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Beaver and Vail in early december?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello again!

Well it's about time to start thinking snow! Any way, we are planning our first trip to CO this year. We are planning to stay at the Christie Lodge in Avon we got a great deal for a week. It's the week of Dec 11-18. I just wonder what to expect there?

1. Are the bowls at Vail open by then based on the past 2 years or so.

2. I can handle my own on skis(still a long way to go) but my wife is a beginner. She skied with me at tahoe a couple of times when we lived in CA but had a bad experience and never went again. It's now been three years and she is ready to try it again. Is there any terrain that is suitable for her and how are the lessons at Vail or Beaver?

3. Does any one know any thing about the christe lodge it looks nice in the pictures but we all know that can be far from the truth.

Thanks for any input!
post #2 of 22
bowls just depend on the snow. last year co. got hit early, never know.

i'd suggest beaver creek for beginners. lots of greens.ski the greens down to bachelor gulch, its very senic. ask a mountain guide,theyll know which trails i'm talking about.
post #3 of 22
Both Vail and BC have plenty of green trails for newer skiers. I can't speak for BC, but the ski school at Vail was very good. My wife had been on skis a total of 3 times before our trip there last year and we signed her up for a couple of all day group lessons. In a short time, she could get around pretty good and was very comfortable on all of the green runs. She had a blast with the other women in her group.

I have no direct experience with the Christie Lodge, but friends who have stayed there fee that you can do much better elsewhere. I take it that the Christie is on the low end of the spectrum in terms of accomodations in that area.
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by snow1214
Hello again!

Well it's about time to start thinking snow! Any way, we are planning our first trip to CO this year. We are planning to stay at the Christie Lodge in Avon we got a great deal for a week. It's the week of Dec 11-18. I just wonder what to expect there?

1. Are the bowls at Vail open by then based on the past 2 years or so.

>Last 2 years saw most bowls open by then, though not with great coverage. I went 2 seasons ago Dec. 5-12 and had a great time. Groomers were in great shape. And I got to hit blue sky basin.

2. I can handle my own on skis(still a long way to go) but my wife is a beginner. She skied with me at tahoe a couple of times when we lived in CA but had a bad experience and never went again. It's now been three years and she is ready to try it again. Is there any terrain that is suitable for her and how are the lessons at Vail or Beaver?

>I'll warn you that my wife found even the greens at Vail intimidating (albeit, for silly reasons). She thought they were "too long and too wide". She'd poop out in the middle. Had a great all day lesson for her at Breck, dunno bout Vail.

3. Does any one know any thing about the christe lodge it looks nice in the pictures but we all know that can be far from the truth.

>I'm thinking you got a timeshare deal. I'm sure there's much better, but if the price is right, I'm certain it'll do.

Thanks for any input!
Have fun!!!
post #5 of 22
Snow1214,

I was in the Christie Lodge once when my brother stayed there about 15 years ago. His room was incredibly small. The part of the Lodge that his room was in was also very noisy. They've probably done some renovation since then, but before you commit to staying there, make sure that you know what your room will be like. If you find out that it is not going to be to your liking, shop around some. At that time of year you should be able to find other good deals.

As for easy groomed runs, both Vail and BC have plenty. In fact, at that time of year the best runs will probably be the groomed blues and greens that have snow making. You might find the bowls open, but it still pretty early in the season for good cover there.

You'll find excellent ski schools at both areas.

Have fun. No matter what the weather does you're sure to find some good skiing, and it won't be crowded. You may also find that the restaurant prices are lower than they will be during the high season.

Hope this helps.

Jim
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input. We did get a deal at the christie lodge 250.00 for a week, and yea it's a timeshare deal.

From what I saw from shopping around that's almost unbeatable. But I am open to any suggestions that may provide a better experience that won't cost me an arm and a leg. I'm not expecting 250.00 for a week and I do need something that will keep my wife happy while she is not skiing.

Thanks Again!
post #7 of 22
At that price, you really can't complain.

Who cares if the room isn't super large, you're skiing, right?

Room is for sleep, shower, and to stash your junk.

Book it, and have a blast. I paid that 2 years ago for a condo in Silverthorne. Yeah, it was large and pretty nice, but 20 minutes drive from the nearest skiing.
post #8 of 22
Based on my experience (which only stretches back over the past 6 years), chances are the bowls will open during or just after your week (Dec 11-18). A couple of years ago they had Chair 5 open for Thanksgiving; back in 99 the bowls didn't open until early January - those are the two possible extremes...
post #9 of 22
The Christie is full of kids. If that's what you're looking for you'll be ok, otherwise look elsewhere. I have been using the web site VRBO.com for the last 4 or 5 trips and have been very happy. There are lots of places for a reasonable rate in that area, give it a try.
post #10 of 22
Hopefully we will have a good early season with lots of early snowfall this year- it has been a very rainy summer so far, for whatever that is worth! The past few years have been quite variable in the early season.

