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First Out West Ski Trip (Vail, Basin, Copper, Keystone)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

So I am getting out to CO for the first time at the end of the month and I'm definitely stoked! Having never been out there, I would love some advice as to runs or sections of the mountains someone of my level should check out. I mostly ski the NH area (Attitash and Wildcat is where I usually am) and I would consider myself probably a level 7 or 8 skier. I ski pretty much everything on those mountains if you're familiar with them. I'm just now getting more into skiing moguls with more confidence and have not done much in the trees although I'd love to try them out in CO. 

 

I'm only hitting each mountain for a day most likely, I know that isn't ideal but the group I'm going with veto'd staying at one resort more of the time. The group I'll be with will be able to recommend a little bit but I'd rather go in with some other input from skiers much more familiar with skiing those mountains. 

 

Any suggestions would be welcome and definitely let me know if there is any other info I should have included (trying to get down what info is usually useful on this forum). 

 

Mountains I'll be at: Vail, A-Basin, Copper, and possibly Keystone 

post #2 of 15

Have you ever experienced altitude? 

 

Make sure you drink lots of water and prep yourself for the altitude. 

My favorite area to ski at Keystone is the Outback area.  There is a variety of terrain out there for level 7 + skiers. 

 

Arapahoe Basin is easy to cover.  Most of the stuff off Pali will be a bit challenging for someone at a level7 but you should be able to find a ton of good terrain to play with. 

 

I'm not as familiar with Copper or Vail. 

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

Have you ever experienced altitude? 

 

Make sure you drink lots of water and prep yourself for the altitude. 

 

 

Thanks for the reply. 

 

I actually have not experienced that type of altitude. I have been told by a lot of people about making sure to hydrate, I bought a camelback to wear while skiing but if there is anything else i should be doing, feel free to let me know. 

post #4 of 15
post #5 of 15

Primo areas at each:

Keystone- Outback trees, frontside groomers

Copper- Tucker Mtn snowcat, SuperBee groomers, bumps off Alpine

Vail- BSB, Northwoods chair, High Noon chair in the back bowls

ABasin- Pali terrain.

 

Don’t be in a rush to leave any mountain. #1 piece of advice I could give you. These places are massive, you will barely dent the skiable terrain, so if you find something you like, why leave?

post #6 of 15
For long good groomers, Keystone is great, particularly the front side. Check out Labontes cabin and the snow beach there at bottom of Mozart. A funplace to hang have a beverage. I'm not that crazy about outback, but some like it.

Vail, well you could spend all 4 days there and be happy. Do worry you're spreading yourself thin.
post #7 of 15

I'd pass on Keystone but that's me.  Copper has tons of great terrain.  For a level 7/8 skier, you should think about Resolution bowl with runs like Cabin Chute, Triple Zero, and Sawtooth.  The Alpine lift provides additional great terrain with Triple Treat (1800 vertical feet of generally small bumps) and Formidible.  You might also try Too Much and Far East, although those bumps may be too large for you.

 

The Sierra lift also would be good.  Endeavor off of the front side, Union Meadows, Retreat, or Gold Digger to Jacques Picque off of the back.  Lots of intermediate skiing off of Timberline, including Little Burn for low angle bumps.  We generally hit Eyedropper on our way back to the Superbee for some nice beginner bumps.  Off of the Excelerator, you have CDL, Ptarmagin, and Hallelujah.  If a bit more adventurous, try Brennans Grin or Minedump.

 

Copper Bowl is also up for exploration.  And for groomers Andy's Encore to Oh No bowl to Andy's (or Rossi's) is pretty awesome.

 

Mike

post #8 of 15

I did five days at keystone in december and think you could definitely spend several days there and not get bored. By now they should have most stuff opened ask someone else on that. Outback kicked my butt however not same level skier as you are. Elk run kicked my but a little but I still had fun. Grab a beer at the beach on bottom of mozart well worth it. Make sure you check out der fondue chessel and get the beer mug. They will fill it cheap for you as well. You should have a blast at all the resorts.

post #9 of 15

Avoid the Vail on the weekends, it's crowded.  If there during the week, I'd do two days at Vail instead of Keystone.  Vail is too huge to cover in a day.

