Monday, February 25, 2008

Monarch Mountain & Salida Family Ski and Snowboard Road Trip

The holiday weekend was upon us and the plan was for a family ski and snowboard trip that would start with us heading for Salida on Thursday night and skiing at Monarch on Friday as we worked to beat the weekend crowds. With abundant snow recently and all winter we knew the conditiond would be excellent.

We stayed an evening at the Circle R Motel. This motel was spacious, clean and confrtable with hottub. Even though we were only there a night some of the units have refrigerators, microwaves and a little kitchen. Family owned and operatored by Pam and Lee we felt right at home. With already great rates the Mountain Sports Club savings and discount makes this an incredible value for those looking to save on the lodging. You will be able to stay here for several nights for less than one night in many ski resort towns.

That evening when we arrived we had dinner in old town Salida at Benson's. We had arrived close to 9 and wanted to make sure a full kitchen was still available. I had remembered Benson's from aprevious visit. Good selection of microbrew beers, hearty portions and a good pub style menu. The service was excellent and quick.

The next morning we were advised to have breakfast at Pancake Patio. Great value, friendly service, good food with generous portions. Just a few blocks down the road from the Circle R, it was an another good choice for a hearty breakfast to get us ready for a day of skiing and riding.

The skiing at Monarch was a picture perfect day. Blue skies, relatively warm day and soft snow. It had snowed recently and while there was minimal powder there was lots of soft broken snow and easy bumps to fly through. It has been over 15 years since I had been to Monarch and the warm family feel of the area was still as friendly as ever. There is a new structure for rentals that really made the traffic flow out of the base lodge much easier and added to a good family feel. We sampled runs across the ridge and had great views of the snowcat skiing terrain available. Monarch offers a wide range of terrain from short steeps, trees and bumps to easy cruisers. We tended to spend most of the day off the Garfield chair as we preferred the variety of great runs offered here. This was the case when I last skied here as well.

Make sure to take advantage of your Mountain Sports Club discounts when purchasing lift tickets. Members save up to $8 daily on lift tickets with the coupons. This area is a great value for families and anyone on a budget. Sitting a top Monarch Pass the area always has some of the best snow in the state. A visit to Salida and Monarch feels like a step back in time to days when resorts were not all full on real estate developments and the skiing and snowboarding fun as the focus on all efforts.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ski Liberty Pennsylvania - Gliders and Sunshine for Skiers and Snowboarders

Saturday, February 16, 2008, was one of the near –perfect days for skiing and snowboarding at Liberty Mountain – the trails were well covered, the sun was shining, and the weather was warm. Some brave souls skied in short sleeve shirts. Don’t they know it is still February? We were pleased to take off our jackets and hang them on the racks (without lift tickets, of course). Next to the slopes, golfers were playing on the course. Love that contrast!

Over our heads, in the cloudless skies, we watched three gliders perform graceful circles. At times they seemed close enough to touch. Presumably, they landed safely at the nearby airport.

Liberty Mountain was crowded, as we knew it would be this Saturday of the Presidents weekend. But, they handled the crowds well. Charles and I are always impressed with the safety measures at Liberty. At several intersections, Ski Patrol members stood next to signs urging skiers and riders to slow down. Sometimes, they blew whistles or held up their hands. The signs read, “Chill” and “Ski Fast, Lose your pass.” They meant business, and the skiers and boarders appeared to respect them in most cases. Thank you!!!

The snow was in quite good condition. In fact, snow making continued on some trails until the afternoon, which left nice bits of real powder on the sides of the trails. Of course, the trails got harder and slicker as the day progressed, but that is to be expected. 16 trails were open and 8 lifts. There were nice big moguls on Upper Ultra and Upper Eastwind (not that I felt inclined to take them, but they looked large from the chair).

The snow parks looked good, and were well-utilized. There are good safety features; lifts you can get off at mid station, to cut down traffic from the top. There is also a J bar to one park and a magic carpet for beginners on the “green” side of the resort. I was pleased to see safety features at the Boulder Ridge Snow tubing. I did not tube this time, but looked down at the tubes from the ski slopes. It appears as though the hills were high enough to stop you at the end, and no one came close to hitting the fence (at least while I was observing). In fact, they slid backwards gently as they came to the end of their run. These features are very important, and make the exciting sport of tubing safe as well as fun. I will check it out again next visit.

