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Breckenridge over Christmas and New Year's

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 

Hi,

Usually out west Jan-March, but this year going to be around Summit County around New Year's. How are the conditions around this time and number of trails open at Breck, Keystone, and A-Basin? Just looking at the terrain report and it seems as there are not a lot of trails being opened.

I'm thinking maybe 50% will be open by the time I arrive.

Any info would be appreciatd.



 

post #2 of 50
When I was a kid growing up here, you rarely could ski anything before Thanksgiving.  For any terrain to be open before mid-December, you had to count yourself lucky.  The advent of snowmaking has raised everyone's expectations.  January is usually when one can count on the off-piste terrain to be open, although manytimes we will get enough snow in December to open it earlier.

I was at the ESA at the Basin this weekend, but my buddy was at Breck.  Evidently, the lack of snow over the past three weeks coupled with a fair number of thaw-freeze cycles has spoilt the snow in the bowls.  A nasty ice layer formed, and the patrol has decided that it all has to come down as new snowfall is unlikely to adhere to the rotten.  So, they are starting over.

This week looks likely to bring major snowfall to the mountains, so we may soon be on our way.  Let's all keep our fingers crossed!

Mike
post #3 of 50
Median percents open Christmas week:
A-Basin 66%, Breck 78%, Copper 71%, Keystone 90%.
Median percents open mid-December:
A-Basin 35%, Breck 57%, Copper 46%, Keystone 68%.

The latter numbers are a better estimate for Christmas this year because openings are running ~ 2 weeks behind schedule due to about half normal November snowfall.  Current:
A-Basin 8%, Breck 11%, Copper 11%, Keystone 11%
Since median for Thanskgiving is around 25% open draw your own conclusions.  If it doesn't snow a lot in the next 2+ weeks it won't be pretty with Christmas crowds.
post #4 of 50
I'm heading out to Breckenridge Jan 7-11.  Should I be concerned that all the terrain won't be open?  I was looking forward to checking out the runs under Chair 6.
post #5 of 50
from bb000: I'm heading out to Breckenridge Jan 7-11.  Should I be concerned that all the terrain won't be open?  I was looking forward to checking out the runs under Chair 6.

In a word, yes.  The Chair 6 terrain is south-facing so the sun melts it.  The last storm system brought only about three inches of snow.  And the very high winds put much of it in the trees.  Who knows what will happen in a month?   The only good thing is that the cold weather is good for snowmaking, but there is none under Chair 6.  And there is only so much water for it.  

I don't want to be Mr. Gloom and Doom but neither do I work for the PR Department either.   
post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

I was at the ESA at the Basin this weekend, but my buddy was at Breck.  Evidently, the lack of snow over the past three weeks coupled with a fair number of thaw-freeze cycles has spoilt the snow in the bowls.  A nasty ice layer formed, and the patrol has decided that it all has to come down as new snowfall is unlikely to adhere to the rotten.  So, they are starting over.

Mike
 

I mostly understand what you are saying Mike, but don't understand the part about starting over??  How can you get rid of the rotten layer?
post #7 of 50
Bomb the hell out of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post




I mostly understand what you are saying Mike, but don't understand the part about starting over??  How can you get rid of the rotten layer?
 
post #8 of 50
Well, I guess I'll pray to the snow gods every day for the next month.  If all the terrain isn't open when I'm out there, do you have any other suggestions of who will have most, if not all, of their terrain open?  To be honest, I never thought that I'd have this worry when I booked a trip in January.
post #9 of 50
I feel sorry for anyone who has a trip booked to Summit County right now. Just got back from a trip there and in the 30 years i've been skiing Colorado, I've never seen it this sparce. And it's going to need major dumps and multiple dumps to get to normal.

My advice, change your flight plans as soon as possible and rebook in February.
post #10 of 50
 One storm & things will be fine, next storm is on track for Sunday. It's been to cold to snow the past 10 days.
post #11 of 50
I'm in the same boat - coming to Breck from overseas early Jan for 2 weeks with family in tow.  Got our Epic Passes and super excited to be visiting CO for the first time! 

Presumably, if there is minimal precip over next few weeks, we will be skiing on man made.  For the ignorant like me, how extensive are the snowmaking facilities at Breck & Vail in particular?  We can all ski reasonably well and were very much looking forward to a few runs off the top of Peak 8.  Which of the Summit resorts would be best skiing if heavily reliant on snowmaking? 

Thanks
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post

I feel sorry for anyone who has a trip booked to Summit County right now. Just got back from a trip there and in the 30 years i've been skiing Colorado, I've never seen it this sparce. And it's going to need major dumps and multiple dumps to get to normal.

My advice, change your flight plans as soon as possible and rebook in February.
Never count on the weather there.  One season when I was working there we had one 100' wide trail open (Silverthorne...one big flat parking lot for those of you who don't know the place) and it was warm and the grass .....yeah grass on the trails was still green.   On a Thursday just a few days before Christmas it started to snow and didn't stop for 5 days.

The result.  The airport was closed....not as in delayed.....as in National Guard came in to help DENVER.  I -70.....the Guard couldn't even make a dent in the 20' drifts all the way to the tunnel, so no customers on Christmas week.  They opened areas on the mountain that anyone could get to....as in we can't get the lift operators up to the lift.  E-lift had at least 5'.  I never hit bottom anywhere I went, but we also couldn't ski to the bottom of E-lift......too flat.  So we went as far as we could, took off our skis and dug a trail. Turns out the surface was above our heads.  It was quite the late start that year.

