or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Colorado thanksgiving trip

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
Looking to make a trip to Colorado the day after thanksgiving. Looking for any input where to stay,restaurants, ease of drive from Denver, etc. never been out of the Midwest skiing, I'm trying to research as much as possible, i know no one has a crystal ball, but is skiing usually decent at that time of year? Looking at winter park or brekenridge.
post #2 of 81
Thread Starter 
Moved to different forum
post #3 of 81

Sking is rarely decent by Thanksgiving at least by my standards of skiing.   May be ok for a local to go and hit up a few runs, but the cost of a trip for an out of towner, I just don't see the value.

 

Heck I worry about snow conditions for Christmas in Summit county most years.

 

Over the span of the next 10 days there is no noticable weather fronts comming so expect to be skiing mostly man made snow groomers.  With less than 20% of the available terrain open.  Winter Park is not even slated to open till Nov 14.

 

Take a look at the current web cams at the resorts and it will show you what the snow levels look like.  Finding lodging should not be a problem.  I would revaluated your decision in 2 weeks.

 

Pray for snow.

post #4 of 81

Breck is a great town to stay in, but when skiing that early I prefer keystone or loveland. Their early season snow making is decent and the man made snow groomers are a bit steeper and more exciting than Breck's lower mountain.  The top of the mountain at Breck is awesome but it won't be open then.  It's an easy 1.5 hour drive to Frisco or Dillon which would give you some flexibility to hit a few resorts in the area.  I'm not familiar what early season is like at winter park.

post #5 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManyRuns View Post

Breck is a great town to stay in, but when skiing that early I prefer keystone or loveland. Their early season snow making is decent and the man made snow groomers are a bit steeper and more exciting than Breck's lower mountain.  The top of the mountain at Breck is awesome but it won't be open then.  It's an easy 1.5 hour drive to Frisco or Dillon which would give you some flexibility to hit a few resorts in the area.  I'm not familiar what early season is like at winter park.

 

I agree with this.  I would direct the OP towards Keystone for that time of year.  The front side will have enough groomers open to have a great time.

 

Guy has never been skiing outside of the Midwest.  Let's be honest, he is used to skiing groomers and man-made snow all day long.  It will be a treat to simply get some awesome views and have those groomers go on for what seems like forever.  He doesn't necessarily need the bowls and trees to be filled in to have a great trip.

 

That said, OP, if you are flexible and can come out in Jan-Feb-March instead, by all means, do that.

post #6 of 81

If you're flexible on dates, you should definitely reschedule for later in the season.  But if that's your only available weekend, or you are travelling to CO for work or another reason, you might as well get some skiing while you are out here, especially if you have never skiied outside of the Midwest.  You'll get early season ticket prices at most resorts, crowds and traffic shouldn't be too bad, and you'll still get to experience a lot more vertical and terrain options than anything you've skiied in the Midwest

post #7 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenpenny View Post

If you're flexible on dates, you should definitely reschedule for later in the season.  But if that's your only available weekend, or you are travelling to CO for work or another reason, you might as well get some skiing while you are out here, especially if you have never skiied outside of the Midwest.  You'll get early season ticket prices at most resorts, crowds and traffic shouldn't be too bad, and you'll still get to experience a lot more vertical and terrain options than anything you've skiied in the Midwest

 

I would consider rescheduling based on conditions alone.  So far it has been a pretty dry fall. Wold Creek, which gets more snow than anywhere else in Colorado, has yet to receieve ANY snowfall. Areas up North are doing a bit better, but not its not looking great.

 

Thanksgiving is NOT prime ski season in Colorado.  Aspen typically only opens for Thanksgiving week, and only has a handful of runs open. Many smaller areas do not schedule a Thanksgiving opening and only open if they get good November snow, which can be hit or miss.

 

Areas with substantial snowmaking infrastructure are normally 30% or less open by Thanksgiving.

 

Despite the snow, lots of crowds come out for Thanksgiving, so the experience can be very crowded and very limited skiing.  Christmas isn't even a sure bet for snow- many resorts do not get 100% open until some point in January.

 

If this was my first trip to Colorado. I would WAIT WAIT WAIT.

