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Winter Park in Feb [from Alabama]

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Coming to Winter Park for the first time Feb 6-10 with my wife. Wondering what kind of crowds to expect compared to previous Jan/Feb trips to Breck, Keystone and Vail. Also looking to take a day to go to another ski area to save a little $ and see some other places. Looking at Granby or Loveland, Granby looks like a place my wife would enjoy. She can make it down a black trail but really likes to stay on blues and stay away from trails where a wrong turn can get her in over her heard. I can enjoy pretty much any skiing as we live in Alabama and don't get to go very often. Is Granby a pretty decent place to ski for a day and are they usually 100% open every day by then? Thanks
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadossey View Post

Coming to Winter Park for the first time Feb 6-10 with my wife. Wondering what kind of crowds to expect compared to previous Jan/Feb trips to Breck, Keystone and Vail. Also looking to take a day to go to another ski area to save a little $ and see some other places. Looking at Granby or Loveland, Granby looks like a place my wife would enjoy. She can make it down a black trail but really likes to stay on blues and stay away from trails where a wrong turn can get her in over her heard. I can enjoy pretty much any skiing as we live in Alabama and don't get to go very often. Is Granby a pretty decent place to ski for a day and are they usually 100% open every day by then? Thanks


Welcome to EpicSki!  Always impresses me when folks from Alabama post.  There are more around EpicSki than you might expect.

 

The guys on SkiSE talk about Loveland all the time.

 

You can use the links I added under Topics Discussed (tags) to get to the EpicSki Resort pages for the places you mentioned.  Scroll down for a list of relevant threads.  Since tags are added manually, more likely to find useful info than with a generic search.

 

Here's a Winter Park thread to get you started.  OP also lives in the southeast.  He has successfully gotten his wife to enjoy skiing in recent years.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/121292/is-winter-park-the-best-combination-of-skiing-value-convenience-for-a-family

post #3 of 18

Winter Park has become my "home" mountain, though I live about 600 miles closer to Mammoth. I'll be there the 6th, but unfortunately finishing the third and last day of a bump clinic, so tied up until lift closures, I'm sure, then leaving Sat. morning. Never skied Granby, but its probably a little bump of a hill. Loveland would be quite a drive, and over a potentially dicey mountain pass. That would likely not be worth the trouble if you already are settled in WP. As far as economizing on lift tickets, check out WP's Twofer two day pass:

 

http://www.winterparkresort.com/tickets-and-passes/pass-overview/twofer.aspx  

 

You may be able to buy several to fit your needs on the trip; call the ticket office to ask. The Four Pass sales ended recently, and the Twofer may not last forever.

 

PM me if you'd like to get together over drinks Friday evening to go over the trail map and yak in general about one of my favorite places on earth.

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks, we won't be flying in til late Friday night. We are skiing on Sat-Mon. I bought the two-fer deal and was gonna try to save some $ for our 3rd day of skiing by going up to Granby or To Loveland. 1 day passes at WP are like $100/ea.
post #5 of 18

All good. Maybe Loveland on the way up or the way back? 

post #6 of 18

I'd say cosmoliu offers good suggestions.  Unless you're feeling entirely overwhelmed with the 'big mountain experience' and need something tinier, I wouldn't consider Granby.

 

Loveland is fun and different.  Definitely worth the price of admission, especially if it would work as a little detour on your way home.  If the pass is dry or you're a confident winter driver, LL would be a good choice to avoid Saturday WP crowds..... but leave good and early to avoid I-70 crowds =)

post #7 of 18

Skip Granby Ranch.  If you are flying out Monday night, just hit Loveland on the way out Monday as others have said.   If flying out on Tues, maybe play it by ear depending on the weather.   The drive to Loveland could be easy or pretty rough, and you'll want to ski loveland on a fairly clear day anyway. 

post #8 of 18

If you want to ski Loveland, do it on Monday. Getting from Winter Park to I-70 on Sunday can be a horrendous drive (terrible traffic).

 

If you really want to avoid crowds, drive to Steamboat Springs on Friday and ski Winter Park on Monday. Saturday at Winter Park can get pretty backed up. Steamboat has plenty of intermediate terrain and fewer people because it is away from the I-70 corridor. From Denver, it is about a 3 hour drive to Steamboat. On your way back to Denver, you will pass right by Winter Park.

post #9 of 18

Steamboat is a good idea, especially if there is new snow. But the pass between WP and the 'Boat can be dicey too and it's not a short drive.

