jamming into a house with 4-5 lifties, for example. I wouldn’t mind sharing space, but it would have to be decent. This one might change depending on the situation. Also, I will probably have to “work” in the evenings or early mornings, whether making contacts, sending resumes, or just developing my skills online.
·Would like an area where a ski pass will save me money in 20-30 days, but that has enough terrain to stay interested.
·I have ski passes to two mountains in NH already, relatively near my parent’s house up there.
·We are going to Big Sky the second week of February.
·I like warmth. We ski in New England. If I want bone-chilling cold, I’ll stay here.

Options:
  1. Stay home (Central Massachusetts): I could probably get a pass for Wachusett for under $300, about 40 minutes away. I can ski whenever I want, and be home with my wife. Upside: Housing, home, cheap, can use it all season long. Downside: Skiing is crap, 1000 vertical, crowded, four trails from summit.
  2. Spend more time in NH: Upside: Have passes already, and place to stay. I could stay up there for some mid-week sessions and get extra days in on crowd-free slopes. Also, could actively pursue jobs from there, and drive down to the Boston area within 2.5 hours as needed. Downside: Not much, but I wouldn’t see my wife except on weekends, and my parents might get sick of me. Also, they don’t have high speed internet and it is prohibitively expensive to install just for the short term (it’s satellite only up there).
  3. Go out west from about 12/1-12/20 (or through 12/31, but want to avoid the holidays): Upside: I’m cannot get a job until 2009, so there is no guilt here. Also, the skiing in NE is junk in December, so my wife doesn’t miss good skiing here while I’m gone. Also, she is very busy with work through the end of the year, so this works. Downside: Not a lot of snow anywhere, right? Steeps and trees are probably not very skiable this early in the season. Also, if I only go for a few weeks, I may not want to drive for 2-3 days each way, which means expensive flights and then having to be walkable or on public transport to ski areas.
  4. Spend January out west (full month). Leave after Xmas, spend holidays driving west. Upside: Snow getting better, and less guilt, as it is early in the job search. I can put it on hold for a month. Downside: Not much that I can see, although it depends on the snow year places are having.
  5. Enhanced January plan: Same as above, but meet my wife in Montana for our vacation there, and then drive back together around Presidents Day. Upside: Everything. Downside: Postpones the job search, but not significantly, as I am taking that vacation regardless.
My best guess is the plan will be a combo of those above. I’m liking #5 the most (January/February), combined with #2 after the trip (NH with my parents).


Where to go:
Seems like SLC will give me the most options. In addition, we have been thinking about moving there anyway. I could get a better feel for the area by living there for a month, and also could apply for jobs.


So, what do you think? Am I missing something? Should I consider other areas, or does SLC make the most sense. Am I crazy to drive out? I have read the thread here, have skied a lot of the major areas out west (SLC, Summit county CO, North Tahoe, New Mexico, Idaho, Baker) and virtually everywhere in New England. I’m a telemarker, strong skills, not much backcountry experience, but can handle most things. I would like the trip to push me, but I don’t think I want to wear a transceiver every day.


Favorite ski areas: Taos, Brundage, Pajarito, anything off the beaten path to a certain extent (but willing to make an exception for big skiing)


If you know of somewhere with awesome December conditions, let me know! Any suggestions, let me know. Have a furnished apartment in your basement near something awesome, let me know.

Thanks!
post #2 of 14
If the cheap ski pass is a primary goal, buy the EpicPass today since it's the last day it'll be on sale and ski Summit/Eagle County for a month.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SKI-3PO View Post
If the cheap ski pass is a primary goal, buy the EpicPass today since it's the last day it'll be on sale and ski Summit/Eagle County for a month.
Shoot, I really don't want to make the decision that quickly! But thanks, I guess I will have to make some decision today if I want to go this route.
post #4 of 14
Buy a pass for Loveland. Drive out and live in Denver or Summit Co for month of Dec. Find an epicski member who might be willing to house you in exchange for money or services. Ski Loveland and do nearby backcountry. Return home for Xmas. do job searches in Jan. If nothing by early Feb drive back west for more time at Loveland, then meet wife at Big Sky.

You have an interesting, but weird opportunity. The uncertainty of no job and separation from spouse would make me slightly uncomfortable, but this is a window for special skiing. Nothing wrong with the NH idea either. What mtns would you ski, could probably get in a lot of low crowd weekday skiing in Dec and Jan up there.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
Buy a pass for Loveland. Drive out and live in Denver or Summit Co for month of Dec. Find an epicski member who might be willing to house you in exchange for money or services. Ski Loveland and do nearby backcountry. Return home for Xmas. do job searches in Jan. If nothing by early Feb drive back west for more time at Loveland, then meet wife at Big Sky.

