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Old School ski areas to explore

marzNC

Angel Diva
I think Sierra at Tahoe . . .
Certainly affordable. Full season pass for $469 with Powder Alliance and other perks. Have you noticed more travelers from other Powder Alliance locations in the last few years?

I see that RFID gates will be new for 2019-20.
 

Pixie Perfect

Certified Ski Diva
Certainly affordable. Full season pass for $469 with Powder Alliance and other perks. Have you noticed more travelers from other Powder Alliance locations in the last few years?

I see that RFID gates will be new for 2019-20.
When I started going to Sierra at Tahoe it was already part of the Powder Alliance. Even though the resort is close to South Lake Tahoe it just doesn’t get the same crowds as the other major resorts in Tahoe area. Sugarbowl (also Tahoe) just joined the Powder Alliance so I am curious to see if there will be more people skiing both.

$469 is the late season prices, usually if you sign up in the spring the prices are about $349 and they will let you ski rest of the current season free. Since they are switching to RFID this year it will be interesting to see if the starting pass price goes up next spring.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
$469 is the late season prices, usually if you sign up in the spring the prices are about $349 and they will let you ski rest of the current season free. Since they are switching to RFID this year it will be interesting to see if the starting pass price goes up next spring.
Adding RFID doesn't necessary impact the season pass price. It does allow a ski area to have a better idea of when their passholders are around.

Has Sierra been doing consistent scanning of lift tickets/passes?
 

Pixie Perfect

Certified Ski Diva
Adding RFID doesn't necessary impact the season pass price. It does allow a ski area to have a better idea of when their passholders are around.

Has Sierra been doing consistent scanning of lift tickets/passes?
Yeah they always scan everyone entering the lines even those part of ski lessons. They usually had 3-5 scanners at quad lifts and 2-3 at two seater lifts. So I imagine this might cut back on the number of employees they hire for lift lines.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Yeah they always scan everyone entering the lines even those part of ski lessons. They usually had 3-5 scanners at quad lifts and 2-3 at two seater lifts. So I imagine this might cut back on the number of employees they hire for lift lines.
Wow, the only lift I've been at with more than a couple of scanners is Taos Lift 1 for an hour or so on a busy morning. But then I mostly ski mid-week when lines are short.

Could be they will have the same number of staff but will be able to provide more or better service by shifting people to other roles.

Alta has had RFID gates for over 10 years. There are still 2-3 lifties in the loading area. One always has a tablet that shows info related to the RFID card as someone passes thru the gates. For season passholders, that includes their photo.

Waterville Valley in NH implemented an RFID system that doesn't require gates. Be interesting to see what happens at smaller Old School ski areas (under 500 acres) in terms of RFID in the next few years.
 

NYSnowflake

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Add West Mountain in NY!

I also think Bromley in VT is fairly old school. I have skied these places as well as Catamount and Pico. Enjoyed them all. Pico is my favorite!
 

geargrrl

Angel Diva
Schweitzer should not be on that list... detachable quads, high speed six packs.... it's most assuredly a resort and not old school. They got rid of the last double chair last year. Especially compared to the other regional old schools you have on the list such as Lookout and Mt Spokane.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Add West Mountain in NY!

I also think Bromley in VT is fairly old school. I have skied these places as well as Catamount and Pico. Enjoyed them all. Pico is my favorite!
Already added West Mountain to the list I keep on my computer. Was discussing it on the NY regional forum. The current owners are putting money into West, but it's clearly going to stay "old school" and a good feeder hill for local families.

Bromley makes sense. I've driven by and looked up from the base but haven't ever skied there.

I'll post a new list when this thread goes to the next page (on desktop).
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Schweitzer should not be on that list... detachable quads, high speed six packs.... it's most assuredly a resort and not old school. They got rid of the last double chair last year. Especially compared to the other regional old schools you have on the list such as Lookout and Mt Spokane.
Are most folks at Schweitzer locals or travelers? For me, just because a mountain has high speed lifts doesn't automatically mean it's not Old School in terms of vibe. But I'll add the "?" when I post the updated list.

