Season Plans: 2018-19

Topics of a general nature regarding snowsports, which don't easily fit into one of our other Liftlines categories. This is also the place to post Letters to the Editor.

Season Plans: 2018-19

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:36 am

Another year, another "season plans" destination-trip thread:

Cottonwoods, UT: Dec 13-18
I'd encountered comparative low-tide conditions in previous Decembers, but last year's virtually snowless early season in Utah was the first time that I actually cancelled and ate my flights (redirecting to eastern Switzerland for four out of five powder days). As always, it'd be nice to hit Sundance and/or Snowbasin to mix things up; however, it's unlikely at that point in the winter.

Western Pyrenees, SP and FR: Feb 2-10
I've been planning/putting off this trip for a number of years, but similar to last season's very worthwhile visit to the Maritime Alps, I'm going to step up and get 'er done. With Toulouse as gateway airport, my prospective plan is to ski three days in Spain -- two at Baqueira, the Pyrenees' largest ski area with a huge amount of lift-served off-piste, and one at off-the-beaten-path fave Boí Taüll -- along with single days in France at Peyragudes, Le Mourtis, St. Lary, Grand Tourmalet, and Piau Engaly. It's only scratching the surface of this range but I have to start somewhere.

Gstaad, CH: Mar 9-17
For some reason, I've always been curious about this region straddling the French/German linguistic border of Switzerland less than two hours from the Geneva airport, often written off as a more understated version of St. Moritz but with lesser terrain. Alpinforum trip reports and British articles have portrayed it in more positive terms. I can imagine three or so days at the main circuit along with daytrips to one of the many nearby local's areas including Chateau d'Oex, glacier-equipped Les Diablerets, and Rochers de Naye's stunning views of Lake Geneva.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3337
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Season Plans: 2018-19

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:07 pm

We are flying to Geneva Jan. 16 - Feb. 3. This is the identical time frame as last year's trip, but last year reinforced our view to reserve nothing other than flight and car rental in advance. Hopefully weather will be cooperative enough that we won't be the road warriors we were last year. During the last week of that trip Liz' Diamond Dogs ski club will be at Verbier. Verbier is notoriously expensive, but the Dogs are paying $600/night for hotel, not including dinners or lift tickets. We think we can do better. The research about that trip led us to the great airfare deals, so we locked in that at $566 RT LAX-GVA.

This is the year the Mustang Snowcat dates jump forward to Feb. 23-25, same as my first time there in this time slot in 2013. I have no plans yet how long or at what places the rest of my time in Canada will be. Tseeb will not be in Canada much before or after Mustang and Liz hasn't decided what she wants to do yet.

Iron Blosam week is March 9-16. Since Easter is late this year, that leaves a comfortable window of not busy time after Iron Blosam to ski in the Alps. But since we're going to Europe in the early time frame again, we will leave the later time decision to how the season develops both here and there. Liz would like a Southwest road trip to Telluride and Taos some time. Post Iron Blosam of an average or better season would be a good time for that.

Gstaad does not sound like James' kind of place. But seriously it looks to me like a bad bet for March. https://www.skiresort.info/ski-resorts/ ... ifference/ The only high altitude terrain in the region is the Daiblerets Glacier. All the other areas top out no higher than 2,100 meters. In March you want skiing in the Alps to be 2,000 meters minimum, and over 2,500 is better. This region looks more like Kitzbuhel or Saalbach.

As on my trips, I'd advice James to commit zero $ to lodging in advance for next March. The options from Geneva are almost infinite, and during a non holiday period James will have no problem scoring last minute lodging, especially at under-the-radar places.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9821
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Season Plans: 2018-19

Postby Sbooker » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:49 pm

My dream is to live in the northern hemisphere to make quality skiing more accessible. Coming from sub-tropical Australia the flights are long and expensive. Despite this I have a fair bit planned over the next 15 months.
Late December '18 to mid January '19 I'll be taking my wife and two kids to Europe. Being very early season we will have low expectation snow wise and we realize we may be skiing only man made groomers. We expect to check out the Zillertal Arena in Austria and the hills around Aosta in Italy. There'll be the usual tourist stuff mixed in - Munich, Venice etc. The final week is open so we'll see where the conditions are best. The Dolomites is the area my wife wants to go but if they're wanting for snow we could end up as far west as Tignes or as far north east as Saalbach.

I'm about to pull the trigger on a quick trip (sans kids) in March 2019 and I'm torn between flying into LA and driving up to Mammoth or flying into Tokyo and skiing one of the higher hills in Honshu (Skiga Kogan or Hakuba). I don't find the 12 hour flight to LA that bad and rain is less likely at Mammoth so I'm leaning that way.

August 2019 will take us to Queenstown/Wanaka in NZ for a short break. Only 3 hours flight from Brisbane!

