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Will I be disappointed in Keystone/Breck after skiing Alta?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I've been told this is the best place to go for ski trip advice, so I hope you guys can help me out!

My husband and I are intermediate skiers. We like to cruise - especially steep, groomed blue/black runs. We don't mind moguls if they're soft. Most of our recent ski experience has been at Alta which we LOVE!!!

However, this trip we are going with 4 friends (we are all in our late twenties). Two are snowboarders, so Alta is out. The other two I've never skied with but I believe they're probably intermediate skiers as well.

I looked into Snowbird first, but I'm concerned about the lack of nightlife. It doesn't seem like there are many options for dinner/drinks in the evenings - we're neither huge partiers nor picky about food but the idea of having a village to wander at night is appealing and Alta/Snowbird don't really seem to offer this. (PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong - we've always stayed at Alta in an all-meals-included lodge so we've never ventured out at night.) Not to mention, lodging seems more limited and more expensive than in Colorado.

People have recommended Keystone and Breckenridge - looking into it, the prices seem reasonable and it looks like they have a decent amount of variety in terms of restaurants, shopping, and bars. But will we be disappointed in the mountains/snow?

The main focus of the trip will be the skiing/snowboarding. We are coming in for a long weekend (4 days, 3 nights) so easy access from the airport (and a variety of flight times) are important to us. I don't know if it matters, but we're looking at traveling the second weekend of February. We're hoping to get good snow and avoid crowds.

Any advice? Are there other resorts that would be more suited to what we're looking for? TIA!
post #2 of 24
From what you've written I'd think Vail would be best followed by Breck, then Keystone. As long as that weekend is not Presdent's you'll have no problem with crowds.

Steve
post #3 of 24
Whistler is the best for what you want, but the get to is a bitch. Breck is not bad, mountain is a little tame and the night life there is a little over rated.
post #4 of 24
Will Keystone and Breck be disappointing after Alta?

Yes. Very.

Hit Copper and Steamboat-and if there's snow-A-Basin to ease the bitter pain.

Liam
post #5 of 24
If you have unreal expectations, then maybe you will be. But if you are on a pair of skis and the snow is good and you're with friends, how can that be disappointing no matter where you ski.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam
Will Keystone and Breck be disappointing after Alta?

Yes. Very.

Hit Copper and Steamboat-and if there's snow-A-Basin to ease the bitter pain.

Liam
Considering what she wrote, A-Basin is not even close to what she's looking for.

Steve
post #7 of 24
LifesADance, welcome to EpicSki!

I think, given what you seek, you'll very much enjoy Breck. It's a very different experience from Alta, but you already know that. The town is a real Victorian town (updated to a resort, obviously), and has some fun shopping and good restaurants and bars. There are a number of areas a bus ride away, but you'll likely find lots that you'll enjoy right on the mountain at Breck.

Vail is huge, of course, and has everything you seek, but doesn't usually meet some of your criteria for less expensive lodgings and the like. However, with a little shopping, you may be able to find something there that works.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by breckview
Considering what she wrote, A-Basin is not even close to what she's looking for.

Steve
Since she's using Alta as her yardstick--I'd say it is
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Will I be disappointed in Keystone/Breck after skiing Alta?
There isn't much that wouldn't be disappointing when compared to Mecca. That being said, both Breck and Keystone are nice areas; the latter typically has smaller crowds.

Quote:
The main focus of the trip will be the skiing/snowboarding. We are coming in for a long weekend (4 days, 3 nights) so easy access from the airport (and a variety of flight times) are important to us. I don't know if it matters, but we're looking at traveling the second weekend of February. We're hoping to get good snow and avoid crowds.
Consider Snowbasin.
post #10 of 24
The Breckenridge town is real nice. But I'm a sucker for neat little ski towns. There are plenty of good spots for eating, drinking, shopping. Next to Park City, it's my favorite town.

Breckenridge the mountain, however, in my opinion, isn't a particularly interesting place to ski. The annoying thing is that it's spread all over the place. Takes forever to get from one area to another. Possibly if you skied there a lot and knew what the conditions would be like in different places of the mountain, you might get more out of it.

