Dec 29 2009

You can get it at Costco???

Now available in aisle 3?

Now available in aisle 3?

Sorry for the lack of posts recently – I’ve been having some computer problems but am now back up and running. In the truth is stranger than fiction department I received an email this morning with the following subject line: “Valdez Heli Camps – Costco joint press release”. Apparently Valdez Heli-Camps has teamed up with Costco to bring Alaskan Heliskiing to the masses. Jay Nierstheimer of Costco.com says; “After buyer introductions at a Seattle market event, Matt (Matt White of Valdez Heli-Camps) was inspired to produce some unique and exciting options for our membership that fell well within our mission of providing high quality products at low cost to our members through our online outlet and tickets and gifts program.” Those formerly spurned by the high price of the sport with costs topping well over $1000 per day at most operations throughout North America, now have opportunities with Valdez Heli-Camps through Costco.com.  The introductory Costco item offers (3) nights lodging, meals, airport transfers, local transportation, and 25,000 vertical feet of heliskiing for just $999 (taxes included). (And if you act now they’ll throw in one of those 24 roll packs of toilet paper). VHC President Matt White chuckled; “At first I was shocked, and then thrilled to be a part of the adventure travel innovation Costco was proposing.  Reaching out to niche markets and recruiting products like mine that certainly have never been considered mainstream, motivated me to produce a product for the Costco team and the greater skiing public.  Costco.com offered us a unique opportunity to reach snow riders that may not have considered heli skiing in Alaska as an option for them; skiers or snowboarders that have more time to dedicate to their sport than money.  For those that have thought heliskiing in Alaska was out of reach this year, Costco has helped us find a way to make their skiing and snowboarding dreams come true even in an economic climate that is almost as challenging and exciting as big mountain skiing in Alaska can be…” For more information check out http://www.valdezalaskaheliskiing.com/. Will wonders never cease…


Nov 13 2009

Such a deal

Now’s the time of year where every Colorado Ski resort is offering up discounted passes. In the old days, there were barely any discounts – then ski resorts discovered that if they sold thousands of passes in advance at reduced prices, it really didn’t matter if it snowed or not: they already had their money and were earning interest on it. This development really changed the realities of skiing in Colorado particularly in Summit County. These days everyone has some sort of pass and while it means cheaper riding for all involved it also means more crowds and tremendous traffic – a mixed blessing to say the least. Tomorrow the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo comes to Denver, pretty much the last chance to get discounted passes for the season as a lot of the sales end this Sunday. It costs $12 to get in ($10 with this coupon) included with your ticket is a one year subscription to Ski, Skiing or Transworld Snowboarding Magazine. While most of us serious skiers and riders have already gotten or renewed our passes, if you haven’t this is the place for some one stop shopping. There are the usual suspects; Vail Resorts passes (which by the way – even if you don’t buy a pass you should pick up their SKE card as it’s free and provides direct to lift access which is handy on a powder day). Intrawest passes and Aspen Mountain with their Classic Pass will also be there along with a couple of others which you will not find elsewhere including a three day picture pass to Eldora (last year $79 – they don’t advertise this anywhere and only sell it at Denver locations) and Lovelands Unrestricted 4-Pak which is only $109 at the show (usually $119) and you get actual lift tickets that you can do whatever you want with. Last year I also bought a Telluride Card for $45 which entitled me to one free day plus further discounted tickets but unfortunately did not get to use it.  The offerings change from year to year so don’t know who/what else might be available but almost every Colorado resort makes an appearance not to mention numerous Canadian and Alaska ski/cat and heli ops – it’s a good place to meet those kind of folks if you’re thinking about heading north. They also have a full gear and clothes sale but not sure you’ll find anything there that you couldn’t find at any Colorado Ski and Golf location.  And don’t worry – even if you can’t make the show and didn’t pick up any passes there are always day tickets that you can buy at King Soopers or Safeway or pick up a Gold C Book from your kid’s PTA fundraiser or at Safeway but whatever you do if you live in Colorado you should never pay full price for a lift ticket – unless you feel your local ski hill needs some extra help…


Nov 7 2009

Like I needed more encouragement…

You don't have to star in a movie to get this kind of powder - GCH 2008

You don't have to star in a movie to get this kind of powder - GCH 2008

Just got back from seeing the latest Warren Miller movie – “Dynasty” – the 60th anniversary edition. While I usually just go for the free ticket (early/late season midweek Copper, Winter Park or Steamboat or 2 for 1 during mid season) it once again reminded what a good production budget, excellent camerawork, strong editing and good music will do for you. Also seeing it on the big screen makes a tremendous difference – so while Warren Miller is hardly cutting edge, a live show packed with hundreds of enthusiasts makes for a really good time. That and and all those powder shots which immediately go straight to the pleasure centers of my brain and remind me why I spend so much time trying to chasing the snow. My name is Brad and I am a powder addict. Speaking of which, as I walked out of the show I guy handed me a small flyer titled “Powder Addiction” which contained this link to a new cat operation near Berthoud Pass. I think I may have to do some hands on research on that one…