Originally Posted by Waterwindpowderrock
it's Wisconsin damit!
Derk, normally I'm with you, but maybe you've become desensitized to the congestion in scummit, that place sucks, maybe you could exclude A & Cooper, but at least up in boat it's not full of denver douchebags, it's full of texas & arkansas douchebags.
As far as terrain goes, you just know the scummit resorts & know the good stashes, there's tons of sweet terrain in boat, you just got to know how to find it, just like in summit.
btw, come playin my world this winter, no panzy, inbounds, congested, liftline waiting, fur wearing gapers, tracked up snow riding for me bud!!!
cause I ride skistoned, where the pow is!?
Okay, you have a point, Kaleb. I have spent so many years learning how to dodge the crowds, I forget how bad it can be. But when I evaluate the quality of a ski area, I'm typically talking about the quality of terrain. We definitely need to make some turns this winter; I'll start brushing up on the BC skills I lost in the years of training and go find my peeps.
Basic summary of your ski areas from Summit (I know you covered some of these in your last trip but I'll go over 'em all so you don't miss any):
Eldora-Smaller area with some decent terrain but nothing off the hook. It won't be crowded but it will be cold and windy.
Echo Mountain-Tickets are what, like 15 bucks? It's basically one terrain park. Hit it up if you want to huck your steez. Beware of I-70 traffic.
Winter Park-Winter Park is renowned for its handicapped training program and the best natural forming bump runs in the state. Winter Park mountain is okay but Mary Jane is where it's at. It's got the pitch and top to bottom zipper-lines. The Jane is sick. Period. WP will be busy but tolerable when you're here.
SolVista-It's a bit of a haul from Frisco but is doable. Neat little area that still has the small-area feel to it and is a good place for a more relaxed day. It's got a few runs with good pitch but is mostly good for highspeed cruising.
Loveland-No frills, great terrain and steeps, will be one of the least crowded options for your trip.
A-Basin-Won't be too crowded an has some of the best terrain you can find, all off of one chairlift ride. Should have great snow. Awesome atmosphere and the coolest people around (obviously, I'm a little biased).
Keystone-Good groomers for cruising on the front and some great terrain out back (it just takes some time to get there and want to know where to go). Keystone will be crowded and the snow conditions are hit or miss for early January. The real reason to go to Keystone is to get in some night skiing after a full day at Vail/Beaver Creek/Breck because you don't have to buy another ticket.
Breck-Will be crazy. By far the worst crowds in the county. Expect to spend a lot of time in lines if you don't know what you're doing. It may be more tolerable if you go at the end of your trip. Breck has some awesome terrain but can be a pain to get around until you figure it out.
Ski Cooper-Small area with some neat tree runs but a lack of gradient makes it difficult to spend too much time there. Good odds of finding powder three days after it snows.
Monarch-Also a very long drive but still doable. Small area with really cozy atmosphere. Some great terrain sprinkled around the area and it can be truly epic on a powder day.
Copper-Larger area with some great skiing up in the bowls but it will be plagued with crowds. More of the commercialized resort experience.
Vail-Has a lot of sick terrain but it will take you 2 hours to get to the good stuff and make sure your pockets are deep. Totally worth it if the powder is. Again, getting around is a real pain both on and off the mountain. It will be crowded.
Beaver Creek-Some of the world's best grooming, good terrain, and less crowded than Vail. You can actually escape the sold-out resort feel if you head over to Bachelor's Gulch and Arrowhead.
Aspen-It'll cost you three testicles but there is some sick terrain there. You've got the steeps of Walsh's, the chutes and glades around Hyrup's and the bumps of Bell. It's an awesome day of skiing if you are willing to deal with the richy-riches but it's also a very
long drive from Frisco.
Aspen Highlands-Will be the least crowded of the four and has amazing terrain on the Steeplechase face. Highlands Bowl. Need I say more?
Snowmass-Big enough to spread out the crowds but still crowded early January. You can haul down the Big Burn all day and not ski all the lines. Head up to the Cirque for some quality steeps.
Buttermilk-My least favorite of the four. It's flat. But it's got lots of groomed and is famous for having the biggest terrain park in North America (host of the X-Games).
Steamboat-It has some good terrain but you'll have hit all the steep runs inbounds in about 6 runs. They have good runs for skiing fast and are usually less crowded than Summit but it will still be very crowded that week. For crowds, it's better than Breck, Keystone, and Copper but only a little. They typically host at least one freestyle event and one racing event that week which is fun for spectating but brings in a lot of competitor traffic into the lift lines.
You could go further (some people do) but I don't think it's worth it for anything less than a weekend: Telluride (sick!), Purgatory, Powderhorn, Wolf Creek, etc.
For all of the places, you will see less crowds and lower prices later in the week (I think January 3 is officially the last day of "Holiday Rates"). Let me know if you have any specific questions.