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Leave Breck for Vail???

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
It's almost time for my yearly one week trip to Breck from Pennsylvania. A few of the women I'm traveling with are thinking about leaving breck for a day to check out Vail.

We only have a total of 6 ski days. I'm wondering if it's worth leaving one resort (spending the time on a bus taking us to Vail and back). The skiing is included in our ski pass so the lift ticket is not an issue. What does Vail have to offer the skier that Breck doesn't?

Just not sure I want to spend any part of my "ski time" on the road. I will if it's "worth it"...but not just to say I went to "Vail". Any advice?
post #2 of 35

Crazy if you don't

I did this trip last year. We had a house on the hill at Breck and made a day trip to Vail. What we did the next day answers your question. We went back to Vail.

We went to Big White in BC this year and refer to our Colorado trip as our trip to Vail.

Vail was the highlight of our trip. We stayed at Breck, but also skied, A-Basin, Keystone and Copper - PLus Vail.

My advice is to rent a car in Denver (assuming that is your arrival point). If you book online, it is cheaper than the shuttle and it allows you so much freedom. All these other hills are only 20-40 minutes away. One day we had no fresh snow at Breck so we went to Keystone 20 minutes away which had 4 inches. Same with our first day at Vail. No new snow at Breck, but 6 inches at Vail.

Vail rocks.
post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug123Bug View Post
What does Vail have to offer the skier that Breck doesn't?
I definitely would but since you have a group, I'd rent a car for a couple days and hit Beaver Creek (BC) as well. If you want to maximize your time forget the bus. Time is money and the drive is easy and scenic unless it's a snowstorm. Breck, Vail, and BC are all very different. Do some apres there and have a blast. A good day for BC would be a Saturday as it will be less crowded than Breck or Vail.
post #4 of 35
Yes, go to Vail if you are an intermediate to strong skier. Vail's backside bowls are huge and offer seemingly endless skiing. Vail is twice as big as Breck.
post #5 of 35
If you go to Vail by car, just be prepared to pay $25 for parking.
post #6 of 35
Yea, further. If I were an intermediate-advanced skier I think Vail would be much better than Breck overall. Just many more options, wider runs, etc. If you're an expert I think you'd want to go more the Beaver Creek / A-basin directions.
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug123Bug View Post
It's almost time for my yearly one week trip to Breck from Pennsylvania. A few of the women I'm traveling with are thinking about leaving breck for a day to check out Vail.

We only have a total of 6 ski days. I'm wondering if it's worth leaving one resort (spending the time on a bus taking us to Vail and back). The skiing is included in our ski pass so the lift ticket is not an issue. What does Vail have to offer the skier that Breck doesn't?

Just not sure I want to spend any part of my "ski time" on the road. I will if it's "worth it"...but not just to say I went to "Vail". Any advice?
Umm, yes, you should do this. Flail isn't my favorite, but if you haven't been, you should see what it's all about - the back bowls, Blue Sky etc.

It is massive, and a nice respite from Breck.

Try A-Bain and see what that's about too - the anti-resort.
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Guess I'll make the trip!
post #9 of 35
We hadn't hit Vail for quite a while so last year we took a day to go there. The front side wasn't quite as fun for us as the runs at Breck but the back bowls were a different story. They had about a foot of new powder so we spent the whole day in powder. I was toast by the end of the day.

Anyway, if Vail was just the front side, I'd say "whatever," but the bowls are a blast. Lots of fun if there's new snow too.
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
The women going ski at different levels. All can do Blue, some blue/black with few black. No bumps or tricks. Same advice?
post #11 of 35
The gals can't do bumps or tricks? How about a grind or two .

Anyway, same advice. If you're intimidated by the bowls you can always take the cattrack around (but pray for pow and hit them instead), and there's some fine intermediate stuff on Blue Sky, as well as the front face (some would argue maybe too much).

