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Colorado Ski trip options (following a Winter Park weekend)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I need some help figuring out a resort to go to with some friends.

I am going late January to Winter Park (Mary Jane actually) for a 3 day bump clinic. Halfway through it, a couple of friends of mine are going to show up (ski Winter Park for a day or so), and then we were thinking of going somewhere else (they aren't bump skiers so they won't ski much of Mary Jane.. leaving Winter Park proper, and the Cirque.. which overall doesn't feel like it's that much total terrain). We are thinking something that isn't too far of a drive from Winter Park (within 2-4 hours? give or take) and that is also within 4 hours back to Denver (since that's where we are flying out of).

Anyway. As I said, they aren't into bumps. Myself, I like challenging stuff (ie - steeps) and tree skiing. They aren't as strong skiers as myself, and have been a little 'shy' on steeps and trees, but they are ready to try more of them. So, I'd like to go to a place (for either 3 or 4 days.. specific days TBD) where we can get some of that and still be entertained for the 3-4 days total. Also, a place with a few good restaurants and some bars would be okay. We aren't into late-night dance clubbing type stuff anymore (all married), but do enjoy going out for a few beers to bar type athmospheres, maybe play some darts or pool or hang out.

What are some options?

I thought Vail could be a good option. Only reason I'm not 100% sold on that is that I've been to Vail already and I'd like to try something new. However, I guess we could do one day at Beaver Creek and hit A-Basin on the last day on the way back to Denver.

I am considering Steamboat also.

I'd love to do Aspen, but it seems far.
post #2 of 8
Steamboat will fit your requirements, better than the others. In decent road conditions its less than 2 hours from WP. 3 to 3.5 hrs back to Denver when you're done.
post #3 of 8
I would second Steamboat, your almost there already. Aspen would be about 4 hours.
post #4 of 8
A third for the Boat.

Likely to be less crowded than Vail also since it's further away from Denver. Also, January is their "value" season so tickets should be a touch cheaper.

Plus, there's plenty of areas where your friends could try tree skiing without getting over their heads. It'll be a good place for them to progress their skiing. And, there are some good lines throughout Christmas Tree Bowl for some more advanced terrain.

With good weather, it's about 3 - 3.5 back to Denver through Silverthorne.

If you decide Steamboat's it, and are staying in town, the Egg and I is a decent breakfast place. Also, for breakfast check out Lucille's (http://www.luciles.com/). They have one in Boulder I'll go to every once in a while for great New Orleans style breakfasts (minus the eye-openers, unfortunately).

post #5 of 8
I like the Steamboat idea also, but you did say you wanted to try something different. In many ways Steamboat is similar to Winter Park. It is a one ski area destination with everything you might want or need in a ski vacation, but does not have the finishing touches the two upper tier resorts in Colorado have. ...I refer to Vail/Beaver Creek and the Aspen group. ..Either of them will offer a more varied and memorable experience, and likely for about the same prices if you use a little common sense.

I would reccomend the Aspen group over everything else, with a base at Snowmass. The drive in to DIA is probably just a little more than an hour and a half or so more than Steamboat in good weather, and you aren't likely to encounter a crowd of any nature during your stay. ....It's all about just how unique you want the trip to be and what you are willing to do to make it that way.

Good Luck!
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
oh boy.. it's going to be a tough decision (I've always wanted to go to Aspen, but the guys may be more in for the shorter drive.. and I am not sure the wife will be happy if I go to Aspen without her, since she also wants to go someday.. I have to look into that)

IF I was to do the Steamboat thing..

How would I get from WP to Steamboat? Just keep going down Route 40 for a couple of hours?

If I go there, any recommendations regarding places to stay? I'd prefer an inn/lodge type place than a big hotel, and I'd love to find a good value. Also, if I have to make a choice to walk to the lifts or to walk to the restaurants/bars.. I'd rather walk to the restaurant/bars since I could always drive to the lifts (or I am sure there is a bus?).

If we go to Steamboat - the plan would probably be to ski Winter Park Sunday-Monday (Sunday I'll still be in my mogul camp, and Monday I could check out the Cirque for a couple of runs and take it easy after that), drive to Steamboat Tuesday during the day or in the AM, and ski Wed-Thu-Fri and head back to Denver Friday night for an early flight Saturday.

PS - And, to compare better, about how long would the drive from Winter Park to Aspen be? (and from Aspen to Denver)?
post #7 of 8
When you decide on your dates, let us know.
I'll be in WP from the 23-30.
Also considering bump lessons. Little ones!
post #8 of 8
Mack, Stay right on 40 through Grandby, Hot Sulfur Springs, Kremmling and over Rabbit Ears Pass into Steamboat. An easy drive and a pretty one.

While at the Boat, you can hone up your newly inspired bump technique on White Out, which is my favorite. The Tornado, Nelsons Run, then head to Shadows for some tree runs filled with bumps, then hit one, two, and three oclock for some more bumps, then Rolex and if you still have any legs left, hit Voodoo on the way to Gondola base.

You'll have the time of your life.
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