In a climate like what you find in the Rocky Mountain region (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming etc...) Gore-tex is not something that is needed as much. The drier snowfalls and all, I can get away with very minimal waterproofing on most of my gear and it's fine. In a climate like Whistler, Gore-tex is a great idea. Or another similar fabric such as Event, which might save you a few bucks, but the costs are probably going to be close to the same. You want some sort of water proof fabric that uses a "membrane" for repellancy and not a treatment (dwr). Over a long season the dwr will wear out and you'll get soaked. That stuff works fine for the visiting rider, but I wouldn't want it if I was a local.