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Beaver Creek Trip Report

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Just got back from the Beav and thought I'd share my thougths, views, recommendations, etc... The travelers were myself, my wife, my niece and my two kids. Other than the little incident discussed in another thread, the trip was, in Bill and Ted's terms, most excellent. As an introduction, Beaver Creek's not my favorite mountain. I'm actually more the Alta type.) However, for a family with a wife who barely skies, two beginner kids and a never-ever niece, it's a perfect spot. Plenty of stuff for the skier and plenty of stuff for the non-skier.

Getting there: Being from DC, we can't fly directly to Eagle/Vail. Rather than take a puddle jumper from Denver to Vail, we opted for driving to Beaver Creek from Denver. Having flown into Eagle/Vail several times from Denver, I greatly prefer driving. As long as you avoid the saturday morning madness, the drive is easier and more reliable than getting into Eagle Vail. Stopped off at Bo Jeau's in Idaho Springs for a great lunch/early dinner.

The Mountain: The best feature of the mountain for family types is that it is very easy and quick for all skiers to meet in a central place. While I love Vail, for family's of mixed abilities, it can be difficult to ski the while mountain and yet meet up without some inconvenience or a lot time expended. For the better skiers at Beaver Creek, there's not a lot of steep stuff, but most of the blacks and double blacks are a lot of fun to dart around. Golden Eagle remains one of my favorite runs anywhere and Harrier is blast for a first and last run down the mountain. For beginners, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a prettier beginner area than the top of the Mountain. Rose Bowl would be a great area, but for the archaic charilift to get you out of there. Also, forewarned, every ski school class starts out the morning in Rose Bowl to do their splits and adjustments. Grouse Mountain is also a lot of fun and very little crowds. We did ski Vail one day. If you've never skied Vail before, spend more than one day there.

Lodging: The lodging everywhere is ridiculously expensive. This year we stayed at the HIghlands Slopeside. Amazing location for ski in/ski out. You walk out of your condo and you're on the main mountain just above the chairlifts. The outdoor pool and hot tub are a small walk and the Village is probably too far to walk more than once. The in-town free shuttle service will pick you up at your door, however, within 10 minutes of calling them. Overall, it was a reasonable price by Beaver Creek standards.

Rental skis: Do not rent from Beaver Creek Sports (rentskis.com). The beginner skis and boots were horrible. They gave my son skis that were way too short and had to be exhanged. The service overall was pretty poor as well.

Meals. Best meal in terms of value and quality remains The Dusty Boot. Very good margaritas, too. Coyote Cafe is fun apres ski, but the food is much better elsewhere. We ate at Los Amigos in Vail one night which was very good as well. One night, we went to the 4 Eagle Ranch for dinner and a sleigh ride. The food was basic barbecue, which I love, but it really was not that exceptional. The steaks were dry, the ribs were subpar and chicken looked rather anemic. The sleigh ride was simply a horse drawn sleigh around the ranch. On a beautiful night like we had, however, it was amazing. The kids saw more stars than they imagined ever existed. Despite the great sleigh ride, I woudn't recommend the 4 Eagle. It was too expensive for what you received. Had the food been better, it would have been worth it.

Other things to do: In addition to tubing at Adventure Ridge, one of the kids' favorite side trips is the Avon Recreation Center. Great indoor pool with a fun water slide.

Instruction: My wife and niece took lessons from Epic's own Vera. She is beyond amazing both as a person and an instructor. In one day, she had my 14 year old niece (who had never been on skis before) making beautiful, mostly parallel turns down the mountain. The kids had a great time in two days of ski school and both had great instructors. I took two days of group lessons and, as noted in another post that one was good, the other very good. The very good instructor was Tom Newman (sp?), from New Zealand. Great guy, helped my skiing tremendously.
post #2 of 2
Good report skidmo!! I'll be back out there in March myself.
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