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Colorado second week of March

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

New here and would greatly appreciate help from more experienced people. My son and I found some cheap tickets to Denver and are looking for some place that's a good fit for us I ski he rides. We both are advanced for the Midwest I know it’s not the same as advanced in the west but we ski/ride aggressively mostly black diamond runs anywhere we go in Michigan with all our 300 to 500 ft of vertical. I guess what I’m saying is we like steep runs but will not go off piste at all and we both are in good physical condition for what ever that’s worth. We land in Denver Wednesday at 7:15 PM and leave Sunday at 7:05 PM and would like to ski/ride Thursday, Friday, Saturday and maybe half a day Sunday since we have a later flight back. I will rent a car and drive either Wednesday night or early Thursday morning depending where we go. After looking at reviews here I’ve narrowed it down to Crested Butte, Steamboat or Winter park but I’m open to suggestions or any help anyone can offer. As mush as I would love ski in ski out it’s not in the budget so we will drive or take a shuttle to the resort. Also looked at Loveland Keystone area as well and found a hotel $175 per night and that includes two lift tickets to Loveland I don’t know if that a good price or not?

Our main priority since anything is an improvement is

 

-Within 4 hrs of Denver

 

-Less crowded

 

-Challenging Groomers

 

-Price

 

I have been too Breckenridge 25 years ago but my son has not ridden outside Michigan so just about anything in Colorado is going to be a big improvement.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 18

How much did you pay for the plane tickets, out of interest?

 

I'm not sure CB is within 4 hours drive of Denver. Steamboat would be, I think. But probably not in weather.

 

That's all I can give you, I'll leave it up to the CO experts.

 

Good luck.

post #3 of 18

Loveland would be a great fit for you, perhaps for Sat and part of Sunday.  It's closer than most for a return to airport.  Winter Park might be outstanding for first part of trip.  Copper too.

CB and Steamboat are a bit further to try to incorporate into relatively short visit flying into DIA.

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

The tickets were $180 ea round trip non-stop I thought that was a good price.

post #5 of 18

I agree with Jamesj for the most part...as far as steep groomers go (I think that is what you were asking for by saying that you will not go off piste, but like steeper terrain), Copper has some under the Super Bee lift while Keystone has Go Devil on the lookers right of the resort off Peru lift.  I have mostly skied Loveland on spring powder days, but don`t really recall them grooming any of their steeper stuff.  

 

I was at Beaver Creek yesterday and they had some of their steeper pitches off the Centennial lift groomed.  The Birds of Prey downhill run is also groomed at times.  BC tends to be less crowded than some of the other I-70 resorts and you might be able to find a decent deal in Avon (and possibly Edwards or Eagle Vail).

 

Lift ticket deals will be easier to find for Copper and LL than KS or BC. 

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

I never considered Copper it is close enough but how crowded does it get Friday's & Saturday's? I have been looking liftopia for tickets any lodging suggestions?
 

post #7 of 18
Copper doesn't get very crowded. Lift lines won't be longer than 5 minutes.
post #8 of 18

I think you’re considering some good ski areas.  One additional option you might consider is Aspen.  The cheapest way to do it is to stay in Glenwood at a basic hotel (with $75 lift tickets) and drive 45 min to skiing each day.  Aspen has 4 ski areas including Snowmass which has tons of groomers.  You also have a smaller ski area in Glenwood (Sunlight, discount tix about $40) which is rustic but fun for a day.

 

Aspen, CB and Steamboat are far enough from Denver that crowds will be very light.  All the ski areas within 2 hours of Denver will surge with day skiers.  Sometimes that means 30 minute plus lift lines, sometimes it’s just lots of skiers with lines only on certain lifts.  I recommend driving farther to avoid the lines, enjoy runs to yourself and better snow conditions. 

 

You can always ski the last day at copper on your way back to the airport.  Be mindful of i70 traffic on Sundays and leave early or plan to add 90 minutes to travel time.

post #9 of 18


Best option for lower lodging prices in Summit County is to avoid the lodging right at the ski areas and stay in Frisco, Dillon or Silverthorne.  Each is only a short drive to any of the ski areas.  Lots of motels, inns and condos in those three towns.  Ticket deals for Breck and Keystone are few, but a bit better for Copper, A-Basin and Loveland.  You can get discount tickets at supermarkets and shops in Summit County.   

post #10 of 18

Some of the guys I know who lives in the southeast like Loveland a lot.  A mixed group of skiers and boarders.  They also have fun at A-basin.

 

Have you been at high altitude lately (over 8000)?

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Some of the guys I know who lives in the southeast like Loveland a lot.  A mixed group of skiers and boarders.  They also have fun at A-basin.

 

Have you been at high altitude lately (over 8000)?


