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Planning a Ski Trip

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Pennsylvania
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Planning a Ski Trip

My wife and I are planning a ski trip to Colorado in mid-December. I'm a pretty decent skier, but I've never skied out west. My wife is beginner - intermediate. She's also never been on a ski trip before (she's a beach resort or cruise person) and I'm trying to get her hooked. ;)

We're looking at going to Vail or Breckenridge.

Does anyone have any advice on picking one or the other based on my wife's ability level and preference for the resort atmosphere?

Also, what is the best way to book a ski trip to Colorado? Is the package the way to go? Or is it better to book flight, transfer, and stay seperately? Do you prefer to stay at a hotel or privately owned rental unit? What about bringing our skis vs. rentals?

Thanks for your input.

Colorado
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1. Re: Planning a Ski Trip

Take her to Vail!!!

I prefer a condo but it is a personal choice. I recently visited the Sonnanalp

http://keystone.snow.com/info/din.exp.asp

they have accommodations similar to a condo, kinda a cross between a hotel room and a condo. Hope that makes sense. Very, Very nice but a cozy atmosphere.

Not sure of the best way to book a trip since I live here.

I'd only bring your own skis if the are newer given the cost to check them.

Colorado
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for Colorado
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2. Re: Planning a Ski Trip

oops wrong link http://www.sonnenalp.com/

Boulder, Colorado
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3. Re: Planning a Ski Trip

I have a contrarian view regarding beginners skiing at Vail. I'd say reconsider. Vail is an incredible ski area and a beautiful little european style village with good eats but for a first time CO ski trip with little or no skiing experience Vail can be a serious challenge.

Check the trail map at vail.com. Many of the green runs are actually catwalks. The 2 green areas are atop the west end and east end of the ski area. There are some nice flat areas, -Lost Boy, Sourdough-- but the run-outs can be more blue and blue/black. The one plus is you can take the lift down after you're done for the day. Where ever you go have your wife do ski school every day.

Also look at Beaver Creek, another excellent choice for beginners with a nice atmosphere, and Copper Mtn near Frisco with the caveat that the apres ski is somewhat lacking.

And, bring your boots but leave your skis at home. Rent with the option to switch out your skis if conditions change.

Colorado
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for Colorado
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4. Re: Planning a Ski Trip

I'd not worry to much about that. He said she is a beginner - intermediate. I am guessing that most of her experience is in the east. Most find our conditions, ie snow not ice, much easier to ski.

Vail,CO
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5. Re: Planning a Ski Trip

Consider Beaver Creek, Vail's little sister! They have an entire green area UP TOP where the views are with intermediate & expert slopes adjacent so you can take the same chair up and meet at the bottom together rather like Breck where the easy area is more seperated from the advanced. Beaver Creek is smaller so not as intimidating. They also have one of the TOP RATED ski schools in the country. Have her take a lesson or two her first days... it's kind of like NOT teaching your wife to drive, if you know what I mean!! B.C. is less than 10 minutes from Vail so you can pop over for shopping, dining or towards the end of your stay to try that mountain (your lift ticket is good at both) B,C. has some wonderful lodging choices and many are ski in/out or close to it so you are not schlepping your gear (that'll turn her off to skiing faster than anything!!!!) Speaking of that, RENT your equipment (unless you have your own boots) You'll get the most up-to-date gear, if something is not right you can trade for another type & again, no schlepping!!

Pennsylvania
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6. Re: Planning a Ski Trip

Thanks for the comments.

I'll check out Beaver Creek, but I don't think that she would need to be limited to just green runs. She can handle some easier black diamonds out here, but I wouldn't expect her to be too excited about most of the back bowls.

I guess I'm more concerned about making it a fun overall vacation, not just about the skiing. I liked the idea of the base village at Vail for that. I also liked the idea of taking a shuttle from the airport and not needing a car.

And the ski school is a great idea. I might even sign up myself.

RI
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7. Re: Planning a Ski Trip

I've never been to either Vail or Breck so I can't really comment on how the terrain compares. Always hear that both towns have much to offer. But something you might consider is that the base at Vail is somewhere around 8,200 while Breck is well over 9,000. Closer to 9,500 if I recall correctly. Vail might pose less risk of altitude problems. If your wife is skiing Eastern blues and some easy blacks I don't think she'll have much trouble with the groomed blues she'd find at either Vail or Breck.

Minneapolis...
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8. Re: Planning a Ski Trip

I take at least 2 trip/year, one to Vail and one to Breckenridge. My personal choice would be Vail. Don't rule out the Blue Sky Basin bowl area for fabulous skiing, an intermediate can handle. Vail has more terrain, although Breck has great runs. I agree with the alititude comment I have had trouble in Breckenridge, Vail is much better. I prefer the town of Vail you can actually walk through the town without slipping and killing yourself! Vail has heated sidewalks, Breckenridge is very slippery walking. It's the biggest and the best!

Pennsylvania
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9. Re: Planning a Ski Trip

We just booked the Austria Haus at Vail for the first week of December. Maybe Sonnenalp next time. Hope the snow is good!

Any advice on how to get a good deal on lift tickets?

Boulder, Colorado
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10. Re: Planning a Ski Trip

the 1st week of Dec is low season so lift tix will be less expensive --5 of 8 days for $335. This is advance purchase via Peaks program and your best and only deal. Info and pricing available at …snow.com/winter/vp.tickets.daterange2.asp