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First Time in Colorado

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi,

My family is planning a ski trip to Colorado this coming season, will be there for all of Jan 2009.

We are looking at the 'epic' season pass which would give us access to Vail, Beavercreek, Breckenridge and Keystone.

There are 5 of us- Step dad who is epert skier, My mum who is advanced, my little brother (6yrs) skis mostly blues and blacks and myself, have just spent a season instructing in Whistler.

We normally ski in Whistler, but have also been to Silver Star and Big White in BC, my step dad isn't too sure about wether we should go to Colorado, or try Fernie and Lake Louise in Canada.

Any advice on which mountains to go to (we haven't definatley decided on the above), and places to look for accommodation, we want somewhere that is either ski in/ski out or on a shuttle route, as it is hard for 6yr old in ski boots, for max $250 per night.

If you stay in Avon is there easy access to both Vail and Beaver Creek?

any help would be greatly appreciated! thankyou
post #2 of 21
Welcome to Epic!

On your list, I have only been to Vail. Others who know the resort better than myself may feel differently, but I think it is good for intermediates and advanced skiers, but does not have enough super steep terrain for experts.

Could try vrbo.com to find some condo deals in CO or elsewhere and the search function on this site will supply you with lots of information about most major NA ski resorts.
post #3 of 21

Convenience of Avon

We have stayed in Avon a couple of times including this year ... Beaver Creek resort is readily available on their local (free) bus service and Vail is only 10-15 minutes away by bus (believe there is a cost for this service but have not used it for a number of years so cannot quote price). Great skiing where ever you end up
post #4 of 21
What a wonderful trip! The Epic ski pass would be fantastic for you. If you stay in Avon, you can easily take public transport to Vail and Beaver Creek. Vail is a vast mountain that has much to offer. It does have limited terrain to truly challenge a true expert, but it has enough variety to be an incredible experience anyway.

Beaver Creek, on the other hand, has plenty of terrain for both the expert and intermediate. BC is one of my favorite mountains, in no small part because the resort is much less crowded than Vail/Summit County because it is a few miles further from Denver. You might think of planning to ski the weekends at BC, and use the weekdays to explore other mountains.

If you are going to be here for a month, you should definitely check out some of the other resorts. Breckenridge is my current primary ski area. It has a vast variety of terrain. The expert skiing on the high alpine areas (Horseshoe Bowl, Peak 7, the hike to areas of the Lake Chutes and Snow White, and the variety of runs off of the E chair) is quite good, and rivals most any resort I''ve skied (except Jackson and Big Sky). There is also a vast array of intermediate terrain.

The Epic pass also provides access to A Basin. The Basin has some amazing expert terrain, including the Pali, and the North side of Montezuma Bowl. By late January there is a good chance that the East Wall will be open as well, to provide that hike to steep terrain you might like.

I don't have much use for Keystone, but many seem to enjoy it. I find it crowded and relatively uninteresting. And I feel I'm taking my life in my hands there with the converging trails and amount of traffic.

You could spend a month at a place in Canada, but a month in Colorado will provide a degree of variety that might not be available to you there.

Mike
post #5 of 21
Mike's dead on. Nice work Mike! Breck is amazing, as the Imperial Chair and the T-bar will keep you busyand grinning as long as the freshies hold out, and the trees will hold plenty long after the horseshoe and north/imperial/whale's bowls are sketched out. Breck is possibly the windiest place I've ever skied, and the T-bar gets hilariously entertaining when it gets blustery. Keystone is cool, but mainly for the $5 cat rides along the top bowl ridge and trees just below.

