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Colorado Ski Trip Advice

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have a two part question for everyone.

I'm making my first trip to Colorado in a few weeks and will be staying in Dillon (I will have a car so travel is not a problem) and would like a little advice.

#1. I will be skiing for 4 days while out there and I am looking to get a package of passes to save a few bucks. I found one that allows you your choice of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin with 4 days of skiing for $328. Is this a good deal or does anyone have any links to better deals.

#2. If I do go with this package I will have to pick 4 of the 5 resorts. Which one would everyone cut out if they have to pick one?



_________________________________________

www.skimanproductions.com
post #2 of 20
The answer somewhat depends on what type of skiing you're looking for.

I will note that the price you quote of $328 for a 4-day pass is the current price if you buy the ticket through the Vail website (and this ticket could be used the entire 4 days at Vail or Beaver Creek), but if you buy your ticket through the Breckenridge website a 4-day pass that can be used up to 2 days at Vail or Beaver Creek is only $296, so unless you're planning to ski Vail or Beaver Creek all 4 days you're better off getting your ticket through Breckenridge.

Given the amount of snow to date in Summit County, and unless you really want to do a ton of bowl skiing, I would say ski Breckenridge as they've got a very good base (for instance, Keystone hasn't been getting as much snow as the other nearby spots), and then maybe try Vail or Beaver Creek for a day if you want.  Dillon is closest to Keystone, but it's not too much further to Breckenridge; it's a bit more of a haul (but not too much) over to Vail and Beaver Creek.

And if you are considering skiing just one mountain, you might consider Copper Mountain, which is a very nice mountain as well.
post #3 of 20
I just checked all the websites for the resorts you listed. Abasin is hurting the most from the bad season N CO. is having with only 49% of it's terrain open....Just a thought....
I was also going to throw out the Pow-Pow Platter package that Steamboat, Copper, and WP had-for $99, but I can't see it on the website for WP anymore. Steamboat's a bit of a drive for you, tho....
post #4 of 20
I would think the Breck/Keystone 4 day pass off of  Breck's site for $296 is the best deal. It is valid at Breck/Keystone/A-Basin for four days and Vail/Beaver Creek for 2. You could ski the Basin 1 day, Keystone (only one with night skiing) that same night, Breck one day, Vail one day, and Beaver Creek one day. So technically you could ski 5 mountains in 4 days for under $300.... pretty tough to beat. Wake up early, check the snow reports, and then decide which of the 5 mountains is the best that day. I also reccomend using 2 of the days on Vail's back bowls if they get nuked with pow. Whatever you decide.. have a good time, and pray it snows. P.S- it never hurts to check craigslist for tickets either.
post #5 of 20
I've been a skier that searches for powder almost my whole life, and while Vail has some of the most unforgettable trees with fresh snow, I gotta say, when I'm at Vail, I always find myself saying, "I never thought I'd say this, but these groomers kick ass."  These would be Avanti, Riva Ridge/tourist trap, and born free for the most part.  Also, you can ski very quickly from the top of Mountain Top Express to Lionshead area for about 15 minutes.  It's pretty impressive.
post #6 of 20
Echoing others here:

1. Unless you are just into the park thing, I would go with whoever has the best conditions

2. Unless you just have a thing for trying as many mountains as possible, I would focus on one or two rather than a grand tour. Let's face it, with the exception of A-Basin all of those areas are pretty big and you're not going to get even a hint of a feel for them and what you like to ski until the day is half over (at best). I would rather suggest spending more time on a couple (or one) rather than less on more.

3. If all conditions were equal I would go with

#1 Vail - it is flat but huge and you should be able to find a lot of what you like somewhere on the mountain. Plus, IMHO Vail is the best laid out area in CO. Lots of variety and you can get that "holycrap we're remote" skiing in Colorado feeling by hitting the bowls or Blue Sky.
#2 Beaver Creek - good stuff here and the base area has that "you gotta be kidding me" Dubai-esque quality to it.  LOL.
#3 A Basin - get your old school ski area steeze on here
#4 Breck - not a big breck fan here.  The mountain has some good terrain I guess  but the layout isn't exactly easy for first timers. Plus the exposure has always made conditions a little unfun for me.
#5 Keystone - never been a big fan. Good park scene though - from what I hear.
post #7 of 20
I thought the layout of vail sucked esp because I was with one other person and it took like 1 hour in the morning to get from the base area all the way to blue sky basin (the only place with powder on the entire resort), then another hour to work my way back to the front base for lunch to meet with my friend. All the front and back terrain is ridgeline so you have to take like 3 lifts and 3-5 runs just to get from one side of the mountain to the other.

