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Going to ski resorts by yourself - Page 2

post #31 of 53
Flip, go for it!!  I have done solo trips often (Tahoe and Santa Fe most recently).  Both times driving through major snow storms in areas I was totalyy unfamiliar with.

In addition to the thrill of skiing new exciting terrain you get all the adventure of exploring a new place, meeting new people, etc.

Also, fyi, there are a few similar threads out there on this same topic if you are looking for more insight.

Regarding riding lifts with strangers.  There are threads on that too but its no different than riding with strangers in your own ski area.  Kinda fun to tell people you're from another planet and came to visit their ski slope and sometimes you meet fellow skiers from other planets as well.
post #32 of 53
I'm afraid your information is incorrect.  The Colorado chain law applies to commercial vehicles only.  If it is bad enough to need chains on a passenger car, your are already in trouble as the interstate will be jammed up and not moving.


Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Ask if there is an option to get the rental car with a set of chains in the trunk. If you get lucky you will probably need them. 

They shut I-70 down and only allow vehicles with 4WD or chains through when it dumps big there.
post #33 of 53
Originally Posted by Flipadelphia View Post

Yikes, speaking of rental cars, should I ask for a ski rack as well? I have an SUV so I have plenty of room to put my skis in the trunk and they come up into the back seat. I think I am getting a pretty small rental car (Hyundai Accent), and I'm not sure if they will even fit in a car like that.

Don't worry about a ski rack, especially if you are by yourself.  Almost all sedans have a back seat that folds down, just put the skis inside.
post #34 of 53
Naw, stick with the little rental and get the mileage.  Save the $ for beer and important things.  Put the skis inside, it's a rental.
post #35 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info everybody. I'm starting to get nervous about this trip. I've never been to these places before and I really don't know what to expect. I know it's nothing like the places I've been skiing at. I'm afraid since I'm by myself I am going to be intimidated and have no clue what to do or where to go. Can anyone help calm my fears? Is it pretty simple to figure out where you're going and what to do once you get there?
post #36 of 53
I don't know how the ski resorts are where you have skied, but the biggest challenge may be parking.  Getting to the resorts is very easy, but parking can be confusing at the large resorts.  They often have multiple parking lots/areas with different levels of cost, many of which are not marked clearly, if at all.  I'd suggest looking up the resort/village/parking map and cross-referencing with Google Maps to make sure you know exactly where to go for parking.  Once you park, make a note of exactly where you parked and what bus/route/village/area you are on/in so you can return at the end of the day (in the dark).

After you park, just follow all the skiers/boarders.  The big resorts all have multiple base areas, so look up a map, figure out where to start, and go there.  You can always ask any of the resort employees (shuttle bus driver, liftie, instructor, or dedicated information ambassadors) for help if you're lost/unsure.
post #37 of 53
Some one mentioned mountain tours.  Most areas have them.  The ones at Breck leave at 10 AM from both Peak 8 and 9 and ski groomed intermediate slopes, showing you how to get to all four peaks and back.  They last until about noon.  No charge. 

As you have learned from reading the posts, everyone has their preferences and favorites. 
post #38 of 53
Don't know Denver/CO resorts so I can't provide any answers, but here's a question for the CO folk and for you to consider.  Are there any ski buses that leave from the area where you're staying?  Here in the east there are some decently priced bus/lift ticket packages sponsored by ski shops, clubs, or the areas themselves.  Something like that from Denver could save you some money and avoid the stress of driving unfamiliar and crowded freeways (if the I-70 rep is accurate), leaving you better rested and relaxed for skiing). You might also meet people to ski with. 

FWIW I've skied solo at big resorts out west a number of times.  Don't worry about it, you'll have fun, people are nice, and you'll probably end up skiing a couple of runs or more with people you talk to on lifts. 

Only caveat: do not ski alone into unknown (or known) trees, or in whiteout.  If you're looking for blues and greens it sounds like you won't be tempted, but if you are, don't do it.  Find or wait for a compatible looking group when you get off the lift and open your mouth and ask to join up, because you could get lost on your own or even worse, stuck in a tree well.  Worse they could say is no, but that's never happened to me; I've met some cool people, explored some great terrain, and gotten back home. 
post #39 of 53
Here's wishing we had enough snow for tree wells in Summit County.  It is snowing some, though.

