USA 2016 - 2017 Trip Plans/Thoughts/Reviews

Discussion in 'United States' started by absentskier, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. Summit

    Summit Part of the Furniture
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    ^^^^^
    Google Maps makes it appear Hwy 89 is only about 1km from the Colorado River at the Horseshoe Bend turnoff, so my 40 minute return walk guesstimate was on the high side.
     
  2. kylep

    kylep Dedicated Member
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    I've had a wow overload already the past couple of days and fully expecting it to continue. Had barely started the real roadtrip and drove through Glenwood Canyon, so many levels of awesome there. The Moab area was amazing, even some random little detours just showed more and more spectacular scenes, I think I could spend a week there and still be surprised. Reminds me of the Murchison area in WA. Realised today that warming snow and soft dirt roads make for some challenging mud, car is looking well used now :D

    Sunset today in Monument Valley was fantastic. I didn't bring my real camera gear, so an iphone timelapse had to suffice

     
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  3. absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture
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    Awesome!
     
  4. jgm

    jgm Active Member

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    Started today at Boulder only to discover that North Bowl chair (fixed grip triple) was on wind hold. There wasn't even a breeze at the bottom, & when I finally got up top there was only a zephyr. If Buller shut down lifts for the breezes Heavenly consider too high, we would never ski there at all.
     
  5. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    That View Hotel is quite a spot. Did you stumble across the blue Navajo cornbread with your dinner? Yummo. I don't know why they don't serve it at breakfast.
     
  6. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

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    Those South West pics are fantastic which is why I'm itching to do a follow up road trip there instead of flying Denver-LAX. Upcoming trip will have that in the very late afternoon but two earlier in the afternoon have been fantastic, seated on the RHS by a window up front on UA. Half an hour birds-eye view right into the Grand Canyon on one flight with my eye stuck to the window and last time taking in Hoover Dam and surrounds. Awesome. Must do it from ground level.
     
  7. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    And this does not include Utah
     
  8. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Out of all the places I've skied in the world ? That's a tough question.

    Think I'd go with Lake Tahoe and Yuzawa in Japan. Both regions have many resorts within a short drive, lots of affordable accommodation, well priced lift tickets(or season passes), receive big snowfalls, mild weather, and lots of amenities (shops. restaurants, etc).

    But I'm still exploring the world trying to find that "perfect" place. :D
     
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  9. kylep

    kylep Dedicated Member
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    I tried one of their stew type dishes, was ok. I've tried cornbread before and not really a fan.
    Got a comfortable bed, and The View is certainly delivering. Watching the pre-sunrise show right now just pinching myself. Great addition to the trip.
     
  10. absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture
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    Expensive?
     
  11. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    It wasn't particularly expensive when I stayed there. Most the rooms face the Valley. If you want to stay tonight the cheapest Valley view room is USD123.

    It is run by the Navajo Nation.
     
  12. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

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  13. absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture
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    Thanks.
     
  14. kylep

    kylep Dedicated Member
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    Arrived in Zion (Springdale actually) for my last night. Just quietly I think I've done pretty well with these last few days.
    Think it's apt to dine at Wildcat Willies Saloon

     
  15. gortonator

    gortonator Dedicated Member

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    Nothing? You sure?

    :)
     
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  16. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    There are 2 named runs in this photo

    [​IMG]
     
  17. absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture
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    I let the comment slide, but ....
     
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  18. Nidecker

    Nidecker Dedicated Member
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    Lol should I have said nothing much :) I think there a three in that pic, doesn't it also include cajun couloir :) Yes I have skied Jackson a couple of times.... And Crested Butte
     
  19. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Your next stop should be the crazy terrain in Telluride. There are runs there that it is hard to see how people get access.
     
  20. markopolo

    markopolo Naughty Corner Resident
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  21. Jellybeans1000

    Jellybeans1000 Dedicated Member
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    You look like you are enjoying Snowmass!
     
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  22. markopolo

    markopolo Naughty Corner Resident
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    Last day was today, still great groomers up top even late in the day.
    The place needs another drop of snow urgently.
    It's a great resort.
     
  23. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

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    Friday morning at Steamboat is just coming into view on snow-forecast and along with Joel's outlook it is looking like it might be nice top-up on the slopes.
     