 

Colorado gets most of its snow in March.  April skiing is generally awesome too.

 

Resorts in Colorado typically close for the year with 100% of their terrain still open- they close not for lack of good skiing, but lack of crowds to justify turning the lifts. Last year could be the exception that proves the rule.

post #8 of 81

If you do decde to come out for Thanksgiving, Loveland is probably your best bet.  They have the snowmaking capacity to get aout 10 runs open by Thanksgiving, regardless of what happens with natural snow.

 

Keystone is another.

 

But really, skiing Colorado in Thanksgiving is not really a Colorado ski experience.

post #9 of 81

One more thing, to continue spamming this thread.

 

If you are going to come out for Thanksgiving, order one of these cards TODAY (it needs to be shipped to you, so you have it by the time you leave).

 

http://www.coloradoski.com/colorado-gems-card

 

The 2 for 1 and $41 lift ticket at Loveland are a better deal than you will find for tickets pretty much anywhere.

 

If you have second thoughs about skiing Loveland vs. larger resort areas, lose them.  There is almost never any advanced terrain open for Thanksgiving, and the manmade-snow groomed runs that will be open will be pretty indistinguishable no matter where you go.

 

Not to mention that many (myself included) like Loveland's terrain much more than Breck- at least what's left of Brecks terrain after what seems like half the planet skis it everyday...

post #10 of 81

Agree with the other posters, but think you should also consider Copper Mountain.  Keystone can have some decent man made terrain open also, but tends to be more crowded because it is on the Epic Pass.

 

I haven`t skied that often Thanksgiving, but I think Sunday tends to be less crowded than Saturday or Friday- most people have had their fill by then and are heading home.

post #11 of 81

Thanksgiving isn’t going to be the best, but I would recommend Copper or Winter Park. You can buy 4 packs for about $165 for each of the mountains.

 

Loveland is okay, but for your first time in Colorado, I wouldn’t recommend it. The altitude will kick your ass (11000 ft+) and it’s really nothing special (slow lifts, short runs, North Pole like weather). It’s a good place to go after your bored of the big boys, but that takes years to accomplish.  

 

Winter Park and Copper should both have close to 2000’ of vert up and running. Enjoy your trip. 

post #12 of 81

Are you driving to CO?  While I wouldn't recommend flying in, just to ski at Thanksgiving. I don't see a problem with driving at the last minute, if it looks promising?

Lodging won't be an issue and generally,  I'd recommend getting as far from Denver as possible.

 

Barring a big storm dumping somewhere like the San Juan's or an up slope.  I bet Ajax Express will have the best skiing on 11/21?

 

I take my water skiing buddies to Aspen every year for Highland's opener (12/8 this year) and it's almost always pretty good.

post #13 of 81
Thread Starter 
We would fly into Denver on the Friday after thanksgiving and the leave as late as possible on Monday.
post #14 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weedsnager View Post

We would fly into Denver on the Friday after thanksgiving and the leave as late as possible on Monday.

What do you know about adjusting to high altitude?  Trying to do a ski weekend in Colorado . . . any time . . . might be tough for some people from the flatlands.  Does everyone in the group ski black runs in the Midwest?

post #15 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

What do you know about adjusting to high altitude?  Trying to do a ski weekend in Colorado . . . any time . . . might be tough for some people from the flatlands.  Does everyone in the group ski black runs in the Midwest?

Absolutely nothing. Never been out of Wisconsin or Michigan skiing. Every one skis the blacks in the Midwest.
post #16 of 81

I pondered a drive out thanksgiving week as kids are out of school the whole week.  I've been watching some web cams and have been leaning towards skipping an early trip simply for the bang for the buck.

 

Higher altitude would likely have better chance of having kept whatever is there now at the detriment of altitude sickness.  There's some threads on minimizing, I've been lucky by not having issues but others in my group had, but if your going anyhow besides the skiing enjoy the chance to hang, relax and have fun.  if getting later Friday, you can always consider hanging in Denver to acclimate a bit.

post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weedsnager View Post

Looking to make a trip to Colorado the day after thanksgiving. Looking for any input where to stay,restaurants, ease of drive from Denver, etc. never been out of the Midwest skiing, I'm trying to research as much as possible, i know no one has a crystal ball, but is skiing usually decent at that time of year? Looking at winter park or brekenridge.


