Ask Key Anything!
Go ahead, Ask Key Anything! This season, we’re calling on you to ask us questions – no need to raise your hand, but hey, we appreciate the politeness. We know you’ve always wondered, so let’s hear those Q’s! Some weeks we will feature a certain department, and other weeks it’s a free-for-all! Anything from what time do patrollers arrive to the mountain in the morning to where on earth do we store the moguls in the summer? It’s a big mountain out there, let’s explore it together.
Check our Instagram story every Sunday to submit your questions. Answers posted on Thursday. You’ll find the answers from all the previous weeks below as well. First timer looking for advice? Check out our guide. Keep the questions coming and Ask Key Anything!
Feb 21, 2019
This week, we asked our Mountain #KeyPeople your questions!
“How hard is it to land a gig with the park crew?” – @nosebonk_ned
“Best way to land a Park Crew job is to ride the park every day. Be super positive about everything to ride daily. After that, Introduce yourself to the crew and let them know you would love to work in the park. If you did the first two things like a boss chances are you will be the new hire in the park.”
“I see yall up there grooming at night, i imagine its tranquil?” – @zesse_24
It is amazing. We get to see some incredible sunsets and sunrises too!
“How long does it take to groom the mountain?” – @djdog14
All night long – grooming starts by 4 pm and takes every minute until opening at 830 the next day.
“How do you see so well in the dark when grooming? Is it scary when grooming steep runs?” – @seanmjaeger
We hire groomers that have excellent night vision and the snow cats are all equipped with lots of lights. We add reflective tape to objects to help us see them. Occasionally we do have things that left in the way and the snow cat typically wins the battle every time resulting in damage to signs and fences. Steep runs are exhilarating – especially that first drop in.
“What do you like about grooming?” – @zesse_24
Putting the surface back together for a great guest experience the next day.
“How much work is it to groom a mogul run?” – @mattm2
Just like skiing moguls – it can be really fun or it can be a lot of work!
“How do you become a snow cat driver??” – @me_liz_snow
We look for people who want to work nights and ski days. We hire via jobs.vailresortscareers.com
“Do the snowcat operators work at the bike park in the summer?” – @jvk.mrtin
Snowcat operators do a variety of jobs in the summer – golf course, trails maintenance, equipment operator, over the road trucker, rodeo clown, and river guides”
“Do you like your job” – @bandits_48
“What kind of tunes are you blasting in the groomer?” – @nathan__jordan
“Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2 or “Radar Love’’ by Golden Earring, self improvement books on tape, or any song by TayTay.
Feb 7, 2019
“What’s the best way to get in contact with ski patrol if stuck on the mountain?” – @michaelob.ultra
For emergencies, call ski patrol at 970-496-6911 and for non-emergencies dial 970-496-3100.
“What are the qualifications for patrol (EMT, OEC, etc)?” – @mattogle20
In addition to OEC and EMT certifications, we require amazing guest service.
“What’s the most important piece of gear?” – @n8tron679
In my humble opinion, my brain!
“How many people get injured a day?” – @tooliethu
Skiing and snowboarding are safe sports, but are not without elements of risk. Guests should know and observe the “Your Responsibility Code,” which is the best way to provide a safe skiing experience for yourself and others.
“What is the process to open a run?” – @colife13
There is a lot of work that goes into safely opening up any trail. Some of the big areas we handle are ensuring proper padding, ropes, signage and any necessary markers are in place.
A NICE DAY AT THE OFFICE!
“What’s it like to have a whole mountain as your place of work everyday?” – @_tylersamuelson
It’s pretty amazing! I love what I do, and Keystone is about as good of an office as it gets.
“What is your favorite part about your job?” – @jennie.mcneil
I really enjoy all the people. From meeting the variety of guests who visit Keystone to our entire Ski Patrol team, it’s what I like the most about my job.
“Is sweeping trails after the mountains closes fun?” – @josh.fotman
It’s a unique perspective of the resort. It’s quiet. It’s calm. And it’s also an important aspect of the job.
“What does a typical day look like for ski patrol?” – @rammagnar
I don’t know if there is such a thing as a typical day. Most often though, it consists of being a visible presence on the mountain and assisting our guests.
“Do you ski all day or do you have other things you need to do?” – @grady_magruder4
We certainly get our fair share of runs in, but there’s a lot more to the job than simply skiing or snowboarding.
