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Thoughts on Loveland?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Haven't been on here in a while, but had a question and couldn't think of a better place to go. I'm a graduate student in the Denver area and I've only ever skied in Utah and occasionally down in the San Juan's at Telluride but this year I was looking for a season pass for a resort around Denver. Loveland came up as a nice sort of "mom and pop" style resort without all the "sophisticated" Vail/ Aspen gapers and hot chocolate sippers (although I love me some hot chocolate myself, especially with some Bailey's). 

 

Anyways, I guess this is more for Colorado natives but what is the word on Loveland? I got this pass because it was cheap (only $269 as a pre-season special) and it's close (right before the Eisenhower tunnel) and they report an average of around 400 inches per year so that seems decent enough plus it's got a decent size to it, seemingly minimal crowds and what appears to be some easily accessible (i.e. not a bad hike) back/side country. 

post #2 of 17

Good food, good parking, laid back. Lotta good diehard skiers there, plus families & retirees as well. 

 

Loveland skiing can be great or not; it's more dependent on a good snow year than many other places.  Their snowmaking areas are fairly limited and snowmaking efforts don't go very far either time-wise or terrain-wise.  Cruising terrain is pretty limited and can get boring after a few runs.  When the steeps, trees, & upper bowls open up, the going gets good.  That can happen by early/mid December in a good snow year, more typically sometime in January, and in a dry year like last year some of the best lines won't get covered at all.  

 

You'll either love the high alpine conditions, unpredictable and extreme weather, & very mixed snow conditions, or you'll go home to mama.  Wind is usually a factor.  But that can be a good thing.  Leeward slopes can get good blower snow many days after a storm.

 

Personally, I think it's great.  More of a basic back to roots experience.

post #3 of 17

You are going to love it and that's a great pass price.  You'll find out that the parking situation (close to lifts and free) is a big plus compared to some of the more famous neighbors.  I've made ti it a point to ski at least a day or two there during three different trips to CO and it always exceeds my modest expectations.  Much of the lift served terrain is especially well suited for intermediates, but if you are an expert and start to get bored I'm sure you can latch on to a few stray discount tickets at nearby ski areas for more variety.

 

 

Loveland view from Over the Rainbow trail with the  terrain of chairs 9 and 4 in far background. Loveland has about 2100' vertical, but skis pretty big due to enormous horizontal spread, ~4 mile wide high cirque that is all lift served.

post #4 of 17

It's a decent option if your living along the front range?

 

 

 

You would be foolish not to get at least a four day, Aspen Classic pass.   They sell them in the fall until November.

post #5 of 17

Try PMing Noodler, he is our ambassador for Loveland and may have some good advice for you. 

post #6 of 17

Pluses:

 

laid back

free parking

close to Denver

great shop and demos

some moderately steep hike to terrain

interesting open bowl terrain making for lots of line choices

I've skied powder there in May on a good year

Some truly beautiful vistas

 

 

Minuses:

 

Can be brutally windy (but as mentioned above, that can be a good thing -- also because it keeps the feint of heart off the slopes)

a chunk of the terrain that looks to be great hike-to is not worth the schlep

the steeps are mostly very short shots into flat stuff

you could get bored

no place convenient to stay if I70 is a zoo or you are too tired to drive back to town or want to stay for a few days (have to go to Georgetown which is extremely limited or Dillon which is through the tunnel or over the pass)

You're skiing over the highway/tunnel -- literally.

 

On balance, the pros outweigh the cons IMHO so have fun.

 

PS: winter park and copper have pretty dang cheap passes too, or you can augment with Four-packs to those resorts...

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post

 

PS: winter park and copper have pretty dang cheap passes too, or you can augment with Four-packs to those resorts...

 

Yes, and they often sell a "five pack" for the 4-pack price around Labor Day, so keep your eyes open. Also, ABasin usually sells cheap 4-packs during Sniagrab, too. 

post #8 of 17

Others have covered LL pretty well.  I have gotten a 4 pack there for the last several years as they can get some nice mid-week days where the powder lasts.  In the spring you might be lucky enough to catch a wrap around storm that doesn`t drop much at the other resorts.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

It's a decent option if your living along the front range?

 

 

 

You would be foolish not to get at least a four day, Aspen Classic pass.   They sell them in the fall until November.

I love Aspen, but that is a bit of a strong statement to throw out at a graduate student (who might be on a tight budget).  He`ll likely pay close to the same price for the Classic pass as the entire season at LL and then have to figure something out for lodging.  I think LL passes include 3 days at Monarch and 3 at Durango, so his road trip money might stretch longer going those places and not having to pay for lift tickets. 

 

With that said, I`d be more than happy to make some more turns with you at Ajax and take advantage of some of the best apre in the States.  Do you know if they do any lift ticket deals for Vail Instructors?

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot everyone appreciate the insight! Looking forward to the season for sure after reading all this, I've been watching ski videos and trailers all day haha (TGR's "Dream Factory" looks awesome). I like the variable conditions, gives you character as a skier IMO. 

