Even though this year has gotten off to a shotgun start, the last week or so has been stressful. So, I decided to take a time out and have a small ski weekend getaway. Even though there’s been a lot going on this year – between the redesign of Finance Fox, media company incorporation and trade show season in full sing at work I made time for some play.
I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was to get away for a ski weekend.
A few months ago my brother and some friends ended up renting a chalet at the Blue Mountain for a weekend of skiing, food and laughs between friends. Everyone got up to the Blue on Friday, but due to craziness at work and other responsibilities, I left Saturday morning and didn’t get back until early Sunday evening.
One night away may not seem like much but my goal was to stay as far away from my email as possible… and I was reasonably successful. As much as I normally hate taking long drives by myself, the ride home seemed to be when I found myself reflecting. And reflect I did, especially since three-quarters of my drive home I drove 50/km per hour in what usually is 100/km zone. I was trapped in a snow storm. What’s odd about this area, is while one city is getting plummeted with snow and winds, you take a 50 kilometers drive south towards Toronto where’s it dry, sunny and slightly warmer.
Anyways, here’s what my ski weekend cost me:
- Gas – $60
- Saturday Lift Ticket and Rental (Day and Evening) – $112.00
- Sunday Lift Ticket and Rental – $74.00
- Booze – $55.00
- Lodging and Food – $90.00
$391.00 is what it cost me to get away for one night and two days.
Quite honestly it was more than what I wanted to spend, but it was well worth it. The laughs, the food, drinks and some skiing in between made it all worthwhile. But, aside from all the fun stuff, I did learn three things while I was away.
Skiing is Expensive
Ski weekend was a zoo. Seems like everyone and their mother came out to ski the same time we did. We waited roughly 1 hour in line just to buy our passes and get our equipment. We discovered that you can rent skis for cheaper from the shops on Mountain Road (an offsite), and we would have been in and out in about 15 minutes. Next time I suppose. The staff at the Blue Mountain Ski resort will discourage you from renting else where they’ll give you this speech about liability and so forth….but of course it’s a pitch in hopes of keeping you there to spend you money at their ski shop.
For $74 we got ski rental, beginner lift ticket. Some of us wanted to try snowboarding too and we were able to switch skis for snowboard for FREE. But, the killer for me was the wait times to get onto the hills. When I look back I think we spent more time at the bottom of the hill in line to get to the top. Certainty I wasn’t impressed, but what can you do?
Aside from being impatient in the lines to get to the top, I’m also impatient when it comes to waiting for others. Our group consisted snowboarders and the only skiers were my brother and myself. I’m far from a ski pro, but I’m also slightly daring and staying on bunny hills all day wasn’t my idea of a ski trip. So, when we (myself and my brother) wanted to get elsewhere and try a single black diamond…well let’s just say that others weren’t impressed. So, the moral of the story – establish skiing rules ahead of time or ski/snowboard with those on the same skill level.
Stuck in the Middle
Over the years I’ve thought about purchasing ski equipment, yet I’ve never been able to rationalize the purchase since I only make it up once or twice a year at the very best. However, I’ve thought about it on the ride home, because spending nearly $100 on rental of equipment over two days kind of left a sour taste in my mouth. Maybe I’ll look into buying second-hand and if I do go through with the purchase it might inspire me to go skiing more frequently.
Are you a skier or a snowboarder? Do you own or rent your equipment? Is there anything you dislike about ski trips?