The SummitCove team recently had the pleasure of experiencing a dinner sleigh ride with 2 Below Zero. We all gathered at the Frisco Nordic Center, bundled up on a chilly December night. We were all really looking forward to the dinner sleigh ride with 2 Below Zero! Check-in was easy and soon we were split up in a few different sleighs mixed in with other guests from all over the country. Our driver was friendly and the horses (mules) were big! The driver was not only cracking jokes at us the whole time, but also giving us a really good historical insight on the area. Everyone had a thick blanket to keep them warm. We enjoyed talking to the others in the group on the one mile sleigh ride to the campsite where dinner would be served in a large white canvas tent (which was heated of course!). We arrived at the tent about a half an hour later and climbed off the sleigh to go inside and warm up. As we walked into the dinner hall, we were greeted by a very friendly man on the guitar center stage. Musician David Peel played a few songs upon arrival while the wait staff (who are the wagon drivers) served hot cocoa. Adults got the pleasure of a spike of peppermint schnapps in theirs!
After everyone was settled and warming up with their cocoa, the wait staff took wine and beer orders (cash only). The first course and my favorite part of the meal was warm bread and a delicious spicy chicken soup. The main course consisted of steak, chicken, and veggies with a large baked potato, standard cookout meal, but very delicious. Dessert was a warm slice of apple pie.
Once dinner was served, the highlight of the night was the entertainment. Mr. Peel is a musician from Memphis and had some good stories to tell. He engaged the whole crowd and got everyone singing to a John Denver melody and Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. We learned that it was a family’s second time to the dinner sleigh ride and another couple’s anniversary. There was also a young birthday boy in the crowd, who got to go on stage and ride the ‘pony’. David had the whole audience engaged, singing and laughing.
Once our bellies were full and our faces hurt from laughing so much, it was time to jump back on the sleigh and head back. The ride back was beautiful under the clear skies and we had a little time for stargazing. The dinner sleigh ride with 2 Below Zero is a splurge but well worth the money on you Keystone ski vacation. It is a memory that will last a lifetime.
Long gone are the days of paper, pens, maps, pay phones, and guess work. Smartphones and tablets have made life easy, offering new experiences, better ways to stay organized, and the ability to access limitless information literally at your fingertips. Check out the list we’ve compiled of the Top 5 Apps you should download before you leave for your Keystone Colorado Ski Vacation.
What it does: This app can completely customize your packing list! Enter variables such as number of of adults, children, days of travel, destination, and even laundry preferences to create packing lists for your vacation. It even takes temperatures, location and activities into play, reminding you to bring things like a winter jacket, gloves, and ski goggles! Check items off your list once they are packed and take it with you on the go!
What it does: The Epic Mix App is a must-get when coming to Keystone. Your ski pass is activated with a special RF scanner which tracks your activity on the mountain. Check your vertical feet, see which lifts you’ve rode, view your EpicMix Photos, earn pins, race your friends and even push your stats against Lindsey Vonn! Challenge yourself or your friends and family to some friendly competition! You can also view trail maps, lift statuses, weather reports and more. Best yet, this app is free and every pass, even single day tickets, is equipped with the technology.
On the Snow Ski Report:
What it does: This app helps you find the best powder, with live morning reports of ski area snow totals, so you can wake up and decide where to ski based on the results! This app allows you to pick favorite mountains, set powder alerts, view trail maps, see what’s nearby and more. Never miss another powder day!
Summit County Mobile App
What it does: This app is your introduction to Summit County, offering up visitors great information and a way to virtually ‘explore’, basically your own mobile concierge! including restaurants with reviews and photos, events, interactive maps, and news. Get promotional offers from local businesses in the area and even search for things based on what you need! Save more, explore town, and find out what’s happening during your Keystone Vacation!
What it does: Wondering what the I-70 traffic is going to be like on your way back to the airport? The Official CDOT Mobile App provides travelers with real time Colorado road information like current speeds and travel times, road conditions, road closures and even live feeds from CDOT’s road cams, so you can see for yourself what the traffic looks like. Never waste time sitting in traffic again!
Keystone is one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in the world, but there’s far more to do with your kids while visiting than just ski! We’ve got a few of our favorite family activities listed below for you to check out while you are visiting Keystone!
