Author Topic: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.  (Read 2399 times)

Askel

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I struggle with this. On one hand, skiing is something I enjoy greatly and spending more quality time with my skis is one of the driving forces behind my interest in FIRE. On that other hand, it's a completely ridiculous past time that can eat up every dollar I have, has almost no utility value beyond some outdoor exercise, and is the root cause of some pretty bad transgressions against good 'ol Ma Nature.

Even Mr. MM seems to struggle with it a bit, finding a way to try and integrate his annual "Safety Pirates" trip into his ideals: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/03/04/an-enjoyable-experiment-wasting-1000/

(Take away: Fuck it, let's burn a grand!)

So, bear with me as I engage in a multipart post on the subject. Part rant, part DIY, part accountability, and all snow. 

Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2019, 10:24:21 AM »
Part 1: The rant. 

Pretty much every culture I've seen that developed in snowy areas devised some method to more efficiently travel over snow.  Some figured out that when you mix gravity with this slippery white stuff, you can have a hell of a lot of fun (see the Altai: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aAMrTIzsnU). 

One of these was skiing.  Early European settlers brought it to my neck of the woods. Since they didn't have an English word for it then, they just formed "Snowshoe Clubs". The US Ski Hall of Fame is not far from my home. 

Then, the culture that brought you the F-350 dually for commuting purposes got ahold of skiing.

At this point, skiing has gone completely off the deep end.  It could quite possibly be the least efficient means of transport over snow now.  Take a mountain, rip all the trees of one side, put a bunch of chairlifts in, make snow, then groom it with giant snowcats.  Can't groom it? Drop bombs on it or SHELL IT WITH A HOWITZER!! FUCK YEAH! AMERICA!  Don't forget to then surround this mountain with way overpriced hotels, restaurants, and vacation real estate. 

But wait! There's more: your special little place in this growing disaster!  Buy yourself some skis and gear, at least every 3 years. God forbid you be seen rocking rear entry boots, straight skis, or an unfashionable ski coat. Then get on a plane and fly someplace snowy.  Check into your hotel, eat an expensive meal, then pay nearly a hundred bucks to ride those chairlifts.  Do this a lot? Spend a thousand bucks on a season pass and get yourself a timeshare!  Be sure to go heli-skiing because sure, why the fuck not at this point?  Then just keep hitting that endorphin/adrenaline button over and over again by chasing more and more agressive lines. Continue until you suffer some debilitating injury.   

But I'm a sensitive new age viking! Me and mother nature are best of pals! I'm a cross country skier! 

It's too late, we've ruined that already too.  You can't just put on a pair of skis and shuffle off into the woods! Good god man! You need to MAXIMIZE YOUR PERFORMANCE. First, adopt a skiing technique that requires two lane roads be bulldozed through the forest. Then groom them constantly with the same giant snowcats from the downhill area (god forbid we break trail or set tracks ourselves, we're not animals). Get yourself a quiver full of skis that all look exactly the same with different flex and base grinds.  Sign up for races. Realize you suck. In a vain attempt not to suck, get on a plane and fly someplace snowy for early season training. Engage in all the shenanigans the downhill folks do without the adrenaline. 

Someplace, in all this craziness is a quiet moment in some beautiful winter surroundings, a good hearty physical challenge, maybe a few thrills, and some good times with friends. Maybe we can do this in at least a partially sustainable way. If not for the earth's health, at least for that of our budget. 

« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 12:31:54 PM by Askel »

Arbitrage

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2019, 10:25:31 AM »
I love skiing, grew up skiing frequently, even worked for a season at a major ski resort.  I haven't skied for about 9 years now, basically since having kids.  I would like to get them into skiing at some point, but every time there's an opportunity, I end up balking or just doing nothing while the opportunity passes. 

The prospect of a family skiing trip is so daunting now, with the need to purchase ski clothing that the kids will never use outside of skiing and outgrow quickly (we live in SoCal and don't need that clothing otherwise), travel, lodging, insanely priced lift tickets, lessons, rentals, etc.  My brother just floated the idea of a meetup family ski vacation in a year.  While it sounds great, I can't help but consider that it's probably going to be north of $3k to make it happen for a few days of skiing.  However, I have so many positive skiing memories from my youth that I don't want to deprive my kids of the opportunity. 

I have been considering FIRE in a location with easy access to skiing.  It's much more palatable with a season pass, a short drive during off-peak times, and one's own gear. 

Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2019, 10:36:03 AM »
I grew up on skis as well, Arbitrage. Some of my best skiing memories are days out with family on cross country trips.  I wouldn't trade them for any big mountain trip I've ever done. Hopefully my coming posts will give you some ideas on how to get out there with your family. 

TheBeeKeeper

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2019, 10:41:14 AM »
XC skiing!
Much cheaper than downhill, better workout, kids can do it too.
Bonus- most of the clothing can be used for winter biking

honeybbq

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2019, 10:54:38 AM »
No help here, I have an Epic Season pass. We'll do Whistler, my spouse will spend a week in CO, and with the acquisition of Steven's Pass, we'll get some weekend skiing in locally as well.

Skiing is fun. It's exercise. It's a good family trip and bonding experience. It makes sitting in an office and earning money worth it.

Having a pass helps keep the costs fixed. When we go for a week of skiing, we usually go with another family and rent a ski in-out condo to help offset the lodging charges. I bring along my instant pot and cook every meal and do meal planning. For 6+ people, usually a week of skiing costs about $50 for food and snacks including booze. This is a huge savings compared to buying lunch on the mountain every day or going into the village for dinner. In the evenings we talk and play games and drink wine. It's an excellent vacation IMO and worth every dime.

Some of the mountains have free passes for kids- Epic pass is one of them. And I think in Colorado, they have a grade (e.g. 4th?) that skiis free every year at their resorts. I usually try to buy their gear second hand or get adjustable bibs that can work for many seasons. I've bought (and sold) skis through the ski swap and also on ebay so each new ski/boot combo really costs about 50% once I factor in my own resale.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 10:56:30 AM by honeybbq »

Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2019, 11:01:35 AM »
Part II: How to be a Mustachian Skier

(This is by no means comprehensive, just some things I do to escape the craziness and cost usually associated with skiing.)

1. Get some snow.  You're going to need a lot of this, the more the better.  My personal recommendation is to move someplace that has it or at least closer to those places.  Try to avoid making it. First, making snow is an incredibly water and energy intensive process with high environmental and financial costs.  Second, everybody is going to flock there. While a rowdy Friday night at the local hill with lots of people can be a blast, I enjoy skiing best by the opportunity it affords for real solitude. 

2. Learn to ski uphill.  Laugh at the poor suckers paying to be herded up the lifts, forever at the mercy of only being able to go wherever gravity will take them once they got off at the top. We live in a golden age of options for gear that can be pointed uphill now. XC, AT, heck- even snowboards that split in two to make a pair of skis to go uphill are a thing. 

3. Learn to break trail. I won't kid you, this can be really hard, but you're going to need to learn how to do this to escape the tyranny of the groomed.  Laying in a good skintrack is an art. To those whose tracks I follow, I owe you a beer.

