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Father - Son Ski Trip

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I live in N. Carolina and I wore a jacket to work today...so it's time to start thinking about skiing.

 

I'm looking for destination ideas for a father/son ski trip with dad.  Typically, we take one week-long trip annually with a group of about 10 guys of intermediate - expert ability.  We tend to pick larger reports to cater to everyone, ability-wise.

 

Usually, dad and I, and 2-3 of the other stronger skiers, end up breaking off from the pack for 50% of the trip to ski the tough stuff – which is what we really enjoy – steep bowls, bumps, trees, small cliffs, etc.  Basically, the “backcountry-esque” terrain you can find in the double black areas of today’s major resorts.

 

Recently, we’ve done trips to Big Sky, Whistler, Utah (got in 5 of the big ones), and Breckenridge (and nearby resorts).  I’d like to try something new.  One of our favorite days was at A-Basin – partly due to the good conditions, but also because of the non-resort feel and great terrain off Pallavicini Lift (I had to look up the name of that lift…it was awhile ago).  I also remember having a blast on some of the stuff off the tram at Big Sky.  And Whistler was awesome...obviously.

 

This year, due to $$ issues for many in the group, they are skipping the big trip out west for a week in Killington (we are east-coasters).  Dad has hinted that he wouldn’t mind blowing off this trip in favor of going West.  I’d like to take this opportunity to surprise Dad with a father/son trip – with the theme of going to a place we might not otherwise we able to go due to the limited ability of some of our other friends – ie: a place with great expert terrain.  I’m 28 and he’s 56…I expect he is going to start slowing down at some point (though he hasn’t yet)…so it might be one of our last chances to do this trip.  Also, some day I’m going to have to get married and have a kid…which could change the attitude of this trip (as well as many other things I enjoy) significantly.

 

I’ve been searching around these forums and have a couple of ideas and places that sound interesting and we’ve never been – Banff area, Telluride / Silverton (we might get tired of hiking for a week, but Silverton sounds quite memorable…Telluride is nearby for the other days), Jackson Hole (he’s already been, and declared his favorite…I have not been).  I know we'll have a blast no matter where we go, so I'd like to try and make it as unique and memorable as possible.

 

I’ve also toyed with the heli-skiing or cat-skiing option…but I think I’d have enough trouble paying my own way, let alone dad…and that kinda defeats the purpose.

 

So…I thought I’d open up my search to the internet community for suggestions.

 

Thanks in advance for ideas! 

post #2 of 21

Can't comment on most of this, and haven't tried it in the winter, but be aware to get from Silverton to Telluride you will have to go all the way to Ridgeway and west to Placerville, if I recall correctly, in the winter months.  Could be close to a two hour drive on a bad day. 

post #3 of 21

No personal experience with interior BC, but you guys might take this opportunity to experience Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, and Sunshine while flying in/out Calgary?? Supposed to be mind blowing mtns.

Have personal experience with more conventional option - Aspen Highlands/Snowmass/Ajax. Some challenging and beautiful skiing at those three if you haven't been there yet. Of course, that would be a great trip for the whole gang.

Squaw/Alpine Meadows would be another good combo if you haven't been to Tahoe area.

Maybe this old thread will give you more ideas:  http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/61960/your-5-best-expert-ski-areas-in-the-west

PS:  I'm same age as your dad, but doesn't sound like I could hang with him at this point.  Take good care of him and have a great trip where ever.

post #4 of 21

Have you skied Vail and Beaver Creek?  Absolutely on the expensive side, but also HUGE and memorable.  And what about Aspen, (Ajax, Snowmass, Highlands and Buttermilk)?  Again, not cheap but it should be on your dad's bucket list.  Or what about doing something you friends would never do on a vacation, like touring the 10th Mountain Division trail?  It has been 20 years or so since I've been in those huts, but the beauty and serenity of that backcountry has to make a memorable trip for you.

