Working My Game Plan

How I Work It: Circling the Routes
Admit it: you’re either a tourist or a wanderer. You can be both, but not at the same time. I love both! But on this blog and for all my escapades, I’m a wanderer.

My modus operandi revolves around “great circle routes“. (Yes, pun intended.) Great circles or simply “circle routes” begin at an anchor city from which the area/resorts are visited in an a precise order that minimizes retraced steps and mileage.

  • Ideally I’m able to visit a new area on a daily schedule. You can visualize it: ski all day, travel in the evening, ski again next day, repeat tomorrow and occasionally take a day off. Stay flexible to allow time with new friends, spent an extra day at an exceptional resort, or take in special festivals and events encountered along the way.
  •  like to schedule at least five areas within a circle route. Better yet are ten or so but now we’re talking two weeks. When the target is “way out west” The ambitious goal is established with 20 or more. The greater the distance, the more precious the time and costly the expense.
  • One more rule of thumb: I attempt to visit the resorts and larger areas mid-week. Yes, the rates are lower, but it’s just as good to avoid the crowds.
    Lift lines aggravate me, and one the week-ends and holidays length of lines runs counter-intuitively to size. These are the rules, but rules can be broken, and sometimes I must
  • So the great circles are, researched well in advance, set up and then I see how the snow flies.

How I Work It: Modes of Transport.
It’s a a matter of cost, time and preference. It needs and has it’s own post.

How I Work It: “Addressing Accommodations”
This topic needs more room. There are so many considerations, it requires a unique own post but consider:

  • I book friends, hostels, hotels, B&B’s and condos usually in that order, for I try to be a good steward of my limited funds. My kids describe me as “cheap”, but my friends are usually more ingratiating with “parsimonious” or “frugal”.
  • I use an expert, when I’m not.
  • I book early, but I look carefully at cancellations policies and consider.
  • I pay in advance, when it saves money.
  • I look to centralize within a cluster to reduce moving complications.

How I Work It: Food
Yea, I love to eat. But when I run around in my circles, meals not a high priority

  • Fine dining is a luxury
  • Good meals are equally a social thing. Good food doesn’t go with eating alone.
  • I’m of German heritage. Beer is a food.
  • I’m always “on the run”. Use time to travel not eat.
  • Eating in the car keeps your mind occupied and awake
  • Fast food joints = fine & free Wi-Fi connections

How I Work It:Points of interest, other activities and diversions

  • National Parks and Historic Sites are musts. (Well, second best anyway.)
  • Museums are my 3rd choice.
  • Friends and family should be accounted for. (Especially if you get along and there’s shower, bed, & grub!)
  • I always consider new or rare activates like snow mobiles, zip lines, or the likes

How I Work It:Mapping it out

  • Google Maps works well for mileage and times.
  • Put it ALL together: areas, hotels, points of interest, et al.
  • Drag & drop to manipulate
  • The newest update appears to limit the destinations to 10. S break it and group it b section.
  • I love my navigation system in our family cars, but watch the costs in rentals
  • I use my IPhone to augment my car or substitute in my rentals.

How I Work It:Lift tickets and passes

  • I study the early purchase season passes thoroughly mining multi-destinations offers as well analyzing cost per area. The greatest deal to date is a seasons pass at Sipapu, New Mexico. It has provided access to as many as 20 areas one single season. (That’s another story. A long, long story. A long string of stories)
  • Military and often first responders often get great rates. NB: I don’t qualify. I was never in the armed forces. Not proud of it, (But that’s another story). My point is special credentials can carry benefits. I am a ski instructor; an employee in the industry. ASK, and bring ID.
  • Purchase early in the pre-season.
  • Use Liftopia, the discount pass tool & App
  • Book and by in advance.
  • Search for coupons
  • Most areas offer Senior rates at differing ages and several offer free skiing for super-seniors. Again the age varies usually between 70 – 80. ASK! Even the “hoity-toity” resorts offer a $10 or so discount that can bring the day rate to just under $100. BIG DEAL!
  • There are such things as half-day tickets usually starting at or after 12 noon. They can save a few dollars, but I only use them if I need the mornings hours to drive those few extra miles. The crowds can thin out after lunch which will reduce those long lines. But you get those “sunshine skiers” and the “hang-over crowd. (And God Bless the pious church attendees on Sundays!)
  • Night skiing: Ah yes there are well-lit slopes for night skiing. It’s largely an eastern phenomena, and ad it saves money. The crowds are non-existent, but gimme a break. It’s cold out there. I seldom use ‘m. The one area, and it was “out west” where it was invaluable was Snow King area in downtown Jackson Hole, WY. I had packed a long week-end expedition to the Tetons. I didn’t wish to sacrifice a powder day at Grand Targhee or Jackson, so we squeezed Snow King in after a da of snow moiling in Yellow Stone National Park. (But, That’s another story.)  It was very convenient and worked out well, but night skiing did not do justice for a review of Snow King. I need to return.

This “great circle” approach developed when I scoped out the whole vision thing. I listed and lumped all the ski areas.  Next, I systematized a plan. Now I’ve logged and catalogued past circle experiences. However most importantly, I’ve mapped out the future rings . Got a purpose; got a plan. So it’s on to fruition. Gotta fill the bucket. Gonna fill the bucket!

Check it for a moment; be well advised: I’m not the “normal” skier! Most sane people recognize skiing as a sport, something to be enjoyed at leisure, in one’s spare time. But to me its a career, It’s a vocation in the classic sense; a calling. It’s integrated into my career in education. I’m a teacher. But I’m a researcher and investigator. I simply have to know.

And then lastly, I’m a wanderer; a man on the go, a rolling stone, a gypsy.

Come, Ski With Me!