Booked my Whistler Blackcomb Ski Trip with my Crypto Asset Portfolio Earnings

This is my story of how 2017-18 will be the ski season when I get to check off one item off of my bucket list:

Ski and Stay at Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in British Columbia

Over the years, I’ve watched countless ski videos of Whistler and only dreamt with these two words of promise: “one day” which prompted me to dutifully add it to my bucket list. My hopes of skiing Whistler remained elusive until this summer when the Ethereum asset (a new digital technology blockchain platform that enables businesses to build scalable and secure applications) I invested in reached an all time high, going from $7.98 per share on January 1, 2017 to $395.69 per share on June 13, 2017. I gleefully cashed out my investment in my Crypto Asset Portfolio which netted me a tidy sum. This return on investment gave me the funds to book this year’s ski trip to Whistler at a discounted preseason ski and stay package which was an additional unexpected bonus.

Here’s what I booked:

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

✔ Fairmont Chateau Whistler for seven days ski and stay package in November 2017
Village: Upper Village
Six nights of lodging and seven days ski lift tickets with the following benefits: access to both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains including the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, Terrain Parks and Superpipe, along with complimentary Mountain Orientation Tours.

“Nestled at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler’s landmark ski-in, ski-out Chateau delivers the perfect holiday destination. An all-season getaway famous for its impeccable service, outstanding cuisine, and luxurious resort accommodations. Whether you’re skiing to the patio of the slopeside Mallard Lounge, relaxing in the soothing waters of the mountainside whirlpools, sharing stories of the day’s adventure around the outdoor fire pits, exploring with our very own Whistler Experience Guide, you’ll create your most unforgettable vacation at Fairmont Chateau Whistler.”

The plan:

Fly SFO to Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Rent a car and drive the scenic route to Whistler (manageable 2 hours drive time depending on road conditions)
✔ Checkin to the hotel then change into swim trunks, head to the outdoors slopeside hot whirlpool to enjoy a soak, down some tequila shots and warm up with a hot chocolate cocoa drink while taking in the breath taking panoramic views of the ‘sugar’ powder covered mountain range to start my six nights and seven days of skiing

If plan to you go, some useful links to check out:

+ Early Ski and Stay Booking Specials and Discounts
+ Ski Maps and Lift Status
+ Apres Ski/Ride Nightlife
+ Compare airfare pricing on Google Flight for SFO to YVR
+ AWD, 4WD car rental availability at Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
+ Maps, Driving Directions from Downtown Seattle or Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Road Conditions

About Whistler Blackcomb

“It’s official. Ski Magazine’s resort rankings are in, and Whistler Blackcomb has been named North America’s #1 Resort for the 2016-17 winter season. This marks the third year in a row, and fourth time in five years as part of Ski Magazine’s 29th annual SKI Magazine Reader’s Poll.

While we’re proud of the accolades, we’d like to take a moment to focus on the immeasurable. That bigger picture. That feeling you have when you’re here, and when you leave.

Make this the year to come and experience Whistler Blackcomb for yourself.”

Why Whistler Blackcomb? Gain perspective at: www.whistlerblackcomb.com/whywhistler

UPCOMING...

+ Check out our upcoming ski and snowboard preseason kick-off parties with door prize raffle giveaway

+ Watch a ski n ride movie screening and score lift tickets

+ ENJOY FOUR HOURS of wine and beer tasting plus free lift tickets; get 1`/2 off SNOWBOMB SKI SNOWBOARD FESTIVAL SHOW TICKETS

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Survival Guide & Tips: Skiing with Kids

skiing-with-kids-tahoe

By Joe Woo, Snowpals’ Resident Ski Gear Tester & Columnist. 

Skiing with kids. It seems like a simple thing. But let me tell you. If you haven’t done it before and aren’t prepared for it, it can ruin a great time on the slopes. However, with the right preparation, it can be more fun skiing with them than skiing without them. For those of you toying with the idea of finally bringing the kids up or maybe you’re considering bringing up a nephew or niece…read this. What I’ll do first is share some of my kid skiing experience and what we do to make it lots of fun.

For me, skiing pre-kids was easy. I never thought about anyone else. I never considered having to ski with anyone. If anyone I was skiing with slowed me down or was having a bad time, I could separate from them and meet up with them later. That was no big deal. When you add kids to the mix, things really change. The main thing is that you can’t just dump the kids and continue skiing when they’re cramping your style. When you’re on the mountain with your kids, you’re stuck with them for better or for worse. What is a parent to do?

