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Where to go? [driving to CO]

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hey every how's it going? I'm looking at taking a solo trip sometime after MLK weekend. My dates are flexible after that. I am a solid blue snowboarder, confident black, and venturing into double black. Where should I go? I'm trying to find a perfect mix of low cost, best snow, good number of advanced trails, and less crowded. I know that's a lot haha I have considered steamboat, copper mountain, or crested butte. Traveling by myself I do want a little nightlife/ good restaurants but that's less important. I'm shooting for 7 days riding so variety would be nice. I have researched and found that the snow is moving south which lead me to crested butte but I am open to other options. What do y'all think?
Thanks! -Chris
post #2 of 38
Slc has all that except you will not be able to board at alta the nightlife is limited
post #3 of 38
Are you willing to go someplace that's not so well-known? Say Schweitzer and Red Mt, or Whitefish and Fernie?
Snowbasin and Powder Mt?

All of these offer good-to-great snow, wide variety of terrain, low cost, and no crowds.

El Niño or not, I wouldn't commit to anything now. Wait and see where the conditions are more favorable.
post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 
I have considered those places but the advantage Co has for me is that it is within driving distance. I can take my car and just pay gas vs a flight, rental/shuttle to resort leaving me with no transportation
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmountain15 View Post

I have considered those places but the advantage Co has for me is that it is within driving distance. I can take my car and just pay gas vs a flight, rental/shuttle to resort leaving me with no transportation

 

 

That's kind of important information.

This isn't rocket science.  If you are driving, just make the decision when you pull out of the drive.

Drive to the snow!

post #6 of 38

So do the drive time to the mountains you are interested in.  Check ticket prices-there are deals to many.  Check hotels and reserve ones you think might work that have a cancellation policy.  Hop in your car and go to the snow on your available dates.  Unless the Mountains are close together , I would not spend a lot of time driving around to different hills.

post #7 of 38
Thread Starter 
Okay, I should have been more clean lol I live about 15 hours away. So while drivable, it'll still require asking off work(which isn't a problem I just need to know when) and lodging.
post #8 of 38

If you have to plan this far in advance then you might consider all the ElNino blabber and go to southern Colorado, NM, Mammoth.

post #9 of 38

I'd wait until I see a nice El Nino storm in the forecast for New Mexico and head to Sipapu, Ski Santa fe, Pajarito and if you are feeling up to it Taos. Im sure riding down Main street on Kachina peak after a foot of fresh has fallen over a smoothly groomed surface will be quite an experience for you. Great terrain, affordable, low crowds, and close to you so you can time it right. Have fun!!!

post #10 of 38

Shred's advice is good for best conditions, but you can save buying tickets in advance.

So you're probably coming from midwest or Texas.  You could buy a four pack at Keystone/A-Basin  ( http://www.snow.com/epic-pass/passes/keystone-four-pack.aspx ), and a four pack from Loveland.  Loveland four packs are transferrable and easy to share if you can't use all four.  Those three ski areas are fairly close together and have complementary terrain esp for your skill level. With a car you could get a motel in Dillon/Friso for maybe under $100.  Use Frisco for dining and nightlife.  Winter Park and Loveland might be another good combo.  Those resorts are all on eastern edge of Rockies meaning less driving from East.

 

More food for thought:

  

Arapahoe Basin
Early Season Elevation 4-Pass Pricing
The Elevation 4-Pass is the guaranteed best value on multi-day tickets at Arapahoe Basin. Elevation 4-Pass holders can ski any four days throughout the 2015/16 ski season with no blackout dates and can purchase additional days for $59 per day ($28 for kids aged 6-14). Presently $149 for adults and $99 for kids aged 6-14, guests who purchase early lock in the best price. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com

Loveland
Unrestricted 4-Paks
Loveland’s 4-Pak is four fully transferable lift tickets with no restrictions or blackout dates. Guests can use all four tickets throughout the season or share them with family and friends. 4-Paks are $139 and are available through November 22. In addition, guests at Loveland Ski Area can enjoy early season pricing on lift tickets ($53 for an adult ticket; $25 for kids aged 6-14; kids 5 and under ski free) through December 11. For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.

Winter Park
Winter Park Four Pass
Combining the convenience of a season pass with the flexibility of a daily ticket, the Winter Park Four Pass offers four unrestricted days at Winter Park Resort with no blackouts for $219. The pass includes perks like discounted friends/family tickets as well as discounts on rentals, food & beverage, and Coca-Cola Tubing.