4. Learn to ski downhill- in any gear.  This has been incredibly liberating for me. Learning to ski downhill in a lightweight cross country set up opens a world of options. Come across a sweet glade in your 10 mile trip? The world's your oyster!  Plus you can freak out the normals at the resort as you glide past on XC skis while they struggle with hefty plastic boots and stiff metal edged skis.  I also have a personal theory that lightweight gear greatly reduces the risk of injury as it limits your ability to achieve the extreme speeds and forces that usually contribute to such.     

As you can see, the area between traditional "downhill" and "cross country" realms is pretty gray for me.  Hence I just call it all "skiing".

Bonus step: Learn to camp in the snow.  Motorhomes, vans, and other forms of vehicle based camping are a staple of the ski bum lifestyle.  I've splurged on a bit of luxury though. A canvas tent is a wonderful evening respite and allows for multiple day trips far away from roads.




fell-like-rain

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2019, 11:21:51 AM »
Agree with everything said about how skiing is fundamentally a cheap sport, which has been artificially made into an expensive nightmare. When I lived in a more rural area, I'd literally head out my front door, cross the road, put on my skis, and go. No driving, no skilifts, no BS. If I wanted to go downhill, I'd find a hill that had been cleared for farming and do some telemark turns down it (which IMO feels vastly more graceful than zipping around on knife-edge fixed heel skis). My lodge was my house, and the apres-ski dinner was typically mac and cheese.

Also, there was no such thing as being snowed in. If the roads aren't plowed, that just means you have a beautiful wide-open trail to ski.

gaja

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2019, 11:24:08 AM »
I have never paid for skiing in my life, except for getting some very cheap, and often second hand, skis for the kids. My own have always been inherited from parents, neighbours, etc. We usually keep to flattish terrain (e.g. the garden), but in the degree I have done any downhill skiing, it has been after struggling to walk up the hill first (fishbones or sideways, depending on the angle of the hill). Have also done a little bit of ski jumping, but only after first building the ski jump.

Take care when following someone elses tracks in the woods. Some of the most fun we had as kids were making trick tracks; tracks that suddenly ended (often at cliff edges), tracks seemingly going through trees, etc.

AM43

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2019, 11:24:14 AM »
Not an expert skier here, but I do ski every winter season with my family of 4.
On average we do 4 ski trips per season.
Yes, it can get expensive if you let it.
We do not need to fly to ski, so that helps to keep costs down.
I bought all my skiing gear off Craigslist.
Plenty to choose from, from expert to beginner gear and everything in between.
I do not own any specific clothing that's designed for skiing.
I wear what's comfortable and keeps me warm.
I bring everything with us to slopes, even water.
We do not purchase anything at the mountain.
Its mostly mediocre to plain nasty food and grossly overpriced, but hey I get it, they are in business to make money.
I try to score lift tickets from Craigslist whenever possible as well.
People get comps and sell it all the time, so keep an eye on that.
Costco sells discount lift tickets as well.
Look for deals, coupons or promos on lift tickets.
That's where skiing gets expensive. Lift tickets.
Family of 4 can easily spend $300 and more depending on resort just on that.

dude

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2019, 11:24:53 AM »
Amen. Uphilling is freedom. I'm a splitboarder. Accessing untouched pow runs is one of life's purest joys. Can't put a price on it.

On the downside, backcountry travel is getting VERY popular, and it's rare these days to have the mountains to yourself. Hell, in the Wasatch, terrain previously accessed only by those willing to work for it is regularly snaked by heli operators who drop their load of clients on the same hill you were patiently ascending for the untouched goods. Makes me wish I had an RPG.

Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2019, 11:27:15 AM »
Part III: In which I atone for my sins.

I'll update this as the season progresses. As you can see, I do quite a few things that don't necessarily fit squarely in my ideals. 

Costs
Tickets and Passes
$205- Season pass, downhill area. I almost do this out of charity for an awesome little hill about an hour from my house.  One chairlift, one rope tow, and a lodge that keeps the fireplaces cranking all day and doesn't care if you bring in outside food and beers.  Bonus: it's situated on the edge of 60000 acre wilderness area. 
$220- Trail pass, cross country areas.  I primarily do this as it covers my summer mountain bike access as well, but dang it- sometimes I just want to go peg my heart rate with some skate skiing on the groomers. 

Gear
This is going to be rough this year. My heavyweight skis are due for demotion to rock ski status and a new set acquired. My 10 year old middleweight boots are falling apart. My brand new heavyweight boots are falling apart (possible warranty coverage). Oh, and I bent my lightweight boots in a crash last weekend. 
$129- new middleweight boots, seem to be covering the lightweight end of the spectrum for now as well. We'll see if I can unbend the other boots. 
 
Transportation
I probably rack up at least an average of 100 miles of extra driving a week during ski season, solely for ski related purposes. 

Food and other party supplies
I've yet to hit any of my favorite apres ski gut bomb burger joints this season. I'm probably in for about $40 in beers and rye whiskey.  Backside of my favorite downhill area has a warming hut with a stove and stocked with wood. Head down there after last chair, get a fire going, have a few beers, dry out, then ski out under the stars. 

« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 11:37:01 AM by Askel »

Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2019, 11:48:48 AM »
Thanks for your tips, resort skiers. 

Although I tend to talk smack about you, I do realize I'm blessed with incredible access to many other options and friends crazy enough to follow me.   Not everybody is so lucky. 

Hopefully others find some value in your advice. 

GuitarStv

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2019, 12:03:50 PM »
My mom got me some ski boots and skis used for 20 - 30 dollars and I spent a good portion of my childhood cross country skiing where I lived in Northern Ontario.  I'd just ski along the many snowmobile trails in the woods near our house.  It always blew me away the distance you could travel on skis.  We had snow for five or six months of the year up north though, and sadly just don't get enough where I currently live to make it worth while buying skis.

I did downhill skiing once or twice a year as a kid and enjoyed it, but even back then it was a pretty expensive thing to do.  Doesn't seem like prices have gone down any since.

Prairie Moustache

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2019, 12:14:02 PM »
I was lucky that my parents bought me a pair of decent skiis when I was younger and managed not to grow out of the boots. I'm constantly looking for ways to minimize lift ticket costs. This year I'm planning on heading here for my birthday: https://www.skimarmot.com/plan-your-visit/deals-promotions/

Mtngrl

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2019, 12:23:02 PM »
Love to downhill ski. It's one of the reasons we moved to Colorado. We have a big ski area 45 minutes from our home. Ways we save money: Buy multi-packs of ski tickets pre-season. Yes, it's still expensive, but cheaper than walk-up prices. We park in the free parking garage. Bring our lunch to ski, always have dinner ready in the crock pot for when we get home. (I noticed yesterday that the price of a burger at the base area restaurant is $16! -- yet we are almost always by ourselves in the sack lunch yurt.)  I'd rather have a drink at home, sitting in our hot tub on the back deck, than go out apres-ski anyway. My husband tunes our skis -- he's had the equipment for years. We buy gear maybe every 10 years or more. Lots of used clothing is available in thrift stores here. Tourists buy the stuff for a trip and donate it before they go home.  He got a 'new' pair of skis last year at the local ski swap for $35 -- wanted some wider powder skis and wasn't about to pay top dollar for them. We bought new helmets two years ago after I fell and cracked mine -- end of season, online sale. Got goggles last year -- also end of season clearance. I am going to need boots in a year or two, but am determined to hang onto these as long as possible. So yeah, we spend money on skiing, but much less than a lot of folks, and we budget for it.

