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Breckenridge, Vail or elsewhere? [arr Denver Dec 21 from Australia] - Page 2

post #31 of 49
Regarding the epic local pass. I purchased last season and this seasons passes online. Make sure when you set up your account that you read the requirements for pass photo. (i.e.) photo needs to be against a contrasting background. Your shoulders and head should take up around 75% of the picture and the image has to be a square and can not be larger than a certain file size. Upon approval of the picture they will send your pass. However if you don't end up getting the image pre approved.You can go to the main lift ticket office at any of the participting resorts and have them take your picture at that time, although i suggest reading carefully and taking the picture yourself and save time and getting on the slopes as soon as possible instead of standing in line waiting.
post #32 of 49
Was last year's the first pass you bought?
post #33 of 49
Also. I like staying in Breck because vail and BC are west on I-70 aboout 45min. away. Keystone and A-basin are both within a half hour ride. Keystone being the closest and they are all included on the epic local pass. Except the holiday restriction days at vail and BC. Just avoid those days
post #34 of 49
Yes and i have already purchased this years passes. The later you wait the more expensive they get.
post #35 of 49

I haven't read all the replies, but crowds and lodging options typically don't get really bad until Dec 27th although this does depend somewhat on how much terrain is open.  While I wouldn't plan my only ski trip of the year NY week if I could avoid it, I think a lot of people forget that most tourists wouldn't be able to make it much past lunch if they skied non-stop all morning without ever having to wait a few minutes to get on a lift.

post #36 of 49
post #37 of 49

I tried calling Vail to see if you had to buy your first Local pass in person. They didn't answer.

post #38 of 49
I assure you that you can buy the epicpass online at this very moment. I can give you the proper info if you need it.
post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
 

How about Ogden? http://www.visitogden.com/ski-ogden


Have you stayed there?  Much lower than LCC so snow coverage is more iffy early season.  The OP's original question was about snow conditions and nothing else.

 

No slope side lodging at Snowbasin.  PowMow doesn't even open until mid-Dec since they have opted to depend on natural snowfall.  Ogden Valley is great for a mid-season ski week.  Not a top choice for a trip from Australia in early or late season.

post #40 of 49
@MastersRacer
goto www.epicpass.com or any of the participating resorts websites will link you to it. And yes i bought my first epicpass online last year.
post #41 of 49

@Double-D , I'm always leery of assuming something is true by the omission of a statement to the contrary. Your experience proves that beginning (at least) last year, you can buy a first Local pass without being present. I bought my first pass in 2001 so have been 'in the loop' for online renewals for quite a while. Your purchase is a fairly new development.

post #42 of 49
I must be missing something in what you are asking. I thought you were asking "if you had to be present at one of the resorts to buy your very first epicpass ever" and last year was the very first time i bought an epicpass and i did so online and they mailed the pass to me months before we ever left to go skiing.
post #43 of 49
I bought another pass last month for the upcoming 15/16 season and they just re-loaded our carde from last year. Hope that helps.
post #44 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Double-D View Post

I must be missing something in what you are asking. I thought you were asking "if you had to be present at one of the resorts to buy your very first epicpass ever" and last year was the very first time i bought an epicpass and i did so online and they mailed the pass to me months before we ever left to go skiing.

 

That was what I was asking. When I got my first Epic pass (it was called a Buddy pass back then) you had to buy your first one in person. No online stuff. As far as I know that only changed in the last year or two, per your experience. The top of the line Epic Pass could always be purchased first time online, but then they were only introduced 4 or 5 years ago.

post #45 of 49
The buddy pass is now just discounted sigle day lift tickets for buddys that comes with buying the actual season pass...guess a buddy pass like you said meant something different back in the day...lol...in either case we are both on the same page now and thats what matters.
post #46 of 49
Not to mention they also have something called a swaf...ski with a friend...just gives a 20% discount on non-holidays for your friends. I am sure they will try to make buying passes more confusing as time goes on.
post #47 of 49

Wasn't going to jump in here since we haven't been to Breck or immediate neighbours (that's January 2016), but we have traveled from NZ to both Steamboat and Snowmass and spent time in Denver, so can add from our experiences.

