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Ski DO 2015: Whistler, Feb 20th-22nd

Ski DO 2015: Whistler, Feb 20th-22nd

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Old Jul 8, 14, 10:11 am
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Ski DO 2015: Whistler, Feb 20th-22nd

Folks!

I would like to propose a new Ski DO for fellow mileage, points and ski obsessed dorks like myself. The proposed date is the weekend of February 20th-22nd, so the weekend after President's Day so as to avoid the cost gouging and long lift lines of that popular weekend. Exact location of events to be determined but I am thinking the likely epicenter to be the Fairmont at the base of Blackcomb which we can all use that nice Chase credit card to get free rooms at. However the area has many other points accessible hotels (Hilton, Holiday Inn and Westin) as well as plenty of well priced condos etc. The schedule is also subject to development but I anticipate three days of skiing, potentially breaking out into groups based on ability etc, with group dinners on the Friday and Saturday night. Frankly all open to debate at this point!

At this point let's see how much interest we can garner... I will post on blog and some other sites too to see if we can get enough momentum.

So far:

ma91pmh (Milesabound)
hulagrrl210 (MilesPointsAndMaiTais)

Last edited by ma91pmh; Jul 8, 14 at 12:41 pm
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Old Jul 8, 14, 12:37 pm
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Awesome! This is the time of year we usually ride as Whistler as well. Subscribing to this and going to check some flights now.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 12:37 pm
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My Mountain Collective pass and I are in!
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Old Jul 8, 14, 12:44 pm
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awesome, let's get some traction!

And yes I wrote about the Mountain Collective on my blog a while back, it's an awesome deal for the 2015 season at $359 and they are still (at time of writing) offering 3 days at one of the resorts. Not worth it if you only plan to use at one resort but you will likely come out ahead if you manage to use it at at least two of the included resorts

Milesabound Mountain Collective Post
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Old Jul 8, 14, 1:19 pm
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may be in
but then, may be in KL and Dubai
wont know for a while tho

MM
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Old Jul 8, 14, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post
may be in
but then, may be in KL and Dubai
wont know for a while tho

MM
c'mon MM you going to go to that crappy fake indoor ski place in Dubai instead of Whistler?
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Old Jul 8, 14, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by ma91pmh View Post
c'mon MM you going to go to that crappy fake indoor ski place in Dubai instead of Whistler?
lol no chance in hell! I will be skiing all winter and I would love to go to Whistler but I gotsta go visit my bro who lives in KL and hey the plane stops in the desert. What can I say? Gotta take my 6 year old tandem on a sky dive off the Burj Dubai!

lol

again, I dunno if we are doing the trip yet. Lotsa timing and planning, etc. So if we aint, I am down wit this!
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Old Jul 9, 14, 4:32 pm
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I am interested however I am a beginner level skier and have never skied outside of NH/MA/VT. Should I have any reservations about doing this? Thanks all!
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Old Jul 10, 14, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by timid_trnchcoat View Post
I am interested however I am a beginner level skier and have never skied outside of NH/MA/VT. Should I have any reservations about doing this? Thanks all!
While I would not describe Whistler as a perfect place for beginners, the better snow and wide open and long runs you get at a place like this are far superior to NH/MA/VT type skiing. I started skiing as an adult and went a lot on small mountains in Quebec before a trip to Whistler and I was like "wow, what have I been missing!?"
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Old Nov 11, 14, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by ma91pmh View Post
Ski DO 2015: Whistler, Feb 20th-22nd
I’m interested although timing might not work and being Whistler I’d probably make it a VERY long weekend (like Wednesday through Tuesday).

(Note: My apologies for my ranting and raving, skiing “out West” compared to skiing the NE hits a button for me. AND, the thread title does include “Whistler!!!)

Originally Posted by timid_trnchcoat View Post
… I am a beginner level skier and have never skied outside of NH/MA/VT. Should I have any reservations about doing this? Thanks all!
NO. NO. NO!!! Absolutely not. In fact, once you ski west of the Mississippi, you may never again go back to NH/MA/VT. It’s a completely different experience and well worth the added expense of a plane ticket (especially for a FlyerTalk-er) and an extra day or 2 of traveling. Only possible reservation is being a group ski trip, potentially a small group, you may not find others who ski the same terrain and pace that you do.

I’ve been skiing for over 50 years, grew up in NY, skied Vermont and NY (mostly Mt Snow, Stratton, Hunter) from ages 6 through 36, had the Mt Snow trail map memorized, simply from repetition, during my teens. Until college, every family Xmas vacation and Washington’s Birthday (that IS what it was called before “Presidents’ Day”) vacation was a week of skiing at Mt Snow. Skied Hunter on High School Saturday day trips; wake at 0500, walk to high school with skis and boots, 2-3 hr bus ride each way (those 14 hour days were well worth it for a day of skiing without my parents). My folks bought a condo at Stratton while I was in college (my little sister always did get the best presents) but I still managed to get there briefly once or twice a year. Skiing frequency dropped off significantly during medical school, military active duty and residency.

Started skiing again about 20 year ago with a trip to Colorado. Did an annual trip out west for about 10 years, then discovered airline FF programs and status and realized since I like skiing and FF miles I should do 3 or 4 trips out West each ski season. I haven’t skied NY or Vermont again since.

