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Heavenly Mtn or Breckenridge?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Have my 1st chance to get out west this season end of January.

 

Great skiier, lived in the woods of Jay Peak last winter, and made a trip to Whiteface and did some speed racing. Now I have my chance to go out west.

 

I prefer powder, and tree/terrain skiing. Though those large bowls of Breckenridge are so enticing.

 

I am bringing my gf and another couple out (they won't see me on the slopes!), where do you guys recommend based on my skiing and some party nightlife?

post #2 of 20

Breckenridge.  I lived in Frisco for the 03/04 season, and I can vouch for the Nightlife in Breck.  Also, La Nina should bring better snow to Colorado this year than Tahoe.  Tahoe had the good year last year.  Both mountains have good beginner/intermediate terrain scattered about, as well as trees.  I had a blast hiking to the Lake Chutes at the top of Breck, and now they have that Peak Chair accessing higher terrain that was only hikeable when I was there.  I found at Heavenly, I'd get stranded on flat pitches often on the Nevada side.  However there were good trees on that side as well.  Oh and Breck is much colder than Heavenly.  And often Windy.  After January it's tolerable.

 

post #3 of 20

Like a good attorney always says, "That depends."  Breckenridge is a great ski area and a great town to party in.  It is also close to some other areas if you are taking a car, and that includes a downhill ride to Vail (really, really "large bowls").  Heavenly is a resort in a skiing destination, which means you can drive or take a bus to a lot of other areas (like Kirkwood, Northstar, Squaw, etc.).  Mott Canyon and the trees will be to your liking at Heavenly.  At Breck you have that ultra-blue sky and the Rockies for a view.  The Lake Tahoe resorts have...Lake Tahoe, which is also quite scenic. Both areas have an enormous amount of intermediate terrain for your girlfriend.  The powder is likely to have less moisture in bone-dry Colorado.   Either way, your two choices beat the ice at Jay, Gore, Whiteface, Hunter, etc.


Edited by quant2325 - 10/13/10 at 10:49am
post #4 of 20

I chose Breckenridge for my first trip to ski the Rockies back in 1982.  I wasn't disappointed.  It's even better now!  Though, I've never been to Heavenly, I doubt it sucks.  I wouldn't pass on an invitation to ski there either.  The cool thing about Breck is there is a fair about of just about every type of terrain for every type of skier.

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

I feel like Breckenridge is great for that "rocky mountain" view and open bowls. I feel like Heavenly is better for a ski wherever on the mountain terrain.

 

Just from the videos I have seen it looked like Heavenly had the better and more glades, while breckenridge glades were really tight.

 

I'll admit I am a glade skiier, when theres sufficient powder there. Those open bowls at breckenridge look awesome though.

 

Been on the fence with this decision for weeks.

post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ammonation View Post
Great skiier, lived in the woods of Jay Peak last winter, and made a trip to Whiteface and did some speed racing.


Just curious, by "speed racing," do you mean speed skiing?
speedski.jpg

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

aha no.. Meaning I'll ski down an open groomer with reckless abandon because open space is god damn boring.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post





Just curious, by "speed racing," do you mean speed skiing?
speedski.jpg

post #8 of 20

If you're really a "great skier" they'll both bore you to tears, as they're both terminally intermediate.

 

If you're going to the Tahoe area (Heavenly), then go straight to Squaw, and check out the local "great skiers", who used to hang with Shane (RIP).

 

If the I-70 areas, well Fail is better than Breck by an order of magnitude, and Beaver Creek is better than both, however the core skiers hang at A-Basin.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

If you're really a "great skier" they'll both bore you to tears, as they're both terminally intermediate.

 

If you're going to the Tahoe area (Heavenly), then go straight to Squaw, and check out the local "great skiers", who used to hang with Shane (RIP).

 

If the I-70 areas, well Fail is better than Breck by an order of magnitude, and Beaver Creek is better than both, however the core skiers hang at A-Basin.



In this rare instance, I'm going to agree with snofun3 on something.  Beaver Creek is better than both, and Squaw is better than Heavenly.  Though I actually prefer Breck to Fail.  I also considered A-Basins clientele as "Hippies" rather than "Core Skiers", I noticed more Core Skiers at Keystone and Copper when I was there.

post #10 of 20

Actually, you'll note he did not say he was a "great skier", but rather a "great skiier".

post #11 of 20

Oh...Breck has a way better terrain park than Heavenly.

post #12 of 20

The nice thing about Heavenly is its proximity to Kirkwood.

post #13 of 20

Quote:

Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

If you're really a "great skier" they'll both bore you to tears, as they're both terminally intermediate.

 

If you're going to the Tahoe area (Heavenly), then go straight to Squaw, and check out the local "great skiers", who used to hang with Shane (RIP).