For cross country, we have nice Salomen skis and boots that were given to us by neighbors who were moving south. We have two areas with free groomed trails (one is on the golf course in our neighborhood). We also have an extensive network of trails in our neighborhood where we go snowshoeing -- we bought our snowshoes at a discount store 20 years ago.

Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2019, 12:40:09 PM »
On the downside, backcountry travel is getting VERY popular, and it's rare these days to have the mountains to yourself. Hell, in the Wasatch, terrain previously accessed only by those willing to work for it is regularly snaked by heli operators who drop their load of clients on the same hill you were patiently ascending for the untouched goods. Makes me wish I had an RPG.

Thankfully, the midwest still puts up a good fight against those looking for BC options.  Finding the right combination elevation, angle, and trees open enough to ski through, but dense enough to keep the snowmobiles out takes some searching and often enough, some select hand trimming. 

It usually requires covering some serious ground on the approach as well, so it takes some major dedication to hump it in on a full on AT setup. 

And if you see a helicopter around, somebody probably reported you as lost. :D

TrMama

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2019, 01:42:13 PM »
Hello, my name is Trmama and I'm also addicted to skiing.

I hear you on the foolishness. Through bike commuting, I'm down to a single tank of gas/month . . . except the months I drive to the ski resort. It's a 500km round trip. Once there, thanks to global warming the conditions are marginal, at best.

However, it's one of the few activities both I and my kids enjoy. Or at least my oldest enjoyed it until she broke her leg skiing last spring. Cue, purchase of brand new ski boots for her to assuage my guilt. I think her too soft, well used boots may have contributed to the break. Even with the new boots, and lots of pep talks, she now so anxious on the slopes I'm not sure we'll be able to overcome it.

I'd like to be a ski bum when I grow up retire, but I'm not sure where to move to. All the areas that may remain cold enough are also in the summer smoke/fire belt of BC (that's pretty much all of BC). I've lived in the wildfire path before and don't care for a repeat.

As for cost savings, get these boots for your kids, https://shop.roces.com/en/children-adjustable-ski-boots.html. Yes, they really do cover 3 foot sizes. My youngest has a pair bought used for $20.

Our "local" hill has a Rookie Year pass for kids. For a $50 upcharge on the kids seasons pass you get equipment rental and a lesson any day you want. My kids went from non-skiers to nearly black diamond capable in one season. They had almost 20 lessons that year. And I had 20 afternoons alone to ski the fun stuff :-)

My employer has a health and wellness benefit. So they reimburse me for $300 worth of my season's pass.

Lady SA

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2019, 02:35:21 PM »
Guilty! Though I basically 99% XC ski and hardly ever downhill. I like downhill skiing once in a while, but I XC ski for a few hours 4x a week in preparation for the birkebiner and other big and small races.

The biggest costs during a typical year for us each year are race entry fees, annualized equipment costs, and season ski passes to the various trails we go train at--I just did a yearly review and we spent $4500 on sports last year (not just skiing, I also race kayaks in the summer). I did have to get new ski boots this past year because my old ones (10 years old) fell apart. We waited until spring/summer sales to pick up some really sweet Solomons on super sale (~$250). But even with that, the entry fees and passes both surpassed that cost... oof.

For me, skiing (and rowing/kayaking) is a healthy, life-long activity, and incidentally it is incredibly fun. It is a rare full-body aerobic and anaerobic activity and you get to spend time outside with trees and sun and fresh air. I believe I will live longer and have a healthier body for the rest of my life precisely because I ski. I consider the money I spend on the activity as an investment in my future health, which helps me sleep better at night after I add up all my ski bills :D

Like others on this thread, I would like to FIRE precisely to spend MORE time doing these activities and they bring me joy and health (double whammy!), so I'm not willing to cut them much if at all.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 05:13:15 PM by Lady SA »

peeps_be_peeping

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2019, 05:04:27 PM »
Skiing is my favorite outdoor activity. I'm totally guilty of overspending on everything skiing. I have at least 20+ pairs of skis of all kinds, xc and downhill and AT and telemark (lost count at this point to be honest), 9 (?) pairs of ski boots, and multiple ski outfits for a variety of weather conditions, activity levels, and hip girths (gaaaah!). I have 7 pairs of my favorite skis because the company discontinued that model so I had to get a few extra for the future. It's kind of a problem. Last year I spent $1,573 on downhill skiing, which in hindsight doesn't seem as bad as it could have been. This includes lift tickets and equipment, but does not include gas, clothing, or a 2-week trip to Switzerland (which was actually pretty cheap at about $2,000). This season I promised myself I would not buy another pair of skis. I also managed to get rid of two old pairs.

I do it all, but these days I am doing more backcountry nordic skiing and less skate skiing, lift serviced downhill skiing, and AT skiing. Skate skiing hurts my hip, downhill skiing is expensive and crowded, and AT skiing is more crowded than I'd like it to be and I am still spooked from experiencing an avalanche two years ago (though nobody was hurt). Backcountry nordic is a fairly mustachian activity because the gear can often be bought used for much less than new and it lasts a while. I ski on 10-year old metal edged touring skis with ~20 year old (don't know, just guessing) full grain welted leather boots. No lift ticket required and you get some exercise too. I figure at this point I have so much downhill skiing under my belt that it will be fun to explore the limits of metal-edged touring and meadow skipping for a while.


Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2019, 07:31:03 PM »
Oh good, now I don't feel really weird about the urge to hoard skis. 

I'm in such a bizzaro niche of the ski market (xcd/heavy xc/light tele/whatever you want to call it) that whenever any manufacturer acknowledges us and makes something new, I HAVE TO TRY IT. If I like it, OMG I NEED TO BUY ALL OF THEM BECAUSE I MIGHT NOT EVER SEE ANYTHING LIKE IT AGAIN.

Current gear tally: 8.5 pairs of skis ( I broke one resulting in a half set), 4 pairs of boots and another 4 pair that have suffered pretty severe damage, but I refuse to give up because they might be salvageable. 

I just have to remind myself that I could probably duct tape 2x4s to my feet and probably still have a good time....

Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2019, 07:49:04 PM »
When I lived in a more rural area, I'd literally head out my front door, cross the road, put on my skis, and go.

Thankfully, I have this option too.  I live at the end of a pretty massive watershed.  As such, it tends to be kinda swampy. Winter is really the only time you can venture out in the woods without wading through puddles and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.  I can literally go all day out my front door.  Head out, build a fire around lunch time, turn around and head back. Once in 15 years of doing this, I crossed paths with my neighbor on his snowmobile.  We were equally as shocked to see each other.

