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Old 10-15-2011, 10:33 AM
 
226 posts, read 646,036 times
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Trying to decide whether to get the Epic Pass (includes both Vail and Breck) or Summit pass (include Breck but not Vail). I've never been snowboarding in Colorado. I am an intermediate level, and like long smooth runs... that's about it. Would Breckenridge suffice, or should I upgrade to include Vail? I don't care about amenities/hotels/restaurants.

Also, do either of the resorts have a gondola that takes you from the bottom of a route, to the top? My knees are not in the best shape, so it sometimes wears on them to dangle the snowboard when I'm riding a chairlift. When I went to Blackomb (BC), they had a gondola, but it only took you to the bottom of the ski area where you then had to take chairlifts to get higher.

Thanks!

edit: I should add, I will probably be able to go on weekdays quiet often, due to my work schedule, if that matters....
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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I'm also trying to decide which pass to get. I think after this weekend the prices will probably go up. If you like the long, smooth, intermediate runs, you will probably love Keystone, since that's pretty much what that whole resort caters to. The Outback is pretty nice, takes about an hour to get there, but it's worth it. You're also the kind of person who would enjoy Copper and Winter Park (different company-- but they have a pass which gets you into those two).

The way I see it, since the Epic local pass for $500 is only $90 more than the $410 summit value pass, and then you get Vail & Beaver Creek (with just a few black out days around the holidays)-- considering that a full day adult lift ticket at those places will probably cost at least $100 anyway, even if you only go to Vail or BC one time you've already paid for the difference. So I'd go with the Epic Local pass just so you can try them all, then you'll know for future years which you like the best. Skiing is an expensive sport, no doubt, but even if you went all out and bought the unrestricted 5 mountain Epic pass for $650, it's a bargain compared to skiing in other states. A season pass to Mammoth Mountain (eastern Sierras of CA) right now is $800 (probably will go up to over $1000 soon), for example, and while it's good, it's not any better than the skiing in CO. There are a lot of states that have crap skiing where a season pass to one little hole in the wall with barely any snow will still cost at least $500.

If you can go on the weekdays, that is awesome!
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Colorado
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Both Breck and Vail have gondolas. Vail has some great long runs but I think you'd be good with Breck, Keystone and A-Basin as well. I'm with Vegas though, I'd get the Epic local pass. I just ordered mine again for this year and can't wait to get out.
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:13 AM
 
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You don't say where you live, however, I'll assume it's the Denver area.

We get the Summit Pass. Last year, we got the Keystone/A Basin pass, but that's not being offered by Vail Assoc this year, unfortunately.

Here's my problem with Breck - when we were tourists, flying in from the east coast, we loved it there. As locals, we don't like it. It takes too long to get up the mountain. Drive an extra 15-20 minutes past Keystone. Park in the free lot. Wait/take the 20 minute shuttle bus to the gondola. Take the 20 minute gondola ride up the mountain. Work you're way across the mountain to where you want to ski, etc. So, it takes an extra 40-60 minutes over Keystone, unless you want to pay for parking. then cut off the 20 minute shuttle and remote parking.

Vail is too far for my tastes for a day trip.

At Keystone, just about all the blues are groomed. A few years back, they left most of Outback ungroomed, but then they started grooming the blues on Outback, too, which IMO, is a shame. They have more than enough groomers on the front 2 mountains.

Last edited by BarryK123; 10-16-2011 at 07:17 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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Good point. I will be living in the northwest end of Denver (easy access to I-70 yay!). I have no plans of ever doing overnighters at any of the resorts, if that matters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryK123 View Post
You don't say where you live, however, I'll assume it's the Denver area.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odie91 View Post
Good point. I will be living in the northwest end of Denver (easy access to I-70 yay!). I have no plans of ever doing overnighters at any of the resorts, if that matters.
Good deal! In that case, my advice above stands. Another option is the Copper/Winter Park pass. I like spending as little time as possible in the car, and more time on the slopes.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Well, I finally broke down and decided to go with the Epic Local pass. We should have a city-data ski meetup this winter. That would be awesome.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:06 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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Keystone, Breck, and Vail all have gondolas. However, unlike Keystone and Vail, Breck's gondola does NOT go to the top -- the Breck gondola takes you from town to only the base of the hill, from where you have to take lifts to get to where you can actually ski from.

For an intermediate, any of Keystone, Breck, Vail, Copper, Winter Park will be fine. Note that all these mountains have varying amounts of cat-walks that may be difficult for an intermediate snowboarder to negotiate (e.g. bottom of Peak 10 at Breck, getting from Peak 9 to Peak 8 or 7 at Breck, bottom of Outback at Keystone, the bottoms of the backside and Blue Sky Basin at Vail).

Of the Vail Resorts areas, I'd say Breck and Vail are the better options for an intermediate for a whole season. While Keystone has a lot of blue groomers, it can get boring since many of the runs look/feel very similar. Both Breck and Vail offer a bit more I think, especially for those looking to venture beyond blues (can ski a blue slope but easily venture to a harder pitch right beside, and return to the blue if needed). Breck does have the pain of taking longer (free parking > bus > gondola > lift), while Vail is farther away (tough to do day-trips all the time) + expensive parking (or park far away for free > bus).

All intermediates I've taken to Vail have always had a great time. Wide open terrain, lots of space, and much of the backside, although rated black, can be handled by a strong intermediate.

Breck can easily keep an intermediate happy, especially one looking to improve. Good blues + some black terrain that can be handled to strong/improving intermediates. One problem is that it can be WINDY.

It's been several years since I've skied Copper or Winter Park, so my memory is hazy.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:27 PM
 
226 posts, read 646,036 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
Well, I finally broke down and decided to go with the Epic Local pass. We should have a city-data ski meetup this winter. That would be awesome.
How soon do they ship the pass? My address is changing in 3 weeks....

Edit: Never mind. It says they ship before the season opens, which is Nov 4th.
I went with the Epic Local also... figured I'll make at least one trip to Vail to see what the fuss is all about....

Last edited by odie91; 10-16-2011 at 09:46 PM..
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
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Keystone's opening day is November 4th, I would expect you would have your pass before then. Only a few more hours before the special pricing expires.
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