Vail,but it will not be cheap yet neither is Breckenridge . It is an extra 30 minute drive or so past Breckenridge but its worth it .

One big problem however . Most of the terrain at all of these resorts will be closed unless there are some huge dumps before Thanksgiving .Vail's Back Bowls will be closed and that's a big reason to ski Vail.

Vail has vastly improved their snowmaking capabilities over the least couple of years but skiing usually isn't that good around Thanksgiving .

A great place for breakfast before driving up the mountain in Denver is Snooze but go very early as both locations get busy fast .

I have not skied Winter Park but I believe they have train service from Denver . I'm not sure if its daily but that would be one way
to avoid the horrendous I70 traffic . This may be a good choice for you if it's a day trip scenario.
post #18 of 81

I can see going to Colorado for a week.  Say it takes a day or two to acclimate.  Still get several days of complete fun on the slopes.  Can't see that happening when arriving on Fri and leaving Mon.  A big risk is that someone in the group feels awful all weekend.  My husband had a business trip to Denver a couple years ago.  The family went along for fun.  Even after a couple days in Denver, it was tough for me to take a small hike up in the mountains at over 8000 ft.  Altitude is one of the reasons I would rather fly to SLC instead of Denver for a short trip, even though the flight costs a bit more.

 

Most of the SLC resorts will open mid-Nov, including Alta.  Since there is snowmaking available at Park City and Brighton, a group who stays in the city could certainly have a lot of fun somewhere.  Only need to drive an hour or less.  Could even extend the ski day with night skiing at Brighton or PCMR, assuming not too tired.

 

http://www.skisaltlake.com/official-utah-ski-season-opening-closing-dates.htm

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weedsnager View Post


Absolutely nothing. Never been out of Wisconsin or Michigan skiing. Every one skis the blacks in the Midwest.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post

I pondered a drive out thanksgiving week as kids are out of school the whole week.  I've been watching some web cams and have been leaning towards skipping an early trip simply for the bang for the buck.

 

Higher altitude would likely have better chance of having kept whatever is there now at the detriment of altitude sickness.  There's some threads on minimizing, I've been lucky by not having issues but others in my group had, but if your going anyhow besides the skiing enjoy the chance to hang, relax and have fun.  if getting later Friday, you can always consider hanging in Denver to acclimate a bit.

post #19 of 81
I'd look at Beaver Creek for that weekend. Everything east of that will be crowded with it being a holiday weekend and limited terrain open. Unless we get a bunch of snow between now and then, you'd be better off skiing Boyne or Lutsen at Thanksgiving and saving your flight money for later in the season.

All that said, Loveland will be closest to the airport for the trip to DIA on Monday. If you drive to Silverthorne/Dillon and find lodging, you can get to Copper or Loveland or Keystone or Breck by bus if you wish, or to Vail and Beaver Creek by car.
post #20 of 81

There is never any snow around thanksgiving on 98% of seasons.  I live in WP.  On thanksgiving, if it's like every other year they will have 2 or 3 short runs with man-made snow on them open and HUUUUUUUGE lines.  Every other resort in Colorado would be about the same around that time.  The big snow months for Colorado are February and March.  You should come then.  April is also usually good if you like slush.  I would not come at thanksgiving.  I wouldn't even bother driving 10 minutes to ski then and I won't. 

post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

I can see going to Colorado for a week.  Say it takes a day or two to acclimate.  Still get several days of complete fun on the slopes.  Can't see that happening when arriving on Fri and leaving Mon.  A big risk is that someone in the group feels awful all weekend.  My husband had a business trip to Denver a couple years ago.  The family went along for fun.  Even after a couple days in Denver, it was tough for me to take a small hike up in the mountains at over 8000 ft.  Altitude is one of the reasons I would rather fly to SLC instead of Denver for a short trip, even though the flight costs a bit more.

 

Most of the SLC resorts will open mid-Nov, including Alta.  Since there is snowmaking available at Park City and Brighton, a group who stays in the city could certainly have a lot of fun somewhere.  Only need to drive an hour or less.  Could even extend the ski day with night skiing at Brighton or PCMR, assuming not too tired.

