Hey everyone ! I'm planning a ski trip to Colorado for this winter and I am looking for some advises and informations.
First of all, english is not my first language so sorry if I make some mistakes.
I live in Montreal, Canada and I've been skiing for many years. Last year I started skiing more intensively (about 2 times / week) and I am always looking for some new challenges. There is a lot of ski ressort around where I live but none of them are challenging or big. Last year I went for the first time in Vermont to ski Stowe and Smugglers's Notch. These trips were the best ski trips of my life since I never skied mountains that big / high.
Since I am always looking for bigger mountains, I decided to plan a trip to Colorado this winter. I found on the internet the "Epic 4-day pass" that gives unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Arapahoe Basin. This would be perfect for me since I was planning a 6 day trip (4 days of ski + 2 days off / travel).
I would like to book everything (hotel, car rental, plane tickets) as soon as possible but I want plan 100% of my trip ahead.
First thing I would like to have your inputs on is the dates. What I am looking for :
- The mountains to be 100% open
- Good snow conditions / depth
- Chances to get some powder days
- Not too crowded time of the year
- I don't mind cold temperatures
For these reasons, I was thinking last week or January or first week of February. I will be skiing on week days (preferably Monday to Thursday). Do you guys think these dates would fit what I am looking for ?
Secondly, since I will be skiing only 4 days (maybe 5 if I decide to stay one more day) I would like to experience the most I can from Colorado mountains but I am not sure which one have some "must see / try" features. I really don't know if I should try 4 different mountains in 4 days or if I should choose 2 and ski them 2 days each. I've watched hours of videos of these resorts on YouTube and here is my thoughts at the moment :
This is the place I can't wait to go to. I never skied bowls and the ones at Breck looks so much fun. The lift that goes to the top is also nice and it looks like a massive mountain. I would not be mad to spend 2 days there.
Massive.. Looks like I could ski this mountain for a year and not be able to try everything. I will definitely got there just because it's Vail and it would be sad to go ski in Colorado and not go to Vail haha.
Trails, bowls and glades looks really fun. Would love to try some of the "Cat" rides to the top of the mountain.
I don't know much about this place but it looks nice on YouTube,.
I also don't know much about this place but from what I've seen in the videos, it's the place that attracts me the less. It look smaller than the other ressorts I listed and does not look as much fun to ski. I might be wrong here !
If you keep in mind that I am not looking for some insanely hard trails but more for some fun bowls, high altitude, big vertical, what would be your personal plan for a 4 day trip and for a 5 day trip ? I might be staying near Breckenridge and I will have a rental car so I can go to any of these mountains.
Finally, like I said, I will rent a vehicle for the week. Is it a must to rent a SUV ? I never been in Colorado and I don't know what to expect for the road conditions, especially if I'm there in a snow storm.
Thanks a lot in advance !
TL;DR : I am going to Colorado for 4 or 5 days, when should I go and what mountains should I go to?