Ice Skating at Keystone Lake
A must-do while visiting Keystone- check out North America’s largest Zamboni-maintained outdoor skating rink, 5 acres of fun! Whether you want to try your toes at a triple axle or shoot the puck in a pickup hockey game, you are sure to have a great time skating on the Lake! The rink is the highlight of Lakeside Village– it’s surrounded by restaurants, shops and a number of properties available for rent, including Lakeshore 1561 which features amazing views! After you’ve had enough on the ice, stop by the bar in the Keystone Lodge and enjoy a warm nightcap or hot chocolate. The rink is open daily from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.; Admission and skate rental prices are as follows: Adult $12/$10, Youth $9/$5, and Seniors $6/$3. You are also welcome to bring your own skates!
Cupcakes and Canvases
If you are looking for a way to get creative, this class is the perfect outlet to let your little ones explore their artistic sides! This 2 hour class is led by an art teacher who helps you and your kids create artistic masterpieces… all while enjoying delicious cupcakes! The $15 registration cost includes all the supplies including a canvas, brushes and paint, cupcakes and guidance from a teacher. There are 2 more sessions this season, on February 10 and March 10, so sign up today!
Tubing at Adventure Point
Take a ride to the top of the River Run Gondola and head to Adventure Point- a tubing hill with a modern twist. Pick from 5 lanes and then let your kids decide- straight or spin and get ready to hold on! Once its over, no more trucking up a steep hill, let the magic carpet whisk you back to the top to do it again! Looking to get funky? Check out snow-tubing on Thursday Nights, which is disco themed under the lights and disco ball!
Explore the Nation’s Largest Snow Fort
Your kids will LOVE exploring this larger than life snow fort, based at the top of Dercum Mountain. The fort is built with a dragon theme and has features like lookout towers, a drawbridge, ice sculptures and tunnels. Can we say snowball fight? (Play nice kids!) Better yet, the fort is free to enter, all you need is gondola pass or lift ticket to get to the top of the mountain!
Winter Zip Line and Snow Cat Tour
If your kids are a little bit older (ages 7 & up) and are looking for a fun adventure, you should try the winter zip lining & snow cat tours with our partners, White Mountain Tours and Top of the Rockies Zip Lines. A complimentary shuttle will pick you up in Keystone and after a short and scenic 25 minute ride, you will arrive at the spectacular 2000 acre private property near Leadville. The area has views of Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, and rests on the splendid slopes of Mt. Arkansas, an almost “Fourteener” at 13,795 feet. Strap in and enjoy 5 sections of zip lining and an informative snow cat ride, of course stopping at an original yurt for hot chocolate along the way- this is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip! All SummitCove guests receive a discount from White Mountain Tours in the Key to Keystone Coupon Book! Complimentary coveralls and boots are available if needed, but personal warm winter apparel is appropriate and recommended. Guests must bring goggles or sunglasses as eye protection is not provided. Helmets, transportation and hot chocolate are included in the tour price.
One of our favorite things about Keystone Resort is Night Skiing! Keystone offers visitors with one of Colorado’s longest ski days- you can ski or ride long after nearly all the other mountains close. Your lift ticket is good all day and into the night! Watch the sun set over the beautiful Rocky Mountains while enjoying a few more runs. The serenity of the mountain at night is a completely different unique experience than what you get during the day. Check out the schedule below for night skiing hours and dates and be sure to try it at least once during your visit to Keystone!
2012/2013 Keystone Night Skiing Schedule
Wednesday, November 21 – 25, 2012
November 30 – December 1, 2012
December 7 – 8, 2012
December 14 – 15, 2012
December 21 – January 6, 2013
January 9 – April 7, 2013 (Wednesday – Sunday and select Holiday Mondays)
Open 7 days a week during March
Hours: (On Days With Night Skiing)
Open until 8p Wednesday – Saturday
Open until 6p Sunday and select Holiday Mondays
A51 Terrain Park closes at 6p all night ski nights
Feeding your family during a vacation can be tough. Long days, busy schedules, and high altitudes may make you want to order in pizza every night, but we’ve got a few recipes that will be easy to prepare and save you money by not eating out every night. The nice thing is that most of our vacation rental properties in Keystone feature a full size kitchen and all of the cooking supplies you need to make a great meal. Cooking while you’re on vacation does present its challenges- you’re usually working with fewer tools, unfamiliar appliances and without your normal spice cabinet. You will also be busy with activities and tired at the end of the day! What you should look for when you are planning your meals are some simple, easy-to-make recipes that will please even the pickiest eaters, feed a crowd, have few ingredients and make plenty of leftovers. Here are four of our favorite easy dinner recipes for your next family ski vacation:
Easy Mexican Fajitas
– Medium size flour tortillas
– 1 Lb. skirt or flank steak
– 1 Package taco of fajita seasoning
– 1 White or yellow onion
– 1 Red bell pepper
– 1 Green bell pepper
– 2 Tbsp olive oil
– Prepared guacamole
– Prepared pico de gallo salsa
– Shredded cheddar cheese
– Sour cream
Preheat oven to 375. Rub the steak with half of the fajita seasoning and salt and pepper and bake for 35-40 minutes. Slice onions and peppers and then sauté in olive oil over Medium heat. Take the meat out of the oven and then slice it against the grain in thin strips. Warm tortillas in the microwave for 30 – 40 seconds. Serve ingredients in bowls or plates and let your family create their own as they please!