 

biggrey

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2019, 08:18:43 PM »
Yes skiing.  Fantastic.  By my rough calculation I've spent $150,000 on it over the last 15 years.  I might be lowballing that number.  Ski fees of all types, equipment, perhaps 10 dedicated trips over the years, etc., for me and family of four. 

Yes, I'm lowballing.  It might be closer to $200,000.

That doesn't include the 2nd home. 

Ouch.

Wouldn't have traded a MINUTE of it.

jeninco

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2019, 08:33:54 PM »
We're tele-dirtbags in Colorado, and we do a bunch of things to keep it reasonable:

I patrol with a Nordic/backcountry patrol, so I can go skate or track-ski at our area for free as long as I'm wearing a jacket and carrying a first aid pack,
Backcountry skiing is 45 minutes from our back door
Used gear for everyone! The kids have area and AT gear (we tried to teach them to tele, but they were having none of it, and it's about being in the backcountry, not about whether your heels are locked down, in the end) Our gear was mostly purchased used, and we take care of it.
Also used clothing, mostly.
Passes/discount coupons to a small(ish) local area. Kid passes are <$150, and the rest of us can get ticket prices capped at $50 or so
Older kid asked for a multi-area pass as his big end-of-year gift, so he goes with friends.
President's Day trip will be to a (different) small area that's in the south of the state and getting hammered with snow. VBRO, we'll do most or all of our cooking, etc.

We also do a hut trip for Christmas each year through the Tenth Mountain Hut system. It's gotten a bit more expensive (I remember when it was $20/night/person), but we ski 5+ miles into a lovely chalet with a fairly full kitchen, wood stoves, bunks, big south-facing windows, and generally fairly agreeable hut-mates.

As was mentioned, it's a thing we do with each other and the kids and a nice way to spend time outdoors, in the mountains, sometimes together. It's a value that we choose to spend on.

The Guru

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2019, 08:52:07 PM »
Skiing, like most pursuits can be enjoyed in a Mustachian fashion...or not. Certainly XC skiing can be done more cheaply than downhill. And when you live as I do in an area that routinely competes for the Golden Snow Globe Award it's wise to find SOME means to avoid going nuts during the winter months.

I started XCing about 1980. I've owned 4 pairs of skis since then. The first pair I bought JUST fell apart (literally) last winter. I've since adopted my wife's first pair. As far as where to go, we can go in the local state park for nothing, or if I want to skate pony up $20 for a trail pass for a nearby XC ski lodge. Pretty cheap all things considered...

...especially considering the fringe benefits: time spent w/ like-minded friends. A reason to LOOK FORWARD TO a nice accumulation of snow. Afternoons spent in the snowy silence of a wooded trail. The endorphin rush of a great workout, and the full-body exhaustion that follows. Let's not forget that Mustachianism involves appreciation for nature, time spent with others, physical fitness and "muscle over motor", not just seeing how cheaply one can get thru life.

Linda_Norway

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2019, 05:02:17 AM »
This is a thread for me. I love unmotorized winter sports.

Cross Country skiing is my great hobby. I love to do it on lightweight narrow skis in prepared trail. But I also like shuffling around on broad skis (with iron sides) outside the trails, following wildlife tracks or just climbing a mountain.

As I was 23 when I stood on skis for the first time, and 24 when I moved to a country with snow, I never learned well to do alpine skiing. I tried once a year for the first few years I lived in Norway. I have even taken a course. But as I never got skilled enough to get out of the children's hill, I have given up on it and just focus on cross country skiing. I have taken a 1 hour course on that a few years ago, with a very good trainer, and that helped enormously to improve my technique. Although I do not always have the breath to ski with proper technique all the time.

We live in the Oslo region. In a good winter, we have lots of trails and I go skiing every day I am free. Sometimes also in the evenings with a headlight, or in moonlight. But in bad winters, it can be depressing to be a skier. This winter, I skied here twice in November/December.

We also own a cabin in a area that is generally very cold and has long winters (RÝros region). We spend the days between Christmas and new year there and could ski there every day. This cabin is not in a popular skiing area, as there is no alpine skiing hill there, so it is quite affordable. The make tracks with snow scooters, that are narrower than normal tracks. So a little tricky when going steeply downhill. But there are several tracks in the mountains above the tree border and that is very beautiful. The area is quite remote and you can find lots of animal tracks.
When I go outside the tracks and down hill, I have some trouble going down hill smoothly. I can either ski straight down, or I can break the whole way. I can make very careful turns on flat surfaces. And in worst case, I step down sideways in the steep parts. As you understand, I don't enjoy skiing steep downhill, because of my lack of skills. But I do enjoy circumstances with good snow where I can turn between trees and somehow get down the hill. I hate icy snow.

We also like to make a several day trip on broad skis, of track. Preferably staying in cabins. But we have also winter camped several times, but with only 1 night in the tent per trip. Your stuff get very wet when it is cold and I'm not sure how to solve that on a multiple day trip.
I tend to get blisters when I use those wide, heavy skis. I have me third pair of boots, but they also give blisters. It usually happens when I meet a normal skiing trail and try to ski with normal technique on these heavy skis. Also fishgrating uphill causes blisters. Just shuffling around on them goes best, with lots of tape on my heels to prevent blisters. But also because of this blister issue, I am sceptic of doing very long trips. Several times I have had to shortcut a long trip because of my feet being hurt deeply.

We just got a new layer of snow the other day. I don't work on Fridays anymore and hope to go skiing tomorrow on a prepared trail. In the region where I live the tracks are quite crowded in the weekend. But it was not the case in November/December, when people probably spent there weekends in shopping centers to buy Christmas gifts. I had of course ordered everything online.

Trifele

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2019, 05:22:45 AM »
Posting to follow.  XC skiing is my favorite outdoor activity, period.  It is life.  I moved to Upstate NY in my early 20s, and spent many, many happy days in the Tug Hill region and the Adirondacks on the most beautiful trails in the world (my humble opinion).  Since moving away from there I have been seriously ski deprived.  Now that I am FIREing (hooray!) I hope to become a ski bum and spend lots of time back in NY,or else in other areas yet to be discovered. 

FWIW, I never learned to downhill ski, and have never paid for a XC ski pass . . . It's been all state and federal land.  My gear is pretty basic.  I've had three pair of skis, and probably spent a total of $2500 or so (?) on gear over the past 30 years.   

Linda_Norway

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2019, 07:06:25 AM »
I have a small ski park. My alpine skis and boots are sold some years ago, as they weren't used.

I own a pair of medium broad CC skis with steel sides for off trail maintain skiing, Ňsnes Rago. I have BC bindings and boots, I think Alfa Skarvet. The skis have an option to click on short skins, which I like to use at difficult waxing circumstances. I hate using the sticky stuff, that is not wax. What do you call it in English? Norwegian name: klister. Skins are great for uphill.

