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Help with picking a mountain to ski in Summit County, CO

Help with picking a mountain to ski in Summit County, CO

Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 04:46 AM
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Help with picking a mountain to ski in Summit County, CO

We are thinking about spending our March vacation at Copper. My family members all ski the blacks (athough for me, I cannot ski the really tough ones anymore! and definitely am not a mogul mama!!). We also are traveling with another family who cannot hande anything tougher than the easiest blacks. We do not ski together all day, but like to meet up for a few runs at times.

My question, after looking at the map and seeing how segregated the different ability levels are (with each lift seeming to service only on type of trail, ie., black, blue or green) is, how easy is it for people of somewhat varying abilities to ski together? How tough are the blacks at Copper? And, how easy are the blues?

My experience out West (Snowbird, Alta, Jackson, Steamboat) is that I can ski the easier blacks and often am happy on the blues as well, which have more pitch than the blues in the East. My kids and my husband can ski almost anything.

the other resort we were considering is Breckenridge, but I am a little put off by how built up it is, but maybe that is not a concern. We do not want to go to Vail or Keystone (have been to both, and didn't love either). Would consider Aspen, but don't think we can stay in Aspen because our friends need ski school, and I don't want to stay in Snowmass.

I like the fact that Copper is not too big. we can stay in that main village, and my kids can be independent (they are all teenagers). I know Copper doesn't offer too much in the way of a village, but there seem to be just enough restaurants (plus easy drive to Frisco), and it has an assortment of off-slope activities (tubing, swimming, sleigh rides, skating etc.)

We also want to be in driving distance of Boulder, so some family members to join us for a few days.
skatedancer is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 05:57 AM
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i think Copper is a good fit for you, and even if many are skiing the A lift, you will have little problem in getting together on the mountain. It's not as restricted as it looks on the map. (Keystone and Breck are much more spread out in terms of groups of skiers of varying abilities.)
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Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 06:16 AM
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copper has mtn. roads that cut across from black to blue areas. you can easily gather at the mid-station or at the top of any of several lifts. for your group skiing you might all be comfortable on b-lift (maybe they have named them now but the one the goes up from the east village)
not much difference between the drive from boulder to breck or copper. but, i like copper/frisco/dillon area myself. breck is new victorian buildings so its fun to look at, but all the local towns have some shopping and good restaurants. frisco also has a huge grocery which might be useful.

virginia is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 06:42 AM
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From what you describe as your abilities and desires (as well as those of your entourage), I think you'll be just fine at Copper Mountain.

The Excelerator lift services both blue and black (as well as having Solitude Station at its base).

The Sierra lift will get you up to the top of Union Bowl, and if you head to the right when you get off the lift, you'll have some blue runs that are right next to some blacks, that are right next to the double blacks of Union Meadows, that all dump into the green of Soliloquy.

The Super Bee lift takes you to the top of some nice, easy blue cruisers (Andy's Encore, Oh No) that have some black runs fork off of them about 2/3rds of the way down, and then join up again at the base of the Super Bee.

Expect the blacks and double blacks to be un-groomed (in other words - covered with moguls). You'll find the pitch of the runs similar to what you found at Steamboat. For instance, Andy's Encore at Copper kind of reminds me of Buddy's Run at Steamboat.

One-half to two-thirds of the blue runs should be groomed every night during the March season, and provide for some nice easy cruising. They generally groom different runs each night, and these runs are listed on handouts that can be obtained each morning from any ambassador at any of the base areas. The blue runs that are not groomed for several days in a row eventually develop moguls, and thus turn into what I would consider a blue-black. Little Burn, which runs right under the Timberline Express is one such example. The blue runs to the right off of the Sierra lift are another, as is Ptarmigan off the Excelerator lift.

I would strongly suggest that your whole group get together the first day for one of the free mountain tours. These tours are led by local volunteers known as Ambassadors, who for an hour and a half to two hours will ski with you and lead your group around the mountain, showing you the hidden gems, the areas that offer the type of skiing you're looking for, and answering any question you may have about the mountain or the base area. Last year the tours were offered starting at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Ambassador Yurt between Solitude Station and the top of the American Eagle lift. No reservation required....just show up.

On weekends, Copper is a zoo with people from Denver who come up for the day, creating long lines at the American Eagle, American Flyer and Timberline Express lifts. Weekdays are much less crowded. But since you are staying at Copper, you should be offered the ability to use the special line at those lifts for guests who are staying at the resort. This line allows you to skip ahead of all those other non-resort guests waiting in line. Check with the proprietor of the property you are staying at.

Some of my own personal hidden gems are: 1) Gold Digger - a short, yet somewhat steep black run accessed off the Sierra lift. Its moguls are usually more spaced out, and the run is generally uncrowded. After a night of snow, it's a great little black run. 2) I-Dropper - a short blue mogul run. 3) Any groomed blue run under the Timberline Express. 4) Soliloquy - sure, it's a green, but it's long and rolling and wide and almost a blue in some spots, and doesn't have the intensity of beginners on it that you'd find on other green runs.

Have fun.
furledleader is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 01:12 PM
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thanks for your replies. You really know the mountain! We will probably go to Copper. If anyone has a favorite condo to stay in, would like to know. I think we will stay in the main village, even though the East Village would give us faster lift access in the morning, from what I understand.
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