My husband and I will be staying with my sister in the Alamosa/Monte Vista area of CO, (she just moved there for work, so she doesn't know which of those towns she will rent an apartment in yet,) from Dec 31-Jan 4 to ski with her at Wolf Creek.
We will fly into Denver and then drive to Alamosa on the first day, then we plan to make day trips to Wolf Creek from Alamosa Jan 1-3, taking the South Fork Route there and back.. Since our return flight on the 4th is not until 11:50 PM, we plan to get up very early and drive from Alamosa towards Denver and try to ski at one of the resorts closer to Denver Int'l, such as Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain or Keystone before going home.
A few questions, since neither of us has ever been to CO in the winter:
1. Should we buy chains for our car when we get there? I have heard about CO state police setting up 'chain checks' when the weather is dicey. We will be renting a front-wheel drive sedan, most likely, since the SUV's were insanely expensive. (Almost an $800 difference!)
2. Is it likely we will need to rent powder skis for Wolf Creek? I know they have a reputation for getting a ton of snow. We are hoping to just use our own skis to avoid rental costs. Mine are all-mountain, 81 mm wide with rocker, his are 74 mm wide with rocker. We will not be skiing any expert terrain, just blues and maybe single black, but would like to try skiing glades if they have any with a gentler pitch. (Does that exist there?)
3. Out of A-basin, Copper Mountain and Keystone, which would you recommend most for two young, healthy skiers who want to challenge themselves but do not yet ski expert terrain? (Maybe upper-intermediate?) We are considering those three because, while Vail for example looks amazing, it is extremely expensive and we will only be able to ski for one day, so we won't be able to make use of any multi-day discounts, and would barely get to see a fraction of the resort in one day anyway.