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Last two weeks of Dec in CO?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

We're planning on getting Epic local passes this year and wanted to go to BC, however it has some blackouts.  I have off the last two weeks of December and 12/26-12/31 is restricted on this pass at BC and Vail.

 

What will the crowds be like at BC the week before Christmas?  I realize Vail and Breck will both be ridiculously crowded the 12/26-12/31 dates so wasn't considering those anyway.  As far as using the pass the last week of Dec in CO, would it be prudent to just stick to A Basin?  Maybe just get a few day passes to Copper or WP?  Have lodging in Evergreen as backup for day trips if none of the resorts are worth doing with the epic pass that last week. 

post #2 of 26

The week prior to Christmas is usually much less crowded.  But you still have a very large population close by in Denver, so it can get crowded at anytime.

 

ABasin is kind of a rocky hill, so it may not have a ton of terrain open at Christmas.

 

You'll still have to deal with I-70 from Evergreen, but if it's free, it might be worth it.

post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

The week prior to Christmas is usually much less crowded.  But you still have a very large population close by in Denver, so it can get crowded at anytime.

 

ABasin is kind of a rocky hill, so it may not have a ton of terrain open at Christmas.

 

You'll still have to deal with I-70 from Evergreen, but if it's free, it might be worth it.

 

I think the week before Christmas is usually pretty safe, as the casual Denver skiers always have their trips planned for Christmas-New Years. A big powder weekend day will bring people up, but the hole between Thanksgiving and Christmas tends to be more sedate than after Christmas- Spring Break.

post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

The week prior to Christmas is usually much less crowded.  But you still have a very large population close by in Denver, so it can get crowded at anytime.

ABasin is kind of a rocky hill, so it may not have a ton of terrain open at Christmas.

You'll still have to deal with I-70 from Evergreen, but if it's free, it might be worth it.
ok, so if A Basin isn't likely a good choice for Christmas-New Year's week, what about Loveland? Or, just follow snow and deal w crowds wherever? That week after Christmas we'll just be doing day trips from Evergreen.
post #5 of 26
Keep an eye on Copper for early season conditions. They make a lot of snow and the mountain doesn't need exceptional amounts to ski well.

Both A-Basin and Loveland have the same problem - a lot of terrain above treeline, so can be difficult on storm days.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

I'm probably going to get the Rocky Mountain Super Pass+ as well, since we are doing a week in Steamboat in late Feb, so now plan on hitting Copper and WP drive-ups the week after Christmas.

 

Hope to get 25+ ski days in this year to feed the bug and make the passes worthwhile.

post #7 of 26


+1 on the week before Christmas being light. Really a non issue, shortage of snow or big pow dump notwithstanding.

 

Remember that the local pass usually includes a MAJOR discount on window price during the blackouts. BC might still be a reasonable option some of those days, though now that you say your are getting the RMSP that might be moot.

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post
 

I'm probably going to get the Rocky Mountain Super Pass+ as well, since we are doing a week in Steamboat in late Feb, so now plan on hitting Copper and WP drive-ups the week after Christmas.

 

Hope to get 25+ ski days in this year to feed the bug and make the passes worthwhile.

Don't forget that Eldora is on that pass, too ... probably not really closer, depending on where in Evergreen, but maybe less crowded that week after. Worth a try, at least.

post #9 of 26

as said above, the week before Christmas is a great time to ski.  The Boat tends to ski very well and is fairly empty up till the couple of days before Christmas.  This year Christmas is on a Friday so coming in the saturday before would be ideal this year for any resort in Summit.  

post #10 of 26

I'll be there the 19th through Jan 2nd.

 

BC isn't very crowded until the day after Christmas, and the subsequent weekend.

 

but OP, why didn't you go for the Epic pass that has no blackout dates? I live in WI and I get it to go out there for 2 weeks.

post #11 of 26

Just a word to wise, Eldora can get ridiculously windy. And as one of the very few resorts east of the divide, if they get an upslope storm that drops like 2 feet on the resort and only 4-6 inches on the summit county resorts, it will be ridiculously crowded as well.

 

I was at Loveland on Presidents Day and waited 2 minutes in line, once. So with that said, I say Loveland is a safe bet. As a mater of fact, Loveland is always a safe bet if your number 1 priority is avoiding crowds. Like others have said though, Loveland is quite windy as well. 

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post
 

I'm probably going to get the Rocky Mountain Super Pass+ as well, since we are doing a week in Steamboat in late Feb, so now plan on hitting Copper and WP drive-ups the week after Christmas.

 

Hope to get 25+ ski days in this year to feed the bug and make the passes worthwhile.

 

Front range skiing can be really good in Dec in an average or slightly above year like last year.  

