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Keystone Christmas trip, unreal glade skiing.....

Tonyr

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We made our way to Keystone for the first time over Christmas break. After skiing it for 4 days I can say that the mountain is incredibly underrated. Sure Keystone lacks in steep expert terrain but it more than makes up for it with all of the unbelievable grommer, tree, and bump skiing. Keystone is truly an intermediate/advanced skiers dream. The whole mountain was pretty much open when we were there and aside from the front side of Decorum, Keystone had glades marked and unmarked all over the place. As much as I like Jay Peak for trees it can't hang with Keystone when you account for all of the unmarked glade runs. And btw, those runs are not hard to spot, almost every tree patch on the mountain is in play. The next couple of post are some photos and commentary of the trip, I'd highly recommend making the trek to Keystone one day if you haven't been. We went during the absolute busiest time of the season and didn't wait any longer than 2 minutes to get on a lift. Breckenridge, the one day we skied it, was another story.......

This was Christmas day, we got out on the mountain around 1 pm so I didn't get a ton of runs in but it was good to get a feel for the place. I noticed right away that there was unmarked glade skiing everywhere. That first picture was of the run Mozart which gets you from the front face of Decorum moutain to the 2nd mountain called North Peak. I quickly saw how the glades in the first photo to the left were in play even though the windows were "closed" on the terrain report that day. The 2nd photo is a shot inside lower windows. It felt really uncrowded on every run for the few hours we skied on Christmas day.....
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Tonyr

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The second day we skied Keystone my wife and son gave me a few hours in the morning to explore before we met up in the afternoon. I went straight to Cat Dancer on the North Peak which I've heard is the toughest run on that mountain. The run is around 1600 vert of pure moguls. It reminded me of Outer Limits at Killington but not quite as steep or icy. With that being said I had to stop about 5 or 6 times on the run to catch my breath as I wasn't accumulated to the higher altitude at that point. This 1st picture was from the top of Cat Dancer which doesn't give the run justice. The 2nd photo was from about a third of the way down. The 3rd and 4th photo was from the Grizz which is the best run on legendary third peak called the Outback. The 5th photo is of Wolverine on the Outback which was mild enough to take my family down without a problem. The Outback section of Keystone is pretty much all tree skiing, most people that ski Keystone rush right over to that section of the mountain. From the top of the Outback both to the skiers left and right is some of the best glade skiing that you'll ever experience......

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Tonyr

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The 3rd day at Keystone I took my son over to ski the Outback. We hit the Porcupine glades, Wolverine glades, Wildfire glades and the Pika glades. Needless to say we had a blast! 20191228_110418.jpg20191228_113440.jpg20191228_095542.jpg

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Tonyr

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The last day I got a chance to ski a few more hours to myself. Since I skied the Outback most of the time that I was at Keystone I figured that I'd go back to the North Peak area and try some of the gladed marked and unmarked terrain on that mountain. Boy am I glad I did! This area is really over looked due to the hype of the Outback, my best day of skiing the entire trip was on the North Peak. That first and second picture was of the Geronimo glades. It was ankle deep mostly untouched power the whole way down. I've never had more fun on a gladed run. It had the perfect pitch and the run was just steep enough where you could fly through it in a sea of powder without worrying about killing yourself! As I got out of the Geronimo glades to take what I thought would be a breather I moved onto the run next door called Geronimo which was a sea of bumps and worse from a cardio perspective than what I was on! The 4th and 5th picture was from an unbelievable unmarked gladed area off to the skiers right of the Powder Cap run, it was fresh powder pretty much the whole way down on snow that was from days ago!.....As I said earlier if you've never been to Keystone and love skiing in the trees I'd highly recommend making this trip to one day. 20191229_113643.jpg20191229_113648.jpg20191229_114144.jpg20191229_115423.jpg20191229_115429.jpg

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Tonyr

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One last note regarding Keystone. We had a memorable time at Alpenglobe Stube for lunch. It is a great experience worth trying at least once while your there. The restaurant is located at the top of North Peak. It's beautiful on the inside and the food is pretty good but the best part about the place is that they lend you a pair of slippers while your dining there!

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dblskifanatic

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We like Keystone because you can mix it up so much. Some complain about it but the trees off the back side of Dercum are fairly steep and the trees to the left off the Outback chair are really fun with decent pitch. The bump runs off North Peak are always good. The runs off the front can be ripped up and are also a blast. It is easy to get a lot of vert in a day. Looks like you had a lot of fun! Good for you.


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deadheadskier

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Keystone is a fine mountain. It just gets a bad rap for crowding and not receiving tons of natural snow comparitive to elsewhere in the region.

It's basically the Sunday River of Colorado.

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Tonyr

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We like Keystone because you can mix it up so much. Some complain about it but the trees off the back side of Dercum are fairly steep and the trees to the left off the Outback chair are really fun with decent pitch. The bump runs off North Peak are always good. The runs off the front can be ripped up and are also a blast. It is easy to get a lot of vert in a day. Looks like you had a lot of fun! Good for you.


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Yes you can get a ton of vert in and mix things up nicely, I loved all the bump runs they had. The unmarked trees under the Montezuma Express on the front side are steep towards the middle so are the Upper Windows (which you have to hike to) and parts of the lower Windows under the Outpost Gondola. I didn't find anything in the Outback very steep or challenging but it was so much fun whizzing through those nicely spaced trees back there.
 

Tonyr

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Keystone is a fine mountain. It just gets a bad rap for crowding and not receiving tons of natural snow comparitive to elsewhere in the region.

It's basically the Sunday River of Colorado.

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I was taking a lift up with a local and he was telling me that the conditions were so bad at Keystone right now that he wouldn't dare go into the trees, the resort hadn't had a dump in at least 10 days. I laughed as he was telling me this through a 3 to 5 inch "flurry" I thought the conditions were great as an east coast skier! People out there get so spoiled with knee deep powder that they can't enjoy any other types of conditions. I told him as an east coaster I guess I was thankful then to have such a low bar for snow expectations!

As far as crowds go we didn't wait in line ever. We stayed on the Mountain House side of the mountain so maybe the bottom of the River Run section gets the crowding but we didn't experience long waits at all over the Christmas break two minutes tops was the longest wait. We did go to Breckenridge on Friday and Peak 9 was so crowded that it felt like Hunter mountain or parts of Killington on a prime weekend. The parking at Breck was a nightmare and when we finally got to the base of Peak 9 it took about 40 minutes to get on the lift. We had plans to go back to Breck on Sunday but stayed at Keystone instead that day. I can't even imagine how bad Saturday must have been crowding wise at Breckenridge, no thanks!

Tony
 

skimagic

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Nice report, never been there but its on the list. Did you have epic passes or 4paks for tickets?
 
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