or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Just got to Colorado! Skiing here for the fist time at the Vail mountains. Advice needed!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Just got to Colorado! Skiing here for the fist time at the Vail mountains. Advice needed! - Page 7

post #181 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

 

True, I try to avoid Breck on most weekends and do the majority of my skiing during the week, but things are just not as bad here as you make them out (unless you are a front range day tripper who only skis weekends).

 

Unfortunately, even on this site, I think the majority of people (myself included) are weekend warrior skiers. I'm blessed to live in the mountains, and very blessed to have quality employment in the mountains, but that also means that I'm doing the employment thing Monday-Friday.

 

Obviously most of the season pass holders for Vailco also live on the front range, and most of those have M-F jobs.

 

So yes, the majority of my view is clouded by the fact that the vast majority of my ski days happen on a Saturday or Sunday, and I'm taking vacation time to hit a midweek powder day. But its not like my situation is different than the majority of skiers- its the whole point of why Summit is such a mess on weekends. 

 

Saying that Summit is fine unless you are a weekend skier is kind of like saying "The Yugo is a great car as long as you don't expect it to get you to work on a daily basis."  It ignores the reality that most (or many, take your pick it you want to quibble the semantics) people are looking at.

post #182 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post

 

 

Monarch is awesome on a powder day.....untracked lines all day....terrain wise it's pretty much Meh though

 

Terrain- if CB is the standard, I'd agree. But if like the rest of this thread, if Vail/Breck are the standard, Monarch doesn't fare that bad. For its size, it has a good amount of very fun ADVANCED terrain- the Garfield Face and Pano Ridge have lots of skiing that is 30-35*, and very good unmolested trees. Obviously it skis short with the limited vert, but a most of the advanced runs use most of the area vert with only limited runouts back to the lift.

 

Finally, the Mirkwood area has a healthy amount of very legitimate terrain. Mirkwood Trees, Staircase, and East Trees are North of 45* in steepness, and are tight lines in trees with large cliff bands to either huck or negotiate. Those runs should put a smile on the face of any advanced skier.

 

This season, I came back to Monarch for closing weekend. I was lulled a bit by the idea that nothing at Monarch was terribly tough, and dropped into Staircase. After very gingerly picking my way down around a cliff face at the top, I found myself on a STEEP chute just skiers left of the namesake rocks the run is named after. I'm not normally a hop-turn guy, but the pitch and tight space had me throwing everything I could into getting the skis out of the snow and around. Here is a repost of the weekend edit- Staircase is at 2:46 (I edited out the part of me taking way too long to work my way through the cliff section).

 

post #183 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

Unfortunately, even on this site, I think the majority of people (myself included) are weekend warrior skiers. I'm blessed to live in the mountains, and very blessed to have quality employment in the mountains, but that also means that I'm doing the employment thing Monday-Friday.

 

Obviously most of the season pass holders for Vailco also live on the front range, and most of those have M-F jobs.

 

So yes, the majority of my view is clouded by the fact that the vast majority of my ski days happen on a Saturday or Sunday, and I'm taking vacation time to hit a midweek powder day. But its not like my situation is different than the majority of skiers- its the whole point of why Summit is such a mess on weekends. 

 

Saying that Summit is fine unless you are a weekend skier is kind of like saying "The Yugo is a great car as long as you don't expect it to get you to work on a daily basis."  It ignores the reality that most (or many, take your pick it you want to quibble the semantics) people are looking at.

And that's kind of the point, isn't it? The vast majority of gainfully employed people in CO are going to be somewhere on the front range. Summit is the closest place to ski. Weekends are the time to ski. They can't make to to Wolf Creek, Sunlight, etc. in the time allowable. Loveland works for some, but really if you've made it to the tunnel, that's normally the worst part.

post #184 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

Saying that Summit is fine unless you are a weekend skier is kind of like saying "The Yugo is a great car as long as you don't expect it to get you to work on a daily basis."  It ignores the reality that most (or many, take your pick it you want to quibble the semantics) people are looking at.

