2019-20 Season Recap

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.

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Re: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:12 am

I chatted with Patrick on my drive yesterday and heard about Whistler. I see Vail fingerprints on this decision. BC has controlled the virus very well. It’s hard for me to see how Whistler could not have run its camps even if it did not open to the public.

Patrick is leaning toward the Alps for late summer if travel restrictions are eased. July may be backcountry in the Chic-Choc’s. He stealthily skied St. Sauveur to get June.

Patrick says Tuckerman’s and virtually all hiking in the NH White Mountains remain off limits. This is obnoxious in view of the low risk outdoors and particularly in sunlight. NH needs to retire it’s “Live Free or Die” license plates. :lol:
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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: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby EMSC » Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:21 pm

Not a lot of time or desire ATM to write up a big post. Decent season, couple real nice powder days at Copper and Keystone of all places then the stupidity ensued. 29 total days. No new-to-me areas this year.

Nov 3
Dec 7
Jan 6
Feb 10
Mar 3
29

Eldora 19
Copper 4
Ski Cooper 1
Aspen 1
Aspen Highlands 1
Snowmass 1
Keystone 1
Snowy Range 1
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Re: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:27 am

EMSC wrote:then the stupidity ensued.

You're still convinced that ski areas should have operated through the end of the season?
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Re: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:26 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:You're still convinced that ski areas should have operated through the end of the season?

Major destination resorts like Vail, Sun Valley and Ischgl were clearly a problem. But the "James" type ski areas would probably have been just fine. My days at China Peak and Baldy are obvious examples. As were the interior Northwest areas that remained open an extra week in March: Discovery, Montana Snowbowl, Lookout Pass and 49 Degrees North. Skiing, like hiking and going to the beach, is an inherently safe outdoor activity. It's the associated partying that is high risk. And the high profile locations attract travel from outside the local area.

The 2020-21 season may be the golden age of Jamesdeluxe skiing. Lonnie is buying into Powder Alliance, Indy Pass and a couple of other obscure passes with exchange privileges. The only "big" pass he will buy is an industry rate Mountain Collective he can get at SIA. He may ski as many as 40 areas next season that he has never skied before.

EMSC wrote:then the stupidity ensued.

I would classify closing hiking trails as stupidity.
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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: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:14 am

Tony Crocker wrote:The 2020-21 season may be the golden age of Jamesdeluxe skiing. Lonnie is buying into Powder Alliance, Indy Pass and a couple of other obscure passes with exchange privileges.

I was hoping that Indy Pass would add lesser-known ski areas in Colorado (Cooper, Sunlight, Powderhorn, Monarch) and New Mexico (Sipapu, Pajarito, Santa Fe, Red River, Angel Fire) but no dice due apparently to all the existing reciprocal agreements. Here's an interview with the founder:
https://skiing.substack.com/p/podcast-1 ... ounder-and
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Re: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:34 am

Loveland and Monarch are on Powder Alliance. You have to buy a season pass from a Powder Alliance area to get the three free day exchange privileges at the other areas. Lonnie has done this at least once before with a $299 Mountain High pass. That price is only available quite far in advance and is now $399.

So for 2020-21 Lonnie is thinking of buying a Marmot Basin pass for $700CDN because it includes the Power Pass (Purgatory, Sipapu, Pajarito, AZ Snowbowl, Brian Head) areas in addition to the Powder Alliance areas.

FYI James, Loveland's $439 season pass also includes both Powder Alliance (Monarch and Angel Fire are on it) and Power Pass areas. I think Santa Fe and Powderhorn do just fine with their local population bases. I'm surprised Sunlight is not on Indy or Powder Alliance.

The Mountain High situation above reminds me of a windfall I got from Mt. Baldy. While skiing there in April, I heard that the April day tickets could be applied to a 2020-21 season pass (then a laughable $500) or a $1,500 decade pass. But in May the Baldy pass was $299 ($239 senior) and the credit program was still on. Since I had paid $270 for my 3 day tickets I scored a 2020-21 Baldy pass for zero extra cost. On June 1 the Baldy pass increased to $399, same as Mountain High.
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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: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby berkshireskier » Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:28 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
jamesdeluxe wrote:You're still convinced that ski areas should have operated through the end of the season?

Major destination resorts like Vail, Sun Valley and Ischgl were clearly a problem. But the "James" type ski areas would probably have been just fine. My days at China Peak and Baldy are obvious examples. As were the interior Northwest areas that remained open an extra week in March: Discovery, Montana Snowbowl, Lookout Pass and 49 Degrees North. Skiing, like hiking and going to the beach, is an inherently safe outdoor activity. It's the associated partying that is high risk. And the high profile locations attract travel from outside the local area.

The 2020-21 season may be the golden age of Jamesdeluxe skiing. Lonnie is buying into Powder Alliance, Indy Pass and a couple of other obscure passes with exchange privileges. The only "big" pass he will buy is an industry rate Mountain Collective he can get at SIA. He may ski as many as 40 areas next season that he has never skied before.

EMSC wrote:then the stupidity ensued.

