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Winter Park vs Copper

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
It looks like I will have the opportunity to ski for 4 weeks at one of the above resorts next year in January. Can not decide which one as I have never been to either. I am from New Zealand. I like fast groomers but want a mountain with variety to develop further skills. Help me please. :
post #2 of 11
Welcome to the forum!

I don't know Copper, but I have been to WP a few times. It does have some groomed stuff, but nothing very fast groomed. Mary Jane Trail, Sleeper and Hughes are probably the best groomers. Where WP does shine is with the bumps, the bumps, some tree skiing, the bumps and the Cirque for off-piste.

What about doing both areas - two weeks in each?

post #3 of 11
I have never been to Winter Park, so I can't compare the two, but I have been to Copper and can tell you a bit about it. It is one of the best places I have been to! The mountain is naturally divided with the easy rides on one side, the middle of the road stuff in the front and the more difficult stuff on the side [with a few exceptions here and there of course]. The skiing is great, there is usually a lot of snow and you can move around the mountain and meet with people pretty easily. There are two negative things about Copper:

1. there is very little [pretty much NOTHING] to do other than skiing. There is no town, nightlife, etc. For the same reason, the food choices generally suck.

2. it is very high altitude. Be prepared. If high altitude affects you [you get winded, tired or get headaches] you will feel it!

I know Copper was developing new areas and there may be more "social" things to do now, but I am not sure...

This is just my opinion, and you should check other reviews and commetns. Go to websites like ski.net or goski.com; or try to get the Ski Magazine annual issue that rates the best resorts.
post #4 of 11
Have skied both WP/MaryJane & Copper. From your brief description of your preferences, I'd recommend Copper over WP. Longer, better selection of 'fast groomers' and easy access to variety of terrain to 'improve your skills'. As noted above, night life in Copper is practically non-existent, but it is improving and the restaurant situation is also much better.

If you are going to be in Summit County for 4 weeks, I'd urge you to look at some of the resorts around Copper. Beaver Creek is less than an hour away and has some of the best grooming in CO. Likewise Keystone is a great intermediate hill with some great long blue groomers. Breckenridge would also be a good choice, based on your needs above, and has a fun, eclectic town to go with the skiing. If you're going to come all the way from New Zealand and spend 4 weeks, why not see all of what Summit County has to offer? You won't be dissappointed.
post #5 of 11
Is there a reason (financial or otherwise) that you want to stay at only ONE resort for an entire month? Copper and Winter Park are good-sized, but I think you'd ski them out pretty thoroughly within one week.

Tag's suggestion sounds a lot more reasonable: make Breck your base of operations, but rent a car and ski everything up there -- Vail, Beaver Creek, A-Basin, Copper, Loveland, Breckenridge, Keystone, Winter Park, Berthoud, and if you get bored, maybe a road trip to Wolf Creek.

Doesn't that sound like more fun?
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the replys. Yes finance is a problem. Our $ is crap, ie multiply every cost by 2.5! This means a day pass can cost us$130 each! The only way I can aqfford to come is to get a season pass. They will not let me buy a Colorado pass (I tried and tried) but both Winter Park and Copper have said I could buy one of their passes online. The Colorado pass people said I had to be in Colorado to buy it in Sept/Oct which I can not do. Otherwise the Colorado pass would be perfect.
post #7 of 11
Hi Shane,

I am also a lover of fast groomers and I would send you to Copper over Winter Park in a heartbeat! To my mind; Winter Park skis with a 'broken' feel, while Copper is one of the more logical ski areas in Colorado. They are both good ski areas, but Copper has an edge that only comes with terrain to complement the infrastructure.

Understanding your financial restrictions, and also understanding that a person seldom wishes to ski the same area for four weeks straight; I would reccomend that you look into the Ski New Mexico pass to complement whichever season pass you get in Colorado. If you have transportation, the pass is very inexpensive. For $195US you get two days skiing at each of the ski areas in New Mexico. New Mexico's ski areas are about the size of many of New Zealand's ski areas, but are quite high in elevation, so you often get quality snow conditions during the dead of winter. The drive from Copper to the New Mexico ski areas is an easy one and can be done almost entirely on interstate highways. There are 7 New Mexico ski areas, and the pass gives you 2 days at each ski area; so you get 14 days of skiing at a little over $13US per day. Mix this in with the least expensive ski pass you can find in Colorado; and I think you just might wind up with a vacation to remember!!
Check out the New Mexico sampler at www.skinewmexico.com.

Feel free to ask further questions about cutting trip costs as time goes on. Many of the forum members really enjoy lending a helping hand to foreign visitors.

post #8 of 11
You could flip a coin and be happy at either but I have to agree with Feal: Copper has longer groomers and is laid out in a more logical way than WP. Have fun!
post #9 of 11
Havn't been to Copper yet, but spent several days at Winter Park. WP is kind of bipolar.
If the upper Parsen bowl is closed, most of the runs are either bumps/diamonds or else loooong flat greens to get back to the lifts.
Too easy or too hard, not much in the middle.
If you want to really learn how to ski the moguls, go to Winter Park/Mary Jane and sign up for bump lessons. The best bumper I've skied with spent 2 seasons doing nothing but bump runs at WP.
My next trip to Colorado, Copper is the one I'm going to aim for. Spoke with several folks while in Colorado, and Copper is a place that folks talked about liking a lot. It's right in the middle of the I-70 resorts and with a car you can easily drive to many other places to try out within a short drive. Tag's recomendation to base yourself out of Breckenridge sounds like a good plan as you'd be centrally located regarding all the I-70 hills.
When we yanks talk about "interstates", think of the big Auckland/Wellington motorways with 4-8 lanes of divided freeway.
Easy to drive, no 4WD needed.

Perhaps one of the Colorado based folks here could help you get that Colorado ski pass in Sept/Oct. This forum stays pretty active all year round.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Again, thanks for all of the info.
I have friends who live just out of Denver so I asked the Colorado Pass people if they could buy it for me and I get my photo taken and sign waiver forms when I arrive. No go. They say I must be there in person at the sale time. Winter Park and Copper have said that I don not have to be there in person so one of them will get my money instead.
post #11 of 11
As much as I like the Mary Jane, I have to concur with the consensus. You should go with Copper, esp. if you have to spend a month at the same place. If you don't decide to become a bump skier, you will get bored at WP long before the month is out. Copper is much more versatile for a long trip.

PS. Your experience with the Colorado Pass really sucks. : I was in NZ for my honeymoon (no skiing), and was treated much better by you folks. I apologize on behalf of my country.
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