>From:         Jim Bauman <[log in to unmask]>
 Subject:      Re: Hello?

 Denis, Denis, Denis... [head in hands]

 You're forgeting at least one particular area that also has extremely
 affordable passes...  I won't say which one.<

Oh, Yeah.  Banging head on keyboard.  Sometimes it takes a while for
things to sink in; it was an honest mistake.  Please note that I did
figure this out later the same day and posted accordingly.

If I were in Carol's shoes, here's what I would do.

1.) Get a set of spare wheel rims from a junkyard and a set of studded
Hakkas.  The cost of this plus a competitively priced season pass will
probably come in at less than a Stowe pass alone.  (I'm assuming you have
AWD or 4WD already).  The powder mornings are the ones where it matters
most to _BE THERE_.

2.)  Get season pass pricing from all areas within your acceptable radius.

3.)  Drive from your house to all of them in morning rush hour.  Try
alternative routes.  Look at the steepness and quality of the access roads
and factor in how your drive might be affected by snow, and ice, storms.

4.)  At those areas where you have not skied or do not know the whole
mountain, get out and walk the trails to get a feel for the place.

5.)  Factor in the personal preferences and intangibles.  How long a walk
from lot to base lodge, liftlines, daycare? (probably not), ambience, how
many flights of stairs do you have to walk down to get to the rest room,
lockers (are they big enough?), quality & price of food & drink,
availability & quality of on-mountain shop for quick repairs or new
goggles for example, XC or BC access, quality, friendliness.

6.)  Make a decision.

If I were retired in N VT I'd probably buy a pass somewhere but would ski
mostly backcountry earning my turns.  I'd be sacrificing quantity for
quality and I'd perhaps get into real good shape for the first time since
my competitive track and cross country career ended.  I realize that many
people would consider me to be crazy.  Gave up worrying about that a long
time ago.

I believe that when all the above is considered that Bolton and Smuggs are
both very viable choices for a skier living in the Stowe, Waterbury,
Richmond area.  Whew!  Hope I am back in good graces.

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