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Seek Recommendation - CO Resort, Compared with Blue, PA

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm heading to Denver on business trip in a few days, looking to sneak in one day of skiing not too far from Denver, less than 100 miles that is.

I've been to Denver once but never skied there. The trail maps alone might not give me good enough idea on the difficulty levels as the blue/diamond could mean different things there compared with my local mountain in PA (e.g. Blue Mountain, 1000 vt feet). I can't accurate describe my level in a few words but I'm comfortable with Main Street (single diamond) and Razor Edge (double diamond) at Blue when not too icy. Anything beyond that leve makes me kind of queasy.

So which CO mountain should I head to? I've only skied on-piste so far but would definately want to try off-piste if within my ability (hey, that's what gets me excited about the CO trip!) Any recommendation, especially from bears who's also familiar with Blue?

Thanks!
post #2 of 24
I'm not too familiar with CO, but I know Blue. Based on other experiences out west, I think you'll do fine on the blue trails and groomed single black trails. The snow conditions will be way better than you're used to on the groomed trails. Also, if you've never done much at that altitude, give yourself time to adjust - different people adjust to it differently.
post #3 of 24
How about 120 miles. Vail. Over 5000 acres of whatever you want.
post #4 of 24
I am sure Dever has a hockey rink that will have conditions that are on par with Blue. Correction, the hockey rick will probably have better conditions.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeski
How about 120 miles. Vail. Over 5000 acres of whatever you want.
eyeski, Vail is great but there seem to be a few resorts closer to Denver, like Loveland, Winter Park, etc. 5000 acres is also great but I'm afraid it's too much to digest or to probe around to find the right trails in one single day, so I'll leave it for the future.

I read from another post that Winter Park is mostly for intermediate (not exactly sure what that means) so I'm kind of second guessing if it'll be fun enough.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
I am sure Dever has a hockey rink that will have conditions that are on par with Blue. Correction, the hockey rick will probably have better conditions.
Phil, I can't agree more. I skid big time at Blue which really hampers my skill improvement and I find the better days to ski there is when they have "wet granular" or "machined garnular" conditions, or something like that. "Packed powder" as most often seen really means an ice base with sprinkle of white stuff.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SKI-3PO
Also, if you've never done much at that altitude, give yourself time to adjust - different people adjust to it differently.
SKI-3PO, good point. Noted.
post #8 of 24
I would recommend Copper. It's a great, fun mountain with naturally divided terrain. The range of blues out here is much greater, ie. there are blues you are used to, and then there are harder blues that are as hard as eastern blacks. The blacks here are on the avg. steeper than those out east. You will prob. get alot of moguls even on alot of blues, but its so much easier to ski them b/c they are generally fluffy.
I would also recommend Breckenridge as the mtn. is fun as is the town. Both mountains have good terrain up top - definately go up above treeline to get that experience which is so unique!
Have fun!
post #9 of 24
Raymn,

Definitely consider Breckenridge. It's about 85 miles from downtown Denver and as DefJef noted, it's a great town. You'd probably like the runs under the 6-chair on Peak 8 - doesn't get all that crowded up there and there's a lot of options for black trails and dropping into bowls. If you have a couple of days to ski you could try Breck one day and Copper another, to get a taste of two different Summit County resorts.
post #10 of 24
Don't forget Keystone for great consistant pitched blue groomers.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
DefJef/MarkXS, I'm looking at the trail map of Breckenridge, Peak 8 does look exciting. Above tree line and bowls are entirely new experience for me. And in worst scenario, I can bail out to the blue trails below if they prove to be too demanding. One questions, are those bowls considered as out-boundary or do I need avy beacon, etc? Please feel free to laugh if the question sounds too newbie.

Springhill, also thanks for your recommendation. I'll check out Keystone as well but Breckenridge look like what I'm imagining about the west mountains experience, at least from the trail map so far.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by raymn
DefJef/MarkXS, I'm looking at the trail map of Breckenridge, Peak 8 does look exciting. Above tree line and bowls are entirely new experience for me. And in worst scenario, I can bail out to the blue trails below if they prove to be too demanding. One questions, are those bowls considered as out-boundary or do I need avy beacon, etc? Please feel free to laugh if the question sounds too newbie.

Springhill, also thanks for your recommendation. I'll check out Keystone as well but Breckenridge look like what I'm imagining about the west mountains experience, at least from the trail map so far.
Hey,
Those bowls are in bounds and hard. THe skipatrol avy blasts up there occasionally, but it's safe.
I would recommmend trying some of the blues and blacks on peak 8 and 9, then go up the 6 chair. There are some cool blacks in that area that aren't too hard. Then head up the Imperial Express to the highest lift accessed spot in North America! The trail right below the lift is rated a double black, but I have found it to be more like a black...not too hard, just a bit steep. But it's so wide open that you can traverse alot if it's too hard. The view on top is fantastic and it's fun to be so high above treeline!
post #13 of 24
When I lived in PA, I skied Blue Mtn all the time. I live in CO now. I recommend Copper or Keystone to match your experience at Blue. If you want to venture off piste, both areas have spots that are not overly challenging. But, if you want to get the queasies, you can find that as well.
PM me if you want to discuss in more detail.
post #14 of 24
ray - I think you will be surprised at how much you can ski out west. Yes, the mountains are bigger ans steeper but the snow is usually very consistant and soft. That allows you to ski steeper stuff than you would think. My home hill is smaller the Blue and I skiied the Back Bowls at Vail on my first trip out west without any problems.