Over the last two seasons I’ve come up with a pretty good system for skiing with kids. My wife and I came up with it using trial and error to finally dial in something that works for our family. It was a lot of effort using trial and error and lots of frustration but it was worth it. Why go through all the effort? Why not just dump the kids in ski school for the day so that I could ski without them?

Cost is an obvious issue, but more importantly skiing with my kids is fun. It is more fun than skiing without them because when they’re having fun, there is nothing better than skiing together, laughing together and watching them learn, grow and overcome all the little challenges of skiing. The look on their face when they accomplish something they didn’t think they could is priceless and worth more than anything in the world. When it is good, skiing with them is better than any skiing I could do on my own.

So, what’s the issue? Those fun times were rare and didn’t happen often. When they did happen, they were priceless, however it seemed like the bad times outweighed the good times. Finding a way to make those fun times happen more was something I had to do.

So, how do you do that? What I discovered through two years of trial and error is CCSF. What does this mean? Confidence, Comfort, and Sated (not hungry) equals Fun. If you can get the Confidence, Comfort and Sate (not hungry) issues right that will equal Fun for your family. Lets look closer at each element.

Confidence

Confidence is a very important thing for anyone. It is especially important for kids to have when skiing. I’ll go so far as to say that confidence is so important that I believe it is the foundation to successful family skiing. Without confidence, the kids will never want to ski, will dread skiing and will make your time on the mountain miserable. You should do everything in your power to build your kids confidence in skiing.

How do you do that? For us we decided to always try and put our kids in skiing situations that we knew they could be successful. We never made them do anything we knew they would fail at. They quickly built confidence the second day they ever skied. The thing that built confidence the most was succeeding in tasks when they were scared of doing something even though I knew they could do it. These were the cases where I pushed them hard because I knew they could do it, but they needed to realize they could do it and when they did it you could see the confidence grow.

For example, my 5 year old son refused to ski without being between my legs and me holding him down the bunny slope. I knew he would crash at first if he tried skiing by himself as this was his first time on skis. After about 5 runs between my legs I started to stop actively holding him and he would ski holding me. Then after a few runs of doing that we would stop halfway down the hill, put his skis in pizza and let him go so that he was standing still on the hill in pizza. Then I would go about 10 feet in front of him and tell him to slide to me. At first it was a struggle because he didn’t want me to let go of him. He would cry when I would let go. I just wanted him to slide to me in pizza. He didn’t have to stop. I would catch him. But he was scared to do it, but I knew he could do it and he finally did through the cries and tears. Once he realized he had actually done it, he did it again.

At first it was 10 feet, then 20 feet and I would stop him. If he veered off course I would slide over to catch him. Then I told him to stop by himself and he just did it. He was amazed that he could stop by himself and the rest is history. He skied the rest of the day by himself without ever turning. Just pizza strait down the hill with his arms held in front of him like he was ready to do some serious karate chops. His way to balance I guess. The next day he was turning back and fourth and excited about skiing.

My daughter was the same progression at the same time. Soon they got bored of the slope and asked to do another lift. We moved onto another beginner lift with slightly steeper terrain and a longer run. That was last year at Diamond Peak. They gained so much confidence at Diamond Peak, Mt. Rose and Squaw Valley. I continued to teach them parallel skiing and my daughter is no longer in pizza. My son is in an advanced pizza today, but is almost ready for parallel skiing.

Today my younger son is six and my daughter is eight and both are happily skiing black diamonds off Red Dog, KT-22, Headwall and other lifts at Squaw Valley. My older son is actually skiing (as opposed to just surviving down) West Face, Tower 16 and the various terrains off Silverado chair! It is amazing what a little confidence can do. My kids are testament to that without ever having professional ski lessons. Whatever you do, make sure the kids gain lots of confidence. I truly believe it is the foundation to successful family skiing.

Comfort

Now your kids are confident skiers. Is that it? Not really. No matter how confident they are, if they are not comfortable, they will complain and ruin your day. Kids are not mature enough to overcome the little issues so they don’t ruin the big things like a fun day of skiing. Our kids are pretty tough and the last thing we do is baby them, but every kid has a limit to what comfort they’re willing to give up on to have fun on the slopes.