In addition, guests at Winter Park who book lodging before December 1 can save 35 percent Monday through Thursday and 25 percent if staying Friday and Saturday. Minimum length of stay restrictions and black outdates may apply; for more information visit www.winterparkresort.com
 

post #11 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thoughts on copper mountain?
post #12 of 38

James is right as usual.  But then you have made a commitment.

 

If you are going to commit, you might as well consider the Aspen Gathering.

http://www.epicski.com/t/141729/the-2016-epicski-gathering-at-aspen-colorado-in-early-february

 

You would probably have to commit by early January to get the lift ticket deal, which appears to be fully refundable if you have to cancel.

post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

James is right as usual.  But then you have made a commitment.

 

If you are going to commit, you might as well consider the Aspen Gathering.

http://www.epicski.com/t/141729/the-2016-epicski-gathering-at-aspen-colorado-in-early-february

 

You would probably have to commit by early January to get the lift ticket deal, which appears to be fully refundable if you have to cancel.

Copper's great if you find a deal that suits you and you could just stay there for the better part of a full week. 

 

Shred's suggestion above makes a lot of sense for solo traveler and Aspen's great for lower crowds.  If you join the Gathering early Feb you'll gave a great bunch to hang with, although mostly skiers.  But a fast moving boarder would have no trouble keeping up with most.  you might even find a roommate.  Also, you could stay down valley (days inn carbondale) for cheaper lodging and commute with car.

post #14 of 38
Thread Starter 
I'll definitely have to look into the gathering. I know I can get a season pass to copper (college rate) for under $350 and can stay in Leadville (25 minutes away) for about $60/night. I'm willing to pay a little more though if there's a next step up. You guys don't sound too excited about crested butte or winter park
post #15 of 38

Winter Park is great and could be good to mix with other nearby mtns.  Never been to CB, supposed to be gorgeous.  Kind of isolated and might not be big enough by itself for full week, but you could hit Monarch and/or Wolf Creek on way to or from.  Explore web for more on college age deals, there are some good ones out there.  Cheap skiing at Cooper (not to be confused with Copper) near Leadville, but it's a small mtn.  Drive from Leadville to Copper is not trivial and includes one high, but well maintained pass IIRC. 

post #16 of 38

Aspen is my favorite in Colorado. Possibilities to keep costs down:

 

Stay in Carbondale, as mentioned above,or Glenwood Springs. Glenwood Springs is also within day driving distance of Vail and Beaver Creek.

 

Stay in a shared hostel room at the St. Moritz in Aspen.

 

Lift tickets are still expensive, though, with not much to be had in the way of deals.

post #17 of 38
Crested Butte out of the resorts you listed but you better actually be an advanced skier.
post #18 of 38
Thread Starter 
Rocky Mountain super pass+ $450. Unlimited at cooper and winter park, 6 days at steamboat, and 3 days at crested butte. Sound like a good mix?
post #19 of 38
Yes. Do it.
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmountain15 View Post

...can stay in Leadville (25 minutes away) for about $60/night. 

 

Do you know if you have any issues with sleeping at altitude? Leadville is really high.

post #21 of 38
Thread Starter 
No. Where I come from is 400ft (yes, four hundred) elevation and I have stayed in keystone and Breckenridge on 2 seperste trips with no altitude sickness. I arrived and rode in the same day just fine, no headaches or nausea. I didn't start to notice altitude related fatigue until I got past 12,000 feet. I'm a sports med major so I've been doing lots of aerobic training.
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmountain15 View Post

Rocky Mountain super pass+ $450. Unlimited at cooper and winter park, 6 days at steamboat, and 3 days at crested butte. Sound like a good mix?

 

Yes, it's a great mix.  A nice thing about RMSP+ is the geographic diversity for snowfall.   It's a drive between the resorts but gives you better odds of hitting good snowfall if you can be flexible.  MLK day is still early for a lot of the advanced terrain so buy the pass but stay flexible on where you go.

post #23 of 38
Thread Starter 
When would be the best time to go? If you had 10 days, how much time would you dedicate to each resort?( winter park, crested butte, copper, and steamboat) this is also my graduation trip from university so I'm trying to have a big time
post #24 of 38

I just noticed this in your OP:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigmountain15 View Post

I am a solid blue snowboarder, confident black, and venturing into double black. 