 

Well if that's the case then here's the video of going to Summit County to ski on the weekends:

 

http://youtu.be/__6rIaRt3Iw

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

And that's kind of the point, isn't it? The vast majority of gainfully employed people in CO are going to be somewhere on the front range. Summit is the closest place to ski. Weekends are the time to ski. They can't make to to Wolf Creek, Sunlight, etc. in the time allowable. Loveland works for some, but really if you've made it to the tunnel, that's normally the worst part.

post #185 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

And that's kind of the point, isn't it? The vast majority of gainfully employed people in CO are going to be somewhere on the front range. Summit is the closest place to ski. Weekends are the time to ski. They can't make to to Wolf Creek, Sunlight, etc. in the time allowable. Loveland works for some, but really if you've made it to the tunnel, that's normally the worst part.

 

Yep.  If I was a Denver skier, I'd had an Eldora, Loveland, Abay, or Winter Park pass. No real options to dodge the traffic, but at least I can get off I-70 sooner and deal with a lot less traffic on the slopes.

 

When I was a Colorado Springs skier, Monarch all the way. For any Colorado Spring skier reading this, if you are making the drive to Breck/Summit and haven't tried Monarch, do yourself a huge favor and go ski there.

post #186 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

Yep.  If I was a Denver skier, I'd had an Eldora, Loveland, Abay, or Winter Park pass. No real options to dodge the traffic, but at least I can get off I-70 sooner and deal with a lot less traffic on the slopes.

 

When I was a Colorado Springs skier, Monarch all the way. For any Colorado Spring skier reading this, if you are making the drive to Breck/Summit and haven't tried Monarch, do yourself a huge favor and go ski there.

 

 

There are more lift lines at ABasin than there are at Copper, and in a low snow year, you miss most of the season b/c they can't open terrain. Winter Park is just another (mostly) corporate owned resort. Eldora, whatever. Loveland is fine, but half the mountain is closed half the time, and again, if you've made it that far, you don't have long to go. 

 

(I actually ski all of those places except Eldora, so I'm a bit of a devil's advocate, but I stood in as long a line at Loveland yesterday as I did anywhere else this season.)

post #187 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

Saying that Summit is fine unless you are a weekend skier is kind of like saying "The Yugo is a great car as long as you don't expect it to get you to work on a daily basis."  It ignores the reality that most (or many, take your pick it you want to quibble the semantics) people are looking at.

 

A couple counterpoints:

  1. More than half the folks skiing in Summit/Vail are here on a vacation and skiing during the week.  It's not a shit show for these folks if they just plan their I-70 drive times to avoid the front range weekend skiers.  DIA is the 5th busiest airport in the country and these are the closest ski areas to the airport, so it makes a lot of sense to ski here as opposed the extra drive time or flight expense to ski elsewhere in CO.
  2. If you avoid Breck and Vail on the weekend, crowds are not a problem.   I ski Copper on weekends with a few weekdays thrown in and NEVER have a problem with crowds on the weekend.  As I've said before, there is always somewhere to go at Copper with no lift lines.  When the S lift was packed on Sunday, I moved over to the Super Bee and there was no line, for example.
  3. Driving I-70 for weekend day trips is a shit show, but this too can be avoided most days.  Leave early, Leave early.  Leave late, spend the night, Leave early.  Folks who ski a lot figure out these and many other ways to avoid the traffic.   
post #188 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

 

There are more lift lines at ABasin than there are at Copper, and in a low snow year, you miss most of the season b/c they can't open terrain. Winter Park is just another (mostly) corporate owned resort. Eldora, whatever. Loveland is fine, but half the mountain is closed half the time, and again, if you've made it that far, you don't have long to go. 

