Keystone - Ski Resort and Snow Summary
Keystone - Ski Resort in Vail Resorts, American Rockies (2840m to 3720m)
Under same ownership as Breckenridge and aquired in 1997 by Vail Resorts INC., Keystone has the largest night-skiing operation in Colorado and North America's biggest ice rink (five acres).
Key Facts for Keystone
|57km||Cross Country Pistes|
The American ski resort of Keystone is part of the Vail Resorts ski area and has direct access to 116 individual pistes, served by 22 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Keystone itself 188pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Vail Resorts ski resorts of Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek and Vail.
The ski resort itself is above 1500m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With pistes above 2500 metres, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.
Snowmaking :- Keystone is able to augment natural snow, with 189 Snow Cannons.
Ski Lift Capacity :- The 22 Ski Lifts of Keystone are able to uplift 27,273 skiers / snowboarders per hour.
There is an airport within two hours drive, so ski weekends, snowboard breaks and short ski holidays to Keystone are perfectly feasible.
Skiing in Keystone
Keystone's three mountains extend back from the resort in to the Arapaho National Forest; this is one of North America's and the world's highest ski areas. The ski area is also one of the largest in the US thanks to the introduction of a kat skiing operation that has expanded the available terrain from around 1,800 acres to more than 3,100.
The kat skiing accesses three bowls - Erickson, Bergman and Independence Bowl (added for 2007-8). The kats serve virgin powder terrain and for the best skiers can provide up to 10 ascents on a half-day session at high value prices.
Back on the regular slopes, the most developed section of the lift-serviced ski area is the original front face of Dercum mountain which is largely floodlit for night skiing and contains the snowboarding terrain park as well as the beginner terrain. There are more than 50 forgiving runs on this part of the mountain alone, including Keystone's longest, Schoolmarm, at 5km (3 miles).
Beginners may cut their first turns on the Discovery beginner slope under the watchful eyes of one of the ski school's special trainers. As you get further away from the resort base the terrain gets a little more challenging. The Santiago quad accesses some of North America's best mogul/bump skiing.
The terrain becomes more isolated and challenging venturing beyond the reach of the gondolas to the Outback area for Keystone's above treeline South and North bowls skiing as well as black diamond gladed runs Timberwolf, Bushwacker, Badger and The Grizz. 51% of the resort's terrain is graded advanced or expert. For fine tuning your technique, private lessons are available and skiing clinics hosted by pros like the Mahre brothers, as well as special women only clinics.
Of course most visitors will want to make use of the Vail resort's multi-area pass and ski at Vail, Beaver Creek and Breckenridge if they're making a stay of a week or more. The pass also covers Arapahoe Basin, linked with a free shuttle bus along with Breckenridge.
Now for the 2008/2009 season get the Epic Pass. This provides unlimited skiing in Vail, Breckenridge Beaver Creek and Heavenly for $579. http://snow.com/epicpass/
Snowboarding in Keystone
Keystone's natural terrain includes Dercum Mountain for groomed beginner trails, North Peak for tree 'boarding and bumps and The Outback for powder stashes and gladed terrain. In general, the terrain design has few flats and uplift is provided by chairs and gondolas, more than a third of the 20 lifts are either high speed quad or cabin lifts. The resort's 20 acre Terrain Park on Keystone Mountain is illuminated for night riding. Dubbed Area 51, it features table tops, hips, spines, gaps and rails.
Located in Packsaddle bowl, the park features two half pipes, one designed for beginners, the other goes beyond Olympic spec to maximise big air opportunities. A second terrain park has been created on the Jackwhacker intermediate-advanced trail. The run has been regraded to offer riders a more challenging vertical. The trail features table tops, hips, spines and other jumps of various sizes.
Keystone Aprés Ski
There are a number of après ski venues around Keystone and, with the masters of resort design, Intrawest, adding new facilities to the expanding resort base neighbourhoods, the social scene at the resort is constantly improving. The River Run base is perhaps the liveliest spot where the Kickapoo tavern and the great Northern Tavern do battle to provide the best selection of local microbrews. The deck at the Kickapoo is particularly popular when the lifts close.
Apart from eating, drinking and dining, evening choices include the biggest night skiing operation in the area, the biggest ice skating lake in North America, full moon hiking and cross country ski excursions, sleigh rides and the new Adventure Point fun park for night time tubing antics.
Keystone Snow Reports by e-mail
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Keystone in brief
Keystone Ski Resort is:
Very good for Expert Skiers.
Excellent for Intermediate Skiers.
Good for Beginners.
Very good for Snowboarding.
Keystone Season Dates
Opened : November 22, 2013.
Closes : April 20, 2014.
Usual opening - Late Nov.
Usual closing - Late April.
NOTE:- Opening subject to Snow Conditions in Keystone.