 

March is the safest bet, especially if you want to venture into double black terrain.  It takes time for enough snow to fall to get those runs open, on average.   Unfortunately, March is also the most crowded and expensive with everyone on spring break.  

 

Feb is better odds than Jan.  The first week of April is very much worth considering since lodging is cheap and the snow is usually great.   Each month is different and you take your chances.   MLK can be great sometimes too, just not as good of odds of all the terrain being open....

 

How to split your time between the resorts really depends on where the snow falls and your preference for seeing more resorts vs. the inconvenience of moving around and learning new places. If you forced me to decide, I'd suggest spending 4 days at Copper, 3 at Winter Park then the other three at Steamboat or Crested Butte depending on who has better snow.  

 

I'm biased, though, as Copper is my home mountain.   Here's a little taste of Copper from last Feb:

 

post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post

Crested Butte out of the resorts you listed but you better actually be an advanced skier.

 

THIS.

 

I have to say, this description:

 

Quote:
 I am a solid blue snowboarder, confident black, and venturing into double black.

 

Makes me hesitant to recommend Crested Butte. That mountain is tough. Kudos for being honest about your skill level, @bigmountain15

 

If one is looking for accessible off piste/double black terrain, and describing one's self as a solid blue, I'd flip the list and say Steamboat, Copper, Crested Butte.

 

Where do you live? What about Telluride or Taos? Both are pretty nasty, but I feel they have some more approachable terrain too. CB tends to be flattish in the apron around the peak and really rowdy on top with little in between. 

 

As for following the snow, Wolf Creek is 100% open and skiing fantastic thanks to several split jet stream storms rumbling through. Go El Nino!

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/143635/wolf-creek-vets-day-11-11

post #26 of 38

The RMSP+ is a great deal,  for some really nice resorts.  Personally,  I'd try to use more days at CB and Steamboat, just to get away from the front range.

Where are you driving from and if your already popping for a pass, can you take two trips? 

All students have off Christmas and many breaks are quite generous.

 

March may be the safest bet, but I think I still prefer February.  Better chance of mid winter conditions.

post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

The RMSP+ is a great deal,  for some really nice resorts.  Personally,  I'd try to use more days at CB and Steamboat, just to get away from the front range.

Where are you driving from and if your already popping for a pass, can you take two trips? 

All students have off Christmas and many breaks are quite generous.

 

March may be the safest bet, but I think I still prefer February.  Better chance of mid winter conditions.

 

I think Feb vs March really depends on where this person ends up going. Some mountains you need the extra weeks, others should be good to roll wall to wall in February. 

 

With the big time El Nino thing happening, we can expect this year will bring warmer weather and possibly a faster transition to Spring. Hopefully that also comes with lots of Pacific moisture, but I am counting on things being WARM once the days get longer. 

 

Also probably worth noting that the terrain that won't get open in February is likely the terrain that a developing intermediate is not going to be skiing.

post #28 of 38
Thread Starter 
@anachronism I'm definitely going to push my limits to progress but it's no secret people get hurt on the mountain. Snowboarding is my passion but so is walking.

How dependable is copper and winter parks snow?
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmountain15 View Post

@anachronism I'm definitely going to push my limits to progress but it's no secret people get hurt on the mountain. Snowboarding is my passion but so is walking.

How dependable is copper and winter parks snow?

 

Quite dependable if the timeframe is Feb/March. Generally, once you get to about a 36" base, almost all the terrain will be open for the remainder of the year. The stuff that would be in question in February is stuff that you won't be skiing on at your ability level. 

 

If by dependable, you mean "falling from the sky" instead of "already on the ground," nobody can look into a Crystal Ball during your stay. March in Colorado on average drops more snow than February, but March is also when thaw freeze starts to become a possibility. February conditions can be expected to be nice chalk if snow is stale powder if snow is fresh. March transitions to either powder or varying degrees of firm, but aspect and altitude play a huge role there too. 

 

April is on average the snowiest month in Colorado. Many ski areas in the state close in early April, and only two schedule operations into May. 

post #30 of 38

Ive never been to Winter Park (may go this year) but isn't it mostly known for the bumps? The OP is a snowboarder who may want bowls vs bumps and therefore Copper would be the ticket, correct?

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