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what to do with an indecisive crew

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I'm going to be in Aspen with my wife's extended family for the last week of the year (12/26-1/3) and started planning to extend it for a week on the front range via an epic pass from 1/3-1/10.  I got a taste of skiing with a small crew again last March in Aspen when a guy I know casually here on the east coast showed up in Aspen at the same time as us with his crew and we all had a blast skiing together.  He's a good skier with similar terrain tastes and abilities to mine but unfortunately he has work commitments that would keep him from skiing the first week of January.

 

Knowing that my group would whittle down I asked about 8 people and ended up with three likely committed to going.  The other three are my best friend from high school who went with me to Park City in the 80's for three years of incredible ski bumming and another high school friend (who would bring his college age son along on this trip) who came out to Park City with us for our second year but didn't quite get as into it as my other friend.  Both of these guys have done minimal skiing since then but I suspect my first friend would pick it back up much quicker.  I floated the idea of starting our week with a group 1/2 day lesson at A-basin to avoid VR lesson pricing.

 

I was pushing for the Summit Value pass but these guys wanted to keep the cost down by going with the Keystone/AB pass.  I've been to AB and know I would enjoy it again for a week and I suspect that Keystone would be fun too so I pulled the trigger on that one Labor day weekend.  The other guys haven't bought anything yet and are making noise about maybe not going due to work, family, blah, blah, blah.  I'm committed to going with or without a crew so some of the decisions I'm contemplating are the following that I'd like anyone's.02 on:

 

--Keep the Keystone/AB pass and buy a couple of days at Copper via Liftopia.  This option keeps my cost down to below what the Summit Value pass costs and I could probably put off buying Copper passes until the last minute if my crew decides to come. 

 

--Upgrade from the Key/AB to Summit.  I'd still ski with my friends at Key/AB if they make it but I'd also ski a few days without them at Breck.  I suspect I might enjoy Copper as much if not more then Breck but if I'm flying solo I may want to stay in Breck at the Bivvi or Fireside Inn and therefore want to primarily ski Breck.

 

About me:  I consider myself and advanced to expert level skier who likes all terrain but at just north of 50 years old I don't feel compelled to hit all gnar all the time.  If it's a powder day I'll spend all day hiking the bowls and then later on hit the trees but if it isn't I can appreciate a good cruiser if for no other reason than to cool off after hiking and skiing a bowl.  I also like bumps but usually don't hit them all day long either.  I had long periods away from skiing as I went minimally through my kids early growth years and for most of the past decade or so I've been snowboarding exclusively as I found it much more enjoyable on our local cruiser only hills (kids are snowboarders).  It was just last year when I finally upgraded my ski gear and skied more than I snowboarded. 

 

It's also worth mentioning that I'll have free access to an SUV that I only need to buy gas for so travel between resorts isn't an issue.  If anyone has any opinions about the hostel style lodging at Breck mentioned above or about who to request for a ski instructor at AB (or other resort mentioned).  I think I'd still try to get an advanced lesson just for me if I'm going solo since I'm several generations behind the technology curve since I last skied a lot.  I don't expect crowds to be an issue on the first week after the New Years holiday but if there's anything I should be aware of on that front please let me know.


Thanks,


OD 

post #2 of 20

Summit Value for sure - if you like hiking and bowls you really don't want to miss Breck on a (midweek) powder day - particularly when it can cop a lot out of storms that only skim A Basin (& vice versa) despite the proximity.  Keystone is IMO kinda meh.

post #3 of 20

You know your buddies better than us, but I'd say plan the trip for you and your family.   Don't expect your buddies to come if they haven't committed, and don't change your plans for them if you aren't seeing signs of them committing.  

post #4 of 20

There are no friends on a powder day. If they can't decide, they have still made a choice. Maybe they aren't as good of friends as you thought? They are either with you or against you. 

 

I think I got a weeks worth of cliche's in one post. 

post #5 of 20

PP.  that's easy for you to say...   lol

post #6 of 20

Adding to Phil's cliches: Just do it!    Your story is why I end up skiing alone most the time.  :)

 

A couple thoughts:  

 

Summit County is dead from 1/3-1/10, so not worries about lift lines or lodging, except for a maybe a powder weekend.  One catch is there are lots of college students out of school that week, so it tends toward a party crowd.  I'd avoid hostels and dirt cheap lodging for that reason.

