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Summit County/Vail: Advice needed!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I just booked a trip for February 14-19 (Tuesday-Sunday) and we have a free place to stay in Frisco along with a rental SUV. I have been to Breckenridge and Steamboat before in CO (loved both), but that's it. I was thinking we could get a 4 or 5-day PEAK pass and just drive to a new mountain each day. I really want to check out the Imperial Lift at Breck and the Back Bowls of Vail, aybe do ABasin on the way back to Denver on Sunday before our 5:25 flight (if that's possible). Just a little unsure of how to maximize our skiing time and enjoyment. A few questions I had:

1) Is one day at Vail enough? With the PEAKs pass, you get 1 day there with a 4-5 day pass purchase. I have never been there and was thinking more than one day may be in order...

2) What is the drive time like to Vail from Frisco?

3) Is it worth trying to hit Keystone during this trip, or stick to Breck and Vail? Maybe at night?

4) Copper seems like its the closest to Frisco. Is it worth a day there? If so, is more than one day recommended?

5) What are the best days Tues-Sun to hit each resort? I know Breckenridge gets pretty crowded on weekends (as I'm sure they all are). Was thinking Vail may be best for the weekend since it's so big.

I am thinking: Wednesday - Breckenridge, Thursday - Vail, Friday - Breckenridge/maybe Copper or Keystone, Saturday - Vail, Sunday - ABasin

Sorry this is so long... just havin fun thinking about the trip and planning it out. Any advice or suggestions is greatly appreciated!!

Thanks in advance,

post #2 of 10
1) Vail is great, and you can see a lot in one-day (PM Uncle Louie for his tour). With only 4-5 days, stick with one day there.

2) Depends on weather, but usually 30-45 minutes, depending on where in Frisco.

3) Breck, Vail, A, and Copper. Keystone is my least favorite. Others here love it.

4) I work there. I really like it. If I'm available, I'd be happy to show you around for a day. It's a great mountain, and bigger than most folks think.

5) Any of them can be good if you know where to go on a weekend. All can be busy, l especially then (Pres. weekend, I think).

Your plan is a good one, I think!
post #3 of 10
I just returned from my very first trip to the Summit County resorts so any advice I give is limited. I will say that Fisco is a great place to stay. Main St. has lots of little shops and some great places to eat. And it is smack dab in the middle of all the resorts. Copper is closest, but we went to Loveland, Breck, Keystone, and Vail and none was far.

We really enjoyed Vail. I wish we could have skied there for more than a day, but like you said, you get only one day there with the pass and there's plenty of other great skiing at the other PEAKS areas.

Our least favorite was Keystone. It was sick crowded when we went, though, so I'm sure that had an impact.

You've already been to Breck, so you know how great it is, though, I imagine that Saturday and Sunday would be terrible because it is Pres. Day weekend.

Loveland is another option you might consider.

Have a great time! Make sure you eat at the Boatyard while in Frisco.
post #4 of 10
I highly suggest Loveland. Great terrain, awesome snow, no lift lines.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Re: Thanks

Thank you for your input. We may end up trying out Loveland on the way back to Denver...

One more question in regards to rentals. We are arriving in Denver at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night and want to ski first thing on Wednesday morning. Since it would be too late to rent some in Denver, is there a place in Frisco open early in the morning (around 7 or 8?) to rent me some skis? My main concern is how to return them if we ski at Loveland on the last day...

Thank you in advace for any ideas!!

post #6 of 10
Echo SSH on the drive time to Vail, but if there is a storm and a semi jack-knifes in Vail pass you can spend a lot longer so keep your eye on the road reports and the weather.

You should definitely try to do Copper, especially if you are an expert. Copper is six miles from Frisco so it is the closest area, the Frisco high school ski team skis there and according to rumor they beat Vail every year. There is almost no waiting on the expert lifts and the back areas like Tucker Mountain, Copper Bowl and Spalding are usually wide open. If it is running (and so far this year it has not due to avalanche danger) Tucker Mountain actually offers you the chance to do snowcat skiing included in the price of your lift ticket.

If you only plan to do one day at Vail IMHO you are not doing it justice. It can take an hour or so just to get back to Blue Sky Basin, and even then you would be missing lot of terrain in the back bowls. If you only do one day make sure you study the lift map and plan carefully. You could easily go 2-3 days at Vail and never ski the same run twice if you were paying attention.

Loveland, A-basin and even Ski Cooper are worth a try if you want to avoid the major resort crowds. Loveland is a great warm up, is way less expensive for a half day ticket, has great terrain and has generally better skiers than most of the touristy resorts.
post #7 of 10
Another vote for Loveland on one of the weekend days and as ssh said, I think you'll love Copper.
post #8 of 10
Depending on where you are starying there are lot's of rental shops in Frisco. Christy Sports has an outlet there and there are lots of little indy shops too. Copper also has good rental shops, including a Christy Sports, so you can always get something at the mountain if you need to.
post #9 of 10
About the shops....you can get rentals at Christysports in Frisco and they are cheaper(if you book online you get a 20% discount). Pioneer sports is another good one. I believe they both sell tickets which are cheaper than peaks and are good for Abasin/Keystone/Breck and Vail/BC. Google them and call them to get quotes on the lift prices for the time you are going.
post #10 of 10
Just reserve your skis ahead of time on-line. For the last day at Loveland, rent at the Loveland base. It's so uncrowded that that will not be an issue, and the price is likely about the same as you'll pay off-site at the other resorts. The ski shop at Loveland is one of the best in the area (certainly the best run by a resort, IMO): it's more like a small specialty shop than a big resort retail place, if you know what I mean. They will actually make decent recommendations for gear, if you're getting the hi-performance or demo level of rentals, as well.
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