or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Steamboat or Keystone for VT Intermediates?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Steamboat or Keystone for VT Intermediates? - Page 2

post #31 of 45
Thread Starter 

Regarding a rental. I drive AWD and FWD both with winter tires here in VT.

 

If the road is closed, it is closed. I have simply read a several comments about the difficulty of the drive up to Steamboat from Denver, and that both routes can be problematic. But I wanted some local knowledge to those claims.

 

If the crossovers and SUVs all have AWD that makes things easy enough, and it makes sense the online systems would not know the exact selection--they only guarantee "or similar."

 

Parents in CO mean flying into Steamboat directly is off the table, but renting away from the airport could be an option in Denver.

 

Do rentals at DEN get winter tires? Everything I have read, heard, and experienced puts way more value in a good set of tires than AWD when things get tough.

post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralVT08 View Post

 

Do rentals at DEN get winter tires? Everything I have read, heard, and experienced puts way more value in a good set of tires than AWD when things get tough.

 

 

Anything other than OEM equipment on a rental car,  is very rare.  They don't have room to store tires and they even don't know where the vehicle will be in a month, let alone next spring. My last rental at DEN had Florida plates.

post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post
 

To: lakespapa:   Online and 1-800 number operators don't know the specifics of the local vehicles.  I contacted DEN rental desks directly (not easy to get through) or verified when I got to the DEN desks.


That's helpful, thanks!

 

BTW, you can summon me or any other member by using the @ sign — in my case @lakespapa. Whomever you summon will receive a notification.

post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralVT08 View Post
 

Regarding a rental. I drive AWD and FWD both with winter tires here in VT.

 

If the road is closed, it is closed. I have simply read a several comments about the difficulty of the drive up to Steamboat from Denver, and that both routes can be problematic. But I wanted some local knowledge to those claims.

 

 

The Denver>Frisco>Steamboat route is easy and takes about 3 hours without traffic. It's about twice as far as Keystone, and all the added mileage is on good state highways. There are not many steep grades anywhere. It's easier than my Albany>Stowe drive.  You can miss the I70 traffic, but that makes the route longer and harder. Maybe it's harder if you are driving from Texas.

You won't find many snow tires anywhere outside of Vermont. Even Denver weekend skiers mostly aren't using them.

 

BK

post #35 of 45

Bummer about having to to fly to DEN since there are are $511 RT Airfares between BTV and HDN 

 

That said, I've skiied both Keystone and Steamboat quite regularly. Growing up in Buffalo, all we really had were the mole hills of Kissing Bridge and Holiday Valley.

 

I'm very partial to Steamboat for the variety it has to offer complemented by the town for a more fuller skiing experience. It helps that my wife (non-skiier) and kids (in Ski School) absolutely loved the place. Keystone does have some very nice back-side tree skiing but for longer trips I've historically had to stay in Dillon and then roam around Copper, A-Basin, Breck and even out to Vail one year.

 

Steamboat has the convenience I love. Free shuttle into town, off-days we did Tubing, Hot Springs, Cross Country, Snow-shoeing, shopping, etc.

 

Good luck on your decision,

Mike

post #36 of 45

Despite not having skied Keystone, like Finndog said, you sound like a perfect Steamboat customer.  I did ski Beaver Creek and Vail last winter, and wasn't too impressed with the experience (I like the Aspen resorts much better).  All the fluff was at the base instead of on the hill, so to speak.

 

Skied Steamboat plenty of times, and love that place in the summer, winter, whatever.  It's about a 4 hour drive for me, I come in through Baggs, WY and Craig, CO.  Easy drive but lots of deer on the road.

post #37 of 45

I think you've gotten a pretty fair overview of the pluses and minuses of Steamboat and Keystone.  I don't think you can go wrong at either one.  Just pick.

 

As to rental cars, I have rented every February out of DIA for last 10 years.  I always end up with a FWD car with all-season tires as I refuse to pay the huge price increase for an SUV.  Rentals do not come with winter tires.  Luckily the drive to Summit County is only an issue in the middle of a snowstorm and the local roads are well maintained.  If you stay in River Run at Keystone, you won't be using the car much at all.  You'll have to decide if paying 3 or 4 times the amount for an AWD SUV is worth the peace of mind.

post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH View Post

I think you've gotten a pretty fair overview of the pluses and minuses of Steamboat and Keystone.  I don't think you can go wrong at either one.  Just pick.

As to rental cars, I have rented every February out of DIA for last 10 years.  I always end up with a FWD car with all-season tires as I refuse to pay the huge price increase for an SUV.  Rentals do not come with winter tires.  Luckily the drive to Summit County is only an issue in the middle of a snowstorm and the local roads are well maintained.  If you stay in River Run at Keystone, you won't be using the car much at all.  You'll have to decide if paying 3 or 4 times the amount for an AWD SUV is worth the peace of mind.
That's easy for me. My wife prefers peace of mind over saving a few bucks when it's a once-a-year event. When she's happy life is better.
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH View Post
When she's happy life is better.