I have a pair of nice, narrow CC skis for good circumstances in prepared trails. Bought on sale for a 4th of the normal price.
My old similar pair is used during not so good circumstances, with little snow or lots of pine needles in the trail. Also bought on sale at the end of the season.
I have a pair of zero skis, bought cheaply. They have a sort of filt in the waxing zone. Great for around zero or above zero temperatures. I have also used them on marginally circumstances, like in the spring when there is very little snow left and we still go skiing.
At our cabin I keep to have my 20 year old beginner skis, quite heavy and a bit wider than fast skis. But they were eventually so broken and my shoe hurt in the old type of binding, that I ditched them. I bought a replacement pair of the el cheapo kind at the end of the season. Those are also a bit wider than fast skis, but they are not so heavy as the 20 year old ones. I used them under all circumstances at the cabin. They work surprisingly well.

My DH has a similar set of skis. In addition he has: a pair of skating skis, a pair of narrower mountain skis with steel sides and a pair of old, broad mountain skis. And he still has his alpine skis.

Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2019, 07:34:02 AM »

When I go outside the tracks and down hill, I have some trouble going down hill smoothly. I can either ski straight down, or I can break the whole way. I can make very careful turns on flat surfaces. And in worst case, I step down sideways in the steep parts. As you understand, I don't enjoy skiing steep downhill, because of my lack of skills. But I do enjoy circumstances with good snow where I can turn between trees and somehow get down the hill.

If you ever want to try picking up some new skills for getting down the hill, try and find a copy of Cross-Country Downhill and Other Nordic Mountain Skiing Techniques by Steve Barnett. It's been out of print for a while and achieved something of a cult status, so used prices can sometimes be a little bonkers though.   

As for keeping dry when winter camping? Wood stove.  My cotton tent and steel stove aren't the lightest, but can easily be moved around in a ski pulk.  Plenty of fuel to be found where I ski.  Getting the tent cranked up to near 70 degrees while relaxing on open snow floor is one of my favorite things. 


Blackbeard

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2019, 08:13:56 AM »
DH Skiing and Mountain Biking are two of the main reasons we decided to FIRE.  Our entire FIRE plan was based on being able to do these two sports.  Here are our life hacks, the RE Police may not like it. 

We scoured the country for the right ratio of value to ability to ski and ride and bought a condo with a room that can be rented out for profit during the ski season.
The resort we're at is owned by one of the two main resort conglomerates in the US (Either Aspen or Vail).
We converted a van in to an RV to store Skis and Bikes for 20-35 day trips.
We became certifed Ski Instructors and have agreed to work for our resort on the weekends and the major holidays.

Why this is an awesome system for Post FIRE.
Employees get free skiing at any resort owned by the main company.
Employees get discounted employee housing at any resort owned by the company.
Employees get 30-50% of all food at resort owned restuarants.
Employees get pro deals on most equipment.  Most pro deals are 40-60% off of retail.
We so far have averaged $300/weekend each from tips and hourly rate.
My skiing has drastically improved.  First from being on skis almost everyday.  Second from all of the clinics and other instructors working with you on form and technique.
My favorite I'm not the fucking boss.  I do what I'm told and get to enjoy the customers.  Yes there are d-bags every once and awhile but for the most part people are enjoying themselves.

Here is our plan to enjoy the best part of the gig.  We've worked it out with our manager to work Christmas through Feb 3rd, weekends and holidays.  After that we get the next two months off, but we're still on the payroll, so we can go to any of the resorts for free.  So we'll be able to enjoy all of Feb and March skiing just about any geography in the US for free!

So something that we would have paid several thousand per year to do in FIRE we've worked into making $3-4,000 per year.  FIRE gave us the ability to pursue this as a good balance. 

I wake up everyday fucking excited.  We just got 9" of snow.  So I'm about 20 minutes from rope drop.  There is no one out there because it's a Thursday!   

Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2019, 08:28:57 AM »
Good deal!

A buddy of mine patrols for a midwestern franchise of one the aforementioned conglomerates and also gets many of the same benefits you do.   

BuildingFrugalHabits

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2019, 08:30:09 AM »

When I go outside the tracks and down hill, I have some trouble going down hill smoothly. I can either ski straight down, or I can break the whole way. I can make very careful turns on flat surfaces. And in worst case, I step down sideways in the steep parts. As you understand, I don't enjoy skiing steep downhill, because of my lack of skills. But I do enjoy circumstances with good snow where I can turn between trees and somehow get down the hill.

If you ever want to try picking up some new skills for getting down the hill, try and find a copy of Cross-Country Downhill and Other Nordic Mountain Skiing Techniques by Steve Barnett. It's been out of print for a while and achieved something of a cult status, so used prices can sometimes be a little bonkers though.   

As for keeping dry when winter camping? Wood stove.  My cotton tent and steel stove aren't the lightest, but can easily be moved around in a ski pulk.  Plenty of fuel to be found where I ski.  Getting the tent cranked up to near 70 degrees while relaxing on open snow floor is one of my favorite things. 



This is really cool.  I love skiing and I've done a few hut trips but never anything like what you're describing.  Are you basically packing everything in on a big sled?  I'm interested in hearing more about your trips and setup/kit if you feel like sharing.  From my perspective, skiing and biking are two things I'm passionate about and give myself permission to spend money on within reason.  Two things about skiing I've always found nuts are the real estate prices in ski towns and the vehicles have for "the lifestyle".  No, I don't think you need a 50k, 15 mpg suv with a $1,000 roof rack+box. A prius with snow tires can work fine.  I've found that reasonably priced food options can be found in town as long as you aren't eating on the slopes.  Also, happy hour specials often make beer cheaper up there vs where I live. Go figure.   

Gear:  I buy good stuff on sale and keep it until it wears out.  I'm still skiing with a north face shell that's almost 20 years old and a pair of arctryx pants purchased in 2005.  Good gear amortized over it's lifecycle isn't too expensive.  Skis can be had very inexpensively, especially when purchased in the off-season. 

BuildingFrugalHabits

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2019, 08:35:22 AM »
DH Skiing and Mountain Biking are two of the main reasons we decided to FIRE.  Our entire FIRE plan was based on being able to do these two sports.  Here are our life hacks, the RE Police may not like it. 

We scoured the country for the right ratio of value to ability to ski and ride and bought a condo with a room that can be rented out for profit during the ski season.
The resort we're at is owned by one of the two main resort conglomerates in the US (Either Aspen or Vail).
We converted a van in to an RV to store Skis and Bikes for 20-35 day trips.
We became certifed Ski Instructors and have agreed to work for our resort on the weekends and the major holidays.

Why this is an awesome system for Post FIRE.
Employees get free skiing at any resort owned by the main company.
Employees get discounted employee housing at any resort owned by the company.
Employees get 30-50% of all food at resort owned restuarants.
Employees get pro deals on most equipment.  Most pro deals are 40-60% off of retail.
We so far have averaged $300/weekend each from tips and hourly rate.
My skiing has drastically improved.  First from being on skis almost everyday.  Second from all of the clinics and other instructors working with you on form and technique.
My favorite I'm not the fucking boss.  I do what I'm told and get to enjoy the customers.  Yes there are d-bags every once and awhile but for the most part people are enjoying themselves.

