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Old 02-16-2014, 11:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Go West young man...

Ok I have been riding for 6 years, all of which has been spent on the east coast (Wintergreen and Snowshoe).

I have been told numerous times to go west.

I consider myself intermediate and am looking for wide open spaces and being from the east coast I haven't been in more than 6-10" of powder so back country riding is still a foreign concept.

I have a group of 3 friends that would like to make our first trip out west next season but from what I have found it appears that it will cost us a fortune. I don't mind spending the $ to get there but would like to get the most bang for our buck.

For a group of first timers where should we head? I am open to any and all ideas and not married to the idea of going to anywhere in particular. As far as terrain we are more into the long, groomed, open trails with an option to take a few runs at some powder than free riding in deep powder (at least until we try it once then I'm sure we will become addicts.)

I appreciate any ideas or advice and am still searching through threads on this forum for more information as well.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nnkaceryan View Post
Ok I have been riding for 6 years, all of which has been spent on the east coast (Wintergreen and Snowshoe).

I have been told numerous times to go west.

I consider myself intermediate and am looking for wide open spaces and being from the east coast I haven't been in more than 6-10" of powder so back country riding is still a foreign concept.

I have a group of 3 friends that would like to make our first trip out west next season but from what I have found it appears that it will cost us a fortune. I don't mind spending the $ to get there but would like to get the most bang for our buck.

For a group of first timers where should we head? I am open to any and all ideas and not married to the idea of going to anywhere in particular. As far as terrain we are more into the long, groomed, open trails with an option to take a few runs at some powder than free riding in deep powder (at least until we try it once then I'm sure we will become addicts.)

I appreciate any ideas or advice and am still searching through threads on this forum for more information as well.
First it depends on what you consider a fortune. I'm 40 so a fortune to me is way more now than when I was 20. When I was 20, $1000 was a fortune. Now that is less than a paycheck.

Anyway, do a ton of research and find deals ahead of time. For flights, check 30-40 days before your trip. That is when I find them the cheapest. If you are gonna be there for a week or so, buy a season pass. I bought the Rocky Mountain Super Pass early last spring for my trips this year. I will use it a total of 9 or 10 times so the $429 pass easily paid for itself. Another reason I bought a pass is so I didn't feel obligated to ride from first chair to close to get my money's worth. I did do that this last trip, but in March my family will be with me, so if the kids are ready to go at 1, then I won't be complaining that I spent $100 to ride for 4.5 hours.

I just flew to Denver from Indianapolis for $139 plus $50 for bags. My brother-in-law and I shared a rental car for $100 and a lodge in Winter Park for $62 a night. Boarded at Winter Park and Copper so the season pass covered the lift costs.

Pretty cheap trip in my book. I'm not saying what I did is the best way, or cheapest, or blah blah blah. Just giving you an idea of what I spent recently to show that it can be fairly cheap if you plan ahead and don't mind spending time to research.

Last edited by West Baden Iron; 02-16-2014 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I appreciate the response and the info, the pass idea is a good one. We are looking at riding for a week. I would be happy with $1000-$1500 as a cost per person between lodging, flight, pass and car rental. I have been coming in around $2200-$2500 so I am obviously looking in the wrong places.

Thanks for the info and the search is on going.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nnkaceryan View Post
I appreciate the response and the info, the pass idea is a good one. We are looking at riding for a week. I would be happy with $1000-$1500 as a cost per person between lodging, flight, pass and car rental. I have been coming in around $2200-$2500 so I am obviously looking in the wrong places.

Thanks for the info and the search is on going.
No problem. I'm no expert, but a lot of the cost will really depend on which resorts you wanna ride and stay near. Staying in a walk up in Vail is gonna be way more expensive than staying in a lodge 2 miles from the resort in Winter Park. When you go will obviously be a determining factor as well. Don't pick a holiday weekend or spring break if possible. Also, if you are flexible with your dates +/- a couple days, that can make a huge difference. Especially on your flight.

I guess it also depends on what is important for the trip. If cost is the driving factor, then you might have to cut back on some things. If something else is the driving factor to make it an "EPIC" trip, then just save your money for a couple years and then do that.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm from the east coast as well and 3 of my buddies and I just went to Park City and spent less than $1000 per person for 4 days of boarding. Depending on what time you can fly into Salt Lake City, you may be able to catch a train that will essentially take you to Park City for like $10. Otherwise, you can catch a shuttle for $70-80 roundtrip that will drop you off and pick you up right where you are staying. There are also shuttles that run pretty much all day around Park City so you don't have to rent a car or worry about cabs.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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don't come out here...hellish to get to the hill, no big wide open groomers, short runs and ... well you don't want to hear about the pow
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My friend and I will be making our second trip west this week. We are going to be spending about $1000 each for 4 days of riding in the summit county area. That is including a rental car. If you have a group of 4 people that will commit to the trip right now then you can certainly do it for cheaper. If you're staying a full week you can buy early season passes for cheaper then just getting tickets. You also have to have everyone agree on what level of trip they want. Are you staying at the Super 8 like my friend and I am or are wanting a condo in Breck you can walk to the lift? Are you renting the cheapest car like us or do you need an SUV to fit all your crap?

By the way, price out trips to other other places like Tahoe or Utah. Don't just focus on Colorado. Flights into Reno to get to Tahoe can be cheap.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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don't come out here...hellish to get to the hill, no big wide open groomers, short runs and ... well you don't want to hear about the pow
That's it. I'm moving East.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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West is way overrated.........stay back east and spend your hard earned cash on hookers and blow.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've seen trips on the vacation discount sites pretty cheap lately. For example Jackson Hole 7 nights with airfare, car, hotel around a grand (cheaper if you split up hotel and car rental with your friends). Then lift tickets are $100 per day. So, $200-250 or less per day for everything, plus food and stuff. You can do Utah for about the same or cheaper (lift tickets are pretty cheap at some of the resorts--Brighton and Solitude lift tix are only about $60-70). Summit County area can be done for a little more (search for epic pass info if you want to plan ahead for next year, probably going to get one myself).

Also worth checking out early/late season deals--I have ridden near snorkel-deep Wasatch pow first week of December before.

Doing Jackson Hole next week for 6 nights, 5 days and it is only running me about $1,300, plus food and beer--but I'm using miles to get out there (flights are going for under $300 lately and they have some kind of deal where you can get $200 back on your flight if you book through JH).

Man, I used to go to Snowshoe all the time also. I don't know how much it costs you to drive up there, but a plane ticket out west only costs me about twice the cost of fuel roundtrip from Fairfax to SS. Plus Cupp and Shay's would be about a weak intermediate slope most places out west.
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