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Where to ski on the way back from Vail?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I'm going to Vail this weekend (President's Day) with friend for three days. On Sat and Sunday we're going to stick to Vail/Beaver Creek, but on Monday we have a 7:30 pm flight out of Denver. We're planning on skiing somewhere between Denver and Vail, but we're not sure where yet. Keystoned is out of the question (we're looking for somewhere with interesting terrain, not a pool table tipped on it's side). Breckenridge and A-Basin are both strong contenders, but I've skiied both of them quite a lot, and I've never skiied Loveland or Copper, so they're at the top of my list right now. However, Winter Park isn't totally out of the way, so it might be a fun place to hit too. Any thoughts from the locals? We're looking for some fun challenging terrain, and would like to avoid crowds and expensive lift tickets. Also, how long will it take to get to the airport from these places? I've heard that the I-70 traffic is pretty awful, so I'm thinking it might be wise to go to Loveland (since that's the closest resort to Denver)
post #2 of 12
I would go to Copper. Better snow. Better terrain.
post #3 of 12
Copper has great snow, however, the traffic on Monday will be horrendous in the evening. Loveland benefited from snow late last week. In order to beat the traffic you will have to be on the highway by 3:00 p.m. leaving Loveland to be on the safe side.

I teach full time at a small resort above Boulder called Eldora. I say we're small but we have more acreage than Stowe or Tremblant. It won't be crowded, our snow is good, and we're 90 minutes to DIA.I would plan on 90 minutes from Loveland to DIA.

Check out our website at www.eldora.com

Traffic will be a mess so I would not ski west of the tunnel.
post #4 of 12
I'd probably go to Loveland too, to avoid the possibility of a traffic jam into the tunnel (Loveland is on the Denver side). It's only about 25 miles closer to Denver than Copper, both on the Interstate, but that can be a LONG 25 miles sometimes!

Copper's snow is good to very good--not "Epic," but not bad. Can't say about Loveland, but I don't think they got quite as much snow as Copper did a couple days ago.

Winter Park had great snow last time I was there, (3 weeks) but it is a bit farther out of the way than either Copper or Loveland.

There is a big difference between Copper and Loveland, of course. Copper is a destination resort, with its village, high-speed lifts, shuttles to and from the parking lots, and high prices. Loveland has no village, and no high-speed chairs, but the food is decent and affordable, the people are friendly, and you park for free in the lot right at the base area and walk to the lifts. Copper is farther from Denver, but if you leave a little early--say 2:00 pm--you should beat the worst of the crowds rushing home after the holiday.

Have fun either way!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions ( I hadn't thought of Eldora, but that might be worth a shot). Can I get discount lift tickets for these places on my way to Vail? I seem to remember hearing that King Sooper sells discount lift tickets for a lot of places. Is there one on the way in?
post #6 of 12
Loveland won't save you from the traffic, it is very rare to experience much traffic from Loveland west. On I 70 all the jams occur from Loveland East. The first is right at Loveland, then at Georgetown, then at the I40 entrance from Winter Park, next would be Idaho Springs, from there it goes to 3 lanes and clears up. So wether you ski, Breck, A Basin, Keystone, Copper, Vail, or Loveland you are pretty much in the same traffic boat. Winter Park won't save you either, you avoid the jam at Loveland and Georgetown, but still get the Berthoud pass jam, I40, and Idaho Springs.

The only thing that will save you is leaving early. If you are passing Loveland before 3pm you should make denver in 90 minutes. Hit pass Loveland around 5pm and Denver could be as far as 5 hours away. Ski based upon where you want to ski and leave early.

The only thing Loveland would do is give you maybe a 20-30 minute head start.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 12, 2002 09:46 AM: Message edited 1 time, by powderhound ]</font>
post #7 of 12
If he is in the car and on the highway by 3:00 p.m. he'll be fine.

King Soopers does sell tickets. I can't picture one near the interstate.

I have to say Eldora is the answer to your traffic concerns. The skiing will be better at Loveland, however, Eldora has great terrain and we're in good shape in terms of snow.
post #8 of 12
You can buy discount tickets at ski shops in Summit County, too. Unfortunately I can't remember which ones ... but use the Yellow Pages to call a few and find out. Try Mountain Sports Outlet in Silverthorne.
post #9 of 12
& loveland
post #10 of 12
Since it sounds like you're going to be
doing some early morning (before 10am)
skiing I'd suggest Copper. I think it just
might be me, but everytime I go to Loveland
(4 - 5 times /yr) it's BRUTALLY cold. Then
again, the snow is usually so awesome I end
up staying out all day.

I haven't been to Loveland recently, but my
bet is Copper has better snow. Then again
if it there was great snow here I'd be staying right now instead of getting in my
car and driving to Jackson (my bags are
sitting next to me.. time to get outta town.)
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. I ended up skiing at Eldora and had a great day. It was a great place to visit after Vail (a sort of cleansing of my skiing soul). There were no crowds, the rest of the skiers were on skis that were mostly older than mine (as opposed to Vail where it seemed like everyone was on skis purchased this year). There didn't seem to be enough snow, so we stayed out of the glades, but we had a great time hauling down Corona and playing around on the jumps on Bonanza (or maybe Sunset, I can't remember which). It was a nice change to ski at a local resort with such a relaxed atmosphere. We really liked the way the mountain was pretty segregated by difficulty so we didn't have to deal with all the little kids sitting on their boards when we were out on Corona. I would reccomend Eldora for anyone interested in a fun relaxing day of skiing if they're in the Boulder/Denver area and don't want to deal with the craziness of the I-70 resorts.
post #12 of 12
Eldora is where I work. Thanks for the nice review. We have gotten several great snowfalls in the past two weeks so the last six weeks of the season are shaping up to be pretty good.

Glad you had a good time!
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