 

http://www.skisaltlake.com/official-utah-ski-season-opening-closing-dates.htm

 

 


Is there really that much difference between CO and UT? I realize Summit County resorts are high, but if you're winded at 8,000 feet, wouldn't you feel that in UT too? It's not like it's that low. SLC is at about 4,300 feet; Denver is the mile high city. If you really want to lose altitude, you should probably be looking at BC or WA.

 

Also is altitude a huge deal breaker for skiing? I could see it ruining a hike, bike or ski tour, but you're going downhill. Take a few extra breaks to catch your breath, drink more water than you're used to and don't mess with alcohol, if you're worried about it. At least that's the way it was for me (except for that alcohol part :) the first time I went from a life of no altitude (NJ) to Copper, which is a high resort.

 

Not saying it doesn't hit others harder, but I don't think it should dissuade anyone from taking a ski trip unless they know for a fact that it's going to be miserable. If you want to ski big mountains, you'll have to deal with altitude.

post #22 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


Is there really that much difference between CO and UT? I realize Summit County resorts are high, but if you're winded at 8,000 feet, wouldn't you feel that in UT too? It's not like it's that low. SLC is at about 4,300 feet; Denver is the mile high city. If you really want to lose altitude, you should probably be looking at BC or WA.

 

Also is altitude a huge deal breaker for skiing? I could see it ruining a hike, bike or ski tour, but you're going downhill. Take a few extra breaks to catch your breath, drink more water than you're used to and don't mess with alcohol, if you're worried about it. At least that's the way it was for me (except for that alcohol part :) the first time I went from a life of no altitude (NJ) to Copper, which is a high resort.

 

Not saying it doesn't hit others harder, but I don't think it should dissuade anyone from taking a ski trip unless they know for a fact that it's going to be miserable. If you want to ski big mountains, you'll have to deal with altitude.

I'm an older skier, mid-50's.  One symptom for the first day or two at high altitude is difficulty sleeping.  For me, being more winded and fatigued because of altitude adjustment is a significant issue for a ski trip.  It means I won't be willing to spend more time on more challenging terrain in order to play it safe.  I see less reason to bother to take a short trip, as in 2-3 days of skiing with more or less a day of travel time before and after.  That's what the OP is proposing.

 

I've done ski trips for a week or more to SLC.  Staying in the city and skiing at Alta/Snowbird is fine after the first day.  I last a lot longer by the third day.  When I stay at Alta Lodge at 8000 ft, it's easy to take a longer break mid-day if needed.  From my reading, somewhere around 9000 ft is a significant change point in terms of where you spend the majority of your time.  But essentially I just do it because I love Alta, so pushing through the first day or two is worth it. biggrin.gif

post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


Is there really that much difference between CO and UT? I realize Summit County resorts are high, but if you're winded at 8,000 feet, wouldn't you feel that in UT too? It's not like it's that low. SLC is at about 4,300 feet; Denver is the mile high city. If you really want to lose altitude, you should probably be looking at BC or WA.

 

Also is altitude a huge deal breaker for skiing? I could see it ruining a hike, bike or ski tour, but you're going downhill. Take a few extra breaks to catch your breath, drink more water than you're used to and don't mess with alcohol, if you're worried about it. At least that's the way it was for me (except for that alcohol part :) the first time I went from a life of no altitude (NJ) to Copper, which is a high resort.

 

Not saying it doesn't hit others harder, but I don't think it should dissuade anyone from taking a ski trip unless they know for a fact that it's going to be miserable. If you want to ski big mountains, you'll have to deal with altitude.

Can only speak for myself, but I see a pretty big difference in enjoyment on first day of ski trip between UT and CO.  Specifically, Snowbasin(~6500-9500) vs Loveland (~10500-12500).  At Snowbasin I can go about 90%, at Loveland about 65% on first day at altitude coming from sea level.  For someone making a short trip, say three days of skiing, some folks would only just be feeling adjusted on the day to go home.  Even a full week in Summit County is tough for me because of lousy sleeping.  So yeah, it can be somewhat detrimental, if not a deal breaker.  Should add, I too am pushing 60 and have track record of mild altitude sickness at western resorts. 

