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Which ski area? Trip to CO, skiing Mar 30 - Apr 3 [driving from midwest with tweens, intermediates] - Page 4

post #91 of 116
Thread Starter 


Agreed, @raspritz!  A clumsy tumble down these short Wisco hills can get you bragging rights that you "skied" the blacks.  Luckily the boys are trapped with me in a car for 15+ hours as I extol the virtues of controlled skiing with lots of turns... Yes, I'm one of those moms! :)  

post #92 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindyLu View Post
 


Agreed, @raspritz!  A clumsy tumble down these short Wisco hills can get you bragging rights that you "skied" the blacks.  Luckily the boys are trapped with me in a car for 15+ hours as I extol the virtues of controlled skiing with lots of turns... Yes, I'm one of those moms! :)  

 

Err ... just how much impact do you suppose that will have on their plans?

post #93 of 116

Rental prices are far from equal— if you rent at the resort, be prepared to pay 50% or (much) higher fares than you would elsewhere. We used Christy Sports outside Keystone last year, got great, friendly, flexible service and pricing...

 

http://rental.christysports.com/store_locations.php?Store=Christy-Sports-Keystone-Snake-River

 

For instance, a junior setup with skis/boots/poles is $16 here, versus $34 at Keystone Sports in the River Run base area.

Premium ski packages are $34 here, versus $53 at River Run.

post #94 of 116

Copper Mountain is ideal for your family. Rent your gear from Virgin Island Ski Rental in Silverthorne and save a bundle.  

post #95 of 116

I enjoyed reading through this thread since I am planning on a trip somewhere the 3rd-7th of April and am thinking about where to go, so enjoyed all of the ideas. I'm not planning to commit to a location until at least some time in March to see how the seasons are going, but we will likely be flying in, so we probably can't wait until the very last minute - if we could, we would!

 

Not sure if you came across this site looking at possibilities, but there is a lot of great information about typical (if there is such a thing) late season conditions to help with the research http://www.bestsnow.net/

 

We know we love Snowmass and may end up there. It is certainly a great place for a ski-focused family trip. I loved it as a kid and love it as a parent. There are some older ski in out condos that aren't either big or luxurious and aren't too outrageous. If we go we will probably stay at the Mountain Chalet. Not sure how many people they allow in their hotel rooms, but with boys your kid's age the included breakfasts and lunch could save quite a bit.

 

Copper and Keystone are also on the radar for us too, we'll see.

post #96 of 116

I drive from Chicago about once a year, usually at Christmas.  It's not that bad of a drive, when the roads are good.  If they're bad, it can be hell.

I would recommend some flexibilty on scheduling your drive and watch the weather.

post #97 of 116

Take  look at these threads. The second is a trip report from Aspen/Snowmass last April.

If it comes between Aspen/Snowmass and Keystone, Copper. To me that's easy - Aspen.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/126588/april-week-w-kids-vail-beaver-creek-summit-county-vs-aspen-snowmass-vs-alta-snowbird-a-users-guide

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/127610/aspen-snowmass-8-days-of-non-stop-skiing-april-11-april-20-w-11-year-old

post #98 of 116
http://www.skimonarch.com/
take a look

http://www.vrbo.com/651694

no base area lodging here but for 10 minute drive save a fortune on lunch!
post #99 of 116

Hi!

 

My favorite resort so late in the season in that general area for trip with skiers of different abilities is Breckenridge. In a decent snow year the snow is still pretty good late in the season thanks to the high elevation although you get lot's of sun in the morning thanks to the mainly eastern exposure but it's nice, bright and temps are not bad. Not many shady slopes! Lodging is plentiful and can be found at good prices. It is close to Keystone and A-Basin which offer more options for skiing. A-Basin can be particularly very good so late in the season. Worth going on a nice sunny day with low winds. The Breckenridge Ski area is big (wide) but IMHO easy enough to get around and since it's pretty flat below the alpine there are a LOT of easy blue runs available.

 

Steamboat is a great resort but the dates you mentioned are way too late for it during most years due to it's lower elevation and eastern exposure.

 

Vail CAN be quite good so late in the season in an exceptional snow year like 2010-2011 but I would not bet on it if I had to plan ahead.

 

Winter Park is ok. Holds good snow and has some good slopeside lodging options. Does not really have a town though.

 

Beaver Creek is a superb mountain for kids that age, easy to get around in Beaver Creek proper but slopeside lodging is expensive in the village and conditions lower down can be variable so late in the season.

post #100 of 116

Kind of funny. At various points, I've had Monarch, Sunlight, and now Wolf as my home mountains.

 

It sounds like Ski in/ski out is important to you. Given that, I would vote Sunlight.

 

End of March up there is usually Good Spring conditions.

 

Sunlight has the best terrain of any of the more local oriented mountains, of which I would place all three of these mountains. Wolf is steeper, but all the steep sections are shorter, while Sunlight has good long fall line runs.

 

Brettleburg condos are cheap and absolutely ski in/out. There is another hotel on the other side of the parking lot that is about a 50 foot walk to the lifts.

