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Lessons at A-Basin a no no for a beginner?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey guys!

 

Going to Breck in a couple of days.  I have some names of instructors in the area but noticed that A-Basin's lesson prices are almost 1/2 the price of Breckenridge and Keystone.  My pass will get me into any of these resorts.  I have been told by one person that A-Basin would not be a good place to learn as a beginner because the terrain is very difficult. Do you agree? As someone who did not listen and got myself in trouble at Snowbird I want to get some more opinions. I don't want to scrap the idea just because of one opinion. However, if I get a couple of warnings, I will not do it.  I am just hoping to save money, but sometimes you are just throwing your money away if you try to learn in terrain that is more difficult.

 

Mario

post #2 of 17

Not sure about terrain at A-Basin for never-evers, but if your party has a couple days under their belts then A-Basin has a nice group of 3 or 4 fairly easy green runs that will be suitable for lessons and practice on the lower mtn.  they have some decent length to them and served by a newer express chair.  The top of these runs start at mid-mtn and there's a newer restaurant up there with great views on sunny days (try to pick that kind of a day to go there).  Go for it. 

Trail map to see what I'm talking about (Wrangler trail, Chisholm, etc):

http://www.arapahoebasin.com/ABasin/image-library/inline-landscape/trail-map-front_orig.jpg

post #3 of 17

I'm not terribly familair with the beginner terrain options at the various Summit County offerings...  But as a fellow flat-lander, one thing I can tell is that A-Basin is significantly higher at the base then most other ski areas are.  i.e., I get winded walking across the A-Basin parking lot, which is not a problem I've had at other Summit County resorts.  That said, everyone responds to altitude differently.  The summit elevation at Snowbird is about the elevation of A-Basin's base.

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 17

The Basin has some really nice blues for intermediates but I'd not recommend it for beginners.  The terrain is quite limited and the mountain isn't known for a lot of grooming.  I've never taken lessons there but know some newer skiers that have and compared it unfavorably to their lessons at other Summit County areas. 

 

I'd save A Basin for when you're more confident on blues, and then you'll have a lot more choices as you get more skilled.

post #5 of 17

 Depends on "how" beginner.  Never ever? Or just mildly experienced? Also depends on if there are crowds or not.

 

I took a lesson there last Friday, as a beginner. (My first time on telemark equipment.) First run down was a little intimidating, trying to drill with people speeding down either side of you. But it wasn't crowded at all,  and the snow was really nice, so it was really only the first run that was like that. Then after I was comfortable on skis again, I was fine. There isn't really anywhere else for everyone else to go, so slow and fast skiers are all in the same place toward the bottom.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

THanks for the replies.

 

Hmmm..... I think I will err on the side of caution.  My wife may be too intimidated.  We will see how it goes in Breck and if she is doing well, we may give a-basin a look later in our trip.

post #7 of 17

There is plenty of appropriate terrain at A-Basin for any level skier. I recommend Paul Asper as an instructor. He is an examiner in the RM Division. Tell him I sent you. He is a very, very good teacher.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks Rusty, I appreciate your input. I have already scheduled lessons here at Breck but if I find we need another at the end of my trip I will consider it.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

OK, so I am going back to Summit county March 12-19 (those are my skiing days) and am still wondering about A-basin.  By the time I left Breck I was using my poles to turn, arving and getting some good upper/lower body separation.  Thanks to Patti Banks (from Breck-Highly recommended) and Annie Black (From Keystone - also highly recommended) I was skiing down the Columbia, Sundown and Upper Lehman without stopping, pretty much attacking it all the way down.  My wife can go down the Columbia, but cautiously,  in fact she does everything cautiously (must be that recovery from the ACL tear last Spring). She does prefer groomed runs, as do I, but as long as things are not that bumby, it should be fine.

 

I would love to stay at Breck but the price of a private lesson is $695 (yikes!) compared to the more reasonable price of $440 at A-Basin.  In addition, I can do half a day there for just $240, so, for spring, where flight and accommodations are over twice as much as early December, I need to cut expenses and this would be a great place to start.

 

Let me know your thoughts on whether you think my wife and I are good candidates for lessons at A-Basin.