 

Winter Park does have decent prices too, I've heard good things about Mary Jane would anyone recommend that over Loveland? It seems like, from the website anyway, that it would be slightly more crowded?

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by baloo0 View Post

 I've heard good things about Mary Jane would anyone recommend that over Loveland? 

 

How much do you like bumps? 

 

MJ is great, maybe a bit more crowded than LL, but that's not hard to do. That said, I haven't been to either place on a weekend in many years. (I take that back, I've been to Loveland very late in the season a few times on weekends, so that doesn't really count.)

post #11 of 17

I luv Loveland!  So close and friendly.  Check out the reviews in the resort section here as well. This will be my 3rd season in Colorado and I keep finding myself at LL more and more.  I'll probably also get a Copper 5 day pass as I like checking out a new mountain every year.

 

Being on east side of the tunnel is HUGE!  On a good day you could make it there from Denver in 45 minutes, park next to the lift, have a great day, and be back to class by 1PM.  Often there's no crowds and the POW will last for days.  This year they will be offering free snow cat rides out along the ridge!...I'm anxious to check that out.  In this lackluster past season, I thought LL had better expert terrain open than Breck (top of the mt was a rock field), Key (don't have much expert terrain), and Abasin (miserable year), with the stuff under Chair 1; most of the bowls never even opened.  I got several nice POW days as they dropped ropes with terrain opening slowly.

 

LL lacks sustained long steep pitches, lifts are slow though you won't wait in lines and it gets windy.

 

You're going to have an awesome time.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post  Do you know if they do any lift ticket deals for Vail Instructors?

 

I think it's everybody but VR?  A Colorado Ski USA deal?

 

 

The Classic Pass is a great deal, just to get away from the crowds of the front range on holiday weekends?  To me, no lift lines is huge!  Drive up early on a Saturday morning, stay at the St. Moritz, drive back late Sunday night?     Just trying to point the guy in the right direction?  

 

I haven't skied the front range in a long time, but I did prefer WP/MJ over Loveland, back in the day.  But I also stayed there, so the drive wasn't as big of an issue as it is now?

post #13 of 17

I'm on my 10th? year with a WP pass and skied Loveland at least a few days virtually every year except last :-( year

 

They are very different places.

 

WP is a resort, Loveland is not, although the Mary Jane side of WP has a sort of Loveland feel with a small base and free parking. WP/MJ is much bigger than Loveland. Lots of great tree skiing and great bumps as was said. WP is not a super steep mountain, although you can find more actual acreage of steep terrain there than exists in Loveland. It doesn't have as much open above tree-line skiing as loveland does. Parsenn bowl looks like that on the map, but is kinda short with a large portion in the intermediate range, and can get crowded. The Cirque is hike to and comparable to Loveland's ridge, but a bit longer and steeper. But it's often closed. If you learn your way around the C-lift and the Eagle lift, you can ski trees all day long and rarely share your run with another skier or wait in line. Oh, and Berthoud Pass can be an issue on just the days you want to ski, when it's snowing hard!

 

I really love both mountains for totally different reasons.

 

Honestly, if you bought the Loveland pass you will have a great time this winter and you shouldn't fret over it. you can try a day or two at a few other mountains and then choose a different one for the following season.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by baloo0 View Post

I like the variable conditions, gives you character as a skier IMO. 

beercheer.gif

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManyRuns View Post

I luv Loveland!  So close and friendly.  Check out the reviews in the resort section here as well. This will be my 3rd season in Colorado and I keep finding myself at LL more and more.  I'll probably also get a Copper 5 day pass as I like checking out a new mountain every year.

 

Being on east side of the tunnel is HUGE!  On a good day you could make it there from Denver in 45 minutes, park next to the lift, have a great day, and be back to class by 1PM.  Often there's no crowds and the POW will last for days.  This year they will be offering free snow cat rides out along the ridge!...I'm anxious to check that out.  In this lackluster past season, I thought LL had better expert terrain open than Breck (top of the mt was a rock field), Key (don't have much expert terrain), and Abasin (miserable year), with the stuff under Chair 1; most of the bowls never even opened.  I got several nice POW days as they dropped ropes with terrain opening slowly.

 

LL lacks sustained long steep pitches, lifts are slow though you won't wait in lines and it gets windy.

 

You're going to have an awesome time.

 

Yeah I'm really looking forward to the free snowcat rides! That was actually one of the reasons that I went with a Loveland pass over Winter Park. I'm OK with slower lift speeds and wind if the lines are kept to a minimum and the skiing is good  smile.gif

post #16 of 17

I miss skiing Loveland lots.

 

Laid back, great lunch spots throughout the mtn, a dive bar that has actual affordable draft specials, a great ski shop, nice local people that rip, a reputation that keeps everybody away on a snowy day and just enough tight tree lines to find untracked goodness on those days. Yeah LL is good times!

post #17 of 17

I wish I could get a LL pass. I'll likely get a few days there this year. You can't go wrong there. 

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