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Skiing at Breck. Driving from Broomfield

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Nov 6th, 2012, 09:16 AM
  #1
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Skiing at Breck. Driving from Broomfield

We will be visiting family in Broomfield and driving to Breck for 2 days of skiing a few days after Christmas. We had planned to drive from Broomfield to Breck early in the morning so teen boys can start an all day lesson at 10 am. Then we will stay in Breck for one night and ski again the next day. Are we crazy for trying to drive that distance at that time of year and expect to arrive by 9am? How much time should we allow? Are there any inexpensive motels between Broomfield and Breck where we could stay the night before to cut out some of the distance? Since we have only 2 days to ski we want to make the best of our time w/o going broke! I know this is weather dependent but would like some input. We are from Midwest and have never been skiing in CO before. Thanks!
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Nov 6th, 2012, 10:57 AM
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You certainly don't need to spend the night. It is only a 2 hour drive!
Leave at 6 and you'll have plenty of time. It's basically all interstate also.
If you are going to rent skis at the mountain you will want to leave by that 6AM.
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Nov 6th, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Thanks, Gretchen. That's what we were thinking. What about snowy weather? Will that add on a lot of time. I've heard that getting over the pass can be rough.
If we do decide to go the night before are there places in between to stay?
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Nov 6th, 2012, 12:03 PM
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It can be or not--they clear the roads very well and if the pass is dangerous, it will be on every media outlet.
If you go the night before you need to have it arranged beforehand. It will be a busy busy season, and you can't count on being able to drop into a place--in my opinion.
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Nov 6th, 2012, 12:13 PM
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Leave early. It is only a 2 hour drive if you beat the traffic. I live in the south metro Denver area and we always leave the house before 6am if we ski on the weekend or during a holiday period.
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Nov 6th, 2012, 12:43 PM
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There are motels in Idaho Springs but it is not worth it since it would be a good hour from there. There are a bunch of motels in the Dillon/Siverthorne area but at that time of year could be hard to come by and expensive. It is an easy two hour drive and there is no pass to go over. It is a tunnel under (more or less) Loveland pass. Snowy weather will make it slower but the roads are well maintained.

I am a little surprised you can get a one night rental at that time of year. If the rental is close to the slopes or downtown I would ask if they would allow you to park early that day. Otherwise you need to use the huge public lots ($10) in the center of town. There are shuttle buses from these lots to the different ski bases. You would probably need base 9 for ski school and rentals.

An advantage to coming the night before is that you could arrange the rentals and ski school the evening before. Unfortunately the Christmas through New Years period is our busiest period except for President Day weekend which is worse.
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Nov 6th, 2012, 02:52 PM
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That's right, of course. Eisenhower Tunnel!!
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Nov 6th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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fmpden, I think we are staying at the only place that allows one night. The Village Hotel. They will let us park there when we arrive. If we go the night before we would definitely reserve ahead.
I just spoke with a friend who has skied at Breckenridge. She said last year they were there and it took 90 minutes to get rentals (lines, fitting, etc). That's another concern in addition to the drive time. And, like fmpden said, an advantage to coming the night before. So, to be on the slopes by 9 we'd have to leave by 6 if the weather is good and earlier if it's bad. This is the first I've heard of a tunnel under the pass. That's cool.
So...being a newbie, I'm guessing all of this will take longer than it would for you experienced skiers, right?!
Thanks for the input!
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Nov 6th, 2012, 05:09 PM
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Make sure you reserve skis. In busy times of the year, the resorts and the ski shops can run out of skis. It should also help you be fitted into boots and skis faster.
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Nov 6th, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Rentals always take longer.
You may need to reserve lessons at this busy time. But I will also say, a whole day lesson for new skiiers will wear your teens out more than theywould ever think it would.
If you are coming back to ____, rent there and take them with you. You can still get the lesson-still reserve.
Lessons are the ONLY sane way to do this, and they will have a GREAT time.
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Nov 6th, 2012, 07:03 PM
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Are they skiing or boarding? If boarding it will be much quicker for rental since the fitting process is very different. At that time of year, there are a lot of people and everything is slower from rentals to bathrooms. If you can afford to stay two nights it would be far more relaxing. Unfortunately two days of lesson will be barely adequate to get started. My concern it that it will be very difficult to get much of a feel for skiing or boarding if you are there for two days. What days do you really plan to ski? New Year's eve and day would be the best choices.

Gretchen suggestion of renting in Bloomfield - Sports Authority or Christy Sports, etc , is excellent. Save time and money. In fact, I would strongly encourage that. That way you can go directly to the lesson.

The tunnel has been there about 30 years so it is nothing new.
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Nov 6th, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Our boys will be skiing (skis, not boarding) 2 days: Dec. 28 and 29. They've skied in midwest but never in CO. Two days of skiing is all we have time for. We have skis, lift tkts and lessons reserved. Lessons for only one day. Will they be fine skiing on their own the 2nd day after one day of lessons? They are 15 and 13.
Are places like Christy Sports and Sports Authority as skilled at fitting rental skis based on ability as they are at Breck?
Shoot after all this advice I think we need to stay in Breck for a week!
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Nov 7th, 2012, 01:27 AM
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Skiing on their own the 2nd day should be fine. Just tell them to keep practicing what they learned and they should also know the bunny runs by having been with instructors the day before.

