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Old 04-26-2008, 04:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best Resort for First Timers in Colorado

Hey all, I am planning a snowboard/skiing trip for my group of friends in the 08-09 season. Sometime in December or January most likely. I just finished my first season of snowboarding and I am addicted. My last trip was to Mammoth Mountain, great place.

My buddies want to give snowboarding a try next season and are wanting to try Colorado. Looking for something that will expose my friends to a GREAT snowboarding experience that why they will be just as hooked as I am. Any good recommendations? I am from Houston, TX.

Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2008, 04:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you're set on Colorado, I think the best beginner mountain is Breckenridge, as there are many very mild runs. It's definitely a perfect place to learn to ride and once you improve, its close proxity to other more challenging mountains is great. Also, it has a fun town with lots of stuff for apres riding.
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Old 04-26-2008, 05:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I just want something where they don't have to do a lot of skating around, or a place where there a lot of flat areas. I want them to have the best experience the possibly can.

What other resorts are good outside of Colorado for learning, as well as getting a great experience?

Last edited by donm3ga; 04-26-2008 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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^^^Good choice, if you decide on not going to Colorado.

Breck, Keystone, Winterpark, Vail, Crested Butte, Steamboat all have good beginner areas. The best one imo is Copper Mountain. The mountain is naturally divided expert terrain is at the top and east side of the mountain. The middle of the mountain is intermediate and the far West side (Union creek, junction something like that) is nothing but beginner level terrain. Basically an entire ski area for beginners. The way the terrain is divided it keeps the experts and the intermediates from bombing those runs. It's a serious hassle to get there and no reason for people of that ability to go there. There is also food services and such at this area. Makes for a very nice and comfortable area for beginners to learn to ride. The rest of the areas you have to intermix with riders/skiers of various abilities which can be nerve racking for the beginner. Once they have gotten comfortable with their abilities you can move on to more challenging terrain that the mountain offers.

I would also recommend going in January over December. Last year December was great, but it was bone dry until literally December 1st. I have seen seasons where December does not get much snow and others where it just gets pounded. The one thing I haven't seen is a dry January. That seems to be the month where the snowpack really gets established. Frequent storms are the norm. Generally speaking the second or third week of January is a good time to visit. Just bring the super warm clothes. With the altitude, few places can equal the cold that hits in Colorado at that time. Be ready to bundle up as temps well below zero 40 below wind chills hit from time to time. It is also the time that the snow is at it's lightest and driest of the season and plenty of blue skies can be experienced.
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
^^^Good choice, if you decide on not going to Colorado.

Breck, Keystone, Winterpark, Vail, Crested Butte, Steamboat all have good beginner areas. The best one imo is Copper Mountain. The mountain is naturally divided expert terrain is at the top and east side of the mountain. The middle of the mountain is intermediate and the far West side (Union creek, junction something like that) is nothing but beginner level terrain. Basically an entire ski area for beginners. The way the terrain is divided it keeps the experts and the intermediates from bombing those runs. It's a serious hassle to get there and no reason for people of that ability to go there. There is also food services and such at this area. Makes for a very nice and comfortable area for beginners to learn to ride. The rest of the areas you have to intermix with riders/skiers of various abilities which can be nerve racking for the beginner. Once they have gotten comfortable with their abilities you can move on to more challenging terrain that the mountain offers.

I would also recommend going in January over December. Last year December was great, but it was bone dry until literally December 1st. I have seen seasons where December does not get much snow and others where it just gets pounded. The one thing I haven't seen is a dry January. That seems to be the month where the snowpack really gets established. Frequent storms are the norm. Generally speaking the second or third week of January is a good time to visit. Just bring the super warm clothes. With the altitude, few places can equal the cold that hits in Colorado at that time. Be ready to bundle up as temps well below zero 40 below wind chills hit from time to time. It is also the time that the snow is at it's lightest and driest of the season and plenty of blue skies can be experienced.
That's really good advice.
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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the only experince I have with beginner slopes here in Colorado of late, is Loveland and A-Basin.

the beginner slope at Loveland is pretty wide and not too short or long with a nice "slope" (just right, IMHO) but their green slopes in the area are not that green (very narrow and slope quite a bit more)


A-Basin has two beginner areas (adjacent) a short lift ride, slope is just about right, but the lentgh of the run is a bit shorter than Loveland (I've taken my daughter up and down this one, it's not bad) the adjacent area has a carpet to pull you up vs a chair lift. My daughters instructor had her up that one or two times.. it's great for children. there are a couple green runs, one is pretty nice, wide open area with only a couple 'problem areas" and it's adjacent to the terrain park. the other is a borderline blue run, but my daughter handled it quite well and actually liked it better!.



just adding that to the list of places already mentioned, they're probably better for first timers
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just felt like adding Beaver creek, CO, yes the resort is very expensive but if you have the $$$ it's a great resort for learning. This resort over grooms its runs, so conditions are always pretty good for learning, they also offer steeper terrain for those who are more experienced. Most of their main runs are extremely wide and the skier density is pretty low, you are also going to find less crowds than Breck, Vail and definitely Cooper. Granted I didn't stay at their village, but I do have to say that the place is amazing (a lot of money going around, restaurant, activities ect.)

If you guys are on a budget I would recommend Loveland, CO. That place has it all vibe, cool terrain, no crowds, friendly people and best of all an affordable price. I am not sure how beginner friendly it is, but there are a good amount runs that I would consider good for beginners. They are not as wide as the runs of Beaver Creek though.

With Cooper I found the resort to be great but my main complain were the crowds, men that place gets crowded. Breck I usually avoid it for the same reason.

I do have to agree December can be a scary month, I am not sure where but I read somewhere that Colorado gets a big dump October/November and they get a dry spell. The key issue is how long does it last, usually it's not that bad, but this season had me second guessing how the conditions in early January were going to be.
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Old 04-28-2008, 06:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Put your priorities right. Snow-certain area goes for a big area. It happens alot that ppl quit the first time due to bad conditions. I the conditions are great, that`s already a big step! The area also doesn`t have to be that big, since you`re just beginners it is even preferable to do the same piste a couple of times, so you can `easier` learn from your mistakes by taking the same difficult turn every time again.

I`m from Europe so I can`t really pick a good resort (unless you have plenty of money )

Last edited by tonysimoni; 04-28-2008 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 04-28-2008, 07:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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^^^^ I am not sure if agree 100% with you, I learned on the ice coast on a not so good day """RAIN!!!""" the conditions were horrible, and in addition to that on my second day I landed on a ice patch and fractured my tail bone. And all of this did not stop me from it, I even planned a couple more trips with a fracture tail bone. I did buy butt protection and it did a great job at keeping me safe.

But I do agree with you on the resort size, to be honest I would limit myself to a small resort at least for the first day. It keeps things simple and cheap. On my first day I stayed in 2 runs then the second day I went exploring the rest of Camel Back.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simply^Ride View Post

With Cooper I found the resort to be great but my main complain were the crowds, men that place gets crowded. Breck I usually avoid it for the same reason.
Crowds are only an issue on the intermediate terrain at Copper. The beginner area is not crowded at all. For experts, I doubt you'll have more than 10 people in front of you for a lift. Now if you are hitting the timberline lift, crack open a beer and enjoy the wait...
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