• Women skiers, this is the place for you -- an online community without the male-orientation you'll find in conventional ski magazines and internet ski forums. At TheSkiDiva.com, you can connect with other women to talk about skiing in a way that you can relate to, about things that you find of interest. Be sure to join our community to participate (women only, please!). Registration is fast and simple. Just be sure to add webmaster@theskidiva.com to your address book so your registration activation emails won't be routed as spam. And please give careful consideration to your user name -- it will not be changed once your registration is confirmed.

First trip out west!

MilkyWookiee

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
Hey ladies, I'm currently planning a trip to park City for February and I'm in need of some advice as I've never skied out west before! We'll be flying out from NY, so my first question is, do I bring my own skis? I ski the Head Total Joys, so they're decently floaty but definitely not a true powder ski. I've demoed wider skis in the east, and have always felt like a puppy that's too big for her paws.

And if I do bring my skis, what about the logistics of getting them there? I don't currently own a ski bag or hard tube, so I'd love to hear your recommendations for how to keep my babies safe in cargo hold.

I've heard that you can check your skis and Boots as one item (I'm most likely flying Delta). If I pack smart, I'm pretty sure I can fill my boot bag with most of my clothes and then fit everything else in a carry on, but if my bags get lost and I have to ski in rental boots, there will be tears.

I'm assuming my helmet would potentially take a few good hits in the cargo hold, and I should carry it on for safe keeping?

And lastly, the most fun question, what to expect on snow! I'm assuming I won't encounter anything too alarming on the groomers, but what tips do you have for if and when I find myself in actual powder?
 
#2
Yay, so exciting to be heading west for the first time!!

After my first trip west where I demoed skis for a week, I’ve always brought my own. I just feel more comfortable on my own gear and tunes that I’m used to, if there is a big dump I can always rent. My skis get packed in a sport tube. Boots come on the plane with me, either in my carry on, or once I even carried them on hung over my shoulder when I was doing a combination work trip and couldn’t fit them in my carry on due to other stuff I needed to bring. My helmet I strap to my carry on and bring on the plane as well, then I stick it under the seat in front of me with my purse. Haven’t had an issue yet. I’ve had my skis lost 3 times, twice on the way to a ski trip and once on the way back, always received by the same night or next morning of landing, but I won’t risk it with my boots. Also a good reason to try and have a day’s worth of ski clothing, gloves, goggles, and essential toiletries in the carry on with your boots.

As for the skiing, you will hopefully feel some much softer snow, even the groomers can be like butter without our typical east coast hardpack lurking beneath the surface! If there is a big powder day and you struggle it can be a great opportunity for a lesson. I’m still not a very good powder skier, so no great tips from me there.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#3
Hey ladies, I'm currently planning a trip to park City for February and I'm in need of some advice as I've never skied out west before! We'll be flying out from NY, so my first question is, do I bring my own skis? I ski the Head Total Joys, so they're decently floaty but definitely not a true powder ski. I've demoed wider skis in the east, and have always felt like a puppy that's too big for her paws.

And if I do bring my skis, what about the logistics of getting them there? I don't currently own a ski bag or hard tube, so I'd love to hear your recommendations for how to keep my babies safe in cargo hold.

I've heard that you can check your skis and Boots as one item (I'm most likely flying Delta). If I pack smart, I'm pretty sure I can fill my boot bag with most of my clothes and then fit everything else in a carry on, but if my bags get lost and I have to ski in rental boots, there will be tears.
Fun! I'll be in SLC in Feb for a few days but using Ikon not Epic.

After I bought all-mountain skis after demo'ing skis for a week about 10 years ago, I always bring one pair of skis when flying. Being petite, it used to be hard to find rental skis the right length. But makes a difference that I fly Southwest, so get two checked bags for free. Having experience with soft ski bags in the 1990s, didn't take me long to look around for a good price on a Sportube 2. I was taking spring break trips with my daughter then and having the option of fitting two pairs of skis was useful.

I never check my boots. My preferred boot bag is a Transpack Sidekick but I use a rolling bootbag that looks like suitcase when flying. Then the Sidekick is like a standard laptop backpack and fits under the seat in front. Before I found the rolling bootbag, I'd put the boots and helmet in the overheard after boarding. One ski buddy used to use an old small rolling suitcase as his boot bag.

Total Joys make perfect sense for Park City. My current all-mountain skis are 85 underfoot. When I didn't have much deep powder experience, I would rent powder skis for a snowstorm that dropped 4+ inches.

