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Thread: Colorado ski trip in a weekó50 lbs checked bag limit, what to bring!?

  1. #1
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    Colorado ski trip in a weekó50 lbs checked bag limit, what to bring!?

    Long story short, I'm headed to Colorado this weekend to visit Aspen Highlands, Vail, A Basin, etc.

    I went back to my pow board/soft boots today for the first time in quite a while and I was shocked at the difference. (Prior Khyber 160, Burton Custom bindings.)



    It took a few runs for the softie carving muscle memory to set back in, but even after trying various angles (up to 30/25) and railing 8m SCR turns at (relatively) low speeds, all I kept thinking about was the difference in power, control—and ultimately, my confidence.

    Around here, I ride a 165 Coiler VSR AM-T with UPZ boots and F2 Intec bindings.



    I seem to be able to throw it at everything—bumps, Vermont glades, groomers—but I have yet to ride it on a "real" mountain, i.e., the big stuff out west. I've done high alpine bowls, deep pow, pillow lines, cat... but it was all years ago on softies, and with much less bravado and skill than I think I have today.



    I know, shouldn't reach for the snow...

    Anyway, because of the airline weight limit on checked bags, I don't think I can take both a soft and hard setup out west with me.

    I'm don't mind the slop of softies floating around on bottomless pow. But what is the likelihood of encountering this stuff next week in CO? Would a Coiler AM and Prior Khyber on plates be a good two-board quiver for a trip like this, assuming I want to spend most of mine time riding steeps, bowls, and trees?

    I've never tried the Khyber on plates, and I don't think I'll have an opportunity to do so before I leave.

    Or should I just suck it up, crank the angles on the soft setup, and hedge my bets with only the Khyber?

    Any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Both

    dmc, pack both, take the bindings off and pack them with 'carry-on' if necessary to make weight !
    Don't tell me, "Show Me"
    765 grams = 1.6865 lbs. or 26.985 oz.

  3. #3
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    Hmm. It might just come down to that...

    Can any comment on how suitable either setup would be for mostly-inbounds CO? I have no idea what conditions to expect. Probably lots of soft chopped up crud (e.g. in areas like the Highland bowl)? So better to to power through it on plates or the more forgiving softies?

    BTW sorry for the gratuitous pic whoring... I figured I might as well give people something to look at in hopes of drawing responses... lol

  4. #4
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    Pack both. I always do. On my last trip I put the two boards in one bag, along with the hard-boots. I then packed my soft-boots in my gear bag. I think it was something like 10 lbs for the bag, 12 lbs for the hard boots, and about 12 lbs for each board (inc bindings). The soft boots were a bit lighter.

  5. #5
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    My last trip to CO I had 4 boards ranging from 165-203, 2 sets of plate bindings, boots, helmet, and all sorts of camera gear. Ended up being 4 bags total, but didn't pay one cent in bag fees. Board bag was like 35lbs, checked bag 45lbs, and the two carry on bags didn't exactly have a lot of space left in them. Haha.

    I <3 Southwest Airlines.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Ace* View Post
    I <3 Southwest Airlines.
    +1!

    Southwest allows two (2) checked pieces of baggage per ticketed
    Customer. Size and weight limitations apply.
    Maximum weight is 50 pounds and maximum size is 62 inches (length +
    width + height) per checked piece of luggage. Overweight items from 50
    to 100 pounds and oversized items in excess of 62 inches but not more
    than 80 inches (e.g.; surfboards, bicycles, vaulting poles) will be
    accepted for a charge of $50 per item.

    Snow ski equipment, including skis or snowboards, ski boots, and ski
    poles. Effective March 1, 2012: including one pair of skis or one
    snowboard, one set of poles, and one pair of ski/snowboard boots
    encased in a container(s) acceptable to Carrier. When substituting
    ski equipment for a free bag, Southwest Airlines allows up to two bags
    (containing one set of snow skis, ski poles, and ski boots) to count
    as one item, even if they are packed and tagged separately.

    Regulations require name identification on the outside. We recommend
    placing identification on the inside of the baggage, too.
    LIVE LIFE- Dave Wilcox
    NASTAR race record.
    Questions-> lonbordin at hot mail dot com

  7. #7
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    Well whatever you do don't fly united. My baggage charges on united ended up costing more than my airfare to aspen this year.
    -queequeg

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by queequeg View Post
    Well whatever you do don't fly united. My baggage charges on united ended up costing more than my airfare to aspen this year.
    Oh crap. I'm booked with United...

  9. #9
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    If you have a pow day out here and you don't have your pow board, you will hate yourself. They Khyber can be ridden with plates, but I would ride what you're used to. How much does it weigh bringing both?
    Bring on the snow!!

