One Day in Colorado (Ski)?

Old Feb 10th, 2021, 11:07 PM
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One Day in Colorado (Ski)?

Based on flight schedules, we are flying into Den on a Fri evening and we only have ONE day to go skiing (Sat).
My wife and daughter (7) are learning how to ski.
We'd like to keep costs down so:
1) I felt like Ski Cooper looks like our best option (beginners at a reasonable price and not too crowded).
2) The problem is that Ski Cooper is a little farther out.

Is it possible to fly into Den in the evening and drive to Leadville that same evening?
Or, since we only have one day (Sat) for skiing, should we look for another ski option closer to Denver, like say Loveland or something?
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Old Feb 11th, 2021, 03:21 AM
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I LOVE to ski and especially in Colorado although those days are done. With one day and young child I would go somewhere that has tubing--Keystone does.
or did.
First there is acclimating to altitude. Renting equipment is time consuming. For one day enjoyment in the snow a one day beginners ski lesson is not my cup of tea.
You will need to make reservations I think anywhere you go because of limiting numbers on the slopes
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Old Feb 11th, 2021, 08:07 AM
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The drive to Ski Cooper could take three hours not counting the time to rent the car. The car rental areas aren't immediately adjacent to the airport, so the process takes some time. Add Friday night getaway traffic, possible bad weather on the road, and this could be a set-up for frustratingly long trek for a single day of skiing. Then, as Gretchen mentioned, you'll need to get everyone fitted with equipment. If the weather on that single ski day happens to be less than ideal or anyone has problems with the altitude, your beginners may come away thinking it's all not worth the effort. (FYI, the base elevation of Ski Cooper is at more than 10,000'. That's really high, even for Colorado.)

If this trip is during the current season, you'll have to investigate the ticket/reservation situation for any ski area you're contemplating. Some areas have been taking daily reservations for a couple of months already. If you're thinking about lessons, see what's being offered. I have heard of at least one area offering private or semi-private lessons for the cost of a class.
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Old Feb 11th, 2021, 08:22 AM
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Here's some info about tubing. Again call for reservation information.

https://www.bookbreck.com/tubing-in-breckenridge/
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Old Feb 11th, 2021, 09:28 AM
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Ok, so I was able to book an earlier flight which means I should be able to reach Leadville no problem by nightfall.
However, I never thought about the altitude, especially coming from sea level. 10k is really high and I've dealt with some altitude issues in Albq which is only about 5 -6k.
With that being said, Cooper sounds great because it's not crowded and its inexpensive .... however, I'm having second thoughts concerning the altitude. WHat are your thoughts for reasonably priced beginner skiing near Denver???
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Old Feb 11th, 2021, 01:44 PM
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"Reasonably priced" is one thing. Actually being able to get tickets/reservations for the one day you can ski may be another thing. I would investigate that issue at Keystone, Copper (not Cooper) and Winter Park.

If you live at sea level, sleeping at 10,000+ feet could definitely be a problem for one or all of you even if you don't feel the effects while skiing. I live at sea level and have a terrible time sleeping at high altitude but no trouble during the day. Other people can sleep but feel awful during the day, too nauseous to ski, etc. I'm sure you know that drinking large amounts of water is very important.
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Old Feb 11th, 2021, 02:03 PM
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You sort of indicate that you are a skier and DD and DW are beginners. I can only say that beginner skiing at high altitude will be a really hard day and as someone suggested, may just turn them off completely.
It is possible that NO ski area will be ''crowded" because of limiting reservations. There is Eldora. There is Winter Park. Actually Summit County with all the areas is only 2 hours drive from DIA. Do you ski and want a day of good skiing while DD and DW do something else. It is alwo likely that if DW and DD are in ski lessons they will not be in the same one. There are several holes in this plan for a one day ski trip IMO
In ANY case if you do come to the mountains for a day be sure to drink all the water you can and bring sunscreen.
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Old Feb 11th, 2021, 02:39 PM
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Ok, so I'm looking at the following places - in order of what I'm leaning toward:
1. Arapahoe
2. Cooper
3. Loveland
4. Granby Ranch
My wife has skied before but not proficient. Daughter is a first timer. Me? A small step below Bode Miller
Any thoughts on those locations?
Others mentioned Cooper is at 10k feet but when I looked up Breckenridge and Winter Park they are both close to 10k as well.
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Old Feb 11th, 2021, 04:58 PM
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I was going to mention as well that the summit areas and A-Basin/Loveland have a similar base elevation, only several hundred feet difference from Cooper. And Cooper's summit elevation is lower than the aforementioned. Eldora, being a Front Range area, often has not so good conditions, it tends to get icy. And did i see correctly that their daily lift rates are $145? Egads! Cooper (and Monarch) were our absolute favorite areas while we lived in Ft Collins. Weekend Denver ski traffic/crowds to the summit/Loveland/A Basin/Winter Park can be brutal, but covid likely has impacted that, as mentioned. Wife and I used to be on the volunteer ski patrol at Estes Park's Hidden Valley (R.I.P) back in the day and our group of volunteers would make a yearly trek to Leadville to Ski Cooper. All that said, one year i did suffer some altitude sickness even though Fort Collins was at 5,000 ft asl. Nausea and vomiting the night we arrived. Next day, fine.
A-Basin leans toward more challenging runs. I dont believe there is any lodging in the immediate area. Though that may have changed.

