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Copper - What to expect during Thanksgiving week?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

We are a family of four with two young beginner sons from the Midwest (10 & 8 yrs old).  We are considering coming to Copper Mountain for Thanksgiving week.  We don't have to commit to anything too far in advance because we are going to be driving.  We are trying to determine how much of the terrain that we ski will be open the week of 11/24 - 11/28.  I have scoured this forum and others for prior year posts, but don't find information beyond "skiing was good considering the early season, etc".  We are beginner & intermediate cruisers, so we would only be interested in those runs.  I know that it is early and very much weather dependent, but for those experienced in going to Copper early in the season what is your estimated % of greens & blues open during this week?  10%/25%50%/more?  Thank you for your information.

post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by weichmanski View Post
 

We are a family of four with two young beginner sons from the Midwest (10 & 8 yrs old).  We are considering coming to Copper Mountain for Thanksgiving week.  We don't have to commit to anything too far in advance because we are going to be driving.  We are trying to determine how much of the terrain that we ski will be open the week of 11/24 - 11/28.  I have scoured this forum and others for prior year posts, but don't find information beyond "skiing was good considering the early season, etc".  We are beginner & intermediate cruisers, so we would only be interested in those runs.  I know that it is early and very much weather dependent, but for those experienced in going to Copper early in the season what is your estimated % of greens & blues open during this week?  10%/25%50%/more?  Thank you for your information.

Hmmmm. Not sure how to estimate percentages, but I would say no more than 25%. Most likely you will want to be skiing off two lifts, American Flyer and Timberline Express. They will have at least 2 long runs on each, I would think. Check the trail map and see what you think.

 

I did check last year's twitter account, and it looks like about 250 acres was open at Thanksgiving, which is roughly 10% of the mountain, but the mountain is only 45% greens and blues, and no advanced terrain was open at that point, I don't think, maybe one trail. Does that help? 

 

Of course, the year before, we got only 8 in. of snow in November, so ... But as you said, you're driving, so it's easy enough to alter plans.

 

-- aaaand, I just realized you said beginner sons. How beginner do you mean? As in, never ever? 

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

They are level 3/4.  Good on greens, getting comfortable with blues.  They skied Whistler/Blackomb last April and this is the lesson level that they ended up in.

 

Thank you for the info.  It does help.

post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by weichmanski View Post
 

They are level 3/4.  Good on greens, getting comfortable with blues.  They skied Whistler/Blackomb last April and this is the lesson level that they ended up in.

 

Thank you for the info.  It does help.

Oh, ok, that's fine. The rank beginner learning terrain may not be open at that point, but you're fine with 3/4.

post #5 of 19

Is there any reason why it has to be Copper?

 

Since your driving, I would just wait until the last minute and decide based on conditions, cost and crowds.

Personally, I would get further away from the front range.

post #6 of 19

Well part of the issue with Copper over Turkey day is the impact of the race program on the resort.  While it's less likely to affect the green terrain and I suspect that Copper will be a bit more accommodating of the recreational crowd, a lot of the race teams are school age kids who come out around the school holidays, so there's likely to be a lot of race kids on the hill.  Crowding associated with the holiday may load more folks onto the green runs because there will be a lot of terrain that isn't open, including all of the speed course and the whole eastern side of the resort.

 

That being said, you are better off at Copper than the other Summit County resorts and probably better off than Winter Park as well.  

 

But as Shred mentioned, you might be better off driving another 2 hours to Aspen.  The crowds will be smaller.  And the ski school is (a lot) better.

 

Mike

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by weichmanski View Post
 

We are a family of four with two young beginner sons from the Midwest (10 & 8 yrs old).  We are considering coming to Copper Mountain for Thanksgiving week.  We don't have to commit to anything too far in advance because we are going to be driving.  We are trying to determine how much of the terrain that we ski will be open the week of 11/24 - 11/28.  I have scoured this forum and others for prior year posts, but don't find information beyond "skiing was good considering the early season, etc".  We are beginner & intermediate cruisers, so we would only be interested in those runs.  I know that it is early and very much weather dependent, but for those experienced in going to Copper early in the season what is your estimated % of greens & blues open during this week?  10%/25%50%/more?  Thank you for your information.

Did you happen to catch these threads about early Dec in Colorado?

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/128741/steamboat-v-breck-1st-wk-december

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/128572/early-december-ski-trip-in-colorado-beginner-intermediate-flying-into-denver

post #8 of 19

Median percent of terrain open at Thanksgiving at Copper is 20%.   I realize that's more palatable for beginners than most. 

 

However I must:deadhorse:again and ask what this family does for spring break.  Since they are willing to drive from the Midwest, they will obviously get more ski days for the same drive with any mountain they choose to visit in full operation. 

 

And as much as I rag on Christmas week, that's also more ski days for the drive and going someplace like Aspen 75+% open to get away from the worst slope crowding as suggested by Shredhead works for then too.

 

If this trip is being contemplated in addition to the other school breaks, I retract my criticisms and compliment the OP's family on their enthusiasm.  Thanskgiving being a holiday I doubt there are any lodging bargains either vs. the other vacation periods.  I'm a 35+ year addicted skier and I would not do this.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately my work schedule only allows for early trips outside of the Midwest.  I realize that conditions are less than ideal, but the typical "hills" in our area are a total of 200 or less acres under the best of conditions, so we are coming from a different point of view than someone who lives out West.

