Tour 5 by Extreme Tornado Tours in 2013
- Starts: 2013-05-24 (This tour has already been executed)
- Ends: 2013-06-02
- Price: $3500
- Chase days: 10
- Price per day: $350 / day
- Departure city: Denver, Colorado
- Description: No description available
- Tour guides: Reed Timmer | Dave Holder
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Name: Jennifer Giordano
Tour: Tour 5
Blogged about the tour: Read more
General reviewI would HIGHLY recommend ETT to anyone looking into tours. They are run by experienced chasers and meteorologists, and they do everything they can to ensure that guests not only see great storms but do so safely and while having fun. Not only do you see amazing storms, but you learn a lot of information from the guides and make life-long friends. I have gone the past two years now. In 2012 we had a slow year weather-wise, but the guides worked their tails of to get us to anything worthy of chasing. We all enjoyed it so much that 8 of the 12 of us returned in 2013 together (the other 4 had life reasons, ie babies being born, getting married, not able to get time off work). In 2013 we hit the jackpot weather-wise, and we saw 7 tornadoes, ranging from small and weak to the El Reno tornado. During El Reno, it was obvious how concerned the guides were, and they did their utmost to ensure our safety while doing interviews with tv/news stations to warn others.
Tour guide reviewThere are 5 main tour guides in ETT. Dave Holder is the resident meteorologist on tour, and is kind, funny, extremely knowledgable, and has the tour guest's comfort and wishes at the top of his priority list. Kevin Barton has chased for years, and you will know him as the man who built all of the Dominators (seen on Discovery's Storm Chasers). His eyes light up like a kid on Christmas when seeing storms, and noone explains a storm's structure like he does. Shanda, the lone female tour guide, is the utmost professional. She's been chasing for years, and is not only skilled in chasing, but is an amazing photographer. She makes memory books of the tours for each guest. Blake, another veteran chaser, is also a skilled photographer and loves to explain weather. He is fantastic at breaking down a storm and helping you understand what you're looking at. Matt is new to ETT as of 2013, but his understanding and instinct for storms is astounding. He's very laid back and puts all the guests at ease immediately. He also has a meteorology background.
Vehicle reviewWe call the ETT vans our home away from home. They are lovingly referred to as Red Van and Blue Van. They are 16 passenger vans that have been modified by Kevin to be the best vehicles out there for tour guests. The last seat is removed, leaving room for luggage, then 2 people per seat - so 6 guests per van - very spacious. Kevin has also cut out the ceilings of the vans (and replaced them with some fancy material) so that guests can see out the tops of the vans at the storms above. The vans are also rigged for Wifi and have power throughout, so guests can bring laptops, iPads, etc to keep themselves occupied. Vans are cleaned, tires rotated, oil changed, etc, between each tour. Occasionally you'll see a cracked window from hail - that makes it all the more fun!
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Name: Matthew Higgins
Tour: Tour 5
General reviewI lost count of how many tornadoes i saw, need i say more! I was well briefed each morning and during chases on what we were chasing and why. I also had no issues with the information provided prior to the tour or at any stage during. We stayed in good hotels and ate and drank very well! We had very little down time but during these periods we did visit some nice parks and some shops for technical supplies.
Tour guide reviewA very strong point for ETT. All guides were very knowledgeable and experienced chasers who were willing to share their wisdom. I have been on other tours where the information flow was limited at best. We found storms everyday which either produced tornadoes or photographic super cells. All guides had a good sense of humour and made a decent effort to find nice, fun places to eat and drink.
Vehicle reviewThe vehicles were more than comfortable enough with enough room to host multiple suitcases and camera bags etc. The vans also have a see through roof so you can see whats going on above you. We also had a multiple coolers in the back to keep water cool.
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Name: Niels Linthout
Tour: Tour 5
General reviewETT is the best company around, although I haven't sampled any of the others. Being out there in the field with Reed (a few days of the tour at most though) is definitely a highlight! Plus, seeing the Dominator(s) up close is pretty cool too. As far as the tour was concerned, it was simply amazing! Every day (bar the last few days) was a chase day, and we got to see some awesome tornadoes. Including the deadly El Reno one, which got us in some hairy situations, but nothing the dream team of Dave, Kevin, Blake, Shanda and Matt couldn't handle. I felt very comfortable with the tour guides, they are definite pro's! Service was overall very good, although I'd wish they came together once after the season to discuss the good and bad points. That could make the difference. Since we had chase days every day (bar the last few) we didn't encounter any problems. The few small ones that did were handled on the spot. There was no bad weather (apart from the obvious) to speak of. Apart from that ETT is a very professional outfit, and we got on pretty much every tornado out there. I'd say don't hesitate and book yourself on a tour for next year!
Tour guide reviewDave Holder - amazing guy, runs his socks off to make it all happen! Kevin Barton - lovely man, never stops talking and/or singing! Blake Knapp - big dude and ever so nice! Knows a lot about tornadoes and weather. Shanda Hinnant - best driver ever! Will get you there safe and sound! Matt Phelps - awesome, one of the best!
Vehicle reviewThe vehicles are due for an upgrade I would say, although I'm reliably informed that at least one of the vans has already gone through it! Space is a bit limited, so make sure you get a good setup on day 1. Do take some time to figure it all out! ;-) Apart from that there is free wifi on board, the rooftops come of too and there are big coolers for refreshments (ice and water free of charge!).
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