Beef and Bean Chili
– 2 Lbs ground beef or buffalo
– 1 Large onion, chopped
– 2 Stalks of celery, chopped
– 8 Cups (4-15oz cans or 2-28oz cans) tomato sauce
– 8 Cups (4-15oz cans) beans (2 kidney, 1 pinto and 1 black or garbanzo)
– 1/4 Cup chili seasoning (your favorite brand)
– Salt & pepper, to taste
– Cayenne pepper, to taste
– Chopped fresh or canned jalapeno peppers, to taste
– 1/2 Lb. elbow macaroni
In a large stockpot, brown the beef. Break it apart into large chunks, season with salt, pepper, and about half of the chili seasoning and cook until it is just slightly pink. Once the meat is browned, stir in the rest of the ingredients. Bring everything to a boil and then cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes. The flavors only get better the longer you simmer; if you have a crockpot, you can throw everything in before you head out to the mountain, and the feast will be ready when you get back at the end of the day! In the meantime, cook up the pasta and set aside. Once you are ready to eat, add the macaroni pasta to the chili and serve hot with shredded cheese, sour cream and corn chips or crackers for the perfect warm and easy to prepare meal! You can leave the jalapenos out if your family doesn’t like spicy foods.
Italian Chicken, Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli
-2 Lbs. mix of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts
-8 Tsp melted butter
-1 Cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
-2 Tsp olive oil
-1 Lb. baby new potatoes, halved
-1 Half white onion, chopped
-1 Clove garlic, chopped
-1 Large head of broccoli
-1 Half of lemon
Preheat the oven to 350. Dress the chicken with 6 tsp melted butter, then roll in seasoned breadcrumbs and place in a casserole dish or roasting pan. In another pan, drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Chop the garlic and onions and add to the potato mix. Cover both dishes with tinfoil or pan covers and cook both the chicken and potatoes for 40 minutes. About 5 minutes before the timer beeps, steam the broccoli and top with juice of lemon, a pinch of salt and remaining butter. Serve and enjoy!
B for D (Breakfast for Dinner)
-1 Box of pancake mix
-Eggs (2 per person)
-Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Start with the bacon, either fry or bake according to package directions. Make the pancakes according to recipe on box, adding the blueberries into the batter. Crack all of the eggs in a bowl, add a splash of milk, whisk and scramble, adding the cheddar cheese if you’d like. Serve this for breakfast or dinner, a family favorite!
Keystone has a few small markets where you can purchase groceries, but we recommend planning your meals and grocery list on the plane or in the car ahead of time and then stopping at the City Market in Dillon before you head into Keystone. You will be exiting off of I-70 at the ‘Dillon/Silverthorne’ exit, take an immediate left and the City Market will be two stoplights ahead on the left, and then Keystone is about 7 miles further down the road. Remember to look for recipes with a simple and short ingredient list that are easy to prepare. Also think about things that are easy and quick for breakfast and snacks to take with you on the mountain, such as granola bars. Bottled water is not really necessary, as the water in Keystone tastes great! Many of our ski condos come stocked with crock-pots, which is a great tool for ski vacation meals- just throw it all in in the morning and dinner is ready when you get home! Check out the SummitCove.com’s ‘Ski Vacation Meal Ideas’ Board on Pinterest for more easy recipes!
