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Ice and Corn; Spring break in Summit County, CO 3/11-3/17

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Although I had a great time the snow conditions were far from ideal, due to the warm weather and lack of snow.  Mornings were very icy; basically skiing on groomed ice frozen solid.  Groomed slopes would start softening up mid morning, whereas off piste would soften up after lunch.  Some good corn runs off piste in the afternoon. 

We skied the first 2 days at Breck; nice variety of terrain but too crowded at the lower lifts; Monday was just as bad as Sunday if not worse; it seemed like all of Texas was at Breck.  Lesson: Don’t ski Breck during TX spring break.  Keystone (3rd day) was surprisingly not as crowded, no lines at all on the 2nd and 3rd peaks; even the main mountain lines were not that bad.  The coverage was pretty bad though; lots of tree runs were completely bare; NO off-piste skiing possible (bummer).   I would’nt mind going back there on a good snow year to sample the tree skiing.  The 4th day my family took a day off and I skied with a ski buddy at Vail.  $116, ouch.  Morning was icy; after skiing a few groomers on the front we decided mid-morning to head to Blue Sky Basin on the back side; figure it was north facing so maybe it had not melted; big mistake; it was solid ice and all off-piste.  We hit the back side again after lunch and it was perfect; all softened up.  Was a good day of skiing including some mogul runs on the front.  5th day at A-basin; skied in the morning with family on the front side; was nice, snow was decent and no crowds.  A-basin ratings are pretty aggressive, front side green runs would be blue on all resorts I know of, some blues would be black at 95% of resorts.  Jim & myself skied the back bowl in the afternoon which had softened up by then.  Friday, day 6, skied Loveland.  I liked Loveland; lots of high alpine terrain, no lines, and 0.39 times the price of Vail.  Nothing too steep except for the top of bowls right off the highest ridge/lift, but definitely worth it.  Day 7 Vince, Jim and myself did a back-country trip off Guanella Pass.  We could drive up to 1.5miles of the pass from the southern side in a 4WD truck including some snow packed sections.  We hiked up the road to the pass and little higher, and then skied down the valley.  The views were great, and almost no other people.  Snow was hard packed wind blown ice; our skis could barely make a mark in the snow.  I still had a great time and really enjoyed being out there; even managed to make so force some tele turns.


Worse snowpack I have ever seen in the Summit county area; this is my 4th trip up there.

post #2 of 3

Ex, sounds like you still maxed-out for the 7-days. Ugh, $116 ticket price is quite a price point.

I just plunked down $335 for a 4 of 7 Vail Resorts ticket that doesn't start 'til the 9th.                                                                              I'll be licking up the remains of this winter in a week, but will start @ Copper.

Too much sun, too little freeze-thaw cycle for this time of year.


As far as Breck goes, the lifts around the upper bowls is the best place but later in the morning.

Still have to time it right before going all the way up. Sleep in! Fat skis aren't as happy on frozen corduroy.

Looks like a cool-down this weekend, but back up on monday.

Yikes, I hope there are a few gnarly strips of white left when I get there.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Use an older pair or skis or board if you have some.  You will be skiing through some shrubs if you go off piste and probably a rock or two; don't have to worry about picking your line in bowls since the obstacles pretty much define it.  I like Vail because they actually groom some runs in the morning, not the night before so that you can at least warm up on groomers that are not completely solid.  Though this may depend on the temperature....

Good luck.

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