[an email to Terri, Patricia, Jan (and Mark), and Cathy]
Once I recover financially from last weekend of Sugarbowl private lesson and The Cow Palace (I bought another crate as the Noz to Noz's I really like are being discontinued - ouch), I'd like to go skiing at Boreal even though I have the impression that they're all just a bunch of bratty, hyper-talented snowboarders. After spending the day at Sugarbowl, I find there are a ton of non-intimidating, flailing, beginning snowboarders who are quite humble so you have a lot of company regardless if you are on skis or a snowboard.
Boreal has 85% beginner and intermediate runs and it's closer than Northstar and quite close to Sugarbowl and slightly cheaper. I'm thinking of going Sat Feb 10. Anyone else interested in going?
They also have Advanced Beginner group lessons (my level) as well as Beginner group lessons. Higher level lessons are available as privates though you can add additional people for not much more $.
I was just compiling this info so I thought I'd share.
Prices for Boreal are
Lift: $42-44 (depending on open hours that day)
Rental: $35 (skis, boots, poles)
Lesson - group $28
Lesson - private $70/hr, extra person $25/hr, extra hour $20
Hours: 9am - 9pm or 9am - 4pm
Rental took a while at Sugarbowl so getting them off the mountain may save as much as 1 1/2 - 2 hours, so it's probably worth the hassle of getting them in the bay area. Any Mountain has rentals ($30) and I may give into to temptation and rent Alpine Touring skis at Marmot though that's $50 and I wouldn't be touring so probably not worth the money yet.
For comparison, Sugarbowl's rates are:
Lift $50 (I had a $10 discount coupon)
Rental: $38 (skis, boots, poles)
Lessons: see the web site - some great beginner package deals
Lessons - private $90 (which you humbly pay if you've just been falling down the mtn the wrong way.)
Hours: 9am - 4pm
It's a fun environment though much less open feeling than I remember. I think the trees have grown over the years. The enviroment is very friendly save for the girlfriends who are pissed at the boyfriend for talking them into trying snowboarding. Snowboarding is ultimately easier than skiing from what I understand, but the learning curve is very steep for the first few times, so I saw at least 3 domestic disputs about it.
Oh and the high speed chairlifts may get you up the mountain quickly, but I must admit to feeling flung off of them. I did finally learn how to get off them without falling (sometimes), but there is quite the body count at the end of them. Sugarbowl has a Safety Monitor at the end of the beginner lift who will help you get up if you fall and encourage the sprawled snowboarders to move out of the path of people getting off.
The instructor ("Hank") I had at Sugarbowl was good about my leg weakness (this is why I got the private - I could turn left great, but really struggled to turn right.) They advertise on their web site that they will teach adaptive skiing - not something I needed but good to know.
Both resorts take just under 3 hours to get there under excellent driving conditions.
Oh and for the record. It's been 2 days and I'm not very sore at all.