 

(I actually ski all of those places except Eldora, so I'm a bit of a devil's advocate, but I stood in as long a line at Loveland yesterday as I did anywhere else this season.)

 

Not really disagreeing with any of this, except the "Loveland closed half the time" part. Wind holds happen, but far more infrequently than that.

 

"If you made it to Loveland, you don't have long to go." Yeah, but why go further? I'd much rather ski Loveland with its 275,000 skier visits than Breck with its 1.5 million (or whatever it is). Loveland gets more snow, shared by less people, and while I'll concede that it doesn't have a whole lot of true pucker-up expert terrain, Its not that far off of what Breck has and I'd happily trade it the terrain in for the other factors.

 

But really, the whole I-70 mess is why I'm very, very glad I don't have to live in the Denver metro. I-70 has gotten so nuts that for a weekend skier, its about the same drive to Breck from Colorado Springs as it is from Denver.

 

Edit- I haven't skied Copper in the past 6 years, and people keep saying its different now that Vail has basically murdered its skier visits (what trust power? who, little old us?). I've been told by a lot of people that the craziness that turned me off of skiing there may be a thing of the past, so I won't lump it in with the rest of the Summit shitshow.

post #189 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

 

Saying that Summit is fine unless you are a weekend skier is kind of like saying "The Yugo is a great car as long as you don't expect it to get you to work on a daily basis."  It ignores the reality that most (or many, take your pick it you want to quibble the semantics) people are looking at.

 

tball nailed it below- IIRC, we started talking about Summit being a ss in relation to the Divas trip next year...I can only assume, but I doubt they will only ski on weekends day tripping from Denver.  FWIW, I have a 9 yo who I ski with on the weekends- yes, parking, etc is tougher (especially because she likes to sleep in) and there are more crowds than mid week, but we still manage to enjoy ourselves most of the time and rarely wait in excessively long lines.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

 

A couple counterpoints:

  1. More than half the folks skiing in Summit/Vail are here on a vacation and skiing during the week.  It's not a shit show for these folks if they just plan their I-70 drive times to avoid the front range weekend skiers.  DIA is the 5th busiest airport in the country and these are the closest ski areas to the airport, so it makes a lot of sense to ski here as opposed the extra drive time or flight expense to ski elsewhere in CO.
  2. If you avoid Breck and Vail on the weekend, crowds are not a problem.   I ski Copper on weekends with a few weekdays thrown in and NEVER have a problem with crowds on the weekend.  As I've said before, there is always somewhere to go at Copper with no lift lines.  When the S lift was packed on Sunday, I moved over to the Super Bee and there was no line, for example.
  3. Driving I-70 for weekend day trips is a shit show, but this too can be avoided most days.  Leave early, Leave early.  Leave late, spend the night, Leave early.  Folks who ski a lot figure out these and many other ways to avoid the traffic.   
post #190 of 206
 
 
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

Not really disagreeing with any of this, except the "Loveland closed half the time" part. Wind holds happen, but far more infrequently than that.

 

 

I think what segbrown may be referring to is the fact that Loveland in the past few seasons has been very slow in getting terrain open.  Until Loveland gets the ridge open you're only skiing about 25% of its available terrain.

 
post #191 of 206

Monarch is awesome! For the small size of the resort, they have just as much expert terrain as Vail.

Here's Gunbarrel Trees at full speed.

post #192 of 206

I will say that the one thing that Summit county has better then anywhere I have ever been is night life. I know most people here don't care about that but if your in your 20s and want to go out at night summit, breck especially, is pretty hard to beat 

post #193 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smushie View Post

Monarch is awesome! For the small size of the resort, they have just as much expert terrain as Vail.

Here's Gunbarrel Trees at full speed.

That looked like a mono sighting! Were you skiing mono a mono??

Isn't Summit County the home away from France of the mono?

post #194 of 206

Monoman often rides alone and usually at Crested Butte.

post #195 of 206
Thread Starter 

I finally have some time to update this thread.

