Jim Kenney

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Solo ski travel


Anybody interested in this topic? The Wash Post ran several articles recently about solo travel. Here are links to three:


https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/ready-to-go-it-alone-tips-for-easing-into-solo-travel/2017/06/15/a49256c2-47d4-11e7-bcde-624ad94170ab_story.html?utm_term=.398916a8d7a3


https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/traveling-alone-isnt-for-everyone--but-for-these-adventurers-its-the-way-to-go/2017/06/15/a555c91e-4bde-11e7-bc1b-fddbd8359dee_story.html?utm_term=.a8aba295af43


https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/how-solo-travelers-can-beat-the-high-cost-of-going-it-alone/2017/06/15/424226e0-4acd-11e7-9669-250d0b15f83b_story.html?utm_term=.f76619c7c4a1


I usually travel with family, but have some experience with short and longer solo ski tripping. The cave man chauvinist in me is particularly impressed when I hear of females going on long solo trips, because of the safety factor. Of course traveling for a week to a very civilized ski resort is quite a bit different than traveling alone for a month to Patagonia or Kyrgyzstan. One of the articles mentions using technology and social media to connect with others when traveling solo. Websites like this one are great for that sort of thing in a ski trip scenario. Another article is about beating high costs when much travel is based on "double occupancy".


WHAT ARE YOUR BEST FIRSTHAND TIPS FOR SOLO SKI TRAVELERS OR WHAT ARE YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT SOLO SKI TRAVEL?
 

Tricia

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This is a great article idea.
:popcorn:
 

Philpug

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@Jim Kenney it would be a great fall article that we woudl love to feature.
 

coskigirl

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I've done a weekend in Italy skiing Courmayeur and La Thuile on my own. I took a train up from Rome after a work trip there. I stayed a great little inn in Pre Saint Didier and they were so impressed with me and the fact that I was a single female traveling to ski alone. The innkeepers were especially kind and accommodating. When I checked out they informed me that they "had an American here once before". The area was popular with European and Australian travelers but not so much for us Americans or maybe most of the Americans stayed in Courmayeur or La Thuile. However, I didn't meet any other Americans while in that area.

I've done a bunch of other travel alone, often tagging on to other work trips. Sometimes I see friends when I get there which I've done in Oxford England, Hong Kong, Santiago Chile. However, even when I do that I'm usually on my own for travel, accommodations, and/or at least part of my exploration. In Oxford and Hong Kong I spent time with a friend of several people here although I don't think she's actually on Pugski.

The biggest issue I've ever had is when I was taking the train from Rome to Pre Saint Didier. I was trying to figure out which train was mine and a couple of "helpful" guys came over to direct me. The got me to what I thought was my train and then asked for a tip. I gave them only the change I had and when they asked for more I refused. What I didn't realize until later was that they put me on the wrong train. It would eventually get me where I needed to go but it was not an express train so I ended up missing my original connection and taking much longer to get there. Fortunately the train conductor took pity on me and since I'd paid for a more expensive trip didn't fine me for being on the wrong train.

I love my adventures and I love the freedom that it offers me when I'm at my destination. In fact, that trip to Oxford was decided the night before because my friends there who had planned to come into the city to see me (they didn't know each other) both said that I'd seen so much of London the previous 2 days that it might be fun to explore Oxford. I'm so glad they suggested it! In Chile in December I decided to just show up at a winery that I could get to by subway. When I go there the only tour that fit my schedule was in Spanish so I got to really practice my Spanish comprehension.

I don't have any solo trips scheduled right now although I've been tossing around the idea of some beach time this fall. I know, blasphemy on this site but I think I'm just craving some downtime. It's been a very intense few months.
 

karlo

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I'm assuming you mean pure solo, not going alone to an event, and not to join a ski tour.

For me, I would need to go to an interesting place, culturally. Could be food, could be language, even type of accommodation (like an adobe dwelling in New Mexico). I'd like to come away with something other than just the skiing.

Travel light.

Don't go overboard with reservations for accommodations, maybe first night and last night only, unless you are going someplace like Portillo where there are no options. That way, you have the flexibility to go wherever, whenever.
 

at_nyc

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Tips:

1) sign up on a popular ski forum.

2) post your itinerary

3) Meet up with locals

4) Post some pictures about the mountain you visited and the friendly locals you've met

Repeat. :D
 

cosmoliu

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I used to go solo skiing a lot after my wife decided about 15 years ago that she didn't want to ski anymore. I used to like to take a room at the Mammoth Mountain Inn or a bed in a dorm room at Goldminer's Daughter. I'd never wind up skiing alone for very long though- I'd strike up a conversation with a chair-mate and the next thing you know, I've got a new ski buddy. Over the years I've made friends with folks from all over the country who I continue to meet up with pretty much every year. For the last 5 years or so that has meant scheduling 4-5 trips/year to keep up with these people, who I otherwise don't interact with at any other time. These days, after putting those trips on my calendar, I don't have enough free vacation time to really consider going solo even if I would want to.

Edit: After thinking a bit more about this, I much prefer to ski with friends (sometimes new, like Mr. OP) compared with those times I went solo. Skiing is so much better as a shared experience, particularly re-living the day with an alcoholic beverage in the hot tub.
 
