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Old 09-24-2012, 03:47 PM
 
15 posts, read 26,530 times
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Hello! My husband and I are coming to Breckenridge for the first time in November. We have wanted to come for a very long time and he is turning 30 so we thought now would be a great time to come. We are coming with our 2 small children who are 6 and 3. We are staying in a cabin we found for a great price in Fairplay with some acreage. I have a few questions that I would like help with though. We are living in AL right now and really hate the lack of seasons. We are coming a week after opening weekend for skiing and want to ski. Our plan is to check out the area on Thursday when we get in. Friday, hubby and I are planning on skiing and putting the children in the ski programs so we can have some real ski time. We LOVE to ski although we have only been in the northeast and know it's quite different. How would you compare the skiing? I know it will be better but in terms of being able to ski can we hold our own or will it be totally different? For example if we are decent north eastern skiers will we hold our own in Breck? Saturday we are HOPEFUL for snow at our cabin. How likely would you say this is? We also plan to take the children into Breck for ice skiing and snowmobiling if they get enough snow to have snowmobiling open by this time. Sunday is the day we fly back home. My questions are does this sound like a good plan? What are some must dos while we are there? What do you guys recommend for restaurants? How realistic is it we get altitude sickness? Thank you for any advice. We are SO excited to come see beautiful Colorado and at least have a little real winter weather this year
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:14 PM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,014,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almommyof2 View Post
Hello! My husband and I are coming to Breckenridge for the first time in November. We have wanted to come for a very long time and he is turning 30 so we thought now would be a great time to come. We are coming with our 2 small children who are 6 and 3. We are staying in a cabin we found for a great price in Fairplay with some acreage. I have a few questions that I would like help with though. We are living in AL right now and really hate the lack of seasons. We are coming a week after opening weekend for skiing and want to ski. Our plan is to check out the area on Thursday when we get in. Friday, hubby and I are planning on skiing and putting the children in the ski programs so we can have some real ski time. We LOVE to ski although we have only been in the northeast and know it's quite different. How would you compare the skiing? I know it will be better but in terms of being able to ski can we hold our own or will it be totally different? For example if we are decent north eastern skiers will we hold our own in Breck? Saturday we are HOPEFUL for snow at our cabin. How likely would you say this is? We also plan to take the children into Breck for ice skiing and snowmobiling if they get enough snow to have snowmobiling open by this time. Sunday is the day we fly back home. My questions are does this sound like a good plan? What are some must dos while we are there? What do you guys recommend for restaurants? How realistic is it we get altitude sickness? Thank you for any advice. We are SO excited to come see beautiful Colorado and at least have a little real winter weather this year
No one can really predict the weather for you. In November I have seen it snow for day after day and other times where there is no snow for 2 weeks.

November is a little early. They will have some terrain open but likely not the whole mountain at all.

A lot of it depends if it starts snowing regularly in October and stays cold, as well as snow in November. Last year was one of the worst years in decades for snow, but the year before set records at some ski areas and it was a great year, so no one really knows.

Likely it's too early for snowmobiling. Maybe some people do it, but I've never seen many people out until a good base is down in December.

Altitude sickness is always a possibility. It is quite a change coming from humid near sea level in Alabama to nearly 2 miles above sea level with dry air and cold. It's a big change for a body to make in a short period of time. One thing to remember, especially when humidity is low, is that every time you take a breath it takes more moisture out of your body then you will be used to, so you'll need to drink more water than you are used to. I would also take it easy the first day or so to help adjust.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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Well, first and foremost, Fairplay and Breckenridge are two different worlds! I lived in Fairplay for almost 4 years and they are very, very different. It sounds like most of your time will be spent in Breck too, and for that I would honestly suggest finding a place there to stay. The drive between Fairplay and Breck may not seem like a lot, but you have to go over Hoosier Pass, an almost 12,000 foot pass. If you are not used to driving mountain roads, especially in the winter, this pass may seem pretty terrifying (not to mention many commuters will be driving it along with you and they will probably scare you with their driving alone). The road has numerous hairpin turns and big drop offs, so even though it's roughly 25 miles between the towns, it will probably take you around 45 minutes (unless there is no traffic, no snow, and you are used to mountain road driving).

Now, your chance of having snow mid November is pretty slim as well, especially the kind of snow to use snow machines on. Colorado receives most of it's snow in spring and Fairplay doesn't actually get a whole lot of snow in general (or when it does, it usually blows away). I wouldn't count on snowmobiling as a for sure activity (have a backup plan). In terms of skiing, it will be early season conditions. Rocks, tree tops, and other obstacles will be present. Most likely there will only be a handful of runs open, usually the beginner/intermediate ones. It will probably be similar to northeast skiing (packed powder, some ice).

