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Moved from Florida to Jersey looking for advice and tips.

bossdog

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I lived in Florida for 25 years but would go north and ski every other year or so while visiting family. We would frequent a small slope in Indiana and conditions were never ideal but I loved it none the less. Just moved into NW Jersey earlier this year and I’m looking transition from a "family outing sliding down a sheet of ice setting" into a more serious winter activity. It’s been about 4 years since I’ve skied, but I’d say my skill level was at intermediate or beginner / intermediate. I wasn’t pizzaing down trails, and I was comfortable on blue square trails in icy conditions.

My new boss and his family are much more advanced skiers than I, and I’ve been invited to their new house in Vermont to go skiing as the season progresses. I’m not expecting to drop into the most difficult trails with them but I don’t want to look like a complete fool either. So I want to get a season pass to one of the local resorts to get some practice in and get some gear that won’t break the bank.

Mountain Creek Resort is less than a ½ an hour from my house and seems to have a pretty varied trail selection. So I’ll probably get set up there. If there are any other locations that are recommended I’d love to know.

Living in Florida there was no real need for gear. I’d go to the rental shop and ski in my jeans and motorcycle jacket. I’d like to do a lot of skiing this season, but I can’t break the bank of equipment. My knowledge level on what I need is rather low but I see the cost adding up quickly. I’ve done a bit of research but still need more info, if I can get a nice cheap basic setup this year I’ll upgrade some of it next year.

I’m 5’10 and 210 pounds, I plan to struggle at first and pick it back up quickly. I’ve been looking at intermediate-ish all mountain skis that are about 170-180cm (sound right for my height weight?) that are cheap. I came across these skis but can’t find any other info on them besides a few reviews on the site they are listed on. IF they are half way decent I would want to snag them asap while they are on sale and upgrade next year.

http://www.levelninesports.com/Head-Shape-01-Skis

Any other advice or tips for someone that was a casual rental user transitioning to something more serious would be helpful.

Thanks for any insight!
 

Edd

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I just want to be the first here to congratulate you on leaving Florida!
 

Domeskier

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You might want to consider getting a pass to Mt. Peter or Tuxedo Ridge in NY. They are smaller than Mountain Creek but a lot cheaper, and you'll be less likely to be run down by an out-of-control skier/boarder. If a larger area with varied terrain is important to you, check out the nearby resorts in the Poconos. Like Mountain Creek, they can get extremely crowded on weekends. Unlike Moutain Creek, you wil not feel like you are risking life and limb from the moment you get off the lift.
 

wa-loaf

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Spend the most amount of money on your ski boots. They are the key to your happiness. Find a shop with a boot fitter near where you will be skiing. Make sure they will spend a lot of time with you getting fit and that you can go back for adjustments.
 

hammer

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Welcome to the boards and congrats for leaving Florida. I vacation there frequently and believe strongly that it's a great place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

Sure others will chime in as well but I think you are close on the ski length. Not sure whether the skis listed would be too soft for your weight though. FWIW this shop comes recommended and they can have some nice deals. Picked up skis there in the spring.

Can you make it to a local ski swap? You may be able to get a decent used ski that you won't overflex and overdrive once you get off the greens. I got a good deal on a cheater race ski at a swap, they don't look the greatest but they are structurally sound and they hold an edge real nice on good old eastern hardpack.

If you are limited on budget I'd also suggest you focus on boots. Next thing is to have a decent helmet.

And please, if you can't get the latest and most expensive in ski clothing at least don't go out there in a motorcycle jacket and jeans. Try hitting up TJMaxx for a basic set of snow pants and make sure you have a decent basic winter jacket. You don't need to spend big bucks to have a clothing setup that will keep you reasonably warm when you are out there falling, I mean learning.
 

jaysunn

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This:
I just want to be the first here to congratulate you on leaving Florida!