You'll have a fine time.
post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
I can do "bumps" but not well. Now "grind"...that's an entirely different story.
post #13 of 35
The first time I went to Vail I was an intermediate. Half way down the first bowl I thought I died and gone to heaven!

Suddenly, skiing wasn't just a hobby any more!

(now that I've been to other places, the back bowl of Vail doesn't have the same effect any more. Why? )
post #14 of 35
Some decisions in life are hard, this isn't one of them, go to Vail. My wife and I just got back from a four day "weekend" in Vail and it was fantastic. Our family goes to Breck just about every year and we like it a lot, but Breck doesn't have anything like the back bowls or Blue Sky Basin. Both have plenty of terrain your group would enjoy. China Bowl and In the Wuides are great intermediate terrain and there are some great cruisers on the front side. If your group is feeling a little more adventurous, there are always a few blacks that are groomed and if you get some snow, some of the black bump runs are very forgiving as well.
post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 
This information is all very interesting. I must say that for the last few years when I met people on the lifts at Breck who have been to Vail, their advice was "stay here".

Staying "here" is easy because coming from PA, Breck is so big I don't get tired of it. Staying at Beaver Run and skiing out the door is convenient. After reading all your comments I am wondering. Guess I'll share your comments with the other ladies and let them decide.

Although, I am reading a lot about the bowls on the backside and I know we are not "at that level" yet. So confused. But appreciate ALL OF YOUR COMMENTS. So thank you!
post #16 of 35
Bug, you should go for it! You are so much closer to Vail when you are at Breck than when you are at home.

Seriously, China Bowl will be a delight for even the the greenest of the blues in your group. There is nothing like the vast vistas and liberation of skiing the Bowls. Prior to my initial Vail trip, I wondered what could be soooo different about these mythical Back Bowls. Once I saw them and my Atomics hit the snow, I knew. It is so liberating to have a wide open line and only my wicked she-ski spirit to guide me. It is sublime and surreal!

China Bowl has some groomed blues and "The Slot" (black) is frequently groomed, too. I would skip the front side and head straight to the Bowls. Definitely stop at the top of the lift and talk to one of the mountain guides. Tell them this is your first jaunt to the Back Bowls and tell them about your groups' skills and quests. I do that every trip out there. They want you to have a great time, they know those bowls and they know what is sweet that day. I have never had a miss!

Go west, Bug...further West.
Let it snow!
post #17 of 35
Thread Starter 
Okay, Okay...you have convinced me. WE ARE GOING WEST!
post #18 of 35
Doooooo Itttttttt.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug123Bug View Post
when I met people on the lifts at Breck who have been to Vail, their advice was "stay here".
People form opinions on ski areas based on many reasons many of which are strange. One person's most favorite can easily be another's least favorite. Experience it for yourself and form your own opinion.
post #20 of 35
Definitely go to Vail!

My girlfriend and I skied Vail from Jan 3 to Jan 9 (jan 8 went to Beaver Creek) and had a blast!
They reported 40 inches in 6/7 days after a very snowy december

Sure there is a lot of intermediate terrain in China Bowl, Game creek bowl, Blue sky...