Packing for a ski trip requires a little more thought than the ordinary trip, as there is alot of gear and clothing involved. When packing your clothes, remember: Layers are your friends and cotton is not. Cotton holds moisture in and will actually make you colder if it becomes wet. Blended ‘wicking’ fabrics and layers will keep you dry and warm, making you a happy skier or rider. Use this list below as your ‘base layer’ when packing for your next Colorado Ski Vacation.
– Base ‘thermal’ layer top & bottom. Long underwear, tights, etc. avoid cotton and look for blended ‘wicking’ fabrics that will keep you dry.
– Warm socks, (avoid cotton, look for a wool blend) bring multiple pairs.
– Sweaters/long sleeve shirts for wearing around the Village at Keystone
– Light sweatshirt or flannel shirt for layering or as a substitute for a jacket on a nice day
– 1 to 2 pairs of jeans or pants (one casual and one dressy dark pair)
– Turtleneck (optional)
– One ‘dressy’ outfit for nice dinners… think dark jeans and a warm sweater with boots. Remember its cold and you’re in the mountains! You won’t see many people wearing dresses, ties, or high heels of any kind.
– ‘Lounge’ clothes for game night at your condo or a movie
– Swimsuit to enjoy the heated pools, hot tubs, and saunas
– ‘Cover up’ clothes to wear TO the pool and hot tub
– Warm, water-resistant gloves
– Glove liners (depends on your gloves)
– Bandana (Can be used as a facemask or under your helmet)
– Googles. If you don’t have a pair you should really think about investing in some; they will last you a VERY long time, keep your face warm and eyes tear-free and protected from the winds and sun. An orange lens is a great ‘all-around’ lens. Yellow or clear lenses are great for night skiing and the ‘fire’ or dark lenses are great for very bright, sunny days (but terrible for night skiing). Look for discounted ski clearance shops online or the ‘one deal at a time’ type of websites that feature snow gear, you can often find a great pair for only $30-$40.
– Sunglasses, it’s VERY sunny in Colorado!
– Warm jacket or shell
– Fleece or sweatshirt to go under shell-style jackets
– Waterproof ski pants- jeans or windbreaker style pants will NOT do the job
– Snow boots or trail shoes to wear around town
– Pea coat or other jacket to wear when not skiing (not necessary)
– Camera battery charger or extra batteries
– Helmet Cam (if you have one)
– Sunblock (or plan on buying some here)
– Playing cards
– Tylenol or Advil for sore muscles or headaches
– Prescription Medicines
– Reusable water bottle
– Toiletries.. Toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, tweezers, makeup, etc.
– IPod or MP3 Player w/ Headphones
– Flip Flops to wear to the pool
– Laptop or IPad to send photos to your friends and make them totally jealous
– A good book to read by the fireplace
– Ski Passes or tickets if you have them
– Cell phone
– Phone charger
– Travel journal to record your trip memories
– Hand/foot warmers (if you tend to get cold)
A Few Tips:
– Pack & dress in layers. Colorado weather changes quickly so you may need to add or remove a layer in your outfit to achieve that perfect temperature. You will even notice a drop in the temperature once the sun goes behind the mountain.
– It can be cold on the slopes, but remember you will be moving and working your body- no need to OVER dress or you will find yourself sweating under your jacket! Many people don’t realize how much sun and warm winter days we have in Colorado. The coldest moments are on the chairlift or during a snowstorm, but you can always hop on the gondola to warm up!
– Drink lots of water before and during your vacation. It helps to prevent altitude sickness and combat our dry winter air.
– If you are bringing your own equipment, stuff and ‘pad’ your ski bag with the bulkier jackets and pants to provide extra padding for your gear and save room in your suitcase! Don’t forget your boots, helmet, and ski poles!
– Get your equipment waxed ahead of time so its ready to go when you get here.
– If you will be renting skis or boards, reserve them ahead of time for the best selection and to ensure the shop doesn’t run out of gear before you get there. Mountain View Sports offers 25% off rentals to SummitCove Guests.
– Look early for discount lift tickets online or consider buying a season pass. They usually pay for themselves after 4-5 days. See your confirmation e-mail for a link to discount lift tickets.