It is important that you take the time to learn what your kids comfort limits are and make sure those needs are satisfied. My kids don’t complain that much about their comfort. I think it is because I’ve invested in making sure they stay warm and dry no matter the conditions. They have top of the line ski pants, jackets, gloves, base and mid layers. They have great helmets and goggles. Goggles were an issue and I finally got them decent stuff that doesn’t fog and they can clean easily. Another important piece of equipment was the neck gator. It seals out the cold air getting in from the neck. The kids rarely complain about being cold or wet and it is one less issue we have to worry about.

Sate

Kids don’t do well when they’re hungry. Instead you sould make it a priority to make sure they’re sated and not hungry. This one is really simple. Kids start getting moody and melting down when they get hungry. It is amazing. They are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Feed your kids periodically and your chances are better at having a great day. We discovered that if we have a big breakfast, lunch around 12:30 or 1, 2:30 heavy snack and small snacks on the lifts in between, we avoid the hunger meltdown altogether. Now I always have a large Hershey bar in my pocket and on every other lift ride, I’ll give each kid one piece to eat. This system has worked great this season.

Skiing with your kids can be fun and very rewarding. Just remember that kids have unique needs that you have to consider. The best way I know is to remember CCSF. Confidence, Comfort and Sated equals Fun. Try is next time you’re out with the kids. Good luck!

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More skiing with kids tips for parents..

From Jeremy Feinberg, a Ski Instructor at Kirkwood for 6 years plus, a certified PSIA Level 2 instructor, training for Level 3; he teaches skill levels that range from first timers to expert; he coaches a Progression team that skis 99% of the legal terrain at Kirkwood.

As someone who makes their living teaching children how to ski I can say that there are some good things in this survival guide; a comfortable and well fed child is one who is set up for success, and depending on the child, confidence can be a limiting factor, however in the 1+ page of text there was very little emphasis on skill development and no mention at all of the physical and cognitive limitations that change as a child grows.

That being said, a few things to keep in mind include: 

It’s hard to learn new skills when people are on terrain that is at the edge of their comfort level, dial it back, gain ownership over the movements and then take it to the steeper snow.

Confidence can be a good thing, but you can have too much of a good thing… your child needs to ski in control and not be a menace or hazard.

Leash and harness systems enable parents to get younger kids on the snow but can reinforce bad habits, however the harnesses themselves can be useful for picking up kids from the snow and helping them on to the lift.

The Edgy Wedgie can be a useful teaching tool, try it for a run or two, take if off and see if the child can stop without it… use it for a few runs, not a few days or seasons.  

If its your child’s first time skiing, start on a small hill below the lift, 30-50 feet long and almost flat with a flat runout at the bottom, or a gradual uphill if you can find it, learn to stop there, then head to the chair.

Some children perform at a higher level with their parents around, some excel within their peer group under the tutelage of an experienced coach, it helps to know which group your child falls into

The pace of skill development as detailed in the Survival Guide sounds about right, just keep in mind that today I had a 6 year old girl first time skier (along with a five year old girl with separation anxiety issues whose mother checked her out after lunch) who was able to stop within the first hour, we were on the chairlift before lunch and making turns.  By the time her parents picked her up (1/2 hour early) she had taken several runs through the trees. Tomorrow after a brief warm up she will be ready for the lower intermediate lift.  Her older brother who was on a snowboard was unwilling to follow us through the woods.    Her parents were impressed by her success and gave me a generous tip.

If you want to get your child out of the wedge and making turns that have a least some parallel at the end of each turn, and you want that to happen quickly, ski school is the place for your child, especially on the weekdays when group sizes are small and only experienced and highly certified instructors are getting any work.  

Please don’t be that person who has their child skiing advanced terrain in a power wedge, if you are going to ski with your child and teach them how to ski, make the day about them, you need to be there to support them and help them along the way.  

Recognize the limitations of your own teaching abilities and don’t let your child (or yourself) get stuck in the skill rut; if you have any questions about how this can manifest one can use the intermediate rut as an example: go to most ski resorts and watch the way people on the intermediate runs ski, particularly how they initiate their turns.  What you will see in most cases are varying degrees of stem (wedge or pizza) to start the turn.  People make this movement because they are not comfortable performing a movement that ski instructors call crossover.