The week before Christmas 2019 we're planning on being in Hokkaido to get some early season turns.

That will be 4 continents in the year 2019. Maybe I should start a 'go fund me' page?
Sbooker
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Season Plans: 2018-19

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:04 am

Sbooker wrote:My dream is to live in the northern hemisphere to make quality skiing more accessible. Coming from sub-tropical Australia the flights are long and expensive.

I didn't realise that the flight time to Chitose is 13+ hours from Australia; for some reason I thought that it was eight or nine. At least you don't have to deal with jet lag.

Tony Crocker wrote:As on my trips, I'd advice James to commit zero $ to lodging in advance for next March. The options from Geneva are almost infinite, and during a non holiday period James will have no problem scoring last minute lodging, especially at under-the-radar places.

Unless I'm writing an article -- where the agenda is set in stone by a host region -- or there are no real bail-out possibilities (e.g. the upcoming Pyrenees visit to a certain extent), I always keep my lodging and/or ski-area options open within reason. I'd like to think that my mostly stellar Alps record over the past 15 years makes that clear.
:bow:
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3337
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Season Plans: 2018-19

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:12 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:I'd like to think that my mostly stellar Alps record over the past 15 years makes that clear.

It's not all that clear because James is also very good at getting the red carpet treatment from many of his Euro hosts. Obviously the language facility is key to that, but I also get the impression that some of these deals have been set up well in advance. So yes I think there's some luck in that track record.

The Gstaad region is far better suited to the late Jan/early Feb time frame than March. But the bottom line is that any of the low altitude places are risky for advance commitments. We have had our eye on Portes du Soleil (in large part from James' report/recommendation) but it was deluged with rain the weekend after we arrived last January. We hope to get a shot at it next January. I'm inclined to prioritize lower altitude places if they look good on short notice, as with Kitzbuhel and Saalbach in 2017.

I have made some advance commitments, notably at the Sandhof (another James find) in Lech, because you're not getting in there if you don't book well ahead. There are no guarantees here, but the Arlberg is medium altitude with high snowfall so worth making an exception. FYI I have plugged the Sandhof for sbooker's upcoming Euro trip.

Verbier's snow record is average but its best terrain is high and north facing. We would have signed up for the Dogs' trip if the price had been attractive. That's supposed to be an advantage of going with a ski club, but not in this case. They are charging 50% more than for Zermatt in 2014, and Zermatt included 5 dinners. FYI Swiss franc was slightly higher ~$1.09 in 2014 vs. ~$1.03 now.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9821
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Season Plans: 2018-19

Postby Sbooker » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:04 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:
Sbooker wrote:My dream is to live in the northern hemisphere to make quality skiing more accessible. Coming from sub-tropical Australia the flights are long and expensive.

I didn't realise that the flight time to Chitose is 13+ hours from Australia; for some reason I thought that it was eight or nine. At least you don't have to deal with jet lag.

Tony Crocker wrote:As on my trips, I'd advice James to commit zero $ to lodging in advance for next March. The options from Geneva are almost infinite, and during a non holiday period James will have no problem scoring last minute lodging, especially at under-the-radar places.

Unless I'm writing an article -- where the agenda is set in stone by a host region -- or there are no real bail-out possibilities (e.g. the upcoming Pyrenees visit to a certain extent), I always keep my lodging and/or ski-area options open within reason. I'd like to think that my mostly stellar Alps record over the past 15 years makes that clear.
:bow:


You are correct. It is a little quicker to fly to Hokkaido. I was referencing the flight to LAX as a trip at the end of March to Japan is a bit questionable due to the chance of rain at the lower elevation hills.
Sbooker
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Season Plans: 2018-19

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:16 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:The Gstaad region is far better suited to the late Jan/early Feb time frame than March. But the bottom line is that any of the low altitude places are risky for advance commitments.

The only things I'm booking in advance are flights to Geneva and the rental car; ski areas and lodging will be chosen at the last minute. Hopefully it'll be similar to this mid-March TR from a few years ago but if not, I'll redirect.
http://snow-and-sun.blogspot.com/2014/0 ... -2014.html
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3337
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Season Plans: 2018-19

Postby tseeb » Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:25 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Tseeb will not be in Canada much before or after Mustang
I hope to get a couple of days at Revy before Mustang, but afterwards I will not get any, and may not even spend night in Canada.

Since Northstar is going to open in 50 days according to the e-mail I received from them this afternoon, it must be time for me to put out my plans and see if I can get any better ideas on where to go on my way to Canada in February. I am getting smarter about booking trips to Mexico as I'm going to Cabo for Halloween/Dia de los Muertos instead of usual Puerto Vallarta in mid-Jan. for my anniversary.

