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First time out west next week...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hey all, first post here and have been reading your forums for a few weeks now. My wife and I are heading out west next week for a week at Breck. We'll arrive Tuesday the 14th and leave the following Tuesday. I've been keeping an eye on the snowfall and forecasts, naturally. lol Anyways, I'm getting a little concerned with the lack of snow in Summit County. Breck is showing only a little over 400 acres open and that's where we'll be based for the week. I see that Keystone has a good bit of terrain open so should we spend most of our time over there? The forecast doesn't seem to be calling for any good snow before we get there.

Vail is looking quite good with their 37" last week. We can go over to Vail/Beaver Creek 3 out of our 6 days. I wasn't really planning to go over that direction so that we could stay in Summit County and really work on our skiing. With the conditions now, should be consider going over to Vail for a couple days to get some snow under our skis? Thanks guys, and I look forward to our first trip out west!

Mike
post #2 of 26
You're in a good location. Follow the snow while you're there. If it's good at Beck, stay there, if Vail or Keystone really get the goods, go there. It's not that far. You'll have a blast at any of them.
post #3 of 26
I did this trip at a similar time a few years ago. Breck seems to have the exact same terrain open now as when I was there.

I went over to Vail and Beaver Creek each for a day. It was well worth it. Some of it depends on what level of skier you are. For the most part Breck has peak 9 open with a few runs off 10. IMHO, these tend to be some bland intermediate terrain that all runs together after a while. The Peak 10 runs are a little steeper as are some of the runs to skier's left on 9. You might get bored after six days. OTOH, you would expect that part of Peak 8 might open between now and then, especially the part with snowmaking.

Vail has a bit less open at this point then when I went and BC a bit more. A day at one or at each would give some variety. As might a day at Keystone. Is A-Basin part of the deal, too? Never been to either of those.

Good luck and have fun!
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. Yes, A-basin is on our ticket too. I'm sure we'll hit Keystone at least since we like night skiing and they seem to have some good acreage open. I'm just worried about being crowded and not having much area to get away from people. We're advanced intermediate skiers I'd say, being able to handle the icy blacks here in NC and VA without too much hassle. We'll be looking forward to more difficult blues out there and possibly some easy blacks.
post #5 of 26
If you go to Keystone for the day, head immediately to the Outback mountain and ski that before it gets crowded if it is open. Nearly all of the good runs on Dercum are open for night skiing, so you can hit them later.
post #6 of 26
When I was there that time of year there were essentially no crowds during the week. The six pack on Peak 9 and the Beaver Run chairs were the only way on the mountain in the morning and even they were either hop on the first chair or maybe the third or fourth. Most of the chairs were like that all day. The only exception was on Friday when they opened Peak 8. That day the two quads over there had pretty fair lines. Maybe 10 minutes. But that left the rest of the mountain even more deserted. But based on the increased Friday crowds, the weekend might be much more busy. I would let a local chime in though rather than someone who has only been there one week.

I remember the Peak 10 runs being rather icy. Of course nothing compared to NC. I have done the drive up there a couple of times. Beech, Hawknest, and Sugar plus Snowshoe. Snowshoe was my first skiing. Nothing like spring conditions in early February. Rain followed by sleet followed by wet snow followed by freezing rain. After the freezing rain the snow report on their website even seemed to think that those who went out must have been crazy! But I was hooked! I think the quote was something like "Those out there today must have really wanted to make some turns."
post #7 of 26
Go to Vail 1 day.
post #8 of 26
Don't get itchy Mike--I am in Summit & Eagle Counties every year pre Christmas and when there is not a ton of snow they typically schedule terrain openings. If you go to www.snow.com and click on the Vail Web Site you will find that they plan to open the Back Bowls on the 17th----so their open terrain will jump by about 2000 acres---
If you look at the Breckenridge Grooming Report you will find it's only (and nearly all) of Peak 9 that's open.......there has to be enough to open other areas, esp. Peak 10. I'm sure they have terrain "on hold" that is presently skiable.

Typically at this time of year there is more snow and far more terrain open at Vail than Breckenridge and in the last few years snow storms have been boycotting Keystone.

I bet you will see significant terrain opening on or about the 18th.
I'm staying right at the base of Peak 9 starting the 18.......PM me if you want to take a run, or meet some morning for coffee.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks Louie. I know I should be patient and we'll have a great time. I noticed too that there is considerable terrain that is scheduled to open while we're there.

Where are you from Louie? We're in Chesapeake, VA near Va Beach. We'll be at Beaver Run for the duration of our stay.

