Colorado-Where to go?
Not sure if this was the right place to put this thread, but I couldn't find anywhere else. Anyway, I recently convinced my family to go on a weekend trip to Colorado this winter. However, I am not sure where to go this year. Last winter I went to Keystone which was awesome, but the lift lines were terrible, and the price of the lift tickets were not worth it ($180 for 2 days). So this year I am looking at smaller ski places with cheaper lift tickets. If you could help me choose a place that would be awesome. So far I have looked at and am interested in:
-4 lift tickets for $129!
-my friend went here and loved it, he said there are no lift lines, even on christmas break.
4. Ski Cooper
Some info I would like to know:
-avg. snow in Febuary
Keep in mind that I have my dad with me, who has never skied, so it cant be all black diamonds. Also, I am coming from STL so the closer to denver the better.
All I can speak for is A-Basin..
I would say A-basin may be a little busier than the others in February because it is so close to keystone, and Breck, and Loveland Pass...
Also the terrain at A-Basin is a little more advanced than the bigger resorts.
They do have a super fast lift though hahah.
Hope that helps..
If your looking for cheap do loveland, wide variety of terrain also the valley has a great hill to learn on.
4packs to Copper are also available and it is a hella fun mountain.
Loveland and A-basin are your other best choices.
Went to Winter Park/Mary Jane last season, had a lot of fun even with the high wind and crappy snow condition...it not that far from Denver. Check out Liftopia or even local radio or gas stations for deals.
2. Monarch. Another solid choice. Reasonably priced, fun terrain, and you can find cheap lodging in Salida which is a short drive to the ski area. It is three hours from Denver though, 2 from Colorado Springs. Those are the two closest airports. Snowfall is plentiful on Monarch Pass. It tends to get something from whatever storms roll through the state. Mirkwood Basin is basically a mini golf spot and is a quick hike to spot. Plenty of easy terrain, I would describe it as a family area with some gnar. Not overly extreme but fun. The Vertical is fairly short though. I am not sure if they have anything that breaks over 1k vert. Crowds are non existent.
3. Eldora, I'd skip it. Snowfall in February is usually lacking there. Eldora tends to get it's best storms come March and April. It is a great local hill, but I certainly wouldn't travel to go there. Fixed grip lifts.
4. Ski Cooper. Great for you dad. It is booooorrrring. If you are choosing to go there or Eldora, go to Eldora. Cooper is a kiddie mountain.
5. A-Basin. Plenty of gnar to be had there. It also has runs for less aggressive riders. Though I would say it would be best to be at the intermediate level to enjoy the place. It's small, so it is pretty limiting if you can't at least enjoy intermediate terrain. Great mountain though. Similar snow fall to Loveland. It is awfully rocky, and it takes awhile for the snow to get where you can really enjoy the mountain. February is usually that time. Expect core shots. It can get crowded on weekends.
All of the places you listed have fixed grip lifts. Which means they are not going to be nearly as fast as the detachable quads and such you find at Breck and Keystone. I doubt that will make a difference. Your legs will give out before the day ends if you start near opening time.
Other places mentioned, Copper and Winterpark are great mountains. They also have crowds similar to Keystone and Breck. High speed lifts are standard though. Their four packs are only good for one person. So if it was just two days per person you were looking for, that's $300. Probably not what you want.
It kind of sounds like you want to get away from the usual. I would seriously take a look at Monarch. Salida is a pretty sweet little town. There is a brewery there now, that I have yet to check out. There is also a sweet little winery on the east side of the pass, which means you'll drive by it. Mountain Spirit Winery. There are also decent restaurants in the town. The ski area is close by, but it just doesn't dominate the scene there. You could also just stay at the Monarch lodge. It's a little more expensive than staying in Salida and you don't have the going out options you do in Salida. The restaurant there is fine and it's short drive to the resort from the lodge. They might even have a shuttle.
Thank you all so much! Your advice is all very helpful. So I think I'm going to go with Loveland. Lot of snow, good beginner terrain, about 1 & 1/2 hour closer to me, less crowds, and a good vertical. Sounds great to me. Plus $30 lift tickets? Can't beat that. Again thank you all for your advice, can't wait to head out there.
Anything not in Summit County it gets the most skier visits in North America. Seriously fuck that place no one should ever shred there, EVER!
I'd vote Loveland as well in your situation. Even though Copper, Breck and the like have high speed lifts, that entire 5 minutes you save on the chair means nothing when you stand in line for 30 minutes just to get the chair. Lift 2 at Love is something like a 12-14 minute ride... Then there are a lot of places to go from there. Plenty of warming huts etc. Short, quick lines even on a busy day. I don't think I've ever sat in line at Loveland for more than 10 minutes, and that's on a busy weekend or holiday. During the week, maybe 2-3 minutes on a badass powder day.
I'd rather sit and freeze to death on a slow chair than wait 30 minutes for a high speed lift but that's just me.
If you ask, they will slow the chair down for your father. I'd suggest giving him a half day lesson each day in the early am, and allowing him to practice his stuff in the afternoon. I think it will make his visit a lot more comfortable and progressive. Don't just slap some equipment on his feet and get in line lol. I'd also rent his equipment from TBS/Empire sports depending on what he's riding. That's IF you are renting equipment. There is a Breeze sports shop there too but I don't feel like they put as much effort towards getting peeps the right equipment or setting it up as well. Just an opinion from a guy who used to live a few doors down the street from both shops.....
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