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Michigan pilot looking for airports to fly into and ski (Epic preferred)

mister moose

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Killington
Yes. I believe Telluride has the shortest runway/landing strip in the country.
Telluride is 7,100 feet long. At 9,000 feet MSL you need to pay attention, but it's nowhere near the shortest. Consider Fishers Island, NY at 1,800 feet long.

What matters flying to a mountain strip is
Heavy Instrument experience
A keen knowledge of density altitude
Relationship of takeoff weight vs performance
Icing experience, and how to avoid gaining more.
High altitude approach procedures - NOT THE SAME
Mountain flying skills; downdrafts, box canyons, lenticular clouds.

If you don't check all those boxes, fly to somewhere in the front range and rent a car. Arapahoe, Jeffco, Colorado Springs, etc
 
Thread Starter
TS
Whirlybird

Whirlybird

Booting up
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Michigan
Need a copilot that resides in the Mitten?
Yeah, the more the merrier!
Eagle county has an airport that is somewhat close to Beaver Creek and Vail.
A 40 minute drive isn't bad for KEGE to Vail. This is my #1 alternative to Aspen atm.
Park City is on Epic. Not my favorite in the area but PC is a cool old mining town. Deer Valley is closer to airport and has bonus of no knuckle draggers. Not Epic tho.
PC is Lower elevation and easy high desert approach from Wyoming.
Airport is Heber Valley
KHCR is a 30 minute drive to both Park City and Deer Valley. Nice find!
Steamboat, while not on Epic, has 2 good airport option. KSBS, Bob Adams, is right next to town. In good weather and daylight should be easily accessible. If the weather is not good there or you are not comfortable then you can go to KHDN(Hayden) which is where all of the commercial flights go and is much more forgiving in terms of terrain.
It's only a 15 minute drive from KSBS to Steamboat. It looks like Ikon is giving Epic a run for it's money now with Aspen and Steamboat. Thanks!
Leadville CO airport (LXV) is about 30 mins drive to Copper, 55-60 mins to Breck or Keystone and a bit longer to A-Basin. It's the highest airport in North America (9,934 ft elevation). My former boss from Evanston IL used to fly his civilian plane into LXV regulalrly in the summer.
KLXV is a 35 minute drive to Copper Mtn. Thanks!
For the Epic Military pass you probably want resorts owned by Vail Resorts:
Vail & Beaver Creek--easy airport access
Keystone & Breck--not as easy airport access
Crested Butte--half hour away
Park City--close enough to SLC, maybe look at Ogden or Heber (I don't find Park City interesting enough to spend a couple of days flying there & back; of the group I prefer Vail, Keystone, CB.)
I'm feeling the same way about Park city. A longer flight for mountains that aren't as top notch. Unfortunately KGUC (Gunnison–Crested Butte Regional Airport) to Crested Butte is a 45 minute drive.
Used to fly into Aspen in a T210 years ago. Coming from the East a turbocharger was pretty much a necessity. VFR only for us little guys, ended up in Grand Junction once, cheated a little on departure another time. Airplane parking cost more than our cheap lodging (when Aspen had such). Also flew into Denver (Stapleton) and rented a car several times.
The SR22 normally aspirated has a service ceiling of 17,500ft. It usually climbs like a bat out of hell and has full IFR capabilities. That's a good call on parking. I'm going to make a list of FBOs that service these airports and call about ramp fees.
What matters flying to a mountain strip is
Heavy Instrument experience
A keen knowledge of density altitude
Relationship of takeoff weight vs performance
Icing experience, and how to avoid gaining more.
High altitude approach procedures - NOT THE SAME
Mountain flying skills; downdrafts, box canyons, lenticular clouds.
Time to make a trial flight this summer and practice some high altitude approaches.
 

BLiP

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The military discount for Epic and Ikon is not all that different. I think around $200. Unless you are AD or retired (under the military definition), then the Epic discount is much more significant.
 

motogreg

A liftie once told me I was an okay skier....
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Yeah, if you need another to "copilot", consider me a contender!
 

teejaywhy

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Yes. I believe Telluride has the shortest runway/landing strip in the country.

It only LOOKS like that on approach.

Telluride is 7,100 feet long. At 9,000 feet MSL you need to pay attention, but it's nowhere near the shortest.

Indeed, its length is its length and there is no "extra." ;)
 

Sibhusky

Whitefish, MT
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I don't know anything about the flying part of it, other than FCA is only 30 minutes from the ski area here. There's also some smaller airport south of Kalispell, probably also 30 minutes. Altitude of the runway roughly at 3000 feet, nice wide valley.

Not on Epic, but military discounts of 50% brings your window price down to $47.
 

teejaywhy

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The military discount for Epic and Ikon is not all that different. I think around $200. Unless you are AD or retired (under the military definition), then the Epic discount is much more significant.

One big difference, Epic offers a discounted pass for Veterans, Ikon does not (Active or Retired only).
 

BLiP

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One big difference, Epic offers a discounted pass for Veterans, Ikon does not (Active or Retired only).
You’re correct, my mistake. I misread and thought Ikon would give something to veterans who didn’t make retirement. Apparently not.
 

Drucifer

In the parking lot (formerly "At the base lodge")
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Charlotte, NC
It's a small place, but Bryce in Virginia literally has a runway at the resort. You can tie down your GA aircraft and walk in your ski boots to the lift ticket window. It is literally about 100 yards from the airstrip to the lift.
 

Tonyr4

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Eagle county has an airport that is somewhat close to Beaver Creek and Vail.

For me, I prefer Aspen but as you noted, its not on the Epic pass.
Check with day rates for vets. And I think many of the Alterra resorts offer some kind of military discount.
The Aspen airport diverts flights all of the time during the winter. It's one least reliable airports out there along with Mammoth's airport. Telluride's airport is right next to the mountain but also somewhat unreliable from what I hear. SLC, Gunnison and Eagle are your other options for Epic.
 

Tricia

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The Truckee airport is close to Northstar and is on Epic pass.
 

Tony

tseeb
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South Lake Tahoe airport is 7 miles from Heavenly main CA base and under 30 to KIrkwood. Both are on Epic pass, but CA is a long way from Michigan. My Dad flew me there a couple of times on clear weather day-trip from San Jose in a Turbo 206. He’d rent car and go to casinos, dropping me and usually others at Heavenly.

I’m not sure I’d want to be in a non-Turbo in Western US mountains. I remember circling over lake in a 182 for a while to get enough altitude to safely cross Sierra and even more circling once to get over mountains and some weather leaving Las Vegas.

Friends flew a twin engine plane from CA to Aspen to join College ski club trip about 40 years ago. Even then the cost to de-ice before leaving was significant. So unless you can avoid storms you may also want to ask FBO about that cost.
 

sparty

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If you do decide to come east, Sunday River is a short ride from 0B1 (probably 7 miles). It's not Western skiing, but if you have the flexibility to get in the plane and fly when conditions are actually good, it's probably worth it.
 

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