 

Let's see... where did I leave off?

 

Beaver Creek - Having that damn EpicMix that tracks your vertical feet has you do stupid things to reach a number.

 

I went back to Beaver Creek the day before it closed and rode Centennial Express over and over again from 10AM to close. Since the winds were high and this one lift services the little kids and the hikers, the first 10 lift rides stopped completely in the middle at multiple points. I'm used to getting stopped from time to time, but I've never gotten stopped 100% of the time for 10 straight lifts. One time it stopped *6* times on one ride and the ride was 25 minutes long.

 

Anyway, https://plus.google.com/photos/117451520189262791768/albums/5860212119071773057/5870972287789152706?banner=pwa

 

Rode Centennial 25 times.

 

And then I got the "Retirement" badge for covering 600,000 ft.

 

Copper - I hit it a couple times on a powder day. It. Was. Amazing. No groomers, but it was first real intro into the fluff and it was really fun. Copper has some awesome forests and meadows and the lifts are easy to get there. I like that the parking is free and easy to get to.

 

Breckenridge - I went there on their extended weekend twice and I LOVED IT. The powder was fresh and I was one of the first onto the bowls. I think it's called Peak 8. I got let through the gate, traversed a bit, then hiked a bit to the next peak and skied down. Now I understand powder. Well, the Colorado fluffy powder. The feeling of having feet after feet of marshmallow powder underfoot is awesome. When you turn it feels like marshmallows. I can't really think of any other way of describing it. Totally not afraid of going fast since it's so forgiving. The only downside is the skis possibly unhooking if you trip which is a pain. When I fall on hardpack or ice I don't worry too much about skis unhooking but I'd hate to have it catch and hook in powder and then I have to hike all the way up to grab it...

 

Basically I just hung out in the bowls and trees. Even at the end of the day when the bowls are all chopped up it's not a big deal because the snow is still fluffy! 

 

I find that Colorado snow is so much easier to learn on. The light powder is simply easier to handle and more forgiving.

 

Arapahoe Basin - I did this one today for the first time. As soon as I pulled into it I knew that I was going to love this mountain. Free parking lot right next to the lifts. A couple buildings. Nothing like the massive city resort villages of Vail. I despise those. They keep me away from what I want - the snow.

 

This is what riding is about. Park, put on gear, walk 2 minutes to lift, bomb runs. I love The Beach. I love the atmosphere. The prices of food are somewhat reasonable. And they have power outlets and free WiFi. And a microwave for heating your own stuff. The atmosphere is just chill and homely. No 5-star accommodations (no accommodations, period!), no valets, no high end luxury shops. NONE OF THAT BULLSHIT. Just parking, a food lodge, people chilling out with tents and barbecues and tailgates at The Beach, and direct access to the lifts. 

 

Terrain is spectacular. Not much in the way of steep groomers, but tree runs and moguls are plenty. I did Montezuma Bowl first. Did the right groomer, the left trees, the far right bowls with rocks, and the center trees right down the lift. Awesome. Only downside is that the lift is really slow. But then again, on technical terrain, sometimes a slow lift is ok. It's not about how much vertical you do but the quality of the runs. Would still prefer a fast lift though ;) If I had to choose between resting in the snow or on a lift, I want to be in the snow!

 

I went along the East Wall Traverse and was astounded by the line of people hiking up the Upper East Wall. I didn't do it - too lazy. But that entire section is spectacular if you want to do the work. I rode a lift with a guy who said he used to hike *over* the East Wall and ski the other side of the mountain that's not on the map.