Flying out west for a week or more, black suitcase is Transpack rolling boot bag, probably arriving at SLC airport for stay at Alta Lodge in April
Rolling plus blue w Sportube2 Sidekick - 1.jpg

Using old single ski bag, unpadded, for short stay when flying to Boston, old Black Pearls that are "rock skis"
single ski bag unpadded - 1.jpg
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Oh, so much fun.....I've never been to Park City, but have traveled to ski lots.

1. Skis - take your own. If you should get a dump, rent for the day. You're used to your skis and know how they work.
2. Ski boots - carry on. If you boot bag works, take it. If not, try something else. I've always carried mine on. But then I've spent a lot of money to get them to fit properly.
3. Ski bag, vs box....That seems to be a personal preference. Also it depends on the carrier. I've used a sport-tube the last few trips. I can pack, skis, poles and a pair of hiking shoes in it as it's the single. marzNC's pic is the double. One of the Canadian airlines makes you sign off on soft bags for sports items. Any damage is not their responsibility. I know in the past when I used a soft bag, I would pack bulky items in the ski bag, around the skis to protect them. The skis would go into a separate smaller bag, then everything into the larger ski bag. I used a double bag back then.
4. Try for a most direct flight possible. Less changes, more chance your luggage will come with you.

I'm jealous!! No trips this year for this gal.
 

diymom

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
Definitely boots with you! I did my first trip out west last year, and took my boot bag (a large one) as my carry on. It fit my boots, helmet, base layers, socks, ski pants, goggles, mitts,- the works. I didn't want to risk not having any of those items with me when I got to the slopes. I opted for a padded wheeled bag for my skis to take up less room in the back of the rental car and it worked fine. And for skis, I brought the pair I knew best, my Absolute Joys.
 

badger

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
@MilkyWookiee & @marzNC : What week in February will you be there? I may well be in the area --unfortunately same as Diva west---last week of January and first week of February. Lodging is already booked. But then again, my DH books lodging in about three different locations for the same weeks and decides at the last minute.:rolleyes:
 
#7
I have the Total Joys. I bought them in Sun Valley FOR Sun Valley--these are my Rocky Mt skis. I think they are a great bet for PC and as others said, if it snows more than a couple inches, rent something wider.

And yes always carry on boots. In fact carry on boots along with your ski/expensive essentials in your boot bag, so that if checked luggage goes missing you can still ski. Do check dimensions of your boot bag and make sure it will either fit overhead or under the seat--not all do.
 

alison wong

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
I've heard that you can check your skis and Boots as one item (I'm most likely flying Delta).
Yes you can, as long as combined weight for both do not exceed 50 lbs (yes for Delta for my experience). Otherwise, airlines make you check as 2 separate bags.
Depends on airports, some check the combined weight (ask you to put both bags on a scale), some don't.
I also ran into scenarios that airline staff are not aware of ski bag & boot bag can count as 1 piece. I usually insist them to check w/ someone else (e.g. supervisors) and usually it came back with a "yes" you can check both as one. (Be assertive!)
I normally carry my boots w/ me, and put my clothes and misc. stuff in my boot bag and check it w/ ski bag for outbound flight.
Coming back, I put boots in my boot bag and check in w/ ski bag.

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

marzNC

Angel Diva
#9
@MilkyWookiee & @marzNC : What week in February will you be there? I may well be in the area --unfortunately same as Diva west---last week of January and first week of February. Lodging is already booked. But then again, my DH books lodging in about three different locations for the same weeks and decides at the last minute.:rolleyes:
I'm going to Taos first, so won't be in SLC until after Feb. 8. I'll probably start a Meet On The Hill (MOTH) thread for SLC once the snow flies in Utah.

@BonStarlet is moving to Park City soon so she might be around for weekend skiing.
 

BlizzardBabe

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
I ski the Head Total Joys, so they're decently floaty but definitely not a true powder ski. I've demoed wider skis in the east, and have always felt like a puppy that's too big for her paws.

I've skied Total Joys in 8-9 inches of fresh Utah powder and they were fine. Most shops will have something wider you can try if you get a big dose of snow while you're there.

And if I do bring my skis, what about the logistics of getting them there? I don't currently own a ski bag or hard tube, so I'd love to hear your recommendations for how to keep my babies safe in cargo hold.
I use a snowboard bag b/c it is wider and holds more. Most of my clothing, etc. fits in that carrier.

I've heard that you can check your skis and Boots as one item (I'm most likely flying Delta). If I pack smart, I'm pretty sure I can fill my boot bag with most of my clothes and then fit everything else in a carry on, but if my bags get lost and I have to ski in rental boots, there will be tears.
I'm assuming my helmet would potentially take a few good hits in the cargo hold, and I should carry it on for safe keeping?

