Mountain Collective/Ikon/Epic 20/21.

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
baldyskier":lq864459 said:
Seems even less likely that US citizens will be skiing in Canada next season.
That's what Mustang thinks. They have cancelled all non-Canadian customers, though we can leave our deposits with them for 2022.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
Interesting to note that golf courses nationwide have reportedly been doing absurdly well during the pandemic.
 

baldyskier

Member
As long as they stay out of the clubhouse. There were some serious Coronavirus outbreaks at ski areas just before the March shutdown. I think gondolas, trams, and bars were suspect.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Golf courses opening in Orange and Riverside Counties in April were what prompted Mt. Baldy to reopen with its "tee time" model. My understanding is that golf course clubhouses did not open, at least in that April phase.
 
I have decided to get the Tahoe Local version of the Epic Pass next season. I was debating whether to buy a pass at an independent mountain like Sierra-at-Tahoe or Mt. Rose. Beginner terrain at Kirkwood and intermediate at Heavenly is the best fit for my family right now. Plus being able to find relatively affordable lodging in South Tahoe helps.

My daughter's school is remote until December. If we get early snow, I will probably spend more time in Tahoe after Thanksgiving. It would be fun to get in a couple of hours of skiing every day. My guess is lot of people are thinking that way so it won't be uncrowded like the week I spent in Tahoe in February.

I have been doing strength training during this lockdown. Hopefully, it translates to a progression in my skiing. I want to ski ungroomed blue and groomed black slopes this season at Kirkwood/Heavenly.

I don't know how lessons are going to work this season. It might be a season of doing drills on my own. I hope I can enrol my daughter in lessons, otherwise, she will just be on the beginner lift the whole season.
 

ChrisC

Active member
I have bought the Mountain Collective for the last 4-5 years - sometimes I got an industry discount ($99-149) via family.

Primarily it gave me access to Squaw/Alpine cheaply, at one time Telluride - and I have used it to ski Jackson (2x), Big Sky, Banff (2x), Revelstoke, Aspen, Valle Nevado, Niseko.

However, this year I think I'm done with annual passes. And day passes. And I'm not going to deal with day reservations, parking passes, etc.

I also hate the drive to Tahoe - specifically the Sacramento suburbs .... pure traffic. So I'm not going to do it this year.

I am going to do one excellent trip - so booked a week with Valdez Heli-Guides in mid-April (prime-time for Alaska). Valdez Heli Guides has rolled backed some prices to 20 yo anniversary charges. Creating my only 4 person COVID-free group (Brother and 2 guys from Japan trip) - and we will have great fun this year.

Valdez has the best steep powder on the planet. Done 2 years with Black Ops (their guides were the original Valdez guys) but want to try a new provider - primarily due to price.

When you get your guides to trust you in Alaska

ZJZatUN.jpg


(Disclaimer: I had COVID last year after skiing in the Alps (after work trip)...and would prefer no new mutations)

Expectations for the year: Going to visit my brother 1-2x in Telluride next year.....and maybe a day trip to Sugar Bowl, Squaw.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
I think 2020-21 is going to be tough for weekend warriors, and undoubtedly that influenced ChrisC's decisions above.

Squaw/Alpine are a particular challenge in terms of traffic/base area chokepoints. Mammoth by contrast has 5 dispersed parking areas from which to access the mountain. Both areas intend now to honor Ikon passes without reservations but I'm a lot more skeptical of Squaw being able to adhere to that, especially on weekends.

Admittedly my experience is a tiny sample size, but I'm not so sure mid-April is still prime season for Alaska. The rain/snow line has moved up significantly at Alyeska in recent years. To get those 4,000 vertical runs, you need the snow to stay good down to 1,500-2,000 feet. Once in 2012 Points North switched strategy midday and went for corn snow on sun exposed pitches, which worked out quite well and got me on the steepest run I've skied in Alaska.

I think I'm done with Alaska heli, but ChrisC is much younger and a far better skier. Canadian cat skiing fits me well, and even there I may have to scale back from Mustang's high octane pace within a few years. But if I were still interested in Alaska, I think I'd go for late March/early April. Daylight increases by 7 minutes per day in March/April and sun intensity along with that.

Both Mustang and Island Lake are deferring non-Canadian clients' deposits to 2021-22 and attempting to resell those seats to Canadians for 2020-21. I'm guessing ChrisC is not anticipating any business trips to Europe during the upcoming ski season.
 

ChrisC

Active member
Tony Crocker":qtaivpzb said:
Admittedly my experience is a tiny sample size, but I'm not so sure mid-April is still prime season for Alaska. The rain/snow line has moved up significantly at Alyeska in recent years. To get those 4,000 vertical runs, you need the snow to stay good down to 1,500-2,000 feet. Once in 2012 Points North switched strategy midday and went for corn snow on sun exposed pitches, which worked out quite well and got me on the steepest run I've skied in Alaska.

I think I'm done with Alaska heli, but ChrisC is much younger and a far better skier. Canadian cat skiing fits me well, and even there I may have to scale back from Mustang's high octane pace within a few years. But if I were still interested in Alaska, I think I'd go for late March/early April. Daylight increases by 7 minutes per day in March/April and sun intensity along with that.