Last edited by baldone; Feb 11th, 2021 at 05:11 PM.
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Old Feb 12th, 2021, 05:44 AM
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Copper mountain has great terrain for the Bode Miller skier. It also has great terrain for begginners if they still want to pursue it. It also has a facility called Woodward where the 7 year old can jump into foam pits or jump on trampolines or watch trick skiers and boarders practice their tricks--all inside. And it may be closed due to Covid so that would be a check. But there is tubing at nearby Frisco-- a cute town with good restaurants and shopping.
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Old Feb 12th, 2021, 06:55 AM
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Just an FYI about skiing during COVID in CO. Our ski resorts are crazy busy...yes, even with restrictions. Lines for lifts in some resorts are running 15-20 minutes. Many services aren't available, which means some resorts require skiers to change clothes in the parking lot and eat lunch in their cars. Many locals have given up on skiing this season due to the out-of-state numbers and general chaos.

Regardless of where you go, you need to plan very well for your one day of skiing, especially on a Saturday. And yes, altitude is usually an issue for flat landers, so don't underestimate that.

If you want more details on current COVID conditions at specific CO ski resorts, I suggest you do some reading on the CO Trip Advisor forum. Lots of great local info over there.

If you're not talking about the current season, disregard.

Last edited by Melnq8; Feb 12th, 2021 at 07:00 AM.
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Old Feb 12th, 2021, 08:06 AM
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You are going to feel the altitude for sure, just walking up a small hill for example. But the unpleasant effects, headache, nausea, are usually (not always but usually) felt when you are trying to sleep. One option you could consider is to stay down around Idaho Springs, some 2000 feet lower than Summit county. "Climb high, sleep low".

Loveland ski area is only about 30 minutes from there assuming decent conditions.
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Old Feb 12th, 2021, 09:19 AM
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"Lines for lifts in some resorts are running 15-20 minutes."

I doubt that's because there are huge crowds, although if you only look at lift lines it will seem "crazy busy." AFAIK, lift loading at every ski area is Covid restricted, and only people within the same family/pod can ride together on lifts and gondolas. If not every lift seat is occupied, there will be lines and longer wait times. But if you look at mountain webcams at different areas, there aren't many skiers on the runs.
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Old Feb 12th, 2021, 10:57 AM
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Banff - if your trip is for this season, you might find the following news articles of interest:

https://www.cpr.org/2021/02/10/color...vid-outbreaks/

https://denver.cbslocal.com/2021/02/...nsmission-low/

https://www.cpr.org/2021/02/11/winte...ith-109-cases/



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Old Feb 12th, 2021, 01:24 PM
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I'm not sure this year is the best to be doing this kind of thing given there is a pandemic going on and the wife and daughter don't know how to ski, apparently. I wouldn't do it. I've been skiing numerous times this year, just went today, and even though I have been to Vail company resorts, and they are limiting people, they are definitely crowded. As usual, more so on weekends when I won't go. Fridays are often bad, also, a bit.

I've been skiing out there several times and the altitude never bothered me at all and I live pretty much at sea level, so it isn't really true that you "certainlY' will feel anything, normally. But since you have history of that, it sure wouldn't surprise me.

I've seen photos online of snaking lift lines where people have to wait a long time. Steamboat is terrible, so is Vail from the photos I"ve seen. So it is crowded in the lift lines due to the waits, even if maybe not as crowded on the mountain as usual.

I don't know why you are doing this, but hope you have a reason to go there other than this one day ski thing. They haven't actually gotten as great snow this year in that area as usual, but if you can't ski well, it will probably seem fine anyway. I'm not a Keystone fan. I probably woudln't go to those expensive resorts in your situation (Keystone, Breckenridge and Vail are the worst).

I would agree with your idea that you should stay closer to Denver and just find some more modest place. Personally, I'm not sure I'd bother with the skiing given your daughter has never skied before, what's the point. Lessons are very expensive. Some places aren't doing group lessons now, but others are, you'd have to check.
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Old Feb 15th, 2021, 05:16 AM
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Yes, it's a head scratcher isn't it? LOL
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Old Feb 16th, 2021, 03:48 AM
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Thanks for all the help.
I was able to hit the jackpot..while searching for a hotel between Denver and the resorts I found a package deal that offered $50 a day lift tickets for Loveland. So this should alleviate all the issues I was facing:
1) Hotel is around 7500 ft
2) Closer than Den to resorts
3) Cheap lift tickets
4) And good enough for beginners.
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Old Feb 16th, 2021, 04:12 AM
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That is all good. Since you have the one day you need to make reservations for ski school and ski rentals which will take time out of your one day of skiing. It's going to be a packed and tiring day. Enjoy.

https://skiloveland.com/

Last edited by Gretchen; Feb 16th, 2021 at 04:17 AM.
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Old Feb 16th, 2021, 06:44 AM
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One day in Denver

Banff,
I hope this reply isn't too late. I live in Colorado. Depending on what time you arrive at DIA on Friday, driving to Leadville could be a challenge. You'll encounter winding mountain roads that will be icy and dark on a February night. In the daytime, it's a gorgeous drive!! Leadville is over 10,000 feet; almost 5,000 higher than Denver. Depends on your driving experience.
Also, know that Saturday morning traffic to the ski areas will be bumper-to-bumper and the Saturday evening return the same. As another poster suggested, maybe sledding, dog sledding (really fun!!) or another activity since your time is limited.
Hope you have a great time in my state!
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