Altitude sickness is hard to predict, but your best chance to avoid it is to acclimate. If you are flying in Denver on Thursday, I would actually recommend staying there overnight, especially since you are coming from AL (at minimum, although recommendations are 24 hours). You should also avoid strenuous activities, such as skiing for the first 24 hours. The thing is, you don't know whether you, your husband or your children will get it. However, if any of you do, it can most certainly ruin your trip. Just do a search on the Colorado forum to read about it. Many people do get sick, even those in tip top shape (a friend of mine recently hiked a section of the pacific crest trail and ended up very sick).

In all honesty, I don't think you are allowing yourself enough time to visit Breckenridge. I would add at least another day on your trip to avoid getting sick and to actually enjoy yourself. I don't mean to put a damper on your excitement, but I wanted to be honest.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
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I agree that you should find a place in Breck or Frisco or Dillon and not attempt the drive over Hoosier Pass every day. Look at VRBO (vacation rentals by owner) and you can probably find some great deals.

Why are you planning a ski vacation in November? Unless it is an extraordinary year, there usually isn't really god skiing until January. On the other hand, I've seen six inches of new snow in October. In November there will be some lifts open, with iffy snow. I personally think you would be disappointed. BTW, if you can ski on the hard, icy conditions normally found in the northeast, you'll do great in Colorado.

Just remember to drink plenty of water. Even when you think you're drinking a lot, drink more.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:34 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
2,970 posts, read 6,605,182 times
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I have to agree also that staying in Fairplay is not a wise choice. Breck, Frisco and Dillon have much more to offer and the drive back and forth to the cabin will get old very quickly. If you're coming before Thanksgiving you should be able to get some good deals and spend your time near the resort and enjoying what it has to offer. A cabin with acreage isn't very family friendly if we get a big storm and you get stranded without provisions.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,196,177 times
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Originally Posted by Dogmama50 View Post
I have to agree also that staying in Fairplay is not a wise choice. Breck, Frisco and Dillon have much more to offer and the drive back and forth to the cabin will get old very quickly. If you're coming before Thanksgiving you should be able to get some good deals and spend your time near the resort and enjoying what it has to offer. A cabin with acreage isn't very family friendly if we get a big storm and you get stranded without provisions.
Yup, have to agree with this sentiment. In the 4 years I spent living in Fairplay, we were stranded only a couple of times. One of those times happened to be at my parent's cabin on acreage. Most of the roads in Park Co. are dirt, and if you are a ways back, the plowing schedule may or may not get to you. We were 10 miles back. It took a day for the plows to come through and open up the road. Even then, once the dirt road is plowed, it becomes pretty darn slick and it's very slow going. Sometimes it would take us 45 minutes to an hour on that 10 mile dirt road just to get to Hwy. 285.

When I first moved to Fairplay, we happened to have a big storm roll through. 18" of snow fell in 24 hours. In South Park the wind always blows, and that 18" drifted to several feet in many places. I happened to get my truck stuck because I had no idea where my driveway was (I had just pulled into town in the blizzard). A plow truck came through our area (and this was right in town, first area to be plowed) and told me he would be back shortly to pull me out. Five hours later he finally got back to me. It's no joke. Things move slow and if you get stuck, you might be there for a while. Luckily I was at the end of my driveway so I could go inside where it was toasty. That may not be the case if you are on the road.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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Driving through a ground blizzard (Fairplay) will always give you white knuckles.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:58 PM
 
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Yep, that's what it looked like to me when I was lucky enough to sleep on the floor at the Top O' The World Cafe in Fairplay in late 1973. Along with a lot of other people who were traveling! I was pushing my luck and looking back at that as I was coming in from Durango to Denver I should have just stayed on U.S. 50 and got a room in Salida or maybe Canon City. I was breaking my own rule by outrunning a late fall snowstorm. I learned a couple things that day!
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:12 PM
 
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If you have cell service you can dial 511 for CDOT road conditions.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:30 PM
 
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Thank you all so very much!!! Please keep the suggestions coming!! I canceled our cabin in Fairplay. I really hated to do that since the owner was super nice but both my husband and I agree that it will be much less stressful to stay in Breck. We are at least wanting a 2 bedroom condo though that is semi secluded. I emailed several on VRBO tonight. We should be in Breck by lunch thursday and fly out Sunday at 1. Does our itinerary sound good or what would add or take away? We are having a hard time planing Saturday as we want it memorable as our last day there but we don't want to spend tons that day since we are spending a lot to ski and for ski school for out. What would you all suggest? Also do you think snow will actually be on the ground? Thank you all so much!!
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