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Colorado ski trip questions

  1. #1
    First name on the shit list.... SVRACER01's Avatar
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    Colorado ski trip questions


    I have to go to a 3 day conference in Denver in January. Ive worked it out that im going to stay for a few more days (3) and get some skiing in. ive never skied out west. so im trying to gather some info. ive got a couple buddies flying out to meet me after the conference to ski with me.

    should i bring my own skis or just rent when i get there?
    -ive got a fairly powder friendly ski set up. i feel like id want to be on my own shit out there instead of riding unfamiliar equipment but fat, full rocker skis i do not have

    any mountains that i should absolutely NOT MISS.
    -pretty sure i want to hit loveland; but the big names like Vail and Breck are calling me as well. worth it? winter park? copper?

    anything i should not forget to bring?
    -ive got all the standard equip plus helmet.

    temps
    -should i expect it to be about the same temp/weather wise as it is here?

    i know a bunch of you do trips like this, so any input from experience will be appreciated.

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Bring.

    Copper is great, very similar to what we have here, as far as size wise, but way less pretentious.
    It's about the size of mt snow, I feel.
    Breck is like an endless expanse and full of bros.
    Vail is pretty ritzy, but the back bowls are way worth it. Everyone should go there once, I think

    I could be happy going to cooper and staying there. You can hike and do some stuff, ski the regular trails which are groomed and have that rocky mt consistency (no icy spots), and a decent enough village to have fun in after.

    I never made it to Arapaho basin or keystone, or the one other place I felt like I wanted to get to. Who's name will come to me in a few, I'm sure.

    I need to go back.

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    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    All the mountains you listed blow away any resort in the east, pretty much. Might wanna add Arapahoe Basin to the list, it's in that same general area as Breck and Vail, with significant above tree line riding.

    Last year we went to Breck in early February and a couple days were cold as ****. Bring your face warmer and cold weather mittens and layers and stuff. It's real mountains, high altitude, thin air feels a bit colder than the thermometer IMO. Worth it though, we are going back this year...

    The biggest difference from the east, besides snow so perfect that you can barely hear your edges the whole day, is the altitude. It's a serious issue. 13,000ish feet at the summit of ABasin and Breck, and you can feel it. Get in the best cardio shape you can before you go, drink as much water as you can stand, and stay off the booze the night before you are riding or you won't even be able to make more than a couple turns without being so winded you just want to sit down. You may be partially acclimated being in Denver for a while first, even that's "only" a mile high and the mountains are more than two...

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    We went West last season (Park City). Bought a ski bag for both of us and brought them with. Wheels are highly desirable. We bought a double High Sierra and it worked out great.

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    First name on the shit list.... SVRACER01's Avatar
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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbeek View Post
    Get in the best cardio shape you can before you go, drink as much water as you can stand, and stay off the booze the night before you are riding or you won't even be able to make more than a couple turns without being so winded you just want to sit down. You may be partially acclimated being in Denver for a while first, even that's "only" a mile high and the mountains are more than two...
    didnt even consider this aspect. im not a pillar of fitness but i consider my cardio to be pretty good. hopefully im not wrong lol

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Quote Originally Posted by SVRACER01 View Post
    didnt even consider this aspect. im not a pillar of fitness but i consider my cardio to be pretty good. hopefully im not wrong lol
    Altitude, unless it kicks you square in the balls, is sneaky.
    So, you'll either know real fast, or all of a sudden will be questioning why your veins are about to bust out ya neck.
    Srsly.

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    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Drove up pikes peak a couple months ago. Felt fine until I started seeing spots and got real dizzy all the sudden. Can't imagine it would of been a good situation being on skis at that point.

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    When I'm lift skiing altitude seems to have no noticeable effect on me. Hiking/climbing over 10K on the other hand, and I have had my head nearly explode. LOL.

    Worst ever was climbing a 10,000 footer in the Caribbean under the blazing sun. Thought I might die. Heart rate fluttering around 200 for 5 hours gives a mean headache! Sleeping at altitude seemed to help as day 2 was not a struggle.

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    Drove up likes peak a couple months ago. Felt fine until I started seeing spots and got real dizzy all the sudden. Can't imagine it would of been a good situation being on skis at that point.
    Cant imagine it being a good situation while driving...

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    hmmmm......

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Altitude is no joke. Hydrate and hit a Basin for God's sake.

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    Cant imagine it being a good situation while driving...


    I wasn't driving. At the peak lodge taking a piss. Thought it was odd that the flyer taped to the wall in front of the urinal had a ton of spots on it. Then the spots moved when I did.

    I didn't doddle too long up there, straight to the car and headed down right away.

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Visited CO two years ago in July for my stepsons wedding at Winter Park. Altitude is very much an issue for anyone visiting form the east coast. takes about a week to adjust if your in good shape.Alcohol should be used with care and as others have stated drink lots of water. Spent a day downhill mountain biking and it wiped me out for awhile after.. trying to keep up with the kids and locals. My stepson broads a lot at Winter Park and likes it except that there is no main loge to take your gear off or start your day. he has to park and gear up and use that as his car as home base. he says most places are like that now as you need to get a room there or own a condo... I found the weather changes greatly day to day. When I Went out west to Vail in my teens to Ski, had a total blast and there nothing like it here in the east. You cant go wrong there. One day it was sunny and 60 the next snowing and 32. cant wait till next time. enjoy

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    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Yeah as far as the altitude, by NO means would I discourage going there because of it, as Rocky Mountain snow sports are fricken unbelievably good, but you just need to expect it and do what you can to minimize the effects or it can ruin your trip. The easiest step is to just forget all alcohol before and during your trip, and then drinking water like crazy. The cardio conditioning isn't quite so easy and even dudes that are in excellent shape (like pro athletes from other cities who go play games in Denver) feel the effects of the altitude until they acclimate. It works the other way too, dudes who regularly train at altitude feel like they have spare oxygen near sea level...that's why the US Olympic training center is out there.