Crossover is the movement that separates advanced skiers from people that ski advanced terrain, it is defined my crossing your center of mass over your skis, down the hill into the new turn (basically throwing one’s body down the hill, swooping your skis underneath the body to catch the center of mass)  

Crossover one example of a movement that can define a skill rut, it’s difficult to teach and limits a person’s ability to explore and enjoy the mountain.

**On a related note** Teaching the spouse or significant other how to ski is tough, I call it the relationship tester, put that person in a group or private lesson, meet up for lunch and ski together in the afternoon, at their pace, where the instructor said would be a good place to ski.  Your romantic relationship is one of equals, the student/teacher relationship is not, things can get ugly quick.

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Got fun, laughter? Tahoe pond skim celebrates Spring skiing

squaw-pond-skim

Mark your calendar and head to Tahoe resorts for some fun and laughter with the annual pond skim. What is a pond skim? Contestants ski or snowboard into a frigid pond with the goal of skimming across to the other side. The pond skim event marks the end of the winter season and get folks excited for Spring’s blue-bird sunny ski/ride days.

Two of our favorites Tahoe resorts pond skim events:

    ✔ Saturday May 6, 2017 at 1:00 PM Squaw Valley USA pond skim aka 27TH ANNUAL CUSHING CROSSING:

    The 27th Annual Cushing Crossing is the best event of the spring season. The original pond skimming event that started a spring resort ritual. Every year we gather a celebrity judging panel and amazing emcee’s for this spectacle. Filled with big spills and laughable thrills this is one spring event that you don’t want to miss. Event kicks off at 1pm, awards at 3pm at the KT Base Bar.

    Event Details & Registration

    Registration: 9am at KT Base Bar (limited to 50 participants, $20/person, cash only).
    Participants must be 18+. Helmets and personal flotation device is mandatory.
    Awards: 3pm at KT Base Bar – Squaw

    ✔ Saturday April 15 Heavenly Ski Resort pond skimming

    Pond Skim
    12:00 – 1:00PM Registration
    1:00 – 3:00PM Pond Skimming

    pic from Tahoeskiworld

    Spring Loaded culminates with everyone’s favorite event – costumed skiers and riders attempting to skim across a pond judged on success, style and crowd reactions. Don’t be surprised if you see folks skiing and riding wearing swimsuits. – Heavenly.

Driving to Tahoe often and interested in ride sharing? Join Snow Pals to car pool/ride share to and from Tahoe; share expenses and meet new friends.

Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

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One day and multi-day discount Tahoe ski bus trips

bay-area-tahoe-ski-bus-promo-code-discount

Bay Area Ski Bus to Tahoe Promo Discount Code ‘ 17snowpals ‘ is valid only for NEW Registrants.

 

Get the following discounts:

  • $6 off per person on one day trips
  • $10 off per person on two day Bay Area Ski Bus Trips
  • $30 off per person on travel ski destinations trip packages

Bay Area Ski Bus trips goes to Kirkwood, Heavenly, Sierra at Tahoe, Northstar, Sugar Bowl, Squaw Valley USA, Homewood and Alpine Meadows. 1 day and 2 day hotel, house weekend trips and overnight ski bus trip packages. The Bay Area Ski Bus offers the most ski bus trips to Tahoe resorts; operating four days weekly with 11 SF Bay Area pick-up locations.

Bay Area Ski Bus offers:

  • Adults Only Ski Bus Trips
  • Family Ski Bus Trips
  • Teens Exclusive Ski Bus Trips
  • Singles Ski Bus Trips(“Singles” Ski Trips give solo skiers & snowboarders a chance to meet other singles in a fun and engaging setting: meet that special person who shares your love for snow sports)

These trips include:

  • round- trip transportation
  • a full day’s lift ticket
  • breakfast
  • free energy drink for the slopes
  • after- ski hot cocoa(wine/beer tastings on selected dates), snacks, and on-bus featured movie entertainment
  • optional: add ski/snowboard rental and/or lesson package

Treat family, friends and/or yourself to a fun day at your favorite Tahoe ski resort. Gift certificates available for the holidays or that special occasion.

  If you already have a ski season pass or lift ticket, you can choose to purchase a ‘ ala carte ‘ round-trip bus ride only service/transportation for $93 with the ‘ 17snowpals ‘ promo code(regular price is $99).

SAVE $30 ON SKI TRIP VACATIONS 

Use discount code  ‘ 17snowpals ‘ at payment checkout* to get $30 off.

