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Keystone, Winter Park, Breckenridge, or Crested Butte

Keystone, Winter Park, Breckenridge, or Crested Butte

Dec 7th, 2000, 05:29 AM
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Keystone, Winter Park, Breckenridge, or Crested Butte

We are novice skiiers. My husband is convinced he will not like skiing but the 16 year old daughter has convinced him to go. We will borrow ski clothes, and fly to resort. Which resort would be better? Do we need a car? Need lessons, and things like snowmobile for husband if he quits skiing. Group is daughter 16, boyfriend 16, son 10, Mom, and Dad.
Dec 7th, 2000, 06:10 AM
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Keystone and Breckenridge are both terrific places to learn to ski. There also lots of activities to do in the Breckenridge, keystone, copper mountain, vail area.

I have never skiied Crested Butte but I have been there several times during the summer - It is beautiful. My husband says it is a great place to ski - but he has always been (it seems) an expert skiier, so I can't say how it would be to learn there. Crested Butte is a lot farther to get to from Denver - It would take the better part of two days to travel to and from Crested Butte to DIA.

Winter Park is a terrific Resort. It is popular particulaly with Colorado Natives. You do have to travel over Berthoud pass to get there and in a snow storm - this pass can be a bit scarry for people not used to mountain/snowstorm driving. Also, the base of Winter Park can be very crowded and sometimes it seems like it will take forever just to get to the top of the mountain for your first run down.

If I had a choice - I would find a place near either Keystone or Breckenridge and since they are so close to each other try them both out. Both Areas have long , wide gentle runs that are great for learning as well as terrific ski schools - AN ABSOLUTE MUST FOR BEGINNERS!

Have fun!
Dec 7th, 2000, 08:11 AM
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Hi Donald:

The above poster makes very valid points. I have been to all three and Crested Butte, although a great town for teens!, has a reputation for tough skiing. More variety in Breakenridge for non-skiers anyway!
Dec 7th, 2000, 09:33 AM
J T Kirk
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I personally prefer Crested Butte out of the ones you mentioned. It's a funky little town, with great restaurants, and not (yet) overly touristy. But the skiing at Crested Butte is TOUGH. Breckenridge, IMO, offers the best for everyone -- good skiing (at all levels), good restaurants and shopping, and a great little town to walk, expecially at night. Plus, from Breckenridge, you can run up to Vail (if you want) or if you don't mind driving a bit, head over to Aspen for a day. Crested Butte is a bit isolated.
Dec 7th, 2000, 11:45 AM
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I am a beginner skiier and didn't enjoy Keystone at all; I thought some of the "Green" trails were a little steep and not well groomed. The conditions were not great when we skiied there and there were many skiiers that were driven down in baskets by the ski patrol. Breckenridge was a little better; never been to Crested Butte as it has a reputation of being more difficult and usually a little colder.

My favorite resort is Vail; there are many nice, easy, long trails from the top of the mountain. Lots of choices for accomodations, restaurants, apres ski, etc. Also spent a day snowmobiling which was awesome.

Have fun,
Dec 7th, 2000, 01:10 PM
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I have to put in my vote for Crested Butte. It is my favorite place for family skiing. I disagree with those who say it is difficult. I ski mostly blues, but there is a wonderful lift, Painter Boy, with wide open green runs for beginners. Our kids spent plenty of time there learning how to ski. I have never experienced unreasonable lift lines even during Spring Break. Last year at Spring Break some of the rental shops ran out of kids size boots and skis but the mountain was not too crowded.
You can fly into Gunnison and take a shuttle to Crested Butte, you don't need a car they have great bus system in town and up to the Mountain Condos. The town of Crested Butte is great with lots of wonderful restaurants and shops.
I went to Winter Park once and would never go back again. It was 10 or 12 years ago but there was no town! Nowhere to go at night, YUK! Breckenridge always seems really crowded with families with very small children. Vail is a wonderful ski mountain, but expensive and lots of snobby rich people. If you like really great restaurants and exclusive shops it may be for you.

Dec 7th, 2000, 06:16 PM
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I live in Crested Butte. I am 50 years old and this is where I learned how to
Dec 7th, 2000, 06:27 PM
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As you can see, I tried posting above and was cut off. I learned to ski here in Crested Butte and there are two areas dedicated to beginners; Painter boy and Peachtree. The instructors here are first class. You should choose Crested Butte if you want a beautiful and unique ski resort without the crowds associated with the Denver resorts. You may want to look into Club Med that just opened here this year. That could be a wonderful family experience with or without skiing. I love Crested Butte and would recommend it highly.
Dec 8th, 2000, 10:28 PM
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I haven't skied Crested Butte yet, so I can't comment on it.

I would suggest staying in Breckenridge and (unless you do a multi-day lesson package) spend one day each at Vail, Copper, Keystone and Breckenridge. (This will require a car.)

Note the order there. It assumes good weather. If you stay in Breck and the weather isn't good, you can always change the order. Do watch the weather reports carefully each night. The weather reports should be taken with many grains of salt (especially in the mountains), but they are the best you have. I don't know where you are from, but if you aren't used to mountain climates don't underestimate how rapidly the weather conditions can change.

BTW: Winter Park is terrific, but perhaps a bit aggressive for beginner skiers. Also, there isn't much to do in the town other than ski. Lots to do in Breckenridge other than ski.

One other piece of advice, don't ski more than 3 straight days. Take every fourth day off. Between the altitude and the physical pounding your body takes, it is hard to ski more than 3 straight days unless you have good ski technique and/or a young, strong body.
Know your limits and respect them. Fatigued skiers become injured skiers...

Dec 9th, 2000, 12:05 PM
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Can only comment on Breckenridge & Vail. Our group ranges in ability from greens only to aggressive blue/blacks. Vail's got an enormous amount of variety on the mountain, and can make for an enjoyable day for everyone. It is, however, quite spread out and therefore the non-mountain sports take a little longer to get to. Breckenridge is charming and there's a variety of non-mountain sports (half of our party likes to split up downhill with cross country skiing or snowshoeing). Great choices for dinner and less expensive than Vail. Also, close proximity to Keystone if you want variety. On the down side, I feel the altitude more in Breckenridge. In addition, the lifts themselves to the easier (not easiest) slopes are long and you can get pretty cold if it's a windy day. Hope this helps & that you all have a wonderful time. Regards, Anne

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