It’s All about “Family”

What I love about skiing is the family aspect. Because of my business and my teaching experience I have always been blessed to ski with my family. And there is no better sport for family activity than the sport of skiing.

OK,  I must declare I’ve got a fantastic wife, who’s been so supportive of our ski escapades. But let’s be realistic, she is the one who does most of the real work involved not only with the ski adventures, but also in rearing the kids and is still amassing points with our eight grand children.

(Now, because we were so supportive of our kids, they are now reciprocating by letting us hang around with them as they now take their kids on the fun-filled ski excursions. Although it’s difficult with all the kids and the grand children together one trip  – what with the career obligations, plus the myriad school and sports commitments – we still  average about three our five households per trip each year.)

The annual  mountain “reunion” has been centered around Kji,  our #2 son whose home is in Denver), thus it’s Summit County Colorado. Of late, we’re now beginning to spread the venue to more distant areas. (Hey, there’s absolutely nothing shabby about the Front Range in Colorado, it’s just that I’m afraid the kids have inherited the wanderer gene that runs in the family DNA.)

So what are the keys to a good family ski excursion? Wow that’s a tough question. The children come first. Slopes that appeal to their ski skills are the #1 consideration. Realize that even the steepest and toughest slopes usually have a green or blue “cat” trail off the top that provides access for groomer.  But DON”T push the kids or your ski partners beyond the comfort levels!

Next, if the kids are somewhat skilled and experienced, good equipment is a major concern. Consider rentals as a viable option. Unless you’re a very experienced skier with your own unique equipment, rentals are likely the best answer, especially with airline luggage fees. And even then, a good rental program will have high-end equipment that allow you to test and work the latest in mountain technology. Swap ‘m out each day and you might find new preferences and favorites.

Lessons with good fun-centered instructors will make the experience. Consider day long group lessons for a day or two to begin with. Drop the kids off early. Don’t be bothered with lunch, and enjoy your time on the mountain!. But always leave an hour each day and a day at the end so the kids can ski with you to show off (and maybe even teach you a thing or two.) Line up lessons and day care ahead of time. The programs often sell out on holidays and weekends.

An instructor can help with more than skiing. They know the slopes and the locale better than most. And then the surface conditions are important yet with todays technology shouldn’t be a worry.

For accommodations, I highly recommend renting condo or even an entire house if there are three households or more. It’s always better together on with ski adventures, and believe it or not, the kids actually behave more (or maybe they’re more fully engaged) in the presence of peers.

Your schedule has to be fully active,  so “close” or” shared”  quarters of the ski lodge is really not a concern. The kids usually take care of each other, and have more fun than the adults. Baby -sitter? One, and split the costs. Or of course, invite the grand parents. You can’t beat the price, and they love it!

If “ski-in; ski-out” is even remotely possible, go for it. Yes, it can run the expenses up initially, but in the long run it’s well worth the extra investment. The convenience will add to the fun and drastically reduce the stress. And there is money to e saved in reduced meals, especially lunches. Most on slope facilities will have more inclusive packages that reduce lift costs. And the need for a rental car is virtually eliminated. Most resorts offer regular free shuttle service to just about every thing and everywhere in the village.

Oh and then there is the weather. Sun and reasonable temperatures are good. We always say, if there is sun, the week will be a memory. Lots of luck on this the weather factor. It’s ultimately a function of “mother nature”  But again there are ways to make it up if nature heaps on the challenges, And that leads us to secondary considerations like ancillary activates and après ski life.

The après scène is important for those family members (usually in-laws) who may not have the same passion for skiing. But food is always good, the beverages are omnipresent and the camaraderie is always par excellence. The difficulty lies in the stamina of the skiers. After a day on the slopes, a soothing hot tub session compounded by age and the ability to remain awake is the only concern. Our family meals are all moments of memories.