I would classify closing hiking trails as stupidity.



I'm on the board of a non-profit land conservancy organization and we decided to keep almost all of our hiking trails open, right from the onset of the pandemic in March while most other similar organizations decided to close their hiking trails. I think we made the right decision (even though Massachusetts was one of the first "hot spots" in the US). I think the evidence has subsequently shown that it is extremely unlikely that anyone would "catch" the virus while hiking outdoors.
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Re: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:17 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:FYI James, Loveland's $439 season pass also includes both Powder Alliance (Monarch and Angel Fire are on it) and Powder Pass areas.

Yep, that's what I'm likely to do for the coming season assuming I'm spending a third of each month based in Denver.

Loveland + 3 Free Days at Angel Fire, Purgatory, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, Sunlight, Sipapu, and Pajarito
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Re: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:11 pm

Yes I just noticed that Sunlight and Powderhorn are on Loveland's exchange list and not on Powder Alliance or Indy. That is also true for Powder Mt., Homewood and Whitefish. Lonnie is going to get the Loveland pass instead of Marmot's. I'd say anyone contemplating Powder Alliance should consider Loveland's pass due to those extra areas included.
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: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:21 am

After seeing the web of free days at partner ski areas throughout the west via the Loveland pass and Powder Alliance, now I understand why the guy at Indy Pass wasn't able to add any ski areas in Colorado and New Mexico. I almost pulled the trigger on Loveland last season but couldn't justify it given that I didn't have any vacation days earned at my new job (I only ended up getting in six days there with the COVID shutdown).
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Re: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby snowave » Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:33 pm

I stayed locally this winter, since it was my first year in a new region. I don't really count my ski days, but my best guess is about 25 days, which is actually a little higher than the last several years. With the month early closure, I probably would have gotten in another 5-10 days. Most of those at Brundage, about 5 or 6 at Tamarack, and 1 at Bogus Basin.

I was very happy (and surprised) at the snow quality at these areas, particularly Brundage. More powder days this year than I've had in many years... and they were mostly above avg quality for me. I don't know the exact snowfall numbers for Brundage, but I think it was about average through March, then we had quite a bit of snow in April, but obviously the ski areas were closed by then.

Next year I may try to go to Sun Valley (for the first time), and I also have have free days at Lookout Pass and Silver Mtn, so could possibly take a trip up there.
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Re: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:43 am

Brundage averages about 300 inches, but it has other advantages for snow quality.
1) Its base elevation of 5,840 is on the high side for the interior Northwest, so probably less rain.
2) Skier density is low and ridiculously low midweek.
3) Pitch is consistently intermediate with well spaced trees.
All of the above contribute to Brundage being an excellent area for powder and on my list of best uncrowded ski areas. Brundage also offers snowcat skiing on 17,000 aces of nearby mountains.
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: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby tseeb » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:34 pm

Last season, after not skiing in May and June, I skied July 1-3 at Mammoth (see viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14024 ) to get my number of days up to my age at the time and ended up with 65 days, my highest ever. This season, my last day was March 14, the day skiing ended at most ski areas in the country and I had 31 days and just under 700K vertical.

2020 started well as I skied 6 of the first 9 days of the decade, then went to Mexico for a week for our 30th anniversary. But I only had one more 3-day trip in CA in January. My wife retired at the end of Jan and we planned to go to Tahoe in 1st half of Feb, but did not due to wet and very windy Sun/Mon storms two weeks in a row plus I had a nasty cold that I barely got over before trip to Canada 2nd half of Feb.

For the first time I had more days not in CA at 16 (with 7 in BC, 3 in AB and 6 in UT) than in CA where I had 15 (including 2 where I skied both CA and NV at Heavenly.) I had 15 days on Ikon Pass, 8 on Tahoe Local Pass (including one Sat. at Kirkwood that almost pays for upgrade over Tahoe Local Pass), 3 Snowcat days, 5 off-pass day tickets in Canada (3 of which I paid Senior Rate, even though I was just over 6 months too young, plus 2 days were comped). No new areas for me for 2nd season in a row and to get any new areas next season may require going to lower profile areas in OR, NV or ID, or places I have not skied in UT like PowMow or Brian Head, or SoCal.

Areas days, notes
Mammoth 2, both in Nov with only chair 1 (that I rode 51 times) open
Heavenly 3, New Years Day was CA only, other two days included NV
Squaw 4, parked very close to high-speed six-pack all 4 days
Kirkwood 4, including my first day of season there on 12/12 with 8" of mostly wind-affected new snow and they opened 100%
Alpine 1, decent sleeper shallow powder day as they reported 1" new, but had 4" by time they opened
Northstar 1, I paid $10 to park as friend whose house I stayed at drove

Sunshine 1, all Goats Head in PM with two laps into Wild West
Revelstoke 1
Mustang 3, snowcat skiing with best powder of the year by far
Kicking Horse 1, with a hikes to White Wall, Super Bowl and Ozone
Fernie 2, first day with back issue and second day with poor conditions due to warmup
Castle 2, first day was as an intermediate due to back issue, but still averaged 24K

Altabird 5, first and last days all Snowbird, others were usually both, took wife on groomed run in Catherine's (see blurry picture)
Solbright 1, better snow at Brighton due to high rain line and E-exposure softening. A lot of Solitude stayed firm.

