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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Breckenridge / Keystone / Vail early April

I'm going to visit a friend of mine in early April in Breckenridge. Has anyone been on there at around this time of year. My friend lives in Breck itself and recently found out about SnowCat trips to the summit of Keystone early on pow days for $5, can somebody verify this?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 02:34 PM
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Keystone does indeed have $5 cat rides, but from the outback (3rd) mountain only. You can also hike any of the 3 mtns but dercum mtn hiking only goes to the windows. If you want to do independence bowl you have to hike from the outpost mtn. If you do independence you also have to hike all the way back out so keep that in mind. I haven't been to keystone in a few weeks but when I went I hit up Bergman bowl off the outpost mtn. Conditions where o.k. I guess. I didn't hit any rocks or crap but it just was NOT worth the hike at all, would have been better off on the runs. If it wasn't stellar then, I doubt it has gotten any better and more then likely worse I went to breck 2 weeks ago or so when they got that 11" and it was probably my best day of the season. I went up to imperial around noon when they got done blasting up there and it was sweet. Hiked the little bit further to get to the top though and it was windy as shit. Almost blowing people and there boards off the mtn, but once you dropped in the wind was gone and there was powder up to my waist. Meh long story short either resort will still be fun, but don't get your hopes up as far as off piste or side country stuff, Unless you have a rock board that stuff is pretty much done. Except if we get hammered and I eat my own words

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by budderbear View Post
Keystone does indeed have $5 cat rides, but from the outback (3rd) mountain only. You can also hike any of the 3 mtns but dercum mtn hiking only goes to the windows. If you want to do independence bowl you have to hike from the outpost mtn. If you do independence you also have to hike all the way back out so keep that in mind. I haven't been to keystone in a few weeks but when I went I hit up Bergman bowl off the outpost mtn. Conditions where o.k. I guess. I didn't hit any rocks or crap but it just was NOT worth the hike at all, would have been better off on the runs. If it wasn't stellar then, I doubt it has gotten any better and more then likely worse I went to breck 2 weeks ago or so when they got that 11" and it was probably my best day of the season. I went up to imperial around noon when they got done blasting up there and it was sweet. Hiked the little bit further to get to the top though and it was windy as shit. Almost blowing people and there boards off the mtn, but once you dropped in the wind was gone and there was powder up to my waist. Meh long story short either resort will still be fun, but don't get your hopes up as far as off piste or side country stuff, Unless you have a rock board that stuff is pretty much done. Except if we get hammered and I eat my own words
You are the man!! I hope you're munching on every letter you typed! I'm hoping this storm rolling into the Sierra's hits you guys
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 10:11 PM
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The $5 cat rides are not worth it. You can hike to that terrain in Just a few minutes. Also the easy accessibility also means it's pretty skied-out. Either way you take from there has a long flat runout (North or South Bowl). The run out for North Bowl is flat and through some trees so it is not very wide. The runout from South Bowl is a wider trail but very flat. There is a lot better hike-to terrain in Keystone but it requires more work. The Windows are fun if you like trees and can hold a lot of good snow long after the last storm but the lower half of the Windows can get pretty dense. The hike up to Independence, Bergman, and Erickson Bowls starts from behind the lodge on North Peak and can be pretty steep and long but has some of the best snow at Keystone at times. I have never been down Independence Bowl because it requires a hike back up the mountain to get out. Bergman and Erickson are pretty good. Erickson is steeper than Bergman. I have been up there 4 or 5 times this season. Right when they opened Erikson bowl this season there was waist deep powder to be found there. Last time I have been up there was last week on Wednesday or Thursday and conditions deteriorated some. Above the treeline was a breakable crust with softer snow underneath. Below the the treeline was still pretty much powder. If you enter Erickson through the lower gate to shorten your hike and hike up some you can still make a few good turns before getting to the trees.
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