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Old 11-12-2008, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
227 posts, read 949,443 times
Reputation: 66

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My daughter and I are snowboarders, I would classify us as intermediate beginners. We've both taken lessons and both can get on/off lifts without falling now, and get down the bunny slope falling maybe 2 or 3 times (as opposed to 20 or 30!)

I have some family coming in January and we're talking about Keystone. I know the beginner area at A-basin very well (the Molly Hogan lift and conveyor belt). I also have been on Chair 7 at Loveland (over in the Valley). I really like the A-basin price of $15 too. However, I read on Keystone's website they have a restricted pass for $11 which is good only for their beginner lift or if accompanied by an instructor.

Who out there can compare the beginner area of A-basin and Keystone? Anyone? I have called Keystone and they're very loyal, "sorry we don't know what the beginner area at A-basin is like".

Thanks in advance - trying to figure out if it would be good for us to try Keystone and their beginner area.
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
227 posts, read 949,443 times
Reputation: 66
Default Beginners - Keystone vs. A-basin

My daughter and I are snowboarders, I would classify us as intermediate beginners. We've both taken lessons and both can get on/off lifts without falling now, and get down the bunny slope falling maybe 2 or 3 times (as opposed to 20 or 30!)

I have some family coming in January and we're talking about Keystone. I know the beginner area at A-basin very well (the Molly Hogan lift and conveyor belt). I also have been on Chair 7 at Loveland (over in the Valley). I really like the A-basin price of $15 too. However, I read on Keystone's website they have a restricted pass for $11 which is good only for their beginner lift or if accompanied by an instructor.

Who out there can compare the beginner area of A-basin and Keystone? Anyone? I have called Keystone and they're very loyal, "sorry we don't know what the beginner area at A-basin is like".

Thanks in advance - trying to figure out if it would be good for us to try Keystone and their beginner area, esp. if it's only $11?
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,443,011 times
Reputation: 3321
I really don't think there will be a huge difference between the two. Beginner areas are beginner areas. I've skied both mountains, and my preference is A-basin, but I ski the entire hill. Keystone is great, especially for families with a diverse range of skiing abilities. If your family coming out wants to ski more than just the bunny hill, they may find skiing at Keystone to fit their needs. A-basin tends to graduate from the bunny hill to pretty difficult (to a beginner anyways) mountain. Keystone has long, rolling slopes. I would encourage you and your daughter to both move on to the "regular" mountain, especially if you can get on/off the lifts. The runs are longer and will of course result in more falls, but I think you will have more fun. You can only do so much on the bunny slope before it's time to hit the mountain!!!!
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:37 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,710,539 times
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Keystone (the main mountain) is way too crowded, way too long lines, too many snowboarders and too many losers going berserk on the slopes. You have to constantly watch out for the idiots to make sure they won't come crashing into you. Plus you have to take a bus just to get from the parking lot to the base. A-basin is a breath of fresh air in comparison. Keystone is only worth it if you're going to ski the Outback, which is full of ultra long blue runs, tree skiing, and bowls, great for intermediate and advanced skiiers.
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Old 11-13-2008, 04:09 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 82,968,211 times
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Ski Cooper is very inexpensive, no parking fees, discount tickets at Sooper Kings. Excellent ski school.
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Denver
456 posts, read 1,439,673 times
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A-basin has harder terrain though. I wouldn't recommend it for beginners. Stick to keystone, there are more easy greens.
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
553 posts, read 1,453,504 times
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A-Basin is not near as beginner-friendly as Keystone. I'd recommend Keystone, if those are your only options.

But, I strongly agree with Charles. Ski Cooper is the best learner's hill in Colorado. It's not sexy; there's no village, no restaurants, no bars (other than the small lodge). But it's a whole lot cheaper than the resort-oriented ski areas. And, even as a beginner/intermediate, you can pretty much ski the whole mountain. At A-Basin, for example, you won't see 90% of the mountain unless you're a much stronger skier/boarder.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:34 AM
 
228 posts, read 530,193 times
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I would never recommend A-Basin as a place for an inexperienced or beginner-level skier/boarder. The majority of runs there are blacks or double blacks. I actually once watched a novice boarder careen full-speed into a tree from the Palavacini chairlift. Not pretty. Stick to Keystone, that would be my suggestion.
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Thornton
402 posts, read 1,134,660 times
Reputation: 153
I used to live and work at Keystone.

Early season (when they all only have one run open) is listed as intermediate skiing only because everyone is on the same run. So I wouldn't suggest trying to learn to ski/snowboard then.

Once the season really starts up and more runs open, I'd think a beginner will prefer Keystone because of the number of easy runs on Durcum Mountain (the front mountain). A basin caters more to the intermediate and advanced levels, but that's not to say they don't have beginner runs and instructors able to teach. If it's your first few days ever, you really won't care where you're at... you'll probably be more interested in having the aspirin handy afterwards. After you "get the hang of it" and are ready to get off the bunny slope I think Keystone is the better option. Yes there's more people there, but there's also more runs available.

Couple notes on both resorts:
A-Basin since opened up the Montezuma Bowl they have increased their season pass price (I'm assuming the per day price may have increase as well? don't quote me on that because I don't know for sure). Montezuma Bowl isn't a beginner area though, it used to be nice backcountry stashes that you could escape to off the backside of A-Basin, but now it's inbounds and everyone goes there

Keystone:
In response to vegaspilgrim's comment:
Quote:
Plus you have to take a bus just to get from the parking lot to the base
Much like we just saw in politics, this is a half-truth. Yes, there is a parking area over near the employee housing where you need to take a free bus to get to and from the base. This is there "overflow" parking area for when the River Run parking area is full. Personally I've never had to park there, but I suppose that's the difference of knowing to either get their early or just enjoy the morning doing something else and show up around lunch time and ski the afternoon. Besides the River Run base, there's also the Mountain House base as well; they do build the terrain park over there now, but it is an alternative place to park, buy tickets, get on a lift, and still be able to get to the same areas as the gondola, but if you're an absolute beginner I wouldn't suggest parking over there.
Also, Keystone just installed a new gondola going up Durcum. Previous years the bottom section of the hill right before you get to the gondola was a steep, touron filled, death trap. Now they have moved the loading area of the gondola closer to the shops and installed a reloading zone partially up the hill right before that steep death trap so everyone doesn't have to squeegy down it each time and make it more dangerous as the day goes on.

As far as I'm concerned from an advanced skiier and snowboarder perspective: Both mountains have a lot to offer, but most of the time I would end up at Keystone. Mainly because I worked at the top of Northpeak at night and would ski all day and then just ski to work. So I've learned the mountain extremely well and know where to go to stay away from people and get some great runs. A-Basin on the other hand I loved how it was steeper, has more difficult terrain available and had more advanced people there that I could easily watch and continue to learn from.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:08 PM
 
164 posts, read 725,457 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by borborygmi View Post
I would never recommend A-Basin as a place for an inexperienced or beginner-level skier/boarder. The majority of runs there are blacks or double blacks. I actually once watched a novice boarder careen full-speed into a tree from the Palavacini chairlift. Not pretty. Stick to Keystone, that would be my suggestion.
agreed....I would stick to Keystone. Plus you get night skiing!!! The most fun I have ever had on skis.
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