Looking to take your skiing or riding skills abroad this winter? Your Vail Resorts Epic Pass now offers passholders THREE DAYS at Verbier Resort, Switzerland, including the 4 Vallées! The “4Vallées” ski area connects the resorts of Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, and Thyon. Comprised of 92 lifts and 412km of ski runs, Verbier is the largest ski area located entirely in Switzerland. Coming together at the top of the Mont-Fort Glacier (10,925 feet), Verbier and the entire Les 4 Vallées ski area is a winter sports enthusiasts dream; offering a wide variety of terrain ranging from beginner to expert. Now, current and new Vail Resorts Epic Pass holders can access all of this terrain for $679, as well as unlimited, unrestricted skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood and Arapahoe Basin. There are no blackout dates on your days at Verbier- just show them your pass at the ticket window!
For those visiting Keystone Resort this winter vacation, it is a good idea to look into purchasing a season pass. Discount lift tickets can be hard to come by and getting a season pass will certainly save you money in the long run. The Summit Value Pass is available for just $439 and pays for itself after just 4 days of skiing. It may even be a reason to come back out to Colorado for a second or third vacation during the ski season! Most passes even include a limited number of ‘Buddy Tickets’ that offer discounted lift tickets for your friends and family. Be careful to check for blackout dates before you buy!photo credit: adrileb via photo pin cc
What is a Colorado Ski Passport?
For the past 16 years, over 200,000 families have participated in Colorado Ski Country USA’s 5th Grade Passport Program. The program was established in 1996 and more than 200,000 kids have participated in the program since then. This year, the 5th Grade Passport Program provides participants with three free days of skiing or snowboarding at 20 different resorts. Kids can choose to ski or snowboard all 60 of the days or just a few, but either way the 5th Grade Passport is still the best value in Colorado. Once you’ve applied, you just present your child’s passport at the ticket window, and it’s that easy! The ticket office supplies your child with a one day lift ticket and punches your passport. Unfortunately Keystone is not on the resort list this year, but nearby Arapahoe Basin does accept the Passports!
The goal of this program is to make skiing more accessible for those who are lucky enough to live in Colorado. It also focuses on healthy youth, by providing a fun way for kids to stay physically active, even in the colder winter months when they might not otherwise want to play outside.
2012-13 participating resorts for the 5th & 6th Passport Program will be: Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Copper Mountain, Crested Butte, Eldora, Howelson Hill, Loveland, Monarch Mountain, Powderhorn, Purgatory/Durango, Ski Cooper, Snowmass, Ski Granby Ranch (previously Sol Vista Basin), Steamboat, Sunlight, Telluride, Winter Park, and Wolf Creek.
PLEASE NOTE that Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone are NOT participating in the programs this year and your 5th & 6th Grade Passports will NOT be valid at those resorts. The 6th Grade Passport is non-refundable. To apply, you must apply online or send application/items for the pass through the mail. Your child’s pass will come to you standard first class mail.
Deadline for submitting applications is January 31, 2013.
6th Grade Passport:
If your child is in 6th grade, there is still a great deal available for them to get a great deal on skiing or riding this season! The 6th Grade Colorado Ski Passport Program provides participants with four days of skiing or snowboarding at each of the 20 member resorts for a just $99. That amounts to 80 awesome days on the slopes for a mere $1.25 per day, you will not find a better deal!
First Class Learn to Ski or Ride Program:
During the entire month of January, the First Class program offers 5th graders the opportunity to learn how to ski or snowboard. Children who have neither experienced skiing nor snowboarding, and are enrolled in the 5th Grade Passport Program, have the opportunity to receive one free beginner lesson and rental package. Lessons are a great way to help your child gain the knowledge and confidence they need to become successful on the slopes.
Don’t miss out on this great opportunity for your child this ski season, apply for the Colorado Ski Passport today! Don’t forget, all SummitCove.com guests receive 25% off ski rentals with Mountain View Sports in Keystone. They also have a Kids Rent Free program! Check out some of our properties in East Keystone, such as Settler’s Creek or the Buffalo Lodge or Silver Mill in River Run Village in order to be closest to the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area! There is also a free shuttle run by the Summit Stage that runs to A-Basin hourly from Keystone during the ski season.
Winter is coming and there is snow in Summit County! These two photos were taken from Hoosier pass this morning! The leaves are golden and there’s plenty of leaf peeping to do in Summit County over the next few weeks. Keystone is one of the most beautiful places to be this time of year with the cool crisp air, snow-capped mountains and beautiful leaves! Call SummitCove.com to get a fantastic deal on lodging for the fall season or reserve your property for your ski trip this winter!