or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Headed to summit county in December for week which resorts are best to hit for my level
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Headed to summit county in December for week which resorts are best to hit for my level - Page 2

post #31 of 43

Definitely stop at Loveland on the way out.  It's by far the least crowded area on I-70, and if you have never skied the Rockies you will be blown away.  I like Copper but that's because I have local friends who take me crazy places away from the crowds.  I like A Basin also, but  that's more of a trees and steeps experience.  Keystone is nice, Breck is my least favorite spot in Summit County, but I like the tourist trap town.

You have a lot of choices in Summit County, and they're all good.  Early season may be better at higher altitude. Don't worry about skiing at 12000+ feet.  The real altitude challenge (in my experience) in Summit County is sleeping at 9600 feet.

 

BK

post #32 of 43

There's a lot of good inside knowledge here, Ohio, and I am just a guy from the PNW, so take my comments with a grain of salt.  But I have skied most of the Summit County areas and I think that you need to tune the advice here to your goals.  What are you trying to accomplish during your first ski week out west?  Are you optimizing for skiing?  Economy?  Seeing every mountain in Summit County? 

 

If it were me, I'd be optimizing for skiing and taking a jump in level while you are there.  I'm not sure that I'd spend the trip driving around in a "vision quest" to see every resort in the proximate area of Frisco.  Two reasons: (1) until you have been there, you have no idea how to process just how big these places are in relation to what you currently understand to be "skiing."  You could ski 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 years at a single resort and not get bored (although if you are a local, it would be somewhat strange not to at least be familiar with the surrounding areas); and (2) if you are basically a green/blue skier, there isn't a really good reason in terms of terrain diversity to be running around from resort to resort, unless you want to sample the vibe or the respective base lodges.  The greens and the blues are the runs where the areas are most similar.  Unless you are talking about heading over to Vail to ski low angle stuff in the back bowls (which is pretty different from anything else), lapping marked green and blue runs is basically the same deal whether you are at Keystone, Copper, Winter Park or any other place in the front range.

 

Locals love their local no frills areas (I do as well), but the reality is that you'd probably be happy as a clam at Keystone for 7 days and it is very well set up for your scenario.  If I were you, based on what you've said about your skiing, and the fact that you are looking to optimize for value, I'd probably ski the bulk of the trip at Keystone with maybe a day at AB tacked on toward the end of the week for a smaller, local mountain experience.  Rather than drive around Summit County to ski basically the same green/blue groomers you just left, I'd get situated at a home base, and spend the extra time and cash on a pack of lessons.  Especially mid-week, early season, you are likely to get a top-flight instructor for a semi-private if you just show up for a group lesson.  If curiosity has you pining to check out Loveland, hit it for a 1/2 day on the way up from DIA or the way back to DIA.  Ski Cooper seems like overthinking it for a green/blue tourist with a just a week.  Not so sure about AB for intermediates. . . never thought of it in that context.  But I'd lean on the locals here, if they say that you'll be OK, go for it for a day.  It is a cool place and pretty different from Keystone just down the road.  But my recollection is that the magic of Arapaho is not the intermediate terrain.  I know that it is kind of uncool to say this, and I should be pushing you to ski somewhere cheap, local and "core," but you the truth is that Keystone is likely your best bet for this trip.  There are acres and acres of long groomers with a range of pitch to choose from.  They make snow if it is patchy.  If there is full coverage, you won't exhaust it in a week and when you improve in skill and confidence toward the back of the week, there are plenty of new challenges to try that you might have been spying on the trail map or from the chair.

 

I might be projecting here - but driving around while on a ski vacation in mountain country just is not my cup of tea.  Maybe that is because day hop skiing for us (Seattle area) means either a 45 minute drive or a 1.5 hr drive (I know, the east coast and midwest folks don't feel all that bad for us).  So when I am on vacation, I prefer to leave the car at the condo and avoid things like packing the car and dressing in parking lots.  But everyone has their own vision of vacation.  And even in Summit County, where it kind of works if you don't care about driving around, economically, that play worked better 10-15 years ago, when you just rolled up to the window and bought a day pass.  But now, the deals on multi-day passes almost force you to choose one collection of mountains or another.

 

Like others have said, there's nothing you can do about altitude until you get there and find out how it affects you.  Drink lots of water, use the humidifier in your bedroom and go easy on the booze the first couple of days.  Other than that, I wouldn't overthink it because you can't really change it.

