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Colorado Ski Guide

Hawk

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I went to Aspen/Snowmass last month for a convention. All I can say is wow. Highlands does look cool and I'd ski there. Snowmass looks like the Sugarloaf of the West. That is one HUGE mother mountain. I really want to ski there....

Buttermilk--meh. Maybe worth a day.

Aspen reminded me of a bigger Cranmore. Interesting steep terrain. But I have no idea where one parks to ski Aspen.

I skied at Aspen last year TB and you are right. Highlands is where it is at. So cool. and if Highland bowl is open you should definitely hike that. Snow mass is massive and good on a powder day. I think there are day lots in town and buses. Snowmass has parking right at the hill.
 

nhskier1969

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Count me in to the Winter Park >>> Copper crew.

Thats not to say I didnt have fun at Copper. But you need to hit the above treeline stuff right after a snowfall or it gets manked out because it all faces south. Theres some good stuff off Super Bee but a lot of east coast icy groomers as well. The entire lookers right 2/3rds of the resort is Stratton west, including Union Meadows.

Winter Park almost has a Smuggs like quality to it. Sure it kind of has an east coast feel to it being mostly below treeline but it really is like Smuggs and Jay on steroids.

Looking forward to finally getting to A-Basin this year, as well as checking out the new back bowl lift at Copper and returning to Winter Park.

Got the Ikon Pass this year, so planning a mid December trip to Winter Park. Am going to ski AB on the way out that day. Then ski Winterpark for the next few days. I am staying in Winter Park. Is it worth it do day trip Copper while I am at winter Park?
 

abc

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Is it worth it do day trip Copper while I am at winter Park?
No.

Stick to one place, wherever that place is.

Also, be careful about skiing AB on the first day. The top of AB is really high. If you're flying in on a morning flight and skiing right after landing, altitude could get you.
 

jimk

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Only skied Telluride in Colorado but I was more impressed with the scenery and the actual town than the skiing. I didn't do any extreme stuff though just whatever was near the lifts. You know your trip out west probably wasn't worth the time and energy when locals ask you where you're from and you start talking up places like Jay Peak and Sugarloaf out east (and they couldn't give a shit)

Next time I ski Colorado it will probably be Steamboat or Crested Butte. That said will probably get to Oregon(Bachelor) or Montana before returning to CO.

Enjoyed the skiing in Tahoe > Telluride. I'm not a "big mountain skier" though. I like trees and narrow stuff. And not the kind of trees at Telluride where they are very widely spaced out tall pine trees.

Here's a trip report covering Telluride and CB. Loved 'em both.
https://www.pugski.com/threads/closing-week-at-telluride-and-crested-butte-april-2019.15144/

For advanced skiing when the snow is good, CB>Steam or MtB (although backside of MtB was otherworldly)

Funny thing about this thread, the OP from 2014 has moved to Utah! SkiNEwhere - great guy. Maybe he'll return to post his thoughts comparing CO skiing with UT skiing now that he knows a lot more about both??
 
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deadheadskier

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ah, you reminded me, i've been to ajax highlands and snowmass, but left them off my list. i'd rank those highlands over snowmass over ajax, and in general i'd put all 3 above everything in summit/eagle/grand counties, except for a-basin.
Agreed on all points except I prefer Ajax to Snowmass. Both suffer from poor lift placement that makes their better terrain areas a pain in the ass to lap. This is more true at Snowmass though.





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KustyTheKlown

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No.

Stick to one place, wherever that place is.

Also, be careful about skiing AB on the first day. The top of AB is really high. If you're flying in on a morning flight and skiing right after landing, altitude could get you.

its not worth skiing copper, but the reason is bc copper sucks.

winter park and a-basin is a great trip. i'm bummed that basin is blacked out when i'll be out there over xmas.
 

KustyTheKlown

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Agreed on all points except I prefer Ajax to Snowmass. Both suffer from poor lift placement that makes their better terrain areas a pain in the ass to lap. This is more true at Snowmass though.





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my main gripe with ajax was lift layout. i found myself back at the base gondola far too often, and found myself dropping into runs earlier than i would have liked, simply to avoid missing a lift.

i really liked the hanging valley terrain at snowmass. this was about 13 years ago now so its certainly been a while and i'm a much stronger and smarter skier now. would like to go back but getting to/from and lodging for aspen is $$$$$
 

abc

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its not worth skiing copper, but the reason is bc copper sucks..
There’s one poster on this board who never miss EVERY SINGLE opportunity to say Copper sucks. Did he get his skis stolen there? I don’t know.

But this same poster had labeled MANY other mountains as “sucks”. So it goes to figure...
 

nhskier1969

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There’s one poster on this board who never miss EVERY SINGLE opportunity to say Copper sucks. Did he get his skis stolen there? I don’t know.