  24. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    Arrived in Breck this afternoon as the first tiny flakes started arriving. Open Snow had warned of r*** but luckily it was all falling as snow. Getting heavier now :D

    Getting ready to race a million American long-weekend visitors to the lifts tomorrow morning!

    Have already tested out the Flip Side burger place - excellent recommendation thanks @Nidecker

    Annoying baggage drama: went to open my snowboard bag and someone (presumably TSA) had snapped a key off in the lock! Fortunately maintenance at the building we are staying in came to our aid with a pair of bolt-cutters, but I would have been very upset if I hadn't noticed it until tomorrow morning.
     
    #624 K_Bird, Feb 20, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  25. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

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    Locks don't last long. I use a key ring to attach the zippers together: Enough of a fiddle to stop an opportunistic riffle or accidental unzipping but still allows for TSA access, as I've never opened the ski bag on arrival without finding the little notice from TSA that they've inspected the bag.
     
  26. Nidecker

    Nidecker Dedicated Member
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    Have a great time, make sure you line up for the T-bar, if there is fresh, and hike the top of Kensho and Imperial, well worth it!
     
  27. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    Didn't quite make it to the T-Bar or Kensho today. Being first day we went easy and stayed on Peak 8 and 9. Stopped to Skype the kids at about 1:30pm and had to stop for the day - I had felt great all morning but was suddenly hit by overwhelming tiredness (altitude? jet lag?) so pulled the pin and had an emergency 2-hour nap.

    Despite that, it was a short but excellent day.

    We got lucky with 5-6 inches of snow overnight, so the first hour or so was great fun on the groomers, with fresh snow on a firm but quality base.

    We arrived at the lifts 15 minutes before opening and there was a small queue, but once the lifts opened it was less than 5 minutes. Things got busier as the day wore on, and some runs were a bit of a dodgem course. We never waited more than 5 minutes for a lift, though.

    Things have quietened down in town a bit tonight. Yesterday afternoon and last night was heaving with police actually setting up specific traffic management points to handle the number of people walking off the lifts and crossing the road into town. Not sure if that's a regular Breck thing or a President's Day special?

    Will try to post some pictures tomorrow ...
     
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  28. absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture
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    Presidents Day special.
     
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  29. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    ^^ @teletripper ... my daily report above ;)

    Another observation ... stuff in Breck seems cheaper than I expected. I'm probably comparing to Park City which seems overpriced in comparison now. Meals and drinks seem particularly cheap, by ski town standards, admittedly.
     
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  30. jgm

    jgm Active Member

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    We're on our way home now. We had planned to ski half the day at Heavenly before a stop somewhere along the road to LA, but with the weather and heavy snowfalls all day long, I decided to hit the road early. With our hassles on the way from LA, and having regard to various opinions on this site, I decided on going via the I5 instead of dicing with closures on US395. This was NOT a good option. We are now in Rancho Cordova after a 9 hour "drive". It was more like parking for up to half an hour at a time, and then moving a few hundred metres if we were lucky. It was almost 7 hours from Lake Tahoe to the Sierra at Tahoe turnoff. Once through Meyers, the traffic started moving (speeds up to 25 mph), and eventually got up to the speed limit when we got onto the 4 lane hwy. We had been warned that California drivers can't handle rain (once clear of the Sierras the snow turned to rain) and we saw ample evidence. Every time there was a bend in the road, no matter how slight, the brake lights of those ahead would come on. I'd move to the outside lane and pass them, and as soon as we were back on a straight section, they'd zoom past again. I just set the cruise control at the speed limit and motored on at a steady speed.

    Overall, Heavenly was just that after our first 3 days. Mostly bluebirds with overnight top ups. After being led astray by B2s a few years ago, I'm now spending a good proportion of my time in the trees. They're real easy at Heavenly being almost universally wide spaced.

    We now have all day tomorrow to get back to LA and return the car (truck?). It's a near new GMC Yukon 4WD. I got it through carflexi and Budget for a total cost of US$508. After 2 weeks with it, I now know what most of the buttons and knobs do, although SWMBO still has to dive into the manual occasionally.
     
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  31. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

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    Saturday late afternoons will have the place in grid lock, so probably extended into Sunday by a President's Weekend effect as per @absentskier.
     
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  32. Nidecker

    Nidecker Dedicated Member
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    There was a Thai restaurant Bangkok Happy Bowl that was pretty decent for the whole family.
     