You can definitely find cheap places to stay in Avon along a bus route.
post #6 of 21
I agree with much of what Mike said. However, most locals would prefer to stay in a "real" town such as Frisco (I do have a condo that I rent out full-time; hint, hint), which gives easy access to all of Summit County resorts plus Vail and Beaver Creek, rather than a resort pseudo-town such as Vail or Avon. Without question, Vail offers the largest amount and diversity of ski terrain, with Breckenridge second. On a powder day, most of the truly expert skiers I know head for Vail. Um, and Vail is chock-a-block full of bad-ass steeps, but they aren't on the trail maps....
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post
On a powder day, most of the truly expert skiers I know head for Vail.
What, they feel like taking it easy?
post #8 of 21
No offense to Frisco, but Frisco is a minimum of 20 minutes on a bus to Breck plus you will have to transfer and take another bus to be dropped off at the mountain. With Vail or Beaver Creek, you will have to drive. It seems that with your family situation, Breck may be your best bet to find ski/in ski out lodging and you can easily go to other areas if you tire of Breck.
post #9 of 21
I'll 2nd the idea of staying in Breck and driving. We did it in March and had a blast. Went to Vail one day (although one day at Vail is just enough to get a taste) and did one day at Keystone (which I was plesantly surprised).
post #10 of 21
I love Breck. I learned to ski in Breck. It's a great town and a good ski area, but be warned it's a higher elevation than most ski areas. The base is over 9,000 ft. If any of your group are sensitive to altitude it will take you several days to adjust. I find the biggest impact is you do not sleep as well so you start out a little tired and of course you get winded a little faster when you're actually skiing.
There are different levels of "expert" skiing. If you're looking for terrain that includes lots of cliffs, chutes, cornices, steeps, rocks and "no fall zones" then you may be disappointed in Vail. If you're looking for an expert area with good steep black runs with big bumps, lots of ungroomed snow, lots of variety and a little something for everyone then Vail-BC may be just what you're looking for.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
wow thanks guys

im not so sure what my step dad likes, i think he prefers bowels.. (he doesnt ski with us, likes skiing on his own) but mum and i prefer chutes, steeps and glades. So far i think it looks like we will head to beaver creek, breck and vail... just trying decide wether to move to different accommodation each time, or stay somewhere where we can access beaver creek/vail and then move to breck.
post #12 of 21
one thing i noticed if you said a max of $250 per night. if so, january is peak season; and getting 2 bdrooms for $250 any weekend in january isnt easy to do in CO, especially vail+bc.
i'd check vbro.com and see about getting a condo in breck, frisco or dillon; most other places will go over $250; but you might be able to get a good deal if you let an owner know he's got at least 2 weeks of bookings.

and i'd stay in breck as its the only real ski-town that has several resorts to choose from with in 30 minutes.
post #13 of 21
The longer this thread runs, the less I agree with. skiBunni, you might want to look at the profiles of the posters and consider their locations and how many days per year they ski.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post
If you're looking for terrain that includes lots of cliffs, chutes, cornices, steeps, rocks and "no fall zones" then you may be disappointed in Vail.
This is certainly true if you stick to the Vail trail map, as most family out-of-town visitors would and should. However, most locals would laugh at this statement.

As to rentals, the State of Colorado legally defines a long-term rental as 30 days. $250 per night on a long-term rental translates to $7500. I am a Summit County ski rental landlord, and monthly winter high-season 2-BR rentals in Summit County currently typically run in the $3000-4500 range, depending on precise dates, location, and amenities. Even in Vail/BC, you should be able to find a very nice 2BR for $3500-5000, depending on exactly where and what it is. But I would not wait too long; we already have one paid-up rental for the 2008-9 ski season. Parenthetically, rentals of 30 days or over are exempt from state and local taxes, saving you 10% or more, depending on which town you are in.

Finally, if you need ski-in, ski-out, Frisco is definitely not for you. Likewise, if you won't have a car, you probably would do best staying right at a ski resort (though not necessarily ski-in, ski-out, for which you pay a premium), in which case I agree that Breckenridge probably makes the most sense. But for those who don't have little kids and do have cars, I stand by my preference for Frisco, which is more centrally located among the various Summit County resorts and and Vail/BC than is any other location, lets you go wherever the skiing is likely to be best that day, and which gives you a real town rather than Plasticville.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post
This is certainly true if you stick to the Vail trail map, as most family out-of-town visitors would and should. However, most locals would laugh at this statement.
Agreed. However, I disagree with your "plastic-ville" comment.