“How do you get anything done with all those dogs around?!?” – @msheahey
They sure are adorable, huh?!
“Someone told me that it was easier to pull sleds while on a snowboard. Is it?” – @a.lace.y
I don’t believe it’s easier, but it’s definitely different.
SIGN ME UP!
“How can I get involved with ski patrol? I am 20 and i want to be part of the awesome program” – @isabellabender
“How do you become involved with and a part of ski patrol? Do you allow snowboarders?” – @climbwiser
We have a hiring clinic every spring (that is to be on Ski Patrol the following winter), be sure to regularly check our career website at https://jobs.vailresortscareers.com/. Yes, we do welcome snowboarders on the Keystone Ski Patrol!
“How old do I have to be to join?” – @johnnieechen
“How can I be a junior ski patroller?” – @jeff_hinman123
We do not have a junior ski patroller program at Keystone. We’ll look for you in a few more years though!
“What should someone major in college to let allow them to join the ski patrol?” – @ye_oldspicy_memes
We do not require a specific degree to be a member of Ski Patrol, so I recommend to study something you are passionate about. We have patrollers with just about every degree imaginable on the team!
“How did you become ski patrol? It’s my dream career!” – @mirrenecstevens
Hard work, perseverance, determination and passion.
LEARNING THE MOUNTAIN
“Any tips for new skiers on proper etiquette?” – @2yanbeck
All skiers and snowboarders should know and observe the “Your Responsibility Code,” which is the best way to provide a safe skiing experience for yourself and others.
“What’s your favorite part of the mountain?” @benerhardt123
I’m partial to The Outback. It’s Keystone’s furthest of three peaks, and offers stunning views, hike-to and snowcat options, great tree runs, and a plethora of hidden powder stashes.
“Which run do you suggest as a 1st ADVANCED (off piste style black & up) run? Trees are good!” – @bf9636
If there’s someone who might know the mountain as well as Ski Patrol, it’s our Ski & Ride School instructors, so I always recommend a little guidance. Check out our new Keystone Adventure Guide program, they not only will show you where to take your first advanced tree run, but they’ll show you all the goods and secret stashes https://www.keystoneresort.com/plan-your-trip/ski-and-ride-lessons/category/guides.aspx.
“What do you do when you are not on patrol?” – @galaktikrngr
Most often, you’ll find me spending time with my family, simply relaxing, or exercising.
“What is your go-to lunch?” – @heyydensmart
I’m a salad type guy.
“Thank you guys so much for taking care of me promptly, when I got injured!!” – @ash1ey_mae
You’re welcome. We’re happy to help!
“What do you do in the summer” – @blaine_griffin
In the summer, I am heavily involved in Keystone’s Bike Park. I oversee the Bike Park Patrol among other areas.
“In your opinion, who’s the cutest avalanche dog?” – @drewkitterman
Scout, because she belongs to me!
“Do you stop ppl from smoking on the trails” – @bluf_man
There is no smoking of any kind (tobacco, marijuana or e-cigarettes) permitted on our mountain as well as in any of our owned and operated facilities, including restaurants, lodges and hotels.
“Do you ever go home” – @_ryderstewart_
While it’s true we are at the resort a lot, we make sure everyone gets an appropriate amount of time off. Family time is important for me, and we enjoy spending time together when I’m not at the ‘office.’
“What is the best month to ski at Keystone?” – @tymiller419
They are all pretty fun, but March is one of the best – it’s also one of the snowiest, on average!
Jan. 31, 2019
First thing’s first – what is Kidtopia?
It’s many things, but all things fun! Kidtopia Headquarters is located in Expedition Station, River Run Village. There are also free daily Kidtopia activities! Don’t miss our weekly parade on Saturdays, starting at 4pm at Gondola Plaza in River Run Village. With a scenic gondola ride ticket, lift ticket, or ski pass, kids of all ages come to the top of Dercum and play in the snow fort at no additional cost!
“Where is this located in the resort?” – @ohreally_sandra
Kidtopia Headquarters is in Expedition Station in River Run Village. It is next to the Dercum ice rink. Come visit us 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
“Baby friendly activities?” – @geminiloryn
We have three play rooms for parents and kids at Kidtopia HQ with a wide range of toys for kids ages 3-8. If your baby is enchanted by music, try Listen & Learn: Music 101 – Tuesdays, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“Do you guys have daycare?” – @ani.tsunami
We sure do! Check out details and for online booking here.