  33. absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture
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  34. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    Breck seems to have survived yesterday's warm weather - 10 degrees at the base :eek: Snow was getting slushy in the bottom 50 metres or so heading into the lifts, but the rest of the mountain is in excellent condition.

    Some of the steeper groomed runs are definitely very firm (I'd even go so far as to say icy in parts, especially today after the warm conditions yesterday and then cold overnight) but peaks 6 and 7 had some nice windblown snow today.

    More snow predicted overnight - not much but it should freshen up the current hard-and-fast playing surface.

    We are getting to know our way around the place now. It's pretty easy to move from one peak to the next, as everything seems pretty well connected. It also seems that most of the lower areas (ie. below the treeline) have a range of runs coming down from each lift, so it would be ideal for mixed-ability groups.

    It's definitely quieter now the President Day weekend is over. Obviously all the Denver locals have headed home and left the mountain to we tourists :D Hardly anyone on the runs and barely 2 min wait at even the busiest chair (yes, Independence, I'm looking at you). They have electronic signage at the base of each chair listing the wait times for all lifts. Interesting that this wasn't running on Monday when the mountain was packed with people, but suddenly switched on yesterday when all wait times were <2 mins.

    We also had a chuckle that the new on-mountain "restaurant" at the top of Peak 7 is a carbon copy (down to the location of the loos and the exact same decorations on the walls) of the new place that opened at Park City last season. Vail is obviously saving a few pennies on architects by recycling the same design. We didn't check the menu but from the blurb in the brochure it also sounds the same.
     
  35. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    A random selection of photos ...


    ^ From Peak 8, heading back to Peak 9.


    ^ Peak 6 (no style critiques, please ;))


    ^ Peak 10(?) seen from across Maggie's Pond, next to our accommodation.


    ^ Main Street
     
  36. absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture
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    Very nice.
     
  37. gortonator

    gortonator Dedicated Member

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  38. Nidecker

    Nidecker Dedicated Member
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    Still so much snow down there....
     
  39. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

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    A very bare prairie was the sight flying into Denver late yesterday afternoon with no snow at all around the airport hotel area. However it started snowing about 9am and already cars are covered and grass filling in. The shuttle up to Steamboat will be a slow one but not driving means I can relax.
     
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  40. Scooter

    Scooter Dedicated Member
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    Hey @absentskier - commiserations then LOL How come you didn't extend the week and stay for winter carnival? That used to be my hook to stay longer with the other half. I'm still a bad dad - one of these days will do DL. You done it on previous trips?

    Hi @jgm - sounds like you spent a bit of time driving (or waiting to drive) but glad to hear you got some great days in. Where were you planning to head next season?

    Hi @markopolo - some great photos. Love the couple with big mountain terrain - I.e.

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]

    Same peak different angles? Not skied/ridden (maybe see 1 line - is it normally accessed?) - high avi risk?

    ALL - Just on a similar line - what is that dirty great big peak behind Silverthone? From what I understand it is a fair effort to ski/ride - like 8-10 hour up for your 1 line.

    How you going with a couple of pics @p2p ?

    Loved the timelapse @kylep - got any snow pics/vids to share?

    For Brissie - 27 days in a row with temps above 30DegC - Very envious @K_Bird - have fun and keep the updates coming.

    Hi @oldgeezer - looks like you might have gotten lucky with your timing. Think Feb has been pretty lean and warm for CO so fingers crossed you get the forecast foot or so to freshen up the slopes and let you have a play in the fresh (it will at least soften those bumps for you :D). Have fun and let us know how you go in Steamboat.

    Talking warm for CO - So @K_Bird - 10DegC at the base? Yikes!! I noticed on Opensnow there was somebody made a comment about 80+ in Denver. That's like 26+ DegC - so was that legit? Just Google'd it - Hooly Dooly - yep 80 at DIA all time high!!
     
  41. Scooter

    Scooter Dedicated Member
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    Just been playing around with Street View in Google Maps - think I have answered my own question. Looks like Red Peak - some TR's I Google are saying 5.5Hr Climb (but methinks an unfit bugger like me would be closer to the 8-10 :D).
     
  42. absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture
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    Short answer is school and work! Pushing it as it was. Haven't been to the carnival yet. Hopefully one day...
     
  43. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    Yep, 24C when we arrived in Denver. Crazy.

    It's changed now though. Today was -6C at the Breck base, and OpenSnow is saying a high of -12C on the hill tomorrow. I'm in the market for a balaclava!
     