 

Mike has great tips on Copper above.  I'll just add you have to take a run in Spaulding Bowl.  Go skiers right for easier terrain... you'll most likely survive :)

 

Make sure to ski A-basin to counter the Vail experience.   It's an amazing ski areas, and you'll understand how it's an anti-Vail after skiing there.

post #10 of 15

Lots of good info above.  A couple of additions.  Only go to A-Basin on a clear day.  Most of the terrain is above treeline and its a whiteout in even light snow.  You don't mention Breckenridge.  Avoid it on a weekend, but worth a visit during the week.  Has the best bowl skiing of the Summit County resorts.  Keep in mind that other than A-Basin, each of these resorts are big.  Much more terrain than any eastern resort other than maybe Killington.  You won't even scratch the surface of any of them in a day.

post #11 of 15

Good advice so far.  As a level 8+ skier, Breck has some very nice high alpine terrain but for level 6 & 7 skiers, I think Vail and Copper have more to offer. (Not saying they don't have level 8+ terrain, just that they have more 6-7 terrain and, especially Copper, tend to be less crowded than Breck).  Not exactly sure where the OP's group falls, so it may make perfect sense to skip Breck.

 

Fully agree with hitting A-B on a clear day and will add that if Pali is too tough, the group may enjoy parts of Montezuma if the snow back there is good.

 

I don't have time to do it, but it might make sense if we categorize the above terrain recommendations as to what should challenge a level 6-7 skier and what will challenge a level 8+.  Of course, some of it depends on snow conditions... 

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corys10 View Post
 

...I'm only hitting each mountain for a day most likely, I know that isn't ideal but the group I'm going with veto'd staying at one resort more of the time. The group I'll be with will be able to recommend a little bit but I'd rather go in with some other input from skiers much more familiar with skiing those mountains.

 

Any suggestions would be welcome and definitely let me know if there is any other info I should have included (trying to get down what info is usually useful on this forum).

 

Mountains I'll be at: Vail, A-Basin, Copper, and possibly Keystone

  That's crazy:

 

The group you're going with apparently has no clue about the size of these resorts, or potential winter driving between some of them.  Pick one (or two, close together), and ski no more than that.

post #13 of 15
I'm a NE skier too and went West to Colorado for the first time last year. I went to Loveland for a day and A-Basin for two days. Had a lot of fun at Loveland but only spent a day and being ignorant, skied some of the bowls too early in the day before the corn snow developed (it was in May).

Two days at A-Basin were a blast. I'm probably at your same level and loved Montezuma Bowl. I only did one run off the Pali lift and have to admit it was beyond my level.

Good advice re: the flat light. I was caught in it a lot above tree line. My last day it stormed and was a complete whiteout. I fell as soon as I dropped into the bowl and made my first turn because I couldn't see a foot in front of me. Still I was having such a good time I was cracking up at my predicament.

Also love the laid back no-nonsense vibe at A-Basin.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

Avoid the Vail on the weekends, it's crowded.  If there during the week, I'd do two days at Vail instead of Keystone.  Vail is too huge to cover in a day.

 

Mike has great tips on Copper above.  I'll just add you have to take a run in Spaulding Bowl.  Go skiers right for easier terrain... you'll most likely survive :)

 

Make sure to ski A-basin to counter the Vail experience.   It's an amazing ski areas, and you'll understand how it's an anti-Vail after skiing there.

:eek  Vail is so huge that it would be hard to cover if you skied there every single day all season....I've probably got ~75-100 days in at Vail and everytime I go there I find something new and fun (and flat;))

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

This has all been great help! It sounds like most of you recommend the same areas in general which is reassuring and makes me excited that I have an idea of where to try to get to first. I definitely get that 1 day isn't enough at any of these places and hopefully everyone falls in line while we're out there but in the event that I only get a day at each, I appreciate that I know where I want to spend my time at least this trip. I will be coming back in March to hit up Steamboat and will be there for 6 days so at least I'll get to know 1 mountain a little bit this year. 

 

Jim - We did skip on Breck this trip, purely out of time. We are staying in Vail so we concentrated on that area for the most part. 

 

Thanks again for all of the feedback, definitely looking forward to getting a taste of "real" skiing finally! 

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