One fun thing that has become the tradition or perhaps even the modus operandi is home-cooked meals. Each family takes the responsibility for breakfast and a diner. It’s theirs to set the menu, shop the ingredients and prepare the meal. Breakfasts have produced almost unbelievable variety. And the suppers likewise, but even more fun, The preparers can get so involved, they knock off early from the slopes or even take the day off as a welcome respite.

And then there is the impromptu, unscheduled mid day breaks of after close happy hours. Spontaneity is the key and fun plus memories are the products. New friends even be a bonus, but often the cronyism can preclude the making of new relationships. And then too there might be the designated driver issue. Again, the free shuttles are a bonus!

Now the planning process in probably the most cumbersome, touchy, yet important process. Begin a year in advance. School scheduling in central, but once the dates are set, all other family priority become secondary . Scheduling other events seem to fall before the trip. Low airfares as well as resort specials are significant when booked in advance.

Talk and listen to others. Their experiences are very helpful. Finding a knowledge travel agent can be difficult. But if you find one, listen and rescue! Web sites as well as social media are so valuable. Need I say more? Involve family members by assigning specific tasks . And enjoy the experience. Don’t get hung up on the small stuff, details and minutia- the “nickel ‘n dime stuff. And take lots of pictures. Their value multiplies over time.

Have the time of your life. Make memories. Count your blessings.  And then, redo it annually.

Come. SkiWithMe!

 

 [Link to: All in the Family post] [Link to: Parenting & Skiing post]

NH/MN Circle Route

New Hampshire & Maine Circle Route 15-16
Scratching off 2 more states (plus several more “freshies”)

Recall if you will my method: circle routes about a hub metropolis; plan an New England and a western trip each year; then pray for snow

The White Mountains – I see them as the mountain range separating New Hampshire from Maine. Travel the western side for many the NH’s best, and loop down the eastern side of the range to capture most of ME’s slopes. All told, it’s a circle route that captures over numerous “freshies” (new 1K areas). Upon execution, I’ll cross off two more states from my bucket list count.

More precisely, NH has 12 distinct 1K mountains , but I’ve skied five to date. But there are other local areas. I really want to visit Dartmouth for 2 reasons: 1. It’s 988 feet of vertical (and I really appreciate their “no-fudge” honesty); plus 2. I love to visit college campuses (particularly those with their own “mountain”). Maine has six 1K mountains, and I have only skied one to date.

Boston is my “hub-city” and I hope to visit a couple Massachusetts areas along the way. And of course, there is a welcome home and a warm hearth in Boston … well technically Milton, MA. (Plus two grandchildren! … along with their parents, my daughter and son-in-law.)

One 1K is directly on the circle route. Wassachucetts, MA lists a vertical of exactly 1,000 feet. (Hmmm, my IPhone will be a witness, and believe me, I’ll let the world know the truth!)

There are eight other 1K’s easily accessible (3 in MA and 5 in NY) on my way to Boston. (I may get to one going and one returning, but there is no hurry as I take this road several times a year.) I lean toward doing the MA first, so I can knock the Bay State off my “States Bucket List”.

Smaller hills, re-visits and en routes could well take my visits to a much greater number. As usual money, time and unforseens can greatly alter and ,ultimately determine the outcome.

I’m hoping and expecting loved ones’ accompaniment somewhere and somehow. My daughter as a mother of two is sketchy at best, but I’m really looking to Mike, the father to bust out for a day or two.

And Denise, my “long-lost” cousin-in-law, is a daughter of an earlier Attitash “mover and shaker”, Ken Studley. I really want her to show me around Attitash and their sister resort, Wildcat.

And then there is my college roommate and fraternity brother Greg, himself an ardent ski aficionado. Greg has tucked himself away in his autumn years with his wife Loreen. Lori is also a friend and fellow life-guard [but that’s another story] friend of mine from days of yore. She actually introduced Greg to me. From that infamous moment, we went on to write our own book of college antics and fond memories!

I will schedule in a manner insuring we connect. It’s only a question of how many mountains Greg will choose to share with me. We still works a full schedule as a pilot with Net Jet.