 

It's cheaper to ski two days at Copper vs. the $200 upgrade to get Breck on your pass, or you could also buy a Loveland 4-pack for $139.

post #7 of 20
3 or possibly 4 is as big a crew as I like to ski with. Otherwise plan on downshift a lot of time and effort keeping everyone together.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies everyone.  From the very beginning I put this in the most likely to be a solo trip category.  They're still my friends and I know the effect that living on the least coast away from decent skiing has on people, I was just fortunate to marry into a family that made enough regular trips to Co over the years to keep my interest level in it high.  

 

So far the early consensus seems to be as follows: 5 days at Key/AB + 2 days at Copper < a week at Breck w/possible day or two at Key/AB if crew joins.

 

Anyone ever stay at the Bivvi or Fireside Inn?  I like the place I'm staying at to be clean but I'm not otherwise very fussy about accommodations.  If their clientele is young and likes to party hard all night I may want to look at other options like airbnb.  I like a good party as much as the next guy but at my age I also need a half-decent nights sleep if I'm going to ski hard the next day.  I could probably book either place last minute and if my crew decides there in they could book there too and borrow the SUV to drive to Keystone or AB. 

 

Anyone familiar with the price increase history on Epic Passes?  The upgrade to Summit Value only costs me $20 more than if I bought it before Labor Day but I know they've got another price increase coming up in about a week.  I'll use that as my "fish or cut bait" line to my friends. 

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

Adding to Phil's cliches: Just do it!    Your story is why I end up skiing alone most the time.  :)

 

A couple thoughts:  

 

Summit County is dead from 1/3-1/10, so not worries about lift lines or lodging, except for a maybe a powder weekend.  One catch is there are lots of college students out of school that week, so it tends toward a party crowd.  I'd avoid hostels and dirt cheap lodging for that reason.

 

It's cheaper to ski two days at Copper vs. the $200 upgrade to get Breck on your pass, or you could also buy a Loveland 4-pack for $139.


Got distracted by work and didn't notice this post until I just posted.  Thanks for the heads up about the hostels.  I would most likely spend a good chunk of my time skiing without my crew if they did make it but it's still nice to have friends along to do a few cruisers with and check out the nightlife with.

post #10 of 20

Fireside has a good word of mouth.

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Duderino View Post
 

Thanks for the replies everyone.  From the very beginning I put this in the most likely to be a solo trip category.  They're still my friends and I know the effect that living on the least coast away from decent skiing has on people, I was just fortunate to marry into a family that made enough regular trips to Co over the years to keep my interest level in it high.  

 

So far the early consensus seems to be as follows: 5 days at Key/AB + 2 days at Copper < a week at Breck w/possible day or two at Key/AB if crew joins.

 

Anyone ever stay at the Bivvi or Fireside Inn?  I like the place I'm staying at to be clean but I'm not otherwise very fussy about accommodations.  If their clientele is young and likes to party hard all night I may want to look at other options like airbnb.  I like a good party as much as the next guy but at my age I also need a half-decent nights sleep if I'm going to ski hard the next day.  I could probably book either place last minute and if my crew decides there in they could book there too and borrow the SUV to drive to Keystone or AB. 

 

Anyone familiar with the price increase history on Epic Passes?  The upgrade to Summit Value only costs me $20 more than if I bought it before Labor Day but I know they've got another price increase coming up in about a week.  I'll use that as my "fish or cut bait" line to my friends. 

Epic pass increases will only go by small amounts.  It will only jump by $10-$20 which will not be a deal breaker.  

You only need to worry when they cut it off completely early december.

 

When you call in, they will upgrade your pass using the difference of current price minus however much money you've already paid in. 

post #12 of 20

Too bad you already purchased a pass.

That's still a little early in the season to count on the better terrain at Abasin or Keystone. I would have stayed as flexible as possible.

Summit Value Pass doesn't make much sense, $200 just to add Breck.   I'd just get the Epic Local for $90 more, if your going that route.

Then you could stay at the Turntable in Minturn for a couple of nights.

 

I think I'd take the lesson in Aspen during Christmas break.  It probably won't be that crowded, but every little bit helps and you'll probably get a better instructor.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

Too bad you already purchased a pass.

That's still a little early in the season to count on the better terrain at Abasin or Keystone. I would have stayed as flexible as possible.

Summit Value Pass doesn't make much sense, $200 just to add Breck.   I'd just get the Epic Local for $90 more, if your going that route.