 

I then headed to Pallavicini. Love the Pali Face. I'm getting better at moguls due to tball's tips. When I was doing Breck on the last weekend something clicked and now I'm able to attack any moguls without having to resort to survival "falling leaf" mode. The same generally goes for trees now too. Pole reaching and planting are becoming automatic. The fluffy nature of the moguls here really help too. The entire time I was thinking, "I'm doing well now, but put me back on the ice moguls of CA and will I be back to my usual shitty self?" Scrape, scrape, scrape. Towards the end of the day something else clicked - I've always had a hard time keeping my skis together on moguls and in trees. Just the bumpy, highly variable, and frequent turning nature of the terrain sort of forces me into a wider stance with skis apart. But towards the end of the day I felt them coming together, and staying together. I don't know how to describe it. I don't know why they're doing it. They just are. The same thing happened to me on groomers when I was learning last year. First they were wide apart but as I got more comfortable with the terrain I slowly brought the skis closer together and kept them there. I guess when you're unused to something and worried, you naturally break out into a wide (supposedly more stable) stance and lean back so when you fall you low-side, fall on your back instead of your face, and the legs take the brunt of whatever you're going to run into. As I get more mileage (read: more exposure and experience) in the bumps and trees I think my body reacts subconsciously to the increasing level of comfort. It simply gets more used to it. 

 

I like the trees. They're like moguls, but with things to hit! And wells that embrace you in a fluffy airtight upside down hug.

 

I ended the day with Pallavicini. Did the Face, the run that's right under the lift - Either Turbo or Rollercoaster or Timber Glades, and then the left side of the lift - North Glade I think. 

 

Basically, A-Basin may be the only resort open right now, but it has plenty to offer and at my current skill level it totally supercedes me. I don't think I can get bored of this mountain until I'm able to survive dropping down a cliff chute and land from midair into a field of moguls that eventually turns into trees.

 

I've done the speed thing and the big elevation days. Now I want to work on more technical stuff. Trees, moguls, and jumps in the park.

post #196 of 206
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

Glad to hear you didn't freeze last night fuzzybaby, it was cold!  Sounds like you got a good feel for Vail, but it's is so darn big you really need someone who knows the mountain to show you around.  Vail is much more fun that way.  

 

If you ski Copper the next few days please wear your bunny ears so I can look out for you and keep my nephews clear of danger :-)

 

I have an idea how you can become a good bump skier before you leave Colorado... if you are willing to stick around for a couple weeks and ski A-basin after the other areas close.  

 

Pretty simple plan:  Go to A-basin every day and ski under the quad on Exhibition, and Ramrod next door if bumped out, over and over again.   Keep skiing the same lines regardless of conditions: slush, pow, ice.  Over and over.   When you think you are getting pretty good, go ski Slalom Slope to be humbled then come back down and ski Exhibition and Ramrod, over and over.   If you do that for a couple weeks you'll be a pretty good bump skier when you head home.  Not a bad souvenir from Colorado.  I know it will work because that's how I learned to ski bumps, just at Mary Jane.

I'm looking at the map of A-Basin so now I finally have some reference for this post.

 

http://www.arapahoebasin.com/ABasin/image-library/inline-landscape/abasintrailmap_1213_orig.jpg

 

Damn, I didn't ski any of those runs... Next time I'll do Exhibition. Ramrod looks to be a groomed blue? Haha, I remember Slalom Slope. I saw the name and was like "YES! A fast icy curvy groomer!" Then I looked down into it and was like WTF? I then did North Glade.

 

I personally think they should have an additional difficult designation past the double black diamond EX thing. I'd love to see just a Skull and Crossbones labeled with "You will die." and then an open gate, haha. 

post #197 of 206

Its great to hear that you had a good time, and definitely a ballsy trip!

 

If you like "No Bullshit" ski areas, and especially if you are getting more open to moguls and powder, Loveland, Monarch, Sunlight, and Wolf Creek have a similar vibe. Winter Park would probably be another that would suit you well- you can park on the Mary Jane side in several free lots that are slopeside, put your boots on and ski down to the base- for a major ski area, its the best parking you can get.