 

Glenwood Springs is about 15 minutes away. It is a summer resort town that has lot of great places to eat, shop, and relax, and in Winter there are no crowds.  The Hot Springs on a snowy night are sublime.

 

Another plus for Sunlight- it is more than big enough to challenge your entire clan, but small enough where you can let your kids roam and still keep tabs on them. Everything spills into 1 base, and you can see most of the mountain from Primo chair. It is pretty easy to keep tabs on your family without forcing them to ski with dad.

post #101 of 116

Hi, I'm also from the Midwest(MN) out here working seasonal, it's a very dry year out here so you will be pushing it to find good snow by the end of March,I'm in Aspen and ithe snowpack is very low, icy groomers and lots of broken bones everyday at the hospital,also Aspen is way to expensive for a family unless your millionaires, the snow pack tends to be better around Breckenridge,through that area and a lot more family friendly,also cooper mountain is a good family place but doesn't have all the amenities of a family resort like the others in the area of Breckenridge,keystone,I

post #102 of 116

I'm from Northwest Indiana and do the drive to Summit County/Breckenridge 3 or 4 times a year.  I worked at Breck for four winters full time and this season is my 5 part time.

 

Keystone is a good family resort a little less expensive than Breck, but Keystone gets less snow and is a little lower in elevation.  Therefore, the later you get in the season the more questionable the snow becomes (and this season is a below average season).  Keystone closes a week earlier than Breck for the previous stated reasons.

 

Copper too would be a good choice for the family trip.  Lodging in the village at the base of Copper should be reasonable.  Copper is good because the runs on the mountain have a natural separation between beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain.

 

My recommendation would be Breckenridge.  It is a big place and mid-week it is not crowded that time of the year as your trip is after most schools spring breaks.  Breckenridge is a higher elevation than the others and holds it's snow better (though the higher elevation can be an issue for altitude sickness).  For ski in/ski out lodging look at The Village at Breckenridge or Beaver Run Resort both located on Peak 9 (much less crowded than Peak 8).  You have a good selection of green & blue runs right out side these properties.  For see other parts of the resort the Peak 8 Super Connect chair makes access easy.  A less expensive option with ski in shuttle out is Pine Ridge Condos.  This is an older complex that is reasonably priced.  The Breckenridge shuttle bus stops right in front of Pine Ridge and it is less than 5 minutes to/from the Beaver Run base area.  It is also an easy walk to Breck's Main St where most restaurants are located.  In the morning the base of Peak 8, the top of the gondola, can be very crowded as most everyone that drives and parks takes the gondola up.  It is best to start the day on Peak 9 at Beaver Run or the Village.  If you go to Breck Downstairs at Eric's is the most popular family pizza place in town.  Being from the Chicago area if you like Chicago Sports go to Fatty's on Ridge Street for pizza.  It is owned by a former Chicagoan and it is all Chicago Sports memorabilia. 

 

Have fun and ski safe!

post #103 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayupnorth View Post
 

Hi, I'm also from the Midwest(MN) out here working seasonal, it's a very dry year out here so you will be pushing it to find good snow by the end of March,I'm in Aspen and ithe snowpack is very low, icy groomers and lots of broken bones everyday at the hospital,also Aspen is way to expensive for a family unless your millionaires, the snow pack tends to be better around Breckenridge,through that area and a lot more family friendly,also cooper mountain is a good family place but doesn't have all the amenities of a family resort like the others in the area of Breckenridge,keystone,I

 

So... Let me get this straight.

 

You say Aspen is too expensive for a family, and then you recommend one of the few mountains that is decidedly more expensive? You have this whole advice thing down.

post #104 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayupnorth View Post

 
Hi, I'm also from the Midwest(MN) out here working seasonal, it's a very dry year out here so you will be pushing it to find good snow by the end of March,I'm in Aspen and ithe snowpack is very low, icy groomers and lots of broken bones everyday at the hospital,also Aspen is way to expensive for a family unless your millionaires, the snow pack tends to be better around Breckenridge,through that area and a lot more family friendly,also cooper mountain is a good family place but doesn't have all the amenities of a family resort like the others in the area of Breckenridge,keystone,I

So... Let me get this straight.

You say Aspen is too expensive for a family, and then you recommend one of the few mountains that is decidedly more expensive? You have this whole advice thing down.

You're saying Breck is more expensive than Aspen?
post #105 of 116

We just got back from a trip to CO where we skied Monarch (best snow of the bunch), Telluride, Aspen, Buttermilk and Snowmass.  It was VERY warm the entire trip and you could almost see the snowpack melting before your eyes, especially at Aspen Mountain.  If it doesn't snow soon and often, between now and late March, there may not be much to ski on.

post #106 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post

You're saying Breck is more expensive than Aspen?

Yes.

Breck is $149 per day for an adult lift ticket. Aspen is $129.

For a family of 5? Even if lodging is more expensive (not conceding this point, because unless we are comparing beds in Frisco lodging is generally comparable), the extra cost of a lift ticket X5 is going to more than make up the difference.