There were lots of instructors working on Saturday, and a large group of adaptive skiers enjoying the thrill of the snow. At the end of February, Liberty Mountain hosts its group of Wounded Warriors – most have been receiving therapy at Walter Reed Hospital. But they will find the snow covered mountains, the fresh air, the respect and friendship to be the best therapy they can possibly have.

There are lots more events coming up at Liberty. There is a Big Air Park event, and 80’s weekend, and the usual zaniness that comes with March and springtime. Liberty has some of the best events in the region, so look for a variety of special surprises. Let’s see if they can top last year, when they covered President Eric Flynn’s office in foil, and aliens took over the resort! Whatever comes up, there should be several more weeks of good skiing and snowboarding ahead at Liberty Mountain, and the other resorts of the Mid Atlantic region.

This blog entry titled Gliders and Sunshine at Liberty Mountain – Saturday, February 16, 2008 - is from our field correspondent Connie Lawn. You can view more of her work on this blog and at

Mountain Sports Club members also receive lift ticket discounts at Liberty Mountain Resort. MSC members save $5 daily on lift tickets with members only coupons for daily lift ticket discounts. Not a member? Join now at

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

K2 Raider Ski with Marker M2 11.0 Tc Binding Package Now On Sale Save 40%

The K2 Raider Ski with Marker M2 11.0 Tc Binding Package is now on sale for only $519.97. You save over 40% on the K2 Ski and Binding package. This discounted ski and ski binding package is brought to you by Ski Chalet. Visit them online to take advantage of this incredible deal now while supplies last. Ski Chalet is an award winning specialty ski retailer for over 30 years. Mountain Sports Club members save an additional $10 and save in store on purchases and shop work.

New to the K2 skis line for 2008, the K2 Raider ski is exceptionally versatile and built for the athletic skier seeking performance at an exceptional value. Built on the proven 78mm chassis, this ski has the widest performance envelope in our line. This ski binding package is currently available in 160, 167 and 174 cm lengths. With great snow everywhere take advantage of this closeout ski while still available. There is still lots of great skiin gleft this season.

MOD Monic dampening system
MOD Technology
Triaxial Braided

Tecnical specs:

Dimensions: 119/78/105
Performance: 50% ungroomed / 50% groomed
Radius: 18m @ 174
Construction: Torsion Box
Core: Fir/Aspen

K2 Sweet Luv Ski's with Marker M2 Bindings, ladies Ski and Binding Package Save over 50% Now

K2 Sweet Luv Ski's with Marker M2 Bindings, ladies Ski and Binding Package Save over 50% Now. This sweetheart deal on the popular ladies ski is our deal of the week. Now you can purchase this ski and binidng for only $284.93. Hurry because at this price these will not last long. this is truly a great savings for the lady skier for Valentine's Day.

Known for the easy and forgiving nature, the Sweet Luv ski and binding package is ideal for any recreational skier. With its blend of Bioflex core and 72mm waist width, the skier can effortlessly initiate a turn and ski any slope. Available in 146, 153 and 160 lengths. K2's popular ladies skis feature the best skis for women on the market. This special offer is available through Sun and Ski Sports online store. Mountain Sports Club members use your coupon and save another $10 on this ski and binding package.

MOD Technology
Triaxial Braided

Tecnical Specs:
Dimensions: 119/72/103
Performance: 30% ungroomed/70% groomed
Radius: 13m @160
Construction: Torsion Box
Core: Bioflex Fir/Spruce

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ski and Snowboard Demo and 2008-09 Preview

On snow demos February 7, Keystone Resort, Colorado

It was clear leaving Boulder but just after Georgetown on I 70 the wind kicked in and by the time I was approaching Loveland pass the snow was howling and dumping. Loveland Pass was closed so that option to drive into Keystone pass Arapahoe was gone. Onward through the tunnel to Silverthorne, take the first exit and head up to Keystone.

I had expected more snow on the hill based upon the drive. Arrived by midday with the plan to test the Dalbello Kryptonite Pro & Dalbello Il Moro ski boots. Last year I was duly impressed with the Dalbello Rampage and I am in search of a new boot. The Kryptonite, which was the model suggested proved too stiff for me and I swapped out for the Il Moro which was much more to my liking. The bling/bling looks are probably a little over the top with the chains and gold for my fashion taste, but still a very good fit and great performing boot.