The Town of Breck IMO is much more fun than Vail Village... but the sking in Vail is HUGE
post #21 of 35
Go to Vail.... Blue Sky is just great! Lots of possibilities with the backside! The front is ok also, but the back.... look out!
post #22 of 35
The bowls work well for a mixed level group like yours. China Bowl almost always has a nice wide groomed section that is a blue intermediate run. More advanced skiers in the group can drop in or cut across to other parts of the bowl for more fun. A low level intermediate can ski China Bowl so start with that one. Also, on the front side, the Game Creek bowl has relatively short greens, blues and blacks leading to the same lift out of it. I don't think of it as a true bowl as the backside bowls are but it would be another good place to start. Get a trail map to see where else they may have groomed that day. Yonder in Sun Up (maybe its Sundown bowl) bowl is often groomed. Also, as another said above, there are some blue roads that circle the bowls around to the bottom (the better skiers can drop in where they choose, meeting up at the bottom). Blue Sky Basin usually has at least a couple of groomed runs that everyone in your group should be able to do. To make the most of the Vail experience and avoid lift lines, start at the ends of Vail at either Lionshead or Golden Peak. The Vail Village lift is usually most crowded. Also, go to Vail mid-week to cut down on the crowds (crowds and the lift lines out of the village are usually the reasons people don't care for Vail, as well as that it lacks the steeps).
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by breckview View Post
People form opinions on ski areas based on many reasons many of which are strange. One person's most favorite can easily be another's least favorite. Experience it for yourself and form your own opinion.
Now there is the best advice! Really, how can some random person you meet on the lift say what you will or won't like? I really like Vail but I understand those who don't. I know people who love Keystone and hate A-Basin and vice versa. I'm not a huge fan of Breck but I also haven't had a tour of the upper parts so I know I can't really pass a true judgment there. I've had people report that all they did at Vail was push themselves around flats but if you know the way to go there is very little of that to do. So, go give it a try and then decide whether you'll do it again.
post #24 of 35
Id definitely try to make it there, although if you dont have a car it will be expensive. Fresh Tracks will drive you in the morning and back for around $35, but if its a large group of people it just might be too expensive. Still, Vail is a totally different experience, huge and very impressive. Id do it!
post #25 of 35
I skied Breck and Vail a few weeks ago, and Vail was infinitely better.

The only suggestion I'll add is go to Vail early in your trip (maybe the second day?), so that if you love it, you can go back.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by breckview View Post
People form opinions on ski areas based on many reasons many of which are strange. One person's most favorite can easily be another's least favorite. Experience it for yourself and form your own opinion.
+1000.

My one picture opinion of...

Beaver Creek:


Breckenridge:


Vail:


A-Basin:


All Good IMO...I'll watch for your opinion once you post your TR
post #27 of 35
personally, if i was in Summit County for 6 days i'd ski a different resort each day (unless the ticket deal you have restricts where you ride).

also, the bus system throughout Summit and Eagle counties is pretty solid, from what i hear. i've known a few Bears/Maggots who don't drive/rent vehicles when in Colo that use the PT and have no problems getting shuttled from say Frisco to Beaver Creek or Vail or Copper.

so, i would humbly suggest that if you are able to ski at a variety of resorts on the ticket deal you have, sample as many as you can. that way you'll get a feel for the ones you like immediately and have a better idea of where you'd like to ride the next time around.

that said, i'd toss in a vote for The Beav over Vail...and if you really wanted to kick up the heat, drive a wee bit extra and hit up one of the mountains in Aspen (I've only been to Highlands and it rocked).
post #28 of 35
Don that picture of someone on the cornice at A-Basin is cracking me up. It looks like they're trying to see into an abyss of white and the wind isn't cooperating.

You coming up to Keystone tomorrow?
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by COSkiGirl View Post
Don that picture of someone on the cornice at A-Basin is cracking me up. It looks like they're trying to see into an abyss of white and the wind isn't cooperating.

You coming up to Keystone tomorrow?
Right about that. Actually that's me looking down trying to time a drop into “Jump” from Zuma Cornice while the wind was whipping up the snowfall. Fellow bear Songfta took the shot last April. Funny, while I’ve launched off that thing a hundred times…I found myself a bit cautious when I can’t actually see the bottom. Wind did not let up…fun drop in. That’s A-Basin.

Insofar as Keystone...No. I gave TC a PM. We’re on the other side of Vail Pass this Super-weekend.

BTW; did you notice that was you and Betsy in the Vail shot above?

[...sorry for the sideslip Bug123Bug. Now back to regular programing ]
post #30 of 35
I thought it was you but since I've never seen you in that blue coat I wasn't sure. And yes I noticed that was me and Betsy above. One of the best Christmas days I've had in a long time.

Sorry we'll miss you at Key. I'm staying on the other side of the pass as well Friday night but alas will be coaching at Copper on Saturday.

Sorry for the further hijack...
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