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snowmass vs. copper-group with green and blue skiers

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
group trying to pick between the two resorts..two couples are blue skiers and two couples are green with a couple of trips under their belts but probably not going to be blues for a couple of more trips...we are not worried about nightlife, eating establishments, lodging, etc., we are just worried about the skiing..

looking at the resort trail maps, copper mtn. seems to have a good mix of blue and green while snowmass has very few greens...we liked to ski together some and enjoyed much skiing winterpark but breckenridge stunk on the green slope side(to give you an idea of where we are at)...people have told us many of the blues are very skiable for seasoned green skiers at snowmass....so is this true??? will our friends be disappointed in snowmass? which would you pick in our situation and why??

thanks everyone

[ July 29, 2002, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: powderpuffboy ]
post #2 of 5
I have not skied Copper(I have skied the other three Summit County mountains); I have skied at Snowmass. One benefit of both is that, if you wish, you are near other mountains, with the transportation to/fro Snowmass (and Aspen) being easier. Also, at Snowmass you are on the shuttle route to a wonderful beginner's (think GREEN) mountain, Buttermilk, which also has ample blue when you're feeling adventurous. (I'd say the terrain at Buttermilk, one of the better "learner" mountains around, breaks down to about 75% beginner/intermediate.) And low crowds. In my experience, Snowmass is one of the quintessential intermediate's mountains. TONS of runs, some big wide cruisers, etc. I'd pick Snowmass. The beginner types will be fine there. Think about going to Buttermilk the first day; you'll ALL be fine and will get plenty of terrain to suit your skill level and the ocassional impulse to stretch the envelope a little. Excellent ski school if you're considering a lesson.

[ July 30, 2002, 09:32 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #3 of 5
Trying to choose between Snowmass and Copper is like trying to choose between two beautiful women. You can't really go wrong with either one. What Ryan says about Snowmass basically sums it up. I find that Snowmass is not as easy to get around on as Copper, and I find that the green trails are more well defined at Copper. Buttermilk is an excellent beginner mountain, but is fairly small, so if you plan on skiing there for more than a couple of days you might be ready to move on. Buttermilk has some tougher terrian to the left of the quad, but it is fairly steep and often not groomed,and is probably more than what an intermidiate skier would be comfortable on. Also, there is no lodging to speak of at Buttermilk, so you would have to either take the shuttle or drive. Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands would not be a consideration for novices. The thing I like about Copper is the geography of the mountain. The right side of the mountain is where you'll find the easiest terrian, and gets progressively harder as you move to the left. It's almost impossible for a beginner to accidently end up on a trail that is over their head. Also, you really don't have to worry about getting lost, as almost all the trails eventually bring you back to the village. They have a lot of easier blue trails that a beginner would have fun on, as well as a good lift system. I took the time to ski a lot of west (right) side of the mountain when I was there, and they really have some long, beautiful green trails there. One thing to look out for is the altitude. Copper Village sits at about 9600 feet, Snowmass Village is about 8500, so make sure to take it easy for the first few days.
As I said, it's difficult to choose between the two, but if the allure of Aspen is not a consideration, I think that for the type of skiing that you discribe, that you would probably be better off at Copper.
Good Luck
post #4 of 5
You are comparing two of the better mountains in the west and you need to make sure you don't end up comparing apples to oranges.

My point is that a stay at Copper Mountain is just that. Copper is great for All lower level skiers and families, but the stay is usually considered a one-mountain booking. It undoubtedly is one of the best developed mountains in Colorado for lift accessed skiing, but that lift access effectively extends to about 1000 acres. It's base area has become very well developed. -- The big downer for Copper is the size of the crowds on the three or four days surrounding weekends, when the Denver crowd turns it into one of the busiest places in the country. -- I would avoid a week-long visit to Copper solely because of the weekend crowds!!!

Snowmass is another matter altogether. A weeklong stay at Snowmass guarantees you skiing at ALL 4 of the Aspen group ski areas(~5000 acres lift served). The bus system is good enough to allow skiing at all 4 ski areas on the same day! -Ajax is the only one of the group that does not have beginner terrain; but that is balanced with the fact that you can ride the gondola to the top of the mountain for a meal at what may be the best view in Colorado skiing, and then ride it back down again. -Aspen Highlands has a really nice green bowl at the bottom of the ski area that a group of couples might find real nice for a morning's skiing. -Buttermilk is a real beginner's paradise, and getting better each year. -And Snowmass is probably the best cruiser mountain in the lower 48. The terrain varies enough that beginners would quickly find runs to fit their abilities. ..... I guess my message is that the Aspen group will afford your group limitless possibilities, without the annoyance of weekend crowds. With a group the size of yours; the name of the game for a good trip is probably skiing options, and the Aspen group has that market cornered in Colorado!

Sure hope you have a great Colorado Vacation this year!!! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #5 of 5
Based on your you said, Copper may be the way to go.

Reading the trail map alone does not provide the real pictures. If you look at the Vail's trail map, you'll find plenty of green runs. However, many of those green runs are "cat walks" which are narrow runs that traverse the mountain. They are no fun. There are plenty of merging and take overs.

The right side of Copper is completely devoted to beginners. There are three lifts dedicated to serve that area. You'll find beginners, children with their teachers and nothing else. The beauty of that is you don't have to worry about fast skiers coming from behind. In many resorts, the green trails are at the bottom half of the mountain, merging with blue and black runs from other sides of the mountain. In that case, you do have to watch your back. It can be intimating.

The middle part of Copper is largely blue, and the left of Copper is mainly for expert.

Personally, I also like Snowmass. The size of SM is simply enormous. Hope it helps.
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