Check Out Our Shop
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    240

    Planning Powder Chase 3/5-3/10: Input welcome!

    Hey y'all, like the title says, looking to chase powder with a few buddies for a trip in early March. Would like to go to somewhere that's more ski area than resort. Trying to suss out where to go and how to make it happen on a budget.

    I'm considering booking two refundable flights with points in the next few days and hoping that one of the destinations "hits" and refunding both and rebooking if neither of my bets works out. I don't think I can afford to book more than two without having to pay cash upfront for a third. Also considering booking some of the refundable lodging options and a refundable rental car through Turo. Point of all the refundable book now stuff would be to try and lock in rates before they go higher in the last handful of days. If I guess right I will have gotten a better rate than what typically is available a few days out, if not I can refund and there's no real penalty.

    I'm not on a multi-pass this year so not sure I can do anything to keep from paying eye-watering prices on lift tickets but such is life.

    Looked at the NWS long range forecasts today and based on those I'm considering booking a refundable fare into Montrose or Albuquerque (Southwest pts) and Reno (Capital One pts) and either going somewhere in southern Co (Wolf Creek, Monarch, Purgatory, CB, etc) or to Tahoe. Had so much fun in Targhee last week that flying into Jackson is also highly under consideration. And of course, can't talk about a powder chase without considering Utah. Might wait until tomorrow to book some flights and take another look at the long range predictions as the Week 3-4 Outlook prediction updates tomorrow.

    I plan on keeping this thread updated as I go through my trip planning in case it's helpful for others who are trying to hit the powder lottery but can't completely afford to wait till the last minute. Also looking for plenty of input as I'm a JONG .

    Thoughts?

    Name:  Screen Shot 2024-02-15 at 12.02.43 PM.png
Views: 662
Size:  146.2 KB

    Name:  Screen Shot 2024-02-15 at 12.03.00 PM.png
Views: 664
Size:  281.9 KB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    8,155
    Opensnow daily totals. Mom and pop ski areas.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    monument
    Posts
    7,000
    Chris Tomer Mountain Weather on YouTube is a good resource.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    none
    Posts
    8,413
    Book flights into Montrose and Spokane, with corresponding rental cars.
    No need to book accommodations until the day of arrival.
    You don’t have any type of pass?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    240
    Quote Originally Posted by pfluffenmeister View Post
    Chris Tomer Mountain Weather on YouTube is a good resource.
    Good info, hadn't seen him before, enjoyed his analysis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shredhead View Post
    Book flights into Montrose and Spokane, with corresponding rental cars.
    No need to book accommodations until the day of arrival.
    You don’t have any type of pass?
    I've done a Spokane to BC (Nelson/Whitewater + Rossland/Red) trip a few years ago and absolutely loved it, but thought this year had been a bit tough on the BC ski hills, looking at base depths, it appears I was wrong. I guess that also gives me the option of the Idaho ski areas, I haven't skied at any of them yet.

    I have an Epic 4-day but plan on burning that in Telluride for a spring break trip with my kiddos the last week of March.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    closer
    Posts
    5,843
    The Euro bbi is during that time frame. So it is a rhetoric question. Is it?
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    on the banks of Fish Creek
    Posts
    7,772

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Montrose, CO
    Posts
    4,680
    It's been pretty feast or famine around these parts this year. If looking for deep inbounds pow skiing I'd hedge my bets for Wolfy, CB doesn't tend to get a ton of huge storm totals.

    If your flight is refundable until a few days out, probably worth booking despite the current weather. I'd advise making sure to rent AWD/4WD with good tires.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    14,116
    Those NOAA long range forecasts are pretty consistently useless. At least for Montana.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    inpdx
    Posts
    20,502

    Planning Powder Chase 3/5-3/10: Input welcome!

    Subscribed for any TRG-Nostradami weather wisdom…
    In a similar mindset as OP trying to predict mid-March dump probabilities…but have narrowed to a either Tahoe/Mammoth road trip or a Schweitzer/Red/Revelstoke road trip

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Montrose, CO
    Posts
    4,680
    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Those NOAA long range forecasts are pretty consistently useless. At least for Montana.
    Here too. Different mountains do better with different weather patterns and it's usually a crapshoot further than 5 days out if you'll get 1" or 1'. The San Juans also get a lot of sun in the spring so good snow can go to shit in a day or two (looking at you Telluride).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Carbondale
    Posts
    12,550
    Those long ranges suck as stated, but, I think given what you've said, you'll probably get good skiing access out of those two locations, especially if you give yourself a good bit of drive distance from there.

    Montrose:
    CB, Monarch, Telluride, Silverton, Powderhorn are relatively easy drives, then you can branch out from there to WC and even Aspen and Taos

    Reno gives you all of Tahoe area...

    Good luck.

    Only hedge would be SLC for access there and Jackson, you'd have all but the northern rockies storm paths covered (overly broad and wrong I know.. but, come on).
    www.dpsskis.com
    www.point6.com
    formerly an ambassador for a few others, but the ski industry is... interesting.
    Fukt: a very small amount of snow.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    none
    Posts
    8,413
    The trouble with Lake Tahoe and SLC, you’ve got millions of people that are trying to get to the powder, before you.