“Is anyone able to check it out? I see it all the time I want to see what’s inside!!” – @_pushthelimits
Kids of all ages are welcome to play in the snow fort! Check out the slides and the cupcake car – a request of one of our young snow fort planners! If referring to Kidtopia Headquarters, you’re welcome to peek your head in, but toys and play areas are designed for kids accompanied by an adult.
“How long did it take for you to build the snow fort?” – @rio27411
Planning for the Snow Fort started in March. The fort itself took about 2.5 weeks to build from start to finish.
“Be there in a week! Is the fort close to the resort or up on the mountain by the snow tubing?” – @jr_nicholson
The World’s Largest Snow Fort is atop Dercum Mountain (yes, by mountaintop tubing). While playing in the snow fort is completely free to all guests, you still need to have a valid mountain access product to get up the mountain. What does that include? A season pass, scenic gondola ticket, or day of lift ticket.
“Will the snow fort still be there in March?” – @carrigrass24
Hopefully, yes! The Snow Fort will be refreshed in February and will stay up as long as mother nature allows.
We make every effort to maintain the fort as long as possible. Sun and warmer temperatures later in the season do start to impact the fort and unfortunately it doesn’t usually make it all the way until April.
SPECIAL EVENTS / ACTIVITIES
“What are some of your special Kidtopia events?” @kelc_well
We have two weeks of special events left this season!
Do your kids love cooking? Having fun with food? The Kidtopia Culinary Festival is February 8-15, with family cooking classes, a FREE Play with Your Food Party and a special Valentine’s Day celebration at Alpenglow Stube with Ripperoo! All the delicious details here.
Kidtopia Music Experience is March 1-10. Shake your booty at the Snow Pants Dance Party, March 9 with Koo Koo Kanga Roo and 6 Millon Dollar Band in River Run Village at the Verizon stage. Check out the full schedule of musical fun here
“What are some activities at Kidtopia?” – @jus_being_lew
Ready to turn the beat up? Listen & Learn: Music 101 on Tuesdays, 11 a.m. -12 p.m. Ripperoo’s Village Parade starts in Gondola Plaza at 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
Explore the snow with Family Snowshoeing 101 – Thursdays, 2-3 p.m. at the Nordic Center. Snowshoe with a guided instructor and rent equipment for free.
Tired from a long day on the hill? Chill-lax with Winter Movie Matinee with fresh-popped popcorn – Mondays, 4:30-6 p.m. Or, try Craft-er-noon & Face Painting, Saturdays, 12:30 -2 p.m.
Don’t miss the fireworks every Saturday in Gondola Plaza, River Run Village at 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. after March 10.
View the full schedule and descriptions here.
“Cost?” – @bjhekh
Join us for FREE Kidtopia daily programs. See schedule here.
Kids and parents can play together at Kidtopia Headquarters 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. every day. (located in Expedition Station, River Run Village).
The paid program is Cupcakes & Canvas on Thursdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. – $15 per person for a painting class with an instructor and a delicious cupcake. Reservations can be made with our Play Experts – 970-496-4386.
EXTRAS, EXTRAS! READ ALL ABOUT ‘EM
“Is there sledding” -@italian_fox
We have both a mountaintop tubing hill and an “old fashioned” tubing hill at our nordic center. Both are a paid activity and unfortunately sledding is not allowed on the mountain for safety purposes, but there are several area hills!
“Is there a deal for food and drink at mountain house like 20% off??” – @italian_fox
Season pass holders do receive special discounts at some of our owned/operated outlets.
Jan. 25, 2019
GETTING AROUND OUR PLAYGROUND
“When is the parking in the Gondola Lot free?” – @stuart_brock
The River Run Gondola lot is free every day, and after 2 p.m all paid lots are free (based on availability) for the remainder of the day
“How far ahead should we book child care for a day of skiing?” – @ashjonesy18
We often have availability up to 48 hours in advance, but during peak times, including the upcoming President’s Day Weekend and Spring Break weeks we’d suggest booking as far ahead as possible. Please note, we only take online reservations up to 48 hours in advance, but you can always call for “last-minute” availability.