Here is our plan to enjoy the best part of the gig.  We've worked it out with our manager to work Christmas through Feb 3rd, weekends and holidays.  After that we get the next two months off, but we're still on the payroll, so we can go to any of the resorts for free.  So we'll be able to enjoy all of Feb and March skiing just about any geography in the US for free!

So something that we would have paid several thousand per year to do in FIRE we've worked into making $3-4,000 per year.  FIRE gave us the ability to pursue this as a good balance. 

I wake up everyday fucking excited.  We just got 9" of snow.  So I'm about 20 minutes from rope drop.  There is no one out there because it's a Thursday!

Yes, this is awesome!!

dude

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2019, 08:40:24 AM »
The one thing I will say about backcountry vs. resort is this - if you're an experienced skier/rider (AND have proper avalanche training), backcountry is a great way to go. However, if you're not, then you aren't going to get much better as a skier/rider -- to do that, you need to log in many, many vertical laps, which can really only be done on lift-served terrain.

I have an Epic Pass and consider it a screaming deal (it was like $640). I can use it at a ton of resorts and if I get in enough days, it makes those days pretty damn cheap (20 days = $32/day).  Next year, when I'm retired, I will likely get the Epic Pass and the Ikon Pass, because I'm certain to get in more than enough days to make them worthwhile, in addition to the backcountry days I'll get (not to mention slackcountry time outside the resort gates).

Have an annual backcountry yurt trip coming up in Feb/Mar that I can't wait for!

dude

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2019, 08:42:10 AM »
DH Skiing and Mountain Biking are two of the main reasons we decided to FIRE.  Our entire FIRE plan was based on being able to do these two sports.  Here are our life hacks, the RE Police may not like it. 

We scoured the country for the right ratio of value to ability to ski and ride and bought a condo with a room that can be rented out for profit during the ski season.
The resort we're at is owned by one of the two main resort conglomerates in the US (Either Aspen or Vail).
We converted a van in to an RV to store Skis and Bikes for 20-35 day trips.
We became certifed Ski Instructors and have agreed to work for our resort on the weekends and the major holidays.

Why this is an awesome system for Post FIRE.
Employees get free skiing at any resort owned by the main company.
Employees get discounted employee housing at any resort owned by the company.
Employees get 30-50% of all food at resort owned restuarants.
Employees get pro deals on most equipment.  Most pro deals are 40-60% off of retail.
We so far have averaged $300/weekend each from tips and hourly rate.
My skiing has drastically improved.  First from being on skis almost everyday.  Second from all of the clinics and other instructors working with you on form and technique.
My favorite I'm not the fucking boss.  I do what I'm told and get to enjoy the customers.  Yes there are d-bags every once and awhile but for the most part people are enjoying themselves.

Here is our plan to enjoy the best part of the gig.  We've worked it out with our manager to work Christmas through Feb 3rd, weekends and holidays.  After that we get the next two months off, but we're still on the payroll, so we can go to any of the resorts for free.  So we'll be able to enjoy all of Feb and March skiing just about any geography in the US for free!

So something that we would have paid several thousand per year to do in FIRE we've worked into making $3-4,000 per year.  FIRE gave us the ability to pursue this as a good balance. 

I wake up everyday fucking excited.  We just got 9" of snow.  So I'm about 20 minutes from rope drop.  There is no one out there because it's a Thursday!

@Blackbeard, do you have any pics or info on your can conversion? Very interested. Planning to do one myself for a Retirement Road Trip next summer.

Blackbeard

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2019, 09:29:22 AM »
@dude Ill do you one better.  Iím shamelessly stealing the basics from this website.  The garage and bed platform are the same, Iím doing something different in the front.  Most of my inspiration came from them for electrical/water.  www.FarOutRide.com.  When I buy something I check their site first to see if I can throw them some affiliate $$$.




Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2019, 09:30:24 AM »
The one thing I will say about backcountry vs. resort is this - if you're an experienced skier/rider (AND have proper avalanche training), backcountry is a great way to go. However, if you're not, then you aren't going to get much better as a skier/rider -- to do that, you need to log in many, many vertical laps, which can really only be done on lift-served terrain.

That may certainly be true for big mountain skiing out west (and yeah, don't ignore the avalanche training), but in the midwest, I'd venture to guess the opposite might be true.

To be fair, I've certainly logged a fair amount of time in chairlifts in heavy duty full plastic gear learning the basics of technique- but you never really get a chance to learn how to deal with a wide array of conditions at a midwestern resort.  Case in point: I know plenty of long time skiers who just go into an utter rage if more than 2" of fresh snow is not immediately groomed into oblivion. They are unable to deal with anything resembling powder. 

As such, midwestern backcountry skiers often put on this elite air about themselves as if BC skiing (no matter the terrain or conditions) somehow elevates them among the common herd, myself included.

Which is really kind of unfortunate, because you don't need to be an expert in anything to point your skis down a moderate glade in your backyard. 

ericrugiero

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2019, 09:32:40 AM »
DH Skiing and Mountain Biking are two of the main reasons we decided to FIRE.  Our entire FIRE plan was based on being able to do these two sports.  Here are our life hacks, the RE Police may not like it. 

We scoured the country for the right ratio of value to ability to ski and ride and bought a condo with a room that can be rented out for profit during the ski season.
The resort we're at is owned by one of the two main resort conglomerates in the US (Either Aspen or Vail).
We converted a van in to an RV to store Skis and Bikes for 20-35 day trips.
We became certifed Ski Instructors and have agreed to work for our resort on the weekends and the major holidays.

Why this is an awesome system for Post FIRE.
Employees get free skiing at any resort owned by the main company.
Employees get discounted employee housing at any resort owned by the company.
Employees get 30-50% of all food at resort owned restuarants.
Employees get pro deals on most equipment.  Most pro deals are 40-60% off of retail.
We so far have averaged $300/weekend each from tips and hourly rate.
My skiing has drastically improved.  First from being on skis almost everyday.  Second from all of the clinics and other instructors working with you on form and technique.
My favorite I'm not the fucking boss.  I do what I'm told and get to enjoy the customers.  Yes there are d-bags every once and awhile but for the most part people are enjoying themselves.

Here is our plan to enjoy the best part of the gig.  We've worked it out with our manager to work Christmas through Feb 3rd, weekends and holidays.  After that we get the next two months off, but we're still on the payroll, so we can go to any of the resorts for free.  So we'll be able to enjoy all of Feb and March skiing just about any geography in the US for free!

So something that we would have paid several thousand per year to do in FIRE we've worked into making $3-4,000 per year.  FIRE gave us the ability to pursue this as a good balance. 

I wake up everyday fucking excited.  We just got 9" of snow.  So I'm about 20 minutes from rope drop.  There is no one out there because it's a Thursday!

This sounds great to me.  My wife doesn't ski but I still hope to be in a situation someday where I can be a ski instructor. 

