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Getting a MAX pass and have my pick of the litter in CO

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Copper Mountain,

Crested Butte,

Steamboat,  

Winter Park,

Eldora,

 

Which one should I choose? I've been East Coast all my life and finally have the money and means to chase some of that sweet sweet pow. Given that, I would mainly like to choose based off snow conditions and would like some terrain with some nice open bowls. I might even be able to hit up two of them. Aiming for Feb-March. Let me know what you guys think.

post #2 of 12

I'm lucky enough to be in the same boat....We are going to Winter Park and Steamboat the week before Christmas on the Maxx Pass. 

 

I've only been to Steamboat and Winter Park out of all these.  But if you look up stats and reviews, those two seem to be the highest rated. 

 

Crested Butte has my interest, but it's rather far from Denver and it doesn't have as much snow as the two mentioned above.  But I have heard good things about the resort.

 

The question for you that some will have is which dates are you thinking about going?

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Probably late feb-early march. So far the one that has caught my attention the most is Copper mountain. Just looking at the trail map it looks like it has a lot of above tree-line skiing which is pretty appealing as that's the type we don't get in the East.

post #4 of 12

I have been to Steamboat, Winter Park, and Copper many times over the years.  Crested Butte only once (was enough).  This season I have a week at Winter Park and a week at Copper.  You are correct, based on snow conditions with high, nice bowls I would choose Copper Mountain. 

 

The good news is that in February and March you usually can't go wrong at any Colorado ski area for great conditions and a shot for awesome powder.  You will have an a great trip no matter what you decide.  I really like Copper, it's my favorite in the state after Aspen/Snowmass.  And you can easily ski Copper and Winter Park on the same trip, that would be a good idea.  I would avoid weekend traffic and crowds if possible, I only go during the week.

 

Have fun

post #5 of 12
I would consider adding Loveland to your list. Copper and Mary Jane could be good choices. What caught your attention on the Copper trail map?
post #6 of 12

Eldora is a small (by western standards) area for Denver and Boulder locals.  I've only skied there early season before the bowl was open.  It's worth a day there if you are nearby.

Crested Butte has a lot of genuinely steep and gnarly terrain, if you are looking for that. Plus cat skiing at Kebler Pass.

I haven't skied Winter Park since before Intrawest built it up.  My son likes it now so it must be good for snowboarders. Crowded on weekends.

Steamboat is a family favorite because it's easy for all of us to get to, and it has the best town. Not too much steepness, but you can lap Christmas Tree Bowl above the tree line. 

Copper has lots of groomers, nice big bowls and some easy hikes to steep terrain.  It's too close to I70 and Breckinridge.

Steamboat and WP are at reasonable altitude.  CB and Copper not so much.

FWIW Big Sky is the best bet on the Maxpass for good skiing for all abilities. Not so good for night life.

All your options are good, but none of them are perfect.  Maybe Steamboat is perfect if you don't need gnarly terrain.

 

BK


Edited by Bode Klammer - 9/5/16 at 8:19am
post #7 of 12

If you are flying into/out of Denver and renting a car,  it would be pretty easy to make a Copper,Steamboat and WP loop.  I would suggest staying somewhat flexible if possible.

 

 

Duck:

No love for the Butte?

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys will definitely be doing Copper and Steamboat.

post #9 of 12
Been to Winter Park/Mary Jane the last 4 seasons. Every year in March, and last year another trip in mid-December. Been there during college spring break rushes and during the weekend.

Every year except one had a major dumping of snow at that time. It was also comfortable temps except last year, which was cold and windy during spring break.

It can get crowded on the winter park side, but it is easy to just drive and park at the Mary Jane side, which is less crowded, which is less busy and has the more expert terrain. More groomers on WP side, more bump runs and the bowl skiing is on the MJ side.

Even at it's busiest, I've never had a problem there. It is big enough to find open spots. I suggest if something is busy, just try a different area.

The lodges definitely get busy during lunch and after the mountain closes. Suggest timing your lunch stop off cycle. The rental shop too sucks on Sat morning, which is what we have done every year. That is the number one reason why we all bought equipment this year. To avoid the long delay and frustration in there getting equipment for the four of us. If you are gonna rent, try to do it other than at the mountain on Sat or Sun morning.

All in all, I love WP/MJ. Gonna be at Copper and a day at Keystone around New Years, then spend a week back at WP/MJ for spring break. So will have better comparisons after this season. I've been to Beaver Creek recently, and liked it OK, but found WP/MJ way easier with young kids. Smaller resort, so easier to transport kids/gear. But that may just be me.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post

 

Steamboat and WP are at reasonable altitude.  CB and Copper not so much.

 

 

BK

Winter Park is at approximately the same altitude as Copper. The parking lot at Winter Park base is at 9,000 feet; the bowls top out at over 12,000.

 

Steamboat is significantly lower and a much better choice if you're sensitive to altitude.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikoras View Post
 

Thanks guys will definitely be doing Copper and Steamboat.

Copper sounds closest to what you are looking for, including bowls. I might rank Winter Park next based on your interests. Late Feb, early Mar would be great timing.  If you do Copper and Steamboat I'd suggest you go to Steamboat first to ease altitude adjustment. Then you'll be better able to enjoy the higher elevations at Copper.  I concur with Shredhead that if you want to get greedy and try all three there is a straightforward highway loop to do that, but you'd have to do Steamboat second in that scenario.  But that would make for a rather busy trip compared to visiting just two areas if you only had one week.  You didn't mention an interesting ski town, but of the three Steamboat wins in that department.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
 

Winter Park is at approximately the same altitude as Copper. The parking lot at Winter Park base is at 9,000 feet; the bowls top out at over 12,000.

 

Steamboat is significantly lower and a much better choice if you're sensitive to altitude.

If you stay slopeside at Copper, you are sleeping at 9700 feet. At Winterpark, you can sleep lower than 8500 feet, less than 10 miles away. That makes a difference for me. The peak elevations don't matter much, it's all about sleeping for me. YMMV.

 

BK

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