Advice needed Big Canada and US trip

Discussion in 'Passport' started by D_Dog, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. D_Dog

    D_Dog Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I've wanted to do a big Canada/US trip for a while now. I finally bit the bullet and got a Mountain Collective pass for the 2017/2018 season, I haven't booked flights or accommodation yet. I don't want to be tied into a schedule so that I can take advantage of where the snow is. I'm also doing the trip solo.

    So, my plan is to fly into Vancouver in late Jan and work my way inland towards Calgary then south through the US, finishing in early March. I'll be aiming for the following resorts (most of them are MC):

    British Columbia
    Whistler
    Revelstoke
    Alberta
    Banff Sunshine
    Lake Louise
    Idaho
    Sun Valley
    Wyoming
    Jackson Hole
    Utah
    Snowbasin
    Snowbird
    Alta
    Colorado
    Telluride
    Aspen Snowmass

    I'm looking for advice/tips on accomm, travel, getting between resorts, where to go at each resort (on and off the slopes), any other resorts I should check out, best way to carry my gear everywhere (I'm a skier so skis and boots will be nice and awkward to lug around), etc.

    Has anyone done a big solo trip like this? Any useful do's and don'ts?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Hire or buy a car. Organising shuttles and other transfers between all those resorts would be a nightmare.
     
  3. D_Dog

    D_Dog Active Member

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    Yeah, I'm hearing from others too that hiring a car is the way to go, cheers. Do you think hiring it in Vancouver and dropping it off in Denver is possible?
     
  4. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Anything is possible, but that would be quite expensive. One way drop offs within USA are expensive. International more so.

    Pick up the car in Vancouver, do a massive 3 or 4 day road trip to Telluride and mosey back. Or plan for the road trip at the end.
     
  5. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    If you buy a cheap car, you just abandon it at the departure airport carpark
     
  6. tr+h

    tr+h Dedicated Member

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    Like Gareth says. Get a cheap nasty car like an Audi!!!
     
  7. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    They are banned from airport carparks
     
  8. Summit

    Summit Part of the Furniture
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    Such a snowboarder thing to do :D
     
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  9. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    I actually read that there is always a huge number of backpacker abandoned cars at heathrow
     
  10. Summit

    Summit Part of the Furniture
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    Didn't know there was any snowboarding near Heathrow:D
     
  11. Ralph_Plough

    Ralph_Plough Dedicated Member

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    If you hire a car and wish to take it internationally, be sure to check the insurance is valid etc. Some hire companies forbid it.
     
  12. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    D_Dog likes this.
  13. tr+h

    tr+h Dedicated Member

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    We came across some tourists in north west WA many years ago. They were driving an old bomb with Denmark, WA number plates. In the dusty window they had written 'Denmark or Bust'. I asked them if they were heading home. Their answer in thick Denmarky accents was 'Yah, we are heading back to Perth Airport and flying home next week'. They were dumping the car that they had purchased in Melbourne, at Perth airport, after driving 3/4 the way around Australia.
     
  14. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    I'm with those advising against one way rental. By all means check out pricing, but you'll probably be better off modifying the destination list and making it a big loop.
    • Whistler
    • Revy
    • Banff
    • Big Sky
    • Jackson
    • UT
    • Tahoe
    • Mt Bachelor
    There are several possible entry/exit ports along this loop; ie, Vancouver, Calgary, SLC, SFO, Seattle, albeit some of them will require a one flight connection from a US or Canadian first point of entry. Anyway you can pretty much start and end the loop wherever you want, but the bigger cities have advantages of accessibility (more frequent flights, often cheaper) and more rental car options/competition.

    The last resort on the list is a hidden gem in central Oregon. Small crowds, big mountain, fast lifts, dry snow.
     
  15. D_Dog

    D_Dog Active Member

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    Having looked into the difficulties of dropping off a rented car in another country...I think a better way might be to hire one in Vancouver do the BC and Alberta resorts, drop it off in Calgary, fly from there to Salt Lake, then hire another car and head down to Denver.

    Mt Bachelor looks pretty good though...any other gems that might be on my way?

    Also, any advice on accommodation? As I'll be solo travelling I'd like to stay where there are others like me.
     
  16. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Hostels.

    I know that one of the lodges in Alta (next door to and connected with Snowbird) - I think it's the Goldminer's Daughter - has dorm accommodation.
     
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  17. D_Dog

    D_Dog Active Member

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    So, after speaking with more people, I think I am trying to fit in too many resorts, meaning I won't get to spend enough time at any single one to get to know the mountain and the people.

    I'm probably going to choose 4 or 5 out of that list and do at least a week at each one.

    I've got some thoughts but am interested to see what resorts you all think I should choose?
     
  18. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Jackson
    Snowbird/Alta (connected)
    Aspen or Telluride
    Revelstoke
    Lake Louise
     
  19. Beerman

    Beerman Dedicated Member
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    First world problem, too many hills not enough time!
     
  20. Sbooker

    Sbooker Active Member

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    If you're spending a week at each hill my view would be that Snowbird/Alta is a must purely for snow quality. The terrain is terrific and combined it's a large area. Perhaps the best inbounds combination of snow quality, snow quantity and terrain variation in the world?
    Jackson is an icon and is close enough to drive from Salt Lake. It might be worth doing that hill at the beginning of your tour as it reportedly suffers from compromised orientation and therefore snow quality can be iffy later in the season.
    Aspen/Snowmass area is diverse and an experience. The terrain is suited mainly to intermediates but there is exceptions to that of course (Highlands bowl for example). The town of Moab and the national parks close by like Arches is a logical stop between Salt Lake and Aspen.
    I've not been to Telluride but it apparently has the same stellar dry snow as Aspen/Snowmass but less acreage. Gorgeous looking town though and the terrain looks fantastic. Maybe do either Aspen group or Telluride?
    Lake Louise and Sunshine could be left to the end of your trip. There is varied terrain and magnificent scenery (almost rivalling Europe??). The town of Banff has plenty going on. Snow quality is likely to be great until mid April. Leave these until last?

    Other options include Taos but this may be too similar to the Colorado resorts you plan to visit? Mammoth is a great area and is relatively close to Vegas if that is an interest? It's just down the road from Squaw/Alpine which is on the Mountain Collective. Tahoe is a jewel if it's on - again wonderful scenery.
    The best part of Sun Valley is the uniform steepness of the hill (steeper on average than Snowbird and Jackson) and the town of Ketchum. Doesn't get a heap of snow though.
    I've been working my way through the Mountain Collective resorts the last few years and will be adding more this coming January. Can't wait to ski Jackson (and Targhee), Snowbasin, Squaw/Alpine. I'll be doing Snowbird and Alta and Mammoth again. May even squeeze in a powder day at Powder Mountain.
    Enjoy your trip. It will be ironically epic.
     
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