Vail is under a lot of construction right now, so you can get a GREAT deal. You just have to know where to look. Please pm me if you are interested.

As far as favorite resorts, well....I have a preference...duh! : One thing to consider, however, is that if Vail Pass closes, you are either stuck in Summit County (Breck, keystone, a-basin) or on the other side in Eagle County (Vail, BC). You just have to decide where you'd rather be stuck! Not likely that it would close unless it REALLY dumps! But...there you have it...my 2 cents worth!

ps...I LOVE Frisco, but I prefer to be slope-side!
post #15 of 21
One more thing....ask ANYONE in Vail about the Minturn Mile! (I'm just sayin'!)
post #16 of 21
Not to mention the "run" to Redcliffe!
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfskisleep View Post
We have stayed in Avon a couple of times including this year ... Beaver Creek resort is readily available on their local (free) bus service and Vail is only 10-15 minutes away by bus (believe there is a cost for this service but have not used it for a number of years so cannot quote price). Great skiing where ever you end up
The Green Line Runs around Vail Village, all the way to east Vail and West Vail for FREE! Most of the transportation in Vail is free....it's the parking that can cost you if you don't know where you are going!

(Ask all you want....but I will NEVER give up my free parking secrets!)
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post
No offense to Frisco, but Frisco is a minimum of 20 minutes on a bus to Breck plus you will have to transfer and take another bus to be dropped off at the mountain. With Vail or Beaver Creek, you will have to drive. It seems that with your family situation, Breck may be your best bet to find ski/in ski out lodging and you can easily go to other areas if you tire of Breck.

SkiB, this is largely what we are doing. 9 days in Breck to also visit A Basin, Keystone and Copper. Then 7 days in Vail to ski there and a day or 2 in Beaver.

Breck accom was pretty reasonable, booked through VRBO and Vail exxy, booked direct as we got an online deal if we paid early. With the US-AUS exchange rate it was attractive to do that as well.

Good luck
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post
No offense to Frisco, but Frisco is a minimum of 20 minutes on a bus to Breck plus you will have to transfer and take another bus to be dropped off at the mountain.
I haven't done it yet, but I think Breck now has a gondola that goes from the bus stop/parking lot to the resort.
post #20 of 21
[QUOTE im not so sure what my step dad likes, i think he prefers bowels.. (he doesnt ski with us, likes skiing on his own) ][/quote]

If he prefers the bowels, it's probably a good thing that he skis on his own!
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiBunni View Post
wow thanks guys

im not so sure what my step dad likes, i think he prefers bowels.. (he doesnt ski with us, likes skiing on his own) but mum and i prefer chutes, steeps and glades. So far i think it looks like we will head to beaver creek, breck and vail... just trying decide wether to move to different accommodation each time, or stay somewhere where we can access beaver creek/vail and then move to breck.
Unfortunately I was only one post too late for the bowels comment, oh well.

In any case, if he likes bowls, and you like chutes, steeps just skip Vail and go to A-Basin (or BC) if you're in CO.

Mike had it right in post #4 (except about Keystone - I've always enjoyed it there), as far as what to expect at the various areas, however if you've spent a season at WB, these places will all be a large dissappointment in terms of size, terrain, gnarness, challenge, etc., etc.

Also, this elusive locals-only expert terrain at Flail will be a mild chuckle after a season at WB. The impressive thing for you will be the quality of the snow in CO compared to WB.

Fernie or Lake Lou are both well beyond what you'll get in CO resorts as far as terrain, however, you undoubtedly know that they're COLD at that time of year, and large dumps are not their speciaty.

For a great combo of the two - go to SLC (and you'll probably find that lodging price you're looking for).

Terrain, gnar = Alberta
Weather, variety = CO
Best of both worlds - UT
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