Photo: A peak at the top of Wild Irishman
I always have a happy problem when I head to Denver. Where to ski during this trip? As a former resident of Evergreen, CO I know the central Colorado resorts intimately. Every season I lived there I made a point of skiing everywhere within a three hour drive at least once. This meant forcing myself to ski Loveland, A-Basin, Keystone, Winter Park, Breckenridge, Copper, Vail, Beaver Creek, Aspen, and Snowmass. I know, tough duty.
When I was in Denver for this year’s SIA SnowShow I had a couple of open days to ski before the show began. I’m sure you can see the problem. Too many choices and not enough time. In situations such as this I apply some filters. It goes something like this:
Ease of access – Snow quality – Terrain
This process works. It immediately removed Winter Park, Vail, Beaver Creek, Aspen, and Snowmass from contention due to drive time. That left me Loveland, A-Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Copper. For me, no trip to this region is complete without a day at Loveland. It was my home mountain for nearly a decade. I would hit it 25 to 30 days a season since it was in my back yard and rarely crowded. I scheduled Loveland for day one. That left A-Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Copper for day-two. They’re all close enough and they all have excellent snow quality so it came down to terrain.
I chose Keystone. As a predominately eastern skier (I live on Cape Cod), I enjoy the cruising trails there very much. They’re very long, steep, buffed, and challenge you from top to bottom. Much of Keystone is very reminiscent of some of the larger, tougher eastern resorts. The front side of Keystone, Dercum Mountain, is a blue square paradise. If cruising buffed, advanced pitched trails is your thing too, you must ski Frenchman, Wild Irishman, Spring Dipper, and Flying Dutchman. After you’ve skied these head to North Peak via Mozart. It’s a long, steep groomer that takes you to more of the same. The Santiago chair takes you to the summit of North Peak. This is where you’ll find the two steepest and longest groomed gems Keystone has to offer. Beware of Starfire! This trail is the definition of a leg burner. If you can ski it non-stop you’re in better shape than almost anyone around you. Its companion, Last Alamo is also a must. I make a point of skiing each of these trails a couple of times each visit and I’ve never had a bad day doing so.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the video I shot should be worth a few million. Please take a look. There’s much, much more to ski at Keystone. Some terrain is far less challenging and some well, a little too challenging for most of us. Cruise lovers, get yourself to Keystone!
A run down Frenchman
[KGVID width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.whitebookski.com/Movies%202016/A%20Run%20Down%20Frenchman%20with%20Me_x264.mp4[/KGVID] By David Schissler
Run down Mozart
[KGVID width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.whitebookski.com/Movies%202016/Mozart_x264.mp4[/KGVID]