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Ski Denver or trek to Telluride? (Late-March)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My wife and I are going to be in Denver for a conference in late March and end up with free days to ski March 23rd with a flight out on the 27th.  I am looking for thoughts on staying within an hour or two of Denver and getting in 4 days (Thursday through Sunday) or making the trek to Telluride and losing the extra day of skiing.  

 

Background:

My wife and I are advanced-intermediates but we both avoid backcountry. I love bowls and mild-chutes and she tries to stick to blue/black groomers.

Going to be in Breck for a week in early-February so would like to try somewhere different in March.

Already have a Mid-size SUV rental so not worried about rental car costs.

 

If you are thinking around Denver is better, what resorts/areas?

 

 

Thank you in advance!

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kulikj View Post

  

 

Background:

My wife and I are advanced-intermediates but we both avoid backcountry. I love bowls and mild-chutes and she tries to stick to blue/black groomers.

Going to be in Breck for a week in early-February so would like to try somewhere different in March.

Welcome to Epic. Great time to be in Colorado. 

 

You pretty much just described Vail. 

Keystone would be another that fis your description well, but it with your February trip you might have already been there.

Copper always a good bet for a few days.

Winter Park might get crowded on you, but closer.

 

If you add another hour on your travel, Steamboat would be a great choice. Nice town the mountain fits your description and far enough away from Denver to not be too nuts on a weekend. 

 

Not a bad choice in that bunch.

post #3 of 15
Telluride with no crowds
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kulikj View Post
 

My wife and I are going to be in Denver for a conference in late March and end up with free days to ski March 23rd with a flight out on the 27th.  I am looking for thoughts on staying within an hour or two of Denver and getting in 4 days (Thursday through Sunday) or making the trek to Telluride and losing the extra day of skiing.  

 

Background:

My wife and I are advanced-intermediates but we both avoid backcountry. I love bowls and mild-chutes and she tries to stick to blue/black groomers.

Going to be in Breck for a week in early-February so would like to try somewhere different in March.

Already have a Mid-size SUV rental so not worried about rental car costs.

 

If you are thinking around Denver is better, what resorts/areas?

 

 

Thank you in advance!


Welcome to EpicSki!  I did something similar a couple years ago when my non-skiing husband had a conference in Denver in mid-March.  Given all the options within a half-day drive of Denver, I see little reason to spend time going to Telluride.  Do you plan to fly out of Denver?

post #5 of 15
Telluride is a great place, but that's kind of a long haul for three days and you would defenety loose Sunday.

It is spring break, so it could be pretty crowded in the front range. Take your wife to Aspen and ski Loveland on the way to the airport on Sunday.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post


Welcome to EpicSki!  I did something similar a couple years ago when my non-skiing husband had a conference in Denver in mid-March.  Given all the options within a half-day drive of Denver, I see little reason to spend time going to Telluride.  Do you plan to fly out of Denver?

We'll be flying out of Denver.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Shred/Stranger:

I like your thinking. I'll start looking into that. Going to need to plan a separate trip to Telluride it seems!
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

Welcome to Epic. Great time to be in Colorado. 

You pretty much just described Vail. 
Keystone would be another that fis your description well, but it with your February trip you might have already been there.
Copper always a good bet for a few days.
Winter Park might get crowded on you, but closer.

If you add another hour on your travel, Steamboat would be a great choice. Nice town the mountain fits your description and far enough away from Denver to not be too nuts on a weekend. 

Not a bad choice in that bunch.

Stranger:
Weather should be alright at Steamboat late March? Loving the look of Steamboat.
post #9 of 15

Not the best time of the season to ski in Steamboat.  It's a great town for sure, but the ski area has lower elevations, some south-facing terrain and not any high alpine bowls.  It's way better in December, January, or February.  In March the sun and warmer temps turn it mushy really quick.

Aspen would be perfect at that time.  You will have such a great time, you won't want to leave.  And you can ski Loveland on the drive back, just like the Shreadhead wrote.

post #10 of 15
Aspen is a good recommendation but maybe you should do vail this year. You can get epic local passes that covers lift tickets for breck, vail and other areas pretty cheaply. Price goes up after this weekend though. Vail will be more crowded but not as bad as breck in February.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
I was looking at the EpicPass. That is pretty awesome. I was worried about Steamboat weather from what I read on here so thanks for the info RubberDuck. We're going to jump on the EpicPass.
post #12 of 15

I love Telluride...and think it's a great place for advanced intermediates.  But it is so stinkin' far from Denver.  If based out of Denver, here's what I would recommend for skiers at your level (with my bias being heavily in favor of great terrain that is uncrowded):

 

1) Aspen (worth the additional two hours of travel, but not if you are on a tight budget);

2) Beaver Creek;

3) Keystone (North Peak and Outback are right up your alley);

4) Copper Mountain;

5) Vail;

6) Winter Park.

post #13 of 15
I think most of the Epic Pass locations might be a bit crowded except maybe BC. I would give Aspen serious consideration. smile.gif
post #14 of 15
Quick answer on steamboat weather. Late March is an unknown anywhere and I can tell you we had fantastic skiing late March last season but no one can predict the weather. I know everyone tries to make the best choices for their vacations but pick a place, make the plans and enjoy! We really don't have much south-facing that people actually ski. In late March early April there's nothing wrong with a west facing area that warms up offering nice soft snow vs north facing shots that may not soften up until the afternoon. Keep in mind that the best terrain at steamboat is not on the trail map The sun shine area is where most intermediates ski but there's plenty of west to nw terrain if you can ski bumps or steeper terrain. . I love taking people into areas they have never skied even after their 5th trip. smile.gif. In actuality, the boat has a ton of fantastic terrain and I spend the majority of time skiing bumps, trees and poking around a lot of our side country finding stashes. Although most skiers come up and hit the "chutes" and a few of the other signature runs, I encourage you to look for other places to ski that are so much better. But the reality is that we are predicted to have another average to slightly above average winter which means nearly 400" of snow and we do get excellent March and April storms despite what some people may say. wink.gif
post #15 of 15

I'd recommend looking at how the timing/pricing for the direct DEN-TEX flights work with your schedule. You could return the rental car earlier and fly instead, and once you land at Telluride you can get a quick shuttle to wherever you're staying, and then you won't need a car for the rest of the trip until it's time to catch the airport shuttle again.

 

You can definitely have plenty of fun closer to Denver, and you've gotten good advice so far on how to do so. But Telluride can be pretty awesome in late March--it's just too far to drive. My recommendation would be to hold off for now, see how the snowfall's shaping up for Colorado's different microclimates, and make a decision closer in.

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