No...last time we were over 8000' was last July on top of Half Dome in Yosemite. The more I read and talk to people I think we may have to back our plans down a bit maybe plan on skiing two and a half days in stead of three and a half or four. It's funny you would ask I was skiing Saturday and was on a lift with a guy that used to live in CO and he asked the same thing and gave me a warning to take it easy the first day or two.

 

Just want to say thanks for every ones input and help.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

Another question I have now is it worth it for us lug our equipment for two possibly three days or demo or rent equipment? I have not rented skis in 30 years it will cost extra to get our things on the plane so that works out on the other end if we just rent, so how is the rental equipment, do I need to bring my boots that's kind of a sketchy thing for me to rent boots I think?

post #13 of 18

If your own equipment is decent I would bring it and stick to your original plan of 3.5 days of skiing. 

Continue to research on Liftopia for tickets.

Here is a “for instance” itinerary:  arrive DIA 7pm Wednesday night, locate to Comfort Suites at Evergreen, CO, spend one night, , allows you to settle down reasonably early and sleep at 7k feet and acclimatize overnight. Enjoy complimentary breakfast next morning then drive one hour and ski Copper, then spend 3 nights at Frisco Lodge, enjoy complimentary breakfasts, drive or better yet use nearby free Summit Stage bus to ski Copper a second day, really start to get to know the place.  Copper is usually a fine option on weekdays. Next day drive to Loveland for a full Saturday of skiing return to Frisco Lodge, soak in hot tub then walk to a choice of restaurants within one block.  Sunday pack up, ski Loveland until 2pm, revisit all the runs you liked the day before, head to DIA in plenty of time for relaxing check-in and ready for 7pm flight home.  Loveland is usually a crowd beating option on weekends.  Aforementioned lodgings are reasonably affordable and reasonably nice.  Using Liftopia the tickets should be as reasonable as you'll find too.

PS:  get a $3 prescription of Diamox if concerned about altitude.

post #14 of 18

Summit County, CO offers five ski areas within a few miles:   Loveland, Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper and Arapahoe Basin.  If you have a car there is a variety of lodging and eating in the towns of Silverthorne and Frisco for much less than ski-in-out prices.  If you decide to rent skis take your boots and carry them on so the airline won't lose them.  If you enter Silverthorne or Frisco in Google you will be led to the information you want.  The County free bus schedule can be found here: http://www.co.summit.co.us/index.aspx?NID=360

 

If you come note that Loveland and Arapahoe Basin are mostly above timberline, which means great skiing and views on a clear day but bad visibility on an overcast day.   And the wind at Breckenfridge can be bad!  

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post

I think you’re considering some good ski areas.  One additional option you might consider is Aspen.  The cheapest way to do it is to stay in Glenwood at a basic hotel (with $75 lift tickets) and drive 45 min to skiing each day.  Aspen has 4 ski areas including Snowmass which has tons of groomers.  You also have a smaller ski area in Glenwood (Sunlight, discount tix about $40) which is rustic but fun for a day.

 

Aspen, CB and Steamboat are far enough from Denver that crowds will be very light.  All the ski areas within 2 hours of Denver will surge with day skiers.  Sometimes that means 30 minute plus lift lines, sometimes it’s just lots of skiers with lines only on certain lifts.  I recommend driving farther to avoid the lines, enjoy runs to yourself and better snow conditions. 

 

You can always ski the last day at copper on your way back to the airport.  Be mindful of i70 traffic on Sundays and leave early or plan to add 90 minutes to travel time.

 

 

Glenwood would be my recommendation as well. They currently have a ski seven promotion that's a pretty good deal.  

post #16 of 18
post #17 of 18

Can't add a ton to the thread but I have done the same mid-March cheap Denver tix trip with my son in the past.  We found a reasonable motel in Frisco which is an easy drive to all the Summit County areas and skied Copper, Breck and Vail.  All were quite busy as Colorado schools seemed to be on break, so the posters who suggested a farther drive from Denver may be less crowded are probably right.  That said the crowds were manageable and we got plenty of skiing in.  

 

Traffic coming down from the mountains on Sunday afternoon is terrible so leave plenty of time.  You should be OK to ski the morning though with your 7:30PM flight.

 

Enjoy!

post #18 of 18

If you do rent, definitely bring your own boots.  I have found good demo gear/prices at Virgin Island in Silverthorne, but there are other good options as well.  

 

I know some other Bears who follow James suggestion of sleeping lower the first night- could be Denver area also, but Evergreen will give you a bit shorter drive on Friday.  While altitude certainly can be an issue, only about 10% have it affect their trip.  If you are really concerned about it, places like Vail, Aspen, Avon, Edwards, Steamboat and Glenwood (8,2 down to 6 K) are lower than Breck, Frisco and Dillon (up to 10 K for Breck and 9 for the other two).

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