Both Mustang and Island Lake are deferring non-Canadian clients' deposits to 2021-22 and attempting to resell those seats to Canadians for 2020-21. I'm guessing ChrisC is not anticipating any business trips to Europe during the upcoming ski season.

I see your points. But Valdez and up towards Thompson Pass is inland ....and is near 2500ft. Yes, I am getting about 3-4k vertical per run - and that's great!

I had one year April 015/16 - where i skied 50% - but it snowed 20" and then 40"......and then April 16/17 where it did not snow much - but it was cold and the snow was great everyday.

We were trying to go to Canada this year. Personally, I think Alaska is a bit over-rated. You spend a week up there - likely it's 50% ski time. It's not just the money - it's the time. Anyways, I keep going.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Alaska is a crapshoot. My first trip in 2007 was outstanding and included probably the best ski day of my life. So no surprise I returned 3 more times and learned the downside of weather/conditions.

Heli in Canada may have fewer down days but it is more expensive than Alaska and not as exciting terrain. And the odds of Canada being available to US citizens in 2020-21 are not looking good right now.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
It was a no brainer to choose Mammoth for Adventure Assurance. My Ikon visits rate to be even more concentrated there than during a normal season.

Ikon Pass Adventure Assurance":36614nv1 said:
If the one eligible pass destination you select is closed at least 7 consecutive days or 21 total days between Dec 10, 2020 and April 11, 2021 due to COVID-19, you will receive a credit based on the percentage of those days
Length of season/early openings/late closings seem not to be relevant to Adventure Assurance. And only COVID-19 closures, not weather/drought closures apply in any case.

Shifty,
Is easternsierraforum.com dead?
 

ShiftyRider

Member
not weather/drought closures apply in any case
Exactly. That's why you wouldn't wanna pick one that woulda been long-since closed anyway by April 11 like Snowshoe. And if there's a Vermont drought a place like Stratton mighta been closed anyway much more likely than Sugarbush, so even if ya tended to go to Stratton you'd be smarter to have picked Sugarbush. Each and every day before April 12 that the place woulda been closed anyway is another 1/123 potentially relinquished.

Don't mind me but it's silly to base the pick on where one wants to go, unless one is really really short on cash LOL. Sure, I get the logic: all of a sudden the favored form of recreation disappears. For months and months there's been an effort to save up in hopes of having enough money for next season's pass...so better not use any of that for golf course greens fees to replace the skiing. The bank account would be drained, of course. Except...nobody reading this is that poor. Even snowave could just sell one of his horses...

P.S. I changed my location to easternsierraforum.com -- it's a call to anybody from there to register here. Maybe if it's dead some of them can bring some life to firsttracksonline. If that sounds like a good plan, let's find somebody with a Facebook account to rally them kooks.
 

Sierra Lady

New member
Hi Tony and Shifty...here I am!

I probably won’t be too active here since I did not renew my IKON pass for the season and I let my locker at Main Lodge go. I wasn’t sure after my leg injury a year ago (10/3/19) at Mono Cone that I would be able to put pressure on my turns for Alpine skiing. Looks like this winter I will enjoy more easy cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Hope everyone is well during this crazy year! Pray for snow!
 

ShiftyRider

Member
Re guessing the most lucrative Adventure Assurance resort last fall...

If you left it at the default of "All" you got $14 credit.
Blue Mountain was the correct guess, good for $297. (there's a post on AlpineZone from someone from there)

All of us with the pass coulda got $297 if we only knew better.

The choices other than All or Blue were...
Steamboat
Winter Park
Copper Mountain Resort
Eldora Mountain Resort
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
Mammoth Mountain
June Mountain
Big Bear Mountain Resort
Stratton
Sugarbush Resort
Snowshoe
Crystal Mountain
Solitude Mountain Resort
Tremblant
...and I think they all yielded ZERO but I defer to the gallery.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, I didn't quite get it in October that the objective was not to choose the resort that would impact your most personally but the one that was most likely to endure a government mandated COVID closure.

Later last fall I read such a discussion, and Mammoth was mentioned as a promising choice because California was considered to be a potential trigger happy government, and Mammoth's tie to Los Angeles an extra risk factor. California did in fact enact stringent limits that affected Mammoth, primarily the recreational hotel ban from Dec. 5 - Jan. 25. But that lockdown did not include ski area closure so did not affect Adventure Assurance.

Vermont was another promising candidate due to out of state quarantine limits, which if stringently enforced might have closed some places dependent on out-of-state visitors. I'm a bit curious how that all played out in Vermont this season. FYI Vermont is no longer the big COVID success story. Its new case rate has been higher than California's since mid-February and it's been among the highest fifteen states since mid-March.
 

EMSC

Active member
I personally chose to not try to game the system and just chose Eldora since that would have a big impact on my winter if it ever did close.

While Eldora never did close, so no credit; I also had figured that Boulder County being generally far more fearful types than say Summit County, CO might actually go further than the governor might with rules and shutdowns when the inevitable winter increase occurred. (Boulder is a very one sided county politically and loves rules and regulations far beyond the norm with zero risk to incumbent politicians no matter what they do; while Colorado overall is just barely leaning to one side as a state and generally only in the primary Denver/Boulder metro area so the governor has to be much more careful to keep a balance).
 
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