Mike
post #10 of 26
Even if they didn't open 1 more acre of terrain, the amount currently open would make any NC or VA ski area seem tiny. You won't have trail congestion! Don't worry!
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericfelker
Even if they didn't open 1 more acre of terrain, the amount currently open would make any NC or VA ski area seem tiny.
Very true! lol We're going to have a great time no matter what.
post #12 of 26
All of the Vail resorts areas should be pretty uncrowded during the week. I'll be at Breck tomorrow and give you a report, but as of the weekend only Peak 9 was open. Keystone has been reporting the most open terrain, but the Outback is not yet open. The Basin had fairly limited terrain open the last time I was there ( about 1 1/2 weeks ago) but it was in pretty good shape and they have had more snow since then.

I would definitely get to BC and Vail for a day if they are on your tickets, especially if anything on the back side opens up. BC seems to have benefited the most from our most recent storm. It is not too long a drive from Beaver Run at Breck- 30 minutes max if the roads are clear (and I think they are now- look at http://www.cotrip.org/ for road conditions and webcams).
post #13 of 26
I will be in the area next week as well. I'm not too worried, it was 60 deg. in DC yesterday Doesn't look like winter will be here for a while.

Does anyone know if you can ski Beaver Creek on the same ticket as Vail?
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerpSKI
Does anyone know if you can ski Beaver Creek on the same ticket as Vail?
I know if you buy through Vails online Peaks program you can ski both Vail & BC on the same ticket as well as Breck, Keystone, and A Basin. Pretty good deals too.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerpSKI
I will be in the area next week as well. I'm not too worried, it was 60 deg. in DC yesterday Doesn't look like winter will be here for a while.

Does anyone know if you can ski Beaver Creek on the same ticket as Vail?
Yes, no worries, the Beav will be in good shape, they take very good care of the mountai there. You have to ski there at least one day.
post #16 of 26
yep. look at peaks online for tickets good for all vail resorts.

dont worry about snow. i went mid-december last year and the avg. bases were 20" and keystone had a 17" base. there was enough snow, just not all open because of the lack of staff and bookings. more will be opening while youre there as you will be there right before peak season. the bases at all now are at least avg. for 1st week of december. only things still closed are the peaks and some bowls due to lack of snow and it looks like they may get more this week.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmike
I'm sure we'll hit Keystone at least since we like night skiing and they seem to have some good acreage open. I'm just worried about being crowded and not having much area to get away from people.
Hi Madmike. I skied Keystone sat and sun. They do have quite a bit open. I keep saying this but if you want to avoid crowds ski out of Mountain House base. This weekend the quad at River Run was down so the wait for the Gondola had to be close to an hour. The line was past the ticket window: . At Mountain House base chairs were going up empty. Why people would rather wait in a long line than walk 5 min is beyond me but I see it all the time.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Cool, thanks for the advice Kima! We'll see how the weather pans out this week and we'll decide once we're there where we'll ski. Damn we're pumped for our first trip out West!
post #19 of 26
MADMIKE - I'll be out there starting on the 11th - A good idea would be to get the "perfect 10" pass - its 379 for 10 days - 37 dollars a day, if you ski all 10 - even if you dont you will save a good amount of money - its good for all the Vail resorts
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
That's a great deal for the "Perfect 10" pass. We won't be out there that long, and we already purchased our lift tickets through the travel agency.

I see that Breck got another couple inches last night/today, so that helps. I got some great info from the Uncle for our trip. Thanks for all the great replies here.

Mike
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
I don't know what I was worried about... Looks like Summit County is getting some great snow yesterday and today!
post #22 of 26
Powder!!!!!!!!!!
post #23 of 26
You're coming from sea level so drink LOTS of water to stay hydrated at altitude.
post #24 of 26
Uncle Louie left today to drive out. I fly out Sat. See ya there!
post #25 of 26
Breck was totally awesome today. Don't worry about the lift lines on the bottom. Once you get to the top, there are many runs open, so the crowd spreads out. If you go up the Beaver Run chair, don't ski alll the way back down. Instead, take the Mercury or the Super 8 back up.

Check out American for a nice Blue/Black run. Be careful on Spruce. It looks like there's decent cover, but it's actually pretty icy. After I skied it, I found out that patrollers and instructors say that many accidents happen on that trail.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
We just got back to the East tonight. Sorry we missed you DrFRAU. I hope your skiing was good. We decided to take the day off yesterday so we didn't catch up with you and the Uncle.

What an awesome trip for our first time out West. Uncle Louie was our personal guide to Vail on Friday and that was a day that we'll remember for quite some time! Breck was really good mid-week last week right after we got there. Got about 4" Tuesday/Wednesday and it was like a ghost town. This weekend was pretty sketchy with all the wind and no new snow, I thought I was skiing out here on Eastern ice and the crowds got BIG with Christmas coming up.

Great trip. Can't wait to get back out there sometime soon.
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