 

Have fun.  You will love it and I wouldn't worry about hitting every mountain in sight because as long as you are having fun where you are, you aren't missing anything.  And there is always next time.

post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

 

Cooper has slow lifts and half the vertical of the bigger mountains, and no snowmaking.   I wouldn't say it's the same terrain.   I'd get bored to tears skiing Cooper compared to the larger areas.

Reread what I said.

 

"When nobody has any advanced terrain open" is the part you should really focus on.

 

I stand by the advice I gave. For folks coming from a 400 vert hill and wanting to get on the snow as soon as possible, I think it is reasonable to suggest Ski Cooper. That first day at altitude and dealing with even going from 400-1200 vert is a lot to deal with.

post #34 of 43

Keystone and Copper are both solid “cruiser” mountains. Lengthy groomers (2000’+ vertical available at both locations already) of reasonable pitch that are great for beginner-intermediate types. Keystone should have North Peak open then, which has steeper terrain available, and Copper should have some advanced terrain off Excelerator and Super Bee going.  Both mountains have 4 pack deals that keep it affordable.

 

Don’t be in a rush to “resort bag”. These mountains are HUGE compared to the local hill. This is a big mistake I see a lot of tourists make.

 

Ski Cooper? Yeah, I’d skip that one. Terrible option. You will be bored to tears, and the town is just….well it’s a strange little town, I’ll just leave it at that.

post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

"When nobody has any advanced terrain open" is the part you should really focus on.

 

 

There is a big difference in the intermediate terrain too.   The runs at the bigger resorts are steeper, longer and more fun than at Ski Cooper.  

 

The Super Bee at Copper Mountain, for example, will be open to the public on Dec 11th.  It's an 8 min ride and gets you 2300 vertical feet of some the best cruising runs anywhere.  The US Ski team is training on a downhill course there until Dec 11th.   They couldn't even do half a DH course Cooper it's so short and not very steep.   Copper tickets are only $22 more at liftopia and well worth the extra money IMO.  

 

Here's a fun video of the US Ski Team on the DH course that give you an idea of the sweet cruisers:

 

 

And a live video feed from the bottom of the course that's fun to watch:

http://www.coppercolorado.com/winter/the_mountain/mountain_webcams/SuperBee/index.html

post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 

If it were me, I'd be optimizing for skiing and taking a jump in level while you are there.  I'm not sure that I'd spend the trip driving around in a "vision quest" to see every resort in the proximate area of Frisco.  Two reasons: (1) until you have been there, you have no idea how to process just how big these places are in relation to what you currently understand to be "skiing."  You could ski 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 years at a single resort and not get bored (although if you are a local, it would be somewhat strange not to at least be familiar with the surrounding areas); and (2) if you are basically a green/blue skier, there isn't a really good reason in terms of terrain diversity to be running around from resort to resort, unless you want to sample the vibe or the respective base lodges.  The greens and the blues are the runs where the areas are most similar.  Unless you are talking about heading over to Vail to ski low angle stuff in the back bowls (which is pretty different from anything else), lapping marked green and blue runs is basically the same deal whether you are at Keystone, Copper, Winter Park or any other place in the front range.

 

Locals love their local no frills areas (I do as well), but the reality is that you'd probably be happy as a clam at Keystone for 7 days and it is very well set up for your scenario.  If I were you, based on what you've said about your skiing, and the fact that you are looking to optimize for value, I'd probably ski the bulk of the trip at Keystone with maybe a day at AB tacked on toward the end of the week for a smaller, local mountain experience.  Rather than drive around Summit County to ski basically the same green/blue groomers you just left, I'd get situated at a home base, and spend the extra time and cash on a pack of lessons.  Especially mid-week, early season, you are likely to get a top-flight instructor for a semi-private if you just show up for a group lesson.  If curiosity has you pining to check out Loveland, hit it for a 1/2 day on the way up from DIA or the way back to DIA.  Ski Cooper seems like overthinking it for a green/blue tourist with a just a week.  Not so sure about AB for intermediates. . . never thought of it in that context.  But I'd lean on the locals here, if they say that you'll be OK, go for it for a day.  It is a cool place and pretty different from Keystone just down the road.  But my recollection is that the magic of Arapaho is not the intermediate terrain.  I know that it is kind of uncool to say this, and I should be pushing you to ski somewhere cheap, local and "core," but you the truth is that Keystone is likely your best bet for this trip.  There are acres and acres of long groomers with a range of pitch to choose from.  They make snow if it is patchy.  If there is full coverage, you won't exhaust it in a week and when you improve in skill and confidence toward the back of the week, there are plenty of new challenges to try that you might have been spying on the trail map or from the chair.