 

Here's Copper last year on Dec 11th as they are taking down the US Ski Team's DH training course which really opens up a ton of great guaranteed top to bottom terrain:

 

 

And Copper again on Dec 29th shortly after the Alpine lift opened for the year:

 

 

For 25 days I'm not sure I'd spring for both passes.   Note the RMSP+ also has three days at Crested Butte.  It also has much better geographic diversity of resorts, which can be a huge benefit early season statistically. 

post #13 of 26
^^
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post




For 25 days I'm not sure I'd spring for both passes.   Note the RMSP+ also has three days at Crested Butte.  It also has much better geographic diversity of resorts, which can be a huge benefit early season statistically. 

I agree, I don't really see the need for two passes. Buy one and spend the rest on some accomadations closer to the slopes.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

^^
I agree, I don't really see the need for two passes. Buy one and spend the rest on some accomadations closer to the slopes.

Well, we already have reserved a late Feb trip to Steamboat with a ski club and also have tentative plans for a week late in season with friends who have a condo in Breck.  If we do both, we're gonna spend almost same as season pass on walk up lift tickets.  Not set with narrowing our skiing to all Rocky Mountain+ or epic local pass since we've got opportunities to add in five days at Vail/BC and more than that on day trips to Copper and WP.  Yeah 25-26 days would really be great cost savings to have covered by one pass or one pass and a four-pack somewhere, but I don't see a cheaper option without cutting out some of the resorts from the plans.

 

As for full epic pass, we're kinda set on doing all our skiing in CO this year.  First year of getting to stay in our own place in Evergreen and want to use it for accommodations instead of hotels in order to do day trips to WP/Copper/Loveland/A-Basin.

 

This all may change as we're talking to a person from ski club who wants to get rid of her time share at Avon.  If we take her time share we'd definitely get an epic pass and look for discounts for Steamboat and WP.

 

Lotta time to decide, right, with Sept 7th being deadline on passes? ;) 

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post
 

We're planning on getting Epic local passes this year and wanted to go to BC, however it has some blackouts.  I have off the last two weeks of December and 12/26-12/31 is restricted on this pass at BC and Vail.

 

What will the crowds be like at BC the week before Christmas?  I realize Vail and Breck will both be ridiculously crowded the 12/26-12/31 dates so wasn't considering those anyway.  As far as using the pass the last week of Dec in CO, would it be prudent to just stick to A Basin?  Maybe just get a few day passes to Copper or WP?  Have lodging in Evergreen as backup for day trips if none of the resorts are worth doing with the epic pass that last week. 


We usually fly into EGE - Dec 17-23 ......  We don't book the hotels until we see who has the best snow.... 

 

Our target is always the same;   Aspen/Steamboat/Vail/BC 

 

Whichever mountain has the best snow we drive there ......  And crowds are pretty light until around the 22nd - then they start to build ... 

post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post
 

Well, we already have reserved a late Feb trip to Steamboat with a ski club and also have tentative plans for a week late in season with friends who have a condo in Breck.  If we do both, we're gonna spend almost same as season pass on walk up lift tickets.  Not set with narrowing our skiing to all Rocky Mountain+ or epic local pass since we've got opportunities to add in five days at Vail/BC and more than that on day trips to Copper and WP.  Yeah 25-26 days would really be great cost savings to have covered by one pass or one pass and a four-pack somewhere, but I don't see a cheaper option without cutting out some of the resorts from the plans.

 

As for full epic pass, we're kinda set on doing all our skiing in CO this year.  First year of getting to stay in our own place in Evergreen and want to use it for accommodations instead of hotels in order to do day trips to WP/Copper/Loveland/A-Basin.

 

This all may change as we're talking to a person from ski club who wants to get rid of her time share at Avon.  If we take her time share we'd definitely get an epic pass and look for discounts for Steamboat and WP.

 

Lotta time to decide, right, with Sept 7th being deadline on passes? ;) 

OK, so reason $$$ overcame unbridled enthusiasm. ;).  Have reconsidered and are now going to go to WP the week before Christmas.  Hopefully, there will be enough snow there at that time.  Will get just one season pass - Rocky Mountain Super pass+ - along with probably a Loveland 4-pack.  We'll still likely do a trip to Breck in late March-early April.

 

Are there any reasonably-priced 4-day passes for Breck?  I see epic 4-day for $389 which seems quite steep considering a 4-day pass at Copper is only $159.  I love Breck but the lift prices outside an epic season pass, are ridiculous, IMO

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post
 

OK, so reason $$$ overcame unbridled enthusiasm. ;).  Have reconsidered and are now going to go to WP the week before Christmas.  Hopefully, there will be enough snow there at that time.  Will get just one season pass - Rocky Mountain Super pass+ - along with probably a Loveland 4-pack.  We'll still likely do a trip to Breck in late March-early April.

