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Breck or Keystone or A-Basin or Loveland?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
We're recent arrivals in Broomfield, CO, from Washington State.

We've been skiing since mid-October, mostly at Loveland, which has been great. We also have the 5-mountain Vail pass.

But, every time we venture down into Breck or Keystone, it becomes a mob-scene, with nicer lifts and services, but a LOT more crowds, traffic, hassel (long treks from car unless you pay $15 for parking), and less snow.

Does this change mid-season? When more lifts open at Breck and Keystone, do the crowds spread over more terrain? Does the "snow gap" between Loveland and the others lessen?

It's still early season, so I don't know if it'll always feel simpler at Loveland.

We haven't tried A-basin yet. Once they open more terrain, we'll see how they compare to the rest of Summit.
post #2 of 27
I know what you're saying. I travel to CO from the East to ski 4-5 times a year and have seen that same situation at the big name resorts there mostly on weekends.

But I would still have to say that once you do finally get on the mountain (on a non-holiday weekend) those crowds do thin out as compared to the East and snow conditions are almost always good.

That all said, I always lean towards skiing at Loveland, A-Basin and even Solvista (and look forward to the other Gems someday) just to avoid crowds and be able to park within easy walking distance to a lodge.

I'm flying out tonight to ski 3 days and will probably ski Copper tomorrow and Loveland on the weekend to (hopefully) avoid some of the crowds.
post #3 of 27
It's always possible to be in a crowd at a big resort. As you learn your way around you'll learn where to go when to avoid most of it. Right now it's a zoo with so little terrain open and so few options.

I've got to say I'm pretty disappointed with Keystone right now. You couldn't ski during Thanksgiving with only two runs open and all the people. We skipped last weekend because of the "36 hours" and now two weeks and one storm later they are reporting one more run open. I've got to think if they're making snow they're saving it for the Christmas holiday.
post #4 of 27
[quote=William Tell;815862].

That all said, I always lean towards skiing at Loveland, A-Basin and even Solvista (and look forward to the other Gems someday) just to avoid crowds and be able to park within easy walking distance to a lodge.
quote]

Capt S, Eldora is good for close parking too. It's not in your ticket plan, but if you catch a one-time discount ticket it's worth checking out.
post #5 of 27

Ski during week

I'm fortunate to be able to ski during the week [alas, unfortunate to work the weekend], and my history with Summit county is great during the week. Like others said, as you figure out the mountain, lift lines are usually fine at some areas, but not such at others.

Keystone's mountain cams show a lot of snow from last night. I'm heading up there next week, and trust that they'll have more terrain open. They've had a teaser about opening North Mtn on their website for a week now. There's more snow in the predictions.

Regards,

-Z
post #6 of 27
They reported 9" from last night. Hopefully things will be opening soon.
post #7 of 27
Should have bought a classic pass. Aspen's going to absolutely go OFF this weekend!

Seriously, get up real early Saturday and drive up and get a room.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post

Does this change mid-season? When more lifts open at Breck and Keystone, do the crowds spread over more terrain? Does the "snow gap" between Loveland and the others lessen?

It's still early season, so I don't know if it'll always feel simpler at Loveland.
No--it'll probably get worse. And, not usually.

It will always feel simpler at Loveland. However, once you get on the hill at Breck, Vail, etc., you can usually find spots where you can avoid the crowds. Till you get back to the lift.

Skiing during the week helps at the VR places. Also, skiing during a storm is usually better as the crowds stay in. For example, I once skied Breck the day after x-mas in a storm and the place was empty. The next day was clear weather and, consequently, the hill was a mob scene with hour lift lines. Last time I ever skied Breck.

Just wait till you see the weekend traffic in late Jan and Feb.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
Should have bought a classic pass. Aspen's going to absolutely go OFF this weekend!