Treat yourself, family and friends to a Ski & Snowboarding Destination Vacation

 Get $30 off ski / ride and stay vacation to ..

       Jan 2 – 8, 2017         Powder Hunt Ski Trip
       Jan 14 – 21, 2017      Banff and Kicking Horse, British Columbia Ski Trip
       Feb 9 – 20, 2017       Japan
                

Reserve your spot(s) with a deposit. Space is limited; register early as trips will fill up. A DEPOSIT secures your spot!

Browse the Tahoe ski bus schedule, register and use our discount code ‘ 17snowpals ‘ to get your discount. Please note discounts only valid for NEW registrants.

Here’s what a typical ski bus day trip with the Bay Area Ski Bus is like:

Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

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Comparison of best multi-resort ski season passes for 2016-17

alternative-to-airbnb-vrbo

For the 2016-17 winter season, what’s the best multi-mountain/resort ski season pass?

We’ve crunched the numbers and compared the best multi-mountain/resort passes; the following is a summary guide. Remember that the more days you ski or ride, the more value you get from your pass. Also, keep in mind the best time to purchase a pass is in the spring, typically around early April. Many resorts offer a discount bonus and a spring ski / ride FREE the remainder of the current ski season when you buy your pass early.

Epic Pass

One of the most popular ski passes, the Epic Pass gives you unlimited access to twelve resorts, including Australia’s Perisher.
Adult Pass: $849 (Pays for itself in 6 days)
Resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Arapahoe Basin
International Resorts: Verbier (Switzerland), Perisher (Australia)

The Mountain Collective

The Mountain Collective pass offers two days at each of its 14 resorts for a total 28 days of skiing/riding. Home resorts are SunValley, Stowe Mountain Resort, Taos, and Thredbo.
Adult Price: $419 (Pays for itself in 5 days based on on individual resort pricing)
Resorts: Alta/Snowbird, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Ski Banff/Lake Louise/Sunshine, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Stowe Mountain Resort, Sun Valley, Taos, Thredbo, Whistler Blackcomb
International Resorts: Valle Nevado (Chile), Hakuba Valley (Japan), Chamonix (France)

M.A.X. Pass

The M.A.X Pass gives you access for five days at each of its 39 participating resorts. There are no blackout dates and many options on both the east and west coast.
Adult Price: $699 (Pays for itself in 7 days)
Resorts: Big Sky, Boreal Mountain Resort, Brighton, Copper Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Lee Canyon, Mt. Bachelor, Steamboat, The Summit at Snoqualmie, Winter Park, Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, Killington, Loon Mountain, Pico Mountain, Snowshoe, Stratton, Sugarloaf, Sunday River
International Resorts: Cypress Mountain (Canada), Blue Mountain (Canada), Tremblant (Canada)

Tahoe Super Pass Gold

This pass includes unlimited access to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, four days at Sierra-at-Tahoe and Sugar Bowl, unlimited 50% discounts on lift tickets at Mountain Collective resorts, and a worry-free guarantee that will credit users up to four days towards a 2016/17 pass if they don’t ski at least five times this year.
Adult Price: $899 (Pays for itself in 9 days)
Resorts: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sierra-At-Tahoe, Sugar Bowl
International Resorts: Two days at Zermatt (Switzerland)

Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus

Get access to multiple resorts in Colorado as well as resorts in places like New Zealand, you’ll be able to enjoy the snow year-round. Additionally, the Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus offers many benefits from free “friends and family” tickets to discounts on rental equipment and tuning.
Adult Price: $629 (Pays for itself in 7 days)
Resorts: Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Eldora Alpine Pass, Steamboat, Crested Butte, Alyeska Resort
International Resorts: Tomamu (Japan), Alts Bandai (Japan), Nekoma (Japan), Cardrona (New Zealand), Mt. Ruapehu (New Zealand)

Cali4nia Pass

Access Southern California’s mountains every day with this pass. It offers unlimited skiing, five “bring-a-friend” tickets, and up to 20% off lodging at Mammoth Lodging Collection properties.
Adult Price: $849 (Pays for itself in 11 days)
Resorts: Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Bear Mountain, Snow Summit

*Listed pricing is current as of November 1, 2016. Click on the name of the pass for the most up to date pricing details.

