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Never been anywhere. but dig this!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
OK, dudes and dudettes,

It's official: I'm being sent to Colorado for 2 weeks in November, starting November 9. Take note that I have never skied anywhere but Vermont. Throwing me a bone, my boss says I can go a day early and stay a day late so I get a total of 5 days of not working while I am in Boulder. SO, Brothers and Sisters, where should I go? Copper? Brekenridge? Arapahoe? One place for five? Five different places? I am ignorant except for web pages and vague 2nd hand testimonials. The trail map of that Copper place looks GODDAMN good on the web. The elevations I am seeing are 5-digit, rather than the 4 I am used to. Whoa. Then I look at that Brekenridge map and it looks HUGE. The Arapahoe place has all these double-black-diamonds. I mean, at Smuggler's we have a couple of doubles and even 1 triple, but that's mostly due to the rocks and trees and the double-black pitches are a few hundred feet, maybe. The doubles I'm seeing look like they reference the whole top of the mountain. Whoa. Will there be snow? Can you guarantee snow? Should I be doing the snow dance starting now?
post #2 of 11

Early, middle, or late November? It might make a bit of difference.

You'll definitely have snow to ski on, but it might be more of the manufactured variety than the God-made kind. Copper, Breck, and Keystone will almost certainly have made snow on a fairly large number of runs by that time. Loveland also makes a lot of snow, as do Vail/Beaver Creek.

You should have plenty of manmade snow to choose from, but I wouldn't get my hopes *too* high for some of those double-black diamond runs. Those usually require a lot of natural snow before they're open/skiable.

Anyway, there will be lots of runs open and you should be able to have a great time.

There are a bunch of Colorado locals on Epic. Post a few days before you go and I'm sure you'll get an up-to-the-minute report on where the sliding is best.

post #3 of 11
Copper is a great mountain, so are Breck and A Basin. As Bob said, do not expect a lot of snow coverage this early. Some mountains don't open until mid November.
post #4 of 11
Watch the snow reports carefully to see if it'll be worth it.

Copper's probably your best bet. You can buy a 4 pack of lift tix for $99, and Copper's got plenty of terrain to keep you happy for 4 days.

Enjoy, you lucky dog! Last year, Nov. 9 already had like 80" of snow out there.
post #5 of 11
copper is always a good bet. Last season I skiied knee deep powder lap after lap on a empty mtn. in early november. But I hear at the moment that there is no snow, but last years early season snow came out of nowwhere and opened substantial terrain very early. If it does happen to snow big when you are there, make sure to ask a patroler about openings. If conditions are good, they will do controlled openings of certain terrain. Usually the only way to know about it is to be at the right place at the right time, or just ask any patroller. Bottom line, if it snows go to copper, otherwise most resorts will be the same with a few groomed runs open.
post #6 of 11
Not to burst the game plan, but unless the Snow Gods get into action first week of Nov, aint going to be a Pow bustin week, A-basin & loveland will open about the 24th of Oct. Stay off the Mts. at all cost on the weekends you will see LINES. Check out www.skicolorado.com for opening dates of other areas. We might get lucky, but its been a warm dry fall so far.

[ October 15, 2003, 07:44 PM: Message edited by: Mr Vertical ]
post #7 of 11
I agree....all you are going to see the first 2 weeks are a bunch of skiers, long lines, and you might as well rent skis or bring your "Rock Skis" with you...not to mention the I-70 traffic jam....I grew up in Georgetown Colorado and worked for a couple of years at Loveland...and it is the same thing every year...All you can do is ""PRAY FOR SOME SNOW""
""You only pack so many people in on 1 ski run""
I think you want to tell the folks back home that you had a BLAST in COLORADO...
maybe you should see if you can delay this trip
until Jan or Feb. Wish you all the best!!
post #8 of 11
yeah, you need to pray for snow.

on nov. 9th; i believe only loveland,abasin+keystone will be open on i-70.
breck+vail open around the 21st, so you may be able to catch them.
i believe keystone has the best snowmaking system of the bunch that open early.
it wont be bad, you should get at least 1 mountain that gets a major dump, but they may not have the staff to open everything even if they have the snow.
i suggest finding out who gets the early dump and getting to their lifts 5 min. before they open. then, if it gets to crowded around 10(primetime), you can wait it out 'til the crowd gets tired around 1pm or head back after a few good runs w/ the real skiers.
post #9 of 11
have fun skiing the greens the double-blacks and other runs similair will not open til' later in the season they need "natural" snow instead of "man-made" personally I would go on the trip the first week of december and you probably will have a opputunity to ski the runs you want to. GOOD LUCK I will pray to ullr so there might be a freak storm..........
post #10 of 11
If you're doing the trip on the company dime, it's definitely worth bringing your skis. Loveland and A-Basin could be open by early Novenber, and it's possible there could be an early dump. If you've never been out West, you will be amazed at the size and terrain. It's kind of like skiing Sugarbush after you've never been anywhere but Wachusett. By early Eastern standards, even the greens are worth the ride up I-70. By Boston and Killington standards, there is minimal traffic and liftlines.

Of course, your best play is to postpone your business trip to mid-January. Or better yet, put together a plan for monthly follow up visits to the job site.

Regards, John
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thx for your replies, dudes. I'll keep monitoring the ski area cams and make myself crazy with anticipation. Here at Smuggler's in Vermont, we open on Thanksgiving weekend, although last year there was great early dumps and we opened a week early. More typically, there would be just one way down on opening day, one ribbon of manmade and/or cat-scrounged snow from the top of Sterling, the intermediate mountain, to the base of the lift. All skiers and riders would be crammed onto this ribbon with the expected result: lots of wrecks and collisions. I'm a volly patroller and that first weekend is quite busy what with the wrecks and putting up ropeage, signs and boo. It's a great time. I've decided that I don't really care about conditions as long as it's slippery. I've had wonderful runs on everything from blue boilerplate to brown slush. So, if I run into limited open terrain with long lines, so be it. Don't get me wrong, I'm dancing early and often. I'm even enlisting my 14-year-old and his buddies in the snow dance, because any entreaty to Ullr will pay off. However, I do feel the need to cover all bets, so my question is: Who is the patron saint of snowcover? :
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