or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Which is best for beginner-Copper or Breckenridge?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Which is best for beginner-Copper or Breckenridge?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
We will travel around Spring Break 06 and we will take ski lesson. Please state the reason why you prefer one over the other. Thanks in advance for your suggestion.

Marie
post #2 of 25
Copper. It has an "isolated" beginner are, the lifts for beginners are nice and slow, and the runs are short. When you are confident, then move on to the "easy" intermediates just to the left.



Breckenridge has a new very easy Peak (10???), that is rated intermediate but is really beginner. And empty! The problem is that it's the only uncrowded area of the mountain.
post #3 of 25
Peak 7 is Brecks new beginner area. 10 has been around for a while now and is mostly black runs that rarely have coverage.

I have not skied at Copper, but still would recommend it over Breck for a beginner. Things may change at Breck this coming winter if they add the new lifts to the top, but for the most part, Brecks latout funnels all the experts through the bottom half of the mountain if they want to get back down. Around lunch and closing this creates a scene where you have a massive crowd being slalomed by a few people going very fast (i'm not going to post what I do - that goes in the confessions thread.

Also, even at Spring Break it can get very cold and windy at Breck, even more so than at Copper even though they are only seperated by a couple miles as the crown flies. Have I mentioned the wind?
post #4 of 25
Copper, because of the reasons mentioned and the quality of the spring snow. Check out the articles by Tony Crocker to help plan your spring trip.
http://members.aol.com/crockeraf/insdtrak.htm
post #5 of 25
Copper by far. They way the mountain divides itself by difficulty makes it great for beginners. You'll have a beginner area without advanced riders/skiers flying through there scaring the hell out of you.
post #6 of 25
Copper!!
My first trip was to Keystone, Second to Breck, Third to Copper. Wish I had done them in the reverse order. The Union Creek area at Copper if by far the best learning terrain of the 3 area's I skied. Beginners can ski this area and then begin to make the natural progression across the mountain. I was there spring break 2005 and it was definitely crowded but not intollerable. Our maximum wait time was probably no more than 25 minutes in normal lines. We always used the single rider line and this cuts wait time in half and sometimes to NONE.
post #7 of 25
went with a beginner friend to Copper, Vail and Beaver Creek a few years ago. Copper definitely is great for beginners and low level intermediates, nice long moderate runs in places - segregated from the experts.

Beaver Creek also has some great beginner terrain at the top which is cool, you get the views and can get down easily.

Vail is not for beginners, but who asked anyway?
post #8 of 25
I've worked at both (@ 750 days lifetime skiing Breck..@ 250 days at Copper)....and think it is going to be one of personal preference for you and your party.

The layout at Copper is far more naturally divided and you will see skiers of more or less similar ability in the same areas. The downside is I can be tough to get around the place.

Breckenridge will probably be more crowded during Spring Break. Copper seems to be target marketing the Denver (for the most part younger) set....and Breck more middle class family.

Breck has a nice (though touristy) town.....I'm not sure what to call the village at the bottom of Copper. If you enjoy going out and walking the shops and dining at nice restraurants......that would be Breck.

They both get about the same amount of snow.....Breck is colder.....but sunnier. It's going to be March.

Cost is about the same.....accomodations....about the same....nightlife and convience to shopping....Breck.

Here is the biggie.....Breck grooms (or advertises) every Blue and every Green....Every night. For the most part that statement is pretty accurate. Anyone telling you, day for day, that the surface snow conditions are better overall at Copper than Breck is in La-La land. Most days the surface conditions are superior at Breck and they groom FAR more of the mountain than Copper does on a daily basis. There will be times when Copper may get a foot of new snow and Breck only gets an inch or two and it can happen the other way around also.

You can take a road trip (I think) to Winter Park on your Copper ticket and go skiing. WP is a pretty good drive from Copper. You can also go to Vail / Beaver Creek / Keystone / and A-Basin (but you would have to improve quick for the Basin !) on your Breckenridge ticket.

Locally Copper is billed as "a skiers' mtn." .......What level were you guys again ?

