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Canada/USA Twin Centre Trip

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We've taken the plunge and have booked a trip with a difference for next season. In February we fly to Calgary for 8 days, then on to Denver for a further 8 days before flying home from there. Very Happy

In Canada we will be spending a day skiing at Castle Mountain, 2 days at Fernie, 2 days at Kimberley & 2 days cat skiing with Fernie Wilderness Adventures. Then it's off to Denver for 6 days of complimentary skiing at Vail Resorts, included in our 3 Valleys season passes. We will finish the trip with 2 days at Loveland, where lift tickets cost less than $40 per day if you buy a "4 Pak" (i.e. 4 day-tickets) online before mid November.

We originally planned to go only to Canada but the free skiing in Colorado was too good an opportunity to miss, not least as our trip to Summit County/Vail will cost us much less (from a "head start" in Canada) than a similar trip from the UK.

Under the free lift pass offer we will be limited to a maximum of 2 days at each of the Vail Resorts, so we will be skiing a day at each of Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge and A-Basin (which isn't owned by Vail but is included in the offer). Then we'll have a second day at one of them - a tough choice!

We are counting down already! Very Happy Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Great trip.

I'd spend more time at Castle or Fernie instead of Kimberley. Or sub in Panorama.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Vail is the biggest and deserves 2 days. The back bowls are fun. One day at Loveland might be enough perhaps Winter Park, Copper or Cooper.
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Thanks both.

In the past we've skied all the places on our trip list (plus Copper) except for Loveland & Kimberley. We are skiing Kimberley to sample somewhere new - likewise Loveland on our way back to Denver.

Mountainaddict visited Kimberley last year and reported a deserted ski area with some challenging steep stuff. Sounds good to me!

Our 2nd day at Loveland will be a shortie, however, as we fly from Denver at 5.30 pm. I don't think we will get tired of skiing there as we are happy to ski anywhere with decent (or indecent for that matter) snow!

I am thinking that a part day skiing somewhere small is better than not skiing on departure day Very Happy

I agree with the Vail comment. We are most likely to have a second day there as we love Blue Sky Basin! Very Happy Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
duplicate post deleted

duplicate post deleted Toofy Grin


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Fri 22-09-17 0:24; edited 1 time in total
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Best part of A Basin is the Montezuma bowls at the back. Some steep and deep there. It is a very small ski though as is Loveland. I wouldn't plan in more than 1 day there.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Best part of A Basin is the Montezuma bowls at the back. Some steep and deep there. It is a very small ski though as is Loveland. I wouldn't plan in more than 1 day there.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Is there an echo in this thread....
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Is there an echo in this thread....
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Looks like it. lol
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Bergmeister, Sounds like a great trip, I would have agreed with Mike Pow, about more time at Castle rather than Kimberley, but as you've been there and not Kimberley I can see why.

Kimberley was quiet last year when we stopped in for the day, some interesting bits too. They do have plenty of school parties there for skiing, as we were informed. But they just stay on the front side Smile

Its a bit of a weird place though, and doesnt hold snow that well either. We got told they were having their best season for snow last year for 7 years - and still had bare rock patches all over the mountain.

Enjoy Madeye-Smiley
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
As Bergmeister has alluded to, Mrs MA and I loved Kimberley when we were there in Feb 2016. Did 2 days there as part of a 1000km road trip featuring Calgary Olympic Park(!!) on arrival afternoon - great; Fairmont Hot Springs ski area - excellent little locals' hill, great snow (that was a half day ski plus night ski after doing the brilliant Johnston Canyon walk en-route); Fernie: Cat skiing plus the ski hill - great snow at altitude, not bad lower down; and Castle Mtn: Windy and rainy but some excellent steeps.

Kimberley definitely exceeded our expectations - with excellent snow top to bottom; quiet to deserted slopes; and easily enough to keep us amused for 2 days. More extensive and challenging than we'd been led to believe and some brilliant steep stuff (both bumps and groomed). Good glades too. And no sign of any bare patches. Most certainly a highly under rated ski area IMO.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
BERG................