Linda_Norway

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2019, 12:37:07 PM »

When I go outside the tracks and down hill, I have some trouble going down hill smoothly. I can either ski straight down, or I can break the whole way. I can make very careful turns on flat surfaces. And in worst case, I step down sideways in the steep parts. As you understand, I don't enjoy skiing steep downhill, because of my lack of skills. But I do enjoy circumstances with good snow where I can turn between trees and somehow get down the hill.

If you ever want to try picking up some new skills for getting down the hill, try and find a copy of Cross-Country Downhill and Other Nordic Mountain Skiing Techniques by Steve Barnett. It's been out of print for a while and achieved something of a cult status, so used prices can sometimes be a little bonkers though.   

As for keeping dry when winter camping? Wood stove.  My cotton tent and steel stove aren't the lightest, but can easily be moved around in a ski pulk.  Plenty of fuel to be found where I ski.  Getting the tent cranked up to near 70 degrees while relaxing on open snow floor is one of my favorite things. 



Looks very comfortable. We have such pulkas as well, one cheap orange plastic one and one home made. Our tent is a nylon trekking tent, quite large, as Hilleberg Kaitum 3 p, but I wouldn't dare to put a wood stove in it. I think we would need another tent for that purpose.

We do tend to make a campfire outside so that we are watm in good weather. It is very romantic and feels like you are alive if you lay with your spouse on a mattress in the snow on a mountain with very little wind around a campfire the whole evening, nipping something tasty and getting visited by an owl who takes a look at what is going on.

We have made a plate for our petrol stove, which we can now put in the tent. We can warm up our tent with that, as long as one of us stays awake. We often also fill a metal flask with hot water and put it in a sock in the sleeping bag. That helps.

Linda_Norway

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2019, 12:39:59 PM »
DH Skiing and Mountain Biking are two of the main reasons we decided to FIRE.  Our entire FIRE plan was based on being able to do these two sports.  Here are our life hacks, the RE Police may not like it. 

We scoured the country for the right ratio of value to ability to ski and ride and bought a condo with a room that can be rented out for profit during the ski season.
The resort we're at is owned by one of the two main resort conglomerates in the US (Either Aspen or Vail).
We converted a van in to an RV to store Skis and Bikes for 20-35 day trips.
We became certifed Ski Instructors and have agreed to work for our resort on the weekends and the major holidays.

Why this is an awesome system for Post FIRE.
Employees get free skiing at any resort owned by the main company.
Employees get discounted employee housing at any resort owned by the company.
Employees get 30-50% of all food at resort owned restuarants.
Employees get pro deals on most equipment.  Most pro deals are 40-60% off of retail.
We so far have averaged $300/weekend each from tips and hourly rate.
My skiing has drastically improved.  First from being on skis almost everyday.  Second from all of the clinics and other instructors working with you on form and technique.
My favorite I'm not the fucking boss.  I do what I'm told and get to enjoy the customers.  Yes there are d-bags every once and awhile but for the most part people are enjoying themselves.

Here is our plan to enjoy the best part of the gig.  We've worked it out with our manager to work Christmas through Feb 3rd, weekends and holidays.  After that we get the next two months off, but we're still on the payroll, so we can go to any of the resorts for free.  So we'll be able to enjoy all of Feb and March skiing just about any geography in the US for free!

So something that we would have paid several thousand per year to do in FIRE we've worked into making $3-4,000 per year.  FIRE gave us the ability to pursue this as a good balance. 

I wake up everyday fucking excited.  We just got 9" of snow.  So I'm about 20 minutes from rope drop.  There is no one out there because it's a Thursday!

That sounds like a very good retirement, no matter that you still do some work on your own conditions.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 01:20:45 PM by Linda_Norway »

wbranch

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2019, 01:17:03 PM »
I only have snowshoes and there endless amounts of public lands to explore within 2 hours drive of where we live. But my job has busy season during the winter so I will probably "only" get out half a dozen times. Some of it may just be hiking at lower elevations. I do get considerable time off from May to Dec is a trade off to have more time for summer and fall activities. Normal winters do have decent snow in Nov and Dec and there are several affordable ski resorts with 2k+ vertical within 2 hours. Debating taking some lessons next winter but that is low on my list of priorities. Currently some Altai style skis are on my wants list, but there are many things above them on the list so who knows if it will happen.

peeps_be_peeping

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2019, 01:59:40 PM »
Volunteering at an adaptive ski school was how I skied cheaply the winter I was funemployed. For every two 4 hour lessons taught I earned a $10 lift ticket. I got to ski the bunny hill a zillion times with the students. The students were mostly developmentally delayed kids who were always in a good mood, excited to be on a field trip away from school, with their friends, and drinking hot chocolate afterwards. I became a certified alpine ski instructor as well, which improved my own technique as I hadn't had a lesson since about 1993, though I started skiing in 1981. There was a core group of mid week volunteers who were retired (early or not) or who worked for money only in the summer (in tourism or fishing). I would love for volunteer ski instructing to be my early retirement "job."

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2019, 05:24:34 PM »
Growing up, skiing was something only "rich" people could do -- like the elitist children of the local business owners on Hillbilly Mountain who would wear their lift tickets on their jackets to school to prove to everyone that their families could afford to go. Now that I'm "rich" -- by Hillbilly Mountain standards -- I've become interested in going skiing in as much of a Mustachian way as possible. That means taking a sample lesson at a discount to see if we like it and then getting our equipment on Craiglist/secondhand shop, because only chumps buy that stuff new.

Fishindude

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2019, 06:27:44 PM »
Downhill skiing is great fun.  If it's your thing, then go for it.
Find other areas of your life where you can reduce costs and save money so that you can afford to ski without putting yourself in any type of financial burden.
Plenty of good ideas in this thread on how to keep it cheap too.

Life is short, do what you enjoy.

EnjoyIt

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2019, 09:17:20 PM »
DH Skiing and Mountain Biking are two of the main reasons we decided to FIRE.  Our entire FIRE plan was based on being able to do these two sports.  Here are our life hacks, the RE Police may not like it. 

We scoured the country for the right ratio of value to ability to ski and ride and bought a condo with a room that can be rented out for profit during the ski season.
The resort we're at is owned by one of the two main resort conglomerates in the US (Either Aspen or Vail).
We converted a van in to an RV to store Skis and Bikes for 20-35 day trips.
We became certifed Ski Instructors and have agreed to work for our resort on the weekends and the major holidays.

Why this is an awesome system for Post FIRE.
Employees get free skiing at any resort owned by the main company.
Employees get discounted employee housing at any resort owned by the company.
Employees get 30-50% of all food at resort owned restuarants.
Employees get pro deals on most equipment.  Most pro deals are 40-60% off of retail.
We so far have averaged $300/weekend each from tips and hourly rate.
My skiing has drastically improved.  First from being on skis almost everyday.  Second from all of the clinics and other instructors working with you on form and technique.
My favorite I'm not the fucking boss.  I do what I'm told and get to enjoy the customers.  Yes there are d-bags every once and awhile but for the most part people are enjoying themselves.

Here is our plan to enjoy the best part of the gig.  We've worked it out with our manager to work Christmas through Feb 3rd, weekends and holidays.  After that we get the next two months off, but we're still on the payroll, so we can go to any of the resorts for free.  So we'll be able to enjoy all of Feb and March skiing just about any geography in the US for free!