This will be a great trip, a fantastic circle. It could be as many as fifteen in nineteen or so (15/19). But I’m “staying loose” and will report the final ratio promptly.

For now, I’m hoping and praying for good snow, like last season’s “East Coast dump”. But as stated before, I always have a Western “circle” mapped out and ready to unfold as an alternative or better yet an additional trip. The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared”. I’ve gotta be in position to swing either way; to go where the snow is.

Come, Ski With Me!

Better Together

God created humans as social animals. Humans were created for community, for sharing, cooperating and moving forward together.
We are born with an innate desire for relations. Why fight it? Life and skiing are “better together”.
Nothing beats traveling with a group of like-minded companions… sharing discoveries, experiences, then photos, stories and lasting impressions… trade information, study opportunities, make new friends and lasting memories; solidify established bonds, Heck, I even fell in love on my first over-seas expedition to ski Austria.
Elementary arithmetic teaches us 3 plus 4 equals 6. But by applying higher math increases the results . Multiplying 3×3 gives us 9; Yet exponentially 3 cubed results in 27. Are we getting the picture? Working, traveling and skiing together increases the fun.
But planning such experiences can be daunting working together improves the knowledge base while reducing the research and study time. Add in a skilled concierge or expert agent and we’re really flying.
No one expects everyone to hold hands as you head down the slopes, and you one says you can’t explore on your own. But only a fool skies the triple blacks alone, of goes solo off piste. Everyone has to fall sometime, and that’s often when you’re grateful for you buddy and companions.
After hours and fellowship are synonymous. What else can be said – other than fellows can not only wind you up but even hold down the lid if and when necessary.
Group travel usually produces more advantageous pricing. A charter with the University of Buffalo is my testimonial to advantageous pricing. UNBELIEVABLE! Although that was a different era, uh… a another century … that principle remains the same. I’ve participated in innumerable group excursions most of which I knew only one or a couple of other participants, yet always had fun at an advantage price. I’ve organized and operated even more, I my wife will attest. Group organizers work their bums off to chisel the price down and stuff in the extras and unusuals. It’s a work of love that approaches an obsession.
But one more thought: better accommodations, or more activities but most likely, all of the above. Which sounds better: a hotel room, or a condominium with multiple rooms and a fireplace? A week of hit-or-miss exploration or a guided tour with a knowledgeable local? Hiking to the untracked or transported to the hidden couloirs via snow-cat or even helicopter with perhaps a lunch included or wine tasting after.
Hey, it’s my memories as well as yours! Come. Ski with Me!

Great Circle Routes

Or simply: “Circle Routes”
How far? How Many? How difficult? the first? The lastest?

What is a “Great Circle Route”? A great escapade of ski experiences, elaborately planned out to maximize time, space and ski visits while minimizing expenses, hassles and grief. Select a gateway city, one to fly or motor to; an urban hub to launch from and a base for  return.

You have to be a wanderer, Most sane people pick a resort and ski it all week.  But who implied sanity breeds contentment. Nomads, Bedouins, gypsies, Dion, and I were born to wander. I’m just a rollin’ stone. The grass is always greener. What’s ’round the next corner?

Maybe it began with the infamous “Familiarity” or “fam tours” instilled it in me. Destination Chambers, supplier co-ops, and business bureaus invite travel professionals for a visit in their off weeks or “dead” times to introduce, educate, introduce, escort and just plain indulge or bib us to produce future clients. At the risk of boasting, I was often a good investment because I fall in love easily and usually produce group tours to my favorite places. Yea, I’m easy, but it sure is fun.

Now my wife hates it.  Everywhere we go, I’m introducing myself, calculating travel time and distances, inspecting properties, and plotting things out.  And she has to watch and as she says, “wait!”  “Isn’t it exciting?” …  “No! ” Isn’t it worth it?” …  “No!.”  Can’t we just enjoy ourselves?” she asks. “I am!” sez me.

