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Minimum Ski Days When Flying for a Trip

jimk

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dlague sort of asked for this in another thread :razz:

Minimum Ski Days When Flying for a Trip

I know it's been a big trend over the last 20 years for Easterners to fly west for long weekends of skiing instead of traditional ski weeks. Folks brag about how they bag Utah powder by skiing the afternoon of arrival, the morning of departure, and a day or two in between. I tried that once skiing at 12000' on the afternoon of arrival from sea level and felt like crap that night. I'm old school and when I get in an airplane I've always stayed for a week or more except for two ski trips with kids in 2005 to CA and 2007 to CO that were only four ski days each due to school schedules.

What's your shortest duration trip by airplane to specifically ski? More generally, why do you fly for short trips? Is it all about inadequate vacation time? Do you try to take several short trips per winter? What about the cost efficiencies of flying less and staying longer? Do you have frequent flyer miles to burn? Are you worn out after three hard charging ski days so you might as well go home? Educate me, what are the pros and cons of short ski trips by airplane?
 

ScottySkis

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When I did it to SLC it was a four day weekend, I took an over night flight on Thursday skiied Fri-Mon then took 8 pm flight home to NYC back in 2009. I would have stayed longer and had stayed longer but I had very limitted vacation time. I am happy I did it snowed a lot.
 

Smellytele

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Usually flying is the most expensive part of the trip with 5 people so I have never done less then 7 days before flying back and always ski at least 5 days. Even before kids the wife and I would never stay/ski less than that. My last trip was 11 days (including 2 travel days) and skied 7 days (only 2 down days - one true down day and 1 went to Mesa Verdi).
 

4aprice

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This gets tricky, because I've tied days skiing in with other business in the west, so I've actually scheduled stops in SLC, gotten a day of skiing and gone on to another destination that evening or the next day. As mentioned in the other thread I have done extended weekends in both Denver and Salt Lake City. For vacation purposes we go for at least 6 days and have gone for as many as 10.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

xwhaler

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2 recent (last 6 yrs) trips come to memory
-Flew to Portland OR to ski Mt Hood Meadows for what amounted to about 3 hrs. The mtn was socked in with fog and the sierra cement was real tough on the lousy rental skis I had. The purpose of the trip was really to see my brother but the skiing was not memorable at all.

-Went to Whistler for 6 nights (+nights in Seattle on arrival and way home) but we only skied 3 days. Probably would have skied more had I been with some buddies but my wife and I enjoyed walking around the village on the non ski days.
 

jimk

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Mixing business with skiing definitely changes the dynamic. I did that once for only two ski days, but then stayed out west five more nights for business before flying home. Traveling with a non-skier or light skier could cut down on ski days, but that's not quite the same thing I'm talking about if you are staying five or six nights before returning. Scotty's hardcore example makes complete sense! :razz: Better to ski four intense days and get a chance at Utah powder without using up much vacation time, than never taking the opportunity. What confuses me are the people that have lots of money and presumably good job benefits that do weekend trips? I guess saving vacation time for other things?
 

HowieT2

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3 days of skiing, but in retrospect, I'd prefer to take a week and get 5-6 days of skiing out of it.
 

dlague

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I have not flown any where specifically for skiing. We plan on a trip to Banff this season to ski for 4-5 days which I am looking forward to. Outside of skiing, we have taken long weekend trips to California (Manchester, NH to San Diego, CA). Thursday evening to Sunday evening.
 

skiNEwhere

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5 days. I'd like to hit whistler one year and get in at least 5 days of skiing.

Hey dlague, I never heard anything back from the guy running that banff trip. If there are still openings can you send me the info?
 

dlague

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5 days. I'd like to hit whistler one year and get in at least 5 days of skiing.

Hey dlague, I never heard anything back from the guy running that banff trip. If there are still openings can you send me the info?

I will PM you!
 

trackbiker

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It would depend on where I was flying to. If you fly to Denver and then have a 2 hr. additional drive I would say 4 ski days. If you fly to Salt Lake City or Reno where the skiing is close by I would say three ski days.
Most of my flying trips have been in conjunction with business trips where I tacked a few days on for skiing at the beginning or preferably end of the trip.
 

Boxtop Willie

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I travel a lot for work. Have perfected the "Connect through SLC and take 3 days to change planes". Bring boots, rent skis, dorm in Little Cottonwood Canyon lodge, public transportation, lift tickets from Smith's grocery. Makes for an affordable excursion. Do it at least once a winter. Wife hates me for it.
 

wa-loaf

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I like to get at least 4 days in, but 3 will do. Airfare has gone up the last couple seasons so a longer stay is needed to justify the tickets.
 

gmcunni

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with family i've done a 5 day trip out west. if i was solo or just going with a buddy i'd consider 3 days.
 

thetrailboss

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Did two west coast tours before moving out here. One was to Tahoe and we took a whole week--skied four or five of those days at Squaw and Homewood. It worked out great and I had enough time to relax. Coming back involved terrible jet lag though.

Second trip was for my wife to interview at programs in Denver and SLC. We did that one in six days IIRC. That worked very well too. Left on a Wednesday, came back Tuesday. Spent Weds-Sat in Denver, and Sat-Tues in SLC. Wish I had more time in SLC.

So in my experience, and in coming back to the east coast as well, nothing really less than five days seems to work.
 

Domeskier

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I once booked a flight to Boston to spend a day skiing Bretton Woods on a voucher. Work intervened and I had to eat the cost of the flight.
 

Hawkshot99

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I have made 2 trips to UT fo skiing. Both times we flew out on Monday(once on a 6am flight, and once on a 3pm flight) and returned on the late night flight Friday.In my line of work, a weekend day off is not doable. In fact I have only had 1 weekend day off during ski season in 6 years....

When we go out Monday is a travel day. If a afternoon flight, then I work in the morning to avid using a vacation day. If a morning flight we have turned the afternoon in UT into a business day and visited manufactures. We ski full days tues-thurs, and then ski a half day on Friday on our way to the airport. Land back in Albany at midnight(if all flights are on time) and be at work 730am on Sat!

Would love to go longer, but not possible for myself.
 

jaytrem

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For a pure ski trip the minimum I've done if 4 full days. Was a late season in CO trip. I figure if I'm going through the hassle of getting on a plane and renting a car I might as well stay as long as possible. I think my current minimum would be 5 full days. Once you hit 6 you're getting close to tacking on an extra weekend, so might as well make it 8. :)
 
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