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Old 03-02-2015, 09:19 AM
 
384 posts, read 406,973 times
Reputation: 685

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Don't let these naysayers freak you out too much When I see these threads, sometimes I start getting the old saying "Nobody goes there, it's too crowded"

Yes, there is traffic, and yes it can super suck. But, leave early and it won't be bad. I recommend clearing C470/I70 before 6:30am and you'll be fine (even on Sat morning). You'll get to most resorts and be dressed and ready before the lifts open (which by then should be 8:30am). Yeah, the horror story is to leave at 7:30am and get there at 10:30. Hint - don't leave that late You'd be better off leaving at 9:30 then 7:30-8am.

The slopes will be crowded on a weekend, but during the week won't be too bad, even with Spring Break. That's kind of the end of Spring Break anyway for most places as the school breaks are finishing with the end of March. The weekends will get busier as the locals try and get in last few days before the mountains close mid-April. There will be a difference between last week of March and first week of April and it will be quite noticeable.

I personally like Keystone. Tip for avoiding a lot of lines - do NOT use Montezuma lift. That's mid-mountain and for some reason the "I don't ski greens" people love to run the blues up top and then go there. That gets you shorter run (though still pretty long) and more time in line as quite a few slopes feed that lift.

Just go all the way to the bottom and take the lift back up - not the Gondola. Keystone can move a LOT of people really fast, so even on busy Saturday's and Sunday's, you'll find a minimal line (outside of first opening) by just going top to bottom. Gets the legs burning a little, but you see more terrain.

Also, I recommend doing the blues off of Schoolmarm. Again, a lot of people ignore these as they want to avoid the crowd on Schoolmarm (super long green). But, take Schoolmarm to Wild Irishman or Paymaster and then head for the bottom.

And yes, there is some good stuff in the back, but you might catch a line or two there (depends on the snow, etc.).

I'd skip Loveland unless the weather is perfect. I just don't like riding in the shade and it always seems cloudy there, even when Keystone is nice. But, hey, I like Keystone b/c I know where I'm going and it has a large variety of terrain.

If you pick Vail, park at Golden Peak and avoid Mid-Vail like plague (you'll need it once to get to the top). Head to China Bowl and play in that area.

Oh and if you want to save money - PACK A LUNCH!! (That's where they really get you ).
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:18 PM
 
20,836 posts, read 39,046,511 times
Reputation: 19058
Quote:
Originally Posted by lofarber View Post
Very interesting info about the ski train history. A bullet train? That would be incredible, ready just in time for my retirement years.
Hmmmm, you must be a teenager to foresee that. At 67, I expect to see nothing but America in decline due to the tax haters who are destroying what infrastructure we have as they've no plan either for meeting the future needs.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Denver, cap hill
71 posts, read 69,175 times
Reputation: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by step33 View Post
Don't let these naysayers freak you out too much When I see these threads, sometimes I start getting the old saying "Nobody goes there, it's too crowded"

Yes, there is traffic, and yes it can super suck. But, leave early and it won't be bad. I recommend clearing C470/I70 before 6:30am and you'll be fine (even on Sat morning). You'll get to most resorts and be dressed and ready before the lifts open (which by then should be 8:30am). Yeah, the horror story is to leave at 7:30am and get there at 10:30. Hint - don't leave that late You'd be better off leaving at 9:30 then 7:30-8am.

The slopes will be crowded on a weekend, but during the week won't be too bad, even with Spring Break. That's kind of the end of Spring Break anyway for most places as the school breaks are finishing with the end of March. The weekends will get busier as the locals try and get in last few days before the mountains close mid-April. There will be a difference between last week of March and first week of April and it will be quite noticeable.

I personally like Keystone. Tip for avoiding a lot of lines - do NOT use Montezuma lift. That's mid-mountain and for some reason the "I don't ski greens" people love to run the blues up top and then go there. That gets you shorter run (though still pretty long) and more time in line as quite a few slopes feed that lift.

Just go all the way to the bottom and take the lift back up - not the Gondola. Keystone can move a LOT of people really fast, so even on busy Saturday's and Sunday's, you'll find a minimal line (outside of first opening) by just going top to bottom. Gets the legs burning a little, but you see more terrain.

Also, I recommend doing the blues off of Schoolmarm. Again, a lot of people ignore these as they want to avoid the crowd on Schoolmarm (super long green). But, take Schoolmarm to Wild Irishman or Paymaster and then head for the bottom.

And yes, there is some good stuff in the back, but you might catch a line or two there (depends on the snow, etc.).

I'd skip Loveland unless the weather is perfect. I just don't like riding in the shade and it always seems cloudy there, even when Keystone is nice. But, hey, I like Keystone b/c I know where I'm going and it has a large variety of terrain.

If you pick Vail, park at Golden Peak and avoid Mid-Vail like plague (you'll need it once to get to the top). Head to China Bowl and play in that area.

Oh and if you want to save money - PACK A LUNCH!! (That's where they really get you ).

Wow! great info- thanks for taking the time to share.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:19 AM
 
6,388 posts, read 1,267,908 times
Reputation: 16208
Quote:
Originally Posted by lofarber View Post
Hey all. My daughter and I are coming to visit Denver (last week of march first of April) for our last scouting trip before we put up our house up for sale and move. Super excited to get on the slopes while we are there. Are the resorts going to be jammed up all week? We were planning on a weekday to avoid massive crowds. What time do the chairs start turning? Best/ worst time to drive I -70 to resorts? Any night skiing? If not when do they close?
I worked in the Denver sales office of Keystone Resort for many years, so I can tell you that spring at ski resorts is really hit or miss. There is usually some skiing until mid-June, but it can be almost bare or REALLY good through mid-May. Night skiing is available, but you need to check the individual resorts to see if they have it and when it will stop for the season. (Keystone's night skiing usually lasts until the end of March.) Again, it all depends on the snow for a particular year, but so far this year, the snow has been good, overall.

Also, lodging rates and the day passes go WAY down after March 31, as people just don't think of skiing then -- and the resorts are almost deserted during the week. However, as Easter is April 5 this year, with Good Friday being April 3, it might very well be busier than usual this year, as many people will take a three-day weekend then -- especially if there is good snow just before or predicted. Again, I would suggest calling the resorts and just asking.

Also, btw, Loveland is good and relatively cheap if you are just going to ski, and Keystone has GREAT family programs. Breckenridge is getting REALLY overpopulated, imo, and has lost most of the old town character it used to have. Vail is over-rated, imo, and not a great layout and it is just off I-70, which is a turn-off for me, Aspen is snooty and extremely expensive in every way and farther away, and while Beaver Creek is more out of the way, it is about as expensive as Vail. Copper Mountain is lacking in restaurants and has kind of a "blah" feel to it. Steamboat Springs is much farther from Denver (more than 150 miles away), but definitely more quaint and "small-towny" than any of the resorts nearer to Denver. Keystone is getting overgrown, but it has a LOT of different kinds of activities -- including outdoor ice skating on Keystone Lake and dinner sleigh rides! -- and many restaurants, all actually in the resort itself, and it is WONDERFUL for families. (Note: All of the preceding info was current at least until a few years ago, but you might want to double-check my info, just to be sure, if you're interested.)
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