Beaver creek had a better setup where most of the lifts come down together at generally the same spot that way you have a lot of choices where to go. I don't really like groomers but the Birds of Prey Super G course is pretty bad ass... steep and long!
post #8 of 20
Ya, the Blue Sky to Front Side (or vice versa) sucks but that's just unavoidable without a tram (a la Europe). But the traversing of the front side is uber easy as compared to say Breck. Perhaps I am just biased because I grew up skiing Vail back in the pre-express quad days where getting around a mountain was king in the age of the 8 run day.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Que View Post

Echoing others here:


#1 Vail - it is flat* but huge and you should be able to find a lot of what you like somewhere on the mountain. Plus, IMHO Vail is the best laid out area in CO. Lots of variety and you can get that "holycrap we're remote" skiing in Colorado feeling by hitting the bowls or Blue Sky.

 


*I'd say that's exaggerating.  It's no Chamonix, but if you've skied in Michigan, and then stood on top of Riva Ridge or Steep and Deep, I'd doubt you would describe it as "flat".  It doesn't have tons of fingers and chutes or anything...anyways.
post #10 of 20
Is Breck really that odd of a layout?? I ski there alot so I guess I dont even notice anymore. It really seems easier to figure out than Vail to me tho. Making laps between the t-bar, imperial, and chair 6 can be epic.. the lines are usually fairly short as well. On real cold days I am a beleiver in staying on the E chair as you are in the trees and out of the wind. The windows or doors can also have really good snow, and few ride this lift. I mean what isnt there to like about breck?? haha
post #11 of 20
I haven't been to Breck in years, but with the additional mountains added - I'm sure there is a learning time of which trails and lifts access which areas, then it's great. Same conditions apply to any multi-peak area. Always been a good variety there and I'm sure it hasn't been decreased with the added peaks.
post #12 of 20
 yeah, and I wouldn't exactly say that runs all funneling into the same place so you have "lots of options" is a good thing.  I would think that would result in really long lift lines.  I personally see Vail being 7 miles wide as a good thing.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by guroo270 View Post





*I'd say that's exaggerating.  It's no Chamonix, but if you've skied in Michigan, and then stood on top of Riva Ridge or Steep and Deep, I'd doubt you would describe it as "flat".  It doesn't have tons of fingers and chutes or anything...anyways.

Nope, it's flat but that's okay. 

Heh! Sorry, just giving the Vail-ees some crap. Favorite past time of mine. Actually, Vail is probably my second favorite mountain(s) after CB (biased I know). You forgot to mention Prima Cornice too. 

All that being said, with the exception of a few select areas at Vail you don't have the "crawl up inside you" plunges that you say have at CB. But what you do have are some pretty nice pitches that go on forever. I'm exposing my old schoolishness but Highline, Prima (11), Blue Ox and that other one I never can remember off of 10 (is that chair still around?). Your brain may  not want to cry "mommy" at the top, but your legs sure will at the bottom. 
post #14 of 20
The pow pow platter deal is done (luckily i got one) but coloradoski.com might have some deals on passes if you dont mind skiing copper or the intrawest resorts, breck is always a good choice, keystone has night skiing and a basin has the massive montezuma bowl, idk if its open or not. Sounds like a good deal since vail resorts are 90+ a day to ski, if you want to ski winter park or steamboat (intrawest owned) its quite a drive from dillon, but copper is pretty close
post #15 of 20
Blue ox and the double diamond next to it had 5 foot high moguls on it when i accidentally went down it.  My brother was snowboarding, and I can't stand moguls without fresh snow.  It was hellacious. On the way back up there were a couple of really good moguls skiers coming down.  Both fell at least once.  Made me feel a lot better.  To my credit, i did get 3/4 of the way down and said, "F it!" and went straight through. 
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowyphil65 View Post

a basin has the massive montezuma bowl, idk if its open or not.

 

The Montezuma Bowl is supposed to open tomorrow morning
post #17 of 20
Unless it dumps all over the place there anytime soon, I would plan on spending most of your time at Vail,Beaver & Breck.

Crowds at Breck are only a problem if you are continually taking lifts that go from the base of the mountains.  In my experience Peak 8 tends to be the busiest (this is where the gondola dumps you out).  Riding up and down Falcon chair on Peak 10 or C-chair on Peak 9 are usually less than a 45-second wait to get onto an empty seat on a lift.