 

 

For a first "white Christmas", don't forget about Denver as a good entree. The city centre is compact and easy to get around, good restaurants, art gallery and public art, including the blue bear  at the convention centre. Many of the buildings and trees are lit up and decorated for Christmas, there's an outdoor skating rink etc - all the christmas cliches that you don't get in the Southern Hemisphere at Christmas - It's cold and dark too, so not all unicorns and rainbows.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 

The attitude towards driving rather depends on what your overall expectations are - again I think it's different for a long haul tourist staying a while compared to the get in and out domestic long weekender.  If you view it as part of the holiday then it can be enjoyable and if you've been on a trans pacific flight plus one connection maybe you just want to be doing something different.  That said I70 can be a nightmare if  you hit it with bad timing or in a full on storm so you need to be mentally prepared for that.

Excellent point and agree with this. The reality is that you are rarely (some would say ever) in a fit state to drive immediately after long-haul travel - and to be honest, the first time you travel the I70 it's kind of geekily cool to ground truth the resort names that you have read about - we were amazed by what could be seen from the road when we went by shuttle from DIA to Snowmass - and we stopped at the hotel at Glenwood Springs where someone had vomited christmas, but it was neat for us because it was a complete and total contrast to a NZ approach to Christmas.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

Did I read "TREES"??  welcome to Steamboat  :D.  Least crowded of the resorts in this area and over the past several years, we have had great snow during that time.  However, the snow will be what it will be,  no guarantees!  

I agree with this, we were there in early January in a low snow year and we still had a blast. In terms of your criteria I think that Steamboat is a fantastic match. The town is real and authentic but compact (even has a ski jumping hill just off the main street) and the skiing is what you imagine skiing in North America is like. And bear in mind that "not great" and "no snow" in Colorado terms have vastly different meanings than in Aus or NZ - yes there may be areas that are not open or have some rocks , or vegetation poking through, but there will definitely be snow.

 

One option for going further afield from Denver to places like Steamboat or Snowmass is to check the cost of flying. If you are booked on a through ticket from Aus you may be surprised. For us, flying from NZ Hayden (the airport at Steamboat) and Denver were considered to be in the same sector so the additional cost of flying to Hayden instead of Denver was the princely sum of $10 each.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post
 

Now that the OP has been frightened away from this thread, never to return.  

 

With a December 21 arrival date, you are arriving at the busiest time of the year.   Based on your description of what you are looking for, it seems like Snowmass would be a great fit for you.

Yes, it is a 4 hour drive but there are shuttles if you don't want to drive. The drive in good weather is beautiful and you could stop in Glenwood Springs and a few other places along the way.

 

Snowmass has a great ski school and a huge variety of terrain for every level.

 

Realistically, Utah is too far to drive and Bridger Bowl, Big Sky are hours away.   If you have questions, please feel free to PM me, I will be happy to assist you.

Aspen Snowmass is also worth considering. We did find the town of Aspen a bit like Queenstown without the scenery.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post
 

I don't think this is true anymore.  I checked the site and couldn't find a mention of needing to be there in person.

We've purchased Epic Local passes for this year and definitely didn't get them in person.

post #48 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski Kiwi View Post


One option for going further afield from Denver to places like Steamboat or Snowmass is to check the cost of flying. If you are booked on a through ticket from Aus you may be surprised. For us, flying from NZ Hayden (the airport at Steamboat) and Denver were considered to be in the same sector so the additional cost of flying to Hayden instead of Denver was the princely sum of $10 each.
Aspen Snowmass is also worth considering. We did find the town of Aspen a bit like Queenstown without the scenery.

Excellent point! If you haven't booked flights already, you can fly into Steamboat, Aspen, or Vail. It will eliminate a 3-4 hour drive and reduce travel risk. Domestic flights to the small airports are pricey so I don't take them - maybe the cost for you is cheaper? From Denver, there is basically just one road there (I-70). If there is a snowstorm or bad accident, be prepared for a long drive!

That being said, the drive has amazing views (especially going further out to Aspen) and it is worth it in good conditions. If you take a shuttle instead of flying, getting stuck won't be that bad - just post up in the back seat and get some rest.
post #49 of 49
Best snow and trees? Yo.
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