WhiteSites Blog

Spring Break in Beaver Creek

Posted on Mar 15, 2009 by Paul White

For Spring Break my wife and I visited family out in Colorado.  We spent 4 days on the slopes at Beaver Creek and had a great time.  However there are many things to keep in mind if you are planning on going skiing.  For those of you who have never skied before these tips should help you understand the experience and how to prepare for it.

First there are certain social aspects of skiing in Colorado that I learned. My Uncle was nice enough to explain to me the social economic culture of the mountains.  Everyone wants to know what is the best place to ski in Colorado.  This depends on how much you are willing to spend.  Vail is considered a new money mountain.  The entire town was developed around skiing.  Everything from the shops and the architecture have that new money mountain feel.  Beaver Creek is Vail's Cousin.  It is also a higher price mountian, but its known for its ski school, making it very friendly to upper income families.  Aspen, is the old money mountain.  Those with your G5 jet might fly and land right in Aspen.  Of all the mountains Aspen is the most expensive to ski at.  But they keep it this way to keep the rift raft out.

Preparing yourself for the mountains.
The base of the mountain is around 8000 feet. with the top around 11000 feet. The air is pretty thin up here, so if you are sensitive to low oxygen you might not do so well.  When I was 13 we went skiing and I had headages from the low oxygen in the air.  However this time around the air didn't phase me.  The air is also very dry.  Bring chapstick and drink lots of fluids.  The air will dehydrate you very fast, and your lips will be bleeding in a couple days if you don't protect them.  Also make sure to wear sunblock.  The light will bounce off the snow amplifiing its effects.

Winter Ski vs Spring Ski
Winter Ski ( Janurary ) is very cold, you must bundle up,  during Spring ski ( March / April ) it might be 40 degrees outside but with the sun shinning it will feel like 75.  Its not uncommon to see girls skiing in a Bikini during spring. 

The resorts make their own snow
As long as the temperature gets below 25.  The mountains have snow cannons that will run all night, creating fresh powder.  Then the cats will come out and groom the runs helping to spread out the snow

Buy Skis vs Rent Skis
First of all you can easily drop a grand to buy some new skis, boots and poles.   If you rent at the resorts, you will pay about $40 / day for rentals.  However I found a great little place that was cheap.  $13 / day for boot, ski, and pole rental.  The place was called High Road and Trail Sports.  The guys that work there are very helpful.  Great customer service.

Colorado People
One thing I came to find was that Colorado people are very friendly.  Not sure what it is, but you just get a very welcomed feeling every where you go.

Advice for people taking up snow boarding.
One unfortunate thing during this trip was one of the girls who was staying with all of us, broke her wrist.  If you are going to fall when snow boarding DO NOT try to catch yourself.  She did this over and over, and eventually she broke her wrist.  Luckly some of the best surgions in the country work in Vail, so she was in the next day for surgery. 

Mountain Realestate
Small simple condos and homes that are on the mountain, sell for a million plus.  What I couldn't believe was the sheer number of them. 

The Photos from the trip.
I took most of these photos on the last day.  I rode the quad up and down the mountain once to get these shots.  They aren't of anyone I know, just random skiers.  Notice how long the runs are,  that should give you a idea for the size of the mountain. 

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