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May 08, 2006

So Let's Talk Some Skiing

It is approaching the middle of May and the season ended almost a month ago. The snow is melting. Temperatures are rising. But 2006-07 is really not that far awy. Pretty soon, we will have that first snowfall, if just a dusting. Then the snowmaking. Then it will be upon us. Just because the season is over, does not mean I can't think snow.

So I wanted to compile a list of "have done's" and "to do's" of the places that I have skied in the west and want to next season. You like some places or they are close, so when you go, they are just where you go. I only skied two places this year, Alta and Brian Head. I had my condo. It was comfortable. It was where I went. Not the best skiing, but the easiest, simplest, cheapest. Season Pass. Condo paid for.

You will see a lot about me based on the skiing decisions I make. Price is a huge factor. Take 30 days times two people times $75 per lift ticket and you are approaching $5k in lift tickets. At $40 a ticket, I can ski either twice as much or twice as cheap. And I dig skiing with folks that wear their work coveralls or the 20 year old skis, believe it or not. I mean, not that they are what I want everyone to be like, but the fact that they are there means that the rich elitists aren't. I want affordable and friendly, not exclusive and uppity.

Feel free to chime in about any and all of the above. What do you look for? Big resort versus small? Value versus heated gondolas? Caviar versus a $4 hotdog with canned nacho cheese? Realize that for me, pow is pow, a mountain is a mountain. I want great snow, mellow folks, good prices, decent lifts, and other people that are like me--they want to ski a ton on a budget not drop $10k for a week in Aspen

Here are the resorts I have skied in the last three years:

  • Big Sky, Montana
  • Red Lodge, Montana
  • Discovery Basin, Montana
  • A-basin, Colorado
  • Loveland, Colorado
  • Wolf Creek, Colorado
  • Alta, Utah
  • Brian Head, Utah
  • Snowbowl, Arizona
  • Sunrise, Arizona

Now for next year, my to-do list:

  • Sunlight, Colorado (gotta meet up with John)
  • Steamboat, Colorado (because I can mooch off of Wil from 120 Days, oh, and Steam Boat is as fat of a resort as it gets)
  • Brighton, Solitude, Park City, Deer Valley, the Canyons, Utah (not all at once and maybe not all of them, but at least a couple)
  • Telluride, Colorado
  • Durango, Colorado
  • Copper, Vail, Aspen, Keystone, Breck or one of the other Summit Area resorts (not all, but try one or two that I haven't hit)
  • Tahoe... any and or all.
  • Mammoth

Problem is that when I got to Summit, I go to A-basin or Loveland. I just like the feel, the prices, the damned hitch-hiking kids on the pass. Why pay more to go hang with Richie Rich?

I go to SLC, and it is Alta and only Alta. It is Mecca. Why deny it and go somewhere else? Again prices, convenience, experience. Alta is so close to perfection, why tempt fate. The Snow. The price. The fact that it is Alta.

Southern Colorado, and it is the Wolf. No lift lines. Trees and glades. The price. The feel of the resort. The fact that you can lose yourself doing lap after lap on Alberta all day. Telluride is absolutely awesome by all accounts, but double the money and further.

I will start reviewing each individual resort I have been to in more detail during the offseason.

Posted by Justin at May 8, 2006 02:27 PM