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Vail/Breck/Beaver - current conditions...go or ditch it?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

anyone have any first-hand knowledge of the current conditions at the Epic Pass resorts in Colorado now?  I already have a plane ticket (1/24 - 2/2), but somewhat flexible plans. It looks like they've barely gotten any snow and the forecast looks bleak on www.snowforecast.com or www.accuweather.com

 

is it really pretty terrible?

 

considering maybe somewhere else that the long term forecast says is going to get hit hard in this time period - like whistler, schweitzer or big sky.  Pass covers a few mountains in Tahoe but long range forecast isn't any better for those either...

 

thanks! Josh

post #2 of 10

My information is about 10 days out of date, but my understanding is that limited snowfall has occurred since my departure. 

 

Nearly all grommers are open with some occasional rocks.  Most black runs are open, some with many rocks.  Worse run was on Grouse which looked liked great bumps but resulted in hitting 20+ rocks on a single run.  Best run was in sun up bowl with no rock hits and good bumps.  Things that are closed are most glades, lover’s leap area and other really steep blacks.  I still had a great time despite the conditions.

 

I skied, Vail, BC and non-Epic resorts.  Vail was better than BC.  Sunlight had the best snow of the overall group.

post #3 of 10
Skied Breck both days this past weekend. The groomers are in fine shape and there are few, if any, rocks. There are a few bump runs with ok coverage, but you have to ski with an eye toward organic and mineral matter. There's some ok snow in Horseshoe bowl bit it is very tricky getting into it.

We need snow. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like much is in the immediate future (5-7 day forecast from opensnow.com).

That being said, you can definitely have fun on the little we've got.
Mike
post #4 of 10

There is such decent snow at Steamboat and such amazing snow at Wolf Creek, if you have the flexibility, I'd punt on the big boys until the conditions are better. They aren't bad, but they are better at these other places.

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soopster View Post

Hi,

 

anyone have any first-hand knowledge of the current conditions at the Epic Pass resorts in Colorado now?  I already have a plane ticket (1/24 - 2/2), but somewhat flexible plans. It looks like they've barely gotten any snow and the forecast looks bleak on www.snowforecast.com or www.accuweather.com

 

is it really pretty terrible?

 

considering maybe somewhere else that the long term forecast says is going to get hit hard in this time period - like whistler, schweitzer or big sky.  Pass covers a few mountains in Tahoe but long range forecast isn't any better for those either...

 

thanks! Josh

 

Forecast may be similar, but base is waaaay deeper in Tahoe. 

post #6 of 10

Keystone skied really nice today, but I did hit a few rocks in the Outback trees.  We got a surprise 3" last night and today was the first day in a while that didn`t have a high in the single digits (or lower) and it was gorgeous with clear visibility and views that seemed to go forever.  The new snow was super light and I was really impressed with the grooming.  Had a lot of fun on the newly opened Geronimo? but did hit a few rocks up at the top.

 

Keystone has gotten the least amount of natural snow o fthe Epic resorts, but is doing a good job with what they have.  I was at Breck Saturday, but it was so cold, I did very little other than take my daughter over to her race, but things skied ok.  I haven`t been to Vail yet this week- we have a lot open over there, but much of the coverage is pretty thin on the non-groomers.  Things were ok when I skied BC 12/31 but all the resorts could use more snow to ski to their full potential.   

 

With that said, the forecast for the next week does not look promising so conditions will likely deteriorate some before your trip.  Current conditions beat sitting home on the couch, but if you can switch to Tahoe or delay a bit, that might result in better conditions.

post #7 of 10

Yes if you want to stay on your Epic Pass you're much better off at Tahoe now.  If you want a better shot at fresher snow you probably should be going somewhere in western Canada.

 

The OP did not state his skiing preferences but if he's interested in steeps, bumps or other challenging terrain, going to the I-70 areas with reported base depths under 3 feet is not a good idea for the immediate future.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soopster View Post
 I already have a plane ticket (1/24 - 2/2), but somewhat flexible plans.

 

What are you doing for accommodations?  How much will canceling and re-booking cost?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post

 

I skied, Vail, BC and non-Epic resorts.  Vail was better than BC.  Sunlight had the best snow of the overall group.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattmyers View Post

There is such decent snow at Steamboat and such amazing snow at Wolf Creek, if you have the flexibility, I'd punt on the big boys until the conditions are better. They aren't bad, but they are better at these other places.

 

Tony pretty much nailed it. I think you could still have a good time in CO, but generally you will want to get away from the front range.  I also have a flight in on Southwest 1/24, that I could change at no charge, but I'm still going. 

post #9 of 10

There is going to be almost 0% chance of new snow in Colorado until at least 1/24.  The sbow they have previously gotten is still here and its been cold to date to preserve it, however after the busy MLK holiday weekend, and a week of sunny days the snowpack is going to take a beating.

 

Is it terrible?  No.

Is it where is should be for January?  No, skiing more typical of early December conditions

Should you rebook/reschedule?  That depends - on the type of skiing you desire, your flexibility, willingness to absorb change/cancellation fees, etc.

Are you still going to have a good time if you come to CO then?  Yes.

 

All of the traditional green, blue, black groomers are skiing fine at the I-70 resorts.  Upper Mountain, bowls, off-piste is another matter and can vary from anything to fun soft snow with decent coverage to thin/bare/non-existant snow.

 

I've been bouncing around the Vail Resorts for the past week, including through the cold snap and can tell you the following:

 

Breck - groomers are skiing great, the mountain has been empty mid-week.  Only lift not open is Imperial, however Patrol has been doing control work up top.  With another storm cycle they will try to get some lines open from up there. 

E-Chair - has some soft snow but thin.

Chair 6 is very thin and will likely be fully trashed after a week of sunny days. 

T-Bar has some good snow in Cucumber & Contest Bowl, the main part of the bowl is good if you can pick your way/sidestep/billgoat through the entrance and under the nose.

Peak 7 Bowl is open for hiking from the T-bar traverse, looks pretty wind blown from up high but some of the lower lines are skiing well

 

Vail:  groomers and frontside are skiing well

Chair 11 - soft snow and pretty decent

Back Bowls - got baked in the sun and crusty, very thin/bare spots down low but passible

Blue Sky Basin - ok snow but rocks everywhere

 

If your vacation time and destination is locked in, there is no reason not to go and to have a good time.  If your flexible, than maybe reschedule.  If you are dead set on steep & deep and all that then it may not be the time or place to go. 

 

You are asking for a timeframe that is beyond a reasonable forecast.  Now throught the 24th is going to be dry.  Beyond that time is unknown.  You could get lucky and catch a good storm cycle during your time. Anything beyond 7-10 days is unknown.  The reality is that with a dry spell like this, it will likely break (hopefully soon, they always do right?)

post #10 of 10
Joel is forecasting snow returning to CO around the 28th...

http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/colorado

Mike
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