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Advice on trip to CO over President's

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hey there,


I'm beginning to coordinate a trip for my friends out west this year, and would love to get some feedback from you guys on a couple of things.



- My friends and I are in our mid-20s, many of whom are relatively new to snowboarding (they're fine on blues, iffy on blacks) and the rest of whom grew up skiing/snowboarding. Many of us have never been skiing outside of the east coast.

- I will be joining my family in Steamboat over President's week and thought I could get my friends to fly out to Denver for the first half of the week. I've been doing some research on which ski areas might be good for us and am leaning toward Winter Park; we can drive out further to A-Basin or Copper/Keystone/Breck one day, and then I can drive to Steamboat more easily from WP once my friends ship back out. (and then cash in on some of the deals for lift tickets between SB and WP, haha).

- Given that many of my friends are not advanced and it'll be the first time out west for many, I think that they're not particularly looking for crazy steeps or challenging terrain, and would be okay paying less money for lift tickets given that they're not planning to take advantage of the whole mountain. The experienced people among us favor big wide groomers on which they can go really fast, and trees. Based on that I felt like WP would be a good value for us.

- We're hoping to get a big enough group together that things like car rentals and lodging will be less expensive, like 8-12 people.


With that in mind I had a couple of questions:

- Do you think Winter Park makes sense as a base for us? Is the traffic really bad to and from the other mountains I mentioned?

- Would Winter Park be less crowded compared to some of the other ski areas during President's weekend?

- Are the conditions generally reliable for this area in mid-February? (Last season notwithstanding. I know the horror stories for booking trips way in advance, but am I wrong to kind of think that a crappy day out west is still going to be way better than what we're used to in New England? haha.)

- Is there any kind of apres-ski scene? It'll be my birthday during that week, but tbh I'm fine hanging out at home with some booze and board games if it means skiing the next day :)


I welcome any thoughts you have to share, can't wait to get out there again!



post #2 of 4
I think WP would be real fine for your situation and the connection with Steamboat could help you for common ticket deals. There's a pretty significant mountain pass (Berthoud) that you must climb to get from I70 to WP. It is not something to take lightly on a snowy day. Therefore, day trips from WP back towards Copper, Loveland, ABasin, Keystone should probably be reserved for days when the forecast is for clear weather. If you were to consider another base for the first part of your trip Copper might be a good candidate. It also has a nice variety of terrain for your group, may offer a little better crowd disbursement out of the base on busy days, and is near the most common turn off I70 for those bound for Steamboat (RT 9). Believe both WP and Copper have some reciprocal pass deals with Steamboat: http://www.skicolorado.com/Multi-Mountain-Passes.aspx
post #3 of 4

As James indicated, it's a haul from WP to Summit County.  It's a bit closer to Loveland, but it still is a good hour or so if the road conditions are good.


As I understood your plan, you would be at WP early in the week before President's Day, right?  It usually is uncrowded during that time.  President's day weekend is another matter, and traffic will be intense.  So, you ought to plan accordingly.


I thnk WP would be a fine base of operations.  If you are wanting to economize on lift tickets, you might consider a day at Granby Ranch (used to be known as Solvista).  It should be considerably less expensive, and might be a place for everybody to get their Western ski legs before hitting WP.



post #4 of 4
With WP, you need to stay off the WP base to mid-mountain on crowded weekends - it is generally pretty dispersed from there.

Parking on the Jane side and taking the six pack to the top of the mountain can save you a lot of time, and you have access to the big open groomers, trees, bowl, and endless bumps from there.

Not much for après singles scene, but the village has some restaurants and bars so there's a bit more than board games and booze wink.gif

I agree generally that your group doesn't seem to need to switch mountains just for terrain...it sounds more like 'resort bagging' to check them out...and one of the biggest values of WP is you don't have to deal with I-70 through the tunnel (in exchange for the trip over Berthoud).

A day trip from WP to say Copper, if I am reading you correctly, means leaving really early on both ends unless you want to sit in traffic instead of skiing. I personally wouldn't push those logistics for a diverse group unless everybody puts up with the inevitable issues with a good attitude.
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