So something that we would have paid several thousand per year to do in FIRE we've worked into making $3-4,000 per year.  FIRE gave us the ability to pursue this as a good balance. 

I wake up everyday fucking excited.  We just got 9" of snow.  So I'm about 20 minutes from rope drop.  There is no one out there because it's a Thursday!

@Blackbeard,
Thank you so much for your comments.  I am a ski junkie.  I love it soooooo much and can ski for 8 hours a day every day.  Once your kid is old enough to start taking lessons we will be looking to move somewhere close enough to a mountain.  You may have given us something to think about regarding cheap skiing and gear.

ice_beard

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2019, 11:13:46 PM »
I've got about 20 pairs of skis in my garage.  I have done it all, from skinny ski tours through the snow, skate skiing to ski mountaineering in Alaska.  Backcountry skiing is truly a dirtbag pursuit.  The best BC skiers I knew in Alaska were skiing on what most people would consider antiquated gear, but they got the most turns in the best conditions season after season.  They weren't spending much money on that pursuit because they didn't have much. 

As someone mentioned upthread, backcountry skiing has gotten trendy.  The gear is more user friendly, fat skis, friendly bindings, comfy, lightweight boots....  pretty much anyone can do it now.  So it's more popular.  I live ~3 hrs from skiing now and it seems the usual bc spots are busy.  People skiing on top of you when they shouldn't, more tracks, etc.  These days I enjoy plodding around on lightweight tele gear, aka "meadow skipping", or plain 'ol xc skis making tracks through the woods.  This type of skiing does not cost any money once the gear is in place which can be had for far under retail. 

You can get used gear at thrift stores in/near mountain towns to get nordic gear or even skis.  Get boots that fit, blisters can ruin your skiing adventures quick.  Beginning of the season ski swaps are good.  Independent ski/gear shops many times have a second hand section where deals can be had, but my favorite source for good, used gear are demo/rental fleets.  You can usually get very well maintained gear for a fraction of the cost.  Most stores start selling their demo skis in March.

Season passes are actually a fraction of what they used to cost.  It used to be passes were very expensive and day lift tickets were cheap.  Now a day pass at Vail is $209 (!!!!OMFG!!!!) and a season pass that will get you into many resorts across North America is like $600.  This is the first season I haven't bought a pass in several years.  I'm saving that $$ for our bi-annual ski trip to Japan which we will do next winter. 

Now, a fantastic cultural and phenomenal ski trip to Japan can be had for a relatively reasonable price...  but that's another thread!!! 

Linda_Norway

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2019, 11:56:48 PM »
One of my frustrations with downhill skiing used to be the daily elevator pass, which is extremely expensive, especially if you only used the one simple track a few times. Having a seasonal pass is a much better investment, if you go there regularly.

My co-worker made a good deal. Our local alpine hill had seasonal passes for half price, before we know whether it will become a good snow season or not. They will produce snow when it is cold enough. So her son now has a local pass where she can drop him off often.

skp

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2019, 12:24:19 AM »
We live in the snow belt of Ohio and I love to ski even though after 20 years of skiing I'm not that good at it. I'm not that athletic a person.  If they had LD for gym class I would have been in it.  I'm also risk adverse. But for some reason I like skiing. Maybe it's because I just like being outside in the sunshine, and for someone that's not that athletic, you can ski at your own pace.  I took up skiing in my late 30s when my kids took lessons at a local ski resort.  I live 5 minutes from a Midwest ski slope (tilted corn field), 2-3 hours from  nicer New York resorts, and 11 hours from Smugglers Notch Vermont.  We've been to Vermont a half dozen times over 20 years and drive to New York about 3-4 times a year.  One year we drove out to Salt Lake City and did the rounds of all the ski resorts there.  As I said I am not the most athletic coordinated person and for the level skier I am, I've recently decided that I don't need to go to the "big" resorts.  Last year we got a season pass to the local tilted corn field.    Even though the local resort is not that challenging, it's cheap-  It's $300 for a season- and it's 5 minutes down the road.  We can go for an hour or 2 every single day if we want.  I didn't keep exact tract but last year we used it at least 20 times plus we took the adult children and their families to Vermont for a week for our vacation.

I've cheapened out on ski equipment and am wondering if that is a good idea.  I've  skied on the same equipment for 20 years.  After about 10 they won't check the release on your bindings.  I've disregarded this and just don't get them checked anymore since I'm doing low level skiing but always wondered if I was cheaping out on my safety.  A co worker yesterday asked me the same question.  I told her what I did, but I am wondering if any "experts" here can tell me if that is a good idea. My ski socks are the same ones I bought when I learned (they are only used for skiing) and I bought a good LL Bean gortex ski jacket that I loved and only recently replaced. I know liift tickets aren't cheap. To make things cheaper-  In New York we go mid week, it's such a long drive, we get a 4 hour pass. In Vermont  Smugglers Notch is a good deal compared to Stowe.  On last years family ski trip I bought every one a $100 bash badge and then they spent $25 a day to ski. The bash badge also got my adult children their rental gear at 50% off. We stayed in a VRBO and cooked.  Lunches at ski resorts are outrageous.  I even take my own tea bags.  I think our ski trip cost the same as a week at the beach. I just prefer skiing.

We also snow shoe but that is snow dependent.  There is always snow on the ski slopes- they make it!




« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 01:00:14 AM by skp »

Linda_Norway

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #48 on: January 11, 2019, 01:26:52 AM »
@skp I am also not very athletic. But the great thing about cross country skiing is that you can totally do it at your own level. I already enjoyed it when I was an absolute beginner and I still enjoy it. It is all about being outside in a natural place, often in the sun. There isn't that much else you can do in winter outside that gives excercise and enjoyment. Most roads are icy.

For your old downhill skis, it is important that they break if your binding goes loose. Very old skis don't have that. Then you would risk you ski disappearing with high speed downhill. If this is the case, you could connect your ski to your shoe in some improvised way. I saw someone doing that once when ge used backcountry skies is a ski slope.

Askel

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Re: The mustachian skiing (and other non motorized winter sports) thread.
« Reply #49 on: January 11, 2019, 03:35:16 AM »
I've cheapened out on ski equipment and am wondering if that is a good idea.  I've  skied on the same equipment for 20 years.  After about 10 they won't check the release on your bindings.  I've disregarded this and just don't get them checked anymore since I'm doing low level skiing but always wondered if I was cheaping out on my safety.  A co worker yesterday asked me the same question.  I told her what I did, but I am wondering if any "experts" here can tell me if that is a good idea.

For what it's worth, I've skied non-releasable bindings for most of my ski career.  They're telemark bindings, so they allow your foot to flex forward and lift your heel, but any other direction- the release mechanism is whichever snaps fist: a steel cable or your ACL.  I'm still walking. :D

I guess it could be something you could check yourself, although I'm not exactly sure what that entails.

Worst case, new bindings shouldn't be terribly expensive- you could just have that part replaced.