Not knowing of the weather on your last day, thus in turn the all important driving conditions............. Loveland is the most intelligent place to ski last if you attempt a short few hours on your departure day. It's great as Loveland is right at the top of the pass, thus saving considerable time and a "straight" shot down to Denver/DIA. Caveat on the manifold maniacal Colorado drivers during your entire time in Colorady..............

By the way Loveland is underrated and if conditions are good is in fact a better place to carve and slide than the "experts" proclaim. Sometimes a "lesser" station is more..................
Give yourselves more than ample time to be way ahead of the curve at the menagerie that is DIA as same is not renowned for expediency. Hope your rental car is good and make certain your windshield wiper fluid ("wash") is full!


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Fri 22-09-17 13:57; edited 2 times in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
mountainaddict wrote:
... Fernie: Cat skiing plus the ski hill - great snow at altitude, not bad lower down; ...
Kimberley definitely exceeded our expectations - with excellent snow top to bottom; quiet to deserted slopes; and easily enough to keep us amused for 2 days. More extensive and challenging than we'd been led to believe and some brilliant steep stuff (both bumps and groomed). Good glades too. And no sign of any bare patches. Most certainly a highly under rated ski area IMO.
No disrespect to anyone, but the obvious thing in all of this is that *it's all about the snow conditions*.
Visit these places once and hit it right, and they're all brilliant.

Fernie in the rain is less fun and would generate fewer good "reviews". You're less likely to get warm conditions up in Alberta, but then sometimes it's dry up there, which is also no fun. I like Kimberly (in the right conditions). Rather like the Alps, where "most people" think only in terms of "big name" resorts, the best powder is generally to be found in the less hyped places. Which I'm not even going to mention.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Fri 22-09-17 19:34; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Don't bother with Keystone and Kimberley IME. Better skiing and usually deeper storms to be had at their neighbours. Obvious caveat applies if they do luck out as philwig points out.

Be aware that the Epic accessed resorts in Colorado can score dramatically different snowfalls in a storm dependent on the precise wind direction. So stay flexible and track Opensnow carefully ( of course every powderhound in the state does the same Crying or Very sad )
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Loveland, interestingly, has a valentine gig. You can send your cards in to them and they send them out with a Loveland postmark!!

I may need to go there for a project and found this out whilst I was googling
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
philwig wrote:
mountainaddict wrote:

..Rather like the Alps, where "most people" think only in terms of "big name" resorts, the best powder is generally to be found in the less hyped places. Which I'm not even going to mention.


I've had some of my best powder days, with little to no competition, at resorts which are marketed to families and/or intermediates.

That describes both Kimberley and Keystone.

And Kiroro Wink Smile


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 24-09-17 9:34; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
gryphea wrote:
Loveland, interestingly, has a valentine gig. You can send your cards in to them and they send them out with a Loveland postmark!!

I may need to go there for a project and found this out whilst I was googling


Loveland ski area is a fair way from Loveland CO
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@Dave of the Marmottes, OK, well I didn't find that out whilst googling!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Kimberly has so much more than its size would suggest and yes its deserted most of the time, well worth a visit.

We love Copper, and again it is very quiet. Spent about 6 weeks there over the years and apart from Presidents day (never go there on presidents day!!) we have never queued to get on a lift.

Unless you love the bumps I'd give Winter Park a miss.
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Winter park is actually my favourite of the larger Co places, but then I do like bumps.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I'm amazed that anyone can recommend giving Keystone a miss. We skied there a lot on our last (23 day) trip to Colorado as we loved the place!

We love to ski bumps and thought the stuff in the glades was fantastic. We always had the (packed powder at the very least) runs to ourselves and can't wait to go back and give the likes of The Griz and Bushwhacker another go. I can't remember the names of the other runs but there were more than enough for us to put in full days on challenging bump runs.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Old Man Of Lech wrote:
Best part of A Basin is the Montezuma bowls at the back. Some steep and deep there. It is a very small ski though as is Loveland. I wouldn't plan in more than 1 day there.

I on the other hand, have skied A-Basin more 10 days last season. And would have skied there more days had I had more time. Wink

I've also skied Loveland for about a week total. Still haven't quite hit all the good spots I could easily see. Haven't done the cat yet. Would kill to go back for that when the condition is right.
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Mike Pow wrote:
philwig wrote:
mountainaddict wrote:

..Rather like the Alps, where "most people" think only in terms of "big name" resorts, the best powder is generally to be found in the less hyped places. Which I'm not even going to mention.


