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Winter Park vs Breckenridge?

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Winter Park vs Breckenridge?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi there

Long time since I have been here!

As per the title; I just wondered if anyone has been to either, or preferably both of the above resorts and could help with a comparison, specifically with snowboarding in mind.

Flights to Denver are booked for Feb, now need to choose the location and book the accomodation.

Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Winter park is much closer to Denver, easy to drive to with jet lag.

Haven't been to either for a few years, but my preference is Winter park. WP has more interesting steep terrain. Brek is kind of high and wide but not terribly steep. There are some great mogul fields in Winter Park, excellent sport for good snowboarders. Breckenridge is fancier and handy for other places over there, but more mellow overall.

Hire a car and drive around.
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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?
WP is a little closer but only a factor if you are a day tripper from Denver.
WP has more variety but I didn't think boarders were keen on moguls.
As philwig, says get a car, they are pretty cheap and if you stay at or near Breckenridge you have several resorts within a short drive.
A more difficult decision is which lift pass to get as day passes are very expensive. If you are there for more than a few days consider a getter a discounted season pass now which means deciding which resort/s you to go for. Good cheap accomodation is hard to find.
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That's really helpful, thank you.

Mogul fields are not a winner. Not something I would be drawn to. Philwig you complete weirdo Wink .

We will just get a transfer to one resort and stay there I expect rather than a car, We will only be there for 6 days on the slopes so not doing a multi stop trip, I did that last time with Big 3....

I did see the price of the 6 day passes - yikes!!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I lived between the two, but much closer to Breckenridge the last 3 years. I have skied Winter Park, but not nearly as much as Breck and the Summit County resorts of Keystone, A Basin and Copper Mountain. I snow boarded for 3 years (but not at either resort) so know that you likely want to avoid flat sections.

WP, particularly the Mary Jane side, is known for their moguls. Can get crowed over the weekends, but not too bad during the week (likely empty compared to Europe in Feb except Presidents weekend). Remember having to push my daughter along a few flat sections, but could have avoided some of these with a bit better planning. Winter Park is not close to other resorts like Breck is.

For those that think Breck is flat everywhere, you probably haven't skied off the Imperial Chair (Top of Peak 8 with a traverse to the top of 7) or the double blacks skiers right off Peak 10. The lower parts of Breck are mostly flat with some easy blues on Peak 7, a mix of greens, blues and easy blacks on the lower parts of 8 and 9. The current trail map says Peak 10 is all black, but the groomers under the lift is no more than a moderate red by most Euro standards.

If you tell me more about your trip and the type of riding you like to do, I can be of more help. All the resorts in the area offer something good, which is why Lechbob has a good idea about staying near Breck and trying several- that is why we picked Frisco. We are in Europe this year and offering Snowheads discounts on renting our place which can be configured as a 2, 3 or 4 bedroom townhouse with 3.5 bathrooms and up to 2900 square feet of living space. http://www.skilodgingrental.com/Frisco_Properties.php Very Happy



For passes, you only have a limited time to get the A Basin Bonus Pass or Epic Local Pass ($389/$429)- these cover A-Basin, Breckenridge, Keystone (and potentially Vail and/or Beaver Creek). Loveland offers 4 transferable day tickets for $129 for another week or so. Copper is another very good mountain and offers discounted tickets from time to time.
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Honda Kitty, just saw you posted will I was working on mine- Consider Copper Mountain if you just want a single place and being in a ski village is ok. If you prefer a real town, then Breckenridge is a good choice.

FWIW, there is a free Summit Stage bus that covers Copper, Breckenridge, Keystone and A-Basin along with Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne. This link has a map of the ski areas and some additional Summit County information http://www.skilodgingrental.com/Summit_County_Info.php
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thanks for the replies, all very useful indeed - I have been looking at some of those other resorts, I think Keystone looks good.... and I think you're right that I need to do some more research.

MEfree30, more about trip.... we have 7 days (6 slope days), we do not want a long transfer from Denver (max 2hrs and less if possible.), as I am a boarder I do not want a ski area that has lots of traverse and flats as it really is a PITA and makes me very crotchety, so very board-friendly would be a bonus. Good tip about the A Basin Bonus Pass - if we can decide our 'base' and book a hotel then I can book the pass too.

We are both reasonable and confident intermediates but not experts, we're both piste-bashers so neither of us need an area with lots of off-piste. Obviously with that said, an area that has plenty of good snowfall record would be ace. We are happy to stay in 1 area if there is enough to keep us occupied, will go to different areas if they are about 30/45 mins but no more - WP ski area does look pretty limited.

