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April 13-20, 2014 Family Trip [Breckenridge planning]

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Late spring break this year so I can't control the dates. We typically ski SLC, but flights to Denver are pretty low right now. So I plan to go ahead and jump on the airfare and trust lodging prices will drop as the date gets closer.


I am not as concerned with a specific mountain yet. However, any suggestions on what mountains to keep an eye on for deals that late in the season? I see Vail is open and so is Aspen that late. What about historical late season conditions for a mountain? If you have Denver suggestions for families who ski green/blue mostly and will have one child in lessons let me know also. 

post #2 of 11

That late in the season the higher the altitude the better the chance of skiing on snow and not slush.  (A-basin, Loveland, Breckenridge are the highest in Summit County. The first two do not have a base village or base area lodging.)

post #3 of 11
Winter Park. You get the elevation/exposure for snow cover and quality and the family vibe plus a base for food and amenities. Also Copper for sure, depends what you want for green/blue. Copper is more up/down one face with great long runs, WP spread out, shorter runs, more blue/green diversity.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Why does A Basin stay open to June and Breck closes April 20? Just curious?

post #5 of 11
Technically FS leases is conventional wisdom, but it is demand either way. Just little ole A-Basin can satisfy front range demand as summer nears. April can be quite deserted unless there is a lot of fresh bringing out the powder chasers, but there is little ski travel or seasonal day tripper travel in the late season.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

So, with no choice on dates. 2 Families of roughly 5 adults and 3 children with skiing ranges (beginner-difficult intermediate) I am leaning toward Breck. Any thoughts on my observations? What about lodging near the greens? Suggestions? Figure the less the kids walk the better.

post #7 of 11

You might find this useful. Breck is mostly easterly exposure where northern exposure may be more reliable late season. See the "Northern & Central Colorado" link on the lefthand side.

Hopefully somebody can chime in with some lodging suggestions.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Would you choose elevation over exposure in the late season?
post #9 of 11
If you are all mostly on piste it probably doesn't matter, but high and north facing is obviously best. Late April isn't that late for CO elevations, and if we continue to have a good year you might like those east faces to soften up earlier in the day. The snow preservation bit probably matters most to the extent you want to access the most terrain. Maybe somebody who knows Breck well can chime in.

Certainly worth a bet on CO, though. The north central areas just hit 200" for the season, the better part of a month and a half earlier than last year, and we had a good late season last year. Maybe @Tony Crocker can help, too, since he's the data guru and knows most of these places.
post #10 of 11

For those curious about how the trip went . . .the Thread Starter did a little trip report in another thread in Family Skiing:




Originally Posted by Beartooth View Post

Just wanted to say thanks for all the great info I got from this site. We just got back from Breckenridge. It was our first trip to Colorado after going to SLC and Montana in the past. I know we picked a great year to go to Breckenridge making conditions excellent, but we also loved the convenience of staying at Beaver Run so dropping off/picking up our daughter at ski school was easy. The blue groomers were perfect for my wife and daughter and the black groomers were great for me. Unfortunately my wife made an odd turn and it looks like she tore her ACL (MRI this week). Still we had a great trip. I managed to ski all five peaks on Tuesday which was cool. 

post #11 of 11

I'm updating this thread, keeping the early April dates of Easter this year in mind.  I think both the first and second week of April this year are potential holiday weeks in Summit and Eagle Counties of Colorado.



Elevation and exposure are everything at that time of year. 


I think you would be best off at Breckenridge given your dates.  I don't think you need to jump on lodging till the last second. Most Spring breaks have ended at that point in the season there and the week after Easter Break generally sees visitors from Britain and Mexico.  You are there the week after that,  it should be very slow there.  As with any resort the ski in- ski out lodging will fill first.  The deals will be on the outskirts.  I managed to get lodging ( a one bedroom) on the 4 O'Clock run last Spring for  $ 75 a night and it was ski in.  I booked 2 weeks before my trip. I did have to ski several hundred feet into town to grab the bus on the way in.  It was no big deal as the transportation system there is pretty reliable and it's free.  Lodging in Vail will be more expensive than in Breck. 


Depending on the snow year and conditions, be aware that you may have to download to get to the bottom of Vail.  There is always a skiable trail or two but the area is so spread out, it may be tough to reroute late in the day if you don't know the mountain.  Both downloading and skiing the potentially heavy slush could be tough for kids.  Vail's elevation is about 1500 feet lower than Breckenridge.


You can ski several areas on one Vail Resorts ticket.  Breckenridge would have the most available for you and the group.  A day trip to A-Basin would be a good move for the Intermediates in your group but there is limited terrain there for those who ski the green runs (go on a sunny day though).  You can also make the drive over to Vail for a day if weather and snow conditions warrant.  The beauty of Vail at that time of year is the multitude of exposures that exist.  On a re-freeze night all you have to do there is find the trails where the sun hits first then follow the sun the rest of the day.  There is tons of terrain there for your group.  Be ready to pay for parking there though.  With the kids there, you would be better off getting on the shuttles right outside the parking garage and heading directly to Golden Peak.  That bus stop is the easiest walk to the lifts.


Now the wild card.  There is always a shot that a blower storm there will drop a foot or two of mid-winter type powder on your dates.  It's April, and in Summit County anything can happen. You could see sunny days in the high 50's.   

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