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Colorado in Late March

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'll be heading out to ski in Colorado for the first time in late March and wanted to get some input from the wise folks here.  Parameters of the trip:

 

Arrive: Fri, March 18th ~5PM (Denver)

Depart: Sun, March 27th 6PM (Denver)

 

I have an epic pass as well as mountain collective.  I definitely want to use my two days at Aspen/Snowmass and thus will likely spend the rest of the time at whatever Vail resorts.  My home resort is Kirkwood and I generally enjoy skiing steep blacks, big open bowls and bumps.  I ski all day, crash and repeat.  That said, my wife is coming along for the first 3 days or so and she has different priorities - easy skiing (she hasn't done it since she was a child) and good food with some interesting (window)shopping a bonus.  I think I'd prefer to save the Aspen/Snowmass days for when I'm solo so I can maximize my enjoyment.  

 

We both do generally do fine at altitude and the plan is to stay somewhere fancy and ski-in/out with my wife and then airbnb/cheap options when I'm solo.

 

Anyone propose a rough itinerary - skiing and general location to stay?  

 

Also, I assume we shouldn't need a 4wd for a rental as long as we're careful and it doesn't dump?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 17

For the 3 days with your wife I'd recommend Beaver Creek and the Park Hyatt. Nice hotel at the base of the mountain, great spa (or so my wife says), ski valet, and it's usually quite a bit less expensive in late March that in mid-season. The village is small but has shopping (window or real), restaurants, etc. Not a lot of night life (pretty much none after dinner). The green groomers at the top of the mountain are perfect for someone getting back into skiing. And for you, if you don't stick with your wife, there's plenty of more advanced skiing: Birds of Prey area, the moguls on Grouse Mountain, and Stone Creek Chutes, although they may be closed by late March, and more. 

post #3 of 17

I agree Beaver Creek is probably the ideal place to start with the wife.  I would spend most of the remaining trip in Aspen/Snowmass.

1) Vail's Back Bowls will be very sun-sensitive in late March though Blue Sky and much of the front side still preserve well.

2) Summit County is much more crowded, especially if that's still in the spring break time frame.  Locals can comment on when the spring break crowds in Summit taper down.  By the early April timeframe of the 2011 Gathering there were minimal crowd issues.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

So if I'm skiing for 7 of 8 days, is Aspen/Snowmass really awesome that I should split my time: 2 days Beaver Creek (with wife) and 5 days Aspen/Snowmass even though the Vail resorts are "free" and I'll have to pay 3 50% tickets at Aspen?  I suppose I could at least hit one that's close to Denver on Sunday before my flight out (6PM). 

post #5 of 17

Two things that I can confirm: (1) Those dates are a lot of schools' Spring Breaks and (2) Summit County will be crowded.  (When I was a college student back in the early '90s, I was in Summit County every spring break.)

 

I've been to all of the spots that you are considering and highly prefer the Aspen mountains (mainly Snowmass and Highlands) over the Epic ones.  If I were you, I'd do four days at Aspen and four days at Vail/Beaver Creek.  (If snow conditions are equal, my preferred itinerary would be 2 days each at Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, Vail, and Beaver Creek.)

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by onnel View Post
 

I'll be heading out to ski in Colorado for the first time in late March and wanted to get some input from the wise folks here.  Parameters of the trip:

 

Arrive: Fri, March 18th ~5PM (Denver)

Depart: Sun, March 27th 6PM (Denver)

 

I have an epic pass as well as mountain collective.  I definitely want to use my two days at Aspen/Snowmass and thus will likely spend the rest of the time at whatever Vail resorts.  My home resort is Kirkwood and I generally enjoy skiing steep blacks, big open bowls and bumps.  I ski all day, crash and repeat.  That said, my wife is coming along for the first 3 days or so and she has different priorities - easy skiing (she hasn't done it since she was a child) and good food with some interesting (window)shopping a bonus.  I think I'd prefer to save the Aspen/Snowmass days for when I'm solo so I can maximize my enjoyment.  

 

We both do generally do fine at altitude and the plan is to stay somewhere fancy and ski-in/out with my wife and then airbnb/cheap options when I'm solo.

 

Anyone propose a rough itinerary - skiing and general location to stay?  

 

Also, I assume we shouldn't need a 4wd for a rental as long as we're careful and it doesn't dump?

 

Thanks in advance!

Quote:
Originally Posted by onnel View Post
 

So if I'm skiing for 7 of 8 days, is Aspen/Snowmass really awesome that I should split my time: 2 days Beaver Creek (with wife) and 5 days Aspen/Snowmass even though the Vail resorts are "free" and I'll have to pay 3 50% tickets at Aspen?  I suppose I could at least hit one that's close to Denver on Sunday before my flight out (6PM). 