So yes, saying you can't afford Aspen unless you are millionaires and then recommending more crowded, more expensive mountains instead is terrible advice. It may be that Breck will have better snow this year and it makes sense to (pay more and) go there this year, but lets not get all caught up in the Aspen mystique and forget that Vail/Breck has expensive skiing on lockdown.
post #107 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post


Yes.

Breck is $149 per day for an adult lift ticket. Aspen is $129.

For a family of 5? Even if lodging is more expensive (not conceding this point, because unless we are comparing beds in Frisco lodging is generally comparable), the extra cost of a lift ticket X5 is going to more than make up the difference.

So yes, saying you can't afford Aspen unless you are millionaires and then recommending more crowded, more expensive mountains instead is terrible advice. It may be that Breck will have better snow this year and it makes sense to (pay more and) go there this year, but lets not get all caught up in the Aspen mystique and forget that Vail/Breck has expensive skiing on lockdown.

 

To be fair, those are the walk-up prices. If you buy ahead of time, the prices (assuming a 3 day pass) are :

 

Breckenridge : 

$124/day adult (13+)

$73/day children 7-12

 

Aspen :

$119/day adult

$110/day teens 13-17

$77/day children 7-12

 

Prices go down again at both places if you are skiing 5 days.

 

(I AM surprised that late March/early April is more expensive than I just paid for Vail in February. I guess that's the Easter week effect?)

post #108 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

To be fair, those are the walk-up prices. If you buy ahead of time, the prices (assuming a 3 day pass) are :

 

Breckenridge : 

$124/day adult (13+)

$73/day children 7-12

 

Aspen :

$119/day adult

$110/day teens 13-17

$77/day children 7-12

 

Prices go down again at both places if you are skiing 5 days.

 

(I AM surprised that late March/early April is more expensive than I just paid for Vail in February. I guess that's the Easter week effect?)

 

Yep, I just went off the website for each (as of today).  No doubt there are other deals and bundles, but it is pretty hard to compare without pricing out a whole trip- especially because the best deals are often bundled with lodging.

 

But, Vail/Breck traditionally have higher ticket prices than Aspen, and this isn't a new thing. But even if prices were merely comparable instead of Vail/Breck being higher, it is still pretty dumb to label Aspen as unaffordable for anybody but millionaires, yet referring one down the road to a place that is the same story. Too many people willing to ski Vail don't even bother pricing out Aspen because of its reputation, when Vail tends to be the worse offender in that regard.

post #109 of 116
Quote:

 

(I AM surprised that late March/early April is more expensive than I just paid for Vail in February. I guess that's the Easter week effect?)

 

 

Easter is April 5 this year, so yes, late March early April are holiday lift rates (at least at Vail owned resorts).

post #110 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

But, Vail/Breck traditionally have higher ticket prices than Aspen, and this isn't a new thing. But even if prices were merely comparable instead of Vail/Breck being higher, it is still pretty dumb to label Aspen as unaffordable for anybody but millionaires, yet referring one down the road to a place that is the same story. Too many people willing to ski Vail don't even bother pricing out Aspen because of its reputation, when Vail tends to be the worse offender in that regard.

 

Added to the fact that Aspen sells maybe 3-4000 season passes and VR sells around 3-400,000 epic passes.

post #111 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Added to the fact that Aspen sells maybe 3-4000 season passes and VR sells around 3-400,000 epic passes.

Yes. In terms of crowds, there is no comparison between the two.
post #112 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post


Yes. In terms of crowds, there is no comparison between the two.

so between now and april. What week in march would be good for vail?

post #113 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by opfreak View Post
 

so between now and april. What week in march would be good for vail?

 

Vail resorts is predicting (at least for employee schedules) that the second and third weeks of March are going to be the busiest for spring break.  Then you have Easter on April 5.  So,maybe the first week of March?

post #114 of 116

I vote for Copper for the OP and family.  It's near the top of the list for highest altitude/maximum north exposure for late season.  The only places that are better tend to be more expert weighted.   At the very top of that list is A-Basin, which they could easily visit for the day from Copper.

Quote:
Breckenridge is a higher elevation than the others and holds it's snow better

That may be true up high as Breck has more terrain over 11,500 than anyone. But that terrain is mostly advanced and ungroomed.  The OP and family will be mostly on the blues and green lower down, where Breck's east exposure will result in sloppier snow than the mostly north exposure at Copper.

 

Aspen and Vail are both 1,000 feet lower than Summit County.  In late March I'd normally take Aspen over Vail for lower crowds and more north exposure.  But not this year.  Aspen has had only 115 inches of snow and less than a foot in the past month.

 

Steamboat is not a good idea that late in the season with the lower altitude and west exposure.

post #115 of 116

Not the OP, but was following the discussion because we were looking for a lot of the same things for almost the same dates.

 

If I am adding correctly, Snowmass has gotten over 4 feet of snow in the last week and a half, so we decided to pull the trigger and book there. How quickly things change!

post #116 of 116
Quote:
In late March I'd normally take Aspen over Vail for lower crowds and more north exposure.

After the recent dumps I would definitely revert to my usual advice here. Snowmass is an excellent choice for the parameters of this thread.

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