The conditions were good, but not completely soft and buttery. There were patches of hard packed out snow with sections of easy carving soft snow. On the ski side I was able to get the K2 Apache Recon out and the Rossignol Z 15. Each performed well in the hard packed, groomed and soft snow. Look for more extensive comments tomorrow. I am skiing and riding with the test team from Ski Chalet, Sun and Ski Sports and Ski Stop. I have skied and tested with this retail group before and they have agreat feel for the market. Comments started with the Volkl line of the Unlimited 50 and the Volkl 12 Foot Tiger Shark receiving high marks. They had each switched these out and were impressed with the holding an edge, power through soft broken snow and skiing very smoothly in varied conditions.

Visiting Keystone Resort to ski or snowboard this winter? Make sure to purchase you lift tickets in advance and save with a Mountain Sports Club membership. Purchase your tickets at least 7 days in advance and save up to 30%. Mountain Sports Club Members save even more with member’s only promotions code.

SIA Show in Las Vegas Preview 2008 – 09 Ski and Snowboard Product

The annual ski and snowboard pilgrimage to the City of Sin in the desert has come and gone at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. For 4 days and nights the equipment and apparel companies introduce and woo the retailers with the hot new goods for next year. Lots of parties with the top athletes, models, plenty of booze for everyone’s taste.

What’s hot and worth taking a good look at for next year:? Maybe it is clothing with built in heating elements. One company we saw first at the Salt Lake City Outdoor Retailer Show was Adventure Action Gear. The product had a cleaner and more polished presentation than others companies vieing to break into this new product niche.

Knee Binding – this new innovative binding promises to flat out revolutionize alpine bindings. Look for more details at The early promotional tag is - "Knee-friendly." Proven. Claims of lateral heel release, without pre-release. Having had a total of 7 knee and ankle surgeries I look forward to seeing this binding in the market. Stay tuned as we find out more.

We will report more as the first prototypes are available but they promise to make certain injuries obsolete with a new release mechanism to assist backward release falls.

The biggest after Vegas story was on the apparel side on the business. Pre show there were rumors of something big happening with Spyder Clothing, as we go to the show nothing had been announced. Then this past week the word was released that Spyder had in fact purchased Cloudveil out of Jackson Hole. It will be interesting to see how they are able to grow this brand and stay true to its specialty and technical core. Can they take Cloudveil the next level and approach a Marmot in terms of size and market reach?

The mood was update given there has been snow across the country in a manner that has not happened for at least 2 decades. It clearly demonstrated the ski and snowboard industry needs snow more than a good economy. Not only were the ski and snowboard companies reporting a good year but snowshoe, nordic and backcountry companies all have had a good winter. What this means for the consumer is do not expect a large selection of closeouts in the summer sales.

With most companies selling their inventory clean there were much less deals available for retailers who specialize in offering these discounted deals on skis and snowboards. The new product sure looks appealing. On the ski side it keeps looking like the specialty boutique brands started by the likes of Armada, Line, Goode and others are continuing to eat market share from the larger more established brands. Twin tips are reported as the fastest growing category of ski and performance ladies skis are also a growing market.

Check out some of the photos in the photo gallery from the various booths and around the SIA show. Lots of color, fashion and excitement abounds in the ski and snowboard industry.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Spotlight on MyMountainSportsClub

Do you like to watch YouTube? Are you constantly updating your profile on MySpace? Well, if you didn't know the Mountain Sports Club has our own social network and media center called MyMountainSportsClub. Members can view and upload photos and videos, post blogs and reviews, and even create groups to notify other members of upcoming mountain outings. Not only can your share your mountain adventures with other mountain enthusiasts but posting and uploading might just get you noticed for some free Schwag!

Member chilly has posted several great blogs and photo galleries and was chosen as one of our November winners. Check out his pictures and stories!

Member marnelong shared some great pictures with us of her son’s snowboarding birthday at Sunlight. Since we know what this mountain enthusiast likes to do in her spare time the MSC team was more than happy to hook her up as our December winner of a pair of tickets to Sunlight!

