Keystone Mountain Resort 2014/15 Report

November snows brought great early season skiing to Keystone Mountain Resort. Photo Credit: Liam Doran

Keystone Mountain Resort: Early Season Skiing Report

November storms have provided a very nice base at most of Colorado’s resorts, and that is definitely the case at Keystone Mountain Resort. A good portion of the mountain is open for your skiing and snowboarding enjoyment.

It’s an early Saturday morning, and I am driving up the I-70 corridor full of anticipation. The dark cliffs and foothills in the valleys make way for snow topped peaks as you near the Continental Divide and the Eisenhower tunnel. At that point, it’s hard not to get a little excited.

Blue bird skies, and beautiful groomers were the call of the day. Photo Credit: Liam Doran

The Keystone Mountain experience

A Saturday in December with temperatures in the upper 30’s and sunshine brought out the skiers and boarders en masse. This was very evident down in the village with member services busy selling Epic season and day passes. There was a moment of frustration within the waiting lines as only 3 of the 7 ticket windows were open. Within minutes reinforcements arrived, and they were running full throttle.

The amazing ambassadors that are stationed throughout the village were handing out information, but more so are giving Keystone Mountain Resort an intimate personality. Skiing is big business with a lot of behind the scenes work going into making our day one to be remembered. With ticket prices for a single day pass at the $104, you want to feel like you are getting your money’s worth. It’s these folks on the ground operating the lifts, patrolling the mountains, and standing in line with you starting conversations that make that experience whole and rewarding.

The Kidtopia Snow Fort is well under way to completion for the kids to enjoy. Photo Credit: Jack Affleck

Family focused at Keystone Mountain Resort

Kids under 12 ski free with a two night stay at any of the 30 Resort’s lodging options. A great opportunity to get away for a weekend with the family. Plenty of options for lodging amenities, and why not get the little ones out there to learn. ‘Tis the season. To top it all off, Santa was hanging out in the village with a real life reindeer. With the outdoor fire places blazing, the village felt really intimate and cozy.

For more details regarding this great promotion please see here

Photo Credit: Chad Schmidt

Conditions and mountain operations

The day started out pretty chilly with temperatures in the low 20’s. With cloudy overcast skies and a bit of wind, I was glad I bundled up with several layers and good gloves. Late morning saw the clouds dissipate, the sun coming out, and this day quickly turning into one of those epic blue bird ski days Colorado is famous for.

I mentioned the large crowds at the base of Keystone Mountain Resort, but that wasn’t the case up on the mountain. With the amount of runs that were open, the terrain quickly opened up, and I could ski free and wide open turns back down to the mid mountain lifts. At peak periods, I may have waited all of 2 minutes in line. Most of the time I could slide right up in the singles line to quickly merge with 2 or 3 others. The lifts ran smoothly all day long. The only slowdowns occurred to make sure that the little ones got on safely. I’m ok with that.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the amount of terrain that was open, and the complete snow coverage on those runs. With nearly 5 feet of snow in November, Keystone Mountain Resort has been able to establish a nice base. December has gotten off to a bit of slower start, and I know the purist would want  6-10 inches of snowfall every night. All things considered, what I encountered was superb. All the open terrain had good coverage, and I was kicking up a bit of powder with every turn. Even as the day drew to a close, there were only minimal icy patches and that was only on some of the steeper sections. Most greens and blues were very ski and ride-able for the beginning snow enthusiast.

I took a cruise by the terrain park, and it was in full swing as the kids were hitting the rails, bumps, and jumps. The resort workers were busy grooming and shaping additional terrain obstacles, and I saw some amazing talent completing some awesome tricks. I’ll leave it them, but it is always fun to take a peak and see those daredevil skills at work.

Great day of skiing at Keystone Resort

Final Thoughts on Keystone Mountain Resort

The bars and restaurants were packed and Apre Ski beers were being enjoyed on the many outdoor patios. The smell of hamburgers and pizza was so prominent walking through the village, it’s almost as if they piped it out to draw you in as you attempt to make it back to your car.  And of course, it worked. The smell and calorie burn won out over trying to beat the ski traffic back down to Denver. Cheers to an amazing day at Keystone Mountain Resort.

For more information and to plan your visit to one of Colorado’s finest ski resorts please visit:  www.keystoneresort.com

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.
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