My wife and I are planning a trip out to Colorado and I am debating between Steamboat and Keystone as seemingly the best options for us.
My wife is probably a level 5 skier with a desire to get much better, and a taste for dipping into trees along trail edges when our VT snow is not frozen over. I am probably somewhere between a 6-7. I am good on anything that as been groomed in VT, but moguls frequently eat me alive here in VT. I plan on taking a mogul specific clinic at Mad Rive Glen to try and prep for any trip out to Colorado.
We day trip in Vermont, and frequently on midweeks thanks to job flexibility on both of our ends. Out favorites within an hour of the house are Stowe, Killington, Okemo, and Mt Sunapee.
We are only considering CO, because my folks live there and they will provide free childcare. And it gives us a day or two to adjust to altitude.
We are not tied to specific dates, so we would like to avoid holidays, school breaks, and visit during the best snow conditions.
We do have a budget of $1600 for our lift tickets and lodging.
Because we day tip here in VT, we are hoping to experience some ski-in/ski-out lodging for the first time. Airbnb has had some options listed that fit our budget in general.
We are hoping for not just a better, but also different ski experience in CO, trying to take advantage of the snow density, lack of rain, and terrain variety not found in VT.
Why I am considering Keystone?
-Lots of ski-in/out condo rentals available at the base of lifts
-$199 4 pack
-Five HSQ lifts over 1500ft vert
-Easy drive from Denver
-Large number of trails groomed every day
Hesitations about Keystone?
-Will this just be a bigger, slightly better version of VT groomer skiing?
-Will there be enough to keep me interested for 4 days? (I am spoiled for resort variety here in VT)
Why I am considering Steamboat?
-Max Pass is cheap with how often we ski Killington, Okemo, Sunapee+Stratton & Tremblant occasionally
-Five HSQ chairs over 1500ft vert
-Steamboat Springs has a great reputation as a town for things to do on a day off, and a more authentic western vibe for tourists
-Seemingly accessible tree skiing
-Lower base altitude
Hesitations about Steamboat?
-How bad is the drive in a rental car? If it is snowing?
-Is the tree skiing a worth while selling point for an intermediate?
Any input would be appreciated that might help push me in one direction or the other. And other suggestions in CO are most welcome!
Thank you in advance.