The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

The no BS family ski trip using an Epic Pass

Posted by on 3:40 am in Australia, United States | 4 comments

Scells gang

The Scells gang do Heavenly … and five other Vail resorts

Four people with four Epic Passes. Two thousand miles. Three states. Six resorts. One month. The unsponsored, unfiltered story of a family ski trip across the United States.

When my sister Monica told me she and her family were going to ski the US for a month I suggested getting an Epic Pass. She concurred. I also told her she had to tell me about the whole experience for The Snow Gauge readers who were thinking of doing the same.

This is what the Scells gang did, what they experienced, what was good, where to eat, how to save a buck and one thing in particular that didn’t work out so well …

Vietjet Air – never again!

Posted by on 3:59 pm in Australia, World | 0 comments


VietJet Air “Customer Services” – bit of a stretch …

The inclusion of a middle name in my booking made VietJet Air cancel my purchased ticket without refund and issue it again at more than double the price. Are airlines so hungry for profit and hitting people up with ancillary charges that common sense and customer service go out the window?

Skiers and snowboarders don’t always make the simplest of travellers.

We have a lot of gear and there is frequently confusion about how much extra any airline will charge on any given day for carrying our planks, boots and invariably heavy winter gear with us on a flight.

I always thought my worst experience would be related to such a situation.

How wrong I was.

I’ve just had the single most infuriating airline experience in my 30 years of travel with South East Asian carrier VietJet Air. The airline cancelled my daughter’s paid ticket – and then re-issued it at around 2.5 times the original price – for using her middle name in the booking!


Dale Begg-Smith’s Australia Day honours – really?

Posted by on 1:14 pm in Australia, Competition | 0 comments

Dale Begg-Smith

Dale Begg-Smith

When the Australia Day gongs were handed down I was little bit surprised to find that moguls skier Dale Begg-Smith was amongst the recipients this year, receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to sport.

A gold medal moguls winner for Australia in 2006 at the Turin Winter Olympics he backed it up with silver four years later in Vancouver.

Those achievements are unquestioned and from all reports he has given back a fair bit of his time to fellow skiers, his mentorship no doubt helping to pave the way for the likes of Matt Graham and Britt Cox to achieve the success they have.

But – and here comes the but …


$US189 for a day’s lift pass: would you?

Posted by on 12:07 pm in Australia, United States | 2 comments


When my sister and her family decided to spend two months travelling around the US in December/January, including a month’s skiing, my advice was simple: Get an Epic Pass for everyone.

For $US850 per adult even into late November it was a no brainer and she devised a trip taking in Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Park City, Northstar, Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar. The pass would then be valid for Perisher in Australia for the 2017 Winter.

Even so she was still aghast when she bowled up to Vail this week and saw the walk-up price for a day pass: $189 or $260 Australian dollars. Ouch.


Why do so many people fall off chairlifts?

Posted by on 8:30 am in Canada, United States | 4 comments


Losing your pants could be the least of your concerns if you fall off a chairlift

It seems like such a simple thing.

Get on the chairlift, put the safety bar down and continue your journey to its exit point.

But a recent incident this month in Whistler and a raft of falls from chairlifts last season has me concerned.


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