  44. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    Apologies to anyone bored by the continual Breck updates ... just scroll down if you're over it!

    As mentioned above, the weather has changed significantly. It's currently -14C and not predicted to get much warmer over the next few days.

    No snow overnight last night, but it kicked into gear about 8am with lots of fat flakes in the morning, then scattered light snow in the afternoon. Seemed to stop about nightfall.

    We had a late-ish start, but managed to enjoy the fresh cover - about 3.5 inches in total. Vis wasn't too bad, considering, but we stayed down in the lower peaks to keep out of the wind, and stuck to Peak 9 where we were most familiar with the layout. American and Peerless were the pick of the runs ... just perfect in the conditions, but everything was pretty amazing.

    General observation: Breck seems a bit generous in their designation of the difficulty of the runs. It seems that anything designated a single-black is groomed frequently, and is more similar to a difficult blue (I've seen some resorts do double-blues which seem similar to Breck's single-blacks). The double-blacks seem to be left ungroomed and therefore bumpy ... I haven't braved any double-blacks so this is all observation from a distance!

    The runs are well signposted, so it's hard to accidentally find yourself on a run above your ability. The piste map even shows which sections of a run are of a more difficult standard - eg. the top section might be marked black, and the rest blue, so a less confident skier knows they can cross over onto the run lower down, once the steep black section has passed. I haven't seen this done before, but I think it's a great idea, especially since it's so easy to cross from one run to the next. Other resorts I've been to seem to mark a whole run as one colour, which can be unnecessarily off-putting if there's only one small steep section in an otherwise blue run.
     
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  45. absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture
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    Always remember that trail gradings are only intended to reflect the relative difficulty of the trails in that resort itself. It is not a comparison to trails at other resorts.
     
  46. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    True, I guess I had expected that Breck overall would be regarded as "challenging" so I expected the difficulty of each grading to be higher, if that makes sense. I was surprised to find the gradings a little soft compared to my expectations (or maybe I'm just a more awesome snowboarder than I realise?? LOL)

    Perhaps someone more experienced in the insane-looking hike-to terrain up the top can tell me that it's not that hard and that Breck is a soft resort overall???
     
  47. absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture
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    Looking very snowy again all of a sudden for you. Nice timing!
     
  48. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

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    Maybe 10" overnight. Can't complain about that but can about the gondola line. I just had my first run off Christie back to base and to wait for the 10am-3pm lesson for a bit of guidance while by myself for two days before ski camp proper. Not bad. Have some new Rossi skis on recommendation from local store at home and they are somewhat heavier and rigid underfoot so wanted to get the feel of them. Will be Ok though I think once I get used to them. Am staying downtown in my usual style of budget motel but it's good and the bus works heaps better than Summit County where there were too many changes. Plenty of places for a cheap bite to eat in happy hour too. Just have my phone for pics but with the snow still coming down not much will show so won't worry. Better find my way to the ski school assembly point now.
     
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  49. absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture
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    Gondola line was always going to be big. First decent snowfall in about 5 weeks and the locals are desperate. February hasn't been kind to them. Have fun.

    If you even remotely like Mexican food, go to Vaqueros. Great food, not at all expensive, lovely fit out, great restaurant.
     
  50. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

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    Wow today was a fabulous day. Apparently there is a music festival going through to the weekend trailing on from Presidents Week, and then the snow brought people in from all over. So the all day lesson was well worth it run more as guided skiing with some coaching along the way. Mostly off over the Tomahawk area etc but the fun but was down through a few trees and what I thought he said was Rock Pile. Must check the trail map as I really had no idea. Trouble was as first day hard skiing in years my legs are killing me tonight and the bumps are yet to come. So might just walk around town tmrw, wash etc to be good for day after. I was reassured when waiting outside lunch (standing room only in eateries) he said I was a good skier except I wasn't doing the up movement right but didn't think it would help to discuss where that came from ie Harald Harb. Nevertheless he did make some good observations. Got some nice powder runs up high even if cut up but lower down was somewhat Australian conditions ie new snow on top of crust and ice. While perhaps not as picturesque as Breck and Keystone the country feel is a plus with the busy slopes feeling safe, ie no idiots straight lining and sking too close to people at high speed. Maybe that is to come but hope not. I shall see how the legs feel tmrw:)