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First-time family ski trip to CO. Suggestions?

First-time family ski trip to CO. Suggestions?

Old Nov 7th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 44
First-time family ski trip to CO. Suggestions?

We are taking a family ski trip this winter- March 3-10, 2007. There are several families travelling/lodging together, and we are staying in Frisco. Hubby and I have been skiing before many times in upstate NY, and VA, and consider(ed) ourselves intermediate skiers. BUT! We have not been skiing in 8-9 years. (Is it just like riding a bicycle??) Our 2 sons - 7 and 11 - have never skied before.

We are flying into Denver on Saturday and driving right to Frisco. We will be there all day Sunday through Thursday, and driving back into Denver Friday morning to stay that night and sightsee that day. (We're even going to a Nuggets game that night.) Flight home is Saturday morning.

OK-- here's where I need help. Itinerary....I was thinking about doing this: Chill out on Sunday, drive around, rent all equipment/apparel needed. Monday: Ski lessons for all of us. Tuesday: Ski. Wednesday: Take a break from skiing-- maybe go snowtubing? Thursday: Ski, if kids are up to it. Friday: back to Denver.

What do you think? What ski areas have good ski programs for kids? I think we can buy a "ski for 3 out of 5 days" pass that is good for all/most of the surrounding resorts. Do we skip around each day?

All suggestions, etc., are appreciated!
suestein is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2006, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Your kids will probably progress faster if you stick to one ski school/resort. Usually, the kids can get the same instructor for at least a couple of days in a row. By having the same ski instructor or at least the same ski school, the ski school will know what your kids have done the day before and will keep them progressing. If you switch resorts, your kids are likely to be put back into the "never, ever skied" group and may be bored depending on their athletic skill and natural ability.

Any of the ski resorts near Frisco have good ski schools. I'd probably just stick to Breckinridge if I were you (minimal driving).

I wouldn't take a whole day off to go snow tubing unless you discover your kids hate skiing. For tubing, go over to Adventure Ridge at Vail one afternoon/evening. AR is an area of Vail mountain with tubing, snow bikes, snow mobiles, and ice skating. It opens around 2pm and stays open into the evening (even after the slopes are closed- you ride the Lionshead gondola to get to and from it).
padams421 is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2006, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 59
I like Steamboat,fly in catch the shuttle,do not ever have to rent a car,great ski school.
lonestarcars is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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You don't need a full day for tubing. Copper Mountain is also close if you want to tube one evening. They sell tickets for a given time which allows you to tube for an hour.
wtm003 is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2006, 03:17 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 545
You could also shop in Breckenridge and Silverthorne (outlets) on your tubing day.

Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain are all easy drives from Frisco and great ski resorts. Sounds like a great itinerary and a fun trip. Have a wonderful time!
yale is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2006, 05:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Your itinerary sounds very do-able. Taking the first day to chill out and get the necessities done is a very good idea. It will also allow everyone to acclimate to the altitude.
One (or even 2) day(s) of ski instruction will probably not make your kids into intermediate skiers. Unless they are unusually gifted, plan on them being on the beginner hill for all 3 days. Thus you may want to look into at least a second "half-day " of instruction for them, so they can hone their skills and you can get away to explore some more challenging terrain.
I agree that if anyone will be taking more than one day of lessons, they should do them all at the same resort. Any of the resorts near Frisco offer great instruction and I wouldn't suggest one over the other.
Going midweek is a good idea, as you will avoid the horrendous crowds of the weekends.
A note on parking. Breck and Copper do not offer free close-in parking. They each have several large parking lots for free, but you need to take a shuttle bus to get to the lifts. Each of them do offer close-in PAY parking, but I don't know the cost. Keystone has some free lots within easy walking distance of the River Run Gondola.
furledleader is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2006, 07:25 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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The free shuttles are about a 5 minute ride at both Copper and Breck.
yale is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2006, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I actually like your itinerary... As far as ski schools..... all the schools are very good. Breckenridge will be just fine - or Copper or Keystone. And typically, the instructors break the groups as best they can based on what level the skier is (you will be told their level at the end of each day)... But the instructors meet on the mountain to remix the kids after an hour or so. So while it might be nice to ski the same mountain (I like to know my way around).. it isn't mandatory. (My husband teaches skiing at Keystone.. so I am most familiar with the Vail resort ski schools).

On the day you tube, you might want to go ice skating on the outdoor lake at Keystone. Or you might want to look at the activities for your resort (horse drawn sleighrides, snowshoeing, etc).
julie_Colorado is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2006, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 66
After a couple of runs, you and your husband will pick up where you left off, although you might want to make sure you exercise your skiing muscles before you go!

I agree with the other posters that you should stick with one ski area for the sake of the kids -- and your own sanity. It's more efficient to buy a set of three lessons and check in one time rather than three times in three places. That way you'll have just one set of forms to fill out and you won't have to wait in line everyday at the kids' ski school. If you and your husband are getting ancy to try somewhere new, perhaps all of you could go to a new ski area the final ski day,but the kids will be on the easier slopes.

Vail's Adventure Ridge is really fun, and would be a great afternoon/early evening activity for tubing and all kinds of other activities. Vail is fun to explore for shopping and restaurants too (could the dads take the kids and moms could poke around?) A helpful website is familytravelforum.com, which has all kinds of info on family-friendly Colorado ski areas.
familytravelforum is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2006, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 31
Having spent about 15+ winters skiing all over the West, you really can't go wrong especially at that time during the year.

Since you haven't skied for several years are not used to high-altitude skiing, it may be best for you to havea doctor prescribe Diamox for the entire family to aide in getting accilmated to the climate. Also make sure that you stay well hydrated on the flight and throughout your stay.

Any ski school in that region will offer the same programs and will all be based on the same teaching methodologies so you need not worry about getting bad education from resort to resort. I would recommend getting the kids into any program geared as such. If they are of the same ability, that's a plus. 1/2 day sessions are good as this would leave time for you to ski as a family.

It is like riding a bicycle to a degree but try to keep your mind in check as your body will quickly remind you that it has been 8-9 years so STRETCH, STRETCH AND DID I MENTION, STRETCH???

Start you pre-ski exercise regimen 60-90 days out.

Have a super trip!!
ameryhm is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Thanks, everyone, for the fanstastic advice! A friend of ours recommended renting the ski equipment from the resort we're skiing at, because if at any point during the day we have problems with our equipment it's easy to change gear, vs. suffering all day and then going into town after the skiing is over to deal with equipment. It sounded like a good idea, even though I know I'll spend a little more money. If I opt to rent from the resort for more than 1 day, do they hold the same equipment for me?
suestein is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2006, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Most resorts let you store the equipment overnight at a fee. Sometimes the rental shops do it for free, and they also allow you to leave your shoes/daytime extras in their store while you ski. I can't give specifics because we did this in Park City, not CO, but I'm sure it's similar.

As far as skiing after 8-9 years, if you maintained your fitness, it is like riding a bike, if not, it still will be fine, but you may tire out quicker.
MFNYC is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2006, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Yes, you will get the same equipment back each day if you rent and return it for night storage.
padams421 is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2006, 05:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 560
I would rent near the resort.. but not at the resort. As example, the Sports Authority near Silverthorne. It's close enough to return easily... but much cheaper than the resorts.

Most rental condos will have lockers to store your skis.
julie_Colorado is offline  
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