  10. #10
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    Can't help with the board decision, but:

    I flew to/from Aspen with United. Costs rise exponentially if you pass 50 lbs with any of your bags. I checked two boards in a Sportube2, the top one had bindings still on it. I packed the remaining space with some clothes. It was pretty easy to pass 50 lbs, get one of those cheap scales with a hook. Then put the extra bindings in your other checked bag with the rest of your clothes. I always carry my boots and helmet on - as they'd be the hardest to replace if stuff got lost/delayed. Cost was $30 extra for the 2nd checked bag. Carry on two bags, one has to be small (laptop bag/purse). I put my densest stuff (no tools obviously) in those as airlines rarely check their weights.

    Note that wet/moist riding gear weighs more than the dry stuff you brought down. I only bought a couple T-shirts and a Donek Plate but I was REAL close to 50 lbs for the flight home. I would throw out underwear/shirts/etc. to meet weight if needed at the airport, they're cheaper to replace than the extra fees.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, I've never had a baggage person inspect my board bag to see if it contained more than one board. Having said that, I'm sure it could happen. I've never been asked if I had more than one board. Buy a fishing scale and use it on both legs of your trip. The scale weighs about 1/2 lb, so it shouldn't mess up things too bad packing it in your gear. I normally travel at exactly 49.9 lbs on the board bag, and in the 40's on the gear bag.

    Having said that, renting a powder board is kind of like looking like a decent option too. Soft boots don't weigh that much.

  12. #12
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    I brought just one board - a Prior 4WD 169 -- to N.I.C.E. a few weeks back. It worked great for 2 days of groomers and one pretty deep powder day - about 10" overnight and another 6-8" during the day.

    It did not compare to riding a dedicated powder board for the pow day, but I never got stuck, and definitely got some epic powder turns. I imagine the Coiler AM is a fairly similar shape (at least in terms of surface area), and would work as well as the 4WD for powder. I would just bring the AM -- if there's a really huge dump when you're there, you could just demo a powder board. It shouldn't be too hard to find a Fish or something similar to rent for the day, and given baggage fees, that might even be cheaper than bringing two boards.

    That brings me to the other nice thing about the one-board quiver: I was able to put all my riding clothes, my streetwear, and my boots in my board bag, along with tools and my board and bindings, and it tipped the scales at 51 pounds (I was ready to take out a sweater, but they let it slide). The only thing I had to carry on was my helmet -- pretty handy.

    Have fun on your trip, let us know how it goes!
    ----------------------------------------
    "Is that more fun than snowboarding?"

  13. #13
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    Re: two boards in one bag - I never carry two snowboards in one bag. However, I almost always bring two skis! Never been asked, but I've got my story ready. They clearly aren't snowboards to 99% of people in the liftline, the ticket agent is no different.

    I think United has removed the verbiage about only housing one board. Maybe it was someone else...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmc View Post
    Oh crap. I'm booked with United...
    Sorry to hear: they are sleaze - but if you aren't bringing too much, you may be ok. In my case, I packed four boards and four sets of bindings two of the boards are unusually heavy, and three of the bindings were TD2/3's so my bags were overweight. I knew I was overweight beforehand but had mistakenly recalled another airline's more lenient overweight baggage policy thinking it was just $50 - I ended up getting charged $125 each way. I'm pretty sure fedex would have been cheaper. If the bags are under 50lbs, it should just be $25 each way. I probably won't be flying united ever again, I'm sure their policy is clearly outlined somewhere--fine--but it just seems incredibly abusive.

    Otherwise: never actually had anyone check the contents of the bag for quantity of boards.

    I've thought about renting a softie deck on for pow days but: trying to rent an actual pow deck seems like it would be an exercise in futility ... you'd prolly just end up with a regular park rat or freeride board ... and If I'm in colorado when it dumps I want to be on an actual pow deck. Also: renting a board the morning of a big dump just seems like it would be a huge waste of time/fresh snow...
    Last edited by queequeg; March 7th, 2012 at 12:33 PM.
    -queequeg

  15. #15
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    Renting might be an option if you wanted soft boots for a pow day. How long are you staying? If it's only a few days, you can check the weather and see what the forecast is. If it's a week or more....then decision time.

    United was pretty strict on our weights when we went to the ECES, so get ready to not exceed the 50 lb rule on checked stuff. They didn't at all question our carry ons.

    I've also heard of people wearing their hard boots onto the plane. They don't weigh you! You can bring a pair of flip flops to put on , and then carry the boots until you are actually on the plane. I would only do it if you absolutely have to, but it's a thought and will work in a pinch.
    Expert in particular carvers with special needs

  16. #16
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    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-25ec...&storeId=10051


    Have shipped two of the above storage totes and secured with double zip-strips + a double ski SportTube (2 boards [no bindings] & a set of skis) for the last few years via FedEx. This year the shipping weight was about 100 lbs and the cost was around $90 for all 3 containers each way. Works for me!

  17. #17
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    If you are coming this weekend, looks like high pressure moving in. Maybe you get lucky?
    " It's just my job 5 days a week"

  18. #18
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    Tequila. Pack lots of tequila. Ride whatever you can rent/demo/steal when you get there.