“What’s a day pass cost?” – @g_funkorganics
Single day ticket rates vary throughout the season. We always suggestion booking online for the lowest available rate. If you book at least 7 days in advance you’ll receive the best available rate. Multi-day tickets also provide savings versus buying individual days, if you’re planning to ski more than one day
“When is the best time to go skiing/snowboarding?” – @galaktikrngr
In our opinion, any day that ends in “y”. But if you’re able to ski outside the traditional school calendar (midweek, non-holiday) you’ll often feel like you have the mountain to yourself, smaller lesson class sizes in Ski School, more activity flexibility/availability, lower prices and more. Upcoming peak periods include President’s Day and Spring Break in March.
“Patriots or rams?” – @ford_quaintance
Depends on who’s answering, but a native Bostonian has the keyboard, so Go Pats!
CATS, SNOW & BEGINNERS
“How many inches out there?” – @kdubdrummer
We’ve had more than 3 feet of snow this month, and as of 1/25 we have received 128 inches (and going up!) of snow for the season. The gettin’ is good, c’mon out and play!
“How many snowcats do you guys have?” – @amit.patel175
Enough to make purrrrrfect groomed trails every night, they really like to get out and play.
“Is Keystone a good place for beginner snowboarders?” – @kaleyhouser
Keystone has fewer cat walks (flat traverses) than many mountains so we’d say it’s very snowboarder friendly! We also suggest beginners take a lesson and take advantage of our designated learning areas
“What’s the snow usually like the first week of March?” – @rynewsom
March is often the holy grail of Colorado skiing–fresh powder and bluebird days with many of those legendary 300 days of sunshine. The first week is typically before the peak of Spring Break week and we host our Kidtopia Music Experience providing added animation for families.
“Where’s the best place at Keystone for a beginner to start out?” – @mlichterman
In one of our Ski & Ride School lessons, of course!
“How can I improve my turns?” – @mmtrcx
Hang out with our amazing instructors in a lesson. Lessons are available for all ages and abilities and more advanced skiers and riders can focus on technique and improving skills. Half day private lessons are available.
FIRSTS AND BESTS
“Will you be first to open in Colorado next season?” – @neil_s
Subject to U.S. Forest Service approval, we plan to upgrade snowmaking to a state-of-the art, energy-efficient system that will allow us to move our opening day up by three weeks, and playfully compete to the be the first resort to open.
“Favorite restaurant?” – @amsunday18
That’s like asking us to choose our favorite child! But some suggestions: Labonte’s for BBQ slopeside, Go Big Burger for a burger and shake, Ski Tip for a special occasion/celebration/treat yo self night 🙂
“Whats the best bowl?” – @evelyn.w22
Well, we’d suggest a cat skiing adventure to explore them all 🙂
Indy Bowl–definitely a favorite of Keystone Patrollers, but there’s no ski-out access back to lift-serviced terrain
Bergman–a short hike with great open lines
Erickson–great trees and access back to lift-service terrain
“Best place for a girls night?” – @frocat
We love our comfy condos and townhomes for a girls night in after a great day on the slopes. Most units have access to a hot tub and/or pool and many have in-unit fireplaces. The Ski Tip is a great evening out, completed with dessert by the fire and an amazing wine list. And an evening on the mountaintop is hard to beat at the Alpenglow Stube
“Can I full send it down Schoolmarm?” – @cjrogerz
Schoolmarm is a slow zone top to bottom
“How are moguls made?” – @kylejensen107
Snow and skiers 🙂
“How do I get to mr toads wild ride?” – @tbrandon421
It’s the runout from South Bowl
“Does a51 stay open when it snows??” – @jasonnowacyk
Most typically, YES!! We sometimes have certain areas/features closures as we clear things offer and jumps may close based on conditions
“Will the snow fort still be there in March?” – @katetoombs_
Hopefully, yes! We make every effort to maintain the fort as long as possible. Sun and warmer temperatures later in the season do start to impact the fort and unfortunately it doesn’t usually make it all the way until April.
Jan. 17, 2019 – Activities & Dining
This week we caught up with Activities & Dining manager, Katie Juffer, to answer your questions about tubing, skating, and more!
Q/As IN THE VIDEO: Answered in 1 min!