 

For OP:  I would second Beaver Creek, if budget allows.  Stay cheap at Comfort Inn in Avon, take free bus to lifts.  Slightly lower elevation than others and possibly lower crowds with good early snowmaking/grooming.  Super posh set up that is sure to impress.  Otherwise, Loveland and Abasin have lots of soul and can be quite a bit cheaper.

post #24 of 81

I also see a huge difference between CO and UT. The difference is sleeping over 9K in Summit County. Even at Alta you're sleeping under 9K. Seems to make a difference. I don't even notice the altitude when I stay in Park City at 6500. But when I used to stay in Summit County CO, definitely used to feel it. However, I now live at 2500 feet. I wonder if it's the difference in altitude between what you're used to and where you go. I haven't been back to CO since I started living at 2500 ft. i wonder if it would make a difference.   

post #25 of 81

If this trip allows you to make an extra West trip this season, go for it.  BUT, if you are only able to make 1 trip and can do it later in the season, do that instead.

 

I am not sure how the Utah skiing is that time of year or what your flight options are, but SLC is closer to the mountains and lower elevation, so that seems to set up better for a weekend trip by low landers as it allows you to follow the old adage of climb high sleep low.


Edited by MEfree30 - 11/5/12 at 7:36am
post #26 of 81

[quote]I also see a huge difference between CO and UT. The difference is sleeping over 9K in Summit County. Even at Alta you're sleeping under 9K. Seems to make a difference. I don't even notice the altitude when I stay in Park City at 6500. But when I used to stay in Summit County CO, definitely used to feel it.[/quote]

 

Just wanted to chime in that, having been to both places, I had a noticeably rougher time with the altitude in Summit County.  Being above 8-9K feet all the time seems to make a big difference vs. skiing high and sleeping (relatively) low in SLC.

 

Of course, it didn't help that our first day was at A-basin.  IIRC the parking lot there is higher than the top of Snowbird...

post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weedsnager View Post


Absolutely nothing. Never been out of Wisconsin or Michigan skiing. Every one skis the blacks in the Midwest.

 

Just FYI, your average Midwest black will be in line with your average green out West, especially when coupled with every run being several times the vert found in the Midwest. That said, the snow will be much softer in Colorado, even the early-season manmade that you will be dealing with Thanksgiving week in Colorado.

 

I'm just pointing out if this is a first time ever trip for you, I would worry more about how much acreage and snow coverage is down rather than which mountain has the toughest terrain (again, its rare for ANY advanced terrain to be open Thanksgiving).  Its pretty unlikely that you won't find enough challenge on your first trip out West.
 

post #28 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

Just FYI, your average Midwest black will be in line with your average green out West, especially when coupled with every run being several times the vert found in the Midwest. That said, the snow will be much softer in Colorado, even the early-season manmade that you will be dealing with Thanksgiving week in Colorado.

 

I'm just pointing out if this is a first time ever trip for you, I would worry more about how much acreage and snow coverage is down rather than which mountain has the toughest terrain (again, its rare for ANY advanced terrain to be open Thanksgiving).  Its pretty unlikely that you won't find enough challenge on your first trip out West.
 

Its limited, but Keystone and Copper already have some solid blue terrain open.  Copper has its speed course under the Superbee open for the race teams now- parts of that are advanced terrain (especially for someone coming from the mid west) and I would be surprised if that is not open to the public for Thanksgiving.  

post #29 of 81
Thread Starter 
After reading everyone's advice, I think we are going to try and go for a week sometime in February, right now we are looking at vail.
post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

Just FYI, your average Midwest black will be in line with your average green out West, especially when coupled with every run being several times the vert found in the Midwest. That said, the snow will be much softer in Colorado, even the early-season manmade that you will be dealing with Thanksgiving week in Colorado.


 

If I'm reading right, I don't feel a Midwest Black is similar to a West Green.  Maybe a Midwest Blue/Green is close to a West Green, but i've never a noted a significant difference other than lenght/vertical, which is definitely great out west.  Agree too on the typically harder pack .. much harder after a week of sun.   Would agree that terrain would be limited and given the choice, waiting till Feb is a good choice since it's do-able.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion