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Daddy-Daughter Ski Trip

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking of taking my daughter (age 11, barely intermediate skier) to ski the Denver area.  Thinking of getting a Southwest ticket for mid-December, if the snow is bad, we'll postpone to January or even February.

 

She's barely getting into the bumps and blue terrain.  I'd love to ski somewhere with intermediate trees...no steep, scary trees.

 

We'll probably be out there a week, ski maybe 5 or 6 days.  The four-packs look most interesting, but I'm open.  Thinking either Loveland, Copper, or Arapahoe as I've never been to any of these.  I've been to Winter Park and loved it, so their 4 pack looks attractive as well.  Steamboat is out because it's too far and we went there last season.

 

I'd prefer to stay someone close to the ski area, but slope-side isn't imperative.

 

Suggestions welcome.  If I don't pick a good place or two to ski I'll never hear the end of it.


Edited by Hitman - 8/31/15 at 8:47pm
post #2 of 24

Sounds like Keystone would be a good choice. Lots of blue cruisers, close to DIA, and lodging near slopes.

post #3 of 24

Loveland is a great place for lower intermediates with a ton of gentle above-treeline terrain and some easy glades over by the Chair 8/Zip Basin and elsewhere.  Four packs @ around $130 make it inexpensive too. 

 

Winter Park or Keystone would be nice too.  Believe WP and Keystone/A-Basin four packs (~$180) are not transferrable, Loveland’s are, so you could go to Loveland for as few as two days each.  Some of the four pack deals may go up in price soon.

post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

I'm thinking of taking my daughter (age 11, barely intermediate skier) to ski the Denver area.  Thinking of getting a Southwest ticket for mid-December, if the snow is bad, we'll postpone to January or even February.

 

She's barely getting into the bumps and blue terrain.  I'd love to ski somewhere with intermediate trees...no steep, scary trees.

 

We'll probably be out there a week, ski maybe 5 or 6 days.  The four-packs look most interesting, but I'm open.  Thinking either Loveland, Copper, or Arapahoe as I've never been to any of these.  I've been to Winter Park and loved it, so their 4 pack looks attractive as well.  Steamboat is out because it's too far and we went there last season.

 

I'd prefer to stay someone close to the ski area, but slope-side isn't imperative.

 

Suggestions welcome.  If I don't pick a good place or two to ski I'll never hear the end of it.


Haven't skied Loveland but stopped by the base areas as part of a sightseeing day from Denver in March that included Lookout Pass.  The separate Loveland Basin area for beginners/intermediates doing ski school looked like a great place for local families.  I assume the cost of lessons is pretty reasonable compared to destination resorts like Copper and Keystone.  Would require driving every day but with a tween, that's not a big deal.

 

I vaguely remember reading that Copper has an area that is fairly separate for beginners/intermediates.  Both the Copper and Keystone bases have plenty of resort lodging and free shuttles, as well as pretty big parking lots for day trippers.

 

What would you and your daughter be interested in doing after a full ski day?  Another activity or just hang out at your lodging?

 

@Jamesj :  where would you recommend to stay if mostly skiing Loveland?

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


Haven't skied Loveland but stopped by the base areas as part of a sightseeing day from Denver in March that included Lookout Pass.  The separate Loveland Basin area for beginners/intermediates doing ski school looked like a great place for local families.  I assume the cost of lessons is pretty reasonable compared to destination resorts like Copper and Keystone.  Would require driving every day but with a tween, that's not a big deal.

 

I vaguely remember reading that Copper has an area that is fairly separate for beginners/intermediates.  Both the Copper and Keystone bases have plenty of resort lodging and free shuttles, as well as pretty big parking lots for day trippers.

 

What would you and your daughter be interested in doing after a full ski day?  Another activity or just hang out at your lodging?

 

@Jamesj :  where would you recommend to stay if mostly skiing Loveland?

 

You could stay in Georgetown which is on the east side of the pass but there is not much there. You could stay in Dillon which is on the west side of the pass but it does involve driving every day. Seems like 4 days at Keystone or Copper with a day or 2 at Loveland might work.  You may get some decent package deals at Keystone or Copper where there is lodging close to the slopes.

I am not a fan of driving while on a ski vacation.  It takes a lot of time and if the weather is bad, it is not that fun. Plus if you get tired during the day, you are stuck or have to go home. Close lodging allows lunch at the condo or a nice break and then you can head out again.

post #6 of 24

http://www.coppercolorado.com/winter/plan_and_buy/winter_vacation_packages   Check out some of Copper's vacation packages here. Not sure you can get a 4-pack anymore unless you buy in person, and I am not sure how long they will sell in person. Seems like it's end of November.

post #7 of 24
No real advice, but an endorsement. I did a trip that was just me and my son (when he was just a couple years older), and I it was a great time.
post #8 of 24
I would look at keystone which has a lot of blue cruisers. I am sure there is enough to push you for 5 or 6 days and you can buy a keystone a basin pass for $299 adult and she would qualify for one at $219. That works out well for 5 or 6 ski days. You can also stay at resort which saves you time and hassle. With season pass you could always do a second trip maybe spring break without having to worry about lift ticket cost later in season. Keystone also has a good lesson program to help bring her skiing up a level. I went mid December two years ago and loved it.
post #9 of 24
+1 for Keystone. Easy trees off of the Outback lift turn right.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

So would Arapahoe be out?  Not many intermediate tree skiing trails there?

 

After skiing she'll just want dinner and bed.  She's not a stay up late kinda girl.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

So would Arapahoe be out?  Not many intermediate tree skiing trails there?

 

After skiing she'll just want dinner and bed.  She's not a stay up late kinda girl.


I spent a fun day at A-Basin with @Jamesj as a guide last March.  But we weren't skiing intermediate trails.  If I had been thinking about a week in Colorado with my daughter when she was an intermediate tween skiing in the southeast, I would not have taken her to A-Basin.  Based on what I've learned in the last few years, I would've been much more likely to have looked for a package deal at Copper, Keystone, Winter Park, Steamboat or Snowmass during early or late season.

 

You drive to Snowshoe in WV, right?  Would your daughter be happy staying at the Inn at the bottom of the mountain instead of lodging at the main resort up top?  If not, stick with lodging on resort in Colorado.  Either a package from the resort or private condo rental.

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

So would Arapahoe be out?  Not many intermediate tree skiing trails there?

 

It would be nice for a day, but it doesn't have a ton of blue terrain, and a lot of it won't be open yet (unless we have an absolutely epic early season). And no, not much intermediate tree skiing.  As others have said, Copper and Keystone are good early season intermediate resorts, as is Winter Park. And someone will probably chime in with Aspen soon, too.

 

BTW, If your heart is set on trees, and you want to come in December, maybe your expectations should be modulated a bit. Or you should go back to Steamboat. Around here, we need a 50- to 60-in. base before it's really safe to ski trees. 

post #13 of 24

What about Snowmass?  Tons of cruisy blues. Convenient lodging.  Aspen/Highlands/Buttermilk on the same pass with free skibus so no driving. 

 

Might cost more I suppose but PDG.

post #14 of 24

Just book the flights and maybe a car.  Worry about everything else a couple of days prior to arrival.

post #15 of 24

My kids (ages 11 and 12) place an indoor waterpark VERY high on the priority list when deciding whether or not to go on a ski trip with me.  It isn't a dealbreaker for either but it certainly ups the overall utility and enjoyment.  It's a great way to relax after a long day of skiing and also a fantastic alternative option if the weather doesn't cooperate for ideal kid skiing conditions.

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

My kids (ages 11 and 12) place an indoor waterpark VERY high on the priority list when deciding whether or not to go on a ski trip with me.  It isn't a dealbreaker for either but it certainly ups the overall utility and enjoyment.  It's a great way to relax after a long day of skiing and also a fantastic alternative option if the weather doesn't cooperate for ideal kid skiing conditions.


 Which resorts have indoor waterparks? Sounds ideal for my kids...

post #17 of 24
My intermediate kids and I have had a great time at Copper, Snowmass, Beaver Creek. Stayed at hote or condo on site at each. Ski, dinner, hot tub, bed, repeat. Ski school at least 1-2 days at each. Copper was much less expensive than the other two. We liked Snowmass the best but would repeat at any.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by agreen View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

My kids (ages 11 and 12) place an indoor waterpark VERY high on the priority list when deciding whether or not to go on a ski trip with me.  It isn't a dealbreaker for either but it certainly ups the overall utility and enjoyment.  It's a great way to relax after a long day of skiing and also a fantastic alternative option if the weather doesn't cooperate for ideal kid skiing conditions.


 Which resorts have indoor waterparks? Sounds ideal for my kids...


There are indoor waterparks at 4-season resorts in the Mid-Atlantic and northeast.  Massanutten in VA, Camelback in PA, Jay Peak in VT.  Probably a few in the midwest too.  Can't say that I've heard of any out west.  Was Squaw talking about building an indoor water park?  Did find a small indoor water park in Glenwood Springs.  Might be a factor for parents looking for lodging on a budget trip who don't mind driving to the Aspen/Snowmass slopes.

 

For my daughter, given that the skiing was pretty tame at Massanutten once she was skiing the black trails (comparable to easy blues out west), having a waterpark for the evening was definitely a draw for the 4 hour drive one-way for a ski weekend.  When we stayed at Alta Lodge when she was a tween, she got more than enough skiing so the hot pool was more than enough.  No need for slides and such to burn off extra energy.

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

So would Arapahoe be out?  Not many intermediate tree skiing trails there?

 

After skiing she'll just want dinner and bed.  She's not a stay up late kinda girl.

A-Bay is small but its charm goes a long way. There are some gentle trees off the Black Mountain Express lift that usually open pretty early. Look for TB Glades. Lots of fun for kids and should keep your daughter happy. If you are staying at Keystone, it is an easy 7 mile drive up Highway 6. It would definitely be worthwhile for a day or two.

post #20 of 24

My daughter loved our trip out west for her spring break where we stayed slopeside at WP and Copper. It allowed us to take breaks whenever we wished as well as not worry about driving.

 

If only you two, I'd definitely consider slopeside less you need a pool and can't get one on the slope. However being the two of us, she was fine with hot tubs. A few places have other activities too, I know Copper has a tubing hill one can buy passes to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

 

 

I vaguely remember reading that Copper has an area that is fairly separate for beginners/intermediates.

 

I recall this noted too in recent posts and having been to Copper, would say it was laid out in general fashion of easier greens to the right and moving progressively to the Blacks when looking "uphill". It's spread out a bit with the created village at the center of the layout. The Cirque was the only Condo's with a pool but it is a very nice pool(s) with hot tub. There is a bus that runs from Frisco and I think Silverthorn, but I'd suggest slopeside less you like more of a town. You noted Steamboat last year, there are 4pks with 2 at SB and 2 days at WP so if you drive, SB is a lower base which may avoid altitude sickness but then, if you and your daughter do sports, may not need to worry greatly.

post #21 of 24

Oh, one option to consider too, if your daughters in 5th or 6th ... Colorado Ski pass. 5th graders Free, 6th Graders $99 and it appears to still be open for registering

 

http://www.coloradoski.com/passport

 

3 days at each for 5th graders and I believe 4 for 6th:

 

There are 20 member resorts participating in the program. They include: Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Copper Mountain, Crested Butte, Durango Mountain, Eldora, Howelsen Hill, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Cooper (formerly Ski Cooper), Snowmass, Ski Granby Ranch (formerly SolVista), Steamboat, Sunlight Mountain Resort, Telluride, Winter Park Resort, and Wolf Creek Ski Area.  NOT VALID at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, or Breckenridge.

post #22 of 24

F.Y.I. since indoor waterparks and pools have been included in some responses I thought I would add a little information.  If you do a search and Copper Ridge should come up just be aware it is not part of or anywhere close to Copper Mountain.  Copper Ridge is on the I25 corridor near the A.F. Academy. 

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

Great feedback, thanks.  I'll surely look into the Colorado Kids Ski Free program.

 

Keystone looks nice, but with only 250" average snow per year it kind of turns me off.  If I come to Colorado I want the most likelihood of snow falling on me.

 

So Copper or Winter Park are looking attractive.  And maybe even Loveland....possibly Arapahoe for a day or two.

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by agreen View Post
 


 Which resorts have indoor waterparks? Sounds ideal for my kids...

 

Silver Mountain  in Idaho has an indoor waterpark at the base of its gondola. I've never been, but it looks pretty cool, and the skiing sounds pretty nice when there's enough snow, too.

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