Air has been the mover-means of record.  But now as I have gradually pared my business chase, I now  prefer travel-by-tire if time allows. I love to visit the National Parks en route, especially the historic sites. With close to 400 locations and still growing in number, I appreciate NPS senior passport. All entrances are free for the holder plus up to four guests or one car full. (Although they’re snaking in new fees for admission into the new (sub-contacted to skirt the system) visitors’ centers, (still well worth the investment). What a blessing as a lure for the grandkids.  Traveling by car results in flexibility, inspires spontaneity, cuts the hassle of renting-n-return, plus it’s often less expensive.  Oh but would you guess, my wife prefers to fly?

One more redeeming aspect has developed over time: “books on tape” or let’s update: “books on disc”. We started with library supplied novels.  Fun!; prevents boredom, reduces day-dreaming and road hypnosis, even precludes road rage (on our part that is).  As I progressed from fiction to nonfiction, the challenges have increased: find a publication my wife can enjoy Butt as I evolved into a creature or contempt. I have latched on to ‘Great Courses‘ an admirable institute that produces college lecture series that simulate trivia experts , all wannabe pundits, imaginary Jeopardy contestants and erstwhile authors.  Their prom literature that goes regularly and often tag me as one of the best customers. I have invested a small fortune, but I love ‘m.  And should I reveal yet another benefit? They put my wife to sleep.

So my “Circle routes” are basically “on-my-own”. But recently some close friends have joined me. John is still gainfully and legitimately employed at a full time position with a real company. But being a computer genius, he is unleashed to work wherever he can connect via computer. And he has flexible hours so long as he meets the deadlines. That he does, usually with ease. It works well:  we both love and covet the hot tub. We put relish health food, trail mix, snacks and craft brews, I go to sleep early (senior Citizen scheduling) and John works late into the quiet evening on connected computer. (Quiet until the snoring begins.)

In addition to all his talents, John is a fellow instructor at BSC, the Buffalo Ski Club.  John joined me in the 14-15 season end for an abbreviated “Great Circle”, a “(5 in 5*)” that eventually expanded, but that’s another story). And he implies he might try it again. He has even piqued the interest of a couple some other young protégé acquaintances. And that will be a great story … more to come, I hope.

Come … Ski With Me!

*Post Script: The ratio thing:
What’s this ratio “thing” for example “5/5”?  Well the first factor, what we might take as the “numerator” stands for the number of ski areas called for in the great circle route. The second number, or the denominator indicates the total duration, the number of travel days in the original plan. So 5/5 is shorthand for: five ski areas, or visits in five days of travel.  Of course plans exist to change, especially when one is free (unemployed, self-employed, or retired). Spontaneity is often a blessing, but occasionally it backfires (but that’s another story.)

Return to [Great Circles]

The Greatest Escape: B

This was the first leg of the” Greatest Escape”. Denver was the hub where I acclimated to the elevation at 1 mile high by spending a pleasant extra day with the kids. Early on day three I headed west. Did lunch at “Mickey D’s” where anyone can get a WiFi connection. I polished up my plans by revisiting Google Maps and other Internet sites. Powderhorn had just received a 16” powder dump! Could this be a great opening omen?

I scurried out, by-passed Sunshine (No powder and after all, I had skied there once before), and wound my to Powderhorn. It was in mesa territory. The peaks were not peaks, but flattened table tops. I had no reciprocal privileges so I opted for a half day ticket. And I skied intensively in an effort to make to best with the time I had. The sun blazed brightly – just another day of western heaven, It’s a nice family area. No great bar or lounge, no village at the base, and no lodging so certainly no ski-in/out.

I met some great people: A school administrator had taken a personal day to catch this late season gift, and I chatted with some locals who spotted my fleece which sported the Xtreme Team logo and markings. They teased about my age, and questioned just how extreme the Xtreme could really be. I assured them it is a marketing ploy intended to lure our students and swell our numbers back home at the BSC. But deep down I wanted to challenge them, Come on. Put your skies where your mouths are. Come, ski with me! Them again I glad they didn’t. They were young and looked in shape. Plus I didn’t have my western legs with me yet.

