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Better Choice for "Skiing the Whole Mountain"?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
As I continue to plan the February trip, I've begun to wonder if Copper's a better choice than Breckenridge for our group for a midweek day. I had planned on Breckenridge (to leverage the Vail Resorts ticket), but looking at the 3d map on the weather.com, it looks like most of the green runs start halfway down the mountain. There are people in our group who may not be comfortable skiing blues, so would they miss out on seeing the good parts of the mountain? (At least at Vail, you can pretty much cover 95% of the mountain on green runs. Even if you miss the really cool skiing, you get most of the scenery.) Based on those maps, Copper seems to do a better job of putting green skiers up at the top of the hill where they can get the full panoramic view.

I was really excited about seeing the town in Breckenridge, and excited to see what I've seen in so many pictures, but if I'm limited to greens/easy blues while I'm there, will I get the full (visual) experience? Or is Copper a better choice to meet that criteria? I've heard about the separation of different levels of terrain, etc, so I guess this is probably a by-product of that.

It just seems that at some mountains, you have to be an expert skier to see the postcard shots. At others, you can see them from any level of terrain. I'd hate to end up at one of those, and never have the opportunity to ride the lift all the way to the top because I don't feel comfortable with the only options to get down...

post #2 of 6
If you have more than one day, why not ski both?

At Copper you can take a beginner all the way to the top of Storm King (the Poma lift) and they can ski to the bottom on greens. The run from the top of Storm King might not be marked as a green, but it skis like one.

It's worth driving over to Breck to see the town - it's about 30 minutes from Copper. Skip the tour of Copper's village.
post #3 of 6
How do you cover 95% of Vail on only green runs? What about the back bowls or Blue Sky Basin?

I'd still recommend Breck, it's got a lot of good skiing for beginners and intermediate skiers and it's allround a lot 'prettier' than Copper.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I know you can't get all of it on greens at Vail, but you at least get to the top of the front side. And the China Bowl and Blue Sky Basin blues aren't too threatening.

I guess it may seem silly to choose a mountain based on how "pretty" it is, but realistically, at the beginner and intermediate level, that can be a compelling reason to ski somewhere new. It's not because they've got the best tree skiing, or the wildest steeps, or whatever... To some degree, a groomer is a groomer is a groomer. The only real difference is the scenery and the "cultural" differences...

post #5 of 6
Especially if you have never been. The rockies as a whole are a postcard. You will see postcard vistas from the roads going to and from the resorts. That being said, If it's either / or . . . Breck
post #6 of 6
Breck and Copper are pretty different areas. Breckenridge has lots of flats. It also has lots of great advanced terrain -- but it can be difficult to find it without a local or ski instructor to help guide you to it. I was not a fan of Breckenridge until I started their lesson program and the instructors opened my eyes to the fantastic expert terrain that does exist there.

Copper, on the other hand, has a more consistent pitch to its terrain. It has naturally divided terrain, meaning that the expert stuff is generally together, as is the green stuff or the blue stuff. Lifts often primarily serve one type of terrain. There is also some great expert terrain at Copper. One of its limitations, however, is lower green terrain -- not to say that there is none at Copper, but that there is a lot less of it than at other resorts. This is a defiiciency relative to Breck.

I've not skied Copper this year, but reports are that skier visits are down substantially (probably due to the way they jacked up season pass prices). Depending on when you are going, you might find it less crowded at Copper than at Breck.

But, there is not much of a base village at Copper, meaning that if some of your group tires of skiing while the rest are still engaged, they will have less options to find alternative entertainment that if they were at Breck.

Hope this helps,
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