But this same poster had labeled MANY other mountains as “sucks”. So it goes to figure...

I am staying slodeside at WP, so is it worth it to drive to Copper for a day and then come back to WP?
 

KustyTheKlown

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In my highly opinionated opinion, no. Not for copper. Route 40 from i70 to winter park is a winding switchbacky mountain road that is not fun to drive, especially in dark and/or weather. copper isn’t worth dealing with driving down 40. a-basin is worth it, but I would do a day or two at a-basin first and then head up to winter park for the rest of the time. cheap rooms near abay in Dillon frisco silverthorne. wp is off on its own.
 

nhskier1969

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ah, you reminded me, i've been to ajax highlands and snowmass, but left them off my list. i'd rank those highlands over snowmass over ajax, and in general i'd put all 3 above everything in summit/eagle/grand counties, except for a-basin.

Funny, I am going out to Aspen latter in the season. But I've skied all over. Whistler, Jackson Hole, Snowbird, Revy etc.. But all my friends ask me what is my favorite resort and I tell them Aspen. Aspen is a completely different mtn area than the above ones mentioned. But there is just something about Aspen.
 

snoseek

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Only skied Telluride in Colorado but I was more impressed with the scenery and the actual town than the skiing. I didn't do any extreme stuff though just whatever was near the lifts. You know your trip out west probably wasn't worth the time and energy when locals ask you where you're from and you start talking up places like Jay Peak and Sugarloaf out east (and they couldn't give a shit)

Next time I ski Colorado it will probably be Steamboat or Crested Butte. That said will probably get to Oregon(Bachelor) or Montana before returning to CO.

Enjoyed the skiing in Tahoe > Telluride. I'm not a "big mountain skier" though. I like trees and narrow stuff. And not the kind of trees at Telluride where they are very widely spaced out tall pine trees.

I mean if you're going to telluride and not getting out hiking on gold hill you did it wrong.

With equal snow its one of my top 5 in the country. Its got some fantastic terrain and not a shitshow for a big mtn.

Im a big fan of the low key areas out there. I spent alot of my weekends last winter driving down to Powderhorn from alta to just relax. Man I had some of the best pow tree runs of my life there last winter. Fresh untracked till last chair. Also got a crazy good day at sundance. Beaver mtn was untracked all day as well. There's a shitload of fun low key areas all over worth checking out. They need the money...its a great experience
 

deadheadskier

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my main gripe with ajax was lift layout. i found myself back at the base gondola far too often, and found myself dropping into runs earlier than i would have liked, simply to avoid missing a lift.

i really liked the hanging valley terrain at snowmass. this was about 13 years ago now so its certainly been a while and i'm a much stronger and smarter skier now. would like to go back but getting to/from and lodging for aspen is $$$$$
Right

As mentioned, the lift layout sucks for both. At Snowmass I found that Hanging Valley and the Cirque were the only things all that interesting. Both require two lifts to get to, traversing out to the goods, maybe 500-800 vertical of interesting terrain (Hanging Valley being much better of the two) then long run outs back to two lifts you have to ride to get back up and ski the short vertical. At Ajax you can at least string together a pretty consisted pitched 3k verical worth of bumps if you go skiers right off the top. I like the chutes that drop down from Ruthie's too.

That all said, if I were to take a 7 day vacation in Aspen again, 5 days would be spent at Highlands. That mountain is the shit. I'm not typically an earn your turns guy, but Highlands bowl is well worth the effort.

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abc

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Im a big fan of the low key areas out there. I spent alot of my weekends last winter driving down to Powderhorn from alta to just relax. Man I had some of the best pow tree runs of my life there last winter. Fresh untracked till last chair. Also got a crazy good day at sundance. Beaver mtn was untracked all day as well. There's a shitload of fun low key areas all over worth checking out. They need the money...its a great experience
Speaking of low key mountains, I had fun at Monarch too. Back in the days before the proliferation of mega passes, if you grt an a-basin pass, you get a few days at Monarch. Another hidden gem.
 

Los

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"ok gaper"? Wow.

pauldotcom hit the nail on the head. Surprised it took him since February to figure that out. I'd also add "insufferable narcissist".
 

Zand

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If anything you could stay in Silverthorne for a few nights and hit A-Basin/Copper (both are ~10-15 miles from there) then stay at Winter Park for a few days. But no, you don't want to have to go to WP and back more than once. Gorgeous ride if the weather is nice (and it was both times I went over the pass) but I can't imagine what that's like during a storm (when it's not closed).
 
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I think it would be totally worth it to visit Copper for a day. Why the heck not? You’re on vacation and exploring new places is pretty fun even if it doesn’t have the 80 footers with greasy smooth landers and mandatory 60 mph straight lines through rocks that Krusty requires for a decent ski experience and finds during his weekend trips to Camelback. But hey, we can’t all be as rad as that guy.
 
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