Author Topic: Any snow-loving Mustachians?  (Read 4659 times)

carozy

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Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« on: January 02, 2016, 03:36:07 PM »
I would like tips on making playing in the snow cheaper.

Now by playing I am going a bit beyond sledding and building snowmen, which I know would be the cheapest.  I've started dating someone who loves skiing.  I would like to participate in some sort of snow sport along with her - either skiing or snowboarding, whichever I like best.  I know it can be expensive but I'd like to know if any Mustachians out there do partake in skiing or snowboarding and if so, how do they keep costs down or reasonable?  Any websites or outfits out there that offer affordable pricing on equipment?  Tips for learning cheaply?  Where to get discounted lift tickets?  That kind of thing. 

I have already found snowboardsforless.com so that is a possibility.

Advice would be appreciated.  Thanks!

detailoriented

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2016, 09:59:23 PM »
Big time snow lover here.  For the rest of the post all advice applied to both skiing and snowboarding.

Skiing is a real tough sport to do on the cheap.  Here are a couple of tips.

#1 Start by testing your interest, look at the mountains in the area for lesson/rental combos.  Buying gear or renting a condo at a far off mountain is a costly buy in before you know you like it.  2-3 days is enough to decide you hate it and 4-5 is enough to tell you if you like it enough to own your own gear the next season.

#2 Pack food.  The cafeteria prices are terrible.  For my family I bring a loaf of bread,  a jar of peanut butter, some home made trail mix, some apples, and water.  You might need to come up with something better for a SO but the cafeteria can run you as much as the lift ticket so planning ahead can be worth it.

#3 Once you know you like it, shop the off season.   The best savings in skiing come from it being seasonal and the gear being subject to major markdowns at the end if the season and in summer. 

#4 Search for "ski swaps" for used equipment,  often these are at ski stores that can advise you if the equipment looks to be in unsafe condition.  In later years, once you can spot safety yourself, you can search craigslist for gear also.  Until you are getting into competitive sports new equipment has little to offer over used.

I can post alot about different ways to save on the daily lift cost but nothing that is universal.  Mostly it depends on how often you want to ski/board that season and how much variety you want in the mountains you visit.

Once you are no longer shopping lesson packages you can use www.liftopia.com as a baseline price and continue to shop better deals beyond their prices.  Committing to a ski day farther in advance will save you money.

Have fun,

DO

KirstyB

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2016, 10:17:55 PM »
Start out with smaller ski areas that are less well known as they can offer some real bargains. Right now we're in Idaho / Wyoming. Grand Targhee is offering kids ski free with accomodation (up to age 12), and we got 4 day passes for $50 a day for the adults. Today at Jackson Hole, an adult lift ticket was $130 and a junior $80. Granted, GT is only 2400 acres while Jackson is twice the size, but still plenty of fun.

JZinCO

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2016, 10:18:12 PM »
Also consider cross country skiing instead of downhill. I can do that in the city parks here but not sure if you can. Still, even a little gas to get into the mountains and tooling is around alot cheaper than lift tickets; obviously more dangerous if you backcountry.
Some resorts are also offering steep discounts if you choose to uphill ski instead of using lifts.

As for myself, I'm much bigger on snowshoe hiking and winter camping; it just so happens to cost less than skiing/snowboarding and a few months of cruising craigslist and steepandcheap.com will get you outfitted.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2016, 02:55:51 AM »
Can you consider snow showing? Once you get (or rent) the snowshoes, it costs as much as a hike.

The Guru

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2016, 08:26:53 PM »
Nice rundown on your options by detailoriented. That said, I have to put in another plug for cross-country. My wife & I do both, but more XC due to the cost of downhill.  In fact, we just enjoyed our first outing of the year (first real SNOW of the year, which is unusual for this area.) We did go to a local touring lodge, which is still way cheaper than downhill, and sometimes more reliable source of snow. Biggest bonus IMO- XC skiing is perhaps THE best overall workout I can think of both in terms of cardio and working most muscle groups.

pbkmaine

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2016, 08:38:02 PM »
Snow shoes are wonderful, and easy to find used and inexpensive on craigslist.

asiljoy

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2016, 04:01:50 PM »
Groupon can have decent deals on lessons/rental if you can plan ahead a bit too for skiing. Craigslist can be a source of cheap gear, but beware, using gear that isn't sized appropriately can greatly depreciate the amount of enjoyment you have skiing by just making everything harder.

Personal experience, butt/knee pads and a helmet have saved me loads on medical bills.

Penny Lane

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2016, 04:38:53 PM »
I hope you love the snow!  Boarding-- common to spend 3 days on your butt, then, aha!  I mostly skiied, but at this point I have a knee that probably is happier not downhilling.  I love to snowshoe, and that's something you can do and carry on a nice conversation in the woods.  You don't need any poles to do this.  Have fun!

GuitarStv

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2016, 05:33:41 PM »
Around here you can pick up seasons passes for about the price of three trips to the slopes.  If you get one of those, own your snowboard/skiing equipment, and pack your food it's not terribly expensive.

My other advice . . . learn wtf is going on by studying a bit before you hit the slopes.  Moguls sound like cute little bunny like creatures, you know 'let's go feed the pretty moguls' . . . rather than a series of little jumps designed by masochistic knee surgeons who wanted more business.  This is vital information to have before you stupidly follow your friends down the steep slope with the moguls.