 

I am close in age to your dad, and my knees are giving me more trouble each year.  You are a good son to do this now while everyone is still healthy.  Remember to take a lot of photos.

post #5 of 21

Based on your description I vote for Jackson.  Its snow is enhanced by La Nina. I will issue my usual caution not to book in advance for any later than mid-February due to the SE exposure, and January is best.  

 

Quote:
No personal experience with interior BC, but you guys might take this opportunity to experience Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, and Sunshine while flying in/out Calgary?? Supposed to be mind blowing mtns.

I have lots of experiences with these places http://webpages.charter.net/tcrocker818/vft_croc.htm. All of the lift served places have some flaws, so I prefer to move around and hit several of them.  With just 2 people, it's easier to get organized and keep moving on a safari-type trip.   The preferable one IMHO is Castle/Fernie, then up Hwy 93 to Lake Louise and Banff.  Panorama is between the 2 and Kicking Horse adds an extra 2 hours driving but is a better expert hill.  Most of my trips mix in some snowcat skiing.  I don't know if that fits in your budget, but if you're going through Fernie, Island Lake Lodge offered a last minute 35% discount for 2 days that I grabbed last season.  All of these areas rate to get above average snow with La Nina. If you want to focus the trip on snowcat skiing, that's a separate question, but it's better to use Kelowna or Spokane as the gateway airport.

 

I like Aspen and Vail, but save those trips for the whole gang.  La Nina rates to increase Steamboat's snow, but is a non-factor elsewhere in Colorado.

 

I'm the same age as your dad, and I like to say that the equipment is still improving faster than I'm aging.    Most of my best powder days have been in the past decade.

post #6 of 21

I did a Father/Son/Girlfriend trip last February to Kimberley/Panorama/Fernie in BC.  For comparisons sake my Dad is 60, I'm 29, and my girlfriend is...uh...well whatever she is she's old.  My Dad was told he would like Kimberley because of the long groomers.  While it's true it had decent ones, the real fun was to be had at Panorama and Fernie.  Panorama has more vert than the other two, and lots of advanced inbound terrain.  Fernie was the best though.  Cliffs all over the place, entertaining groomers, bowls, moguls...it had everything except a large Park.  But Father sons don't need that.  If the snow conditions last year had been better, Panorama may have been in the run for the best, but Fernie, with twice as much snow at the time, was exceptional.  The views off of Panorama are amazing too, although it sits in a shadow for alot of the day.  Fernies best views are the enormous cliffbands running along the entire top of the resort....and the best part is they are hikeable and inbounds!

 

It's a La Nina year so I would expect nothing less than amazing snow at these 3 resorts.  It's about a 4 hour drive from Spokane International Airport, which is what we did since my Dad lives there.  You could also fly into Calgary or Cranbrook I should imagine.  We all stayed in the town of Kimberley, and drove an hour north and back for Panorama on day 2, and another hour and back Eastish for Fernie.  It may be worthwhile to book a hotel near each so you don't have to drive back and forth everyday.  If you do that, I would start at Panorama and end at Fernie, or vice versa.  Either way put Kimberley in the middle so you don't have to drive direct from Fernie to Panorama which would be the furthest drive.

 

Nice View from Panorama...

 

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And some of Fernie

 

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Again these were all last year in February during crappy El Nino Snow.  Should be the opposite this year.

post #7 of 21

Jackson was your dad's favorite, you haven't been and it might be enhanced by La Nina- seems like a no-brainer. 

 

For arguments sake, a T-ride/Silverton combo sounds sweet, but it is a 2 hour drive between and I agree that you probably don't want to ski Silverton for the whole week. 

 

Beaver Creek does have some nice expert terrain that gets overlooked by many of the tourists, but this is something that you can do on your regular group trip.

 

Have you thought about Europe?  If you can get a deal or use miles for airfare, the rest of the trip might not be any more expensive than coming West (depending on what you spend for off piste guides).

 

Is nightlife important- Aspen, Whistler and Europe probably offer the best options.