Thanks again chaps
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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!
shop hard on lift tickets and you'll get amazing deals. Our tickets came via the booking agent that we booked our self catered accomodation in WP with. We went to both Brek and WP last year, a week each - first time in the US and we loved it. Not sure I can recommend one over the other but I slightly enjoyed the Breckenridge downtown area more than WP's. On the hill there is just so much fun with both. With only a week and the altitude to adjust to then personally I'd make life easy and stay put in one places as the first couple of days are tiring to say the least.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Thanks for all the replies - we still haven't decided but after working through a few more resorts that you have all suggested I think that Keystone looks nice, reasonable size and not too far from the Airport.....

Now this season its time for a new board - more decisions! everyone has an 'expert' opinion and they all tell you the other guy is wrong..... rolling eyes
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Keystone is boring wink
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
fatbob, Well I like Keystone. We had a couple of great days there with Blue sky and fluffy snow. There was a party atmosphere at Keystone Gulch with rock music,BBQ, beer and deck chairs for sunbathing. We were kept amused by those had taken the black trail when they should have done the blue, you could see after their first turn it wasn't going to work, they come sailing down on their backsides coming to a gentle stop in view of the crowds. Those who took the blue trail when they should have taken the black were pulled for speeding.
Condominiums in the forest have been on offer and were about the cheapest decent accomodation I could find. You really need 4 sharing to get best value in the states. My mate likes A-Basin a couple of miles up the pass - it is high and open, a bit too wild for me. I don't know how good the free public transport is Summit County but in theory you should be able to commute to A basin & Breck. A car would be hardly more expensive than a transfer with CME and so much more convenient. We are staying in Silverthorne in Jan/Feb and will do all the Summit/Eagle resorts and microbreweries in rotation.
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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.
I like Keystone also- last year was great skiing in the trees with all the snow they had. Of all the Summit resorts, I think Keystone is probably the most boarder friendly (but I haven't boarded in Summit yet). Some complain that Keystone has no extreme terrain, which is basically true, but they have good advanced terrain between the tree skiing and some moguls. For the most part, Copper also strikes me as a boarder friendly mountain as long as you avoid a few spots. Overall, the terrain and snow is better at Copper, IMO.

The only real downside of for Honda Kitty, (and everyone else) is that Keystone tends to get the LEAST snow of all the Summit resorts- not a terrible record when you compare to outside CO, but down the list relative to the others locally. The advantage is it is the least exposed, so good on a storm day.

With only 6 days skiing, you could also get the A-Basin 4 Pack for $148 until Dec 5. Loveland also sells their TRANSFERABLE 4 pack until 20 November for $129 (really just 4 tix that can be used the same day or separately). A group who takes advantage of this and my Chalet Frisco deal available to Snowheads can really get a luxurious holiday for a great price (not factoring in airfare). The other resorts are less, but the Vail owned resorts of Breck KS, Vail and BC sell their day tickets for ~$100/day with only slight discounts for multi-day and/or online purchase. Time to buy is now if you are coming for more than a week!

LL and A-B are both very high resorts and not recommended for your first day or during storms


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Thu 17-11-11 18:15; edited 2 times in total
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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
The free buses are pretty good DEPENDING on where you are staying and where you want to go. Most routes run twice an hour during winter, so it does pay to look at the schedule- google summit stage. From Keystone it is very easy to get to A-Basin 5 miles up the road and easy to get to Breck. From Frisco, it is easy to get to Breck, Copper and Silverthorne. Keystone and A-Basin are possible, but you do have to switch buses which is a pain (although they do good job of coordinating times for the most part.

I am biased because I bought there, but I think Frisco is the best town in terms of being a real town and central to great skiing with Copper, Keystone, Breck, A-Basin, Loveland and Vail all within 10 to 30 minutes. No other place in Summit, except Copper Mountain, can say that and we have a real Main St with restaurants and shopping.

Silverthorne makes a good base and is closer to LL, A-B and Keystone, but it is farther to the other 3 and really doesn't have the same charm/character as Frisco- much more spread out and not as easy to walk to dinner or shopping for the most part. They have a good amount of cheap (but not nicer) condos as well as the Outlet shops.

Dillon is right next to Silverthorne and has the advantage of a bit more central downtown area and good access to the Lake in the Summer. They have a few restaurants and bars that I visit from time to time as well as the Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocery Store which is reasonably priced for organics in a mountain town.