Vail has very little free parking. If you are really early, go to the East Vail commuter parking lot and ride the bus. Except on powder days, you can typically park at the Golf Course/Cross Country center and ride a bus, to.

Breck has lots of free lots although many are small. There is one large one North of town off of Airport Road, another at the ice arena on the South end of town. Other smaller lots on French Street. All serviced by free buses.

BC has free parking off of CO 9, then free busses. You can drive up and pay to park. They have escaltors to move you from the busses to the slopes, and brass and marble bathrooms! If you stay to near closing, free warm cookies as you leave.

Keystone has a big free lot that is hard to miss. Copper's is just past their entrance at the light. Again free buses.

For all the above, check town and mt. web sites for bus schedules. The routes will lead you to the parking.

Loveland is all free parking, as is the Basin. No buses (not needed) unless you are in the overflow lot at Loveland.

Loveland is your best bet for the weekend, Breck or Keystone will be fine mid-week. At Breck, avoid the lifts that service the base. They are busier all the time. Stay on the upper lifts.

PM me your dates and maybe we can hook up. January is busy for me coaching at races away from Summit.

This is not really what you asked for but if you want a taste of yesteryear, and want to add some variation in driving terrain, try Ski Cooper. Its off the beaten path, about two hours from Denver. You could drive a loop and see more of CO as well. All terrain is natural (no man made), two fixed grip chairs, a base lodge full of 10th Mt. Division memorabilia. Spend a night at a motel/hotel in Leadville for cheap and hang out. Great prime rib (Fridays?) and fillet mignon (rest of week) at Quincy's. $1.75 G&Ts. You order the size of the piece of the meat and whether you want butter and sour cream for the potato. Very limited menu but great if you want excellent CO beef. Have a beer across the street at the Silver Dollar. You'll feel like you are in a John Wayne movie! If you did Vail or the Beav on one day, this could be the other of a two day, one night, circle loop. You could cross or go under 5 mt. passes in two days.

Oh, Ski Cooper's parking is free! Woo hoo!
post #40 of 53
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

I'm afraid your information is incorrect.  The Colorado chain law applies to commercial vehicles only.  If it is bad enough to need chains on a passenger car, your are already in trouble as the interstate will be jammed up and not moving.



In 1983 at a checkpoint in 70 I was instructed by a CHP that I would have to have chains on my very non-commercial Pontiac Firebird to proceed.   They gave the same info to all the other cars and trucks at the checkpoint that were not 4wd or rocking chains or snows.  He also told me that they sold chains nearby so I went and acquired them and was allowed to proceed.  Many times since then I used those chains to get through that area.  But, haven't been on I-70 since the late 80s.  It's good to know that that they are no longer required
post #41 of 53

Don't take too much counsel of your fears. 
I would say do the research on the resort web sites, all  have maps that either download as PDFs or are interactive. 
Second search on EPIC for comments on the resorts and best runs.  They point you to the greens and easier blues. 
Third, i learned to ski out here about 4 years ago, maybe it's me, but all the folks i have run into at the resorts i hit (Breck, Keystone, Copper, A-Basin, Eldora) have been uniformly helpful and pleasant.  Also like others recommended most have "orientation tours" every morning.  Agree that the small resorts, Eldora, A-basin, Loveland, are better on weekends.  But i have found if you get up there early, and stay away from typically crowded areas, e.g. lower peak 9 and peak 8 lifts at Breck, you can avoid the worst of the lines. 

