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December ski trip to Colorado? Please help us pick a resort!

December ski trip to Colorado? Please help us pick a resort!

Old Oct 16th, 2009, 04:21 AM
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I guess I was a better skier than I gave myself credit for. I didn't like catwalks, and did take the gondola down a lot.
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Old Oct 16th, 2009, 04:34 AM
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I would recommend against mid-Dec. Powder is always hit or miss, but you will be quite confident that you will have sufficient base in late Jan -> Feb.

I also would caution against Vail. I am an expert, wife is intermediate. We went with a friend who owns a condo @ Vail and skis there 30 days/year. I found the interconnect system very difficult to navigate, if we didn't have a tour guide we'd be in trouble. There were several flat spots that you have to traverse and my wfie had a difficult time. I was pleasantly surprised at the terrain, there is sick stuff there!

In contrast we also went to Breck which I would recommend. It's easy to navigate and it's mostly intermediate terrain. The drawback is there is not nearly the challenge of Vail. There's one spot off E chair that is nuts.

I also like the town aspect of Breck. Vail feels like Epcot with a handful of restaurants. Breck has a couple miles of local restaurants and shops.

With all that said...have you considered Utah? I think it's leaps and bounds better than CO, skiing-wise, and you may be able to get direct flights into Salt Lake.
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Old Oct 16th, 2009, 05:00 AM
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First, thanks to all for all the input.

Yes, we have considered Utah (and not ruled it out). CO resorts were our first choice due to their generally high rankings and as well as availability of reward point-redeemable flights from Ottawa to Denver. To SLC, there does not appear to be flights redeemable with our reward points (which may be a deal-breaker).

That said, Breckenridge has been looking more and more appealing to me (over Vail).
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Old Oct 16th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Something else with Breck is you can get a free bus from Breck to Keystone to A-Basin and back. So if you want to ski something different as a day trip...I think it was about 40 minutes to A-Basin and maybe 10 less to Keystone. My wife planned "spa day" and I headed over to A-Basin to get something more challenging in.
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Old Oct 16th, 2009, 10:08 AM
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You've gotten great info already, but here's some more.

Breck is at a higher elevation than Vail, so if you're still considering December, you generally have a better chance of better snow at Breck than Vail.

Breck also has a reputation for being colder and windier, though - due to the higher elevation. The town of Breck is nice, and is an actual historical former mining town, with some of the buildings from that time period. The dining scene is much better (and more expensive) at Vail or Beaver Creek, if that is still a factor.

fmpden gives a very good description of the beginner situation at Vail. That being said, there are some very good beginner areas at Vail, and it is a fabulous resort overall. But the front side of the mountain is a pain to come down on. If you head down to Golden Peak, it's a bit easier, though you'll still have catwalks. Or download on the gondola.

You'll have a great time at either Vail or Breckenridge. And if you get a rental car (which you do NOT need to do), it's very easy to stay at one resort, but ski for the day at the other.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 07:27 PM
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Don't rule out flying into a smaller airport. Airports like Aspen and Steamboat Springs, for example, will get you just minutes away from the airport versus Denver which will leave you with at least a two hour drive, more if there is traffic.

Good profiles on the resorts in that area at http://www.familyskihub.com.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 08:43 AM
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If you choose Vail, I can recommend the Sonnenalp Resort as a wonderful hotel/spa. Service is impeccable, it is located right in Vail Village, and their rooms and suites are lovely.
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