 

One option is to do something totally different and go to either Devil's Thumb Ranch or Snow Mountain Ranch (YMCA facility) for some cross-country skiing. Devil's Thumb probably won't save you any money, but it is incredibly beautiful and a wonderful experience. (have dinner at the Hex House, with great deals on happy hour)

 

Crowds at WP. Pretty much nonexistent on the more challenging lifts on the MJ side. The base lifts on both sides and the intermediate lifts on both sides (Sunnyside on MJ) can get crowded on holiday weekends.

 

There are plenty of blues on the MJ side too. Parsenn Bowl is a great place to learn to ski trees.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input. We will probably do Loveland one day if the weather is nice or just suck it up and pay the extra $100/each and stick with WP. Don't want to spend our limited time driving to Steamboat.
post #11 of 18

@sadossey Check your PMs.

post #12 of 18

I don't have anything to add given our group has never been to the areas you questioned, but welcome to Epic from another Alabamian! As Marz mentioned, there's quite a few of us as I found out last winter when seeking some info.  There's a small group of us near Birmingham that takes a trip each year and I got some really good info from the good folks here before our trip last year to Big Sky. I'm sure you and the wife will have a blast!

post #13 of 18

Unless you two are in awesome shape, build in some down time because your quads will be toast after day 1.

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by flatcountry View Post
 

Unless you two are in awesome shape, build in some down time because your quads will be toast after day 1.


Speaking just for myself as a flatlander, what I've done in recent years as an older adult getting in more ski days now that I have the time and money is to work with enough good instructors to improve technique.  No quad issues after a day or two or even an solid week of skiing.  Didn't have much of a problem with quads before the high level lessons either.  And I'm not talking about just skiing on groomers.  I work on exercises directly related to skiing.  But improving technique came first.

post #15 of 18

Don't forget the gift of modern equipment. I am skiing terrain I never thought these legs would manage from a perspective of 5-7 years ago. Technique is necessary to guide my skis in the right direction, often feathering the edges in and out to get from A>B, but I often feel like what I am doing is coming along to enjoy the ride.

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


Speaking just for myself as a flatlander, what I've done in recent years as an older adult getting in more ski days now that I have the time and money is to work with enough good instructors to improve technique.  No quad issues after a day or two or even an solid week of skiing.  Didn't have much of a problem with quads before the high level lessons either.  And I'm not talking about just skiing on groomers.  I work on exercises directly related to skiing.  But improving technique came first.


I will put that to the test on my next trip out:  I was in pretty good shape last season, but am in even better shape now.  I was probably in the back seat way too much and that may have been my problem.  I was having issues with the rental skis but didn't realize how this affected me until we got back from the trip and had time to think about what went right and what went wrong.  When you're in the moment, you don't always put the pieces together, you are just driving for the objective and 'making do' with the rental gear.  I will either bring my own skis along with me this next trip or only rent the demos and carefully inspect them before I leave the shop.  I did better with those skis halfway through the second day, but I should have taken them back and paid for something else.  The stoners working at that rental shop were annoying as hell and they just didn't give a crap.

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by flatcountry View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


Speaking just for myself as a flatlander, what I've done in recent years as an older adult getting in more ski days now that I have the time and money is to work with enough good instructors to improve technique.  No quad issues after a day or two or even an solid week of skiing.  Didn't have much of a problem with quads before the high level lessons either.  And I'm not talking about just skiing on groomers.  I work on exercises directly related to skiing.  But improving technique came first.


I will put that to the test on my next trip out:  I was in pretty good shape last season, but am in even better shape now.  I was probably in the back seat way too much and that may have been my problem.  I was having issues with the rental skis but didn't realize how this affected me until we got back from the trip and had time to think about what went right and what went wrong.  When you're in the moment, you don't always put the pieces together, you are just driving for the objective and 'making do' with the rental gear.  I will either bring my own skis along with me this next trip or only rent the demos and carefully inspect them before I leave the shop.  I did better with those skis halfway through the second day, but I should have taken them back and paid for something else.  The stoners working at that rental shop were annoying as hell and they just didn't give a crap.

 While rental skis can have a bad tune, a good way to get the most out of a trip out west is to have a lesson early in the ski week.  Not on Day 1, but spending a couple hours with an instructor on Day 2 can work out well in the long run.  It's a small investment in having more fun in years to come.  Note that I am NOT an instructor.

post #18 of 18
Don't waste your time going to Granby. WP has everything you'd want. I've skied both.

Granby is not far and you could drive up there an afternoon after sking at WP to check it out if you want to.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Winter Park in Feb [from Alabama]