 

Regards,

Mario

post #10 of 17

From looking at the map of Breckenridge I see that you got up to a couple of blue runs. That is good. The blues I remember at A-Basin are a little more steep and not as wide open as Breck. I think yo could try them for a lesson, however if we have not had a lot of snow here before then. I think they are usually more bumped than Breck.

post #11 of 17

 A-Basin grooms most of its "blue" terrain almost every day.  I'd try a day of skiing there and then decide about whether to book lessons. 

 

You got a couple really top-notch instructors in Patti and Annie.  Pattie is a telemark/nordic examiner for Rocky Mountain division of PSIA and a Breck trainer (I spent this morning with her in a telly clinic) and Annie is a Rocky Mountain alpine examiner and Keystone trainer.

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

You got a couple really top-notch instructors in Patti and Annie.  Pattie is a telemark/nordic examiner for Rocky Mountain division of PSIA and a Breck trainer (I spent this morning with her in a telly clinic) and Annie is a Rocky Mountain alpine examiner and Keystone trainer.


I owe it all to Epic Ski.  Both of them were suggested by members.  That is why I love this place.

post #13 of 17

so........you are no longer a beginner now!

 

As I said earlier there is PLENTY of mellow terrain at A-Basin very similar in pitch to the runs you enjoyed at Breck with 1/10th the traffic.

 

Book a lesson with Paul Asper. You will thank me. 

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks Rusty Guy,

 

Yeah, I cant wait to loss that beginner tag, and maybe I will after this trip; perhaps I am being too conservative, but I dont want to get ahead of myself.  I see you are an instructor also, so I take your suggestion seriously.  I appreciate you recommending something.  I cant wait to check out A-basin.  Being that I am going in Spring, I fear that Breck is going to be packed and it is a great opportunity to check out other resorts in the area that may serve as options when the trails are packed.  I believe that having more skiers on the trail affects its difficulty more than a little more steepness.

 

Regards,

Mario

post #15 of 17

I can speak to this, tried AB, and Keystone both great places, but learning out on peak 9 was a lot easier if you tire easily (still getting used to living up here), but I think once I'm good with stamina next year I'll branch out to longer trails.  Peak 9 at Breck has some great short runs that are great to learn on, and Bonanza was a pretty easy blue I've been trying when I'm coming out fresh, but that's pushing it for distance back down to Maggies to hit the lifts, usually stop over at coppertop and the beaver run lift to catch my breath.  My instructors said if I can run 5 miles then I'll be good for the long runs, can only do about 2 miles so far up in this thin air.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks Corey, I agree that Peak 9 is the best place to learn, bar none.  I have never seen such wide, long, and gentle terrain to learn on.  I would say Keystone is definitely harder and A-Basin a step above that.  I guess I should not have classified myself as a beginner.  At the point I wrote this post I was a low intermediate and did not know it. If you are at that level, you can learn at A-basin, though Breck still would be a better choice.  However, factoring the prices of lessons, I would chose A-Basin, which I loved.  What a wonderful place to ski and the ambiance is marvelous!  If you go to A-basin, take lessons from Leon Littlebird (tell him I sent you).  He is awesome!

 

Rusty, I decided to go with Leon because he was recommended by 2 instructors I had used before and also because Paul specializes in telemark skiing.  I am not saying he would not have been a wonderful instructor, I just decided to go with Leon and I do not regret it at all.  Still, thanks for the advice!!beercheer.gifSUBMIT

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey View Post

I can speak to this, tried AB, and Keystone both great places, but learning out on peak 9 was a lot easier if you tire easily (still getting used to living up here), but I think once I'm good with stamina next year I'll branch out to longer trails.  Peak 9 at Breck has some great short runs that are great to learn on, and Bonanza was a pretty easy blue I've been trying when I'm coming out fresh, but that's pushing it for distance back down to Maggies to hit the lifts, usually stop over at coppertop and the beaver run lift to catch my breath.  My instructors said if I can run 5 miles then I'll be good for the long runs, can only do about 2 miles so far up in this thin air.



I can't run two miles anywhere, but I ski top-to-bottom all over Breck nonstop. I think you need to find more efficient movements to make longer runs easier, not more stamina.
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