My Epic Skiing Road Trip to 11 Mountains

I will be starting an 11 mountain ski road trip on February 1, 2017. The ski pass that enables this is the Mountain Collective pass. For only $400 (about $18 per ski day), it gives you 2 days of skiing at every mountain. This trip wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for this pass – I am eternally grateful for it! The retail price for 22 days of skiing would be over $3000.

I plan on staying at each mountain 3-4 days bookended with one day of driving (and sometimes two days). So I will have 1-2 days of rest/non-skiing play at each mountain – if you have any recommendations of things to do, drink, or eat PLEASE comment below.

Most of the driving between mountains will be about 5-6 hours except for the 2 days that it will take me to drive to and from the three Canadian mountains (Whistler, Revelstoke, and Banff).

I plan on sleeping in the van only when it is reasonably warm (nights that are not below 20 degrees F). Otherwise, I will be staying with friends, AirBnBs and hostels (which I love). I do have a small camping heater and 12 volt plug-in blanket to keep me warm. I have a new set of winter tires, a spare tire, snow chains, 24/7 roadside assistance and I just changed my oil to a lower viscocity of oil (0w30) for the colder weather.

My criteria to define a ‘successful’ trip are very low – as long as I don’t crash the van or break my body or get horribly sick, the trip will be considered a success. With so much winter driving, inevitably something will go wrong. I want to be as well prepared as I can be.

The mountains (in order) are Mammoth (CA), Squaw Valley (CA), Alta/Snowbird (UT). Sun Valley (ID), Whistler, Revelstoke, and Banff (all in Canada), Jackson Hole (MT), Aspen (CO), Telluride (CO), Taos (NM). Of the 11 mountains, I have only skied one (Telluride) so almost every mountain will be new to me! Here is the map of my planned route (starting in California and finishing in New Mexico).

Please comment with any ideas, recommendations, or places to see or visit on my epic road trip!

Photo is Telluride, Colorado where guys ski in cowboy hats!

2 thoughts on My Epic Skiing Road Trip to 11 Mountains

  1. Nathan – I did a similar trip with a friend of my about ten years ago with the old Ski Country USA pass, which only gave me one day at each area, but I supplemented it with other lift tickets. Suggestion: I don’t know what kind of a radio you have in your van, but you might want to look into Sirius or another satellite radio so you always have decent tunes. Power bars, good beef jerky and other travel food that you can eat on the slope works well too. Have a decent cooler. Take toilet paper. Have a few flares or a decent triangle reflector if you get a flat or break down. See if the towns you go to have temporary parking passes to park on the street for longer periods of time. Aspen Mtn. has hidden memorials – Jerry Garcia, Jimmy Buffett, John Lennon. Take mouthwash and Visine in case you might get pulled over by the police. Never admit to drinking or smoking MJ. Vape pens are great if you imbide! Canada can be tough at the borders though! A good GPS. If you can afford it heli-skiing at Whistler on the Canadian dollar. They used to let you cancel up to 4:00 p.m. the day before. Take a good battery box and jumper cables. Have a hide-a-key w/an extra ignition key. Rechargeable flashlight. Hand sanitizer.

    1. Awesome advice Mark! Thanks for all of the recommendations. I’m going to pick up flares and the spare key hideaway box right now. Will be posting more videos and photos of each resort.

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