Once you get your feet under you, as an intermediate-learner, the fun of hitting for instance the rolling terrain (pretty easy stuff generally) on a peak 7 at breck, looking across the valley as you come down the upper runs is pretty awesome.  All the resorts have that kind of scenery and runs for all, just need to do a little digging and mark up a map for parking and top priority runs to stash in your pocket that day.  Good luck.   

post #42 of 53
My 2 cents, think your crazy to drive up & back everyday, Your going to burn up time & money!
You could stay at this place for less then what it's going to cost in gas each day.
 The place is clean & you will be no more then 45 miles to any of the resorts.There is also bus service to Summit county starting Jan. 2010. The place is clean & safe. You can stop at the local food store & eat on the cheap!
 If you go for it let us know & will meet up ?
post #43 of 53
I think you will enjoy immensely.  Stay hydrated and know your legs will be fatigued till you acclimate.  How about Copper or Keystone for the other day?  I find people in Colorado particularly friendly.    You may have such a good time that your wife will want to start skiing again, after hearing your reports.
post #44 of 53
 Skiing alone?  That is a foreign concept to me.  I mention it here and it turns into an EpicParty!
post #45 of 53
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 Skiing alone?  That is a foreign concept to me.  I mention it here and it turns into an EpicParty!

Of course, everyone wants to ski with the queen of the Party Girls
post #46 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for you insight and advice, it is very much appreciated. I am really looking forward to my trip out there. I even treated myself to some brand new gear, a North Face jacket and ski cap. Now all I need for my trip is a ski bag. Also, where the hell do I put my ski boots? I've never traveled by air with ski equipment so I have no idea. Do I need to get a special bag for the boots too?

Also, at the resorts, would you recommend renting a locker or should I just park with all my gear on and get out there? And finally, could any of you recommend any good places at the resorts to grab a bite to eat and a beer after a day of skiing? I'm sure I'll be working up an appetite on the mountain, and of course, I love beer.
post #47 of 53
Carry your boots on the plane with you. Use the power straps, if you have them to make a handle; place the velcro hooks of the right boot strap on the the loops of the left boot strap and vice versa. Or just put them an a pack or travel bag that holds them. The former is good for a conversation starter (people know you are going skiing) and is also hand because you can quickly and easily get the boots, either together or separately in the overhead or under the seat in front of you. Put a water bottle, socks, etc, in the boots to lighten your other carry on.Most folks, myself included, just boot up at the car and walk. Cat tracks are good for saving yoru soles and making the walking a touch easier. In Breck, the Breckenridge Brewery. In Frisco, the Backcountry Brewery and in Dillon, the Dillon Dam Brewery. All popular apres places with good food to go with locally brewed beer.

Loveland and Cooper have real lodges, Vail, BC have nothing, just hotels and bars. Copper (downstairs from Jack's, next to Burning Stones Plaza) and Peak 9 at Breck (The Maggie, next to The Village) have lockers, but those are kind of limited. Copper at the base of the Super B has some lockers, too, I think. The rest of Breck, Peaks 8 and 7 have nothing.
post #48 of 53

I've come late to this thread, but I can endorse everything that's been said about ease of accessibiility & the friendliness of CO foolk.

I first went to CO in 1992 and did as you plan, staying with a friend in Denver and driving up every day. There was no problem. I drove a fair bit in my day job at that time and, since it was interstate all the way, it wasn't that difficult or tiring for me.

It also helped with the altitude thing, sleeping "down" at 5500ft or whatever it is instead of the 10,000 ft at Breck is definitely a bonus as it helps your body recover better.

Ski racks are not needed as you're travellling alone. Recline your passenger seat and set your skis (in or on their bag) on it. That way you can keep the car warm without leaking all the heat out into the trunk that isn't as well insulated. You can keep them in place with the seatbelt too.

So where did I ski that first trip? First day ever I went to Winter Park and skied with a Mountain Host. A free service provided by the mountain & well worth it. Being from afar off, helped the conversation too - I think I got a second session on account of this :-)

I enjoyed Loveland too. I was there on a snowy Tuesday & there must have been almost 30 people in the day lodge that lunchtime!  There is a section of the hill that is over the Eisenhower Tunnel that I really enjoyed.

Keystone, Breck & Vail are ski areas you'll probably want to tick off to say you've been there. If you don't have time to take a day at each, why not do Keystone some night on the way back to Denver. The night skiing is quite expansive and one of the most simultaneously enjoyable & bizarre things I've ever done!

And finally - use this forum to get some ski buddies. On my last trip oin 2006, I was there for 7 days skiing and managed to ski three with folks from this site. They showed me around the hill and even got me discounted tickets!