+ 1 (at least)! 

 

Thus, "Happy wife, happy life."

post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by breilly View Post


That's easy for me. My wife prefers peace of mind over saving a few bucks when it's a once-a-year event. When she's happy life is better.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH View Post
 

I think you've gotten a pretty fair overview of the pluses and minuses of Steamboat and Keystone.  I don't think you can go wrong at either one.  Just pick.

 

As to rental cars, I have rented every February out of DIA for last 10 years.  I always end up with a FWD car with all-season tires as I refuse to pay the huge price increase for an SUV.  Rentals do not come with winter tires.  Luckily the drive to Summit County is only an issue in the middle of a snowstorm and the local roads are well maintained.  If you stay in River Run at Keystone, you won't be using the car much at all.  You'll have to decide if paying 3 or 4 times the amount for an AWD SUV is worth the peace of mind.

 

I have done both.  When alone and when with my son I rent a FWD econo box and have never had any problems even driving up the pass in a snow storm.  The times I was out there with my wife I rented an Expensive SUV to keep her calm!

 

BTW, my vote is for Steamboat.  Though I have skied Colorado many times and been to most resorts, I have never skied Keystone or Steamboat..  I did spend a few days in Steamboat in the summer and did a lot of biking and hiking on the mountain and it was beautiful! 

post #41 of 45
Make plans.
Don't miss out on one of the best skiing experiences!
post #42 of 45

Steamboat, hands down.

 

We've done VT several times, and there is no comparison out West.  My intermediate-level wife and kids had a blast exploring Steamboat, they got into the trees for the first time and had such a fun time without worry about getting in over their head.  Also, don't sweat the moguls out west, they are NOTHING like the icy bumps here in the East.  They're big soft pillows (endless ones, mind you though) and so much more fun and doable.  Even my wife and son on snowboards tackled the bumps and held their own and managed to enjoy it!

 

Steamboat the town itself is also great, check out the hot springs, food, everything is easy to access, free shuttles and buses, and you'll keep busy for a week no problem at Steamboat.  For the record, we checked out Keystone out of curiosity, and while it had a good family vibe, we could see ourselves sort of feeling "been there, done that" after a couple days.  Steamboat, on the other hand, is such a different experience from VT and the East that it's hard to describe until you've been there.

 

We rented an SUV out of Denver airport and had no issues driving to Steamboat.  Our flight was delayed and arrived late, so we actually ended up driving to Steamboat at night in the dark, and still did fine.  If it's snowy, just go slow.  If you can drive in VT then you can drive to Steamboat.  It was quite a nice drive actually.

 

Keystone was nice, but Steamboat was special.

post #43 of 45
Thread Starter 

Sounds like Steamboat is the pretty clear choice based on recommendations.

 

It seems most of my suspicions about each place were generally confirmed--good and bad.

 

Glad to know the drive is manageable from DEN to Steamboat up through Dillon and then North.

 

I will be interested to see what my wife has to say about things.

 

Suggestions on dates to AVOID? Blackouts and holidays obviously. But when are schools in CO and area states impacting things the most?

 

When are conditions the best--generally?

post #44 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralVT08 View Post
 

Sounds like Steamboat is the pretty clear choice based on recommendations.

 

It seems most of my suspicions about each place were generally confirmed--good and bad.

 

Glad to know the drive is manageable from DEN to Steamboat up through Dillon and then North.

 

I will be interested to see what my wife has to say about things.

 

Suggestions on dates to AVOID? Blackouts and holidays obviously. But when are schools in CO and area states impacting things the most?

 

When are conditions the best--generally?

My experience is limited compared to others on this site when it comes to Steamboat conditions.  From that limited perspective, I would suggest avoiding March for two reasons: 1) Spring Break crowds are in force for first few weeks, 2) it warms up earlier here because of lower altitude and south facing it will get mushy at that time of year.

 

Last year, I did a Steamboat trip end of Feb-early Mar and it was already Spring skiing and mushy late in the day.  This coming season, if we make it back to Steamboat, I'll aim for late January since they get a lot of early season snow and if snowfall pattern repeats then January would be time for best snow here.

post #45 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

Steamboat, hands down.

 

.  If you can drive in VT then you can drive to Steamboat.  It was quite a nice drive actually.

 

Keystone was nice, but Steamboat was special.

agreed! Special!

 

The town and evening activities for just the two of you will make the difference! Free shuttle is nice if out on the town ... 

 

I've always had decent drive w/FWD but agree the small SUVs tend to be AWD but perhaps a consideration is if your mom/dad have a winter tired car and you just let them get a rental for denver or .. if they have two cars, they may not miss one?

 

Yeah, Finndog and I think Tam are residents, Finndog's shown us around and more important always had great tips and reminders of how to approach a run.

 

As long as don't need a Pool, there can be some reasonable priced ski in/out and most all have Hot Tubs. 

 

Once you decide, be sure to post when your out ... and where of course!

 

pete

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Steamboat or Keystone for VT Intermediates?