I have a new carry-on that fits my boots, helmet, and ski clothing for one day. I don't want to miss any days b/c of a lost bag(s).

And lastly, the most fun question, what to expect on snow! I'm assuming I won't encounter anything too alarming on the groomers, but what tips do you have for if and when I find myself in actual powder?

There's a thread on here somewhere from last year about things to consider when going out west for the first time. I'll see if I can find it. If you do get some good powder and can manage it, I'd invest in a lesson(s). That way you are sure to have more fun faster.
 
#12
If you do get some good powder and can manage it, I'd invest in a lesson(s). That way you are sure to have more fun faster.
Good idea about a lesson. Also, don't need to go too wide if decide to rent skis for a powder day. My all-mountain skis are mid-80s. My Alta instructor wants me to stick with about 100 underfoot for off-piste lessons.

I guess the Wild Joy is the next wider model in the Joy line. The Santa Ana 93 or BP98 or Sheeva 9 might be fun for you. My go to powder skis to rent are the DPS Nina 99. I wasn't that experienced in powder when I started renting DPS skis at Alta.
 

QCskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
The first trip out west is always so exciting so enjoy every second of it!

I like to carry my helmet and boots as carry on. They both fit neatly in one bag. The last thing I want is my helmet getting smashed around in the cargo hold.

Make sure to bring sunscreen. I made this mistake on my first trip skiing out west and wound up looking like a lobster by the time my ski day was done. You'll be skiing at higher elevations where the air is thinner and hence you will be more likely to get a sunburn.

If it is your first time on powder it might be wise to take a lesson. As an added bonus you will be shown around the mountain by an instructor who knows it very well and can give you tips about which parts of the mountain to explore. The mountains out west are much bigger than what we are used to out east so this will be a huge help.
 
#14
The mountains out west are much bigger than what we are used to out east so this will be a huge help.
Good point.

A free mountain tour is sometimes available and very useful for the destination resorts out west. But it looks like VR prefers to rely on EMMA, the digital assistant for those people willing to deal with their smart phones while skiing: "Emma can answer questions on weather conditions, grooming, lift line wait times, parking, ski school, lift tickets, equipment rental options, dining recommendations and more, serving as a one-stop source for the information guests need, when they need it."

Here's a brief overview that gives a starting point about which lifts are good all ability levels.

https://www.snowpak.com/utah/salt-lake-city/park-city/ski-and-terrain
 

fgor

Certified Ski Diva
#15
Oh, this thread is incredibly relevant to me! *watches* I'm looking at taking a wee trip up from the southern hemisphere to Vancouver/Whistler to visit friends during my summer break. It will be my first time skiing outside of NZ (also first time travelling further than NZ-Aus) and I've been having the same questions - do I bring my skis, will they be appropriate? (88mm, all the replies in this thread indicate yes!) how should i transport them? how should i transport everything else?

I'm pretty determined not to lose my boots after spending hours having them fit to my feet, so I've been wondering if I should be prepared to put them on and wear them on the plane if someone tried giving me a hard time about carrying them on :tongue: a boot bag that I can bring as carry on and fit in front of the seat in front of me would be absolutely perfect (it will be a LONG flight and I will be bringing entertainment and medication, so I like to be able to access my carry-on readily). Otherwise I'll just be bringing a backpack and carrying the boots, and hoping that no one hassles me about them...

Has anyone ever been given a hard time about packing clothes into their ski bag? It's reasonably expensive to get a second checked bag with the airline I'll be flying (Air NZ) but the ski bag will count as a "sports" bag since it's technically oversized. I'm not sure how strict they get about packing non sporting things in there too. Maybe if I only bring my ski clothes and wear those the entire time ;)
 
#16
Has anyone ever been given a hard time about packing clothes into their ski bag? It's reasonably expensive to get a second checked bag with the airline I'll be flying (Air NZ) but the ski bag will count as a "sports" bag since it's technically oversized. I'm not sure how strict they get about packing non sporting things in there too. Maybe if I only bring my ski clothes and wear those the entire time ;)
Here's the most recent thread I can find about flying with ski gear. Includes comments about flying from the U.S. to Europe, which has similar size/weight constraints as flying over the Pacific.

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/any-ideas-for-boot-bag-for-airline-travel.21463/

One advantage of a hard case like a Sportube is that the ticket agent can't see how stuffed it is with things other than skis and poles. Technically not supposed to have other stuff but usually only care about weight. However, have to be a little careful because security often opens up ski bags, hard or soft. So if there are small loose items, those can get lost.

What I like to put in the Sportube are my snowboots and extra pair of shoes, sometimes an extra pair of gloves. Essentially a few bulky items.