They're a great bunch - you'll have a blast.

I'm there in a month's time - again on my own for some of the time. I have absolutely no concerns & am really looking forward to it.

Just remember, if you're on your own, to keep to the trails you know you can do and you'll be grand.


CW :-)
post #49 of 53

When you planning to be out?  if your gonna hit WP and don't wish to dump lots of cash i've heard the Rocky Mountain Inn and Hostel (http://www.therockymountaininn.com/) may be worth checking out and could save a drive back to Denver, saving one night, perhaps saving some hassle driving back.

perhaps your friend would come out for the evening if somewhere else with some nightlife ... saving a drive back while allowing you to hang with a friend while somewhat repaying their hospitality for the other days?

Only done WP for the areas mentioned, agree a Mountain Host would be fun.  Did that with some friends 2 yrs back and found the time very enjoyable.


post #50 of 53
Thread Starter 

I just got back yesterday from my trip and I thought I would give a little recap of my first time to Colorado. I loved it out there and can't wait to go back! It was an experience like no other. My first day, a Saturday, I decided to check out Winter Park. The traffic on I-70 was not bad at all and I couldn't believe the breathtaking views of the mountains. Where I am from, our interstate highway don't have views like that. When I got to Winter Park the parking lots were packed but I found a spot and walked through the Winter Park Village to get to the base. What a lovely place! To my surprise there were barely any lift lines. The longest I waited was probably about 5 minutes in the late afternoon. I really enjoyed Winter Park and because it was my first time skiing in Colorado, I stuck to the easier runs.

Day 2 I decided to make the trip to Vail. That was a mistake. It was a Sunday and it was mobbed. The lift lines weren't really long, but the mountain was just really crowded. It had also snowed a lot the night before and there was ankle deep powder. I never went skiing in powder like that before so it was a learning experience. On the drive back to Denver I experienced 'traffic metering' for the first time. What a nightmare that drive was! It was snowing and the roads were pretty slick so they shut down the Eisenhower tunnel in intervals for 20 mintues! It took me over three hours to get back to Denver. I think Vail was my least favorite of all the resorts.

Day 3 I decided to go back to Winter Park because I liked it so much. It was a Monday and it was pretty empty compared to Saturday. I explored more of the mountain this time and even made it over to Mary Jane for a little bit. I did a lot of blue runs this time. I had a blast.

Day 4, my last day, I decided to check out Breckenridge. I really liked it. It was pretty crowded for a weekday but I discovered that Breck is one of the most popular ski resorts. There was a moment of panic when I took the Falcon superchair lift up to the top of Peak 10. I didn't realize that the only way down peak 10 was the Black Diamond inside the blue square runs and Black diamond runs. I freaked out because I had never done advanced runs like that before. I stood there for a good 15 minutes in panic wondering what the hell I should do. Then I just went for it and took one of the Blue-Black runs. It actually wasn't as scary as I thought and I controlled my speed pretty well. I was actually proud of myself after I got down to the bottom.

So overall, it was an awesome trip! I am in love with Colorado now and wish I lived out there and could just ski those mountains every day. Thanks to all who offered their advice in this thread, it was greatly appreciated! And after 4 straight days of skiing, I can definitely say I have improved a lot! Can't wait to get back out there!

post #51 of 53
Your 3 hour return from Vail to Denver (normally about a 1.5 hour trip if you go fast) wasn't bad. I didn't know they were metering traffic now. Quite often the highway becomes a parking lot from Frisco to Georgetown and beyond and can take far longer than 3 hours.

Glad you liked CO. Come back soon and often!
post #52 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I might be coming back there next month for work so hopefully I'll be able to get some skiing in. I did see one pretentious bumper sticker on my way back from Vail. It said: "Welcome to Colorado. Now leave." It must have been a local or something, which surprised me, because it seemed to me like everyone at the resorts was very friendly. I couldn't tell the difference between the locals and the tourists. But I guess there are some locals out there who think they own the mountain. I'm glad I didn't encounter one.
post #53 of 53
 Congrats on a successful trip and for a successful trip down Peak 10.
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