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Summit County Colorado Trip! Questions...

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 

OK, so we are going to a condo on Lake Dillon this month- the 25th for 3 days of skiing. We have been to A-Basin, Breck, and Keystone a couple of times and love skiing all of them. We haven't been for a few years since we have been mainly skiing Utah.

 

So, where should we go? I mean we could certainly be more than happy with the 3 I just mentioned, but I know Vail and Copper are also nearby. We would have to throw one of the 3 out if we choose Vail or Copper. Is it worth the drive/expense to try Vail?

 

Second question: Where are the best lift ticket deals? I tried Liftopia and they only had A-Baisn tix for $67. Thats a great deal, but then I was looking at the vail pass which lets you ski any of the 4 mountains. Problem is, it's $342 per person for three days. Now thats more than $100 per day per person. But I guess I could get a 2 day ticket and get the A-Basin for $67? Are there ski shops that still sell discounted tickets?

 

Third question: It looks like CO is getting a crap-load of snow this season. Is that the case? Hows the skiing?

 

Bonus Question: Will the cat skiing be available at Keystone at that time? We have been twice- once in the early and once in the late season. Neither time they were running the cats.

 

TIA!

post #2 of 86

Throw out Breck and do Copper.  Vail's better as a standalone trip IMO.

post #3 of 86
Loveland and Copper both sell four packs or check Denver Craigslist, $30ish & 60ish.
post #4 of 86

Crap load of snow this season is correct. Excellent coverage. Tree branches that are supposed to be up above my head keep hitting me in the face, but other than that, it's fantastic.

post #5 of 86

You can get 2 for 1 tickets  at Copper with this deal  or by buying an E book.

post #6 of 86

If you're asking about cat skiing, I assume you're advanced skiers, or at least looking for advanced terrain.  Don't go to Vail.  Not that there isn't good terrain, it's just tough to find and get to in one day if you're not familiar with the resort.

 

Any combination of the rest will be a great trip.

post #7 of 86

Better deals can be had for Copper compared to the Vail Resorts.  Any ski shop or supermarket in Summit County can sell you a Copper ticket for about $86.  Basically no discount on VR tickets until you get to about 4 days.  Copper and A-Basin is a good combo for only 3 days.

post #8 of 86
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies! I have this thing where I really want to try Vail. I guess it's the name, etc. I know many people don't like it for varying reasons, but it's someplace i always wanted to try. In fact after talking to my son about it, we decided to ski the first day at Vail, then A-Basin, and Keystone last. 

 

And yea, I like bowl skiing, but I'm not looking for hugely advanced terrain. I always thought Independence Bowl looked cool. 

 

Now this morning you guys have me leaning more toward Copper.

post #9 of 86

Didn't see Loveland on your list, but it has instituted a (relatively) new Ridge Cat.

 

Copper also runs a cat on the weekends to a saddle on a ridge line that you then have to hike. Copper bowls are shorter (or it seems that way to me) and steeper than Vail's.

 

Totally agree that Vail can take a day just to orient yourself. It's big, sure, but it also has a layout that is not that easy to navigate. At least it hasn't been for me.

post #10 of 86

This is one I would play based on weather.

 

Assuming you are good at skiing slush, if it is a warm day, I would head for Vail and the Back Bowls.

 

If it is one of those days where things are overcast or 35* ish where things will not thaw, head for Loveland and Arapahoe Basin to take advantage of the altitude and ski chalk and packed powder instead of crust.

 

If it is a powder day, it will all be fun, but the bowls at Copper would probably get the edge. I love Loveland but every time I bring up Loveland and powder day, people tell me the visibility and wind suck, so...

 

By that time in March, you shouldn't see crowd problems on any of the mountains unless there is just a monster weekend powder day.

post #11 of 86
Thread Starter 
Well, I hope it's not slush in 2 weeks! I'm pretty sure we are going to skip Vail and try Copper with that 2 for 1 deal...
post #12 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by brumor View Post

Well, I hope it's not slush in 2 weeks! I'm pretty sure we are going to skip Vail and try Copper with that 2 for 1 deal...

 

Well, late March brings a LOT of snow too, but getting into that time of year, if it is sunny, it tends to be above freezing and melting.

post #13 of 86
It was 52 degrees in the gondola parking lot yesterday when I left work at 4:45. Pretty warm in the high country.
post #14 of 86
Thread Starter 
Yea, that's not good. I see it's 60 in Denver today and snowing and in the 20s here in RI, but that doesn't surprise me. Last time we landing in Denver (April) it was in the 70s and I really figured the skiing was going to be slush. It wasn't! I hope it gets cold next week, we are leaving on the 25th.