I have only been to Vail once (my trip earlier this month)... they have some really LONG traverses, but they also have 3-4 rather large bowls that let you slide as far as you can in almost any direction.   This year the snow there has been noticeably superior to the cover at Breck.  The drive from Dillon does suck a bit, and the front range slopes are lame...but based on snow alone this year, I would take a full day at Vail to 2 at Keystone.   The only reason I didn't go back to vail a 2nd time is because I have the lowly Summit pass which doesn't give me any Vail privileges!

I rode 8-9 days at Breck this past season (not bad for a Georgian!).   To answer your question... I would do my first two days at both Breck & Vail, and then only consider Keystone for the 3rd or 4th day if either slope didn't live up to expectations (whether because of snow or crowds).

If you are up to it, you could try busting out 12 hours worth of riding at Keystone your last day with the night ski option. 

Make sure to drink a Mountain Dew before you try it, though.

EXTREME!
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by zkoneffko View Post

I have a two part question for everyone.

I'm making my first trip to Colorado in a few weeks and will be staying in Dillon (I will have a car so travel is not a problem) and would like a little advice.

#1. I will be skiing for 4 days while out there and I am looking to get a package of passes to save a few bucks. I found one that allows you your choice of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin with 4 days of skiing for $328. Is this a good deal or does anyone have any links to better deals.

#2. If I do go with this package I will have to pick 4 of the 5 resorts. Which one would everyone cut out if they have to pick one?



_________________________________________

www.skimanproductions.com

1) Good deal (it's over $90 / day at Flail)

2) I would cut out Breck. Yes, yes, no doubt someone will talk about some (very) small portions of gnar, but there's damn few, and the place makes Vail look like Chamonix as far as steep.

Vail has the back bowls if there's a dump (if you don't know where you're going you can EASILY waste a lot of time, getting to Blue Sky). Scope out where you want to go and you'll have a full day around the hill.

Keystone has trees and a $5 cat ride for freshies on the farthest back hill which stays good long after other things are tracked out.

A-Basin has the most altitude and great terrain, and the whole snow beach vibe to it that makes it a must-do (buy a "Vail Sucks" t-shirt just to annoy people).

The Beav is "high-end" and has some great terrain - it's where the Vail locals go on weekends to avoid the tourons at Fail. Do the Birds of Prey downhill and imagine pointing your skis straight down when it's all icy and rutted and get a good feel for what it's like to do a downhill.
post #19 of 20
Sorry, you will notice that Snofun3 is not resident in the State of Colorado.  I assure you there is vast amounts of terrain at Breck that are far steeper than anything you will find at Vail.  Virtually all of the top of Peak 7 by itself is steeper than anything at Vail, let alone the stuff in Horseshoe Bowl, Contest Bowl, E Chair, etc.   And if you are up for a steep but short hike, the Lake Chutes will certainly cause some tightening of certain muscles. Generally, folk who disparage Breck have no real knowledge of the place and haven't skied there since the opening of the Imperial Chair, which opened a massive amount of terrain that used to be hike-to terrain for the locals..

That being said, both Keystone and A-Basin have received the short end of the stick snow wise this year.  I'd probably skip them given the snow conditions this year.

Mike
post #20 of 20
Beaver Creek is my favorite ski resort in the world.  I've skiied every resort on the I70 corridor, all the big SLC resorts, all the Tahoe resorts, Whistler/Blackcomb, all over Switzerland and Austria.  Beaver Creek is the one we always go back to.  It's the best for crowds, good lift systems, diverse terrain.  Catch the double diamond Golden Eagle on first track Saturday morning and you'll see a true olympic super-G style run, super steep and groomed.  It gets tracked out quickly though.

Anyways, my recommendation for a first timer is to try all four of the Vail properties.  I love all four of their main CO properties.  They all have their own character, but I always go back to Beaver, there's a charm and maturity there.

Here's what I like about others:

Breck - Variety of terrain, great apres ski in town, has a cool vibe, state of the art equipment
Keystone - Skiiers mountain.  Steep and long rippers
Vail - Incredible bowl skiing.  I like Sundown for bumps and China Bowl (Chopstix) for some serious downhill ripping (China Bowl can get crowded, hit it early).  Apres ski is best in America, arguably North America (could argue Whistler), only second to central Europe (but Vail skiing is better).
Beaver - Posh, mature, not crowded, best grooming, charm

It sucks to learn a new mountain everyday, but since it's your first trip, I'd do all of them.  Figure out what you like and then plan a better second trip.  You'll be back, they're all world-class resorts.
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