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noncrazycanuck

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I solo ski frequently, biggest negative I find (other then the extra cost) can be the terrain options.

In my region I have had lot of days almost everywhere so knowing where I want to ski is not a problem, however a lot of the best terrain is safer with a partner.
It's always a good idea to have someone around to pick up the pieces or at least notify patrol where you were.
Solo in low traffic non visible areas I'm either taking a calculated risk and skiing overly conservatively or possibly avoiding some of my favorite sections.

You always meet people to ski with but not everyone has the same taste.

On the positive side
when skiing with new partners often you'll find yourself on runs you don't normally take and it will give you a different perspective of the hill and get you out of the same old routine
 

crgildart

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Stay away from tree well terrain and BC where others aren't likely to be around should you injure yourself or get somewhat lost.

Ration the driving prudently, no more than 5 hours on the way to the resort and try to keep the drive after around 3 hours. Bad weather and other traffic problems can double that... not good to have that left on your daily tasks when you're already spent from skiing... Also, no alcohol until you've arrived at your sleeping location. If you can really be completely happy having only have one that's cool but if you get pulled in to a party change your previously planned evening travel plan to the next day no matter how much more it adds to your trip cost.
 

Norther1

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I ski and travel to ski solo all the time; 95% of the time I ski alone. The only downside is that I think I don't push myself as much as I could if I was with someone else. When you're by your self you have to be able to get your self out of whatever you get into, so the thought is always in the back of my mind not to do anything where the likelihood of getting injured or having a mental melt down.
 

Yo Momma

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When solo at a new mtn I always do the mtn tour group w/ an instructor. It's free and a great way to meet pple.

Last time I did this, the place was in a total white out so after skiing for a bit w/ the group, the group leader asked me to help get a couple of midwest instructors down a tough section while he focused on a few of the others. We got the entire crew down safely, dropped them off and he turned to the two instructors and I and said now let's go have some fun! ........... next thing I know we're slipping into off piste terrain visually WAAAY over my head.....the two instructors immediately dropped out and wouldn't pass the Warning Extreme Terrain Signs.... the two of us spent the rest of the day just hanging and skiing all through amazing tree covered terrain. I ended up joining him for dinner w/ his family, and meeting a friend of his who was visiting and skiing w/ that friend and hiking some of the ridges the next day. Great trip!

This was when the "Couch Surfing" website had just started so I stayed w/ a couple who gave me a free room in their condo for 10 days.............it was a young couple who worked at the mountain and since I was "Free-Loading" I bought them groceries from Whole Foods, and took them out for dinner and drinks just about every night while there........... Their quote was " Best guest EVER!!!!!!!!" LMAO
 

Tytlynz64

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This is a great thread! I ski solo exclusively. None of my current friends ski. I find I often have the time to go but lodging costs are the main deterrent. I am interested in more, and perhaps less expensive, options like the dorm at the GMD. Are there other types of places like it at other destinations? I guess I would prefer to travel and ski with others, but going solo allows me not to feel like I am holding people back terrain wise.
 

Fuller

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My wife and I do a joint trip and we are pretty good with logistics and deciding where to go and when. However we both have different ideas of just how prepared we should be for the days activities. I'm more inclined to grab the essentials and get out the door early - she's still deciding which layers to bring. But we make it work. At the end of the day I'm usually appreciative of her remembering all the things I blew off. We've never done a ski group trip where the social obligations are higher - I'm not sure how that would go for me.

But traveling alone is fun too. You can do exactly what you want to do and figure it out by yourself. No need to be considerate; just ski, eat, sleep (repeat) until the macho wears off and it's time to be domesticated again.
 

Sibhusky

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WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I spent my junior year in Europe (Austria), went lots of places alone. Back then, English was not so widely known, yet I "conversed" with people on trains all over Europe constantly. These days, I frequently (okay, until @Fuller shows up) ski alone, but really that's no big deal when it's your home area. When I worked, I frequently traveled alone. So, basically, it's really no big deal. I would be hesitant to go some places (Istanbul?) alone, but to a place where I spoke the language, no. In fact, generally if you are alone, you'll meet MORE people.
 

cosmoliu

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I am interested in more, and perhaps less expensive, options like the dorm at the GMD. Are there other types of places like it at other destinations?
Though I've never stayed there, I hear the hostel at Jackson Hole is a good place to stay. There's a YMCA camp outside of Winter Park. Again, I've never stayed there, but my brother and his sons have. It's a little off the beaten path, so best to have your own wheels.
 

Tytlynz64

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Thanks Sibhusky and cosmoliu, those are exactly the types of places I am looking for.
 

KingGrump

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Though I've never stayed there, I hear the hostel at Jackson Hole is a good place to stay. There's a YMCA camp outside of Winter Park. Again, I've never stayed there, but my brother and his sons have. It's a little off the beaten path, so best to have your own wheels.
The hostel at JH is really nice. Slope side. I spent 3 months there back in '88. Four bunks to a room. $38 per night for the room. I didn't know I had so many friends.
Don't know whether they renovated it since I was there. Take the bed by the door. No Mexican food please. The bathroom is in the interior rear of the room. The venting sucks. :nono::roflmao:
 
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