Seriously, get up real early Saturday and drive up and get a room.
I have this weekend off so I've seriously been thinking about grabbing some Real Deals and heading there this weekend. The heavier snowfalls are predicted for the southern mountains. I'm drooling for some knee deep freshies. Had some awesome powder for a few runs Sunday morning at WP and got a good fix but now I'm starting to shake. Powder :::

Breckenridge is always a mob scene on weekends since they started the 5 mtn pass. I'd go on weekdays or hit up Loveland and A-Basin.
post #10 of 27
yes, loveland's always going to be less crowded than the big resort mountains, and it's a lot better drive back on weekends. everyone just blows by it since it's not a "real" resort and not on the summit lift ticket.

if you can ski sunday afternoons, you'd have a lot more for you while everyone has headed back to denver.
also, the outback at keystone and the montezma express are likely to be less crowded.
at breck, the mercury superchair is usually the least crowded except during peak times over most anything else.
cant speak for anything else as i hadnt figured out the patterns anywhere else yet(definitely am not spending enough time skiing).
post #11 of 27
If 'nicer lifts and services' are important to you, you are probably going to be disappointed in A-Basin.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post
They reported 9" from last night. Hopefully things will be opening soon.
http://keystone.snow.com/mtninfo.terrain.asp

Opened North Peak

-Z
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the feedback.

Unfortunately, mid-week skiing isn't in the cards. We'll likely take 2 Mondays per month off, which may be a good time to hit the Vail Pass resorts.

Otherwise, we may stick mostly with Loveland and A-Basin. Resort trimmings don't entice us. I enjoy a good microbrew apres. But, Tommyknockers in Idaho Springs satisfies that need aplenty (fabulous 8.6% Amber Bock at altitude - good for unwinding, but not driving).

Although we haven't skied A-Basin yet, I'm confident I'll like it. We prefer the simpler vibe.

When we go to the major resorts, I feel like a mark. $15 parking fees, dense traffic, and throngs on the hill aren't inducements.

At Whistler, we learned how to cope with Disneyland; fitting between the cracks. Beneath the gloss and glitter, Whistler's genuine vibe can still be found. Perhaps we'll find the same in Summit.

I wonder if I'll still feel the need for 2 passes next year.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DockerZ View Post

The website said expert only terrain, so no Prospector, Alamo? At least the bumps won't be huge yet.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by daysailer1 View Post
I have this weekend off so I've seriously been thinking about grabbing some Real Deals and heading there this weekend. The heavier snowfalls are predicted for the southern mountains. I'm drooling for some knee deep freshies. Had some awesome powder for a few runs Sunday morning at WP and got a good fix but now I'm starting to shake. Powder :::...

didn't I see you Saturday? great powder. I think only Silverton and WC are reporting a higher base (and I think we're seriously under-reporting the amount).
post #16 of 27
You saw me briefly Saturday. I made three runs and then I ended up taking off to Snowmass. I got stuck for about 15 min on the Olympia lift and got annoyed. I don't know what Snowmass is reporting but I found waist deep powder. memo to self - don't ever fall in waist deep powder. They have a phenomenal amount of terrain open. I saw some old friends too. Got to play in some natural half-pipes on the Burn too. yummy. Still lots of untracked powder in the trees off Sneaky's and Mick's. I just couldn't get to it all. I didn't see a whole lotta people either. I just flew up the lift-line maze, stepped out of my back binding and jumped back on the chair. I had runs all to myself with no one in sight. My back hurts and my legs are stiff. Lots of vitamin "I" tonight. I'll be at Copper on Friday and Winter Park on Saturday.
post #17 of 27
Oly was a zoo all weekend; but, SuperGauge moved really fast, and really good snow on Sunday at the Jane, altho' it was crud/leftovers, not powder.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by daysailer1 View Post
You saw me briefly Saturday. I made three runs and then I ended up taking off to Snowmass. I got stuck for about 15 min on the Olympia lift and got annoyed. I don't know what Snowmass is reporting but I found waist deep powder. memo to self - don't ever fall in waist deep powder. They have a phenomenal amount of terrain open. I saw some old friends too. Got to play in some natural half-pipes on the Burn too. yummy. Still lots of untracked powder in the trees off Sneaky's and Mick's. I just couldn't get to it all. I didn't see a whole lotta people either. I just flew up the lift-line maze, stepped out of my back binding and jumped back on the chair. I had runs all to myself with no one in sight. My back hurts and my legs are stiff. Lots of vitamin "I" tonight. I'll be at Copper on Friday and Winter Park on Saturday.
Yeah, I can barely walk upright. Next time you make it up to the RFV drop me a PM.
post #19 of 27
Sorry I didn't call Shred. I'm glad you had fun too. I was kind of sleepwalking all weekend. I ended up staying in the hostel in Glenwood Springs. Some women there were olympic snorers!: The house has rather interesting characteristics too.: It was extremely cheap, the people were all nice, and I scored free food. I did see an AYC "Sail Aspen" sticker in the Rodeo lot yesterday. Didn't recognize the car.

