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Ski the East...or not?

jimk

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All this talk of heading west has me thinking of a trip to Snowbird for myself. Anyone have experience between Iron Blossom, The Lodge, and The Cliff hotel rooms? Just book the cheapest, or is one preferable?
Just go with cheapest. All pretty similar with good access to slopes. Budget seekers stay 20 minutes away in suburban SLC at chain motels for $100 or less per night. Renting a 4wd is good if you're sharing costs, but I've often got by with economy car if trying to save. Then there is public bus option when it snows, but that can be crowded on pow days. It's good to stay up LCC if you're on a rare vacation to avoid hassles.

I’ve done a lot of ski travel over the decades, but much of it was by automobile, including numerous cross-country drives. I’m not as experienced at flying and never held a job where I flew much.
Since 2016 I’ve gotten more flying experience, specifically because I’ve flown from Wash DC to SLC about 8 times. Although it might have been worthwhile, I don’t do frequent flyer miles because, as mentioned, I rarely flew for any other reasons during that time (or before).
I used Kayak-type sites or airline sites to find my fares and I would sometimes buy tickets months in advance. Other times I’d buy a fare just 2 or 3 weeks in advance (and pay more for that tardiness/spontaneity). My rdtrp fares from Wash DC to SLC usually ranged from $200-300. Highest might have been about 350. Lowest was $138 rdtrp in May 2018 when I went out to help son paint his house exterior. I flew a variety of airlines such as Delta, SWA, Frontier; generally whatever was lowest for specific dates. Delta usually cost a bit more, but I found them more user-friendly with better chance for non-stops, and they had some convenient flight times on my route that allowed for last-day skiing. My wife and I once in 2017 took voluntarily bumps on an afternoon flight out of SLC when Delta paid us $800 each (in future flight credits) to switch from a 5pm to a 9pm (redeye) flight. Another time I took a voluntary bump in similar scenario by myself when Delta paid me $700 in Am Ex gift card (good as cash). A third time I got involuntarily bumped when ice storm in Atlanta caused nationwide delays for Delta. They gave me a $150 future flight credit and some meal money for that delay, but I had to stay an extra day at son’s Utah house before flying home. I only work about 20-25 hrs per week the last four years, so I probably tolerate these travel/flight disruptions better than a lot of you, plus I have a free place to stay in Utah.
PS: Best Utah storm cycle I ever caught was a week in Jan 2017 (81") on an airline ticket I bought three months in advance: http://www.dcski.com/forum/91448
 
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benski

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Delta has a picture of Sugarbush on there Facebook page now. Which brings the question, how many people are flying to ski Vermont? I know someone who did this. But only for a free place to stay in spite of not being able to stay awake his entire drive.
 

jimk

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For Wash DC and points south taking a flight to VT is a serious consideration. I never did it in dozens of trips up there. I’m too cheap, and I always wanted my car to commute from my motel to the slopes once up there. I was usually on a family budget and not staying slopeside. Also, I tolerate long drives pretty well when sufficiently motivated. Sometimes air fares from DC to Manchester can be pretty good and driving from down here does entail an increasingly expensive gauntlet of highway tolls, so the flight/drive cost differential may be getting closer. However, my advice to most local friends about this is if getting into an airplane I recommend going west than north because of more consistent good ski conditions for minor additional cost.
FYI from DC to Mt. Snow is approx. 8-9 hrs, to Stowe maybe 11 hrs in good driving conditions.
 

abc

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The cost comparison between drive vs fly need to include cost of rental cars at the destination.

That's why we in this country almost ALWAYS drive to destination that's less than 5 hours away, and often even for drives that are 8 hrs or even 10 hrs away. The need for a rental car adds substantially to the equation when flying. e.g. you may get a $150 round trip flight from DC to Burlington. But add the rental car @$50/day, you're suddenly up to $300 for a weekend getaway!

(Driving, you have your own car at the destination. Then, there's also the luggage cost. though that's not quite as high as the rental car.)

I hate long drives. But once factor in the cost of rental car, I always ended up driving anywhere that's less than a day's drive away.

It's only for destination that are far away, then flying makes a lot more sense.
 

Zand

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If I lived where I had to fly just go get to VT (south of DC is probably where that limit begins) I would never fly to VT and exclusively fly west. If you have to deal with the hassle and expense either way why would you NOT go west unless you have family or friends in VT.
 

BenedictGomez

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If I lived where I had to fly just go get to VT (south of DC is probably where that limit begins) I would never fly to VT and exclusively fly west. If you have to deal with the hassle and expense either way why would you NOT go west unless you have family or friends in VT.

Pretty much everyone in America agrees.

If you had the ability to compare auto/plane travel for east/west ski resorts they would likely be dramatically different.
 

crank

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All this talk of heading west has me thinking of a trip to Snowbird for myself. Anyone have experience between Iron Blossom, The Lodge, and The Cliff hotel rooms? Just book the cheapest, or is one preferable?


