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Crowds on slopes [Feb/Mar school holidays in CO]

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to plan a couple ski trips next winter in CO, most likely at Breck.  One trip will have my teen son along. He wants to try snowboarding this time.  For that trip w/ son, will either do Spring Break (Mar 9-13) or Presidents' Day weekend (Feb 13-16) in order to not miss school, if possible.  Of these dates, which is likely to have worse crowds or are they both going to be the worst possible due to other families trying to do the same as me?

post #2 of 65
They are both going to be pretty awful but Spring Break will be better. President's weekend is usually the busiest weekend of the year. If your really worried about crowds unwound head over to Copper
post #3 of 65

The best way to avoid President's Day crowds is to go skiing in Canada.

post #4 of 65
Unless it's Family Day.
post #5 of 65

Echo the others.  Without a doubt Prez Day Weekend is the worst. For spring break a lot depends on when the CO and other large populations that come here have their spring break.  Ours tends to be later in the month, last two years for a lot of Denver area it was as late as the last week in March.  But, bottom line, will be better than Presidents Day Weekend, and Breck will be the worst of the Vail resorts.

post #6 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

The best way to avoid President's Day crowds is to go skiing in Canada.


Not in Whistler. Other places are better, but WB is crammed with the Seattle crowd.

post #7 of 65

For many of the ski areas in the Southern part of the state, Spring break, specifically Texas' spring break (most schools, k-university, have the same break) is the busiest time of year. 

 

For Breck, I would expect presidents to be one of the busiest of the year, and worse than Spring break.

post #8 of 65

Wherever you go, get your teen son out of bed and start skiing as early as possible..  Thankfully, some people arrive late to the slopes.

post #9 of 65

Make sure you get a 9$ slice of pizza at Breck.

post #10 of 65
Try Winter Park. We have the same school limitations and skied there spring break a few years back without big crowds. The weekend got a bit busier with day trippers from Denver, but WP doesn't seem to get the destination crowds like Breckinridge seems to.
post #11 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

For many of the ski areas in the Southern part of the state, Spring break, specifically Texas' spring break (most schools, k-university, have the same break) is the busiest time of year. 

 

For Breck, I would expect presidents to be one of the busiest of the year, and worse than Spring break.

Yeah I would say up this way, Pres Day is just way more concentrated than spring break. But the Texas thing is it for you, all condensed into one week. 

post #12 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Yeah I would say up this way, Pres Day is just way more concentrated than spring break. But the Texas thing is it for you, all condensed into one week. 

 

Well, Christmas isn't a picnic for the same reason. But Presidents barely seems more than a blib above a typical weekend.

post #13 of 65
For any time you expect a crowd crunch, Breckenridge is at the top of the list of areas to avoid. You need to go somewhere else with those school date constraints. Salt Lake City is the obvious choice with short distance to airport and multiple convenient resorts, some of which are uncrowded even on peak holidays. Powder Mt., Snowbasin and Solitude are particularly attractive for crowd avoidance.
post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

For any time you expect a crowd crunch, Breckenridge is at the top of the list of areas to avoid. You need to go somewhere else with those school date constraints. Salt Lake City is the obvious choice with short distance to airport and multiple convenient resorts, some of which are uncrowded even on peak holidays. Powder Mt., Snowbasin and Solitude are particularly attractive for crowd avoidance.


A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I'm talking about a little place called Aspen.
post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post
 

I'm looking to plan a couple ski trips next winter in CO, most likely at Breck.  One trip will have my teen son along. He wants to try snowboarding this time.  For that trip w/ son, will either do Spring Break (Mar 9-13) or Presidents' Day weekend (Feb 13-16) in order to not miss school, if possible.  Of these dates, which is likely to have worse crowds or are they both going to be the worst possible due to other families trying to do the same as me?

Welcome to EpicSki!  What is the reason for only considering Colorado?

post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

For any time you expect a crowd crunch, Breckenridge is at the top of the list of areas to avoid. 

or Vail. Here is a pic for the crowds at Breck over the holidays. I really hope this isn't the line for the Colorado SuperChair because that's a good 200 yards away.....

 

If your heart is really set on Breck though, I hope you're a pretty good skier, because the lines for the E-Chair, Chair 6, and Imperial express will be a little bit shorter since it serves advanced terrain. Personally I'd recommend Loveland, they rarely have long lines.

 

BTW, they are upgrading the Colorado SuperChair to a 6 pack, so that will help a little bit. 

 

post #17 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiNEwhere View Post
 

or Vail. Here is a pic for the crowds at Breck over the holidays. I really hope this isn't the line for the Colorado SuperChair because that's a good 200 yards away.....

 

If your heart is really set on Breck though, I hope you're a pretty good skier, because the lines for the E-Chair, Chair 6, and Imperial express will be a little bit shorter since it serves advanced terrain. Personally I'd recommend Loveland, they rarely have long lines.

 

BTW, they are upgrading the Colorado SuperChair to a 6 pack, so that will help a little bit. 

