Read these 15 Bargain Skiing Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Skiing tips and hundreds of other topics.
Midday, “everybody” heads to the ski lodge for lunch. Get more out of your ski dollar by making that everybody but you. Carry energy bars and a hydration system for your sustenance and you might only need to stop for bathroom breaks. Enjoy the extra runs you will make while most visitors overpay for sub-par grub.
Cheap skiing free of crowds is best sought midweek at areas with names people do not say snobbishly. Many no name areas offer a more than acceptable product for the price. Look for deals at places like Ragged Mountain, Mt. Rose, and Mission Ridge, and you will find great, affordable skiing.
Ski bumming is for you if the occasional trip to a ski resort does not quench your thirst. When you ski bum, you get to live amidst stunning, natural beauty, meet other people who share your zest for powder, and you get to ski more than most people. If you get a resort job, you will probably ski for free. Many ski bums enjoy 100 days per year on skis.
If you ski bum without a trust fund, keep in mind that you will likely have little disposable income – thanks to our friends, high rent and low pay. In short, you will feel broke much of the time. You can get over it. Just try to focus on “ski” instead of “bum”.
Moving to the mountains by yourself can be “capital intensive” (which means you might go broke). If your funds just get you by in your town, you will need roommates in many ski towns. Try to enter snow country planning to share a dwelling with as many friends as possible. To search for rentals and roommates in your neck of ski country try local papers, like Summit Daily News (Summit County, CO) or Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe, CA).
Can you read a map? Do you have a car you are willing to torture? In season, one thriving industry in resort towns is food delivery. All those vacationing rat race competitors need to eat, and they do not want to dine out every night. That is where food delivery helps. You serve the vacationers. They put tips in your pocket. You spend your days skiing.
If you can get out of work, midweek skiing is always preferable to weekends and holidays. The crowds are all in work or school, you can park closer to the lifts, and the lift ticket is often cheaper. Check around for deals, and you will ski happy (or for less, anyway).
Night skiing is more about getting in turns on a regular basis for less money, and less about taming sick terrain – with one exception. Alpental, near Seattle, is a challenge day or night.
Working for a ski resort can score you a season pass. And you may have experience or special skills that can command more than typical ski bum compensation. A good starting place for finding work with a ski resort is Intrawest's employment website, WeWork2Play.com.
If you want to spend less time in the lift line, learn to shout “Single!” Even when you are not skiing alone, break up your group (unless socializing in line with your pals is important to you) so you can all get back to the top faster. If the lift crew has roped off a singles line, get in it. If not, yell “Single,” wait for a group in front of you to acknowledge you, and move to the head of the class (or at least, up in line).
You say you simply must get in your ski turns, but you are strapped to a 9-to-5? Try skiing nights instead of weekends (if the driving time fits your schedule). You will save money. At The Summit at Snoqualmie, a night lift ticket saves you $15.00 compared to weekend prices (at the time of this writing).
The weekend is coming, and you plan to ski this weekend for sure. How do you stretch your weekend ski dollar? Go early. Find out what time your hill of choice opens and plan to arrive even earlier. You want to be in full gear and ready to ski when the lifts open. Most weekends (at most resorts) you will enjoy an hour or so of rather wide open skiing before the crowds arrive.
With the price of a new pair of skis at $400 and up, the thrifty skier will explore options. There are sites online specifically advertising cheap or used skis; used skis can also be found on general sites like Ebay.
If you are new to the sport, first shop the local ski store, and find the brand and size that most fits your needs. Finding more than one acceptable brand will give you more flexibility in your search for cheap skis. Once you are armed with the specific brand and size, you can begin to search the many sites online. Searching for "cheap skis" or "used skis" will lead you to many discount and used ski outlets. Read all descriptions very carefully, and be sure to review the return policy, in case the product is not what you expected.
For those who prefer a more "hands-on" approach, there are used sporting equipment stores in many cities; just check your local yellow pages. You can also try the classified sections of your local newspaper or Penny Saver; you never know if someone happens to be selling exactly what you need. Be sure to physically examine all equipment; any flaws can be used to negotiate a lower price. Don't hold out for a different color; the most important features are brand and size.
Good night skiing areas draw crowds, but you will usually enjoy more room to turn than on weekends. If you live near Berkshire East, The Summit at Snoqualmie, or Nashoba Valley, try them for yourself at night and see what you think.