2 days near Denver... Copper Mtn, Loveland, Winter park or ???
I'm going through the Denver area and only have 2 days (Fri Feb 15 and Sat Feb 16, 2013) and I want 2 different mountains. I don't want to be driving too far, preferably under 2 hours from the airport. I've searched many past posts and think I've narrowed my selection down to 3 resorts but need to cut it down to 2! I think Copper Mountain, Loveland or Winterpark might be what I'm looking for...
I'm a reasonably advanced rider but I'll be on my own, so back country isn't an option but I am NOT looking for parks or groomed runs.
I'd like the best 2 mountains that I'll be able to find my way into some decent terrain IN-bounds.
I love open bowls but will venture into the trees to find a nice pow stash. I don't mind a 10 or 15 minute hike to get to the pow.
(My favorite place to date is Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC... Awesome!)
I'm thinking of doing Copper mountain on Friday(Feb 15) and Winterpark on Saturday, but with weekend crowds, is that the right way to do it, or would it be better to go to Winterpark on Friday? Or should I consider Loveland, or another resort for one of those days?
Saturday = ???
I'm thinking rental car and cheap hotel from west side of Denver. All advice appreciated!
For anyone else searching for information, I've copied some posts by killclimbz (thanks dude!!!) I've found that may help...
>Winterpark*is my personal favorite in the Front Range for several reasons. Most of which is that it suits my style of riding.*Loveland*is in the top 3 of that list though for sure. I've had a ton of fun there over the years.
>It just depends on what you like to ride which is probably different than what I like to do. For the most part I prefer to earn my turns in the backcountry around here, but I still have a season pass and go to resorts to ride with my girl, who isn't really up to or has the skill for what the bc throws at you.
>Keystone and Breck are definitely some of the best areas when it comes to park riding. They've gotten themselves a world class rep and I think it's deservedly so. The free riding terrain at either place doesn't really blow my socks off. They have some good terrain, but it can be such a pita to lap that I just lose interest.
>I really like A-Basin once they have a good base and it's a powder day. There is some sick terrain there. It is also very popular and tracks go fast.
>Loveland*is an oft overlooked gem and is one of the better areas in the Front Range. Excellent above tree line terrain, great hike to terrain that is fairly easy to access, and a nice mom and pop feel. There are a few days a season when the weather is nasty that you can't really ride there. Total whiteout conditions, but not often. I'd probably have a pass there if it wasn't for all of the Summit county/Vail traffic you have to deal with to get there.*
>Copper is probably my favorite by default in summit county. There are some great bowls, back areas, and Tucker mountain can just be riot, and the hucking your meat off the Onion Roll on a pow day is not to be missed. Copper is not overly steep though. There are a few 45 degree + shots but not many. I also happen to know that resort almost as well as any local rider. I just don't spend as much time there anymore. Their park is rumored to be a good one too. I just don't ride park.
>Vail, is huge, has the ritz, and is generally overrrated. Then again, on a pow day or sunny spring day it's also hard to beat. Lot's of stashes, not very steep. Unless you beacon up and go out of bounds to the East Vail chutes. Then it's very steep, with lot's of cliffs. Two people got buried and killed in avalanches back there last season though. Both were recovered quickly, both were excellent riders/skiers, it didn't matter. You need knowledge to go back there safely. Vail is also got a bit of a rep for their park.*
>Beaver Creek, is small, fun, and has argueably some of the best tree riding in the state. There is a new area the annexed that has below treeline cliffs and chutes. I have never been in that area. Pics make it look fun though
>Winterpark, probably my favorite place to ride. Stashes galore there and you have to work really hard to find them. It probably took me 5 years of going there off and on before I realized what it had. I don't really care for the Intrawest changes though. Plenty of steeps, great hike to terrain, overall I would say it has a little bit of everything. Maybe a master of none though. Unless you like moguls. Mary Jane is famous for those. Fortunately the tree riding happens to be maybe the best in Colorado. If you like tight, narrow, squeeze through the trees type stuff to get to your good turns. Getting off at highway 40 on 70 to drive over Berthoud Pass saves a lot of stuck in traffic headaches and lessens them on the way home. The main reason I buy the Superpass.*
>I personally avoid traveling through Summit County on Sundays. The drive back to Denver from Summit can just suck. It's not great from any spot, but coming back from Summit or Vail on a Sunday afternoon can make you want to poke your eyes out.*Loveland*or*Winterpark*are better choices. If you don't leave early, you'll still get stuck in traffic, but you'll stuck for a lot less time.
>Saturday in Summit or Vail isn't bad. Copper isn't any worse crowded than*Winterpark*and it's definitely less than Breck. You do want to leave early. From Englewood, I'd say don't be out the door any later than 6am. Get to where ever you're riding early, having breakfast at the mountain. This goes for any of them, I don't care where you are going. After 6:30, it's going to be a junk show.
>Personally, I like Copper better than Breck for riding. If you are staying in Summit County though, Breck then beats Copper all to hell for entertainment and riding.*