Pros: Family Atmosphere, Good Mix of Terrain
Cons: Lift System a Bit Confusing, Below Average Snow
I was always told Keystone was a family-oriented resort with a lot of rolling blue cruisers, so I wasn't expecting much of a challenge when we hit it on 2/11/2013. Certainly, there is plenty of family-friendly terrain, but the North Peak and Outback additions provide some long, fairly steep groomers (Last Alamo, Starfire, Porcupine, Elk Run, Anticipation, Spillway, Mozart, Mine Shaft, Diamond Back), as well as a few bump skiing opportunities (Geronimo, Black Hawk, Oh Bob) for advanced-intermediates. We spent the day working from back to front. In the morning, the Outpost Gondola between Dercum and North Peak went through two lengthy stops, which we surmised must've been to load food and supplies for the fancy restaurants on North Peak, so an alternate route to the Outback first thing in the morning is recommended. Lunch at "Lebonte's Cabin" at the base of North Peak was overpriced, as usual ($20 for an 8 oz. cup of chili, two cookies, and a coffee). In the afternoon, we found the lift system on the front side of Dercum Mtn. a bit confusing, particularly trying to find the mid-mountain Montezuma Express lift on a consistent basis.
Overall, I left with a lot more respect for Keystone's terrain. There probably isn't a ton here for true experts and extremists, but beginner through advanced should have no problem finding some fun, speedy cruisers and plenty of trees (especially on the Outback peak). Keystone does appear to have a deserved reputation for having the poorest snowfall out of all the Summit & Eagle Co. resorts, as there were a couple thin spots on the front size and it did not snow much during the time we stayed there.
The village itself is a great place for a family to use as a base, since most of the other Summit and Eagle Co. resorts are within an hour's drive. Most of the off-slope activities and restaurants are geared towards families.