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Late spring CO ski trip

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  • Late spring CO ski trip

    I always get some good advice here on ski trips. Had a fun trip to Big Sky a few weeks ago with the family. I have a long weekend in late March free from the kids. Thinking of a quick trip with just the wife and I. Currently looking at either Loveland or Arapahoe Basin. Maybe one day at each? Found a cool looking small cabin in Georgetown to stay. Seem like a good plan? Any better ideas?

  • #2
    hey Brian ... we just got back from five days of skiing in Big Sky and heading to Steamboat mid March for another five days


    • #3
      At the Denver Airport now from 3 days in summit County. Skied copper 1 day and A basin 2 days. Summit county is crowded. Only reason we came is the wife didn't want a connecting flight. Traffic and people everywhere, although the lift lines weren't that bad. They need snow bad, although a lot place do this year. We got 3 inches Friday night, which helped our trip a lot. It was pretty icy/ skied off Friday.

      I really liked A basin. It has pretty good terrain and I don't think it gets the crowds the other resorts do. It doesn't have a lot of beginner runs which helps keep some people away. We found the secret stash of powder and were able to find fresh powder through the last run of the day on Sunday.


      • #4
        Just saw you said stay in Georgetown. Keep traffic in mind. We left A basin after the super bowl started, and it was backed up/ slow from the tunnel all the way through Georgetown last night. Most people left early to get home for the game, so we shut down the chair then had an apres ski beer and didn't start down until 5:00.

        If you end up at A basin, I can give you some ski recommendations.


        • #5
          We have skied Summit county for years. For the last several, we have skied Breckenridge. They have a really nice village which is important to us as some of our group does not ski. I like Cooper mountain as it is locally owned and not part of Vail Properties (Epic). But that is also the reason we seldom ski Cooper because we almost always get a Epic season pass. Georgetown is good if you are skiing Loveland, but as bcd states, getting over the pass during the morning (mainly weekend) rush, can be time consuming. Dillon or Frisco might be other lodging options.

          I have not skied Loveland since I was a child, so I don't have anything of value to add about it.

          A-Basin is higher on the mountain, it keeps its snow longer. It is a smaller ski area, and thus is often less crowded.

          I always avoid holiday weekends - lift lines can get terrible.

          Vail has a lot of cat walks, and is not favored by the snow boarders in our group.


          • #6
            Sorry to say it is a pretty poor snow year, both here and everywhere in North America. 50” base by mid February is thin. You have some time to late March, so things hopefully improve as March used to be our snowiest month.

            That said, ABasin is the best steeps in the front range. Pavalachini Chair alone would keep me entertained for years, one of the best in the business. Bowls, bumps, tight chutes, rock outcroppings, etc. Montezuma Bowl on backside also has a few good double black diamond sections. ABay’s tougher terrain tends to keep the Wally’s away.

            +1 to kscrib’s comments on Copper, which has great long fall lines, segregated terrain by difficulty, and three high alpine bowls.

            As others note, Breck and Keystone can get crowded. Breck has the best ski town and nightlife, the rest, do not. You can always drive into both Breck and the town of Dillon and Silverthorne for apres with a designated driver. Breckenridge Bourbon is superb, not kidding. Same for Breckenridge Brewery.


            • #7
              Maybe you should give more details on what you're looking for: terrain (steep,trees,etc. or good groomers), apres ski, nightlife, etc. If your wife only wants groomers, for instance, that will change recommendations for which resorts.


              • #8
                Excellent feedback so far all. Thanks. Especially the traffic info, I hadn't considered that.

                Some more info, with my wife, I am not looking for super advanced terrain. She is happiest on long blue groomers. The smaller resorts are fine, we won't cover a ton of ground in a day and prefer to avoid crowds if possible. We don't need a ton of nightlife, a good brewery or similar for dinner and some beers is just fine.

                I haven't locked anything in yet, but reasonable direct flights are available from CVG to DEN, so that is why I leaning to this area.


                • #9
                  A basin might not be your best choice if she wants blue runs. Maybe it was just conditions when I was there, but the blue runs I was on were pretty icy. I never skied any of the lower ones and only went on ones on the top to get to other blacks.

                  Steamboat is another option to consider if you want to stick with Denver Airport. It's a little farther drive though. I've never been, so I can't provide specifics but I've heard great things about it.

                  If you want closer, then I'd recommend copper, then keystone. They will have great blue runs and not be as huge/ crowded as Breckenridge. You can also ski different mountains each day if you want since they are close.

                  I stayed in Dillon this time, and it wasn't too bad. There are 2 or 3 breweries there. We ate at the dam brewery one night. Food and beer was ok. It was busy and service was poor. Had to stand in line for quite a while to get a beer.

                  Make sure you look at lift tickets ahead of time. For instance, you have to buy your tickets for a basin online. You can't just show up and buy them at the ticket window.


                  • #10
                    For what it's worth, my wife pushed the direct flight to Denver option for convenience, but she admitted on the way home today that she would have rather done the connecting flight than the crowd hassle of skiing/getting to Summit County.


                    • #11
                      Also, if you don't have TSA precheck, give yourself 2 hours for the denver airport. I got through security in 15 minutes with precheck, but my wife doesn't have it. She took 45 minutes. More times than not, denver security lines are very long.


                      • #12
                        In the past, we have done A basin in late April after the other resorts have closed and it was a blast. Usually you get perfect spring skiing but the last time we were there it was actually pretty cold. You can VRBO a really nice condo just down the road in Keystone at ridiculously cheap Motel 6 rates because Keystone is deserted. The snow conditions this year may not allow such a late trip.


                        • #13
                          I’m going to Copper next month. My favorite place to ride in Summit County. A very close second (although not in Summit Co) is Winter Park. As long as Berthoud Pass isn’t too sketchy, that would be an ideal place to go. Very many long, mellow blue runs, and since it isn’t in Summit County right off of I-70, the lift lines would be much shorter.


                          • #14
                            Was at Beaver Creek last weekend. Stayed at the Westin. Awesome all the way around.
                            1991 Prostar 190
                            2018 SeaDoo RXP-X300
                            Lake James, NC


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by moosehead View Post
                              Sorry to say it is a pretty poor snow year, both here and everywhere in North America.
                              That's pretty broad brush.