The Cost of a Ski Weekend Getaway

ski weekend 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.

weekend getaway 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?

I’m Impatient

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?




  1. One hour! That’s a huge wait. I would have been impatient by then, too.
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  2. Our family of four just finished our very first Ski Weekend at Elk Mountain in PA and totally agree. We rented and definitely adds up, but as first-timers renting was the best option. I’d consider purchasing for a few consecutive years for the adults and probably continue renting for the kids. But what a Great time, and yes, travel with skiers on the same level or discuss in advance!

  3. I am a snowboarder and used to teach lessons in college at the local ski mountain. It was fun, but the lines always pissed me off. The one good thing was when I was an instructor, I got to skip the lines when I had my group.
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  4. You reminded me that I have not skied in many years! I own my skis and used to ski in Mammoth, California. The worst part of the experience is the 5.5 hours to get there. The best part is skiing pushes everything else out of your mind. Just going away for a weekend feels like a week’s vacation. I used to won a condo in Mammoth with some friends so my cost was lower than most.
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    • I hope that was good memories that I brought out Larry.
      Owning skis will save anyone a lot of dough, but I couldn’t justify buying ski’s as of yet because I only make it out once or twice….maybe used?

  5. I have never gone skiing but it sounds like a fun weekend!
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  6. A single black on an eastern hill? No biggie! Hehe.
    I live in a ski town and we didn’t bother going up this weekend because of the long wknd.
    I’m not sure how far you live from some of the (non caladen) hills, but start checking the craigslist type listings in the spring. Most of the foreign ski bums are looking to offload their single-season used gear.
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  7. Ski and Snow swaps or Play It Again Sports (not to mention kijiji) are good places to purchased previously loved ski and snow equipment…..

  8. I’ve never went skiing in my life mate not enough snow where I come from but I am a surfer, did that for many many years. Maybe one day I’ll get out and hit the slopes. I didn’t realize how pricey it is. Crikey I could go to Spain for that money for a weeks holidays plane and food back home lol.
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  9. One of the beauties of living in Southwest Colorado is incredible skiing and there is never a lift line. It is expensive. We love to ski in Telluride, but were priced out of the market this year. A lift ticket is $109, and the discount pass for locals is still $80. We signed our daughter up for 6 weeks of lessons at a little mom and pop ski area. We got the whole six weeks for $180, which is well worth it. I will probably only downhill ski once this year at locals day in Durango, which is $40/lift ticket. I have been nordic skiing, and it’s free except for gas to get to the trail head.

    We own our equipment. We bought it during our spending days, but it lasts forever. I’ve had my skis probably close to ten years now, and they are fine. It is around $30 to rent, so I think we’ve gotten our money’s worth. You can buy and sell skis on Ebay with some pretty good deals if you want to check out used stuff.
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