Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:29 pm
Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:37 am
Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:41 pm
sbooker wrote:I'm pretty sure they're hooked which from a life long cost perspective is a big burden to carry.
sbooker wrote:I did give my kids the option of a trip to snorkel on the Barrier Reef in August in place of skiing and to my pleasure they opted for skiing.
Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:02 pm
Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:43 pm
sierra_cement wrote:Nice plans, Sbooker. You are really committed to skiing with all those costs. Our travels are made possible by frequent flyer miles and we wouldn't be flying to ski if we had to pay cash. I have heard that it's not easy to earn FF miles outside the US.
After spending a lot of time with Tony's data and reading comments from people here, this year we did not book any flights for Xmas trip. I think I won the snow lottery last year with Thanksgiving and Christmas trips to Colorado and don't want to push my luck.
Xmas/NY: we will drive to ski at Mt. Rose if conditions are good. Otherwise, we will go to San Diego for a few days.
Jan MLK weekend:Flying to Utah. I think the famous places in Utah will be very crowded on this weekend, so we are thinking about checking out Beaver Mountain in Northern Utah based on recommendation from a Pugski Unofficial guide.
Jan 31 to Feb 2: Trip to Utah without family. Ski at Alta with a friend who will be attending a conference at Snowbird.
President's day weekend: no plans to ski
Feb 22 to 29: taking a full week off to ski at Mt Rose. My guess is this will be an uncrowded week in Tahoe. The likelihood of good conditions is high as per Tony's chart. I have identified a CSIA Level II instructor and I hope that private lessons will improve our skiing. I was also lucky to get a timeshare exchange into the Hyatt High Sierra Lodge, so I'm hoping the luxury accommodations would create an association of skiing = fun in my wife's and daughter's mind. My 4.5 y.o. daughter is more enthusiastic about skiing than my wife.
Easter April 10-12: Booked flights to Utah. We will probably sleep at lower elevation as the trip is only for 3 days. We will most likely ski at Brighton but might make a decision last minute to ski at Alta instead.
We will do a few weekend trips to Tahoe on weekends if weather is clear. The drive becomes very long during a storm and I don't know how to ski powder anyway.
Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:27 pm
Tony Crocker wrote:It has dawned upon me that the flip side of our experience last July is that it is very expensive for Aussies to travel.
Sbooker's air cost to Japan is about the same as ours. Travel between North America and Australia/NZ is probably more expensive during our winter/their summer than vice versa. That's better for us than for sbooker. Travel for us to Europe is no question cheaper in winter than summer, good for skiers and for the past two years there have been very good deals available for winter in October.
I don't know how it works with mileage programs in Australia, but in the US it pays to have a premium credit card tied to an airline awards program. My Delta Reserve card gets me 70K+ award miles every year plus the majority of qualification miles for Gold Status. There are other perks like lounge access and no baggage fees. One of the issues with the South Pacific is that it is poorly served by Delta and its partners. However, we were generally unable to use United (Air New Zealand) or American (Qantas, Fiji Airways) miles for last July's travel either.sbooker wrote:I'm pretty sure they're hooked which from a life long cost perspective is a big burden to carry.
I've always thought that about the southeast quadrant of the USA. There are some very active ski clubs in Florida. But Brisbane takes this to a completely different level. Is there a worse first world location for a skier? Maybe Perth? Interestingly there was a couple from Perth on the 2011 Antarctic ski cruise. Their son was the only child on that cruise.sbooker wrote:I did give my kids the option of a trip to snorkel on the Barrier Reef in August in place of skiing and to my pleasure they opted for skiing.
There you have an advantage. That's driving distance for you, at least the southern end, Lady Eliot and Heron Islands. FYI Heron Island was the first place I did scuba in 1997, a supervised resort dive. Heron runs a tight ship on diving, won't take kids under 14. Snorkeling can be excellent too.
Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:31 pm
Sbooker wrote:Sounds fun. The late season trips are a great time for families. We have done quite a few and have even experienced proper powder days at Alta in early April. Hopefully you get lucky.
Sbooker wrote:I'm not in any great position to offer advice on skiing but I can tell you we have had great skiing conditions with minimal crowds in Banff (Sunshine, Lake Louise) at that time of year also. The first time we visited my kids were 5 and 7. Both hills have diverse terrain from gentle groomers to more advanced stuff for you. We encountered winter snow both times (with the exception of the front side of Lake Louise) at both mountains. The top half of Whistler has also offered us great skiing at that time of year too.
Sbooker wrote:I guess you would be familiar with good April skiing with Mammoth presumably pretty close to you?
Sbooker wrote:Again I'm in no position to offer advice but I would suggest that the more exposure you have to 'powder' the better you will become. For that reason April again is a good time to visit Banff because 4 to 6 inch powder days are still common at that time of year I believe (we have scored a few of them). Perfect for an introduction to fresh snow.
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:34 am
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:55 pm
Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:52 pm
Tony Crocker wrote:Liz and I had settled into a pattern that will change a little bit in 2020. Liz is taking a Kristen Ulmer clinic at Alta the last weekend of January, which means we won't be going to the Alps in the usual timeframe that we have copied from James with much success the past 3 seasons.
The period after Iron Blosam Week is also viable for the Alps, with the caveat that to be over there for 2+ weeks we would like to see a late Easter so not to run into school holidays. Last year would have been ideal for that but we couldn't resist the $566 airfare bargain in January.
I first checked Euro airfares a month ago and found them in the $1,200/60K miles range, so decided to wait awhile. Maybe late October is a good time to book. It's not the fire sale of a year ago, but fares dropped to $825/41K miles so I pulled the trigger to fly March 17 - April 7.
41K miles + $84 fees is very good for USA-Europe, though with caveats:
1) That deal was only available on Tue/Wed flights.
2) Paid tickets have just one stop in AMS or CDG. By using miles we have a second plane change in Minneapolis or Detroit. James can comment on whether this tradeoff is worth the risk given my track record with luggage. At least both stops are about 2 hours.
I'm relaxing my standards a bit for cashing miles in view of being almost shut out completely last July and having to pay $2,800pp for airfares on that trip to Tahiti/Australia/Vanuatu. So we also paid 26K miles + $56 fees for RT Calgary in February instead of about $470. The Canada trip is Feb. 19 - Mar. 1. FYI Liz will be at Island Lake overlapping my time at Mustang.
Given the late January timing of Liz' Utah clinic, it's almost certain we'll go to Jackson Hole immediately before or after.
Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:40 pm
Sbooker wrote:Still heading to the Alps Tony? Could be risky from a cancellation perspective. Lots of rumours on Snowheads that French and Austrian resorts will be closing within the week.
The White House is considering placing all of Europe under a Level 3 travel advisory, discouraging all nonessential travel there to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.
China is at a Level 4, which discourages all travel to the country. South Korea and Italy are at Level 3, though some regions in both countries are at a Level 4 because of the prevalence of the outbreak.
Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:20 pm
Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:59 am
Tony Crocker wrote:Hats off to James for the precision timing of his Alps trip.
Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:18 am
Tony Crocker wrote:I will fly to Bozeman and join him next week when Liz returns to Florida.
Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:24 pm