 

I continued west “dining” behind the wheel as my next target was in southern Utah. I crossed the state line and continued on pas t sunset, which I normally don’t do. But the scenery was flat and monotonous and I had miles to go before I could sleep. I pulled into a Motel 6 using my senior rate through my frequent patron ID on their web site. $33, back up to the door, don’t unpack, quick shower, good z’s, AM shower, free coffee, automatic checkout and on the road at sunrise, It’s my “Great Escapade Shuffle”. I got it down to a science.

I was close to Moab. Gotta return to cycle in this mecca of mountain biking someday. My son speaks highly of it. I loved the scenic drive. And I can’t by-pass any historical markers.

 

McDonald’s for breakfast and WiFi, Called home (Or should I be more accurate by saying my wife’s office), get the expected whining because she has to work while I carouse about, and continue south.

Stopped for Beaver, UT for direction confirmation which pointed me straight up to Eagle Point (formerly Elk Meadow formerly ). Fell in love with the place. It;s my kinda area.

Its only open on the weekends, so I planned my visit for a Thursday. To my delight, Thurs are free days. That’s right! FREE! An promotional program initiated by the new owners to entice visitors on what I would envision is their slowest day. Well, thanks boys. I’m mighty grateful.

I chatted with the people at the front desk I tried to connect with the manager and ski school, but had no luck. It was close to noon so I was anxious to hit the slopes. Loved it!

The vertical drop is 1,500 feet – nice. There are two distinct but connected areas. The adult lift takes you to a summit where a cat can speed you to double black runs and thick woods. SO thick that I wouldn’t call ‘m glades. Fun, but be ever mindful of jacket rips or worse yet cheek rips, Goggles are a must. They are all pines with those gnarlly, nasty, low-hanging boughs. But still, it’s worth it.

Later, mindful of the axion, “Ski it all” I forced myself away from the adult area to look about the blue/green runs. What I discovered was one of the vest teaching runs ever, A gentle consistent slope, nicely groomed speckled with funky slope art and titillating terrain features sure to draw any child. And there are even units that with a bit of shuffling could stretch the imagination as to be “ski-in/out housing. Or proceed to the base area and catch a regular shuttle that loops the village and could conveniently drop a family off for lunch or a mid-day beak and even a nap! What a great family destination!

There are several odd piste gates for “legalized” adventure. There is a Yurt hut open to an organized over night experience. . The Village is sloop side, a collection of fine condos and private homes, no log “mansions” for rent. The dining room is first class with an accompanying bar and lounge.

I tried to convince my family to no avail as yet. Too far, no snow making, Not challenging enough. It What a bunch of whiners! It’s their loss. It’s only a weekend. WRONG! Zion and Arches National Parks are a short shuttle away, and each is worth a week’s investment to say nothing of a comprehension one day overview.

And then there;s Brianhead, another delightful area just one canyon away, Open all week, well-groomed 1500 feet in vertical, Base lodges, suitable bar with live music on key nights.

Well my first leg was topped off with eye-candy 3.5 hour drive to Las Vegas. A reserved seat for a super intensive 2 day seminar or erecting a log home from scratch. But that’s another story. A short hiatus from my “Greatest Escape” (leg #1 done) …

Come, Ski With Me! (leg #2)

 

My Greatest Escape: A

My longest circle route! A swing through the Southwest
(1st in a series covering my Odyssey of ’12-13 …  17/21+ and almost my last]

A “Great Circle Route”? A collage of experiences, meticulously designed to maximize time, space and activities while reducing expenses, minimizing hassles and eliminating grief. And this was to be my piece de resistance, my opus, my crowning achievement.

It was the 2012-13 ski season. Life was advancing, yes I was aging. Physically, not mentally. I had roughed up even jotted down my list of all the 1ker’s in the lower 48. Still not a “super-senior” of 70+, I was mindful of costs. But I would sacrifice, ’cause waiting to age 70 would cramp my time. And, all I needed was another excuse, or reason to undertake this journey.