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An Insider’s Guide to Ski Leases: Tips and Advice

apres-ski-club     heavenly-condo-rental

Ski Leases. The Ins and Outs of Getting Into One. I’d like to talk to you about ski leases. Not the kind to lease ski equipment, but condo and cabin rentals for an entire ski season for ski addicts like us. I had never heard of one until the end of last season. After I learned about them, they seemed so intriguing and beneficial to my situation that I had to learn more. I finally got into one and would like to tell you about my experience with my first ski lease. By doing so, I hope that you will gain some insight into them and learn about what they are and how you too can get into one. I’ll start with my story and then provide a general description of a ski lease and then some tips from people that have lots of experience with them. Hopefully this will help you into your very own ski lease.

So, I discovered ski leases I saw them as a great ski housing opportunity for me and my family. You see, I’ve come back to skiing full tilt after almost 20 years of hiatus. Back in the day, I skied every opportunity I could get and being young and without responsibilities, never had an issue finding a place to crash when up in Tahoe. Back then, the freedom of being able to drive up to Tahoe, bum around, ski lots and have really no worries about a place to stay was taken for granted.

Flash forward twenty some-odd years and is it still that way? We all know that answer to that. Marriage and kids have become the major parts of the equation. Since the kids are now old enough to ski all day without a meltdown, we can go up a lot. However now when we go its not just me and my buds anymore. Can you imagine going up to Tahoe with my wife and three kids to just show up at someone’s place ready to crash there? It just doesn’t work that way anymore.

What is a family to do? Buying a ski house is out of the question right now. We could book a hotel stay, but that gets very expensive especially for those of us with a ski season pass with the goal of getting in as many ski days as possible. How about day trips? We gave had to go that route towards the end of last season because we were spending an ungodly amount of money on hotel stays. I’m sure I’m in a similar boat to many of you out there. The solution for someone like us was the seasonal ski lease.

What is it? Basically it is a rental of a condo or cabin in Tahoe for the ski season. If you know you’re going to Tahoe often for skiing then renting a condo/cabin for the ski season is a great alternative to paying for hotels/other lodging each time you go up. It can be more cost effective but also more convenient because you can leave your ski gear and clothing at your ski lease cabin and not worry about having a place to stay and the chore of having to pack for every ski trip. Combined with a season pass to your favorite ski resort, the major expenses are covered and you’ll only have the cost of meals and gas to worry about. If you’re a ski nut like me and aren’t yet in a similar situation, I can’t express how priceless it is to have peace of mind, comfort, and the convenience of having a ski season pass and a place to stay anytime during the season taken care of.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into a ski lease, how do you get into one of these great deals? Through my research, I’ve discovered three ways.

1- you can deal directly with the owner of a property and lease the place for you and your family for the season. If that is too costly, then you could ask families that you know if they’d want to go in with you and share the cost of the lease.

2 – you could contact a local professional that brokers these kinds of deals. I haven’t had much luck finding these professionals though. From what I’ve heard and if you can find one, they can put you in touch with owners that are looking to rent out their property. Once in touch with the owner, you could do the lease yourself or put together a group of members to split the cost. A good resource for Lake Tahoe area ski lease membership offerings is listed on Snowpals.

3 – you could go to online resources and search for individuals that already have a deal in place with the owner of the property and are looking for additional “members”. For those of you that are new to this, this route is probably the easiest way to enter the ski lease world. Snowpals is a great resource for Tahoe ski leases and has an entire section dedicated to available Tahoe area ski lease opportunities. For those of you looking for ski leases in areas outside of Tahoe, you could check TGR, Epicski forums or Craigslist for postings.

The cost per membership varies and there are so many options out there. I’ve seen listings on Snowpals for full season(typically December to April) ski lease membership for one person from $600 all the way to $2000. If you’re single and can spend just $600 for lodging for an entire season–that’s an amazing deal; let’s say you stay at the ski lease for a total of 30 nights, your cost per night would be $20 per night. Naturally, the more nights you stay, the more value you get from the ski lease. Signing up for ski lease membership is a great way to maximize your ski season pass since it encourages you to go up to Tahoe the night before and be close to the ski resort and can take advantage of a good night’s rest and skiing/riding fresh tracks/powder when resorts open. Also, the value of beating the crowds and traffic to the resort is priceless. In addition, getting into a ski lease gives you the chance to expand your social circle and make new friends.