 

If the I-70 areas, well Fail is better than Breck by an order of magnitude, and Beaver Creek is better than both, however the core skiers hang at A-Basin.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

In this rare instance, I'm going to agree with snofun3 on something.  Beaver Creek is better than both, and Squaw is better than Heavenly.  Though I actually prefer Breck to Fail.  I also considered A-Basins clientele as "Hippies" rather than "Core Skiers", I noticed more Core Skiers at Keystone and Copper when I was there.


So, let's see, you live in Florida and California, and why would we take either opinion on Breck?  Have either of you skied Breck since they opened the Imperial Chair?  You also reveal your ignorance by claiming Vail is an order of magnitude better than Breck.  That might be true for the intermediate skier, but the challanges at Vail that approach those at Breck are few and far between, and none of the sustained vert that you can find challenge at Breck.

 

Make no mistake about it, the terrain on the upper part of peak 7 and peak 8 is not intermediate skiing.  There's some great steep skiing off of the top of 7, including the Y chutes, magic carpet, Arte's Bowle, etc., all of which are in the 800-1500 vert range with a pitch north of the upper 30's, and some in the upper 40's.  The Lake Chutes are shorter, but has some lines that border on 50 degrees. Some of the lines have real consequences in them, in that if you fall, you are going to be beat up by steep rock bands.  And Horseshoe Bowl has lots of lines in the mid-40's.  Show me any  line with the vert and steepness at Vail that comes close to those at Breck.

 

The OP also wanted tree skiing.  There's lots of good trees at Breck.  The Windows is a great little area, but there's lots of others as well. Minecrotch is one of my favorites -- tight and steep.  There's the whole Burn area for relatively open trees.  But that doesn't even start to touch the tree skiing at Breck.

 

Sure, the Beav has great skiing.  I enjoy the Beav.  It's different than Breck, with lots of very long steep mogul runs.  I do the Talons Challenge every year there, and it is always a hoot.

 

Lots of people trash Breck.  I used to be one of them.  But the problem is that most people don't know the mountain.  It is vast, and learning the terrain takes a fair bit of time.  It's a place where a guide really helps.

 

Mike

 

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

 

 

 

Lots of people trash Breck.  I used to be one of them.  But the problem is that most people don't know the mountain.  It is vast, and learning the terrain takes a fair bit of time.  It's a place where a guide really helps.

 

Mike
 


That last statement alone is enough to go against Breck!

 

An out of town tourist wanting to test his skill will most likely trash Breck, because he simply can't find the terrain he's looking for.

 

Good for locals? Maybe. That doesn't make it a good choice to recommend to others, unless you plan to be there to be the "guide". 
 

 In the mean time, all the intermediates will sing the praises of Breck, drowning out the few local good skiers who found the terrain to entertain them.

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Quote:

Lots of people trash Breck.  I used to be one of them.  But the problem is that most people don't know the mountain.  It is vast, and learning the terrain takes a fair bit of time.  It's a place where a guide really helps.

 

Mike


Same thing with Heavenly, lots of people trash the place.  I grew up skiing there & if you can hook up with someone who knows there way around, there is a lot of great terrain.  If not, you can waste a lot of time there.

 

I have only skied Breckenridge one day 10 years ago.  Skied all day in the Peak 8 area, climbed to the top, hiked Peak 7, made laps in Horseshoe bowl & had a great day!  Never even saw the rest of the area.

JF

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post

That last statement alone is enough to go against Breck!

 

An out of town tourist wanting to test his skill will most likely trash Breck, because he simply can't find the terrain he's looking for.

 

Good for locals? Maybe. That doesn't make it a good choice to recommend to others, unless you plan to be there to be the "guide". 
 

 In the mean time, all the intermediates will sing the praises of Breck, drowning out the few local good skiers who found the terrain to entertain them.


Well, I don't think it is a problem for just Breck.  There isn't a single area I've skied that I didn't benefit from having an instructor show me the goods.  In these days of mega-resorts with 4k+ acres of skiing, it's pretty much impossible to find your way to the goods without some local knowledge.  And it's not surprising that most people come away from a place like Breck with a misguided sense of what the place is all about; if you follow the crowd, you are going to find all of the intermediate terrain.  Really, it's not surprising given that most skiers are intermediate skiers.

 

Mike

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post





In this rare instance, I'm going to agree with snofun3 on something.  Beaver Creek is better than both, and Squaw is better than Heavenly.  Though I actually prefer Breck to Fail.  I also considered A-Basins clientele as "Hippies" rather than "Core Skiers", I noticed more Core Skiers at Keystone and Copper when I was there.

