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.
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.
The swirling winds and desolate snowscape immediately capture a mood.
A lone skier with alpine touring bindings purposefully cuts through the white room.
Bearded and backpacked his head is bowed, seemingly at one with his environs.
Then he grasps his smart phone and places a bet.
Juan Beiza is a legend of the Chilean Resort Portillo. I got to meet him three months ago and heard about how this one time he nearly got shot trying to give Fidel Castro back his gun. Happens I guess …
Juan Beiza is a man of substance, impeccable habits and has a penchant for making you speak Spanish.
The maitre d at Portillo’s yellow hotel has been there almost as long as the ubiquitous yellow establishment – more than 50 years.
There’d be plenty of tales to tell over that time but in the circumstances it’s timely to relay one and one only: that time he almost got shot by one of Fidel Castro’s henchmen.
Alta, one of the last skier-only enclaves in the United States, is set to open its lifts to snowboarders this season.
While the delayed season start – now slated for December 2 – was initially put down to a lack of snow, it is understood the resort is actually fine-tuning its policy to allow boarders on to the mountain.
Alta is even looking at offering free passes for anyone who brings a board on opening day.