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Old 09-11-2016, 12:17 PM
 
38 posts, read 25,024 times
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I'm trying to make up my mind which ski resort season pass to purchase for upcoming winter. I live in Denver, and so far I experienced skiing only in Loveland, Monarch, and Eldora. This year I want to ski in one of the bigger resorts, such as Keystone, Copper, Vail, Breckenridge, Winter Park, or Beaver Creek.

From a Denver day visitors perspective, what's your opinion when it comes to quality of runs (for intermediate skiers), ease of reaching the resorts, parking situation, lift lines, vibe?

Thanks
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:29 PM
 
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my first choice for skiing when living in close front-range access is Vail ... lots of well maintained intermediate skiing in a variety of settings.

But if the conditions/base depth/weather are favorable, Copper Mtn. is a bit closer, has good day parking, and a substantial portion of the mountain well set up for intermediate skiing. As well, Loveland is a good choice as long as the conditions/weather is favorable ... it can be a very cold place to ski.
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:46 PM
 
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I prefer Keystone. I ski mostly blacks, but there are plenty of groomed and ungroomed blues. It's significantly closer than Vail (and a little closer than Copper). Keystone has a large, close-in FREE parking lot, so it's a 5 minute walk to the gondola. I haven't been to Vail in years. Do they still offer any free parking?

I buy the Keystone/A Basin pass. I ski A Basin early and late season, after Keystone closes in April or still lightly covered in Oct/Nov.
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Old 09-11-2016, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
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Keystone is a great intermediate mountain and does not charge $25 a day to park like Vail does.

Winter Park is also a fantastic intermediate mountain. It has the benefit of getting you off I-70 sooner, but Berthod Pass can close during big storms.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Broomfield
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Winter Park. Great mountain, chill vibe in town and at the resort, and it feels closer because you don't have to go through the tunnel to get there.
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:12 AM
 
269 posts, read 228,955 times
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I love Hidden Valley in RMNP.
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,670,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlawiner View Post
I'm trying to make up my mind which ski resort season pass to purchase for upcoming winter. I live in Denver, and so far I experienced skiing only in Loveland, Monarch, and Eldora. This year I want to ski in one of the bigger resorts, such as Keystone, Copper, Vail, Breckenridge, Winter Park, or Beaver Creek.

From a Denver day visitors perspective, what's your opinion when it comes to quality of runs (for intermediate skiers), ease of reaching the resorts, parking situation, lift lines, vibe?

Thanks
The best locals ski area is in fact Loveland (which you've already experienced). Even there it's getting increasingly difficult to get in the up front parking lot, requiring parking at Loveland Valley and taking the shuttle. But at least once you're on the mountain at Loveland Basin it's still relatively uncrowded with a lot of good runs for intermediate (and advanced, I would add) skiers. Short runs, cold and windy, yes, that's all true, but that's the trade off for not having to deal with the load of crap at the other bigger resorts. A-Basin is another great local's choice, but more so for advanced than intermediate skiers. Both of those ski areas have some of the longest seasons in North America and as long as you stick to the right slope (ie-- north facing-- esp off lift 1), excellent quality snow conditions for most of the season.

The lack of parking, long lines, and crowds at each of the other resorts you mentioned above can add up to a downright nasty experience on the weekends which can take all the fun out of going skiing. Of that list, Copper and Winter Park/Mary Jane will be the more [relatively] friendly to Denver day trippers. Winter Park proper and Copper are very intermediate-level friendly with tons of long groomed slopes to choose from. Very, very long lines at both of them especially at the more popular beginner/intermediate serviced lifts. Keystone is also full of intermediate runs, but I absolutely despise the place. Extremely crowded, takes forever to get to the Outback, full of cocky, angry Texans who do not know how to ski, and it's lower elevation with worse snow than most CO ski areas. I also hate Breckenridge (better snow but similar kind of lousy vibe as at Keystone) and refuse to go there-- just an overall bad experience as a non-tourist, IMO. Vail does have some of the best skiing in the state, once you're there in the back bowls or Blue Sky Basin, but it takes forever to get there and you suck up most of the day waiting in lines. If you go to Vail, just suck it up and pay the $25 or whatever the parking costs at Vail Village. I like Beaver Creek but now you're talking the longest drive of them all, most likely with bus rides on top of that (not much up close parking available). Both Vail and Beaver Creek are meant for tourists, not locals.
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,174 posts, read 20,957,421 times
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My two favorites are Monarch and Keystone. So of the new ones you posted I would go with Keystone. The main reason is they have night skiing. That was you can leave late and miss the traffic and go home late and miss the traffic and still get more skiing in.
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:07 AM
 
269 posts, read 228,955 times
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Keystone used to be our favorite spot too, used to pay $6 a ticket way back in the 70's and you used to have to drive over the pass to even get there. Sunday nights were a nightmare going back over the pass to I70 so I guess not really much has changed (!).


Now it seems Keystone lacks a lot of snow even though Breck and Copper get storms (for some reason).
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:32 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,947 posts, read 20,196,196 times
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Copper.
I like the east-west layout of black to green.
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