So, how did I find my ski lease? I got into mine by letting everyone I knew know that I wanted to learn about ski leases and my desire of joining one. Within a short period of time, a friend contacted me to ask if my wife and I would be willing to go in with them on a ski lease. He knew the owners of a great place in Truckee and they mentioned to him that they wanted to rent the place for the ski season. I told him absolutely and that we should jump on that. We brought our families together along with one other family and now we have a great house to stay in any time we want from Dec 14 to May 15. Each “member” in our group is each family. We each paid an equal lump sum on November 1, have no guest fees and our lump sum cost includes all utilities and snow removal. It is such a great deal. Of course, if another family is up there when we go up, we must share the space with them, but since we all know each other and our kids are all friends, other members being up there makes our stay more fun. Also a great benefit is that we take turns watching the kids so each set of parents get some down time. We also rotate turns cooking so that gives us more quality time to enjoy our time together.

So what are some of the pitfalls? There have to be some, right? From my research, most pitfalls come from a misunderstanding of the rules of use when in a group ski lease. If you leased the place on your own, then the rules are yours and yours alone. However, if you are going into a ski lease as part of a group, then it is important to understand the rules otherwise there could be trouble. Of course it is important to click with the other members and if you do then it is important to nail down whatever rules all the members of the ski lease decide on. Here are some things to consider from my wise and experienced ski lease mates, Eric and Andy:

  • What does your membership cost include? Make sure you know up front what your membership cost includes and what other expenses (if any) you’ll be responsible for at the end of the lease (e.g. utilities, firewood, hot tub maintenance, snow removal, house cleaning services, etc.)
  • Guest fees. Some ski leases charge “guest fees” for non-members to stay overnight to cover any additional expenses for lease. Make sure you are clear about guest fees in your ski lease and the rules for them
  • Parking. What are rules for parking? Last thing you want is to go up late Friday night and not have a parking space or at least be prepared for no parking space. Consider the option to carpool or ride share to your ski cabin if you don’t have alot of people in your family and empty seats in the van/SUV.
  • Storage of your stuff. Can you store stuff at the ski cabin/ski lease and if so what are the rules and where do you store your stuff?
  • Priority for bedrooms. If it is important for you to be in a bedroom, then what are the chances that you might not get one if everyone in the membership happens to be up at the same time. Some ski leases have agreements to allocate a dedicated bedroom where it is solely yours for the entire season which is very beneficial to bringing your own bedding and store your winter clothing and gear in the closet for convenience and easy access.

So, if you go up to Tahoe a lot and need the convenience of your own home without the financial commitment, but want a more cost effective solution than hotels/motels, a ski lease is the way to go. There are so many different options available out there. A great place to start is our very own snowpals.org ski lease section of the website. If you’re in a different area than Tahoe, you can also try craigslist, TGR, epicski, snowheads forum and other places online in your search to join a ski lease.

Many thanks to Eric and Andy, my ski lease mates who share their many years of experience and useful advice on how best to get into a ski lease and reap the benefits of maximizing our ski season pass, lodging cost savings and most of all, deepening our friendship with shared experiences. Also many thanks to those of you who provided me with some great stories and advice.

Read more about ski leases and/or list yours

Take care and enjoy!

Joe Woo is Snowpals’ Resident Ski Gear Tester & Columnist. He lives with his family in the North Bay.

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Warren Miller Ski / Ride Film Showing with pre-event PIZZA

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Join us for Warren Miller’s 67th ski and snowboard film screening at 9 PM on Saturday November 19, 2016 of Here, There & Everywhere with Snowpals’ exclusive pre-show pizza social. Here’s a great opportunity to meet local skiers and boarders to expand your social circle/meet a few new friends for Tahoe ride share and ski trips for the winter season.

Got season pass? Maximize your ski season pass by joining a ski lease and expand your circle of friends and activity partners in the process.

Pre-show Pizza Social Tickets Remaining: 3 tickets left as of 11/17/2016. Ticket sales via Snowpals close at 11:59 PM PST on Friday Nov. 18, 2016.


Pizza Social Tickets: $10 per person ~ buy tickets.

Join us for our exclusive pizza social prior to the movie from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Pizza is included. Buy your own drink(s). Pizza social location is in Campbell; exact address will be given to all participants by email on Saturday Nov 19, 2016 by 11 AM.

Once you have purchased your ticket(s); PayPal will send you a receipt by email. Please print the receipt and bring it to the Pizza Social get together to redeem. If you have any questions, please  Tim or text/sms 408.341.9744.