BarkyardBQ

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2016, 05:37:42 PM »
Around here you can pick up seasons passes for about the price of three trips to the slopes.  If you get one of those, own your snowboard/skiing equipment, and pack your food it's not terribly expensive.

My other advice . . . learn wtf is going on by studying a bit before you hit the slopes.  Moguls sound like cute little bunny like creatures, you know 'let's go feed the pretty moguls' . . . rather than a series of little jumps designed by masochistic knee surgeons who wanted more business.  This is vital information to have before you stupidly follow your friends down the steep slope with the moguls.

Just had to add... 'and your quads will literally be on fire'.

brokescientist

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2016, 07:25:58 PM »
What about cross country skiing?

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2016, 10:33:13 PM »
Lived in/near a ski resort forever.

Prefer snowshoeing as it's quieter/less people/can bring the dogs....some x-country places allow dogs and off course completely off trail you can have them....but anyplace you snowshoe will be awesome for dogs.

Costco has some decent/cheap ones, although craigslist come March might be cheaper yet.

Find out when the "free demo" people are coming to your local downhill resort. They literally give you free skis to try out.

In April, if you've found you like it, buy it from all the Aussies/Kiwis going back home who don't want to cart their equipment with them.

The 'cheapest' skiing will be if you can do a creative barter: many resort employees have 'comp' tickets...try and acquire some by bartering something like home baked bread/pizza/cookies or what have you.

Mondays are often cheapest days for downhill.

GuitarStv

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2016, 05:59:35 AM »
What about cross country skiing?

Cross country skiing is fun, but it's about as similar to downhill as jogging is to motocross.

asiljoy

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2016, 09:44:33 AM »
Around here you can pick up seasons passes for about the price of three trips to the slopes.  If you get one of those, own your snowboard/skiing equipment, and pack your food it's not terribly expensive.

My other advice . . . learn wtf is going on by studying a bit before you hit the slopes.  Moguls sound like cute little bunny like creatures, you know 'let's go feed the pretty moguls' . . . rather than a series of little jumps designed by masochistic knee surgeons who wanted more business.  This is vital information to have before you stupidly follow your friends down the steep slope with the moguls.

Just had to add... 'and your quads will literally be on fire'.

And if you decide to go snowboarding/skiing, plan on falling on your face for consistently for the first 2/3 times. Ignore the 5 year olds zooming past. They have no fear. 

BarkyardBQ

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2016, 09:55:33 AM »
Around here you can pick up seasons passes for about the price of three trips to the slopes.  If you get one of those, own your snowboard/skiing equipment, and pack your food it's not terribly expensive.

My other advice . . . learn wtf is going on by studying a bit before you hit the slopes.  Moguls sound like cute little bunny like creatures, you know 'let's go feed the pretty moguls' . . . rather than a series of little jumps designed by masochistic knee surgeons who wanted more business.  This is vital information to have before you stupidly follow your friends down the steep slope with the moguls.

Just had to add... 'and your quads will literally be on fire'.

And if you decide to go snowboarding/skiing, plan on falling on your face for consistently for the first 2/3 times. Ignore the 5 year olds zooming past. They have no fear.

And due to low center of gravity, body mass, and soft fluffy clothes they just DGAF.

bognish

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2016, 12:44:30 PM »
If you are in San Fransisco it is hard to do snow cheap. For downhill skiing check out the smaller ski areas: Badger Pass, Homewood, Boreal, Sierra at Tahoe. Much more family and budget oriented than the destination resorts: Squaw, Alpine Heavenly, Northstar, Sugarbowl & Kirkwood. Badger Pass is also great for cross country skiing.

Since it is such a long drive to the mountains, especially with traffic or storms a hotel room is often involved. You can save room money by staying in South Lake Tahoe, Reno, or the gold country towns, but it add to the drive to get to the lift. Lodging gets much cheaper in April and the crowds & traffic drop way off. One a normal snow year there is still plenty to ski on.

If you go to Tahoe in April & May you can find great end of season ski deals.

humbleMouse

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2016, 01:19:49 PM »
Craigslist your skis and winter gear (ebay can be good for gear too).  Pack snacks/food/drinks when you go to the hill.

carozy

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2016, 05:28:22 PM »
Thanks for all the tips and advice!  This has been so helpful!

I'm going to learn skiing pretty soon.  We got my skis and boots over the weekend (season rental) from a small ski company which was cheaper.  If I really like it I'll look into buying my own skis at the end of this season since she goes up a lot every winter.  She's very partial to Kirkwood but I'll see if I can interest her in a smaller, maybe cheaper resort to save money.  (She does a winter lease with a bunch of others and saves some money on the condo since she manages that for them.)

The snow shoes and cross country skiing is also an idea - I'll keep that in mind too.

Thanks again - I'll refer back to this thread in the future, I'm sure.  :)

KirstyB

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Re: Any snow-loving Mustachians?
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2016, 09:03:46 PM »
I know it feels like a huge amount of money to shell out, but if you can pick up a Vail Resorts epic pass (there are options as to all season, no weekends etc) next season then you have a few Tahoe resorts that you can use on the same pass; Northstar, Heavenly, and Sierra at Tahoe to name a few, and unlimited uses. They heavily subsidise the cost of the season passes as they make up for it with tourists just staying for a few nights and paying for it. The break even point was 6 days for us last year.