There is plenty of beginner terrain at Vail, and a lot of it has the advantage of being at the top of Eagle's Nest, so that snow conditions are better than at the bottom of the mountain. You get up there on the gondola from Lionshead, so the intimidation for the beginner on the chair is avioded, too. I would highly recommend the ski school at Vail (and Beaver Creek- the instructors from the 2 can go to either if you request it). Several of the senior level instructors are here on Epic (Vail Snopro and Vera come to mind, and I know there are several others, too). I would send them a pm. Privates are very expensive (although worth it), but they can help you with guidance towards a group lesson as well. My wife is the perennial reluctant timid skier, and finally made progress last season (after a couple of privates with Vera and several group lessons with Arnie Wright).
post #11 of 22
snow1214,

Can you send me a private message and let me know where you got that deal. I am always looking for ways to save money on bookings. This next year, I am going to Whistler, but Have been to Vail, Beaver creek the last 3. In my experience, the ski schools at both resorts are excellent.
post #12 of 22
Snow, I go to BC every year that week and have already booked my trip for the same week you are going. Feel free to contact me. We love going that week. It's all decked out for Christmas, the crowds are non-existent and the prices are lower. Staff and locals are still in good moods!

Christie lodge is nice clean place to stay in Avon its right on the bus route. It will take about 15 minutes to get up to the mountain, but it's close to the infamous "Beaver Liquors" . You may want to ask if the town lift will be open. They are supposed to open a lift going from Avon to the Base area of BC. I have never heard anyone complain about the property.

Skiing: In the past 5 years, there has been plenty of decent terrain open. You never know what you are going to get though. Typically though, there will only be one or two bowls open. Last season, we got hammered with storms and there was plenty of powder. I have done the Tech Week Ski program up at the Hyatt and that is a fantastic program, but you can get excellent lessons from the ski school. If $ is no obect, then go for the private lessons, basically, it's $400 per day. What I strongly suggest is to wait until after the weekend and then take the semi-private lessons. What you will most likely find is that there is only 3-6 people in your group (if that). I have taken lessons this way with 2 people. If you check the web site, I think you can also get a package deal that includes lessons, rentals and passes at a discount. Make sure you check ou the Dusty Boot Saloon. It's a great pub that has good food at reasonable prices. Not right in front of the slopes but a great place even with kids.
post #13 of 22
The Christie Lodge is fine, and for the price, you should be happy. It's a little odd in that the pools and hot tubs are in the lobby areas. So, the whole place kind of smells like chlorine, but it's not overly oppresive. The people there are extremely nice. The rooms are kind of narrow, but you shouldn't be spending a lot of time there anyway. You should probably do both Beaver Creek and vail. Find someone who knows Vail to show your wife around and thereby avoid the flatter areas which can frustrate beginners. Feel free to PM me if you have additional questions or would like instructor recommendations. Cheers.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input everyone. I went ahead and booked the christie lodge 12/11-12/18 at that price I just couldn't pass it up, and that also means more skiing out west this year!

Thanks Again!
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidmo
Feel free to PM me if you have additional questions or would like instructor recommendations. Cheers.
snow1214

If I were you I'd take skidmo up on this offer. He has plenty of knowledge of the Vail/BC area and he helped me out quite a bit before our trip to Vail in April.

ps thanks again skidmo!!
post #16 of 22
Hey Skidmo, do you know Eric Uventhal? Great instructor. Also, Ross, I forget his last name , but he's on the Aussi natl team. He works with Cory Carlson over at the Park Hyatt as one of the Tech Week instructors.
post #17 of 22
is anyone aware of a "Extremely Canadian" type outfit offering a 2 day freeskiing camp in Vail - for advanced and expert skiers.
post #18 of 22
For your wife - I would definitelly start w/ the greens at Beaver Creek. They are on top of the mountain and have several runs together w/ great views. The beginner's I know have had a harder time at Vail as they have a few runs, but you may need to maneuver across the mountain to get to them, and a lot are the cat walks. More fun to be had at BC and if she gets her confidence she would enjoy building up some speed on them.

Re the bowls at that time. I've been that week about 4 times over the last 10 years. 3 out of 4 times the back bowls have been open. Last year they opened at the end of the week and were definitely rough for those who tried to ski (even the strong skiers). That said - I'm going again this year. You are in pre-season prices and it's great fun!
post #19 of 22
"The beginner's I know have had a harder time at Vail as they have a few runs, but you may need to maneuver across the mountain to get to them, and a lot are the cat walks. More fun to be had at BC and if she gets her confidence she would enjoy building up some speed on them."

definitely right. i went to vail and struggled as a beginner and had no fun taking catwalks. the next year was much better as an intermediate.
post #20 of 22
on a related topic - what are typically some of the worst times (during winter) to
1) head from DIA to Vail
2) back from Vail to DIA

how is saturday between 10am and 2pm for either of these?
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty
on a related topic - what are typically some of the worst times (during winter) to
1) head from DIA to Vail
2) back from Vail to DIA

how is saturday between 10am and 2pm for either of these?
During the season...

1) DIA to Vail, 10 - 2 on Saturday can be bad. You'll be fine till you get up in the mountains past Evergreen. If you're more towards 2pm you should be okay. The closer to the morning rush you are the more traffic you'll see.

2) Vail to DIA, 10 - 2 on Saturday will be fine. This is counter commute. I usually head home around 1pm - 2pm to avoid the traffic.

If there's snow, the climb up to Eisenhower tunnel from the west is scary with traffic. People just don't know what they're doing. 2-wheel drive SUVs spinning out because they don't have chains makes for some interesting driving conditions. If it's snowing you'll for sure want to beat the rush.
post #22 of 22
"The beginner's I know have had a harder time at Vail as they have a few runs, but you may need to maneuver across the mountain to get to them, and a lot are the cat walks. More fun to be had at BC and if she gets her confidence she would enjoy building up some speed on them."

>>>adding on to my last post. last yr. stayed at Beaver C. and skied w/ a begginner and skied from 1 side of BC to the other. BC is setup much better for the sight-seer/beginner skier than vail is.
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