I like Keystone a lot. I think it's one of the best run areas. Everyone is friendly and efficent. There are nice places to eat and drink around the lifts. There's a lot of intermediate/cruiser terrain. The Outback is one of my favorite spots anywhere. Glades, bumps, fast cruisers, and blue runs that are bumped on one side and groomed on the other (which I enjoy). All of the friends I travel with have a soft spot for some run or section at Keystone.

A-Basin is cool. A totally different experience.

I was out that way for a week last year. We skied 4 days at Keystone, and 1 at A-Basin and 1 day at Breck. The only people who wanted to ski Breck were the people who hadn't been there before.. heh.

Alta is great too. But the only area I'd choose to ski over any other is Whistler So I'm not overwhelming tied to any of your options.


ETA: Breckenride also has a strike against it for boarders. There are quite a few flats to get around. My boarding pals don't like it much.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam
Since she's using Alta as her yardstick--I'd say it is
Intermediates looking for steep groomed runs. A-basin has exactly none.

Steve
post #12 of 24
As an intermediate who likes fun groomers, I think you will like Breckenridge very much. Especially the Peak 7 area, which is mostly (if not all) blue cruisers with some really fun rollers too.

Also, if you vacation in Summit county, take a trip to Beaver Creek. I think the skiing there will also be to your liking.

Have fun!
post #13 of 24
What about staying in Park City and spending at least one or two days up at Snowbasin? For cruising on blue/black terrain, you will absolutely LOVE it! Plus, you get the ski town atmosphere of Park City in the evenings!
post #14 of 24
Breck has about 6 of the steep groomers, and Peak 7 should be designated as a beginner's area!

Keystone has at least double that, and feels bigger although it is actually smaller in acreage.

Vail has it all, plus the long groomers in Beaver Creek, especially Arrowhead!

That said, travel convenience, ski-town ambience, and great skiing, Park City's The Canyons is your best bet (with the MANDATORY day at Snowbasin).
post #15 of 24
As long as the weather is good, you will like either and have a good time. Keystone and Breck both are high on the list of best resorts in the US.
We too like Alta but Colorado is just as good. (our criteria seems very close to yours). It's hard to go wrong with Vail/Beaver Creek if you want to spend the money.
For a less expensive day, try Loveland. You could also look at the town of Silverthorne/Dillon for lodging. It's not a big town, but there are a variety of restaurants and a good sized outlet mall.
Have a great trip.
Gary
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
LifesADance, welcome to EpicSki!

I think, given what you seek, you'll very much enjoy Breck. It's a very different experience from Alta, but you already know that. The town is a real Victorian town (updated to a resort, obviously), and has some fun shopping and good restaurants and bars. There are a number of areas a bus ride away, but you'll likely find lots that you'll enjoy right on the mountain at Breck.

Vail is huge, of course, and has everything you seek, but doesn't usually meet some of your criteria for less expensive lodgings and the like. However, with a little shopping, you may be able to find something there that works.
What he said.

Your milti-day ticket will be good at Vail/BC one day too...Vail's skiing fits your goals, drive over for a day. I'm not a big Keystone fan, but it sounds as if you may like it. I would stay in Breckenridge though, it is a nice walking town, and that's where the nightlife is too.
post #17 of 24
Hi L-A-D,

If you live near a major airport with direct flights to Steamboat, Telluride or Jackson Hole, I would go there. All are easier to fly into than Breckenridge.

Flying into Denver and travelling to Summit county consumes several hours. I usually lose an entire day due to time wasting between the resort and the Denver airport. Plus the trails and lift lines can be full of skiers who day-trip from Denver, this is not a concern at Steamboat, Telluride or Jackson Hole.

The mountains at Steamboat, Telluride or Jackson Hole are awesome. The same type of OH-MY-GOD experience as Alta. Both Steamboat or Jackson Hole offer more vertical and terrain than Alta, you could argue that these are better than Alta, if needed. Steamboat, Telluride or Jackson Hole tend to retain some powder for several days after a dump, Summit county is packed over by noon.

The towns are authentic western villages with plenty to do at night.

The mountain views are great at Jackson Hole & Telluride, a little less so at Steamboat.

http://www.tellurideskiresort.com/TellSki/index.aspx

http://www.jacksonhole.com/

http://www.steamboat.com/home.aspx

Hope that helps,

Barrettscv
post #18 of 24
If access from the airport is the most important thing then I would go to Utah. You can stay in Park city and ski a variety of places other than Alta. Your friends might like the variety of choices; The Canyons, Deer Valley and any of the other places in Little Cottonwood.