Then you could stay at the Turntable in Minturn for a couple of nights.

 

I think I'd take the lesson in Aspen during Christmas break.  It probably won't be that crowded, but every little bit helps and you'll probably get a better instructor.

why is it too bad?  They will let you switch or upgrade, so he can change to summit value or epic local by calling in. his options are still open

post #14 of 20

If you're considering a refresher lesson for all three and want to see a non-VR mountain, Loveland is worth checking out. They do 2-hour "super sessions" for level 6 plus skiers. Maximum group size of 3. So if your crew is with you for $210 ya'll get a semi-private lesson. The 3 of you could ski on the 4-pack pass. So $350 for a day of skiing and a semi-private lesson. Plus you could probably make some of that back by selling your fourth 4-pack pass in the parking lot. 

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

why is it too bad?  They will let you switch or upgrade, so he can change to summit value or epic local by calling in. his options are still open

 

 

Because now he's locked into VR resorts and if he's only skiing a week, he's not really saving that much money with a pass.

 

What if it dumping in Telluride or Steamboat?

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

 

 

Because now he's locked into VR resorts and if he's only skiing a week, he's not really saving that much money with a pass.

 

What if it dumping in Telluride or Steamboat?


I ruled out storm chasing all over the state because I'll have to shuttle my wife and kids from Aspen to DIA in the suv before I get full use of it for my purposes.  A four hour drive to DIA from Aspen followed by about 6+ hour to Steamboat or Telluride would be harder on my back than anything I could do to it skiing.  I didn't give a lot of thought to the local pass for a couple of reasons; I don't want to spend a lot of time driving and paying a lot to park to just sample a bunch of front range resorts rather than mining a few and since I'll only have a week I feel I need to get the best bang for my buck and I knew I'd price out any chance of my crew joining me with the local pass.  I've also never really had a strong itch to ski Vail or BC.

post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

I think I'd take the lesson in Aspen during Christmas break.  It probably won't be that crowded, but every little bit helps and you'll probably get a better instructor.

 

Private lessons in Aspen are about $800 bucks but they do have group lessons that you can book in advance for $150 which isn't much more than the A-Basin price of $100 (Aspen is all day vs half day for AB).   Is there really that much difference in instruction between AB & Aspen?  I may want to go with Aspen lessons anyway since I can use whatever I learn for the full two weeks I'm out there.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Duderino View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

I think I'd take the lesson in Aspen during Christmas break.  It probably won't be that crowded, but every little bit helps and you'll probably get a better instructor.

 

Private lessons in Aspen are about $800 bucks but they do have group lessons that you can book in advance for $150 which isn't much more than the A-Basin price of $100 (Aspen is all day vs half day for AB).   Is there really that much difference in instruction between AB & Aspen?  I may want to go with Aspen lessons anyway since I can use whatever I learn for the full two weeks I'm out there.

Aspen has arguably the best ski school in the country Paging @Bob Barnes. We can provide a very extensive list of instructors at Aspen, Bob Barnes, Charlie McCarther, Squatty Shuler, Kim Mann to start off with. 

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Duderino View Post
 


I ruled out storm chasing all over the state because I'll have to shuttle my wife and kids from Aspen to DIA in the suv before I get full use of it for my purposes.  A four hour drive to DIA from Aspen followed by about 6+ hour to Steamboat or Telluride would be harder on my back than anything I could do to it skiing.  I didn't give a lot of thought to the local pass for a couple of reasons; I don't want to spend a lot of time driving and paying a lot to park to just sample a bunch of front range resorts rather than mining a few and since I'll only have a week I feel I need to get the best bang for my buck and I knew I'd price out any chance of my crew joining me with the local pass.  I've also never really had a strong itch to ski Vail or BC.

Beaver is a very nice mountain to ski and as a bonus...there is still some free parking.

post #20 of 20

To answer the question "what to do with an indecisive crew"...If they dawdle on making a decision...leave them on the east coast and go enjoy your time in Colorado and accept no guilt whatsoever in the matter. Your intent is admirable, but we are talking about a ski vacation in the Rockies. Even if my wife balked, I would stick to the plan. My wife (also a life long skier) married me knowing that "there are no friends on a powder day" and that occasionally, she just may be included in that. It's a reciprocal deal too. She won't feel bad about leaving me behind if I'm working on a powder day or any other day for that matter. Enjoy your trip.

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