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In need of plan for Breck/Vail/Keystone/A-Basin

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok, so since eastern ski conditions are simply horrid right now, I pulled the trigger on a 4 day trip (including a lovely red-eye home to work 3 hrs after landing, ugg) from Jan 17-21. Usually, my girlfriend and I do this trip to Vermont for her B-day, so were are both stoked for this. The problem is I need a coherent plan that lets us enjoy ski time together but also lets me ski some good stuff. She is a athletic mid-intermediate who started skiing with me again 2 yrs ago after a long layoff. She loves ungroomed snow (thank god) but really doesn't have the skills yet to go on really steep or challenging terrain. I wanted some advice on spots in these 4 mountains where we could find some decent upper blue- easy black type terrain, but not all groomed stuff. I haven't been to Colorado before, so I really don't know where to start, but from the looks some of the resort websites almost all of the blue terrain seems to be very groomed. Some is OK, but it's not my preference.

So help a first timer out- any advice on fairly easy glades, bowls, or ungroomed areas at these places. Also thinking the following plan for now to avoid crowds, obviously subject to change if snow hits one spot.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 9
Vail has tons of the type of terrain you're looking for. Most of the back bowls can be skied by strong intermediates. And because they're so wide open, if one spot seems too steep, you can always pick a mellower pitch a bit farther along (for instance, the initial drop into Genghis Khan can seem steep to intermediates, but if you go a bit more to skier's right, it mellows out significantly). Blue Sky Basin is great for easy glades. Big Rock Park is nice, and Champagne Glade is fantastic. You could ski the bowls and BSB for several days.

Also, there will be several of us skiing Summit County around that time for a pre-ESA warmup. Keep an eye on the Meet-on-the-hill section for posts if you're interested in meeting up with some locals and out-of-towners.

At Breck, hit Chair 6 and Imperial Express.
post #3 of 9
Your plan looks pretty good. I have never skied Vail, but I might swap out the day at Breck for another day at Vail.
post #4 of 9
I agree about the back bowls. A basin is pretty good for this as everything is pretty close. You can just both start at the same spot and hook up again halfway down the run and never loose sight of each other while skiing two completely different lines.

I think Keystone has a long term plan to eliminate easy black skiing. On days with good snow the Outback has some great blue/black tree skiing but a week later it turns into something a bit more challenging. It also never snows enough to cover the bumps so even on powder days it's still bump skiing, although I've come to love powder bumps. Hiking above the Outback chair does open up some not too difficult natural snow.

Have fun.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice! Despite still learning basic fundamentals, every time I have been in Vermont with her, she has much more fun on the ungroomed stuff, including fairly open glades. To quote her "real snow is fun!" after a 8 " day a Killington when we were doing laps in the thin covered east ridge area. Lucky for me! She just is very intimidated by steep or really narrow terrain, which is completely understandable given her ability level and the fact she is just kind of starting this all up again recently.

Actually, I will definitely keep an eye on the meet up page, as one day
i am going to surprise her with a lesson and free me up to do some other terrain.
post #6 of 9
I agree that an intermediate skier can ski 90% of the bowls at Vail in good conditions. Beaver Creek generally has better snow and is less crowded than either Breck or Keystone. I would hit BC on Saturday or Sunday.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
It looks like we will actually be staying in breck, I don't know if this changes my plans any. Which places will be more tolerable in terms of lines during the weekends?
post #8 of 9
For weekend skiing A-Basin & 2 others not on your list, Loveland & Beaver Creek seem to have less lines!
Unless you already have your lift tickets, I would Add Copper to the list & maybe skip Keystone.
If your getting a rental car, stop at a Shell Gas station & with 10 gals you can get a BOGO for Copper Mt. (see I just saved you $35.+).See www.freeskideals.com for the finer print.
Any way you could bring a few of the Pretzels the street Vendors sell in NYC in exchange for some discount coupons?
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I actually moved to Philly a few months ago, so I guess teh name is now outdated But, now even more enticing, I can bring some authentic philly soft pretzels, the worlds greatest street vendor pretzel, in exchange for any local hookups, especially lift tix. Actually, the reason I am looking at those specific resorts is only that I can get a really good deal of a lift and loding directly through Breckenridge (something like 215 per pass for a 4 day pass good at Breck/Keystone/ABasin and 2 days max at Vail/BC. I would actually prefer not to be locked into set in advance lift tickets, but I can't seem to find competitive prices for lift tickets anywhere but getting the whole package. I will most certainly check out A-Basin, I absolutely love Alta so it seems like it would be right up my alley.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › In need of plan for Breck/Vail/Keystone/A-Basin