I'm pretty determined not to lose my boots after spending hours having them fit to my feet, so I've been wondering if I should be prepared to put them on and wear them on the plane if someone tried giving me a hard time about carrying them on :tongue: a boot bag that I can bring as carry on and fit in front of the seat in front of me would be absolutely perfect (it will be a LONG flight and I will be bringing entertainment and medication, so I like to be able to access my carry-on readily). Otherwise I'll just be bringing a backpack and carrying the boots, and hoping that no one hassles me about them...
Other than the Transpack Sidekick without boots and helmet, I can't think of a bootbag that will fit underneath a seat. I can fit my helmet under the seat next to the Sidekick but have to take it out of the front pocket made for a helmet. Before I had the rolling bootbag, I'd put the boots and helmet in the overhead. Once almost forgot the helmet because it was tucked in the back and hard to see. That's the main reason I leave it down on the relatively short U.S. domestic flights.
 

nopoleskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#18
Hi, Hope you have a great time! I always carry my boot bag, helmet 1 day ski clothes/gloves etc in my carry on. I can rent skis but not my boots and I want 'my' helmet.

I will suggest you tie a string from the sport tube lock to the handle, mine came up missing flying delta back a couple yrs ago Now thanks @marzNC for that tip,

To avoid altitude sickness, Drink TONS Of Water before and while you are there, I've been taking gingko the last couple of yrs and it's helped me to adjust to altitude better, I'm not huffing and puffing as much and my sleep is better.

Most of all ENJOY! It's sooo beautiful and the snow is just spectacular compared to our usually frozen surface here in the East! If you don't take a lesson see if there is a guided tour of the Mt. usually free and they take the guests to appropriate trails. I'll bet this will be your first of many trips West!

@fgor not sure how many transfers you'll be taking from NZ but may want to rent skis when here in case of delay in luggage? Also, I haven't seen a boot bag fit under a seat, many fit in the over head bin. On small connector planes where it won't fit, I've "gate checked" my boot bag- you wait in the jet way for them to take your bag before getting in the plane and then you wait for them to give you your bag back before going into the terminal on arrival. Have fun in Whistler! Awesome Mt and area!
 

alison wong

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
Make sure to bring sunscreen. I made this mistake on my first trip skiing out west and wound up looking like a lobster by the time my ski day was done. You'll be skiing at higher elevations where the air is thinner and hence you will be more likely to get a sunburn.
Agreed 100%. Same here, first spring ski trip to Alta few yrs ago, I came home w/ a raccoon face and burned lips. Important to get SPF lip balm also.
Consider to bring something small in size, you can stuff both in your ski jacket and apply as often as needed.

has anyone ever been given a hard time about packing clothes into their ski bag?
I always pack clothes in my ski bag, never had a hard time at check in. They mostly care about the weight.

I've been wondering if I should be prepared to put them on and wear them on the plane
My friend saw a guy actually wore his ski boots on the plane. I guess when push comes to shove, you just have to do whatever it takes.... Along the same line, I supposed one can wear his/her ski helmet too.
 

fgor

Certified Ski Diva
#20
Hi, Hope you have a great time! I always carry my boot bag, helmet 1 day ski clothes/gloves etc in my carry on. I can rent skis but not my boots and I want 'my' helmet.

I will suggest you tie a string from the sport tube lock to the handle, mine came up missing flying delta back a couple yrs ago Now thanks @marzNC for that tip,

To avoid altitude sickness, Drink TONS Of Water before and while you are there, I've been taking gingko the last couple of yrs and it's helped me to adjust to altitude better, I'm not huffing and puffing as much and my sleep is better.

Most of all ENJOY! It's sooo beautiful and the snow is just spectacular compared to our usually frozen surface here in the East! If you don't take a lesson see if there is a guided tour of the Mt. usually free and they take the guests to appropriate trails. I'll bet this will be your first of many trips West!

@fgor not sure how many transfers you'll be taking from NZ but may want to rent skis when here in case of delay in luggage? Also, I haven't seen a boot bag fit under a seat, many fit in the over head bin. On small connector planes where it won't fit, I've "gate checked" my boot bag- you wait in the jet way for them to take your bag before getting in the plane and then you wait for them to give you your bag back before going into the terminal on arrival. Have fun in Whistler! Awesome Mt and area!
Good tips! I should only have one transfer and I'm not sure if it'll involve having to re-check luggage - the way I'm looking at booking the flights will involve one domestic flight to a bigger airport in NZ, and then a single 13 hour flight to Vancouver (hooray for direct flights). Hopefully fewer chances to lose luggage but I'll still be carrying the essentials on the plane with me, you never know!!
 

Members Online