I don't remember hitting anything but my legs have bruises this morning.:
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
... snip ...
When we go to the major resorts, I feel like a mark. $15 parking fees, dense traffic, and throngs on the hill aren't inducements.

At Whistler, we learned how to cope with Disneyland; fitting between the cracks. Beneath the gloss and glitter, Whistler's genuine vibe can still be found. Perhaps we'll find the same in Summit.

I wonder if I'll still feel the need for 2 passes next year.
The key to these places is avoiding the lift lines and finding the goods. You've missed it now, but Breck has a $169 season long unlimited group less program that is good Thurs-Sun. This program puts you with a ski instructor, lets you cut the lift line, and you get taken to the best spots on the mountain. I generally ski the level 9 group, and it is hard core. The instructor will give you a few pointers, but generally serves as a guide.

Keystone has just instituted a $200 unlimited Sunday lesson package. Same sort of deal.

VR does not advertise these programs, but they are available to season pass holders. Unfortunately, I think sales stopped Dec. 10.

Mike
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hey Mike:

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
The key to these places is avoiding the lift lines and finding the goods. You've missed it now, but Breck has a $169 season long unlimited group less program that is good Thurs-Sun. This program puts you with a ski instructor, lets you cut the lift line, and you get taken to the best spots on the mountain. I generally ski the level 9 group, and it is hard core. The instructor will give you a few pointers, but generally serves as a guide.

Keystone has just instituted a $200 unlimited Sunday lesson package. Same sort of deal.

VR does not advertise these programs, but they are available to season pass holders. Unfortunately, I think sales stopped Dec. 10.

Mike
Thanks for the info.

We'll keep on sights on these packages next year. I remember you mentioning this program last summer, but we forgot.

At $169, it's a steal!
post #22 of 27
I'll just echo what most others have said. On weekends and around christmas, Breck is crazy busy with out-of-towners. So there are big lift lines and lots of dangerous skiing going on. Loveland is quiet, close and cheap. I've never been in a lift line more than 20 people deep at loveland. When they get a little more snow, loveland has a lot of good terrain. The lifts are slower at loveland, but i think that's a good thing! Hard to find a table in the lodge though.
post #23 of 27
Cap'n, it's worth a call to the Breck Ski and Ride school to see if you can still get the deal. And I'm not certain that the Keystone program has expired, so you might give them a call.

Mike
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
Cap'n, it's worth a call to the Breck Ski and Ride school to see if you can still get the deal. And I'm not certain that the Keystone program has expired, so you might give them a call.

Mike
We'll give it a shot!
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
We just arranged for friends to join us over the holidays. Natch, they wanna ski.

I couldn't imagine the I-70 commute on Dec. 27, 28 & 29. So, we looked for lodging almost anywhere in Summit. We have passes for everything except Copper, so anywhere would do.

We found 2 rooms still available at the Comfort Inn for $279 per night, each. Otherwise, nada. Condo's, of course, are scarce.

We finally decided to stay in Idaho Springs, and ski Loveland.

It seems like we're constantly winding-up at Loveland.

Later in the season, when the ruckus dies down, we'll ski the other areas more.

Once the season is over, we'll assess value. I wonder if we'll feel motivated to buy the Vail 5-mountain passes again, or, just hang at Loveland.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
It seems like we're constantly winding-up at Loveland.
That's not such a bad thing neighbor.

You had to buy it at least once and try it out and experience conditions for yourself.

Toward the end of the season things will die down. The weather will start getting warm and people in Denver will lose interest in the snow. The snow doesn't stop falling and the conditions get even better. Use your 5 mtn pass then. Of course I'll be at Loveland then.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daysailer1 View Post
That's not such a bad thing neighbor.

You had to buy it at least once and try it out and experience conditions for yourself.

Toward the end of the season things will die down. The weather will start getting warm and people in Denver will lose interest in the snow. The snow doesn't stop falling and the conditions get even better. Use your 5 mtn pass then. Of course I'll be at Loveland then.
Yeah! I hear ya!

Spring is my favorite season of the year for skiing. A great vibe!
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