So nice to see that FugativeOCD is finally able to make lucid posts. All those months of meds appear to be paying off. Core skiers At Keystone? Sure it could happen (REALLY not likely however). Look I really liked it hard to find anyone who'll consider it even more intermediate than Breck.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Quote:

 


So, let's see, you live in Florida and California, and why would we take either opinion on Breck?  Have either of you skied Breck since they opened the Imperial Chair?  You also reveal your ignorance by claiming Vail is an order of magnitude better than Breck.  That might be true for the intermediate skier, but the challanges at Vail that approach those at Breck are few and far between, and none of the sustained vert that you can find challenge at Breck.

 

Make no mistake about it, the terrain on the upper part of peak 7 and peak 8

 

The OP also wanted tree skiing.  There's lots of good trees at Breck.  The Windows is a great little area, but there's lots of others as well. Minecrotch is one of my favorites -- tight and steep.  There's the whole Burn area for relatively open trees.  But that doesn't even start to touch the tree skiing at Breck.

 

Sure, the Beav has great skiing.  I enjoy the Beav.  It's different than Breck, with lots of very long steep mogul runs.  I do the Talons Challenge every year there, and it is always a hoot.

 

Lots of people trash Breck.  I used to be one of them.  But the problem is that most people don't know the mountain.  It is vast, and learning the terrain takes a fair bit of time.  It's a place where a guide really helps.

 

Mike

 


Yes, yes, I live in FL, and have spent many, many days at Breck because it's central on I-70 to the real areas, and has a town, which is something many of my ski mates demand, so many it's not so smart of you to make assumptions based on where I live. Really. And been there the last two years since Imperial has been open - are you REALLY going to say that's good terrain - REALLY? Wow.

 

So right, you have this "vast" area, and "the terrain off upper part of peak 7 and peak 8" are something to mention. Okey doke. Thanks for making my point. You don't need a guide at A-Basin, or BC, or even Vail to find the goods. You can keep Breck - boredom personified.

 

Right there's no good trees anywhere else like the backside of Flail, or Keystone or Pali or............Right

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post


Well, I don't think it is a problem for just Breck.  There isn't a single area I've skied that I didn't benefit from having an instructor show me the goods.  In these days of mega-resorts with 4k+ acres of skiing, it's pretty much impossible to find your way to the goods without some local knowledge.  And it's not surprising that most people come away from a place like Breck with a misguided sense of what the place is all about; if you follow the crowd, you are going to find all of the intermediate terrain.  Really, it's not surprising given that most skiers are intermediate skiers.

 

Mike


It IS a problem for "just" Breck, in that you can't find enough good without local knowledge! Vail and Beaver Creek may not be the best counter example of Breck because they still tilt strongly towards the intermediate! (nothing wrong with that)
 

But take Aspen, take Squaw, take Jackson Hole, Alta-bird etc. You don't need a guide to find good terrain. It's pretty obvious where the good area is. You may not find ALL the good lines. But you can easily find PLENTY of it to make an advanced visiting skier happy for the whole time he's there!  

 

Yes, people knock Breck, people even knock Vail. Because these are overly populated by intermediates, which is really the majority of skier population anyway. So some of the more advanced skiers will knock it. You do need to get over it. Breck may have good advanced terrain, but it's surrounded by mostly intermediate terrains. And one will have to fight through the throwns of intermediates to get to the goods.

 

I'm not saying Heavenly is any better than Breck. Both are mass-market oriented resorts so it's no surprising there're more intermediate terrain and intermediate skiers there. So snofun3's comment is spot on. If the OP is indeed looking for challenge, he'll be better off starting with a more "hard-core" oriented mountain. At least he won't be wasting half of his time there wondering aimlessly lost in the intermediate land.


Edited by at_nyc - 10/14/10 at 9:46pm
post #19 of 20


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Quote:

 


So, let's see, you live in Florida and California, and why would we take either opinion on Breck?  Have either of you skied Breck since they opened the Imperial Chair?  You also reveal your ignorance by claiming Vail is an order of magnitude better than Breck.  That might be true for the intermediate skier, but the challanges at Vail that approach those at Breck are few and far between, and none of the sustained vert that you can find challenge at Breck.


 

Mike

 


You COULD take my opinion on Breck because I spent the entire season of 03/04 there.  I announced somewhere in this thread I haven't been there since they opened that chair, but acknowledged how cool that must be.  I also prefer Breck to Vail.  I think I made that clear as well.  Please don't lump me in with Snofun3 just because I agreed with him on two parts of his post.

post #20 of 20

I will stay on OP topic. I guess the question is what are you looking for? Breck gives you a quaint mountain town experience, whereas, I think Tahoe is beautiful, I don't think of it in the same way. There are plenty of things to do for your gf at each if they aren't skiing a particular day and both areas offer the ability to sample another area as well ie: Breck -> Vail, A-Basin, etc & Heavenly -> Kirkwood, Squaw, etc If you like to play cards or roll the dice, then Breck can't compete! Since you live in the NE, I don't think the cold of CO will bother you and if you go to Heavenly, you may enjoy skiing where it doesn't get too cold. 

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