Here is a link to some additional Summit County info including a map that shows the location of the CO ski resorts http://www.skilodgingrental.com/Summit_County_Info.php
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Honda Kitty wrote:
Now this season its time for a new board - more decisions! everyone has an 'expert' opinion and they all tell you the other guy is wrong..... rolling eyes

Why not buy your new board out there? I seem to recall some good sports shops in Frisco. MEfree30 may advise. It would save £40 for one way air carriage.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I have never bought a snowboard for myself (only rented while trying it out about a dozen times), but my recommendation would be to call Danny at Snowboard Addict. Nice guy with a small shop on Main Street who has the luck of the Irish having survived a slide last year which broke his buddy's leg.

If it doesn't work out there, you could try the Denver or High Rockies section of craig's list or look for a US online retailer who could ship to you in CO. Overall, I know that ski prices in the US seem cheaper than on the other side of the pond, so you might save a few quid on the board as well.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
fatbob, Lechbob, You guys are very helpful, although now with more choices on the table....I am really not sure where I should head to at all!!

OK to narrow it down, with these priorities where would you guys choose?:

- Within 2hrs pref less, of Denver
- Board friendly
- Big enough as main ski area and a base for 6 days but very close to at least 1 other resort for a change of scene
- Good annual powder stats



Lechbob wrote:
Honda Kitty wrote:
Now this season its time for a new board - more decisions! everyone has an 'expert' opinion and they all tell you the other guy is wrong..... :roll:

Why not buy your new board out there? I seem to recall some good sports shops in Frisco. MEfree30 may advise. It would save £40 for one way air carriage.


Yes, if I was there longer I might do, I bought my Burton Air in Canada last time but I had a couple of weeks so spend a couple of days looking at things. It's a lovely board but it's never really suited me. However, as we arrive in the afternoon then transfer to wherever and only have 6 days I really don't want to be faffing around, traipsing round shops that may or may not have something right for me. I have the time now to do my research and find something - we don't want to hire a car and I don't want to be under pressure that might mean I make the wrong decision again.. good suggestion though :)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sounds like you should demo several boards to see what suits you best. If you plan to research and buy now, you could get something sorted in the US ahead of time as long as you have figured out what you want.

Sounds like you have 2 choices for resorts given your criteria: Copper or Breckenridge by process of elimination

The following got eliminated

Vail/Beaver Creek and many others are over 2 hours (from the airport which is in the direction of Kansas, not the Mountains from downtown)
Keystone does not have as good a snow record
Winter Park does not have any other major resorts close by (and the riding doesn't sound like it suits you)
Loveland and A-Basin don't have lodging

If it was me, I would do Copper which would give you the chance to get to Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Loveland or A-Basin all within about 20 to 25 minutes by car. You can also take the Free Summit Stage to Breck, Keystone or A-Basin, but will have to change buses if staying in Copper. Copper is slightly closer to the airport than Breck and tends to offer more in season lift ticket deals than Breck.

Breck is farther from Vail/BC/Loveland and tends to be more crowded than Copper, but has direct bus service to Keystone and A-Basin.

For snow, I think Breck and Copper are about equal with Breck averaging a bit more, but with Copper having more northern exposures and fewer skiers for better preservation.

I think you will be happy either way.
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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?
Honda Kitty, Don't agonise too much, you'll have a great time at any. Make sure you are fit and rested for the trip as it takes some people a while to acclimatise to the altitude. I would always recommend at least 10 days but one of our best trips was only for a week, we stayed in Frisco and skied a different resort each day, drunk jugs (don't ask the barmaid for a jug of beer you'll get thrown out : u.s. pitcher=jug ; jug=booby) of beer every night at the Moose Jaw but we were fresh from training in Tignes.
If you have a tight budget do your research on accommodation and lift pass cost - it is the deal breaker. The epic local $519/summit value pass $429 offer ends 29th November. http://www.snow.com/epic-pass/passes.aspx notr blackout dates.
The copper mountain “4 pack” $159 probably gives cheapest option. http://www.coppercolorado.com/winter/plan_and_buy/season_passes/fourpack/index.html
Sometimes you can get discounted tickets bundled with accommodation.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 20-11-11 22:13; edited 1 time in total
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re Copper 4 pack

Available for a limited time only!!
*Copper Four Packs are available to NEW purchasers (didn't have a Copper pass in 2010/2011) in person. You must come to Guest Services at Copper or a Christy Sports location to purchase.


Don't count on them being available in Feb, but sometimes Copper offers some discounts
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Lechbob, MEfree30, Thanks so much, really helpful indeed. I'm sort of thinking Breck now due to the limited time and the direct service to Keystone/ABasin.

Does Breck do any bargain passes that you chaps know about?

Lechbob, I have been to Alberta (Big 3) before and luckily had 2 weeks, yes I would agree 10 days is much better, however we just don't have the time at the moment. We wanted to go to USA this season as last was the worst trip I've ever had weather wise! I think we'll get by with the lingo. Especially in bars as my hubby is tee total and I only drink 1 glass of wine before passing out!

I'm narrowing down my new board selection too, I can't believe how different boards feel even to handle since the last time I bought one. So much lighter, more flexy and with the rocker and reverse cambers going on.... I think it's going to make a big difference, thinking Burton again plus new boots and bindings if I can stretch it. Yes I'm a brand whore and I don't care!
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I'd favour Breck over Keystone as at least there is a town there and you can always take the free bus over to Keystone and A Basin. Copper's fine as an idea but it suffers from not being on a shared lift pass unike the others. (don't know if a Summit county Vail Resorts pass still includes days in Vail as well but if it does its worth a visit)
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Honda Kitty wrote:

I'm narrowing down my new board selection too, I can't believe how different boards feel even to handle since the last time I bought one. So much lighter, more flexy and with the rocker and reverse cambers going on.... I think it's going to make a big difference, thinking Burton again plus new boots and bindings if I can stretch it. Yes I'm a brand whore and I don't care!


If you really are a brand whore (that was painful to type but you said it first!) then Burton should be way down the list. Never Summer make some of the most highly rated boards available just a few miles down the road from where you're going. They make a stick for everyone so you should find something suitable in their range (what type of boarder are you?).

I've only owned 2 boards and only tested my new Never Summer SL in fridges twice but I can say it turns easier, ollies higher, rides switch easier and carves as well as my 5 yo Burton Custom. It certainly garnered some admiring glances and comments at Chill Factor on Saturday. I'll be able to tell you more once I've had it up to Mach 1 and in some deep powder (please!) in January. The reveiws of the 2011 are very good though.
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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!
Honda Kitty wrote:
I have been to Alberta (Big 3) before and luckily had 2 weeks, yes I would agree 10 days is much better, however we just don't have the time at the moment. We wanted to go to USA this season as last was the worst trip I've ever had weather wise! I think we'll get by with the lingo. Especially in bars as my hubby is tee total and I only drink 1 glass of wine before passing out!

I guess you have commitments but you need to be pretty resilient to cope with the travel and altitude. This and the cost of getting there makes me recommend a longer stay and maximise the chance of an epic powder day. There's a big difference between Banff & Breckenridge. Altitude is not an issue at Banff. Banff's mountain bases are at about 1600 m and peak at 2700 m compared to Breckenridge base at 2900 m to the peak at 3960 m. I don't know if there is any correlation between alcohol tolerance and altitude tolerance but you may be affected for the first couple of days. You have a pretty good chance of good snow and good weather in Colorado. Good luck, let us know how you get on.
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Snow Hound, Hello snowhound, yes there is a Salomon, Burton and Never Summer infinity on my shortlist. I was speaking to BBC in Milton Keynes and they said they have no demo boards anymore (a big change from a few years ago when I last looked). The manufacturers just don't want to supply the retailers apparently, I haven't asked at other places.

Lechbob, Yes, I understand all the reasons and my comparison to Banff was the length of stay rather than altitude, however my husband is consulting globally for 3 different companies, it is almost impossible to even get a weekend away, I am lucky to get a week!! Cost of trip is not an issue. We've been to India for 3 days, Nevis for 3 days and driven through Arizona, Nevada and California in 1 week (getting married en-route) thats how we roll Wink

He is tee total and I barely drink more than a glass of wine a week so alcohol is not a prob. I had a little bit of altitude sickness in Val T so I know it is vile, - unfortunately there is nothing we can do to extend the trip.

You guys have been ace - thank you, I am now examining the town map of Breck so we don't end up in some inacessible place.....


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Tue 22-11-11 7:24; edited 1 time in total
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Honda Kitty wrote:
Cost of trip is not an issue..

Then go to Aspen, wonderful place. Fly into Aspen, 15 minute transfer.
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