Laughed out loud at work. @bossdog I hope you enjoy it when you head to Vermont or NY to Ski, I was in Florida for a month for my first time in October, wow it's flat.
 

4aprice

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You've got some pretty good choices from NW NJ (I live here). Mountain Creek (If you can stand it), Blue Camelback and Elk are all easy day trips from here and worth exploration. Catskills are 2 - 2 1/2 hours away with Hunter, Windham, Belleayre and Plattekill. Berkshire's are also within reach with Catamount, Butternut, and Jiminy Peak. Finally if your close to 287 its easy to get to the NY Thruway and Southern Vermont and the Adirondacks are easy an easy 4 (approx) trip. I would say our Boston friends are a little better located for skiing but we really aren't too bad.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

andrec10

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Spend the most amount of money on your ski boots. They are the key to your happiness. Find a shop with a boot fitter near where you will be skiing. Make sure they will spend a lot of time with you getting fit and that you can go back for adjustments.

Take a trip to the Pro Ski and Ride and talk to Keith (You may want to make an appt). He will set you up and won't break the bank.
 

Savemeasammy

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If you are getting a pass, then pick someplace close to you. If you want to improve, nothing will help more than putting in the time. The further your home mountain is, the more time you will spend driving rather than skiing. You will also be more inclined to ski when you only have limited time if your drive is short. I'd consider it a bonus if your chosen hill has night skiing.

You might look for skis on craigslist. That way you can do a bit of research on the skis that pique your interest.

Don't be shy about spending money on good boots! Skiing in painful boots would probably suck...!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

bossdog

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Thanks for the warm welcome and information!

I was actually planning on skiing mostly on weekdays as my work schedule is rather flexible. I'll still check out some of the other suggestions, but mountain creek being 20 minutes from my house is a huge plus for me. I could load up before work, leave around noonish 2-3 days during the week, get in a few hours on the slopes and still be home for dinner. Looks like there is a small place in Mahwah which is pretty close to one of my offices but it doesn't seem to have much variety.

Thanks for the boot tip. There is a Pelican shop (funny coming from Florida) right near one of my office locations so I'll go there and get fitted for boots and find the boot type i'm looking for before buying something online.

The comment about the skis i listed being too soft for my weight, what impact will that have? I'm actually planning on dieting and exercising after Thanksgiving to get in shape for skiing so I'll be down to 200 pretty quick (not sure how much of a difference 10 pounds will make though)

Gear is on the list right after boots and skis. My motorcycle jacket was actually pretty nice, light, warm, waterproof and windbreaking but I'll definitely be replacing it with a ski jacket. I'll have the wife keep an eye out at the department stores for some deals. Is a helmet required? I've never used one where I went before, and don't remember seeing a lot of people waring them.

I agree with the Florida comments. Great place to visit and get old at but I wouldn't want to move back. And yeah... it is flat... i went out golfing here and I've never seen such a beautiful course. It's just absolutely gorgeous up here and I can't wait to see what the mountains looks like covered in snow.
 

snoseek

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Agree with waloaf on the boots. After that buy some used skis or check out goodwill for clothing. I would pick a place close for the first year and go as much as possible, get out every week if you can. Next year invest in better equipment and try bigger better mountains.
 

ss20

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Skiing an icy intermediate trail in Indiana that's 300 vertical feet is the size of a large bunny slope here in the Northeast. Most of the local mountains here are between 600 and 1200 vertical feet. Then in Vermont all the big mountains have 2,000-3,000 vertical feet.
My point- I'd start with half day tickets at the smallest mountains. Your legs will want to KILL you after 5 runs. Skiing once a year and being 210 pounds isn't helping you either.

Also, I wouldn't commit to a single mountain. You just went from Florida to NJ. You love skiing. There's a whole world of skiing out there that's brand new to you. Do you really want to commit to a single mountain for a whole year? Or would you rather try a new mountain every week? There's plenty of deals on this site as well as dozens of other skiing sites that make daytripping very affordable.