Breck would be fine too but you have a bit more of a drive from DIA. Breckenridge is a fun town, with plenty of good restaurants to choose from. I would probably ski two days each at Breck and Keystone if you go there from your group description.

For lift tickets check into the Arapahoe Bonus Season Pass at $259. It allows 5 days at Breck or Keystone (one at Vail if you want) and might be cheaper than your lift tickets, depending on your package.
post #19 of 24
duh ? This is my post-coffee-post on this thread.

Change your dates to the First Weekend in Feb and go to the Epic Gathering in Utah. (Stay in Park City)
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input - that really helps!

I know a lot of people consider Alta to be a mecca of sorts. I'm honestly not a ski snob - I don't get to go often enough to be!! I know we'll have fun wherever we go, but Alta's really the only place I've skied (as an adult, anyway) so it's obviously what I use as a yardstick.

Steamboat actually started off near the top of my list but flights into Hayden don't work with our schedule that well... I'd like to be able to ski a half day the day we arrive and as close to a full day as possible the day we leave - this is the schedule I'm used to when skiing Little Cottonwood Canyon. But the last flight out of Hayden appears to be around 4 PM.

I'm still toying with Utah but hadn't heard much good about the skiing on the Park City side. I'll have to look into Snowbasin. Since we only have 3.5 (or less) days I'd like to minimize the driving.

Summit County looks good because we can fly into Denver really early on Friday and out late on Monday night. Does it really take that long to get to/from the resorts?
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by LifesADance
Summit County looks good because we can fly into Denver really early on Friday and out late on Monday night. Does it really take that long to get to/from the resorts?
It's almost exactly 90 miles from Denver International Airport, to exit 205 off I-70 in Silverthorne where you get off for Summit County. Breckenridge itself is about 15 miles further (Stay on I-70 to exit 203, then about 11 miles south on Hwy 9)

So yes, between arrival at airport, getting luggage, getting on bus to rental car areas 4 miles away from terminal, getting rental car, and then driving up the hill to Summit County, you're spending a few hours before you get to the resort itself. Although I-70 traffic west of Denver often zips along at about 80MPH, getting across Denver from the airport often slows you way down. And if there's serious weather, the drive can be quite a bit slower. I can usually get from DIA up to where I live just off exit 205 in about 90 minutes, but there have been times it's taken much longer than that. If you're arriving early Friday I seriously doubt you'd be doing any skiing on Friday. Monday, if your flight is late enough, you could ski and then get to DIA for the flight home.

I think you'd enjoy both Breck and Keystone based on what you're looking for. But realize that it will take a bit of time to get up here from the airport.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkXS
If you're arriving early Friday I seriously doubt you'd be doing any skiing on Friday.
You could ski Keystone Friday which stays open until 8:00pm (I think).

Quote:
Monday, if your flight is late enough, you could ski and then get to DIA for the flight home.
I leave from Breckenridge for DIA three hours before my flight and have never been late. Saturday and Sunday afternoons would be exceptions but I never drive down to Denver then for a flight or any other reason.

Steve
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by breckview
I leave from Breckenridge for DIA three hours before my flight and have never been late. Saturday and Sunday afternoons would be exceptions but I never drive down to Denver then for a flight or any other reason.

Steve
You have to tell me your secret for finding parking at DIA! Do you use any park/fly lots or do you park in DIA's lots? So I don't completely hijack this thread, PM me! Thank you!
post #24 of 24
Let's call Breck, Keystone,A-Basin, Copper...
"Summit County"
Stay in Silverthorne(Summit County) and ski them all within 15-30 min.

AB and Copper are the best for skiing but offer little shopping / nightlife.

Breck was a town that became a ski area. IMHO skiing grade C-
Keystone feels like a complete resort. IMHO skiing grade B

Summit County gets crowded on weekends with folks from Denver/Boulder

I've worked in Vail for 10 seasons. Vail and Beaver Creek are tough to beat but can be pricey. You could fly into Vail Eagle airport and be in Vail or BC in about 45 min.

FWIW, if you stay in Silverthorne, Vail is only a 30 min drive west. You must drive over Vail Pass (10,600ft) which can get dicey in bad weather.

Have a great trip!!
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