 

I've seen that several people have suggested Aspen.  Is that because of better conditions, less crowding or other reasons?  We will be skiing on Tuesday/Wednesday and probably Friday of that week.  My guess is that Friday will be crowded, but I would think that Tuesday/Wednesday won't be bad.  Is that an appropriate expectation?

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by weichmanski View Post
 

Unfortunately my work schedule only allows for early trips outside of the Midwest.  I realize that conditions are less than ideal, but the typical "hills" in our area are a total of 200 or less acres under the best of conditions, so we are coming from a different point of view than someone who lives out West.

 

I've seen that several people have suggested Aspen.  Is that because of better conditions, less crowding or other reasons?  We will be skiing on Tuesday/Wednesday and probably Friday of that week.  My guess is that Friday will be crowded, but I would think that Tuesday/Wednesday won't be bad.  Is that an appropriate expectation?

 

 

Yes

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Unfortunately my work schedule only allows for early trips outside of the Midwest.

Not sure what the definition of early is, but in Colorado April is better than December and May is better than November.   Seriously, I take tropical vacations in November, and on average ski from mid-December through late May/early June.

 

Tuesday/Wednesday before Thanksgiving are not likely to be crowded anywhere but terrain may be severely restricted as they might be holding back marginal terrain until the holiday starts. Skiing is not unlike the Midwest: manmade snow on just a few runs with very high skier density, albeit with more vertical.  One of my sons was in a high school 3 years where he got all of Thanksgiving week off.  We went to the Caribbean for scuba diving on all of them. 


Edited by Tony Crocker - 10/9/14 at 12:51pm
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by weichmanski View Post
 

Unfortunately my work schedule only allows for early trips outside of the Midwest.  I realize that conditions are less than ideal, but the typical "hills" in our area are a total of 200 or less acres under the best of conditions, so we are coming from a different point of view than someone who lives out West.

 

I've seen that several people have suggested Aspen.  Is that because of better conditions, less crowding or other reasons?  We will be skiing on Tuesday/Wednesday and probably Friday of that week.  My guess is that Friday will be crowded, but I would think that Tuesday/Wednesday won't be bad.  Is that an appropriate expectation?

Conditions are probably a tossup. Aspen does have less snow making, though. Last year Aspen Mt had blacks and double blacks open on Nov. 23, but that was an exceptionally good start and YMMV. Very definitely less crowded.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Miles View Post

Conditions are probably a tossup. Aspen does have less snow making, though. Last year Aspen Mt had blacks and double blacks open on Nov. 23, but that was an exceptionally good start and YMMV. Very definitely less crowded.

Given your skill levels, Aspen mountains would not be a good choice, but Snowmass would be quite good. Snowmaking Is generally quite good and there will be far fewer people.

Mike
post #14 of 19

I skied Copper on a Sunday,  mid November last year.  I'm a good skier and Main Vein scared the crap out of me.

Lot's of young racers skiing fast, with some skills, but looking out for other people doesn't seem to be one of them.

I wouldn't recommend it for young beginners.

 

I wasn't necessarily recommending Aspen/Snowmass.  Just any, non front range resort, assuming that they would be skiing Thursday-Sunday. 

But many non front range resorts won't be opening until Thanksgiving day, so that really limits your choices Tuesday-Wednesday.

 

Again, I would recommend waiting till the last minute.  If Colorado's getting a lot of snow and more terrain is open, then you have a lot more options.

post #15 of 19

Shred, I agree with you.  Given the huge race program at Copper, I just don't think it's a great choice for beginners at Thanksgiving.  And while those race kids have a lot of skills (it is really fun to watch them from the chair lift), they'll scare anyone, especially beginners/intermediates.

 

Mike

post #16 of 19

As long as Flyer is open, green skiers should be fine. Copper made a good effort last season to keep the speeds down over there, lots of signs and visible slope monitors. Most of the race teams were only drilling slowly when they were on that side. But no, don't ski off Eagle during that time, I agree. 

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

As long as Flyer is open, green skiers should be fine. Copper made a good effort last season to keep the speeds down over there, lots of signs and visible slope monitors. Most of the race teams were only drilling slowly when they were on that side. But no, don't ski off Eagle during that time, I agree. 

 

 

Well beginners don't ski off of Eagle anyway since there is no beginner terrain but I can see how low level intermediate skiers would be intimidated by the all the racers ripping down Main Vein.  I like watching them but Copper needs to control them a little better on Main Vein..yanking a few tickets would go a long way towards getting that done and I say this as the father of a couple of those kids.:nono:

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Again, I would recommend waiting till the last minute.  If Colorado's getting a lot of snow and more terrain is open, then you have a lot more options.

Since you're driving, this is practical advice.  If the year gets off to a fast start, consider it.  If everyone is still less than 20% open, save your $$ and stay home.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 10/9/14 at 12:50pm
post #19 of 19

Copper has been open for racing for a bit now and we have gotten a few decent October storms in the high country, but it has been warm much of the month and Copper is behind on snow making causing them to delay their public opening from Oct 31 to Nov 7.  They "expect to have great top to bottom skiing and riding on Ptarmigan, Rhapsody and Main Vein" when they open next Friday.

 

The forecast for the week is ok, but not great for snow making with only a glancing storm predicted meaning that Copper is behind where they normally are in terms of getting terrain open.  4 years ago, things were very quiet early (warm late Sept/early Oct) and changed in a hurry giving me a chance to ski some thigh deep powder at Copper before Thanksgiving, so keep your eyes open and hope for some snow.

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