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    Lifer LuvDog's Avatar
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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Definitely hit Vail. I've also done winter park but nothing about it was that memorable

    Take your own. Start doing stairs now. Build up those quads because they'll be burning after a day in the bowls


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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Alright so more into the specific areas to go to...I don't know if you ski or snowboard but if it's skiing and if you like bumps, winter park has a separate area called Mary Jane that (when I skied it decades ago haha) had the most and best mogul skiing I've seen in my life, and I've been around a bit, at least in the US. I snowboard now so I'd avoid it like the plague for the same reason.

    And A-Basin=Arapahoe Basin, yeah, make sure you go there. That place needs to be seen to be believed and everyone who rides snow should have it on their bucket list.

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Quote Originally Posted by SVRACER01 View Post
    didnt even consider this aspect. im not a pillar of fitness but i consider my cardio to be pretty good. hopefully im not wrong lol
    Your cardio sucks. I thought mine was good as well. It isn't........least not at that elevation.

    Drove up Pike's Peak and, due to wind, the park police cut us off at 12,500'.

    When I hopped out of my can to enjoy the scenery, I jogged over to a cliff to get a better look at things. I was caught off guard by how short of breath I was considering the level I effort I had just exerted.

    You will feel different once you land in Denver. Might take a couple hours before you notice but it will happen.

    I'd say drink a minimum of two quarts of water a day.


    I'm not a skiier so I don't have must-see places for you. Just take care of your body and mind by staying hydrated.

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher bergs View Post
    You will feel different once you land in Denver. Might take a couple hours before you notice but it will happen.

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    When I was out there 2 years ago we did a pretty epic tour. At Taos we took the lift to the ski patrol shack and hiked the the peak, somewhere around 12k at the top. It's maybe a couple hundred feet up and if it where here I could have ran up it in a couple minutes. Around 20 minutes later we made it fairly gassed. Having lived at elevation I wasn't a newbie to it, but those elevations are just off the chart for your body. We still managed to drink and party but three nights in a row we took turns falling asleep on the bar at 3am. Here's a few shots. The big group is the top of Taos, the selfie is the back side of abasin and the solo one is right after dropping in the backside bowl on abasin right before the chutes start. Colorado ski trip questions-taos-jpgColorado ski trip questions-abasin-jpgColorado ski trip questions-abasin-bowl-jpg

    PS I will say it again. abasin. doeet.

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    Lifer obsolete's Avatar
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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Also, when you get out there try and find a day when the East Wall is open at abasin and go that day. They were blasting it the day we went and it was closed, quite sad about that.

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    Lifer BostonSVkid's Avatar
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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    I have only been to Telluride in Colorado but that is a ways from Denver. Its amazing though.

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Hopefully there's good snow when you go. I'll assume you want to do side country powder skiing rather than groomers. If you want groomers, ignore the rest of this post and just head to Beaver Creek. Here's my two cents based on quite a few trips out west to ride:

    For 3 days, I would recommend staying at one mountain and taking a half day tour on day one, your instructor will know where all the powder stashes are. These resorts are so big it's though to hit everything even in three days. If you focus on one resort, you'll find the good snow and be able to make laps and take advantage. If you keep changing where you're going, you'll never learn the mountain and spend the entire trip looking for the good stuff. Copper is excellent, and it's huge. Lots of excellent side country stuff there without much hiking to get it. I'll circle a few spots on a trail map and post it later on. Breckenridge is also really nice for side country but a bit more skied off and definitely more hiking involved. Haven't been to A-Basin but I hear great things.

    Rent a car with 4x4. If you happen to get a snow storm when you're trying to drive up there, they won't let you through the Loveland Pass or I70 tunnel without 4x4.

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Good tip on the 4x4.

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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    What frequently happens on I70 when they get a storm settle in is they will close the tunnel, but leave Loveland Pass opened to 4x4's. Even if you have a clear ride out there, you can get stuck for your return trip. Wouldn't be the first time someone missed their plane home.

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    First name on the shit list.... SVRACER01's Avatar
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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    im not sure the added cost of bringing my own skis is worth it ($160ish) when i can rent them for $25ish a day. i know theyre rentals so theyve been beat on but i feel like it will be fine. besides, it appears the rental skis are longer and wider than what im on anyways.
    im not really a hiker and i know that excludes me from some good back/side country skiing but im ok with that. ill ski anything. obviously i want deep powder as much as the next guy, but ripping some groomers is fun too.
    staying at 1 place probably isnt a bad idea. i was thinking about bouncing around only as a reconnaissance mission for future trips. we may stick with loveland though.
    found an airbnb for short money on denvers west side. about an hour from skiing...well...anywhere.
    ill probably start my stretching regiment in the next week or so and get my water consumption up starting after thanksgiving.

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Colorado ski trip questions

    Don't forget the cardio.

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