One real benefit with taking lessons as a beginner is that everybody is going through some akward times - so there is some group camaraderie in doing so.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 01:30 AM
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The one advantage of getting fitted at the actual ski area/slopeside is that if you have some problems - you are right there to get them solved, but the Christy's of this world should fit them fine for their experience level.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 04:25 AM
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I would give them lessons the second day also. They will improve SO much it will be almost uncanny. Consider it an investment in their future enjoyment of skiing and particularly if they ski some at home also.
Our kids were pretty good skiiers when we first went to CO and we always signed them up for lessons. They are gorgeous skiiers--have been instructors later.
There will be a Christy's at Breck also.
One nice thing if you rent and take lessons is that they will probably store the skis overnight and you don't have to schlep them to your condo.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 06:05 AM
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Actually - I think the best way is to take half day lessons - and then work on/try out what you learned in the afternoon. You really improve with practice/time on skis.

And group lessons are fine for beginners. You don't need private.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 07:47 AM
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Tomsd, you mentioned they will know the bunny runs. Ummm they are expecting to be on the mountain in their lesson (at least the green hills). Is that unrealistic? I would guess they are Novice 4. Also, Breck signed them up for Kids lessons rather than adult since one of them is 13. Would they have a better experience with an adult instructor. Really don't want them to be in a group with preteens or younger.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 09:34 PM
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This is the kind of exchange that drives me nuts. Every time you post a suggestion you learn a little more than could have influenced the earlier suggestion. Lets start over.

1. They have skied in the midwest - explain. Where? How many times, types of hills, etc? My experience (limited) is that midwest ski is not much more than sliding downhill with little skill required.

2. Are the boys experience and COMFORTABLE getting on and off of chair lifts?

3. Denver ski shops are just as skilled at fitting skis as any on slope shops. After all lots of locals rent everyday at shops in Denver than waste time renting on slope. And generally cheaper. This is a mute discussion if you have already reserved skis on slope.

4. I doubt seriously that one day (or even two) of lessons will make them comfortable on any green slope. All green slopes are not the same and if you make a mistake you might be on a blue so they need some ability. So I don't think you should assume that after one day they will be cruising the green slopes. The bunny hill is really not a hill but a local expression. Breckenridge has a couple of relatively flat areas where they take the beginning classes. They will have an adult instructor regardless of the class level. It is not baby sitting.

My recommendations for new skiers is plan on a week. Take two and a half days of lessons and one and half days of practice after the lessons and then return to half days of lessons and half day of practice. There is a beginners hump that all beginners need to get over and it only happens with practice and some lessons. My experience is that it takes about a week.

5. Have no idea of a Novice 4 level. Never heard of it but it is probably an internal classification of some type. I did not see it on the site for reservations. Do you have a definition? They will be a classes of same ability and age.

6. Remember you will need helmets.

7. Given you very limited time, I would recommend two half days of morning lessons so that they can practice each afternoon. The first couple of days of lessons can be very tiring especially coming for a lower altitude. Use the afternoon to practice. It will be difficult to develop much skill within the limited time you have.

8. Buy a beginners lift tickets. Don't waste your money on an all mountain ticket. However, it has been a while since our boys were that age so don't remember if Breck has a beginner lift ticket. I know Copper does. If you skis are tied up in a package it might not be cheaper to get them in Denver - only more convenient.

9. Which school location did you chose? And do you know where they are at in relation to your lodging?

Good luck, Frank
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Nov 8th, 2012, 04:29 AM
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They need to be in a lesson for their skill level. They will be put in that lesson by the instructor watching them ski down a little slope.
I just do not agree about half day lesson--they will learn more and correctly if watched all day by their instructor and corrected.
They will be "on the mountain". First timers have NO idea how big and how complicated Colorado ski mountains can be. What fmpden said is true--you can suddenly be on a blue slope you can't handle and have to do a catwalk which can be worse!!
I've not been to Breck often but don't know of a green slope only ticket. The ski lesson will take care of the lift ticket.
OP, your boys will progress quickly 'cause that's what kids do. You only have two days so take lessons both days. They might even move 'way up on day two if they have skiied before.
The most important thing is for them to ski under control, and learn their technique correctly. They will also be surprised at how tired they will get--you get a LOT of skiing on a slope in CO, and with a lesson, not much waiting in line at the lift.
Be sure to have warm enough clothing.
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Nov 8th, 2012, 05:00 AM
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Totally agree that a solid week is the best way to improve for beginning beginners - but even before you get to that - I recommend a couple of weekends first, and then followed by a solid week -- and the improvement is usually very significant.

However - here it seems they will only have two days - and I would again recommend considering a half day lesson - group - and the better ski schools (such as they have in Colorado) will sort out which class/level to put them in.

After the morning lesson - it's real simple. Have them ask their instructor where they should practice that afternoon - or if you prefer - they can take an all day lesson.

On the topic/side of the all day lesson approach - it is amazing sometimes what the young ones can do. My niece - when she was about 10? - took two all day lessons - her first time on snow as they were living in Central America - at Deer Valley, Utah. By the second day - theis class of six kids was coming down the whole mountain (top to bottom) - on the easier intermediate runs.

Seems most in the class had skateboarded - as had she a bit (she had also some martial arts instruction from her father which was good for the initial snowplow stance) - and they were a very fast learning class.

In the end - it's really up to you.

I don't think you would be wrong in putting them in morning classes and letting them explore a bit in the afternoon - or alternatively - taking full day lessons.
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