As for resorts... I bought that discount book from that school online. I really think we might ski Copper twice. It all depends on how we like it, I guess. My plan is to go to Copper first (2 for 1) and then A-basin ($68 / ticket). Then we can decide to go back and use another 2 for 1 at Copper or hit A-Basin again.

I'm cheap and this is a cheap trip for my son and me, so I really can't see paying $110 for Keystone (which I do LOVE, BTW) or Breck when for half the price we can be at Copper or A-Basin. We have skied A-Basin a couple of times and love it.

Keystone was my "first" so I have a soft spot for the wonderful groomers and super long runs. We were at Breck during a dump a few years ago and had a BLAST in some trees a guy showed us, so I have nothing against Breck. But, is it worth almost twice the price to ski a VR? Not this time, IMO.

What do you guys think?
post #15 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by brumor View Post

But, is it worth almost twice the price to ski a VR? 

 

No way.  Why pay more to ski where it's more crowded.   I like your plan for two days at Copper and one at A-basin, and would avoid the crowds at Vail and Breck in the month of March.

 

@anachronism's has a good suggestion to play it based on weather.  Vail's back bowls are fun when slushy.   Copper and A-basin also have some south facing bowls that get great slush/corn, but they are higher elevation.  Which will be better really depends on the weather for that day and prior days.   Usually the higher elevation resorts have a big advantage, but not always.

 

The day I'd consider heading to Vail's back bowls is a cooler cloudy day after it's been really warm.  That's one of the few days where Vail's lower elevation is actually an advantage, and Vail's bowls may soften while the higher elevation bowls are crunchy.   I'd suggest keeping some flexibility and checking back here for suggestions on where to head each day.

post #16 of 86

ski free has BOGO valid at loveland, and copper.  You need to fill 10 gallons at a participating shell to get the voucher.  I know some people have gone to various shell's and ask for old receipts since you are coming from out of town.  There is also a thing called the GEMs card that costs $20 and gives you a BOGO at loveland and A-Basin.  I did a trip with my fiance this year, our first to colorado.  Did the Gems for the BOGO to loveland and A-Basin.  Did the skifree for Copper.  If you are cool with a-basin only, they have a really cheap 3 pack.

post #17 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

 

No way.  Why pay more to ski where it's more crowded.   I like your plan for two days at Copper and one at A-basin, and would avoid the crowds at Vail and Breck in the month of March.

 

@anachronism's has a good suggestion to play it based on weather.  Vail's back bowls are fun when slushy.   Copper and A-basin also have some south facing bowls that get great slush/corn, but they are higher elevation.  Which will be better really depends on the weather for that day and prior days.   Usually the higher elevation resorts have a big advantage, but not always.

 

The day I'd consider heading to Vail's back bowls is a cooler cloudy day after it's been really warm.  That's one of the few days where Vail's lower elevation is actually an advantage, and Vail's bowls may soften while the higher elevation bowls are crunchy.   I'd suggest keeping some flexibility and checking back here for suggestions on where to head each day.

I also agree with skiing Copper and A Basin.  I think the OP is leaning to skipping Vail -- it will be very expensive (window price is now $139, but you can "save" $20 by buying on line).  Now, if the conditions are great, it might be worth it to splurge one day and enjoy the vast terrain of Vail, but otherwise you will have a better ski experience at Copper and A Basin (IMHO).

 

Mike

post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

@anachronism
's has a good suggestion to play it based on weather.  Vail's back bowls are fun when slushy.   Copper and A-basin also have some south facing bowls that get great slush/corn, but they are higher elevation.  Which will be better really depends on the weather for that day and prior days.   Usually the higher elevation resorts have a big advantage, but not always.

The day I'd consider heading to Vail's back bowls is a cooler cloudy day after it's been really warm.  That's one of the few days where Vail's lower elevation is actually an advantage, and Vail's bowls may soften while the higher elevation bowls are crunchy.   I'd suggest keeping some flexibility and checking back here for suggestions on where to head each day.

Totally agree. Skied Copper last April 5th and Vail the next day.

Copper was icy in the morning - Andys Icecore, anyone? - and after lunch it was coral reef coming off of Storm King to heavy mank in Copper Bowl. The west side cruisers did soften up nicely in the afternoon, though, and it's Spring, so that's always a nice prelude to a beer.