I use the list as a way to find potential places to explore that aren't as well known to travelers. I've been curious about Schweitzer for a while. Just haven't made it to that region yet.
 

geargrrl

Angel Diva
I've been skiing Schweitzer several times a year for 29 years. It's in a different league for vibe than all the other areas in the region that you put on the list. In fact, many locals buy season passes just because it doesn't have a small-mountain/local/old school vibe. Would you take the word over someone who skis all the regional mountains over some magazine articles?
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I've been skiing Schweitzer several times a year for 29 years. It's in a different league for vibe than all the other areas in the region that you put on the list. In fact, many locals buy season passes just because it doesn't have a small-mountain/local/old school vibe. Would you take the word over someone who skis all the regional mountains over some magazine articles?
That's helpful to know.

I first heard of Schweitzer at a Diva West about 10 years ago. Could be I misunderstood the discussion. As the Old School list has grown, I don't remember why some places ended up on the list. But the initial idea was to create a list based on Diva input, not a magazine article. I'll take it off.

I've skied plenty of places in more than one region in the last decade, both large and small, so put very little stock in magazine articles or even some online articles for websites that are aimed at travelers.
 
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ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
I've skied at Schweitzer and don't find it Old School, either. I think perhaps it's off the radar for a lot of people; maybe that's the issue here. Anyway, I loved it and I'd really like to go back.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Here are some pictures of Mad River Glen's lodge. Note the condition of the floor covering; I think it once was a rug. The lodge is not simply old school, it's OLD. Humble. Absolutely no pretensions.
IMG_1925-640.jpgIMG_1926-1408.jpg
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Mad River Glen feels intentionally and dramatically old school. There's the single chair, which is new but old school. There's no snow-making on most trails. And no grooming either, on most trails. The connectors get groomed, but they are connectors.
csm_mad-river-glen-skiing-20150413-7910_e7daace1e5.jpgcsm_mad-river-glen-ski-20150413-8039_bf3dc88485.jpg
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Loved my first time at Mad River Glen last season, such a cool place and vibe! Didn’t hurt that I was there after a whole lot of snow had fallen the previous couple of days.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Add West Mountain in NY!
West Mountain had a media day recently. They were proudly talking about all the improvements and expansion over the last seven years. Total price tag was $17 million. New for this season is a lift that dated from 1972. The ride went from 12 minutes to about eight. Snowmaking is now based on adding fixed guns all over the mountain. The ski school is serving 1600 students these days, up from around 700 when the current owners took over.

Nov. 19, 2019, The Post-Star in Glens Falls, NY
West Mountain finishes seven-year project
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Discovered the first ski area during a recent trip out west. Howelsen Hill is pretty much in the town of Steamboat Springs and remains old school.
The first ski jump at HH was built by Carl Howelsen (Karl Hovelsen), a Norwegian who lived in the U.S. from 1905 thru 1922.

Turns out Howelsen Hill is the oldest, continuously operating ski hill in the western U.S. Includes a magic carpet, a poma (runs whenever HH is open), and a chairlift (open only on weekends). In addition to downhill trails and terrain, HH also has a lot of nordic trails. What's more unusual is the number of natural ski jumps.

Trip report from Feb 2020 with a few pictures:
https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/i...-hill-steamboat-springs-co-feb-18-2020.24709/
 

arbusch

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
If you want really old school, I would recommend Ferguson Ridge Ski Area in Joseph, Oregon - https://www.skifergi.com/

All volunteer run ski hill. T-bar and rope tow, only open weekends and holidays, 10am-4pm, $20 lift tickets (no half days). Rental gear only $15 a day. A great local ski hill where the kids pretty much entertain themselves and parents can let the kids ski by themselves. Lots of beginner to immediate runs.

Super family-friendly and great little hill. On a powder day, the tree runs are a blast.
 

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