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Ask CS: Tips for first time at Keystone?

We’ve had a few readers ask for our suggestions here at Colorado Snow so without delay here is our first ‘Ask CS’ entry.

Latt asked:

This will be my first time skiing at Keystone. I will be taking my wife, 14 y.o. son and 14 y.o. nephew March 23-28. Any tips on great runs, good ski rentals, good food, other facts that would be helpful? We are staying at River Run. We are moderate skiiers (we are from Louisiana and only ski one week per year) and handle blues well but not so much the blacks and definately not the moguls.


A great question and we’ve got plenty of answers. Nicole says:

I just recently spent a weekend up there and stayed at River Run! There are a lot of blues off the River Run Gondola/Summit Express lift — Flying Dutchman, Frenchman, Wild Irishman, etc. We ended up always taking the Summit Express lift (and not the gondola) as it never had a line. I felt a little crowded on the slopes, but there was rarely a line at Summit Express. The beginner we were with really liked Mozart (blue run) down the backside. From the bottom of that, you can take Santiago Express which has a couple steeper blues. Beware that these might be a little crusty if there hasn’t been snow recently.

As for ski rentals, I’m not sure I can be of much help as I haven’t rented at the resort. I do know that unless you have a deal with your condo, it will be cheaper to rent in Breckenridge, Dillon, or Silverthorne — you can’t really miss the rental shops as you drive through. 🙂

I can vouch for Devin’s recommendation of the Wolf Rock Brewery — good atmosphere, good food and good beer. I would also recommend checking out Breckenridge at least one night. It also has a good brewery and a cute main street with lots of shops and will be more “happening” in the evening than at the resort.

All good points: 1) don’t rent at the resort unless you’ve got a lodging deal already, 2) River Run has plenty on the front, and 3) eat at Wolf Rock. Devin also says:

The front slopes that Nicole recommends are all good but if the snow isn’t great or if it starts to get crowded I would head half-way up the hill to the Montezuma Lift. You can get to it by going up the gondola (which is always a fun for first-timers) or if you’re over at Mountain House just head up Peru and move (skiiers) right.

Montezuma has plenty of fun blues right off of Schoolmarm and, as Nicole said, there is always Mozart right off the back side. Just be cautious, if you want to go back further there are a bunch of flat spots so keep up your speed.

If you’re looking for some excellent mexican food (the real deal) head back into Silverthorne and stop at Fiesta Jalisco. The nacho appetizer is enough to feed both kids and they’re the best I’ve had.

Be sure to see what the ‘Adventure Passport’ (most lodging deals give you it) has to offer. There are plenty of things to do (sleigh rides, ice skating, tubing and plenty of other things for the whole family).

Take lots of good pictures, Latt and let us know how the trip goes!