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Mr.E

Ft. Collins recommendations?

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Hi, folks!

 

I'm relocating to Ft Collins and am curious about area recommendations. Carving first priority, decent powder second. Looking at driving distances don't really tell me the full story about travel times, etc.

Current top contenders are Loveland, Elderado or possibly ABasin. I'd much rather.spend time on the hill than the highway, and  hopefully going up a couple/ few times a week.

Recommendations for shops, bootfitting, etc also greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Hi Neighbor!

 

My neck of the woods.

Your "local" options are as follows:

Eldora: about 1-1.5 hour drive. Pretty chill drive but can get really crowded and if you're not early it can be hard to get parking. Carving, meh.Can get icy and wind blown.

Snowy Range, Wy: 2 hour drive. cold. small and sometimes crowded. Fun and chill slopes. Usually much icier that the I-70 resorts. No real steeps.

Winter Park: about 2 hours via I-70 and Berthoud pass which can be challenging if the roads are very snowy. Great powder, great trees, great variety. Lots of traverses though. Not really good for carving because of spotty grooming and sometimes crowded slopes.

Steamboat: ~3-3.5 hour drive. Awesome. Period. It has everything. Pow, trees, groomed slopes. You can usually find an empty slope and ride it non stop. It really is amazing.

Copper: 2.5 hour drive through I-70. Great grooming, great slopes, awesome variety. It has runs that are very very long and can be challenging to ride top to bottom. You can usually find an empty or not very busy slope. 

Ski Cooper (not to be confused with Copper): ~3.5 hour drive. Cold. Small and not busy at all. Great soft snow and excellent grooming. Not really steep. 

ABasin: ~2 hour drive through I-70 and 6. Used to get really crowded but with the Epic pass gone we will have to see what happens this year. I feel it's a bit more challenging than Loveland but the runs aren't as good. My own bias. It has a really long season and you'll ofter find the die-hards riding there well into June.

Loveland (best for last): ~2 hour drive via I-70. Good grooming, pretty big with varied terrain. The snow/coverage usually isn't as good as Copper/Winter park but it's way less busy. IT IS COLD AND WINDY in Loveland. Be prepared. Parking is usually great provided you don't show up too late. The best feature of Loveland is the carving group. Every other mountain you will be the odd person out. In Loveland on Sundays you will usually have a group that is anywhere between 5 and 15 carvers.

 

My recommendations

Fro carving: Loveland and maybe ABasin

For Pow/Trees: Steamboat/Winter Park

For super long runs: Copper

Don't feel like driving? Eldora

 

As far as shops/bootfitters in Ft. Collins are concerned: Forget it and go to Boulder or Denver.  

 

notes: I-70 sucks! the times I posted assumes you leave VERY early (around 5:00-5:30) otherwise expect to spend 4 hours in your car driving up. No Joke.

 

That should cover the depth of my knowledge. As a primer I would just get the Loveland pass and maybe a 4-pack to Copper. Drive up, meet the crew, get to know Colorado. If you're coming from the Ice coast the size of the "hills" here will blow your mind.

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Most appreciated- yeah, I assumed shops and boot folks would be in the mountains. Is All Board Sports in Boulder still around?

I'm coming to CO from PA (local hill 500ft vert), but I'm coming back west after living in UT and OR. Big mountains are part if the draw, for sure.

 

Sounds like Loveland is a safe bet as a "home base" to get a feel. 

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4 hours ago, Mr.E said:

Most appreciated- yeah, I assumed shops and boot folks would be in the mountains. Is All Board Sports in Boulder still around?

All Boards Sports no longer has a retail store.  You can purchase online.  You may also be able to schedule an appointment to view/try on gear.

Edited by D.T.
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23 hours ago, Mr.E said:

Sounds like Loveland is a safe bet as a "home base" to get a feel. 

 

 

 

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Eldora is decent, awesome carving resort for riding midweek and unfortunately, really crowded on weekends. Elevation gain is same as Loveland, although better variety of slopes, more blacks, decent blues with crazy fast 6 chair lift. Also, they do early mornings on Wednesdays, opening at 8am. Big advantage, no traffic, less mileage from Fort Collins.

Included to Ikon pass. 

Edited by b.free
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If you like riding with a crew... Loveland has 6-12 rippers on any and every Sunday. All really good riders and just plain good people. I rode with them for near 10 years. Loveland has the best snow conditions of any, as far as I'm concerned. Food is reasonable too. And as JRAZ said, the key to driving I 70 is leave EARLY, ride hard, out early. On a powder day that 2 hour drive can be 4+...

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Great info, most appreciated. I'm going to try to hit a couple midweek days on the regular, but I'll definitely be looking to connect with some folks on these Sunday meet ups.

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