My gateway city, one I’d enter from the air was Denver. an urban; home of my youngest now with beautiful wife Kinsey, a warm spot to launch from and a cozy  base to return I envisioned. Perfect! But as I would  soon learn at least in this case, a safe haven in which to retreat.

My oldest Nashville, son had given me a Christmas gift of selecting and attending a workshop of my choosing, he told me, and he would fund it I interpreted. Soon I found out he had told me, he clarified, “Just the tuition, Dad.” OK, OK it still was a generous gift.I found a two day Timber-Frame construction seminar in Las Vegas. Perfect! I had always dreamed of overseeing the construction of my own dream house. (And I lied. It was really a log home construction seminar.)

So I plotted my route from Denver, home to Kji, son #2. I could revisit Sunlight in Glenwood Springs then pioneer Powderhorn, CO before crossing into Utah to catch those two “tough to reach” outback areas of Brianhead and the former Elk Meadows now billed as Eagle Point. UT. Now the reaction to my insanity was, “Dad, I expected you to chose caning or flower arranging in Pigeon Forge with Mom. I ‘d didn’t intend Timber-Framing in Las Vegas!” (He didn’t even know I lied about the log construction theme!). “I’m retracting my gift.” Yea, my own son, an Indian-giver! (Oops!) I apologize Native Americans, It IS a dis-respectful, sloppy figure-of -speech!

Over nights in Las Vegas for the seminar to continue on to Arizona. Arizona Snowbowl and Sunrise would  permit scratching AZ off my buck list. And then there was New Mexico. What Easterner would think there’s great skiing in the Southwest desert? ME! I had visited in my senior year at UB (That’s another story!) Thus I was familiar with and, ever longed to return to New Mexico and SKI!

New Mexico was the key! My daughter-in-law, born in Texas, actually came of age in the Albuquerque environs. Carolyn and I had been graciously hosted at our soon-to-be relatives’ “estate” in the Sangre de Christo Mountains over-looking the city two years prior, where the ritual of “meet- in-laws” was performed. No seriously, it is a high point in our memory bank. I am so proud of the kids, my “new” daughter and the new branch of the family tree. Love all you “guys”, even if you attempt to deny everything. A splendid wedding ensued the following June at the Bishop’s Lodge (talk about historic!). And just over a year later, we were further blessed in the birth of granddaughter # 2 (It’s #3 now, and still counting!).

New Mexico a sleeping giant of skiing. The incredible find of Sipapu offers a senior’s season pass with reciprocity with  the NM areas of, (along with others) Angel Fire, Red River, Parjarito, and Ski Apache. I simply added Ski Santa Fe, Sandia Peak,  and Taos Ski Valley to fulfill the NM quest.

“Circle” connotes returning to the start, so I included more Colorado skiing with Wolf Creek, Purgatory at Durango ,  and Telluride.  Overnighting a few last times would permit me to add Winter Park and Sol Vista (Ski Granby Ranch) en route my Denver hub. Then I would meet my family in Silverthorne for our annual reunion in Summit County! Nice, huh?

They said it couldn’t be done. But I had plans. I was gonna do it!  If all goes well, 26 areas in 31 days; over 3,500 miles. In theory this was to be the grandest escapade ever, the greatest of the “Great Circle Routes”! (But, plans can go awry. There’s more to my story.)

Come. SKi With Me!

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Get there: Means/modes

Trains, Boats and Planes: Get’n By Hook or by Crook

Ya gotta get there to enjoy the mountains and snow. So there is a lot of planning, preparation, packing and positioning to be done in advance. Our destination, time span, finances are all predetermined factors that allow us decide and determine in advance. Snow coverage and weather are factors beyond our control, but alternate plans can be made to ameliorate.

Auto remain my pick, my choice, preference regardless of time and distance, But remember, I am the exception, the odd-man-out.  Yet cars are a necessary factor in almost all trips. Day-trips generally self-evident. They’re always by car. The exception is the more distant pre-packaged group tour and inclusive resorts. Both often provide airport transfers. Even then proximity to the lifts must be considered.

