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best places to ski in Summit County, CO?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I plan to go skiing in Summit County, Co in Jan. I have a month & a half and plan to buy either the ‘rocky mountain super pass’ (valid for both Winter Park & Copper Mountain) or the ‘ski 3 pass’ (valid for Keystone, Breckenridge & Arapahoe Basin). I’m looking for some challenge terrain, not quite into rail & park. I wonder if anyone have skied those resorts and would like to share with me your experience. Please also give me suggestions how I split my time among those ski areas and which ski pass to take.
post #2 of 20
If you are looking for challenging terrain I would suggest picking up the ski 3 pass. Keystone does not have much to offer in terms of challenging terrain but Abasin (when they have good coverage) has the best steeps in colorado with the exception of Creste Butte and Silvertone. Breck even though it can get crowded has some steep bump and tree runs and with the opening of the new lift you will be able to access the very steep lake chutes very easily.


I have never skied winter park but hear it has some nice terrain (mary jane). I enjoyed copper but did not like it as much as Breck.
If you decide to do the rail and park thing breck is the place to be. They have one of the best terrain parks in the US.

I would buy the ski 3 pass and go wherever the snow is the best.
post #3 of 20
The most challenging terrain in Summit County is at Arapahoe Basin. It is also the smallest but you will find more hard core skiers there as a percentage than any of the other mountains. It also has the most laid back and old school feel. For challenge, I'd rate the others that I've been to in the following order: Winter Park/Mary Jane, Copper, Loveland, Beaver Creek, Vail, Keystone.
The WP/MJ and Copper pass sounds good with a few trips to A-Basin but WP/MJ and Copper are pretty far apart, maybe an hour and a half drive?
post #4 of 20
Winter Park is nearly an hour's commute from the Summit Co. area, so I would also opt for one of the Vail Resorts passes. If I was skiing for that long, I would spend a few more $$ and get a pass that lets you ski at Vail and Beaver Creek also. The added variety would be well worth the few extra $$. My guess is that you'll end up spending the majority of your days at Breck or Vail.

A-Basin is a relatively small ski area, so it lacks variety. Keystone is my least favorite place to ski in that area. I find it to be mostly wide groomers packed with 60 mph. snowboarders. They also seem to have the worst snow cover if conditions are marginal. Breck is big, crowded, but has lots of variety. Vail is even bigger, and is my favorite ski mountain in the area. The bowls, if they have enough snow, can bring a smile to your face all day.

For several years, we've bought the WP/Copper passes in lieu of the Vail Resort passes. We ski WP (mostly Mary Jane side) about 2:1 over Copper. Because we make many daytrips from the Front Range, WP is appealing due to being able to avoid the Eisenhower Tunnel. I've spent hours on I-25 trying to get home from Summit Co. on a Sunday evening when traffic was stopped at the tunnel. If you're staying in SC, you won't have to worry about that issue even if jaunting over to WP, as you'll be going against the major traffic flow.

Enjoy your stay!

AM.
post #5 of 20
You're planning on skiing for a month and a half? I'd suggest getting a pass for one area and then getting a part time job at the other for a pass. I'd suggest getting a KAB pass and then working at Copper. Copper/WP employees get the "real deal" employee exchange that will let you ski almost anywhere else in the state for free (Aspen, Steamboat, To-hell-u-ride, etc, etc, etc). By doing that you can pretty much ski everywhere.

If I had to get just one, I'd go with the Copper pass. A Basin isn't that fun of a mountain in Jan, Breck is too cold, Keystone sucks year-round. That's just my opinion though.
post #6 of 20
Vinn, he said he's got a month and a half to PLAN the vacation... not to be on the vacation.
post #7 of 20
Ahhh no he didn't. Read it again carefully.
post #8 of 20
Don't forget to get a 4-pack for Loveland, $99 for four tickets to use anyway you want. WWW.Skiloveland.com
post #9 of 20
Spend the extra $$$(somewhere around $70) for the KAB + 10 days @ Vail or Beaver Creek. You won't even need to go to Keystone unless you want night skiing. Vail is huge and has everything and Beaver Creek has some great expert terrain if you get off the trails and head into the trees. Breck has some of the steepest inbounds terrain up in the Lake Chutes and that area will be lift serviced this year. A-basin is small, but it rocks. Nice and steep, nothing but vert. runs to be had there.
post #10 of 20
I love Copper and like Winter Park, but it is quite a longish hike between them, whereas Breck Keystone and A Basin are very convenient to each other (free bus!). So for that reason I'd go the latter. If you could find a deal for Copper, that'd be just about perfect to add to the other Summit areas.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn
You're planning on skiing for a month and a half? I'd suggest getting a pass for one area and then getting a part time job at the other for a pass. I'd suggest getting a KAB pass and then working at Copper. Copper/WP employees get the "real deal" employee exchange that will let you ski almost anywhere else in the state for free (Aspen, Steamboat, To-hell-u-ride, etc, etc, etc). By doing that you can pretty much ski everywhere.
I'm pretty sure the "real deal" excludes the Vails and Aspens (at least, they were excluded last year). Pretty much any job at any Colorado ski area gets access to "real deal" lift tickets.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn
A Basin isn't that fun of a mountain in Jan.
I would agree with that, chances are the steeper terrain won't have great coverage in Jan.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lennyblake
I'm pretty sure the "real deal" excludes the Vails and Aspens (at least, they were excluded last year). Pretty much any job at any Colorado ski area gets access to "real deal" lift tickets.
  1. Aspen most certainly was included in the Real Deal and has been for years. Vail Resorts (Keystone, Breck, Vail, BC) has never been included. Copper has a separate employee exchange program to include A Basin.
  2. Working for VR does not get you the Real Deal.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the feedbacks. I'm thinking about buying both passes. May spend a few days in Vail, but won't go anywhere too far away from denver.
post #15 of 20
I just booked a trip out there for December 17-19 and am staying at Breck...I have 3 days of skiing with one at either Vail or Beaver Creek and two at A-basin, Breck, and Keystone...I was thinking We would ski a day at Vail, one at Breck, and the other at A-basin with a night or two at Keystone before some heavy drinking/petting....is this the best way to go? They all pretty much get the same amount of snow right? I know it is early season, but hopefully most of the mountain is open by the third week in December
post #16 of 20
You should be fine at Vail and Breck- they'll have most of their terrain open, assuming we get the snow. A-Basin won't have the East Wall open (not until February probably), and probably won't have the Pali terrain open either. You'd probably be better served by going to Beaver Creek or Copper that early in the season, they'll have a lot more open.
post #17 of 20
Well thanks for the advise...but we already bought our tickets....I wonder if we can upgrade to get 2 days at Vail or Beaver creek?...if A-Basin does not have anything difficult open maybe we will stay at Breck for 2 days....I wonder if there will be any good tree skiing available? The bump runs probably won't have big bumps at that time, do you think? I was planning on leaving the bump skis at home so I only had to bring 2 pair.....do you know where I can find historical snow fall data?

Thanks a mill
post #18 of 20
Well I just talked to them and they said no about getting two days a Vail/Beaver Creek....the good news is the new lift MIGHT be open by then he said it keeps going back and forth...if the new lift is open we will ski 2 days at Breck
post #19 of 20
I'd just wait and see about A-Basin... but if they don't have those two areas open, personally I don't think there's enough terrain to fill up a day. Breck has plenty to ski over two days, and chances are they'll have a lot open. Maybe even Keystone for a day? If they get decent snow, it could be fun.
post #20 of 20
I think we will do some night skiing at Keystone, but that is probably it but we will see I guess
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