A typical western ski resort is 5 to 10 times larger than a typical NE ski resort, gets 5 times as much snow and other than holidays has 5 times smaller crowds. Packed powder really does exist west of the Mississippi. It starts as light fluffy snow, rather than heavy wet snow. The weather and higher elevations of Western ski areas eliminate the thawing and freezing cycles of the NE so powder stays powder, even as it gets packed. In the NE, if they ever do get powder, it quickly thaws and freezes and then becomes ice, which gets ground up by groomers and is called “frozen granular”. If they don’t get new snow out West, they groom the packed powder which is much nicer to ski than frozen granular. Man-made snow (read tiny ice particles), if it’s necessary at all, merely enhances things out West whereas in the NE it’s the lifeblood of a typical resort.

“A bad day of skiing out west is better than a good day in the NE.” What they call “good conditions” out West would be called “excellent” in the NE. People who learn to ski out west don’t need to learn to ski on ice and don’t need to learn how to “hold an edge”, skills which are innate to NE skiers. I don’t think I’ve had my ski edges sharpened for 20 years, for NE skiing I’d do it every other day.

ESPECIALLY as a beginner skier, skiing out West is exponentially more enjoyable than skiing in the NE, particularly on a weekend (less crowded). Almost every western ski resort, Whistler included, has lots of novice ski terrain, MUCH more than you would encounter anyplace in the NE. Don’t worry about not being able to ski “deep powder”, they groom very well, especially the novice areas, when necessary. Think of a typical NH/MA/VT ski resort. Now think of an area the same size, with tons more snow of better quality and ALL novice terrain, which isn’t crowded at all since many people are skiing more advanced terrain since with better conditions most folks can ski terrain a level up from what they usually ski, and then you’ll have a basic idea of skiing out West.

Other than being a PITA to get to, Whistler is one of my absolute favorites. Massive ski area, terrific easily navigated base village, wonderful (low) elevation (no mountain sickness or altitude related headache or shortness of breath for us flatlanders) and usually excellent ski conditions. Don’t worry if it’s raining in the village when you arrive, the rain turns to powder half way up the mountain where the ski schools and beginner ski areas are located. Most people ski above top of the gondolas all day, some ride the gondolas down at the end of the day to avoid skiing the slush which sometimes develops near the base.

My only (relatively minor) gripe with Whistler is the extra time and logistics of getting there. Vancouver is an hour or 2 further west than the Rockies and few airlines have nonstop flights from the NE (which is arguably better for FF purposes) but in this case makes for very long travel days. Vancouver airport is south of the city and the lack of a highway through or around the city makes for a longer drive to Whistler. Even with the road improvements for the 2010 Olympics, count on a 2.5 hr drive to/from Whistler which requires a very early departure from Whistler the day you fly back East. Consider driving to Vancouver after skiing followed by a redeye flight or a hotel in Vancouver for a night prior to flying home. I’ll sometimes fly to Denver or Salt Lake City for 3 days of skiing, I’d be hesitant to do that with Whistler.

Originally Posted by ma91pmh View Post
While I would not describe Whistler as a perfect place for beginners, …
With all due respect, I would absolutely describe Whistler as a perfect place for beginners … or intermediates or experts!!!

Originally Posted by ma91pmh View Post
… "wow, what have I been missing!?"
Yes, exactly! The only problem with a few days skiing Whistler is that you’ll never want to go to NH/MA/VT again!
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Old Nov 11, 14, 10:50 am
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I hope you can join us Dr Jabadski

I agree with pretty much everything you said having learned myself on the ice sheets of Quebec... Whistler is definitely far better for beginners than anywhere out East. I was just comparing to what I would consider real premiere resorts for beginners such as Deer Valley or Snowmass. Whistler is not the easiest mountain in the world, Blackcomb is actually quite tough for rookies, but they both make everything on the East coast look terrible.
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Old Nov 12, 14, 10:04 am
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Re: “I hope you can join us…”; me too!

Agreed that a beginner would probably ski the Whistler side more than the Blackcomb side but based on sheer size alone, and with 2 separate beginner areas 1/3 to 1/2 way up the mountain, a beginner would enjoy Whistler every bit as much as any other ski resort. And the relatively new Peak2Peak lift makes it simple for beginners and everyone else to easily move from one mountain to the other (if necessary for example to meet others for lunch). Heck, the areas specifically designated for beginners at Whistler is probably larger than the entire skiable terrain at most NE resorts. I just writing that no one should be dissuaded from skiing Whistler based on skiing experience and ability. And yes, as with many Western ski resorts, other than having “ski” in the names, there is little comparison between Whistler and anyplace in the NE.
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Old Nov 12, 14, 11:50 am
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I'll subscribe and check flights to see if I can. Although, I do snowboard...
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Old Nov 12, 14, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by flipstah View Post
I'll subscribe and check flights to see if I can. Although, I do snowboard...
We'll let you in if you're nice
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Old Nov 12, 14, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by ma91pmh View Post
We'll let you in if you're nice
Well, I'll be game if the wallet agrees! I have a long weekend so I automatically have that Friday off.

Are you planning to set up a group purchase at a hotel or BYOA?
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