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Colorado, where to go

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So impulsively booked a flight to Denver on Boxing Day due to very good deals on black Friday flight. Need some advice on where to ski and where to stay. Only have 5 days as coming back on new year's eve. So I'm thinking Breckenridge or Winter Park. Or maybe we should stay in Frisco and drive up to several different resorts (we are happy with a 45 min drive). Any thoughts?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Check out Loveland, A-basin, Keystone, Copper, Vail, and Beaver Creek
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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?
@südtirolistdeutsch,
Um, well yes I know the names ofourse...any more specific advice??
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Winter Park. Depends what you want and where the best snow happens to be.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
JimSearle wrote:
@südtirolistdeutsch,
Um, well yes I know the names ofourse...any more specific advice??

Depends on your skill level and budget.
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Take a bit further drive to Steamboat to escape some of the Summit County crowds.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
JimSearle,

Lift ticket prices could be a deciding factor, if you are keeping an eye on your budget. Prepare to be astounded if you are skiing the Vail resorts.

The Vail resorts (Breckenridge, Vail, Keystone and Beaver Creek) will work out very expensive & your best bet is to buy an Epic Local season pass ( not kidding unfortunately - even for only 5 days). That will set you back $709 each, which is (believe if or not) $60 cheaper than a 5 day pass. Shocking prices in my opinion! Shocked
But you have to buy your season pass before 2 December.

When we were there in February a day ticket for Vail or Beaver Creek was $180. Breckenridge & Keystone were "only" $120 & A-basin was less than $100.

Winter Park is offering bargain lift tickets (relatively speaking), with a 4 day flexible ticket (valid on any dates) for $369 per person. You could ski there for 4 days and do a day at Loveland, which offers 70 odd dollar lift tickets and is well worth a visit. We did that last season and slept at Georgetown - a nice, old town 20 minutes from the skiing.

We've been to all of the above in recent years and love them all - though prices vary wildly. Vail resorts are well into the pi$$ taking category and will screw you for every penny. The food and drink is now ridiculous on the mountain - e.g. $6 for a coffee and $15 for a slice of pizza! We take picnics.

Winter Park was much more reasonable for dining on the mountain when we were last there (5 years ago); and A- Basin is also reasonable as it's not owned by Vail, despite being covered by their lift pass.

You could also try Copper Mountain (though we've not been there for over 20 years) and Monarch (which we've not skied but others on here have recommended).

Last year we stayed in Frisco and drove to the various resorts. We had 6 days free skiing in Vail Resorts with our 3 Valleys season passes, which proved to be a bargain. We are doing the same in February this season Very Happy. Given the Vail resorts ticket prices it might even be worth your while to buy a season pass (circa €1200) for Espace Killy, the 3 Valleys or Paradiski... as they all offer 6 days free skiing in Colorado. Food for thought Puzzled

Remember to let us know what you decide and how you get on. I'm sure you will have a great time! Very Happy :
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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!
Aspen.
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3rd vote here for Winter Park. I love the place!
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I'd second Aspen, for 5 days. Get the Icon pass for the trip. If you don't mind driving in, stay out of town to keep costs down.
4 totally different hills to ski, and 5th day pick your favourite Madeye-Smiley
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Start looking for accomodation now, that time is super peak season. Silverthorne and Dillon are the places to look for a clean room at a reasonable price.and ski A basin Keystone Breck Vail and maybe Beaver.

I would avoid staying staying somewhere like Idaho Springs thinking you can drive in daily. The I 70 is often a zoo, think M 25 with snow.

Winter Park is good and can be a little cheaper on accommodation especially on the Fraser side. The 40 never has the traffic problems of I 70

Steamboat is a little funkier, the skiing is excellent but it is about 3 1/2 hrs from Denver airport in good dry clear conditions double or triple in a storm
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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.
TQA knows.............. Thanx TQA!!!

Decide on where you want to be and make your zimmer mit douche reservations pronto. As a matter of fact, as of about three weeks ago..........

My advice, take a pragmatic path of least resistance. What....., you're arriving mid afternoon at DIA? So, assuming you rent a car, you're not on the road until a little before 5:00 p.m., just in time for ye olde rush hour. Did I say you'd be a bit tired already from the flight? So, the notion of a five or so odd hour drive to a further distant locale makes me wince. I'm waiting for someone to recommend Telluride (by car)..................

Right now essentially everyone (resorts) is up and running in the state and the nights are cold enough for snowmaking with days not undoing the night before. Six to eight predicted storms are scattered over the next two weeks in the Rockies so you'll have fully skiable conditions during your time wherever you choose. We'll be back in Snowmass on the 16th and expect a good time.

In all candor, take that path of least resistance, make it easy on yourself. No best place but it's hard to beat the availability of essentially seven/eight stations - resorts - within a maximum of one hour's drive ex Frisco/Dillon/Silverthorne/etc. You can figure out which resorts they are......... And yes, Winter Park is a very lovely place, not to be overlooked if you are considering that, too.
Weigh and balance your ticket pricing, do not know if you get a break. We have access to special HOA season passes each year as we've done for decades and honestly have little clue as to what is "out there" for Euro tifosi.
The USA IS v. much a money sink hole compared to Europe. But hey, you get access to some great bar-b-que, Coors beer, numerous rhinestone cowboy country western music stations on the radio, the wafting aroma (or more) of marijuana which is now 100% legal in Colorady for those who partake (I don't) and typically astute grooming and many fast lifts. You'll make the right call, but do as TQA stated and pronto and take my thoughts with a grain of salt...............

Have a great time, a safe time.
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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
You'll get reamed up the ass for tickets that week at Epic/ Vail Resorts and they'll be crowded experiences unless you buy an Epic pass. For reasonable price I'd do WP and Loveland /ABasin.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@JimSearle, yep, buy a season pass now! Even the small hills can hit you for $100+ a day ticket Evil or Very Mad

I had a season in Copper and loved it, the hill(s) are quite European in feel with more than enough to keep you busy for a month. Food and drink is better quality and price than many of the 'chain' resorts. I lived in my van in a Frisco supermarket car park and joined the Copper sports club for gym/pool/showers . . . Best $35 a month I've ever spent, great pool and good gym.
Frisco itself is nice and central with plenty of food drink and retail and easy access to many other resorts if your pockets run that deep. Really recommend Leadville for its 1950s vibe, fun place.

Be aware that I 70 from the airport around Denver and up the hill makes the M25 feel like a trundle around Windsor Safari Park. One of the worst roads and worst drivers in the world. If you arrive tired and in time for normal peak traffic times . . . Take a hotel break and drive up the hill really early, 05:00 or post 19:00
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
JimSearle wrote:
@südtirolistdeutsch,
Um, well yes I know the names ofourse...any more specific advice??

There’re like 20 different mountains to choose from. Any specific of what you’re after? Piste, off piste, steeps, trees, powder, budget?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks all for the most useful advice. In the end we decided to go with Breckenridge and have booked an apartment there. Most likely do 3 days skiing in Breck and then take a day trip to one of the other resorts that the shuttles run to. It looks like buying a 4 day epic pass is the cheapest option, although it's still crazy expensive compared to our traditional haunts in the maurrienne valley. Really looking forwards to it though, sounds as though they have had a good start to the season
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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JimSearle,

I'm sure you will love it over there. Once sampled, I'm certain you will be very keen to go back for a longer trip.

Remember to let us know how you get on.
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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?
Pro tip for Breck. Get gondy early and get off base peak 7. Take first chair then hit Peak 6 until there is a significant line then start working back. With luck you only brave the base of Peak 8 once. Don't miss 6 chair and Imperial if open. E chair to Peak 9 then the last hour or so on Peak 10 is gloriously empty.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Pro tip for Breck. Get gondy early and get off base peak 7. Take first chair then hit Peak 6 until there is a significant line then start working back. With luck you only brave the base of Peak 8 once. Don't miss 6 chair and Imperial if open. E chair to Peak 9 then the last hour or so on Peak 10 is gloriously empty.

How busy are the pistes/lifts? Never skied Western NA and have always gotten lucky with empty or near empty lifts/pistes in the Alps
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
südtirolistdeutsch wrote:

How busy are the pistes/lifts? Never skied Western NA and have always gotten lucky with empty or near empty lifts/pistes in the Alps

OP is going during the absolute peak time of the season.

The rest of the time, not a problem
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Pro tip for Breck. Get gondy early and get off base peak 7. Take first chair then hit Peak 6 until there is a significant line then start working back. With luck you only brave the base of Peak 8 once. Don't miss 6 chair and Imperial if open. E chair to Peak 9 then the last hour or so on Peak 10 is gloriously empty.

You're assuming the OP is an intermediate piste skier?

For advanced skiers or on powder days, head straight to the Imperial or Peak 9!
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Nah works for off piste skiers too - loads of nice lines and a short hike to the ridge from Peak 6. Without the gong show of T Bar lines etc. Course if you ski Whales Tail from Imperial you end up back at top of 7 anyway.
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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!
Hiking on powder day morning is in my view inefficient.

Lifts are a lot faster than hiking. One can get 2-3 laps in for the time others manage 1 hike. I would maximize the efficiency of the lifts before the crowd arrive and lines form.

So, use lifts as much as possible and only hike later in the day after the lift accessed powder got tracked out.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 27-11-18 9:51; edited 1 time in total
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@JimSearle, Be very aware of altitude sickness. You will be sleeping quite high in Breck.
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How did things shake out? Lots of garbage advice given, but I think you made a decent decision going with Breck. Did you drive straight from Denver and sleep at 3,000 meters the first night?
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@goweje,
Oh was a very good trip thank you. Yes we drove straight to 2900m, no issues but we've spent a lot of time at altitude so was not expecting any. Breck was good, Vail was awesome. Next time I'd stay in Frisco and hit Keystone and copper mountain too. All in all a very good trip, although the weak pound makes the US VERY expensive right now.
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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.
JimSearle,

I'm pleased you enjoyed the trip.

Yes - Keystone is definitely worth a visit. It's one of our favourite spots and is underrated/overlooked IMO. It has some great mogul/glades skiing, which is often deserted, including steep stuff if that's your thing. Very Happy

We haven't been to Copper since 1990(!) but enjoyed it then....
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