Analyze the package carefully. When traveling as a family or bevy of buddies, it can be advantageous to rent a car, calculating the cost per head. If you can reduce the package price by dropping the transfers, there could be other benefits, But let’s weigh all considerations:

  • You have more flexibility.
  • You have more freedom.
  • You have greater independence.
  • And let’s recall, it could be a savings.
  • Ski racks can be useful but expensive.
  • Vans are possible in at most airports
  • Coupons work well.
  • Book in advance.
  • Remember the cost of gas
  • You’re on your own
  • Allow room
  • remember equipment takes space
  • Rental “add-ons” are a rip off. Don’t bite!

 

Addressing Accommodations

Finding a room for the night: Addressing accommodations

The famous “5S‘s) – Gotta sleep; Gotta snack; Gotta shower; Gotta shave; Gotta – shhhhhhh ….! (Keep it clean.)

And these needs are sought through my in accommodations.

But accommodations can take many forms. So lets take a look at the various possibilities:

On site accommodations offer the most for skiing. My dream, my choice, my preference is Ski-in/ski-out. It’s a condo or house slope-side which allows the skier, me or more significantly the family members egress and entrance from the lower level directly to a ski run that conveniently deposits one at a high speed quad at the central square of the ski resort.

Now even more desirable is a thermally heated driveway off a well-plowed road that links the in-door garage of the accommodation to the neat ski town center. A dream you ask? No such facilities do exist! I skied past several on more than one trip.

And yes, I have occasionally been blessed. For instance, there was the trip to the Stein Erikson lodge at Deer Valley in a prior century, yea … ancient history (but that’s another story). All-in-all these opportunities are rare in my life, and may not reoccur. But hey, you never know. And faith is the substance of things hoped for …

Rather than brag, list or boast about some other rare opportunities, let’s review the attibutes anyone would deem desirable in ski accommodations.

Deluxe: Housing
Housing with separate bedroom, kitchen and living areas. Especially for family vacations and group trips.
Kitchens? No, some say. But here is the tip: Each bedroom is reasonable for a meal or meals if multiple days are involved. Preparation and presentation can be fun, especially when its defined and limited. And the cost savings are significant. Individual responsibility when it comes to clean up and general maintenance is common sense, but critical to harmony and comfort. It can be a pleasant experience.
A wood burning or gas feed fireplace. You can’t eat the warm sociability and romance of a wood burner, but they do require preparation and attention. Plus they do fizzle out only to restarted each day

And B&B (Bed & Breakfast) accommodations can be deluxe!

Desirable hotel features
Accommodations that include a breakfast can not be overvalued.
Hot tubs are very useful and the older you get the more you appreciate them.
Wi-Fi is vital, especially for the younger skiers.
A refrigerator and microwave

Advantageous features
A variety of activites and common areas such as a computer room, library, fireplace exercise room or business center.
A local owner or knowledge clerk
A separate sleeping room and small kitchen or at least a refrigerator.

Basic: A hostel may sound intrepid, but it can also provide pleasant and fun

OK, its very basic, sharing accommodations. but the camaraderie can be informative, educational and interesting. I have met and enjoyed ski pals for a day or two, even sharing rides and discounts.
Now I’ve never used them, but many hostels have private rooms for families.

And bunk rooms are great for youth groups, especially when the kitchen is available for your use. And as a chaperone, believe it or not bunk rooms are the safest insurance against unauthorized “visits”

Survival (1 man) tips: (A wanderer’s notes)
Laugh if you want, but when I’m on my own, I prefer a motal (as in a “motor hotel” withj outside entrances to which I back up to, placing the trunk of my car just steops from my door. Freezing liquid concerns aside, I minimize my steps and work. Yes, I try to live out of my trunk. But note, always bring your boots inside. Open them up let them air out but most importantly stay warm I place then as close tto the heating unit as possible.”