    Fly into a remote airport, if you want to chase powder. If you fly into SLC, just book a room up LLC and take a shuttle.

    What’s your gateway?

    If BC has good snow, try to get on with a Cat/Heli OP at the last minute.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Posts
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by ::: ::: View Post
    Subscribed for any TRG-Nostradami weather wisdom…
    In a similar mindset as OP trying to predict mid-March dump probabilities…but have narrowed to a either Tahoe/Mammoth road trip or a Schweitzer/Red/Revelstoke road trip
    Had a ski instructor come stay with us from Schweitzer a week ago. Didn't even bring skis up here, because it was so bad at Schweitzer he didn't think it'd be any good up here. Winter seems to be back in the Kootenays.. for now. Whitewater backcountry was pretty good last Sunday, on a board , apparently it was all time.. on skis I hit the crust, but still pretty good. More forecast at the end of the week for Kootenay pass and Whitewater.
    Edit.. double post. sorry.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    outer spokanistan
    Posts
    1,045
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Shredhead View Post
    .... Montrose and Spokane ....
    .
    if you want to chase powder the first week of March,
    I'd think twice before deciding on NEWA or ID panhandle,
    just my opinion ....

    .
    "we all do dumb shit when we're fucked up"
    mike tyson

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    28,272
    Fly into Zurich, then powchase.
    You'll end up in Graubunden somewhere.
    Or Murren.
    Or Engleberg
    Or Verbier
    Or Zermatt

    Fuck the big NAm resorts, too crowded and too expensive, especially when compared to the Alps.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    240
    Quote Originally Posted by subtle plague View Post
    The Euro bbi is during that time frame. So it is a rhetoric question. Is it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    Fly into Zurich, then powchase.
    You'll end up in Graubunden somewhere.
    Or Murren.
    Or Engleberg
    Or Verbier
    Or Zermatt
    Lots of good info, thanks for all the reccs. These two ^ are sounding really good especially because I can book the flight on pts. Just sent the details to my compatriots on this trip and waiting to hear if they can swing it. Looks like it'll be cheaper than our hypothetical North American powder chase so that's appealing.

    Also have to consult my wife, but if I'm gone for the same days and a cheaper price what's not to like? 🤷🏼😂

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    28,272
    Or Silvretta/Montafon
    Or Klosters/Davos
    Or St. Moritz
    Or Arlberg
    ?
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    396
    If money is a factor heading to Europe I'd recommend Zurich and heading to Tyrol area in the western part of Austria. Maybe 30-40% cheaper than Switzerland IMO. Rented a wagon at Zurich Airport, stayed in a nice 2 bedroom apartment in Landeck, Austria for 150 euro a night, then would drive 20-25 minutes to St. Anton complex, Ischgl, Serfaus/Fiis. Lift tickets were from 70-75 euros. Plenty of other resorts to explore near Landeck - Khutai, Galtur.....etc. It is endless. Standard Austrian bakery on the way to skiing in grocery stores was quite economical too. Accommodation in CHE a bit more, food quite a bit more, lift tickets ranged from 75-120 CHF ($85-$130). Zurich Airport to Tyrol is about 2 hours or so. Easy drive. All the rentals at Zurich have snow tires.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    not there
    Posts
    1,558
    Quote Originally Posted by AmmergauerTele View Post
    If money is a factor heading to Europe I'd recommend Zurich and heading to Tyrol area in the western part of Austria. Maybe 30-40% cheaper than Switzerland IMO. Rented a wagon at Zurich Airport, stayed in a nice 2 bedroom apartment in Landeck, Austria for 150 euro a night, then would drive 20-25 minutes to St. Anton complex, Ischgl, Serfaus/Fiis. Lift tickets were from 70-75 euros. Plenty of other resorts to explore near Landeck - Khutai, Galtur.....etc. It is endless. Standard Austrian bakery on the way to skiing in grocery stores was quite economical too. Accommodation in CHE a bit more, food quite a bit more, lift tickets ranged from 75-120 CHF ($85-$130). Zurich Airport to Tyrol is about 2 hours or so. Easy drive. All the rentals at Zurich have snow tires.
    Cheap parking in innsbrooklyn too : )

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    214
    Quote Originally Posted by caderader View Post
    I've done a Spokane to BC (Nelson/Whitewater + Rossland/Red) trip a few years ago and absolutely loved it, but thought this year had been a bit tough on the BC ski hills, looking at base depths, it appears I was wrong.
    We're definitely low tide this year, but waay less low tide than everyone else

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    240
    Fyi the 3-4 week Climate Prediction Center outlook (https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/produc...dictions/WK34/) came out yesterday. It was, as many have mentioned, more or less useless for planning a powder chase.

    I went ahead and booked with Southwest pts to Montrose(~27,000pts) for access to SW Co. It's easy to cancel and/or change booking with SW so that's just a hedge for now.