 

Sounds like you will have fun regardless...enjoy!

post #8 of 21

Of course I'm biased towards Jackson.  I can't say for sure, but 20 years of living here has me feeling like this might be an epic winter.  La Nina does favor us and the fall storms seem to have the right feel that in the past has rolled into good winter snow.  Our open gate policy means that there is a lot of terrain that is available in the slack country if you feel ready for it.  Come in January and take a upper level group lesson and chances are it will be like a private.  If the snow is really good take a private with the early tram option and you will ski powder like you may have never seen.  I have an arrangement with one of the shops and can generally get free demos for my students if you would like to try something newer or powder specific.  One caveat though is that the shop knows these skis are like crack and will sport you a demo because a lot of people buy after trying.  Jackson offers more than skiing if you can tear yourself away from the slopes.  A winter trip through Yellowstone is still on my to do list....  Even more now that I spent a good part of my summer up there.

 

I also would like to try the BC resorts that you mentioned.  Revelstoke in particular is on my list.

 

Have fun with your Dad no matter where you wind up.  Life is short and unpredictable.  

post #9 of 21



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

Jackson was your dad's favorite, you haven't been and it might be enhanced by La Nina- seems like a no-brainer. 

 

 

Have you thought about Europe?  If you can get a deal or use miles for airfare, the rest of the trip might not be any more expensive than coming West (depending on what you spend for off piste guides).

 

 

Sounds like you will have fun regardless...enjoy!


 

Europe is a great idea, perhaps to one of the monster domains known for great skiing like the Arlberg or Val d'Isere. It will knock you out of your comfort zone culturally and logistically, but you'll remember the Alps the rest of your life.  It's something your group might never pull off.

 

Another idea:  join the epicski 2011 gathering http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/95925/the-2011-epicski-gathering  It's in April so won't interfere with your main season and you will get the super benefit of free guided skiing with a choice of good to superb skiers and you can branch off on your own if desired.


 

post #10 of 21

Sounds like you like the more interesting terrains off Pallivincini. you must be a pretty decent skier.

Save the larger areas for the mega group trips. This is the chance to try the smaller areas. 

 

Telluride & Taos comes to mind.

 

Taos had always been one of my favorite ski areas - like A-basin, non resort feel. 

Really really good challenging skiing.  

Make sure to take a ski week while you are there. Will definitely improve your skiing..

post #11 of 21

Taos and Telluride are both predicted to have less than average snow pack this year.  La Nina and all.  Northern resorts will be better.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post

Sounds like you like the more interesting terrains off Pallivincini. you must be a pretty decent skier.

Save the larger areas for the mega group trips. This is the chance to try the smaller areas. 

 

Telluride & Taos comes to mind.

 

Taos had always been one of my favorite ski areas - like A-basin, non resort feel. 

Really really good challenging skiing.  

Make sure to take a ski week while you are there. Will definitely improve your skiing..

post #12 of 21

Im going with the western Canada ,inrterior BC also. ( not because im a displaced Canadian ) The cost of skiing at Panorama is lower then most large mountains. You can get a package for less or fly and rent ( call the timeshare SALES condo people and ask if anyone is looking to rent out, you might be suprised how cheap you can rent one) They run a bus to Fernie ( well I think they still do, they use to for sure) and RK Heli ski is right next door.... maybe be a lower cost stand by day ( nothing is cheap about heli skiing)

I am thinking about making Panorama a trip this year as well as a couple others, like" the gathering" this year...keep this in mind also ( we have a blast, meet really nice people because only really nice people go to the gatherings.) LOL

Anyway Im sure it really doesnt matter alot where you and dad end up youll enjoy it ( you will just think later and go...darn we shouldda gone to that place that old guy was talking about)

 

Have fun

post #13 of 21

I don't know your budget or the level of accommodations you are looking for, but the Inn at Jackson Hole has an unbelievable package going on that gives you your room and 2 lift tickets each day at a cost less than the current hotel only rate. I have stayed there before, it is nothing fancy, but it was very clean, comfortable, and convenient. Going again in January on a father/daughter trip.