You have an interesting, but weird opportunity. The uncertainty of no job and separation from spouse would make me slightly uncomfortable, but this is a window for special skiing. Nothing wrong with the NH idea either. What mtns would you ski, could probably get in a lot of low crowd weekday skiing in Dec and Jan up there.
This is very interesting, I have never skied there either. I like the idea of the split trip as well, although travel costs go up. Since the first post, the wife and I discussed and thought perhaps we switch our Big Sky trip to Colorado. We only have flights so far, so we could switch them for a fee, and she could take two weeks instead of one. In this case, we would get 2 EpicPasses. this would probably fit the #5 choice, with a twist.

As far as NH goes, I have two ski passes already (Tenney and Cranmore), both small mountains. Since I could ski midweek, I could consider an additional midweek pass for cheap ($250ish). My parent's are centrally located and no more than about 75 minutes from most NH areas.

Thanks for the suggestions so far!
post #6 of 14
Sounds like a no brainer. Get two Epic pass!

You can go out twice.

First 12/1-12/20 alone, use your ticket. should be able to find some place to stay for cheap at that time of year. There should be snow at A-Basin by then, if not Breck and Vail.

Second trip with wife. She use her ticket to fly out, you drive out ahead of time to meet her so you have a car. Having a car, you can get a condo and eat in to stretech the dollar.

Start job hunting in evening. If you get lucky and get a job for starting Janurary, you can still negociate for another week or two off later in the season.
post #7 of 14
I like the SLC idea. Since you're considering moving there, going there will help you rationalize skiing for a month. It is true that you need to live someplace for a while to get the real feel of the place.
post #8 of 14
I'd throw my hat into the ring for the epic pass at $570 or thereabouts (if it's not too late) for a whole season of unlimited skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breck & Keystone. Mind you, I just bought a ticket for there myself today, so maybe I'm a little biased :-)
When you're out there, if you get bored with all that skiing, you can drive a couple of hours max to Aspen, Steamboat or Winter Park, and there'a always Copper, A-Basin and Loveland on your doorstep.
Go for it dude!
CW
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
First, thanks to all for the suggestions so far. I was figuring I had a few days to make some decisions, but the call of the Epic pass kind of swayed me a bit to start making decisions.

We bought two Epic Passes today, with the intention of bumping the Big Sky trip to another year. Not sure if I'll split the trip or not, or if I'll head out after Xmas. Either way, we will probably end up together on our passes for about two weeks in early February, then drive back together, something like that. If cheaper, she'll fly round trip and I'll drive back solo.

So, next is planning where to stay. I'm thinking Summit County, as I don't want to be driving too much (nor miss many days due to road issues). The one time I've been up there, I stayed in Silverthorne. It was a good location for hitting Breck, Copper, A-Basin and Keystone.

Housing for money/services isn't a bad idea, depending on the services! I guess I might be able to offer up some computer expertise to someone (been doing a lot of Java this year, some database, etc.) I can use a snowblower, shovel, etc. I'll start looking around now and see what is out there in the usual spots, although I will need to avoid paying nightly rates! If anyone is open to discuss options, let me know, and thanks again! Getting excited about this!
post #10 of 14
Congratulations!

Don't forget to check back in here with trip reports to make those of us who still have jobs far away from good skiing jealous.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SKI-3PO View Post
Congratulations!

Don't forget to check back in here with trip reports to make those of us who still have jobs far away from good skiing jealous.
Will do, still a lot to do here, mostly around where to stay! I'm sure I'll be roaming the boards further on that.

Thanks!
post #12 of 14
check the summit county craigslist - you may find boarding and work options.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty View Post
check the summit county craigslist - you may find boarding and work options.
Thanks, have been trying this. Once I pin my dates down, I'll see if I can get into a long-term place for a month or so. I'll keep looking!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Status Update

Update on my trip status:


Epic Pass: Check
Transportation: Check, seems like driving out is going to the be the cheapest way to go if I want to have a car while I'm out there.
Housing: Needed!


I'm working craigslist right now, but figured I would post here as well. Many of the craigslist rooms are for six months, whereas I really only need about five weeks. Dates are slightly flexible, depending on the advantages of the situation.

I am looking to rent a room, most likely in a shared house:
  • In Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne or Breckenridge
  • 1 bedroom, possible furnished (not a deal breaker if not)
  • 1 bath (preferred private, shared ok depending on situation)
  • Kitchen privileges
  • Parking for one car
  • No cigarette smoking
  • Preference to places near bus lines and such
  • High Speed Internet a must
  • Dates are: Late December through Early February 2009. (Approximately 12/29-2/15) I am flexible on these, although I probably can’t push the end dates back past 2/15.
I don’t need a place for heavy partying, but I do like a bit of socializing. I'm 35, mellow, clean, intend to ski 7 days a week, have a few beers here and there, and generally have a good time. That said, I also need to do some work here and there, so I'll keep fairly busy.


So, if you know someone who might want to make a little extra money from their ski house or permanent residence in Summit County this winter, please let me know and send me their contact info. Also willing to trade computer skills or house sitting for housing if preferred!

Thanks,
Rory
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