 

If you decide to take another Colorado Trip nest year, you can buy a Monarch Season Pass for about $300. It gives you 3 free days at Sunlight and Loveland, along with 3 days at Purgatory, a lot of the smaller New Mexico places, and a lot of places all over the country that generally have a "no bullshit" vibe.

 

http://www.skimonarch.com/index.php/ticketspasses/season-passes

post #198 of 206
Thread Starter 

Does anyone know which runs these were filmed on? The open bowl jumps and the forest jump?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IoNOs9FzuOo

 

The forest jump is way way too advanced for me, but the open bowl jumps looks fun.

post #199 of 206
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

Its great to hear that you had a good time, and definitely a ballsy trip!

 

If you like "No Bullshit" ski areas, and especially if you are getting more open to moguls and powder, Loveland, Monarch, Sunlight, and Wolf Creek have a similar vibe. Winter Park would probably be another that would suit you well- you can park on the Mary Jane side in several free lots that are slopeside, put your boots on and ski down to the base- for a major ski area, its the best parking you can get.

 

If you decide to take another Colorado Trip nest year, you can buy a Monarch Season Pass for about $300. It gives you 3 free days at Sunlight and Loveland, along with 3 days at Purgatory, a lot of the smaller New Mexico places, and a lot of places all over the country that generally have a "no bullshit" vibe.

 

http://www.skimonarch.com/index.php/ticketspasses/season-passes

 

Nice! I'll keep that in mind. Honestly though, I might not be skiing next year. I've got travel plans, I have no idea which part of the world I'll be in, but I'll be bringing my skis so hopefully I can get something. Don't wanna get rusty.

post #200 of 206
Just an FYI, it's not called "unhooking", it's called releasing. Your bindings release, they don't unhook. Well, at least my bindings don't... Sounds like you had an awesome time. And I like your marshmallow analogy for CO pow. I was thought it was like skiing in those styrofoam packing peanuts, but I like your description better.
post #201 of 206

Are you still in Colorado? 

post #202 of 206
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadman View Post

Just an FYI, it's not called "unhooking", it's called releasing. Your bindings release, they don't unhook. Well, at least my bindings don't... Sounds like you had an awesome time. And I like your marshmallow analogy for CO pow. I was thought it was like skiing in those styrofoam packing peanuts, but I like your description better.

 

Ah, that's the right terminology. I always imagine that skiing in styrofoam peanuts would be.... grainy. But the powder here feels more like one continuous marshmallow at times. Especially on a steeper slope when you dig in and plow a bit - it's like a giant marshmallow, haha. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Are you still in Colorado? 

 

Yup! In Silverthorne right now. I'll be here for at least a couple more weeks I think.

post #203 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post

 

 

 

 

 

Yup! In Silverthorne right now. I'll be here for at least a couple more weeks I think.

You may want to check out this thread. 

7th Annual Bear GTG at Arapahoe Basin for Mother's Day

post #204 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post

Does anyone know which runs these were filmed on? The open bowl jumps and the forest jump?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IoNOs9FzuOo

 

The forest jump is way way too advanced for me, but the open bowl jumps looks fun.

The jumps in the open was International. The cliffs in the trees was Second Alley.

post #205 of 206
In regards to Vail, I love the terrain and have had countless amazing pow days there. In order to make it more legit in the eyes of an expert, would people be happier if they added area like East Vail, Mushroom Bowl, or even cut trails off the north side of Golden Peak where it's steep? My guess would be no. The experts looking for that rowdier terrain go into East Vail anyway..
post #206 of 206
Also, anyone bored with Summit County skiing...I highly recommend a hike up to the real East Wall of ABasin...not sure how it gets much more exposed than 1st or 2nd notch. There are other lines further north on the ridge that don't open every year. Not sure of the names, but you have to hike Willys Staircase then hike even higher and billy goat over. They were open all last spring and were ridiculous.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Just got to Colorado! Skiing here for the fist time at the Vail mountains. Advice needed!