 

Are there any reasonably-priced 4-day passes for Breck?  I see epic 4-day for $389 which seems quite steep considering a 4-day pass at Copper is only $159.  I love Breck but the lift prices outside an epic season pass, are ridiculous, IMO

 

Nope...skiing Vail resorts without an Epic season pass is just very, very expensive. 

 

Driving to Copper isn't too bad from Breck...but skiing with friends may warrant the price?

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post

OK, so reason $$$ overcame unbridled enthusiasm. wink.gif .  Have reconsidered and are now going to go to WP the week before Christmas.  Hopefully, there will be enough snow there at that time.  Will get just one season pass - Rocky Mountain Super pass+ - along with probably a Loveland 4-pack.  We'll still likely do a trip to Breck in late March-early April.

Are there any reasonably-priced 4-day passes for Breck?  I see epic 4-day for $389 which seems quite steep considering a 4-day pass at Copper is only $159.  I love Breck but the lift prices outside an epic season pass, are ridiculous, IMO

Take a look at Christy Sports Powder Daze. They have some pass deals that we may not see again this season for discounted packs. See the Pass Stash here:

http://www.christysports.com/powderdaze/denver/?gclid=CKu9zLL108cCFRCEaQod5TUPBg

I won't be back up there, but maybe somebody can help you get tix if you know (or trust smile.gif ) any locals.

Also, WP is a good bet right before Christmas. If WP has overly limited terrain, it is highly unlikely that anything in Summit County is faring much better, especially in an El Niño year where early season snow may strongly favor the eastern slopes of the Continental Divide. The further west you go in that scenario, the harder it is to get spillover, and big Front Range storms downslope into Summit County. WP sits up against the divide, and outside of Loveland is most favored.

So WP/Loveland plus the further west Copper really covers your bases for an early season trip.
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 

So, besides a WP stay before Christmas (Dec 19-22), we plan on making day trips between Dec 26-Jan 4 to Copper, Loveland and WP, with maybe Eldora on New Year's Eve as we are visiting some friends in Boulder that evening.

 

Q1: Does the Berthoud pass to WP get closed often?  If so, does it get cleared quickly after storm subsides?

 

Q2: Should I expect Eldora to be super crowded on the 31st? 

post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post

 

Q1: Does the Berthoud pass to WP get closed often?  If so, does it get cleared quickly after storm subsides?

 

 

Not closed that often, usually when it is it's due to an man-made avalanche running the Stanley slide path. However this year they installed Gazex exploders which should reduce/eliminate even that happening. 

post #21 of 26

Cool, I didn't realize the were finally getting the Gazex exploders installed and on Berthoud and Loveland!  

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_28839606/high-mountain-passes-get-remote-controlled-avalanche-control

 

Those should really help.  They have been really good at keeping Berthoud open since it's a lifeline, but I bet they will still close Loveland Pass in a heartbeat even with the exploders.

 

Q2: Yes, Eldora will probably be a zoo on the 31st with all the Boulder Valley kids out of school.

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 

To any WP regulars:  How much snow is needed before they open Parsenn Bowl?  The WP website currently claims a 42" base and OpenSnow shows it at 47".  

post #23 of 26

WP may or may not have a minimum snow depth they like to see before opening Parsenn Bowl.  When its open seems to be very hit or miss, with an apparent bias on the part of patrol to keep it closed.  I imagine its some undecipherable (to non-patrollers) combination of wind, snowpack depth and snowpack stability that dictates when PB is open.

post #24 of 26
I cut through the trees to peek over there and ski the bottom of Pano last Tuesday. There's a lot of snow, and that was before the recent cycle at 2'+. Top of the bowl was wind blasted, but I'd be surprised to see it totally closed come Christmas, especially with the forecast for next week.

I posted pics on the CO weather thread...
post #25 of 26
Parsenn is about half open as of today, and Vasque Ridge is fully open. I was supposed to be skiing today, but school stuff got pushed to today due to the mid-week storm. Boo.

Waiting until Monday now...but the snow should be flying again by then..
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Don't forget that Eldora is on that pass, too ... probably not really closer, depending on where in Evergreen, but maybe less crowded that week after. Worth a try, at least.

Tried Eldora on New Year's Day.  Temps were fine and it was sunny.  Beautiful day and although the parking lot was rather full the line to rent skis was nonexistent at 11:00 and lift lines were short.  Looked like it was going to be a fun day with lots of runs.  That is until my son decided to try a park with his snowboard and crash landed off a ramp, resulting in a day in Boulder ER. Only got two runs in for the day and he will be laid up for two months.  :( 

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