Do you have any photos, videos, reviews or blogs you’d like to share? Get them posted and increase your chance at being selected as one of our Mountain Sports Club Schwag winners!

Holiday Lift Ticket Discounts This President's Weekend Deals

One of the best skiing weekends is quickly coming up and the Mountain Sports Club team wants to make sure all our members have a great time! Here's spotlight of all the resorts and coupon deals that are happening during President's Weekend. Some offers have holiday blackouts but these resorts are welcoming members to use the coupons and discounts available.

Alyeska Resort - Save $8 on an Adult lift ticket!

Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts - Half Price lift tickets!
June Mountain Ski Area - Save $10 on an Adult lift ticket! Additional offers available.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort - Save $9 on daily Adult lift tickets! Additional offers available.
Loveland - 2 for 1 lift tickets, save big.
Monarch - Save $8 on Adult lift tickets! Additional offers available.
Ski Cooper - Save $6 on an Adult weekend lift ticket! Additional offers available.
Powderhorn Resort - Save $7 daily on an Adult full day lift ticket!

Shawnee Peak Ski Area - Get $6 off an Adult weekend/holiday lift ticket!

New Hampshire
Tenney Mountain Ski Area - 2 for 1 lift tickets on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays!
Pats Peak Ski Area - Get $5 off weekend/holiday lift tickets!

Ski Denton - Save $5 on weekend/holiday lift tickets!
Shawnee Mountain - Get $5 off an Adult Weekend/Holiday lift ticket!

Magic Mountain - Save $10 on weekend lift tickets!

Not a Mountain Sports Club Member yet?
Register now with our New Year’s special for only $10.95! Use promo code feb08.

Use the Mountain Sports Club membership once and it’s paid for…
Use it often and save hundreds…

Tips and Tricks for the Mountain Sports Club Travel Desk

The team at Mountain Sports Club has been getting some questions lately from members having some challenges navigating the Travel Desk. Mountain Sports Club is constantly updating and working to improve our member’s experience on our website. Your feedback is important to us! In the near future we will be making some changes to our Travel Desk but until then, here is a How To Guide to assist our members in getting the best value from the Mountain Sports Club Travel Desk.

While some resorts have given us great coupon deals on single lift tickets that our members can print out other resorts have pre-purchase discount tickets through the Mountain Sports Club Travel Desk.

Whenever you see a coupon like this:

Simply click on the Travel Desk button at the top right of the page.

Scroll down to the middle of the page and click on “Book Tickets and Attractions”. From here you can scroll down and click on your destination. Once you have selected your destination you will be taken to the next page.

Check to make sure the dates listed are correct. If not, select "Modify Search/Change Dates".

To choose your lift ticket packages, click the “Book Now” button.

The next page will list all the different packages available for your resort. From here, use the pull down menu to choose the amount of packages you wish to purchase.

Next click “Save and Keep Shopping” if you are buying packages to different resorts or click “Continue With Reservation” to check out.

The next page allows you to review your purchase and also gives you the option to “Keep Shopping”. In the lower left is a box where you can enter your Special Offer Codes that you receive each month in your Mountain Sports Club email for additional savings. Click “Continue Reservation”.

You will then be asked to enter your Name, Email address and Phone Number. This information is necessary because once you complete your purchase you will be emailed a voucher. Do not forget this voucher when you go to your resort! You must print it out and present it at the lift ticket office in order to get your lift ticket passes.

Lift ticket packages must be purchased at least 7 days in advance of the date you wish to be skiing. So you will need to plan ahead.

Here is a list of current resort that have packages through the Mountain Sports Club Travel Desk: Heavenly Ski Resort, Squaw Valley USA, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Mt. Rose, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Breckenridge and Keystone, Beaver Creek and Vail, Tamarack Resort, Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin, Taos Ski Valley, Park City Mountain Resort, The Canyons, Deer Valley, Wolf Mountain, Stowe Mountain, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Whistler Blackcomb, Sun Peaks Resort

We at Mountain Sports Club hope this guide will assist you in your travel preparation and that you have a wonderful mountain adventure!

Not a Mountain Sports Club Member yet?
Register now with our February special for only $10.95! Use promo code feb08.

Use the Mountain Sports Club membership once and it’s paid for…
Use it often and save hundreds…