In either case...just go and have fun
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
What level are we? My girlfriends and I can only skied down the bunny slope at Keystone around the carpet area, wedged most the time, still practiced on turning. Tried the lift at the bunny slope 3 times, fell every time. Their husbands and kids skied the green terrain at Keystone and said that it is more like blue level at New Mexico resorts (Taos, Santa Fe). My husband gave up after the morning lesson but said that he would try again next time. The instructor at keyston school told us that Breck has easier beginner terrain. We shopped for few hours at Breck. and liked the town, so we all decided to try Breck next Spring Break. But also heard that Copper offers better beginner run and less crowd than Breck. Cannot make up our mind yet and desperately need your advice. How far is a drive between the two resorts? How is the parking situation at each place? There is free shuttle runs between resorts, but we rather drive because we travel with at least 6-8 kids from 9 - 15, getting those kids in/out the bus with all the ski equipments can be very hassled.


Marie
post #10 of 25
Copper is 'hands down' the better area of the two you mentioned for a diverse group as you mentioned, with some 'slow' beginners in tow.

....At the height of spring break, neither of these two areas are your best choice in Colorado skiing. The huge spring break crowds added into the day-tripper crowds from Denver make it very congested. Better choices await you just over the passes on the 'western' slopes of the Colorado rockies. ..My reccomendations for your group would be: The Aspen Group, Beaver Creek, Crested Butte, and Telluride. All of them offer everything you are looking at in the summit county area at similar pricing, and without the extreme crowds summit county gets during spring break.


=== But then, some people like crowded skiing!?!
post #11 of 25
MTV43
I sympathize with your husband. I was exactly the same way. We started at Keystone out of river run. We took the gondola to the top and skied on the short green run at the top. I have been an athelete all my life and thought it would be a snap to learn. Boy was I wrong. Tell him not to get discouraged, I too was ready to quit after the first day. That same trip we made a day trip to breck and I felt much more comfortable on Peak 9 there. That trip was Thanksgiving 2003. We returned Spring Break 04 and split our time between Keystone and Breck. Things went much better this time. We even ventured to peak 7 blues and really enjoyed the trip. Spring Break 05 was to Copper. As I said in an earlier post, had we started here, I think I would have moved out of my "beginner" status much quicker. Good beginner terrain, much less intimidating than either Breck or Keystone.
post #12 of 25
feallan has got it right IMHO. Crested Butte is a pretty small mountain if you're not advanced, though.

Since you have near first timers I would vote for Aspen. Buttermilk is designed for them, and it's an easy move up to about half of Snowmass' terrain after a couple of days. Nearly everyone likes the town. Shuttles are convenient, and Snowmass parking is free with 4+ people in a vehicle.

He's dead right about the crowd differences between Front Range/I-70 vs. Colorado areas farther west. The high skier traffic can also degrade surface conditions if you don't get fresh snow. Breck (exposure and wind) and Keystone (low snowfall) groom intensively because they have to in order to maintain a decent surface with high skier density.
post #13 of 25
I'm for Copper. The ski in/out accomodations are much closer to the lifts in most cases. Also, I have found great lodging deals on vrbo.com.
post #14 of 25
Does the poster mean beginner in the sense of a PSIA beginner level class? If so....

Beginner terrain at Copper compared to Breck? Breck is hands down a much better facility for the beginner level class.

Their beginner slope's pitch is much more condusive to speed control for the "beginner" level student.

Their beginner slope's width is much wider for plenty of room to transition from one turn to another.

Their beginner slopes also don't undulate like the slopes at Copper's Union Creek.

Union Creek at Copper is by far the noteable easy terrain area of the mountain. But it's too steep for a true beginner.

