Mountain Collective/Ikon/Epic 20/21.

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Re: Mountain Collective/Ikon/Epic 20/21.

Postby ChrisC » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:50 pm

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

Image

(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.
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Re: Mountain Collective/Ikon/Epic 20/21.

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:43 pm

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.
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Re: Mountain Collective/Ikon/Epic 20/21.

Postby ChrisC » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:31 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
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.
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Re: Mountain Collective/Ikon/Epic 20/21.

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:38 pm

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.
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
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Adventure Assurance

Postby ShiftyRider » Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:07 pm

I picked S***w Valley Alpine Meadows re Adventure Assurance. How bout all y'all?

One of the things I looked at was historical closing dates. This site tho not totally accurate seemed to consolidate the data well enough to help with the guess...
https://www.snowpak.com/opening-and-closing-dates

Also some of the graphs at...
https://covid19.healthdata.org/
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Re: Mountain Collective/Ikon/Epic 20/21.

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:39 pm

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 wrote: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?
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
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Re: Mountain Collective/Ikon/Epic 20/21.

Postby ShiftyRider » Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:55 am

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.
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Re: Mountain Collective/Ikon/Epic 20/21.

Postby Sierra Lady » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:36 pm

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!
Always carry chains!
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