Colorado I70 Summit & Eagle Counties 1/7/18 to 1/12/18

yardsaleyardsale intermediate
edited January 15 in Trip Reports Posts: 36

I70 Trip reports – Summit & Eagle Counties Jan 7-11

I make 1
or 2 trips a year to the I70 corridor.
 My son lives and works out of Denver.  He has a sales job which gives him plenty of
flexibility to ski mid-week. On this trip my wife and daughter accompanied me.

The lack
of snow in Summit and Eagle counties sticks out like a sore thumb.  Not only that, the snow drought pretty much
leads off every TV weather forecast. It was the topic dujour every day we were
there. A local told me they were down 30-50” in base compared to a year
ago.  Someone else claimed that Vail
Resorts 1st eastern resort had more natural snow to-date than the
I70 areas.  One area that the lack of
snow helped with was the price of lodging. We most always stay in Frisco due to
proximity to the Epic pass areas – Abasin, Keystone, Breck, Vail, Beaver Creek
and we found the most reasonable lodging ever for a 3 bedroom condo.  They even offered us a second week for $300
if we wanted to stay.


Keystone Sunday
1/7/18 – this is the 1st time I’ve ever skied a weekend day at a
Vail resort. We decided on Keystone. 
There was 4” of new snow overnight. The traffic up US-6 to Keystone from
I70 was unbelievable.  5 miles and about
35 minutes later we arrived. We did luck out and got into a satellite lot that
had just opened with an empty shuttle bus waiting which got us right to the
river run gondi. It is fairly amazing that these lift systems can spread out a
crowd this size.  We barely waited in a
line – probably 10 minutes at most one time at the Outback Express Quad.  But the snow surface took beating with the
crowds. The snow held up the longest in the Outback area. We made it til 2pm
then stopped.


2 pics from the top of the Outback Express.  Breck in the background.


Tuesday 1/9/18 – It was a nice sunny day at Breck. Just a dusting of new
snow.  The natural and ungroomed runs
were still in tough condition. We did find some nice snow on the Peerless trail
on Peak 9 – With Peak 9 being one of the tamer areas at Breck, the skiers there
probably stay off the natural runs which gave us a pleasant surprise in
discovering this mini stash.  All of the bowl
terrain, 6-Chair terrain, E-Chair terrain was really thin. Imperial Bowl and
chair were closed.


Top of CO SuperChair.


Peak 9

Wednesday 1/10/18 – the lack of snow really showed at Vail.  Plenty of dirt coming up thru the snow on the
catwalks leading to the back bowls which were most all closed anyway. Terrain
we had skied during past Thanksgiving periods were not open. No Blue Sky
Basin.  Game Creek bowl was a thin and
knarly mess.  We were reduced to skiing
groomers… at Vail.  Around 2pm a front
came thru with snow but reduced visibility up top to pretty much 0.  We quit and drove back to Frisco before I70
got too slick.


Top of Wild Wood Express looking back at the bowls


Top of Mountain Top Express

Thurs 1/11/18 – I skied solo from 8:30 to 12:30 with 5” of new overnight. It
was cold and bright.  Was able to get
onto some of the funner terrain off 6 Chair. 
Rode the gondola back to town at 12:30 and watched the Ullr Fest parade
down Main St which was a fun event.


Peak 9

We go to
CO to visit with my son.  The skiing for
us is secondary.  If it was purely a ski
trip, I would have probably rescheduled to somewhere else or some other
time.  It is still great to soak in the
beauty of the Rockies.  The forecast was improving as we left Frisco for home with 9" of snow at some areas overnight Thurs into Friday 1/12.


  • Posts: 2,179
    Great pictures, it'd too bad that they're in a tough snow position.
    You're a year behind, by the way
    - Sam
  • 4aprice4aprice advanced
    edited January 15 Posts: 127
    Thanks for the report.  Our son also lives in Denver so we are still planning a trip and will go in March.  

    We learned a lesson a couple of years ago.  It was another year where the west was shorter on snow (14-15 IIRC).  We were on the verge of cancelling because the east was appearing to have a better season.  Anyway we bit the bullet and went anyways.  Despite the low snow the skiing was still better out there and we even got a couple days of fresh.  

    Still a way's to go out there and it can turn on a dime so no concerns yet.


    Lake Hopatcong, NJ
  • JimKJimK advanced
    Posts: 247
    Thanks for sharing.  I'm going to see my son in UT in two weeks.  Going no matter what the snow conditions are, so fingers crossed.  Hoping to ski a lot, but also help with fixer-upper house he bought.
  • shprideshpride intermediate
    Posts: 58
    Thank you for the report.  I am heading out to the Summit next week.  If I end up skiing groomers most of the time no big deal.  At least I'll be skiing.  I was planning on staying at Breck the whole time but it terrain is limited I'll probably adventure around like you did.  May even day trip it up to Steamboat which is a place I have always wanted to visit.
  • yardsaleyardsale intermediate
    Posts: 36
    The groomers were very good while I was there - very little hardpack except for Keystone on Sunday... Their hardpack is better than our eastern hardpack :) .  They picked up 4" on Sunday, a couple on Monday, and 5" or so on Wednesday - then up to 9" in some places on Friday when I left.  It was warm at the bases but at elevation the snow stayed dry. Based on the weather forecasts, I brought my eastern all mountain skis which ended up being a good ski choice.
  • yardsaleyardsale intermediate
    Posts: 36

    You're a year behind, by the way

    Thanks - I fixed.  At least I was consistent throughout the whole trip report.
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,225
    thanks for the report!

  • JMaulJMaul advanced
    edited January 17 Posts: 281
    yardsale said:

    Colorado Traffic Jam


    You ski because even if you don't do it well, it's still a blast....
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,225
    If you gave whistles to the ski patrol and moved Mountain Creek to Colorado, you'd have instant Keystone

  • Bill29Bill29 advanced
    Posts: 276
    Boarders sitting in the middle of a trail. Has anyone ever seen that before?
  • mtsnow123mtsnow123 advanced
    Posts: 367
    Bill29 said:

    Boarders sitting in the middle of a trail. Has anyone ever seen that before?

    Looks like a very wide trail, not to say it's acceptable in the first. Has anyone else been noticing that etiquette is out the door these days? The number of people I see parked in the middle of the trail, around deep turns, or even not yielding to people down the hill. Call me crazy, but I would love to put some knowledge into people's skiing routines.
  • yardsaleyardsale intermediate
    Posts: 36
    To be fair - it was at the top of the Outback Express - after they get off the lift they need to clamp that foot back in.  They weren't really in the way of anyone.
  • 4aprice4aprice advanced
    Posts: 127
    Looks like things are going to be looking up out there very soon.  Big storm coming in this weekend.  Bad timing for you Yardsale however, like us your son lives out there so I'm sure it was not your last trip.


    Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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