Iron Blossam is fine. Nice hot tub. Decent restaurant. It's been 4 seasons but I found a studio thereon Craigslist for $600 for a full week. We stayed 6 nights and skied 5 days but it was still a bargain. Only thing about being trapped up there with no car is you are at the mercy of the expensive crappy little grocery store in Snowbird's lodge and a few over priced restaurants. Maybe Uber to tge resort rather than airport shuttle and stop at a grocery and liquor store along the way?


Regarding subject of this thread... I go both ways - last year I skied 2 days in VT and 18 out west on 3 trips. The year before I didn't ski the east at all and skied 20 something days out west. This year I have been to Stowe a few days and have plans to drive up to Eastern Townships and Jay for a week in Feb. and then meet some guys at Stowe and Sugarbush at the end of March. I am going to Val d'Isere for a week and will not head west at all this season... was invited and was considering going with my buddies in the next paragraph but wanted to stay home for some stupid reason.

I have friends in their 50's who still do the Killington ski house thing. They are a subset of my friends who are total powder hound storm chasers and these guys head north only if there is a big storm. They also head west only when the weather pattern is promising. Bastards just caught the last series of storms at Jackson Hole and a few of them are still out there and are driving down to SLC for a few more days.
 

BenedictGomez

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Iron Blossam is fine. Nice hot tub. Decent restaurant. It's been 4 seasons but I found a studio thereon Craigslist for $600 for a full week. We stayed 6 nights and skied 5 days but it was still a bargain. Only thing about being trapped up there with no car is you are at the mercy of the expensive crappy little grocery store in Snowbird's lodge and a few over priced restaurants.

Stayed a night at the Cliff Lodge this summer, and I dont think I'd want to stay at Snowbird in the winter for this reason. The place is nice enough, but you're completely captive, and honestly the service was terrible, and that's coming from someone who doesnt care much about service. Restaurants basically shut when they feel like rather than by posted hours, and this was during an extremely busy, near sold out or sold out weekend. We had to wander to several restaurants to find one "willing" to serve us, and this was only at about 9pm, and even then, it was limited menu. Employees were disgruntled too and bitching about call-outs and lack-of-accountability from management regarding "bad" employees; I really got a very bad vibe from the place.
 

mfi

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When its storming ide rather be there than stuck on the access road...cheese crackers and some wine and im good
 

Dickc

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While I know there are additional costs associated with wear and tear on a vehicle, I just got back to Logan. Parking from Friday morning until today was $158. I can fill my Alltrack up five times for that amount and complete two round trips to Wildcat per fill up. So, ten trips. Mind you I also have a 120 mile round trip commute plus tolls on top of the Logan parking expense.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using AlpineZone mobile app

There is a Logan Express in Peabody. Park there, ride the Logan bus. You need to get off on Route One in Danvers as the 95 exit come out about 50 yards too far to go right there.
 
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What really cracks me up is a lot of them bring their Eastern skis...and die in the deep snow...some do get it..and rent some fat boys...after dying..in the powder. :)

What do people think about this? Sounds like my 85mm waist Kendos may not be worth bringing out west, but how do the fat boys handle the trees and bumps?
 

Siliconebobsquarepants

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What do people think about this? Sounds like my 85mm waist Kendos may not be worth bringing out west, but how do the fat boys handle the trees and bumps?

It's been a while but western bumps are filled with packing peanuts . Eastern bumps are made with recycled concrete.
You'll be fine with the fat boys.
 

jimk

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What do people think about this? Sounds like my 85mm waist Kendos may not be worth bringing out west, but how do the fat boys handle the trees and bumps?

I'd bring your 85mm skis. There is about a 65% chance they will be just fine. If you catch approx 10" or more new snow, then you might want to rent a fatter ski for a day or two. Even when no new snow your 85mm will be among the most narrow skis in Little Cottonwood Canyon:)
 

tnt1234

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What do people think about this? Sounds like my 85mm waist Kendos may not be worth bringing out west, but how do the fat boys handle the trees and bumps?

I skied my 88m Bushwackers at Breckenridge this year and they were fine. Didn't snow while we were there though. Had it, Iw ould have rented - not that I can't, and don't ski powder with them, but just because it would be fun to try something fatter.
 

prsboogie

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I have to make the assumption this person is single? Which makes me think, how many of us here are single vs. have families in tow? Changes the equation.....

Also, someone mentioned equal time Boston to SLC vs driving North? Some bad math in those calculations when you look at the all in travel time.
This ^^ if you are a single person the costs are not that unreasonable, PVD to SLC is about $350 RT, x 4 ~ $1400 then lodging and lift tickets, meals transfers etc.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 
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