Are you thinking of hiking the Highlands Bowl?  Each of the big Aspen mountains (Ajax, Snowmass, Highlands) deserve a couple days each, but certainly should spend at least one day at each regardless of snow conditions.  They are very different.  Assuming you are likely to go back some time in the future.

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by onnel View Post
 

So if I'm skiing for 7 of 8 days, is Aspen/Snowmass really awesome that I should split my time: 2 days Beaver Creek (with wife) and 5 days Aspen/Snowmass even though the Vail resorts are "free" and I'll have to pay 3 50% tickets at Aspen?  I suppose I could at least hit one that's close to Denver on Sunday before my flight out (6PM). 


Yes, I would the rest of the time at Aspen/Snowmass in that time frame, except for one day at the end on the way back to Denver.  Maybe Vail on day 3 a Monday?

post #8 of 17
Quote:

Originally Posted by onnel View Post
 

 

  That said, my wife is coming along for the first 3 days or so and she has different priorities - easy skiing (she hasn't done it since she was a child) and good food with some interesting (window)shopping a bonus.  I think I'd prefer to save the Aspen/Snowmass days for when I'm solo so I can maximize my enjoyment.  

 

 

 

 

Your wife will like the town of Aspen, 10x more than the village at BC. 

Happy wife, happy life.  If she likes it, you get to go more.

Think of it as an investment.

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

 

 

Happy wife, happy life.  

Quite possibly the most important observation within the many hundreds of posts made and to be made on Epicski today.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Luckily, my wife is happy to stay home when I go skiing for a few weeks. Her coming along is definitely the exception. But I wholeheartedly endorse the general sentiment.

So it sounds like we could easily ignore the epic pass, and stay in aspen the whole time. Depending on what time my wife flies out (I assume I'll need to take her to the airport), I can ski Vail or the like midweek.

That's the only downside I see of doing Aspen with my wife: it's significantly further from Denver and thus will require write a bit of additional driving. If our time together is somewhere closer, then I only do the longer drive once each way (and minimize the impact on ski time). That said, if Aspen really is all that, I'll eat the extra drive time happily.
Edited by onnel - 12/16/15 at 1:49pm
post #11 of 17

You could take the direct SFO-ASE and not rent a car at all.

post #12 of 17

Seems like driving conditions may be the biggest factor.  Lots of options of how to get in a little skiing going to/from Denver if you plan it out.

 

I started out my Colorado skiing last March with a week in Denver with my non-skiing husband (attending professional conference).  Then he flew home and I started my spring ski trip.  My ski buddy picked me up in Denver early in the morning, we drove to A-Basin, skied until mid-afternoon, then drove to Carbondale where we had reservations at the Days Inn.  Spent the next few days skiing the Aspen mountains.

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

 

 

Your wife will like the town of Aspen, 10x more than the village at BC. 

Happy wife, happy life.  If she likes it, you get to go more.

Think of it as an investment.


Maybe, but my wife prefers Beaver Creek. But she is certainly not going to find easy skiing at Aspen or Highlands, maybe Snowmass. It's been awhile since I've been at Snowmass but I remember lots of blue cruisers but not too many green. I think the greens at BC would be perfect for getting back into skiing.

 

Happy wife, happy life - definitely. That's why I go to BC - because she doesn't ski and does't like most ski places but she puts up with BC. She likes Whistler too, it's like BC on steroids. 

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

You could take the direct SFO-ASE and not rent a car at all.

I'm already booked for Denver...though I could have my wife fly out of Aspen...That's am excellent idea!

Honestly, we'll enjoy the drive once (we like to drive together), but I don't really want to shuttle back and forth between Aspen and Denver multiple times.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Given the general responses, I think I will cancel my existing flight and use miles to fly direct to Aspen. If I really want to visit other areas midweek, I can rent a car in Aspen and go from there, thus avoiding Denver entirely.

Just have to make sure the wife will enjoy herself.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Flying directly to Aspen now. Followup question:

1. Recommendations for a fancy-ish but not insanely so ( ~$350-400/night) place to stay with my wife.

2. Recommendations for something cheaper for me for the rest of the trip. Priority here is easy access to the slopes and a kitchen is nice. No interest in apres other than perhaps a diner out or two. Ski, eat, sleep, repeat.
post #17 of 17

I think she will be happy.   That's a really nice flight.

 

How important is ski in/out.

I usually recommend adults w/o kids stay in town and families stay in Snowmass, for the ski in/out.

Limelight in town is pretty nice and they offer some discounts to MCP holders.

 

There are a ton of older lodges in town. St. Mortiz is one that would fit your requirements.

 

You probably don't really need a kitchen. I hardly use mine and I love to cook.

Most high end restaurants have bar menus with entrees under $20.  Same food, maybe a slightly smaller plate. 

It's a big couples thing here and some of the bars are quite nice, with 2 & 4 top tables.

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