If I were going to sneak in just one day of skiing from Denver I would go to Winter Park.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
bdchris, please check PM.

MattL, thanks for the input, that helps me to build the mental picture. The fun has already started before I even board the plane.
post #16 of 24
I forgot to mention I would take the ski train http://www.skitrain.com to Winter Park. You can also get a discounted lift ticket through them.
post #17 of 24
[quote=bdrchris]When I lived in PA, I skied Blue Mtn all the time. I live in CO now. I recommend Copper or Keystone to match your experience at Blue. /QUOTE]
raymn,
I agree with bdchris here also. Blue is where I ski in the East most often, but I get out to CO 3-5 times a year and can definitely compare the two. You can't go wrong with Keystone or Copper. Blue at it's best cannot touch the worst day in Summit or Grand County.

But if you want to really keep it simple and keep the drive to a minimum, Loveland is your best bet. Non-existent to minimal crowds any day of the week, short walk to the lifts from free parking and arguably an excellent variety of terrain (tree-lined groomers, bumps, open bowls, etc..) and scenery that IMHO almost cannot be beat.
And cheaper lift tix than the rest altho you can find killer deals for Copper on ebay or craigslist. That's where I'd go from Denver for a one-day quick fix and more than enough to get you hooked on Colorado.
post #18 of 24
Check out Eldora.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
I am sure Dever has a hockey rink that will have conditions that are on par with Blue. Correction, the hockey rick will probably have better conditions.
I'd prefer total ice at Blue then what usually exists there, frozen snow cone ice or as they like to call it "frozen granular." I hate Blue as much as Phil and I think he'll agree that they have the worst snow making ability ever. I don't know if its the system or they simply don't know how to make snow but whatever it is, they SUCK at it.

Nothing will compare to Blue in CO, in fact does anything compare to Blue in PA? Sure its got the most vert but the snow, crowds, and small size caused me to turn down a free season pass. You should start going to Camelback, Montage, or Elk more often. Those three resorts are vastly superior to Blue.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
William T, yes the above tree-line and bowls at Loveland are blue! Looks like good confidence builder for a first timer. I'd prefer to make the first west out experience enjoyable rather than being intimidated so I can live in anticipation for return trips after coming back home.

I really appreciate the input from all of you.

Blizzboy, I went to Elk once and not very impressed, also very icy but it could just happen to be a bad day. It's one hour extra from where I live but Camelback is not too far from Blue. It's hard to beat the $19 Sunday night ski deal at Blue but if Camelback helps me much more for skill improvement, I'll reconsider the proposition.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Tell

But if you want to really keep it simple and keep the drive to a minimum, Loveland is your best bet. Non-existent to minimal crowds any day of the week, short walk to the lifts from free parking and arguably an excellent variety of terrain (tree-lined groomers, bumps, open bowls, etc..) and scenery that IMHO almost cannot be beat.
And cheaper lift tix than the rest altho you can find killer deals for Copper on ebay or craigslist. That's where I'd go from Denver for a one-day quick fix and more than enough to get you hooked on Colorado.
Amen! I was on first chair today, and the conditions were great. Not sure when you'll be here, but Loveland's my fave up here and if I'm around, let me know and we can make some turns. I'm not an expert but I know the fun blues real well at Loveland and can get you oriented to the mountain. I live about 15 minutes away so happy to help. Have fun wherever you go!
post #22 of 24
much agreement with everyone else. it's tough with only a day and so many options withing distance of denver. just to put another emphasis on loveland, it's quite an experience. i believe it's the closest to denver (<60 miles), is very reasonable, limited crowds, and vast terrain. when i was there with my dad a few years ago they even had the ski patrol giving complimentary tours so it was basically like being with a local and definitely made our day. have never been to blue mtn but have done camelback and with that said once you go west you'll never look at the areas out here the same...CO really does spoil you but it's great! to hit on another point mentioned, if you do end up doing loveland or some place in summit county just take into consideration the altitude (base el. anywhere from 9,000'-10,000'). drink lots and lots of water...then drink more water. hope you have a great time!
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
SugarCude, it couldn't be nicer to hang out with a friendly local bear. I've been put in on-call mode for 3 days already and the trip arrangement has yet to be finalized so I can't tell the exact day. I asked the boss before leaving work today, most likely next weekend. We're going to Denver to solve some field technical issues and I planned for one day skiing just in case the work spills into the weekend. If everything goes smoothly, I can spend the whole weekend on the mountain and be back to Philly on Monday. Then I'll probably also explore Copper/Keystone. The only concern now is that their problems don't get solved "prematurely" and the trip be cancelled. I'll PM you one day in advance but don't feel oblidged if you have other commitment. It'll be a fun trip anyhow, I'm sure.

Justin, indeed CO has so much to offer and I won't be greedy. I'll have more opportunities going over there. Sometimes, just have to admit life isn't fair for everyone.
post #24 of 24
Winter Park only for intermediates? Uh, not really. If you like sick bump runs then it's the place to go. Problem was that it's like hanging out on the moon. Nothing around for miles. The town was like a strip of stores and a tumbleweed. The reason I said Vail was that it has almost every kind of run imaginable plus miles of Bowls. One day would not be enough though. For convenience I would pick Loveland, heard nothing but good things about it.
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