Summit Up 1-3-11 |

Summit Up 1-3-11

Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that can finally shake off that “brr” feeling we’ve been enduring for the past several days.

We did brave the weekend’s negative temperatures – with three layers on the bottom and five on the top – at Arapahoe Basin and our prophecy for the day turned out to be true: Take two runs and go drink a beer. Or hot cocoa or water or soda or whatever our little hearts desired. Take another two runs and then shake out those frozen little ice cubes formerly known as toes and endure the tingly stinging sensation that feels oh so good and horrible at the exact same time.

You know how we complained about toe warmers last week? Well, we have to say we changed out minds just a bit. We sure were glad for them during those two runs… they did sorta fizzle being tucked inside the boot and all, but they lasted OK for a half hour and kept us from completely losing feeling in those tiny, yet important, body parts. And when we pulled our feet OUT of the boot and let them get some more oxygen… WOW did that feel good!

So, while they’re still not quite Hotronics, we’ll take ’em for now.

But the weather says we’re getting back to just below freezing, which comes with a strong welcome from those of us who couldn’t bother to bundle up and get out

on New Year’s Eve and instead played Twister and Nerf gun target shooting games – the loser drank a shot of his or her choice.

It even comes with snow! It’s only a slight chance, but we’ll take it. Based on what happened with the last storm, which was apparently supposed to completely bury us and instead gave us a hearty dusting, we say anything could happen. Just as long as it’s a low-pressure system and it’s coming this way.

We’ll stow our rabbit fur hat and duster down jacket for the next extremely cold spell.


It’s time for a Scum-Alert-turned-Angel-Alert!! Angel-Alert!!

Reader Sylvia Conway wrote in on Saturday to lament a Summit Cove resident leaving eight international workers at the Summit Cove Summit Stage bus stop two hours before their 6:30 a.m. bus was expected to arrive on New Year’s Day.

“It was the coldest night of the year, sub-zero temps, windy and snowing, and the next bus was due in two hours,” Conway wrote. “She would not let them stay at her house until closer to bus time, but drove them to the stop and left them.”

But, thank their lucky stars, these international workers met an angel early that New Year’s Day, getting whisked into another Summit Cove resident’s car as they returned home for work not 20 minutes after arriving at the stop.

“She turned around, picked up the group, and drove them to Frisco, where they needed to go, instead of driving herself home to bed after a long night at work,” Conway wrote. “She probably

averted some serious hypothermia, at the very least, and possibly much worse.

“We have all heard about tragedies due to exposure. To leave folks at a bus stop who don’t know about our sub-arctic climate and are not prepared is criminal.”

Kudos to Conway, for encouraging us to look after each other and help out when someone’s in distress.


We also are dancing in our pants, excitedly eager to announce a thank you from reader Kate

Lapides to the Summit Daily News for our support of the 2011 “Good at the Grace” fundraiser.

Lapides let us know that this year, Amazing Grace raised $1,200 to support John Warner’s volunteer dental work in the Guatemalan Highlands.

We are glad to have helped out a worthy cause! And we echo Lapides’ demand for us to have a new year filled with joy and peace – and redirect it to all of our Summit Up readers.


We got word last week that a few of our beloved Summit County ski resorts were ranked well by yet another outlet of ski area opinions.

As you can tell from the name, is dedicated to getting the word out about family friendly resorts. The list of Top 20 Family Ski Resorts is published annually, the site says, and is based on quality kids’ programs, lodging variety, options for non-skiers, variety of ski terrain and relative ease of traveling. They tweaked it a bit based on geographical location, too, to make sure there’s something accessible in most parts of the country.

While Steamboat Springs ranked No. 1, nearby Vail and Winter Park were in the Top 10. Breckenridge was No. 16 and Keystone was No. 20.

Here are some of the things they said about Breck:

“Relatively close to Denver and Denver airport.”

“Great, authentic town feel.”

Good family atmosphere with many dining choices.”

“Mountain has plenty of forgiving terrain for all skill levels.”

“Much of the terrain is considered too easy for some, but if all runs are open everyone should

find great skiing.”

“When picking a place to stay, keep in mind that Breck has six times as many condominiums as hotels, making it an ideal market for families.”

The review praises the resort’s innards as well as its glossy exterior (much as we love the resort, the review made us want to puke).

The only main complaint is parking. We agree. Breck, help us out!!

As far as Keystone:

“Large mountain with plenty of skiing for all abilities. Back side gives experts some extra terrain.”

“Only area resort with night skiing and tubing every evening.”

“Crowds can be a factor being so close to Denver, but getting past the front face of the mountain will help.”

Go Vail Resorts! Woot! Woot! Woot! We’re cheering for ya in these myriad rankings. Of course, we know as well as you do that you can’t be a gem in everyone’s eye – especially with so many criteria!

*** also gave some cred to Breck and Keystone in their Ski Resort Cost Index, which listed them as the second and sixth least expensive of 13 of the 20 ranked resorts. Not sure why they stopped at 13, though…

Anyway, based on a barrel of assumptions, the group got somewhat of an apples-to-apples comparison based on a family of four with two pre-teenaged kids, heading out for four days of skiing (including two ski-school days) with mid-tier equipment rentals – in early February.

They had to adjust lodging somewhat because there’s so many options with varying levels of luxury and distance from the resort, and transit was left out – again, because of all the options and variables associated.

So, dun, dun, dunnnn…. What does it cost for a family of four to head up to Breck and Keystone

for four days?

Based on calculations, we’ve got $2,746 for Breck and $2,621 for Keystone.

Keystone was the “best Colorado value of our sample,” the mysterious number crunchers wrote.


So there you have it. Now that the temps are turning up, why not hit up that good family value at Keystone and Breck and take some turns? Don’t forget to enjoy the surrounding towns and other non-ski activities.

And, as so generously points out, that ain’t all, folks! There are plenty of other family-friendly resorts out there that aren’t listed!

Gotta run. Happy Monday!

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