 

I might be projecting here - but driving around while on a ski vacation in mountain country just is not my cup of tea.  Maybe that is because day hop skiing for us (Seattle area) means either a 45 minute drive or a 1.5 hr drive (I know, the east coast and midwest folks don't feel all that bad for us).  So when I am on vacation, I prefer to leave the car at the condo and avoid things like packing the car and dressing in parking lots.  But everyone has their own vision of vacation.  And even in Summit County, where it kind of works if you don't care about driving around, economically, that play worked better 10-15 years ago, when you just rolled up to the window and bought a day pass.  But now, the deals on multi-day passes almost force you to choose one collection of mountains or another.

 

 

This is great advice.   I'd add... to avoid driving around price out staying at the resort.  It's just such a nicer experience to not get in your car to go skiing each day.   Since you are coming during a slow time you should be able to get a great deal.   Call Keystone, Breck and Copper and see who will give you the best deal on a package with lift tickets, lodging and maybe a lesson or two.  If you tell them you are shopping for the best deal I bet you'll be surprised by deals you'll get.  

 

Now... if you can come back for a second trip, buy a season pass for sure. 

post #37 of 43
Thread Starter 

tball we already have condo in frisco booked we needed pet friendly and the resorts were outrageous compared to what we got. I am gonna bet on making a second trip self employed and a great wife that will take the burdon of 3 little kids eases that.

 

I think I will buy the keystone a basin pass and focus in those resorts. I will focus on learning area and making major improvements. This is my second season skiing and I expect to get alot better. I will probably take a lesson private or group lesson from keystone. I spoke to them and they recommend taking a group lesson after I get my ability level back to end of last season. Hopefully perfect north opens up late nov like last season and I can get some time.

 

 

Any recommendations on lessons private vs group?

post #38 of 43

Private lessons at loveland are very reasonable. about the same cost as group lessons at the major resorts

post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioskier View Post
 

Any recommendations on lessons private vs group?

 

Privates are great, but you pay for the privilege of focused attention.  OTOH, you can usually get a deal on a pack of group lessons and mid-week, early season, there is a good chance that you'll be in a private or a semi-private anyway.  Worst case, you are in the group lesson that you paid for.  Group lessons are also a great way to sample instructors and decide who you want to hire if you were to budget for some privates.  Different instructors speak to different skiers.  Either way, tip your instructors and keep the love flowing.

post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
 
KS has a good Ski School- early in the season you are likely to see some of the better instructors teaching group lessons.  Going the buy 2 get the 3rd free route, it works out to $82 for an all day lesson.   

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robertson View Post
 

Private lessons at loveland are very reasonable. about the same cost as group lessons at the major resorts

The lessons are cheaper at LL, but you are exaggerating the difference.  You can do 3 full day group lessons at KS for $246 (and a single full day for $123) while a half day private at LL is $199 and a full day $380.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 

 

Privates are great, but you pay for the privilege of focused attention.  OTOH, you can usually get a deal on a pack of group lessons and mid-week, early season, there is a good chance that you'll be in a private or a semi-private anyway.  Worst case, you are in the group lesson that you paid for.  Group lessons are also a great way to sample instructors and decide who you want to hire if you were to budget for some privates.  Different instructors speak to different skiers.  Either way, tip your instructors and keep the love flowing.

I think this is good advice.  If you were an advanced skier, you would have a much better chance at getting a accidental private or very small group lesson, but as more of an intermediate skier, there is a pretty good chance of having others in your group at KS (but very possible to have a smaller group than during the holidays).  

 

When I first moved to CO, I did the unlimited group lesson pass at KS back to back years (and now instruct at Vail which allows me to teach privates at KS).  PM me if you would like a few names of KS instructors I liked working with there.

post #41 of 43
My bad on that I judt remembered the 190 I paid for my wifes half day. On the other hand she learned more in the half day private than she did in two days of groups
post #42 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robertson View Post

My bad on that I judt remembered the 190 I paid for my wifes half day. On the other hand she learned more in the half day private than she did in two days of groups

Good point.  Some people get substantially more out of privates, while others progress well in groups- I think it depends a lot on the persons personality (and of course the instructor).

post #43 of 43
Agreed. My wife is not a group learner
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Headed to summit county in December for week which resorts are best to hit for my level