Copper has the Green Acre area. But you have to either walk a grueling distance (for a beginner) or wait for a snowcat to haul you there. It's a less than idea location for a beginner slope. And It's still too steep for a beginner lesson.
post #15 of 25
You are a beginner for a very short time. With lessons you will be on blues in no time. As a town, Breck is a great place. I would suggest Breck because of how expensive teh area is and for a week it s a great choice. You could also take the shuttle from one to the other.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTV43
What level are we? My girlfriends and I can only skied down the bunny slope at Keystone around the carpet area, wedged most the time, still practiced on turning. Tried the lift at the bunny slope 3 times, fell every time. Their husbands and kids skied the green terrain at Keystone and said that it is more like blue level at New Mexico resorts (Taos, Santa Fe). My husband gave up after the morning lesson but said that he would try again next time. The instructor at keyston school told us that Breck has easier beginner terrain. We shopped for few hours at Breck. and liked the town, so we all decided to try Breck next Spring Break. But also heard that Copper offers better beginner run and less crowd than Breck. Cannot make up our mind yet and desperately need your advice. How far is a drive between the two resorts? How is the parking situation at each place? There is free shuttle runs between resorts, but we rather drive because we travel with at least 6-8 kids from 9 - 15, getting those kids in/out the bus with all the ski equipments can be very hassled.


Marie
Old thread coming back, but it looks like there are a few questions no one answered:

The drive takes between 15-20 minutes in good conditions and there is a shuttle service between the two, but I don't think there is a direct link. You have to connect in Frisco. The shuttle will take much longer to get there:
http://www.co.summit.co.us/summitstage/schedules.htm

Parking will be a problem at Breckenridge that time of year. They are working to fix this with some new lots, a new run and a new ski lift, but I don't think any of them are going to be ready for this year.

I'm not sure what the parking situation at Copper is, like I've said, I've never been there.

Let me rephrase something. Parking itself is not the main problem at Breck, just getting into and out of the parking lot can take quite some time. It has taken me up to an hour to drive from the lot to Frisco (9 miles).

My advice if you are certainly going to one of these two places would be to stay at Breck, rent a car, and drive to Copper on days you want to ski there. Find a condo off the 4 O'Clock run so you can ski in, then it is only a short shuttle or drive up to the base of Peak 8.

There are plenty of available condos at Breck to be had for cheap. We found one for $250/night over the Christmas and New Year's Holidays a couple years ago on www.vrbo.com that was ski in, and shuttle to the lifts.
post #17 of 25
I've stayed (ski in/ski out) at Copper and Breck, both are fine for accessing slopes. Terrain at both places is fun and varied. Been to both hills with beginner friends and no complaints. They did say that lessons at Breck were better than ones at Copper. They did all-day group sessions and were more satisfied, progressed faster and had more fun on Peaks 9 and 8. I think they had some bad fits with instructors at Copper but that's always a risk anywhere you go.

Good luck and wherever you go have a lot of fun!
post #18 of 25
I work at Copper, so I'm a bit biased. I have skied Breck a lot over the past three or four years, though, so think I know the two areas pretty well.

First, Copper has really focused on their Ski & Ride School for the past couple of years, and improved it a lot. Thus, I would not hesitate to recommend lessons at Copper. Especially if you use some of the instructors who frequent EpicSki.

That said, since you're not "never-evers", I would not worry about Union Creek being too difficult. It is a real area of the mountain, though, and thus is (in my opinion) more enjoyable than the six-pack area of Peak 9 on Breck (I did spend time there with my family last year as my kids were learning).

However, the bottom line? You'll have fun at either place. I'd suggest getting recommendations for instructors here before you go, and have the lessons be request semi-privates. It will make a very significant difference. I am sure that the instructors and students from both areas who post here would be happy to give you their thoughts.
post #19 of 25
Marie,
Spring break is a long four weeks here in Colorado. Depending on the week you could miss the Denver/front range crunch, making either a great choice. If you are booked during that crunch it could be pretty crowded. With a family, night life is probably secondary to your choice of terrain so I would say Copper because if they still run the B-line you would get to avoid some of the crowds.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of your inputs. I find several ski-in/out accomodations from vrbo.com at a very reasonable price. 05 Spring break we was at Keystone from 3/5-3/11, it was not that crowded. We will be there on Saturday 3/11 for 06 Spring break and stay for the entire week. Currently I am giving an edge to Breck because one of the post mentioned that there is quite a distance to the lift when coming down the terrain at beginner slope. A friend of mine skied most CO resorts and said that too, he made a remark that unless we can ski well enough to be able to push ourself to the lift for approximately 1/2 mile. Is that true? the last time he skied at Copper was at least 5 years ago. We are young adults at late 40's learn how to ski, want to be able to cruise easy and not to steep runs. We will definitely take more lessons.