Glad to have you here in the Northeast, hope to see you on the slopes!
 

SnowRock

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If I were you I would pick up a discount card or two and triple ticket deal for a few different mountains vs a seasons pass at creek.

Mountain Creek has their triple ticket and camelback and hunter both have similar deals plus discount cards that make it cheaper and allow you to try a few different places.

Elk is about the same distance as Hunter and a great change of pace once we get some snow.
 

goldsbar

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I live in NJ. The further you go from NJ, the better the skiing. Not only are the mountains better in NY, VT and even PA, but the crowds and "attitude" are also better. Still, if you can go midweek as you say, Mountain Creek isn't a bad plan.
 

NotEasyBeingGreen

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It's kind of dorky, but just don't give up. I think you may be at the point in the learning curve where it's easy to get frustrated and some days you'll think you should really have skiied better than you did and it can get frustrating. Just keep focused on the one spectacular run you are bound to have on every outing and keep at it.

Also - husband is from FL and I'm from TX. If you already love it "up north" then you're all set - it will only get better the more you see of this beautiful part of the country. Plus, you've still got the beaches. Good luck and happy wintah!
 

tarponhead

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Thanks for the warm welcome and information!


Thanks for the boot tip. There is a Pelican shop (funny coming from Florida) right near one of my office locations so I'll go there and get fitted for boots and find the boot type i'm looking for before buying something online.
[/QUOTE

Or you can just go to Heinos in Pequannock, make an appointment with Greg who is the best bootfitter in the area. He will set you up right. And if you can tolerate rentals until March you will get an awesome deal when they have their sale
 

freeski919

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Boss, glad to see you're excited and ready to dive into skiing more! As you are looking at pass deals, I strongly recommend you ask about any complimentary or discounted lessons you could get with your pass. As a low intermediate without frequent skiing experience, you're at a crucial point in skiing. I can guarantee you have some inefficient movement patterns in your skiing. You may not notice them now, but as you progress, they'll become pretty significant barriers to your improvement. And the longer you ski with those inefficient patterns, the deeper they'll get ingrained, and the harder they'll be together rid of. Take as many lessons as you can. If you're skiing for 3 or 4 hours, take an hour lesson then practice. That is definitely the best way to improve quickly. And if you're thinking only first timers take lessons, don't. I've been an instructor for 11 years, and I take instruction all the time. Its like golf. Lessons help everybody.
 

mightaswell

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I suggest you give Belleayre a try. I'm in central Nj and go there for my day trips. It's a 2.5 hour ride for me but should be better for you. I think it's a great size place with a good variety and quality of terrain. I also like the pleasantness of the people that work there as well as customers.

I agree with another poster about getting good fitting boots. I brought my son to a local REI last week to get sized and then bought the same boots for over $200 less online (sunandski.com). Sometimes REI has very good prices as well.
 

ERJ-145CA

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Mountain Creek is a good place to go mid-week. I live 10 minutes away and have a weekday pass and it really is nice to have a 1000' vertical area that close. Weekdays are not crowded at all and it's mostly locals. I've only skied there on a weekend couple of times and it was at night so it wasn't crowded. Weekends during the day it's packed.

I used to go to Hidden Valley (which was 5 minutes down the road from MC) on weekends because it was much more mellow and was good for the kids. HV doesn't look like it's going to open this season as the owners ran out of money and it's on the auction block, I wouldn't be surprised if it's permanently closed as it needs a ton of money poured into it to get it viable IMO.

Mt. Peter in Warwick, NY is about 20 minutes east of MC and is small but great for beginners and low intermediates. They do a fantastic job snowmaking and really keep the area in good shape. On weekends it's also not nearly as crowded as MC. Since HV is closed Mt. Peter is going to be the place I'll take my kids on the weekends. They usually sell unlimited passes for the next season really cheap in the spring.

I'll second Greg at Heino's for a bootfitter, definitely the best in the area.
 
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