    Haven't booked my other refundable pts flight with Cap One Pts because I'll use those for a Europe flight if my two friends are up for it and don't really want to go through the hassle of cancelling through a third party and rebooking if we're gonna do that. However, risk of increasing fares is real; one fare I liked yesterday has already gone from ~$700 -> $1000+. Still see several other fares that are in the $600-800 range which is similar to prices to the Rockies.

    FYI for the flight discussion above I'm based on the Gulf Coast and am flying out of New Orleans, Pensacola, Mobile, or perhaps Birmingham, Al

    I had ChatGPT translate the 3-4 week discussion into plain language...the TLDR version is nobody knows nothin' this far out...surprise.

    Chat GPT Output - Let's break down this forecast discussion into simpler terms:

    1. **El Niño and Ocean Temperatures:** Right now, in the Pacific Ocean, we're seeing the tail end of El Niño, which is a period of warmer-than-average sea temperatures. Although it's starting to weaken, the sea is still warmer than usual by more than 1.7°C in a specific area.

    2. **Weather Patterns and Movements:** There's a weather pattern called the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), which influences rain and storm patterns. It's currently active in the western hemisphere, but it's hard to predict how strong it will be as it moves east. There's also some uncertainty in the measurements because of another weather pattern that's just finished in the Indian Ocean.

    3. **Arctic and Stratospheric Changes:** In the far north, we expect a positive Arctic Oscillation, which usually means milder winter conditions for us. However, there's a big but: the polar vortex (a spinning cold air mass over the Arctic) might break down soon, causing unexpected changes, possibly making the Arctic Oscillation negative, which could bring colder weather.

    4. **Forecast Uncertainty:** Even though we have a lot of data and models predicting weather, there's still a lot of uncertainty, especially in how these conditions will affect temperatures and rain in the coming weeks.

    5. **Model Differences:** There are two main types of models used to forecast weather: dynamical (based on current weather patterns) and statistical (which also considers past weather trends and patterns like El Niño). Right now, these models don't fully agree on what's going to happen, especially regarding rain and temperatures in places like Alaska and the Southeast US, adding to the uncertainty.

    6. **Temperature and Precipitation Outlook:** For the next 3-4 weeks, the forecast suggests warmer than normal temperatures for the northern parts of the US, especially the Midwest and Northeast. The Southwest might be cooler than usual. Rainfall is expected to be less than average for much of the southern US, with Florida and parts of New Mexico/Arizona being particularly dry. The Pacific Northwest might get more or less rain than average; it's too close to call.

    In summary, we're looking at a mix of lingering El Niño warmth, uncertain weather patterns due to the MJO and Arctic Oscillation, and a bit of disagreement among the weather models. This means the forecast for the next few weeks has a higher than usual level of uncertainty, especially regarding temperatures and rainfall across the US.

    Sent from my Pixel 7a using Tapatalk

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    28,272
    https://zoom.earth/maps/precipitatio...,4z/model=icon

    Where in NAm can you stay within walking distance of a 4000+ lift served vertical with open boundaries for less than $150/night aside from your van? I can name at least 4 great hotels.

    Where in NAm is a 4000+ vertical lift ticket less than $100? In Yurp, there's dozens. Huttes/Rifgios/Refuges if you're willing to skin/climb? That's the real gateway to unbounded pow.

    I'll let the Oracle of Europow speak regarding the potential for next week...
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,342
    Old man ticket purchased in advance for Engelberg @ $41/day. Room w half board under $200


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    240
    Few quick updates. Europe is out because one of my friends doesn't have a passport and the other has already missed too much work for skiing this year. Next year I'm planning on the BBI though. Ist der Schnee super?

    Long range models are just beginning to get my first two ski days in their window (360-384 hours). Obviously at this point accuracy is not worth much but there is some agreement and that's what I'm paying attention to.

    Trying to limit downside risk on rising costs of flights I booked refundable points on SW, changed that flight to Reno because 1, it was one of the most expensive likely target, easier to go down to a cheaper destination than have to increase points as the trip gets closer, and 2 the bit of agreement the models are showing for the first two days of my trip is snow in the Tahoe area. We'll watch and make adjustments as needed.

    Because of the weak agreement around higher precip on 3/6 & 3/7 in Tahoe area I also booked a Forester through Turo as a hedge. It doesn't charge me until 2/27 and is refundable until 3/4 so that feels like a good hedge to me.

    Finally I booked refundable to Jackson through American. Models aren't really showing much snow there for my trip dates at this point but it's one of the most expensive destinations for me and I'd rather lock it in now and be able to cancel/change than see it be hit with a big forecast and forced to decide if I want to pay an arm and a leg later.

    I've been actively monitoring GFS and Canadian model runs but again, as we all know it's too far out to read much from them except trends and agreement/disagreement.

    Open Snow and Tomer rarely talk about forecasts more than 9-10 days out. My observation though has been that Brian Allegretto in the Tahoe Daily Snow is the one most willing to discuss long range patterns and that he does a good job of it. His discussion today (attached) was one of the first to hint at those dates.

    I'm hoping to start to get some clarity by the weekend when I'll be 10 days from my first ski day and 14 days from the last ski day of the trip.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20240220-093242.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	73.8 KB 
ID:	487647

    Sent from my Pixel 7a using Tapatalk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •