Old 07-07-09, 09:24 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2009
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What is the best place to ski in Colorado

I am beginning to plan a Colorado ski trip over Christmas and was wondering what would be a good place to ski at? I am 47 and ski pretty much any groomed trail as long as there are no bumps. My son is 16 and has only skied a couple of times and skis the groomed trails also. I have a 13 year old daughter whom has never skied before. So my question is what would be the best place for us to ski in Colorado? I was thinking Winter Park been there and i enjoyed it!

Thanks for your help!

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Old 11-07-09, 05:16 PM   #2
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Old 12-07-09, 10:45 PM   #3
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I just went to the Breckenridge area this past spring with my dad (51) and sister (16 and a first-timer). Breckenridge, Keystone, and Vail are all good properties. They are all owned by Vail Resorts, which means that they have uniformly high standards of service, but also uniformly high prices. Vail is the most expensive, but we all thought Keystone was the best. Copper Mountain is comparable to the Vail properties (in quality and price), but with a major difference: it's really easy to find discounts, coupons, and 2-for-1 promotions for Copper. All of these resorts have plenty to keep skiers of all skill levels happy.
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Old 22-08-09, 05:33 AM   #4
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Spent 4 weeks last season and did 4 resorts plus Lake tahoe. We stayed on the snow in Breckenridge and Keystone and did day trips to Vail and Beaver Creek. Would stay in cheaper motel in Dillon or silverthorne and drive to wherever I felt like skiing. Windy, head to Vail , Beaver or Keystone, fresh pow, head to Vail, great day out, breck. They are all different and are best on different days. Car is a must tho. Got epic pass and it is unlimited in all those resorts and I got a free lesson as well. Stay in town, do all resorts, and you can decide where you want to stay and do a last minute deal somewhere if you do want to stay on snow
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Old 20-09-09, 12:43 PM   #5
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I think Copper is very well-suited for people who are used to groomed. There is tough stuff up top, above the tree line.
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Old 26-09-09, 08:20 AM   #6
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Copper - great groomers "naturally divided terrain" you'll get sick of hearing that! But basically there are 3 hills - steep, medium & gentle - all accessed by 3 close-together lifts at centre village. So really easy to find your way around, found terrain that suits you, & hopefully not full of high-speed experts. My family hadn't skiied on tree runs before (we don't have trees in the snowline in New Zealand), so our most fun was over on the green trails, doing the easy tracks thru' the trees - like being on a freestyle rollercoaster!

We had the choise of Winterpark or Copper, but all and sundry recommended Copper.
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Old 23-10-09, 11:19 PM   #7
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Winter park has always been one of my favorites. Its a fairly inexpensive and family friendly resort thats well developed and has a pretty good variety of trails. plus the alpine slide is fun
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Old 27-10-09, 08:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bquick222 View Post
I am beginning to plan a Colorado ski trip over Christmas and was wondering what would be a good place to ski at? I am 47 and ski pretty much any groomed trail as long as there are no bumps. My son is 16 and has only skied a couple of times and skis the groomed trails also. I have a 13 year old daughter whom has never skied before. So my question is what would be the best place for us to ski in Colorado? I was thinking Winter Park been there and i enjoyed it!

Thanks for your help!

Depends on what kind of skiing you like. And, it is going to depend a bit on where you are thinking of staying while on this ski trip. If you want to try a bunch of different areas, I would stay in the Frisco, Dillon, or Silverthorne areas. Within a 15 to 30 minute drive you have the following ski areas: Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, and Loveland. Note that Arapahoe Basin and Loveland are titled towards more advanced skiers and are smaller areas. If you drive over Vail Pass to Vail (about 45 minutes in good weather) you have the Vail Ski and 15 minutes further to the west, Beaver Creek. To get to the Aspen ski areas you need to drive to Glenwood Springs then head south into Aspen – a few hour drive from Vail.
Vail and Beaver Creek are flagship properties of Vail Associates and they spend a lot of time making certain the grooming is done well – especially at Beaver Creek. The downside is that the lodging in these areas can be pricey. Vail is a HUGE resort and has long groomers and some terrain that will challenge your skills too – this will keep you busy for a week. Beaver Creek is a smaller area and all the trails funnel into one base area so it is simple to find people at the end of the day.
If you plan to stay in Vail, you have a free bus system and all the bars and restaurants you can stand in a week. A car isn’t really necessary and you can take the shared van ride from Colorado Mountain Express from either the Denver Airport or the Eagle County Airport (EGE) – look them up on www.ridecme.com. EGE may be another choice to fly into – the airport is about 45 minutes west of Vail. The Denver airport is about a 2.5 hour drive from Vail. Cost one way is about $60/person (from Denver Airport) but then again you don’t need to drive, rent a car, deal with snowy roads, or pay a daily parking fee just to let the car sit there for a week (lots of hotels up there are charging parking now that they have found a new revenue stream to exploit). If you want to go to Beaver Creek to ski for a day, you can take a bus from the Vail Transportation Center to BC for about $5 each way (look carefully at the schedules).
Also, if you choose a Vail lodging option, be careful for a few things: a) you want the property to be on the bus route or have a shuttle van to take you to the lifts and back to the hotel – you don’t want to be schlepping your ski gear half a mile or more to catch a city bus, b) when doing property searches for lodging, be careful too – for instance, if you put in VAIL as a town to search for rooms, searches often show up with lodging in the town of Eagle – the cheap price will snag you until you get there and find out you are a 45 minute drive away, c) In Vail, get dropped off at the Lionshead area. This is about a one or two block walk from the place where you are dropped off to the gondola (it’s a high capacity gondola with each car capable of carrying 15 or so people – the line moves really fast). If you get dropped off at Vail Village, it’s a three or four block uphill to a quad chairlift – yeah, stairs along the way too. Note if you have a car there are parking structures at both locations.
A couple of places not to miss:
a) Breckenridge: The Peak 7 area/runs – very intermediate will rolling hills and often a few inches of powder to experiment on if you don’t do powder well.
b) Copper Mountain: The runs around the Soliloquy run (sorry, don’t know the names of the lifts)
c) Beaver Creek: The Rose Bowl and the runs on the top of the hill (all easy) and the ones on the western side of the resort (the runs that connect into Arrowwood – yeah, your lift ticket works over there too)
d) Vail: The intermediate runs around mid-Vail – long intermediate cruisers. Lost Boy in the Game Creek Bowl and the runs adjacent to that, Blue Ox if it is groomed – if not, well, it’s going to take a long time to get down, runs around the Sourdough lift, and Blue Sky Basin. In Blue Sky there is a very nice run (Big Rock Park/Cloud 9) with widely spaced trees that is a hoot to go skiing in (you don’t need to be super technical to ski here, just able to make turns comfortably – it’s not tight), and a run called Grand Review. Note that it takes a long time to get here so you’ll want to probably get over to here first thing early in the morning (via the intermediate and easy runs through Mid-Vail if you start in Lions Head)
And yourself a couple of big favors if you come skiing in Colorado for a week:
1) Exercise before you come. Core, abdominal work really pays off. Squats and dead lifts are good too. Then, add some aerobic exercise to that. We cycle all summer so the aerobic angle is covered but the gym time really pays off. You’ll also score bonus points with your metabolism if you clean up your diet a bit too (yeah, I am guilty too).
2) Get ski clothing that fits, feels nice to wear, and is warm. In a lot of cases you’ll find yourself at the top of the ski lift and all there is is you, your skis, and the great outdoors – and no shelter. Not being cold means that you’ll have a good time no matter what the weather conditions.
3) Get here a day early and chill. Arrive a day or so early and don’t ski – allow your body to rest up from the traveling and get used to the altitude. The base of most Colorado ski areas is about 8,000 feet in altitude. Skiing is hard work so give your body a break before you go out and use it.
4) Get a lesson the first day or so that you are skiing. Don’t wait until the last day to take a lesson – how are you going to practice what you learned? Plus, it will help you to break the intermediate rut and you’ll be able to challenge yourself on some steep or sort of bumpy stuff and not just sigh and wonder what might have been.
5) Early. Early. Early. You care coming at Christmas and there will be a bunch of people here. You want to be first on the chair in the morning and plot out your ski day to stay ahead of the crowds. The lift systems at most Colorado resorts are fast – a full maze only results in about a 10 to 20 minute wait. But, some places have notorious bottlenecks – like the lifts at mid-Vail anytime past mid morning. You want to ski, not wait in line. Here’s a plan of attack for Vail that we normally use:
a. Up early, eat breakfast, catch 8AM shuttle from the hotel to the Lionshead area
b. Get to the Gondola, be there for the 8:30AM opening
c. At the building, restroom and drink some water, then down into the Game Creek Bowl.
d. Couple of easy runs here – Lost Boy and Dealers Choice
e. Up out of the Game Creek Bowl and slide into mid-Vail
f. Mountain Express lift to top, then down into the cat walk to Blue Sky Basin. If it is not open yet, then a couple of runs into the Northwoods using the Northwoods Express Lift
g. Blue Sky basin: Earl’s Express Lift area (nice!), the down into the Big Rock Park/Cloud 9 area.
h. The Pete’s Lift a do Grand Review and The Star and sometimes other stuff off this lift.
i. The out to the Orient Express lift and to Two Elk for lunch (by this time the lunch crowds should have cleared out it will be around 1PM) – bring snacks with you – we use Clif Bars and Clif Shots and bagels.
j. Then start the journey back to the Lionshead area via Northwoods and frontside ski runs (the runs either side of the gondola are big fun).
k. Then have a beer or two at Garfinkels at the bottom of Lionshead.
l. This strategy will yield about 18,000 to 22,000 vertical feet of skiing in 14 to 18 runs over the day. And, you’ll be one step ahead or behind the crowds. You'll be done about 3PM if you keep moving.

Hope it helps!
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Old 16-11-09, 11:16 PM   #9
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Banff/Canmore
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This maybe too late But there is a place in British Columbia Canada that is not the tough to get to from the States called Sun Peaks been their a few times over Christmas never very busy great skiing with most of the resort open. Right now they are getting hammered with snow.
Good luck have a great holiday
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Old 09-12-09, 01:50 AM   #10
Join Date: Dec 2009
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There are people who have replied that know a lot about these resorts. I will throw my opinion out there as well. I have been skiing in Colorado for over 30 years. We used to go to Winter Park, it is good, but I have found trail there that I end up having to push myself on, I don't like that. I started going to Keystone later in life, and found I liked it much better. You do not have to ski to the bottom of the mountain every time down, this is good because the lift lines at mid mountain are never very long. You can go to the back side of Keystone to the other mountains and the lift line can be shorter over there as well. The runs are long if you ski all the way to the bottom each time so it doesn't fell like you are riding lifts all day long. When I went to Copper, one time, I felt like I was riding the lift all day, because the runs are so short. So it is not a lot more money to ski Keystone, which makes it a far better choice, in my Opinion. By the way I will be at Keystone on Christmas Weekend as well. Happy Skiing.
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Old 10-12-09, 03:48 PM   #11
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try out Abasin

great terrain and very fun atmosphere!
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Old 19-01-10, 06:10 PM   #12
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The 5 Best Ski Destinations in Colorado

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Old 28-01-10, 11:34 AM   #13
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Aspen is awesome, as everyone knows. But Vail and Breckenridge are seriously good resorts too!
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Old 12-10-11, 04:54 PM   #14
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Old 21-11-11, 08:18 AM   #15
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There are plenty of ski resorts to choose from in Colorado some of the best ski resorts for me are Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Crested Butte

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