By month
Nov 2
Dec 4
Jan 9
Feb 10
Mar 6
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Re: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:45 am

Patrick's July included some snow but more grass.
Patrick2020July.jpg


My guess is that he's headed to the Alps for August/September, an option not available to US citizens. :twisted:
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: 2019-20 Season Recap

Postby q » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:14 pm

What a [censored]!

Like many others, 2020 was my lowest ski day count in many many years. 14 days, all at Discovery.

I flew out on March 6th to the then Covid-19 USA epicentre Seattle. There was a little chatter back home at that stage about Coronavirus but nothing much really. Flights were pretty much business as usual, no checks nothing, I arrived in Seattle which seemed just as i'd imagine it to be, damp.

I went for a run and a few beers in the Quarterdeck in the lovely bay area of Des Moines where I'd run the next day in the Des Moines Creek Parkrun. At this stage things began to get "real" when 2 of the other 3 local Parkruns cancelled Saturday's races due to the virus. Next day I ran a PB of 20.09 and third place and gutted that 2 guys from another Parkrun had visited on the same day doing me out of my best chance of ever being first finisher in a Parkrun.

I packed up and drove continuously to Philipsburg with one stop for the bathroom and gas in Wallace Idaho. I stopped in the Sunshine Station for a few beers and headed up to the house. Business as usual and as though I had never been away. Up the next day I collected my ski pass which was a freebie for this year and next due to a winning bet with Ciche the owner.

The first week or so roughly was business as usual. nightly checking the news and such like but on the 11th the USA closed the border and that was the point where the wheels began coming off. Firstly my friends from Scotland wouldn't be able to make their trip the following week, I began to worry daily about getting home if flights were grounded and if I was stranded what would happen job wise etc.

I fought on through the next weekend and was annoyed that the night before my 1/2 marathon in Bozeman on March 14th they pulled the plug on that. Skiing was alright without being spectacular during the first week. Monday 16th we finished skiing, had our daily whisky at our box and headed to the 7 Gables AKA The Trap for our nightly beer but the county had ordered all bars/restaurants to close, originally we felt to coincide with St Paddy's and they would likely reopen soon enough. It actually turned into a great night with most folks being told to go, or not come in, those in the bar when the close order came were allowed to get to go cups of beer. Most stayed, had a beer and went but Jim and I asked the barman Chris for "another" and they kept on coming. We joked after a fair few beers that we were likely the last skiers drinking in a bar in Montana at that point.

From then on it was a battle. I was never scared of the virus but fear, particularly when in bed was creeping in and I was at the stage I couldn't sleep due to continually thinking what I should do, I was 6000 miles from home, the world was shutting down around me, I was seriously concerned I would get stuck in Montana. Endless cash and no job I would happily still be sitting there today but that's not how it would work. Not having bars and restaurants open added more problems for me as I rely on bars free wifi to check emails and the like.

By the end of the 2nd week I was done, I changed plans and as it was completely unclear how I'd get home with Delta I cut my losses and booked a BA trip via Heathrow home. I was concerned I;d land up stranded in Amsterdam going with Delta. The last couple days were bittersweet. I was going home 2 and a bit weeks early, I was saying goodbye to friends in the most ridiculous circumstances. After a few final laps out of bounds with my friends Jim, Marie and Jack I was done for the season on Saturday March 21st with a flight the next night out of Seattle.

That whole last week Discovery's biggest downfall really was that it became busy, The parking lots midweek were like a weekend and the plates came from WA, SD, CA and the like. Whether they could have battled on if it had been the usual pass holders showing up only, who knows but they got the call on the Sunday to close down as I was 1/2 way to Seattle. If I could change one decision it would have been to stay til the Tuesday before flying home to get the last day. Hindsight.

I arrived home at 5pm on Monday 23rd March. At 8pm that night Boris locked the country down. I was allowed out once a day for 30 minutes of exercise, once a day for essential shopping and told to work from home. That has pretty much been the rule since although relaxed slightly 6 weeks ago allowing people to exercise as often as they want outside. A couple weeks ago I was allowed to meet 1 other household outside with 2m distancing and have been allowed to meet 1 person indoors. I can meet that person as often as I like inside with no distancing. My brother came for dinner on Friday and following the current guidelines I cannot have another person inside my home or go to another.

Outside bars opened back up yesterday and on the 15th July you will be able to go inside a bar with strict social distancing in place. The supermarket was the only shop really open but now others are able to open back up.

As of now, I'm way less than 50% sure that I will be back in 2021. Too many ducks in a row required but need - virus under control in UK, virus under control in USA, no quarantine regulations at either end, open borders, ski resorts able to open, flights actually running and need most of that happening early enough to book time off work and book flights.

Everyone in Montana said they would see me OK but I'm glad I came home. Here's to the next trip, whenever it is.
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