 

They should install a gondola or something for both the rocky mountain and Colorado chairs. That base area has always been bad it got exponentially worse when they installed the gondola and removed all the other parking. Even on none crowded days that area is a sh%# show. E chair, the t-bar, chair 6  and peak 10 usually aren't too bad though the installation of the imperial chair has made 6 a lot busier. 

 

Did peak 6 stay super crowded over the season or did it get a little relief once the novelty of it being new wore off?

 

Also is there a reason for Breck? Unless you really know your way around and are an advanced rider Breck kinda blows for boarders. If your son is going to be trying boarding he will be much happier at another mountain.    

 

Personally, I'd stay in Frisco and go to Copper I have only heard good things about their snowboard instructors.  

post #18 of 65

Breck does blow for boarding. You can't easily move around between peak 8 and 9 without a long, flat, traverse. The silver lining though is that the C-Chair should be running like it does on weekends and holidays, which will shorten the traverse, albeit with a long, slow, ride. I'd stay at either peak 8 or 9, not both unless you want to deal with the hassle. 

 

I wrote on Breck's facebook page that they should've installed an 8 pack. They'd be the first in the US (and Canada too I think), and Breck has installed weird or unconventional lifts in the past, for example the double loading Quicksilver lift, the snowflake lift with it's 60 degree turn, and the T-Bar that turns as well.

 

O yea, speaking of the quicksilver lift, don't go there or you'll be sorry. Really long wait time and crowded slopes.

 

Not sure if peak 6 gets crowded anymore, as I normally ski Breck on Wednesday or Thursday.

 

Edit: Forgot to mention, if you are an advanced rider, you can go from the top of the Colorado SuperChair, down Frosty's Freeway, to the E-Chair. If you take this up you can get to Peak 9 without the traverse. Frosty's Freeway is a black diamond but if you're an advanced intermediate you should have no problem with it.

post #19 of 65
Why not Aspen? Fly into Grand Junction and rent a car. You will have access to 4 different mountains in Aspen alone, and if you feel like slummin' it you can go to Sunlight in Glenwood Springs. I mean if you're dead set on Breck, it won't really matter what the lines are like, but Aspen has the benefit of being far from Denver and having 4 different mountains to dilute the crowds.
post #20 of 65

Agreed, what makes your heart set on Breck? What are you looking for in a resort, there are probably some alternatives you'll be happy with that aren't nearly as crowded.

post #21 of 65

The reason it's crowded is everyone thinks they want to go there.....  :dunno

post #22 of 65

Boardermilk in Aspen is just about the perfect place to learn snowboarding.  It's never crowded. 

post #23 of 65
Thread Starter 

Sorry it took so long to get back on here.  Thanks for all the comments.  Why Breck?  Well, 1) like the town and the many places to eat, drink, stay, 2) not as pricey as Aspen (so I've been told), 3) quicker to drive to than Aspen, Vail, Steamboat, 4) good number of intermediate runs, 5) friend has a townhouse there so the trip without son we will share his place at no charge, 6) flights to Denver from Houston are many and inexpensive, 7) lots of snow days.

 

Have considered Utah and would definitely like to take a trip there in the next year or two.  It would be worth considering given the close proximity of resorts to SLC.

 

As for other CO ski areas, we plan on taking a day at least to try Copper Mountain while staying in Breck.  Would also like to try Loveland since it is not too far from Denver, but probably won't do that one until 2016 when my GF takes back the townhouse she leases out in Evergreen and we would be staying at her place at night.  Have been to WP only once in the summer for mountain biking and don't like the feel of the town as much as I do Breck.  That says nothing of the quality of the skiing, but is a factor when staying several days.  Will likely ski at WP some time in the next couple years.

post #24 of 65
Dont listen to these people. Copper is not where you want to be. Breck and Vail are exponentially better options. Way larger than Copper....I hear the parking options are great to boot.
post #25 of 65

Loveland is a dump. Dirt lot and no valet parking. Nothing to see here folks, move along...

post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Skull View Post

Loveland is a dump. Dirt lot and no valet parking. Nothing to see here folks, move along...
Not to mention, their food sucks, they have no high speed lifts, and get terrible snow.

I wonder how Loveland feels about this unofficial marketing campaign they have going for them? Lol
post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post
 

 quicker to drive to than Aspen, Vail, Steamboat

I've always wondered about this kind of logic, in fact, I wonder it about myself every weekend, when I make the (relatively short) drive to my own hill, which suffers big lines on weekends, or at least did until the crisis started biting here. What's the point of a shorter drive, if the payback is waiting in line to ride lifts?

post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
 

What's the point of a shorter drive, if the payback is waiting in line to ride lifts?

More unsuspecting victims to conk on the noggin with the safety bar?

post #29 of 65

More friends to make! Remember, we have a thread devoted to meeting ski companions. If no one's on the hill, who you gonna meet??

post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

I've always wondered about this kind of logic, in fact, I wonder it about myself every weekend, when I make the (relatively short) drive to my own hill, which suffers big lines on weekends, or at least did until the crisis started biting here. What's the point of a shorter drive, if the payback is waiting in line to ride lifts?
bingo...and that makes three of us. Who wants to visit any ski area right off the highway? Cars zooming by just ruins the ambiance. That certainly strikes both loveland and copper off your list OP
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