Travel Wishlist, Part 4 - Ski Trips in North America

Chuck Sun, 2013-08-04 19:00

Readers who know me (Chuck) might know also that last year I lost 80 pounds. So when we took our ski trip this past winter, it was unsurprisingly the absolute best ever.  We did 3 days at Killington, Vermont and I ski'd solid from first turns of the lift to last one off the mountain.  I've never been able to do that, and it was motivation enough to keep the weight off and stay in shape!  Next year we have our sites set on Colorado, so that's a bit of a departure from my original blog...

Having grown up in South Mississippi (where if you go any further south you are in the Gulf of Mexico), we are latecomers to snow skiing.  I had some airline miles I needed to burn during the holiday season back in 1997 so we went on a B&B weekend to New Hampshire.  When we asked the proprietor what she recommended we do while there, she recommended we take skiing lessons at Attitash because they had just gotten a good snow.  We did and we fell in love with it.  We've been skiing at least once every year since then, almost exclusively in New England.  I took snowboard lessons once while I had a consulting gig in Seattle; riding was okay, but I greatly prefer skiing.  I've never been particularly good at it, but those of you who've read my previous blogs know that I have been pretty seriously overweight all that time.  Even last year, when I had lost only 15 pounds, I could tell a huge difference in my that I'm at my GOAL WEIGHT of 185 (80 pounds lost this year - woohoo!!) I can only imagine how enjoyable our upcoming February trip to Killington will be.

You might ask why we ski in New England.  There is, of course, the familiarity aspect: it's where we learned to ski, and we actually find the typical New England conditions (wet, icy) more comfortable than dry powder.  But also there are a couple of practical aspects.  Having lived our lives (at least until 42) at sea level, we don't take well to elevations, though now that I'm "in shape" I can probably tolerate it much better.

The peaks in New England that we ski are typically less than 5,000 feet; in Colorado the base lodges are often above that.  Another practical aspect to New England skiing is the availability of major airports and the associated cheap fares; if fares are high for Burlington, Manchester, or Albany, then Boston is always a pretty inexpensive fallback with numerous direct flights for us from Atlanta.  And driving to any ski resort in New England from Boston is no worse than many ski resort drives from the Denver airport.
So here's my US & Canada ski resort wish list as it stands today...

  • Stowe, NH - right up the road from our bread & butter destination of Killington, it's surprising that we've never tried Stowe before.  One day soon.
  • Copper, CO - a friend of mine swears that Copper is a great Colorado destination for those of us who don't do altitudes well.  I'll try anything once.
  • Sun Valley, ID - always gets good reviews and has a great historical aspect; the lodge isn't overly high in elevation so it's on our list.
  • Mont Tremblant, Canada - Tremblant is often #1 on the eastern ski lists and with our Europhile nature it sounds like a great place for us.
  • Taos, NM - Ok, well this one is the odd one on my list with pretty high elevation, but so many people have said we hafta go...we'll just have to rent O2 bottles.
  • Whistler, BC - We visited during the off-season once before the Olympics and it's been on our list ever since.

Coming up in my next travel wishlist blog...Europe!