I've had some of my best powder days, with little to no competition, at resorts which are marketed to families and/or intermediates.

That describes both Kimberley and Keystone.

And Kiroro Wink Smile

Never been to Kimberly so can't say. But I would agree about Keystone, though only to a degree.

Keystone is VERY BUSY on piste. So the surface condition are often poor except when right after a storm. Even then, the good snow doesn't last very long due to the high skier traffic.

Off piste in the trees is where the untouched snow stay for a long time. So depending on the skier style, it can be a great place, or a poor place.
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Our Loveland lift tickets have just arrived in the post. A bargain, with 4 lift tickets costing a few pennies short of £120.

Waheyyyyy! Very exciting! Very Happy Very Happy

Since my last post we've managed to book a double room in Frisco in a private house, with use of a full kitchen, for £30 pp per night. Prior to finding that, the accommodation options were unbelievably pricy eg The Super 8 at Dillon was coming up at £1000 for the week! Shocked (We stayed there 5 years ago for £50 per night...) At least with our Frisco accommodation we can keep things more affordable.

We will be kicking off our season with 4 days in Val Thorens, flying on 26 November. Things are looking good! Very Happy
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Only 2 sleeps to go!

Update on travel arrangements... I've now booked (compact) rental cars from Calgary & Denver. Not bad value at all, at £380 for the 2 cars for 16 days (after Quidco cashback, via Holiday Autos).

Our connecting flight (one way) from Calgary to Denver was quite pricy, relatively speaking, (@ £180pp, versus £536 pp for our Transatlantic** return with BA) but it's still a very reasonably priced trip overall.

We are also planning an hour's skiing at Calgary Olympic Park prior to flying out of Calgary, as we will be driving from Fernie but not flying to Denver until about 5pm. We've driven past it before & it looks better than Xscape!

Can't wait! Very Happy Very Happy

** Statistical footnote (for those interested):

In an idle moment I looked up the mileage we will be flying on our trip.

BA: 9579 Miles (ie Newcastle - Heathrow - Calgary. Then Denver - LHR - Newcastle).
Cost: 5.6p per mile.

Air Canada: 895 miles (ie Calgary to Denver).
Cost: 20.4p per mile.

Incredible value really Very Happy Very Happy
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Bergmeister, Enjoy the trip Madeye-Smiley
Packing a week today for ours Toofy Grin
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Bergmeister, if you can make it work, I recommend Beaver Creek out of those options if skiing on a Saturday in Colorado. It's the farthest from the front range towns and therefore tends to be less crowded than the others, and Saturday is the busiest day for Epic Pass resorts.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
mr. mike,
Thanks for the advice. However, we will only be in Colorado for 2 Saturdays.The first is our arrival night, so we will then be skiing Sunday to Friday with our Vail Resorts 6 day pass. Then it's Loveland on the 2nd Saturday and again on the Sunday (until about 1pm), before we fly home.

How long should it take to drive to Denver Airport at that time of the day? We don't fly until 5.30pm but need to allow time to refuel & drop off the hire car before check in. Puzzled
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Bones,
Where are you going next week?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Bergmeister, Fly into SLC, ski, then drive to Jackson for a couple of days, day at Targhee, then up to Montana. From there across to Darby, then down to Sun Valley, finally back in SLC for the final week at the Cottonwoods again. Madeye-Smiley

Fun times ahead Toofy Grin Snow not the best in UT, but WY and MT are getting plenty snowHead
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Bones,

Sounds great! Have a good 'un! Very Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Bergmeister, Have you used the free ski days from your 3 valley pass before?

We're due out in Colorado next week but booked the flights in November. Prior to booking the flights we called a couple of the lift pass offices in the resorts we plan to visit and they didn't seem to know much about the offer.
The people we are staying with also contacted them this week and had a similar response. They recommend we print the details from the epic pass website before going into a lift pass office and demanding our free days.
One of the guys we spoke to looked at the details on the epicpass website and insisted we would have to show our 'Tarentaise' season pass so we are anticipating a few problems.
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