Marie
post #21 of 25
Marie, I'm not sure what you mean by "push yourself to the lift for approximately 1/2 mile." Any of the areas in Summit County will give you enough terrain to enjoy. All have greens that are quite long (Copper has a number from the very top of the mountain). The more I think about it, the more I think that Copper may be a better choice, given the terrain... Under the R lift, Main Vein, Union Creek... Lots of choices. Plus great instructors, a number of whom post here (while I am a member of the S&R School, I am not in the teaching pool. I can help you connect with others, though, if you'd like).
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTV43
What level are we? My girlfriends and I can only skied down the bunny slope at Keystone around the carpet area, wedged most the time, still practiced on turning. Tried the lift at the bunny slope 3 times, fell every time. Their husbands and kids skied the green terrain at Keystone and said that it is more like blue level at New Mexico resorts (Taos, Santa Fe).
Keystone's carpet is just a bit too long. I wish they had a shorter one, and then that long one for the more confident. As for the chair, the bit at the top is quite steep, for a bunny hill, but it's sadly common for ski areas to have bunny hills that are too steep, as they want the flat areas to build things on!

They really need to warn people about Schoolmarm, which is the main green from the top. It's a great run BUT you must be able to turn confidently, there are a few spots as you near the bottom which are short, but quite steep for a green. To enjoy it, you need to be across the idea that turning is how you control speed. Schoolmarm is 4 miles long, and if you are using your leg muscles and bracing to control speed, they won't last the distance (which is why that run is lined with telephones).

We all used to drool over Copper's teaching terrain. The nicest thing was (apart from the lovely gentle gradients) that it was over to the side of the mountain, so you didn't have crazy people barrelling through the beginners. People who do that, btw, are not very good skiiers.
post #23 of 25
Sounds to me that you are in need of some sound advice. While all of the above have given you good advice, it sounds like you need a push or two to make up your mind. I'm thinking you might want to skip both places, drive an extra hour and a half and get yourselves to Steamboat. You also can fly there direct if you want.

There you will find the best layout of beginner skiing of anywhere in Colorado. They also have an excellent teaching staff, which you also need. Most of the lower beginner area is right at the bottom easily accessed. Many of their ski in ski out condos are on easy trails that lead directly to the lifts and the gondola.

Once you have mastered a few turns and have some control you can explore the upper mountain terrain where on the skiers right, you will find many, I repeat, many easy green and blues.

Steamboat is far enough from the I70 madness at Spring break time that it is far less crowded. The town is all walkable and there is a free bus service that will take you anywhere. It's also lower in altitude which makes it easier to sleep nights and gives you a little more energy on the ski slopes.

You'd be wise to check into Steamboat
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
[quote=ssh]Marie, I'm not sure what you mean by "push yourself to the lift for approximately 1/2 mile." Any of the areas in Summit County will give you enough terrain to enjoy.

SSH,

My friend told me that after coming down the Copper mountain, the ski lift is 1/2 mile away from where we are, so it is harder for beginner to ski to the chair lift as opposed to Mountain House (Keystone bunny slope) we skied directly to the lift. Is that true?

He is the one who told us to try Breck, but the last time he skied at Summit County was at least 5 years ago. I am sure that lot of things have been changed.

Marie
post #25 of 25
Marie, that doesn't make any sense to me, but I can't be sure what he meant... All of the lifts are at the bottom of the runs and there is no need to walk to the lifts while skiing. There is a bit of a walk from the bottom of the lifts to the various bus stops, but that walk isn't a lot longer than the walks at Breck.

During a ski day at Copper, regardless of the level of skiers I am guiding, I do not walk at all until I pull off my skis to head home.

Furthermore, I would suggest that either immediately or after your first day there you'll be skiing runs like Main Vein which go from the top of the American Flyer back down to the base. You may also find the other green and low blue runs near the summit to your liking.

I'm talking myself into a strong recommendation for Copper. Keep in mind that I do work there at the Ski & Ride School during the season in a non-paid capacity (as a guide for the Over the Hill Gang).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Which is best for beginner-Copper or Breckenridge?