*Pizza social tickets are non-refundable but transferable to someone else; you are responsible to sell /transfer your ticket if you can not go. If you missed or can not make it to the pizza social, there’s no refund.

Got film tickets? You can still buy tickets on Eventbrite to see the film screening of Here, There & Everywhere film screening 9:00 PM showing on Saturday November 19, 2016 at the Heritage Theatre in Campbell, CA.

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Film Ticket Holders will receive coupons at the film showing for:

     2-FOR-1 LIFT TICKET TO SQUAW VALLEY | ALPINE MEADOWS: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher good for One (1) 2-FOR-1 lift ticket to Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows. Buy One (1) adult lift ticket at the resort rate and receive a second lift ticket for FREE. Offer valid from Opening Day 2016 through Closing Day 2017. OFFER NOT VALID Saturdays AND the following blackout dates: 12.17.16 through 12.31.17, 1.14.17 through 1.15.17, AND 2.18.17 through 2.25.17. Not valid with any other discount offers. No cash value. No refunds.

     FREE LIFT TICKET TO MT. BACHELOR: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher to Mt. Bachelor good for One (1) FREE lift ticket valid Opening Day 2016 through Closing Day 2017, Sunday through Friday (non-holiday). One (1) coupon per person. Not valid with any other discount offer. No refunds. No cash value. Non-transferable.

     FREE EARLY- OR LATE-SEASON LIFT TICKET TO STEAMBOAT: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher good for One (1) FREE lift ticket to Steamboat. OFFER VALID 11.24.16 through 12.16.16 OR 4.1.17 through 4.16.17. Non-transferable. Not valid with any other discount offers. No cash value. No refunds.

     20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE AT SPORTS BASEMENT: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher good for 20% OFF your entire purchase. One (1) coupon per customer. Cannot be combined with any other coupons or discounts. Some exclusions apply. OFFER EXPIRES 11.30.16.

About the movie:

It’s been 67 years since ski-film pioneer Warren Miller picked up a camera to capture the wonder, the adventure, the humor and the beauty that is skiing. Since that time, Warren Miller film crews have traveled the globe—from storied slopes to hidden, snow-covered corners—to celebrate all things snowsports. Their quest has taken powder-hungry filmgoers, well, Here, There & Everywhere—and this year continues that legacy.

In this 67th annual Warren Miller film, take a freeski adventure with industry veterans Ingrid Backstrom and Wendy Fisher in Crested Butte, tour Eastern Greenland by dog sled with Seth Wescott and Rob Kingwill and follow Jess McMillan and Grete Eliassen on a Swiss holiday aboard the Glacier Express. Explore the backcountry of Western Montana’s Glacier Country with Tyler Ceccanti, Collin Collins and Keith Curtis and catch a powder day with Kaylin Richardson, Matt Elliott, Marcus Caston and the Kicking Horse ski patrol in British Columbia.

Travel along as Warren Miller Entertainment commemorates Stein Eriksen in Deer Valley, captures the big air at Boston’s Fenway Park (yes, that Fenway Park!) and rides the steeps of Squaw Valley to the big lines of Cordova, Alaska, plus much more. This year, don’t miss original ski bum and filmmaker Warren Miller himself in on-screen interviews as he spins tales of the past as only Warren can do, reminding us that through the years, these films have truly taken audiences Here, There & Everywhere.

Sponsors of the 2016 Warren Miller Film Tour include: Western Montana’s Glacier Country, Gosling’s, L.L. Bean, Moosehead, Switzerland Tourism, Helly Hansen, Korbel and SKI Magazine.

Featured Athletes: Aaron Blunck • Chris Anthony • Collin Collins • Grete Elliassen • Ingrid Backstrom • Jeremy Jones • Jess McMillan • Jonny Moseley • JT Holmes • Kailyn Richardson • Keith Curtis • Marcus Caston • Matt Elliott • Morgan Hebert • Rob Kingwill • Ryland Bell • Seth Wescott • Tyler Ceccanti • Wendy Fisher

Narrated by: Jonny Moseley and Featuring Warren Miller

Featured Locations: Squaw Valley, CA • Crested Butte, CO • Deer Valley, UT • Montana • Switzerland • Kicking Horse Mountain Resort • Cordova, AK • Greenland • Boston’s Fenway Park • Steamboat Springs, CO

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