The moral of the story.....Lars......SugarCube warned you about talking negatively about the Steelers on another thread. http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/85807/steelers-baby/30#post_1154031 
post #13 of 50
Got to laugh at that one Uncle Louie. Steelers still suck though.

Actually, my trip to Colorado wasn't specifically to ski. Skiing was a sidelight. The main reason was to help a friend who has cancer and didn't want to travel alone to visit his daughter and friends in Boulder. He lived in Louisville for 20 some years and thought this  could be his last trip there and as he used to be a good skier, we decided to bring along skis.

What little skiing we did was more than enough to satisfy him, not me though, and he got to ski Eldora. A place where he worked for 12 years with the handicap skier program. I agree that a couple big dumps will open much more terrain as it always does. The point being, even if it does, it's still not going to be great skiing and what will be open won't be technical stuff.

That's the chance people take. Me? oh I still had fun cause the partying was still good.
post #14 of 50
If the weather reports pan out looks like respectable pow heading to WNY. After last night's Steelers- Browns contest it has been confirmed, the Steelers do in fact suck. Its like a skier that could ski anything on the mountain, now not being able to get down the beginners hill!  The past 5 weeks of games have been extremely painful to watch.

Glad skiing is finally here in this neck of the woods.
post #15 of 50
Pow is indeed here today. several inches and feet in many places.

HV is open and going good. But, rain is forecast next week again and warm temps this weekend. So, get it while you can.

As for the Steelers, I mentioned early on their O line was suspect. Now do you believe me?

Of course, my Jets aren't much better.
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post



What little skiing we did was more than enough to satisfy him, not me though, and he got to ski Eldora. A place where he worked for 12 years with the handicap skier program.
 

This is kind of off topic, but I just wanted to say that the handicap skier program at Eldora is really top notch. Last season one of the network morning shows (I think it was Good Morning America) sent Al Roker out there to do a piece on the program. I've rode the lifts with some of the people that work in that program, and they are really passionate about it.

Moral of the story, Eldora is awesome and way underrated.
post #17 of 50
Don't get too worried about the Summit County conditions yet.  We've got plenty of time before January for a couple of big storms to open everything up.  And all we need is a couple of big storms...

Mike
post #18 of 50
Any udates on Breck's current conditions?  Do they have any more of the mountain open?
post #19 of 50
 http://www.breckenridge.com/mountain/terrain-status.aspx

It went from 16% to 21%.  Looks mostly to be adds on Peak 7 under the chair.
post #20 of 50
I was up at Breck yesterday. Not too much is open yet, but it looks like they are one or two good storms away from opening a lot up. Most of the unopened trails are covered (no grass or anything), but the base isn't quite deep enough yet for skiing. It snowed yesterday (and through today), but it was also really windy. Towards the afternoon, most of the new powder had been blown off, and I was skiing on ice. Hopefully some of the new snowfall sticks.
post #21 of 50
Thanks for the updates.  I won't be out until Jan. 7, so I'm not too worried yet.  But, I've never skied Breck, and want as much to be open as possible.
post #22 of 50
Patrol yesterday said they were going to open some of Horseshoe Bowl next weekend.  We had 3-4 inches during the day today while I was at Copper; imagine Breck had something similar.  A couple of good snows and it will be better.

That being said, the skiing did not suck at Copper today.  Yesterday at Breck wasn't too bad either.  Of course, we'd all like to see more terrain open, but it'll be here soon enough.  

Mike
post #23 of 50
That's good to hear, both the additional terrain opening up and the skiing being pretty good.  Thanks for the updates.
post #24 of 50
The T-Bar is open.

Off to skier's left, Pika, Ptarmigan, White Crown, and Forget-Me-Not are open.  Lots of wind-scoured/buffed areas, but also good soft snow if you look for it.  Coverage is sketchy though -- definitely have to watch out for stuff.

Off to skier's right, Contest Bowl and far skier's right of Horseshoe Bowl are open.  Some hard bumps, but also some very good lines.  Coverage is sketchy just at the top in the trees as you enter the bowls.  The main gut of Horseshoe is not open yet -- there's a big rock strata that has no cover.
post #25 of 50
Any chance 6 chair or the imperial express will be open in 3 weeks?
post #26 of 50
yes.  And there's a chance it won't be.  But the odds are that it'll be open.

Mike
post #27 of 50
With Christmas only 2 days away, and my trip only 2 weeks away, any new terrain updates for Breck and Vail?
post #28 of 50
Seriously, how hard is it to check the resort websites for terrain status and updates?
post #29 of 50
Seriously, how hard is it not be such an asshole.
post #30 of 50
Based on some reports from other boards, be thankful you aren't going over Christmas week.  It sounds like this is going to be a trainwreck conditions wise at the Summit/Eagle County resorts, no snow and holiday crowds..  The stuff I am reading says ice, rocks and brown patches.  We leave this weekend for Steamboat and it is supposed to be no better there.  There is talk of a pattern change around the 1st that should allow some snow, but that is 9 days off so take it for what it is worth.

If anyone has some firsthand observations I would be glad to hear'em.
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