It rained that evening at the Vail base, maybe 2" fresh up top, sunny all day the next day. We went straight to the back bowls and it was good soft/slush/corn for most of the day, only got a little bit heavy late. There were some harder exposures, but Vail's lower elevation was definitely way better than Copper the day before.

I do think you need to pay attention to weather and what the snow is doing, because once higher up hits a melt/freeze cycle all it takes is an overcast morning and there may be little worth skiing until the sun comes out. Lower down you may not get the harder freeze and more sun if the clouds are just hanging along the range tops.

Just one instance for me, but it has colored my perception about late season non-fresh days where Vail might be choice over altitude. You can put a lot of fun spring miles under your skis on a day like that at Vail, which beats the hell out of wandering up and down a higher elevation mountain hoping to follow the sun at some point.
post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


Totally agree. Skied Copper last April 5th and Vail the next day.

Copper was icy in the morning - Andys Icecore, anyone? - and after lunch it was coral reef coming off of Storm King to heavy mank in Copper Bowl. The west side cruisers did soften up nicely in the afternoon, though, and it's Spring, so that's always a nice prelude to a beer.

It rained that evening at the Vail base, maybe 2" fresh up top, sunny all day the next day. We went straight to the back bowls and it was good soft/slush/corn for most of the day, only got a little bit heavy late. There were some harder exposures, but Vail's lower elevation was definitely way better than Copper the day before.

I do think you need to pay attention to weather and what the snow is doing, because once higher up hits a melt/freeze cycle all it takes is an overcast morning and there may be little worth skiing until the sun comes out. Lower down you may not get the harder freeze and more sun if the clouds are just hanging along the range tops.

Just one instance for me, but it has colored my perception about late season non-fresh days where Vail might be choice over altitude. You can put a lot of fun spring miles under your skis on a day like that at Vail, which beats the hell out of wandering up and down a higher elevation mountain hoping to follow the sun at some point.

It totally depends, though. I have had plenty of horrid overcast FIRM days in Vail in April... I don't think it's a sure bet either way. Totally depends on the temp the day before, and you really aren't sure unless you are there.

post #20 of 86
I think that's right. Copper surprised in its ice/coral/mank, and Vail had the makings of a mess with rain at 8,200 the evening before. It was the overcast part, or lack thereof, that was the big difference in those two days, not the elevation.
post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

It totally depends, though. I have had plenty of horrid overcast FIRM days in Vail in April... I don't think it's a sure bet either way. Totally depends on the temp the day before, and you really aren't sure unless you are there.

 

I've been burned too many times hoping things will thaw on overcast spring days. if I have the option on those days, I head for North facing high elevation to look for chalk to ski rather than spending all day on bulletproof hoping it will thaw on the next run...

 

I want everyone in this thread to take notice. I recommended Vail to somebody. You all are witnesses. It probably will never happen again...

post #22 of 86
Hooray! We found an agreeable reason to ski Vail. Once.
post #23 of 86
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone! Yea, Vail is out this year and so are Vail resorts, LOL. My plan is to hit Copper first and then A-Basin. The third day we will play it by ear and check the forum to see what others think. It's going to be an awesome trip. We have a nice condo on Dillon Lake for $600 total, discount ticket/lunch for A-Basin and the 2 for 1 at Copper. Rent a car for $100 or so, get some groceries and we are good to go. Maybe a couple of stops to sample the new businesses and stock up ;)

post #24 of 86

I'd think about Loveland for your 3rd day.  You can get all day tickets there for $31.  It's a pleasant hill to ski without all the resort crap you deal with at a place like Copper where you walk a mile to get to the lifts. 

 

LL also has some amazing open bowl skiing and a laid back attitude that's hard to beat.

post #25 of 86
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'm checking out Loveland now...
post #26 of 86

You can use a BOGO from Shell gas stations there...

post #27 of 86
It was really springy yesterday. Today a fast front will move thru, dropping temps and maybe a few inches. It will be a transitional day, you might want to save some cash at LL.
post #28 of 86
Thread Starter 

Do people suggest Loveland because of it's height and snow conditions in the spring? The only thing I know about it is that it usually opens first. Is that the one you can kind of see on the way into Summit? 

post #29 of 86

It's right over the Eisenhower Tunnel rumor...   It's 6 miles east of Dillon.  I suggest it because it's cheap, steep and rarely crowded.  It's the complete opposite of places like Vail/Breckenridge

post #30 of 86
Thread Starter 
Yea, that's what always seemed weird, you can ski right over the highway. That said, it looks pretty cool! I am really considering this for day 3. Ridge Cat looks cool, above treelike stuff looks awesome, and the price smile.gif
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