Ski Resorts: All you need to know it’s here
You are decided to make your ski or snowboard trip a great vacation. You bought that new piece of gear that you are dreaming of last winter. Take the time to research which are the best options in terms of a spot that have all that you are looking for. Ski resorts options are wide; from a hut or refuge in the middle of the mountain to an exclusive lodge we spend our time in the snow and will look forward to give our advice and sincere opinions on winter destinations. In our articles you can discover what we love but what we hate too.
When ski resorts start operating?
If you want to stand out with your friends while going up the mountain in the chairlift it’s always a good idea to talk about ski or snowboard fun facts. As ski was invented before the wheel we have a lot of history under the boots.
The oldest ski in the world is called La Clusaz, a French winter sports tourist center about an hour from Geneva. It opens the doors, or start the first (first ever) chairlift of the season, on 1907. France hosts the first Winter Olympic Games too. They were celebrated in Chamonix Mont Blanc in 1924.
In the US the first skiable areas to hold lifts were Alta Ski, in Utah and Sun Valley in Idaho. Both opened in 1930.
I can imagine our grandfathers skiing. Cool!
Best affordable ski resorts
It’s said that the sport is only for wealthy people, but here we couldn’t disagree more. There is a vacation possible for every pocket. If you are short on cash but you still don’t want to miss the powder there are several things you can do to achieve the winter goal.
In the ski economy we have 4 main expenses:
- Lift tickets: You’ll need them. If you buy them in advance there are discounts. If you are going to ski more than one area buy a combined pass. Resorts have special discounts on several dates (beginning/end of the season, holidays). We are publishing special offers that’ll be interesting to our readers. If you don’t want to pay you can do backcountry and walk to the top of the mountain (not all the resorts allow it. Ask and respect).
- Gear: Always have your own. The gear is very durable and you are going to enjoy it in the mountain, and don’t get frozen if a snow storm appear. Trust us and try to have the best that you can. There are some tricks to don’t waste money. In skis some actual models are the same than last year but with another graphics. You can buy last year’s with a 40% of discount. This and other tips are in the gear section articles. Be sure to read it.
- Accommodation: There are a lot of places to sleep affordable. From a ski bummers hostel to share an airbnb or sleep in a trailer (we love this one). As with tickets the ski resorts sometimes have promotions. If they have free spaces on some dates they’ll offer them on a discount. If you are flexible with your own dates you can have a 5 stars treatment for a 3 stars price.
- Food: The food is as important as the depth of the snow. Be sure you have a great breakfast. Then you can share a sandwich in the lift or on a lost terrain. A good experience is to do some backcountry ascent, eat and then (having a couple of minutes of rest) ski down. We recommend places that have hot springs, like Whistler, to do this. It’s pure outdoors mountain luxury.
Don’t think a lot on the money. Skiing is a great experience and a great sport. Just do it.
How to choose a ski resort
First of all base your decision on the snow. If it’s good snow then the rest it’s going to be almost fine. In a personal opinion I classify the resorts looking the mountain height; if it’s a high peak it’ll have more stones, couloirs, a dryest weather. Ideal for backcountry and mountaineering. For example Jackson Hole. In the other side you have lower mountains that have more vegetation, trees, forests, probably a lake. That kind of resorts have a best view from the top. Like any of the resorts of Tahoe.
Another important thing to look after is if the resort is ski-in, ski-out or if you are going to be located in a village a couple of miles ahead. I prefer in and out and forget about driving, putting the chains in the wheels and the dangers that the road can bring.
Following this advice you are going to be at the first chair every day. See you there!
How ski resorts make snow
If because of bad weather or hot temperatures some slopes or trails have a lack of snow, the resorts have the capacity to make snow on their own. The idea is that if the temperatures are below 32° F or 0° C the resort have machines like big sprinklers that throw water and this on contact with low temperatures gets converted into snow.
When ski resorts open
The open and close dates of resorts are always conditioned by the weather and snow conditions. Read our articles as we update resorts conditions. As you can ski in almost every time of the year keep your bag ready. It’s always dumping in some place.
Are ski only resorts?
If you are an old schooler that don’t want to share your chair with some teen or not so teen snowboarder the answer is yes. There are still three resorts that ban snowboarders. These are Alta Ski and Deer Valley in Utah and Mad River Glen in Vermont. We hope this restrictions some day disappear, because in a good crew are both skiers and snowboarders and yes they can share the mountain love and shred together.
To keep informed in all about ski resorts read our articles regularly.