- Assuming we're lucky and a storm will hit that week. Do storms usually hit very locally (= mtn A will have fresh, mtn B not; this would mean that we'd need to be very flexible) or it usually dumps pretty evenly (= no need to run to A cos B will also have fresh to ride).
Depends on the storm. Keystone can get fuck all but the Basin will report 2 feet. The thing to look at is how the storm is setting up and the way the winds are blowing. East to West go to the Basin, Vail, or Beaver Creek. South to North go to Breckenridge. Keystone well that place sucks dick and never gets snow.
- I assume that if a storm hits, it's preferable to be in the town already rather than drive there a) due to impeded traffic and b) cos you want to catch the first lift cos the fresh will be chewed up soon?
If you're in Summit County you're pretty much within 15 to 20 minutes of wherever you want to go. Sometimes the pass up to A Basin can suck with traffic as every idiot and their brother tries to paw their way to Keystone to get that epic 3 inches! If in doubt just take the free bus.
- Spots in mind so far are Berthoud Pass (hike), Loveland (ridge cat), maybe Silverthorne (snowkite on a windy non-fresh day), and Vail. On google maps, they look pretty close and doable in the morning... true? I assume that driving to Silverton is kind of out of scope if a storm hits, therefore I've concentrated on spots close together...?
Berthoud is all Gary. Ask him about that place. Definitely do a day at Loveland for sure, just be prepared to drive either over the pass or through the tunnel, so plan accordingly for the weather. Silverthorne sucks, go to Farmers Corners outside Breckenridge, that's where everyone snow kites. Silverton is a bit of a drive and that's like a serious day trip from where you'll be.
- Are accommodations along the I-70 corridor a) available at short hand at b) still reasonable rates or is it better to chose a hub, book well in advance and then drive from there to the different spots?
Book your rooms in advance, it will save you the headache. I would recommend the rustic Best Western in Dillon or maybe try the Bivvy outside Breckenridge.
- Even if it's better to book last minute, having the first night settled in advance is a must... (don't wanna ground the same way as in Fairbanks last year
). Comming from Denver, I thought of riding Loveland first (not as crowded on weekend) or hike Berthoud Pass, depending on weather; then proceed further west. Any recommendations in this area?
You're correct on Loveland not being as crowded on the weekend. Hiking the pass I would say talk to Gary about that he'll know more than anyone else. You are correct in getting your lodging set up first.
- I've looked at Vail pass prices (ouch). Then checked the epic pass site. Made me thinking that a 4 day epic pass might be a good idea...? (3 days vail is the same price as that pass with the additional opportunity to ride other spots - if that's an advantage...?). Are they only available a certain timeframe or limited number or still available in March?
This is the best bang for the buck, plus if you get the full blown epic there are bonus days over in France, Southern Hemisphere, Japan, plus Utah and California. So take that into account, just remember to buy it before November otherwise that price goes out the window. Realistically I would do 2 days at Vail, 2 days at Beaver Creek, a day at A basin and a day at Breckenridge with this pass.