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First Time at Loveland
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Updated 3 months ago
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3 months ago

Happy 2018!

Long-time lurker, occasional participant on the forum.  We just got back from skiing Loveland over MLK weekend.  Cliche, but we loved Loveland.  The skiing was great and suitable for our ability levels.  We really dig the vibe and the proximity to Denver.

Me: perpetual intermediate skier

Girlfriend: beginner skier

Where we skied: Started our warm-up runs at the Valley, their dedicated beginner section of the mountain.  We found it extremely nice to have beginners to have their own playground and not having to worry about more experienced skiers merging onto the same trails.  We especially loved alternating between Zig-Zag (green) and Switchback (blue) as we are more used to groomed trails.  It was also both inspiring and humbling to see their race team work on their skiing off Twist (blue).  I wish I started skiing earlier!

After we warmed up each day on the Valley, we would take the free shuttle to the Basin.  Does anyone know why the chair lift connecting the two areas are not being used?  It was surreal to see a chair lift directly over our parked car!  Once at the Basin, we played off the Ptarmigan lift and skied Fire Bowl (green), while selecting a bevy of greens (North and South Turtle Creek) and blues (Drifter and Firecut).  We tried the trails off Lift 6: Deuces Wild and Forest Meadow (green); Keno and Dealer’s Choice (blue).  It snowed continuously on Monday, making the bumps nice and soft on Keno and Dealer’s Choice.

We LOVE the laid-back atmosphere of Loveland.  The food and drinks were priced very reasonably; we especially liked the mid-morning hot chocolate at the Ptarmigan Lodge.  Speaking of the lodge, the awesome panoramic view from the deck is worth the trip itself!

Lift Tickets: Loveland 4Pak - quick question, what’s the best way to sell our two unused tickets?  Craigslist?

Lodging: La Quinta Inn at Silverthorne - nice breakfast, we didn’t get to use the hot tub but it’s there, and the room was pretty spacious.

Apres Ski: La Bottega in Vail, Bangkok Happy Bowl in Breck, Beano’s Cabin in Beaver Creek.  Since my girlfriend isn’t…as enthusiastic about skiing as I am, we wanted to balance the trip with some nice dinner options.  First of all, Vail, to me, is one of the prettiest fake ski town I have come across.  Everything is perfect…a little too perfect.  We didn’t know the free parking spot so we ended up paying $30.00 to park for dinner.  La Bottega served up some decent pizza and mussels, but it wasn’t anything to write home about.  Breck, on the other hand, is a real town with a cool/hip vibe.  Surprisingly, we had good sushi and poke in a landlocked state.  We missed the happy hour, but Bangkok Happy Bowl had decent deals for food before 6 pm.

Beaver Creek’s tagline, “not exactly roughing it”, matched our experience as we wanted to celebrate three hard days of skiing with a once-in-a-lifetime dinner there.  Learning from my mistake at Vail two nights earlier, I called to find out where the free parking was before heading to the resort.  We found parking that was validated with our dinner check at the Ford Hall garage.  I know it’s a bit much, but it is nice to have escalators taking you up the mountain, especially for young families.  I chose Beano’s because we wanted the unique experience of riding in an open sleigh pulled by a snow cat on the mountain.  For those who are interested, I highly suggest bundling up and sitting directly behind the snow cat.  We wore the fleece ponchos that were provided and it was still cold as the snow sprayed everywhere when we rode up.  After a 20-minute ride, we went inside the lodge and were ushered into their changing area where you can hang up your jackets and change into their slippers.

The five-course pre-fixe menu started off with warm soup and ended up with really good desserts.  We were blown away by the sticky toffee pudding!  The combination of warm toffee over cold pancetta ice cream was truly amazing.  On the snow cat ride back, we were lucky to ride with the snow cat operator, and we learned all about the process and how scary it can get on steep sections of the mountain.  Words don’t do it justice, but Beano’s Cabin was a wonderful experience, and it is so good that we won’t do it again for fear of tarnishing such an indelible moment.

We had a great time in Loveland and we hope to tackle more terrain once we improve our skiing!

 

3 months ago

Thanks for a great report

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

Nice report!  Did your GF do a group lesson?

How did you decide on Loveland as the place to go?

Denis - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

I love Loveland.  :)

it has pretty much everything I want in a ski area and nothing I don’t want and don’t want to pay for.  

3 months ago

marcNZ - I tried convincing my girlfriend to take group lessons when we go to Liberty in the mid-Atlantic, but after two different lessons, she doesn’t like listening to instructors and would rather ski with me.  I will bring it up again once she gets more practice, but she is quite strong-willed.  We decided to go to Loveland when we saw cheap airfare on Southwest, $230.00 per person and it was the cheapest option with their 4-pack :)

3 months ago

Denis wrote:

I love Loveland.  :)

it has pretty much everything I want in a ski area and nothing I don’t want and don’t want to pay for.  

Yes!!!  I’m thinking if I have the great fortune of going back, I will bring some meat and grill them on the public grills for lunch!!

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

skiobsessed wrote:

marcNZ - I tried convincing my girlfriend to take group lessons when we go to Liberty in the mid-Atlantic, but after two different lessons, she doesn’t like listening to instructors and would rather ski with me.  I will bring it up again once she gets more practice, but she is quite strong-willed.  We decided to go to Loveland when we saw cheap airfare on Southwest, $230.00 per person and it was the cheapest option with their 4-pack :)

Smart of you not to push lessons … yet.  Sounds like you have a good plan for making sure she’s interested in future ski trips.

Late season trips to Denver or SLC can be a good way to stretch a ski trip budget.

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