I have Ikon Base and Tahoe Local passes, so in addition to being able to ski Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar, I can go to Alpine, Squaw and Mammoth as long as I avoid holiday blackouts. My wife only has the Ikon Base pass. When we bought it, we thought she was retiring Jan 1, 2019, but it looks like she is going to work one more year so if she does not ski at Alpine, Squaw or Mammoth, she will be using Buddy tickets from my pass which are limited and about $100/day except at Kirkwood where they are more like $80. Or the better deal is if friends still work for CA Vail mountains and share their limited employee day passes.

I have one big trip planned and hope my almost 16 year-old SUV with over 230K miles is up to one more drive to Canada and back. My original idea was to drive to Bend on Sat. 2/16 and ski Bachelor the next two days using a buy one day get next day free from attending TGR movie in SF on Oct. 10. But that makes my ski days Sun/Mon of President's weekend when free ticket is most likely blacked out as "holiday restrictions apply".

Now I'm thinking about doing the slightly longer drive up I-5 and go to Crystal, a recent addition to my Ikon pass, for a couple of days. While Base version of pass is blacked out there on Sat/Sun of that weekend, it could still work. A possible itinerary follows:
Sat Feb 16, Leave Bay Area at 5 AM, drive 6 1/2-7 hours and ski Ashland PM half-day if conditions decent
Sun Feb 17, Drive Ashland/Medford /? in OR to Puyallup, WA (7 hrs/450 miles)
Mon Feb 18, Drive 1 1/2 hrs. to Crystal and ski there, then stay closer than Puyallup
Tues Feb 19, Ski Crystal, drive to Bellingham?
Wed Feb 20, Anywhere worth going? Sasquatch? Most likely will be a drive day
Thur Feb 21, Ski and stay Revelstoke
Fri Feb 22, Ski Revelstoke until 1 pm and drive to Mustang pickup
Sat-Mon Feb 23-25, Cat-skiing Mustang, back at car 3-4-5 pm and drive to at least Golden
Tues Feb 26, If I can make it, ski PM @ Bridger, wife arrives and we stay near BZN at Belgrade
Wed/Thurs/Fri Feb 27-Mar 1 Ski Big Sky, stay 2 nights at Bucks T-4 or Lodge at Big Sky, then drive to W Yellowstone if we are going snowmobiling into Park or Driggs if skiing Targhee
Sat Mar 2 Snowmobile into Park or ski Targhee or Jackson, stay Driggs?
Sun Mar 3 Ski and stay Jackson
Mon Mar 4 Ski Jackson and drive to and stay Evanston
Tues Mar 5 Ski Deer Valley, stay with friends in SLC (wife may fly home after skiing this day)
Wed Mar 6 Ski Brighton with friend whose family runs it (latest day wife will fly home after skiing)

Not sure after that, but I have free days at Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude and Park City in UT and if I want to go to CO at Steamboat and Copper (never been to either), Winter Park, Vail, Breckenridge, A-Basin, Beaver Creek or Aspen (where I have friend I can stay with less than 15 miles before turnoff to Snowmass.
Last edited by tseeb on Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
tseeb
 
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Season Plans: 2018-19

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:49 pm

tsseb wrote:Tues Feb 26, If I can make it,

Golden-Bozeman is 9.5 hours per Google Maps, a full day but doable.

tseeb wrote:ski PM @ Bridger,

I don't think so.

tseeb wrote:then drive to W Yellowstone if we are going snowmobiling into Park

That is much preferred from West Yellowstone vs. from Jackson/Flagg Ranch.

Sun Mar 3 Ski and stay Jackson
Mon Mar 4 Ski Jackson

You may want to spend that time at Driggs/Targhee in that time frame, especially since Lucia is with you. She will not be happy if Jackson is in melt/freeze mode.

tseeb wrote:Wed Mar 6 Ski Brighton with friend whose family runs it (latest day wife will fly home after skiing)
Not sure after that

We arrive Mar. 8 for Iron Blosam week if you choose to extend the trip.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9821
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Season Plans: 2018-19

Postby tseeb » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:52 am

Tony, Thanks for the correction on date above. I did book my wife's flight to BZN on the correct date. I corrected that error and another date error in my previous post. Thanks also for the offer to join you in UT. I will try to extend my trip to be one month (the shortest one) which would mean getting home on Friday, March 15.

Maybe you want to fly into Seattle and ski Crystal and Revy with me before Mustang. I could either drop you in Revy or Golden after Mustang or if you wanted to miss out on Fernie/Castle/Kicking Horse/Banff,etc. you could continue with me to BZN. We should probably take further discussion off-line.
User avatar
tseeb
 
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Season Plans: 2018-19

Postby jimk » Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:18 pm

Skiing mid-Atlantic until Feb, then may see some of you at Big Sky in late Feb. May reside in UT for last half of winter. Got senior pass to Snowbird. Could do a few days elsewhere, TBD.
jimk
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:58 am
Location: NoVa


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use