  19. #19
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    Wow, tons of great travel and packing tips here. Thanks! I'm going to get that fishing scale and try my luck at packing both the Coiler AM and Khyber with one set of boots and bindings each. Not bringing a complete edge/wax toolkit like I normally do should help me make weight.

    So far I'm spending the first three days divided between Aspen and Vail. I'm now debating where to spend the last three days of the six day trip. Options are either more Aspen (possibly slopeside), or back in Denver with daily commutes to Loveland, A Basin, etc.

    Is there enough epic terrain at Aspen to warrant spending practically all of my CO trip there? Or is variety the spice of life?

  20. #20
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    Aspen rocks. 4 mountains, tons of terrain. That said, it's not cheap, and neither is Vail. But, as you'll see when you get here, the slopes are deserted and the riding is incredible.

    When are you coming?
    Bring on the snow!!

  21. #21
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    If you decide to come to Loveland to visit with the LCI then make it on a Sunday. Post up in the Yo LCI thread. Bring Angie and Jim with you, they don't visit enough and KarverKai is about to take a cue from Jim by riding a board that is waayyy taller than he is...Rossi 136.

    Ink
    LCI Freakcarve...
    Seriously having Fun!
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Callen View Post
    Aspen rocks. 4 mountains, tons of terrain. That said, it's not cheap, and neither is Vail. But, as you'll see when you get here, the slopes are deserted and the riding is incredible.

    When are you coming?
    I'm beginning to lean towards the last three days at A Basin. I'm seeing lift ticket deals for $148/3 days, which is half of what it would cost at Aspen.

    I'll be on the hill at Aspen and Vail for 3 days beginning Monday, 12-March. It's the latter of the week I'm on the fence about at this point...

  23. #23
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    I would encourage you to ride at loveland, and not abasin. No crowds, more carvers, better terrain.
    Bring on the snow!!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Callen View Post
    I would encourage you to ride at loveland, and not abasin. No crowds, more carvers, better terrain.
    I don't know about that....the weekends can be uber crowded at Loveland, and it's always windy! There is more terrain, and more carvers on the weekends. During the week, you might find more carvers at the Basin.

    Either choice you make is a good one! Both are high altitude, so the snow should stay nice for a while.
    Expert in particular carvers with special needs

  25. #25
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    So I'm currently in Colorado. The check-in went pretty smooth. I managed to fit two boards/bindings and a pair of soft boots into a Series 3 Sportube weighing in around 45 pounds. The baggage handlers lost the wire case pin and I'm surprised nothing fell out when I found the case upside down on the oversized baggage carousel at the Denver airport.

    Spent my first day here at Aspen Highlands. The hard boots and Coiler AM were a lot of fun on the morning groomers—I swear Colorado groomers are 10x as wide as those in the northeast. For the chalky spring bumps on the steeps of the Highland Bowl and stuff off the Deep Temerity, I caved and switched back to the soft boots and Prior. G-6 and G-8 were awesome.

    Maybe it's just my lack of ability carving bumpy terrain on a 45 degree pitch, but the (intended) slop in the soft setup seemed ideal for pumping down the tracked out bowl.

    Does anyone ride this kind of terrain on plates and hard boots? Isn't it considerably more demanding and difficult?

  26. #26
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    Pics for views. :P




  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by inkaholic View Post
    KarverKai is about to take a cue from Jim by riding a board that is waayyy taller than he is...Rossi 136.

    Haha, I would love to see this!
    Did he ride it? I bet he ripped. Nay, I bet he KILLED it!



    Quote Originally Posted by dmc View Post
    Maybe it's just my lack of ability carving bumpy terrain on a 45 degree pitch, but the (intended) slop in the soft setup seemed ideal for pumping down the tracked out bowl.

    Does anyone ride this kind of terrain on plates and hard boots? Isn't it considerably more demanding and difficult?
    I'd take my 165 Skwal(Thias Easy Jungle).

    P.S. The bumps under the new Tiehack Express lift at Buttermilk were SUPER good during SES...if you are looking for bumps.
    Last edited by *Ace*; March 12th, 2012 at 08:34 PM.

  28. #28
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    Boots in walk mode goes a long way toward softening things up, IMO. I tend to avoid bumps because of bad knees and bad form, but steeps are great in that setup. In my last UPS boots (long time ago now - they were still UPS then), the walk mode switch had a bad habit of slipping into ride mode. I'd tape it up if I were going to do a whole run / whole day in walk mode.

    Did they actually weigh your ski tube? My experience the last few years (since they started weighing bags) is that they rarely weigh a ski bag. I once wore my hard boots onto a plane because they told me they didn't fit in the carry on space with my other carryon stuff (necessities like knee braces, gloves, etc.). I thought it was funny, they weren't as amused, but I was technically within the rules. I took them off and put my shoes back on once on the plane.

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