 

Use the money you save to do a guided day in the backcountry and it will be a trip to remember.

post #14 of 21

I went on atrip last year with my dad to Banff. It was absolutely amazing! The town is great for all ages and the skiing was amazing. There are really only two mountains, Sunshine and Lake louise. We skied at the smaller Norquay for a day and wasn't really worth it. My father and I have a similar situation as you and yours. He is slowing down so we split up for some of the day. At night we were able to walk downtown and enjoy time together. Banff also has a Natural Hot srping in town for days that maybe you only want to ski half days. We looked into snowmobiling and heliskiing but decided against it. So there were some options for other winter activities. Where ever you decide to go enjoy your time with your dad, I know I appreciate the fact that I can still ski with my dad!

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartski View Post

I went on atrip last year with my dad to Banff. It was absolutely amazing! The town is great for all ages and the skiing was amazing. There are really only two mountains, Sunshine and Lake louise. We skied at the smaller Norquay for a day and wasn't really worth it. My father and I have a similar situation as you and yours. He is slowing down so we split up for some of the day. At night we were able to walk downtown and enjoy time together. Banff also has a Natural Hot srping in town for days that maybe you only want to ski half days. We looked into snowmobiling and heliskiing but decided against it. So there were some options for other winter activities. Where ever you decide to go enjoy your time with your dad, I know I appreciate the fact that I can still ski with my dad!


Did you catch that Norquay mountain on a powder day?  I've never been to any of the 3, but I hear good things about that place if it's deep.  Could you imagine it being awesome?

post #16 of 21

Second JH. He likes it already and you will, too. The mountain has a very distinct vibe.

 

Telluride/Silverton. Split the trip and stay in Telluride with a two day stay in Silverton. You live at sea level (or so), both towns are at close to 10,000 ft altitude and hiking at 12-13k on a boot pack and with your gear is demanding. The drive can take some time and the road may be closed for avalanche control.

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post




Did you catch that Norquay mountain on a powder day?  I've never been to any of the 3, but I hear good things about that place if it's deep.  Could you imagine it being awesome?



It wder day. But it has a few runs that could

It definetly wasn't a powder day as you can tell from the pictures, but it was beautiful and could be awesome with a nice dump!DSCN0903.JPGDSCN0907.JPGDSCN0901.JPG

post #18 of 21

 

Here is a picture of me and the greatest skier (my dad) I know at Sunshine Village!

 

 

 

 

 

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post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the helpful information and pictures!  You guys are great!  After pondering for a couple days (weeks, I guess), and going back and forth a bunch, I think I’ve settled on the interior BC/Alberta trip…flying into Calgary.  I’m shooting for a week sometime during the first half of March to avoid (as best we can, while still preserving snow conditions) the cold snaps I’ve been reading about.  From the tons of information I have read about all the resorts in the area, it’s clear we won’t have time to do them all (next time!), but for this trip I think we’ll try to hit Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, and Lake Lousie/Sunshine.  My tentative plan is to get into Calgary as early as possible, rent a 4wd, and make the long drive to Golden/Kicking Horse and base there for 3 days.  We’ll take a day trip to Revelstoke (I know I probably need more than 1 day there, but its just so far out of the way) one of the 3 days.  Then, we’ll head to Banff for 3 days to do Lake Louise and Sunshine…which should make for a reasonable drive back to Calgary on the last day.

 

I’ve haven’t booked anything yet, but would be welcome to suggestions as to good, clean, affordable lodging in Kicking Horse/Golden and Banff.  Considering we’ll likely stay in Banff when we are there, I’m leaning toward staying at Kicking Horse as opposed to Golden so we can walk to the slopes at least 1 or 2 days.

 

Feel free to critique my plan or provide any other comments or suggestions.  Most of the driving will be done on the highway, so I’m not overly concerned about driving conditions, but should I be?  Is a Revelstoke day-trip from Golden too ambitious?  Any suggestions on the best places to look for deals (for the sake of my wallet)?

 

Thanks!

post #20 of 21

I would say Jackson.

post #21 of 21
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