How do you access your snowshoeing trails? – @aubrey.olivia
To gain access to our snowshoeing trails, stop by the Keystone Nordic Center located at the Keystone River Course and speak with our experts! Just remember that there is no snowshoeing on any of our ski trails!
How much does ice skating cost? – @thebadbarbie
For ice skating on the Keystone Lake admission is going to be $15 per adult and $10 per child, at the Dercum Ice Rink admission for all ages is FREE! If you have your own skates you are welcome to bring those otherwise rentals at both locations are $15 per adult and $10 per child.
Is there a restaurant in the groomer!! – @michelle.yingling
We do not have a restaurant in the groomer, however, if you participate in our Guided Cat Skiing activity you will get to ride in the groomer to Alpenglow Stube for lunch.
Does night skiing start at 4 p.m. or do you have to wait? – @dylan.hammett
Our night skiing tickets begin at 4 p.m., but all other tickets are good for the duration of our ski day and we don’t close the night skiing terrain before the night session, so you can continuously ski 8:30 a.m. — 8:00 p.m. on select slopes
Best first date idea? – @rammagnar
We would suggest going ice skating at the Keystone Lake then warming up with some appetizers and drinks at the Bighorn Bar and Bistro in the Keystone Lodge and Spa!
Is there a wedding reception only option for restaurants? – @caitlynmarie713
We love LOVE! Our weddings team would be happy to discuss options for your special day: KeystoneWeddings@vailresorts.com. Many of our restaurants are available for celebrations, like weddings, with buyout options.
Best vegan options?
Our favorite vegan option are the Asian Bowls at the Summit House. Most of our dining outlets do have vegan options as well.
Top restaurants and bars in Keystone? – @jackiechanley
For our top dining outlets we suggest trying any one of our five signature dining outlets including Alpenglow Stube, Der Fondue Chessel, Ski Tip Lodge, Bighorn Bistro or the Keystone Ranch.
Is there good backcountry trails through trees? And what is the longest trail? – @gmillz_11
Keystone has some great expert gladed terrain, particularly in the Windows (now open!), on the Outback and in North Bowl. This is all in-bounds terrain. Our longest trail is Schoolmarm at over 3 miles!
Is the Ranch good? – @jeff_hinman123
The Ranch is a great option for Keystone dining, to get more insight from our other guests on their experiences visit opentable.com!
Does the horse sleigh ride continue past the holiday season? – @emily.colgan
Our sleigh rides for both our dinner and scenic rides continue all the way to March 31st!
Do you have snowmobiling? – @stantonangie
We offer snowmobiling tours through our friends over in Leadville, Colorado at White Mountain Tours. Call our Play Experts at 970-496-4386 to find out more information about the tours we offer!
Cat skiing price? Private Tour price? – @kronx689
Guided is $360 per person, if you would like to have a private tour it will cost $3,960.
Where is the best lunch spot for a midday break? – @timreilly
The best lunch spot for a midday break would be to go and try out the new menu at Timber Ridge. Homemade soups, wood fired pizza and a ramen station are just a few of the delicious selections to choose from. Timber Ridge is located on North Peak in the Outpost.
Jan. 10, 2019 – A51 Terrain Park
How long are the I-70 jumps? Why can’t you get to A51 from the summit? We asked your questions to A51 Terrain Park Manager, Steven Duke. And here are your answers.
Q’S FROM THE VIDEO
How long are the I-70 jumps right now feet wise?” – @nartonchronic
Here are the approximate measurements , Jump 1- 15’ Jump 2- 20’
“Why can’t you get to the park from the top of the mountain?” – @chrisoschobeck
The trail directly accessing A51 from the top of the mountain is our main green run. We found mixing experienced park riders with guest trying to learn is an unsafe first time experience. We understand it’s an extra step to get to A51 for park riders but we have also seen marked improvement in safety by separating the two user groups.
“Is the half pipe in yet??” – @hunter_21c
Our half pipe is not open yet but we are in the process of building it!
“Not a question but you guys should put a rainbow rail somewhere in the park” – @luke.20.aronson
I feel you, there’s nothing like a good rainbow rail. We will add it to one of our upcoming builds!
“Is the terrain park beginner or advanced?” – @daniel_berk
Daniel A51 has everything from beginner to advanced features for you to enjoy. Start in our easy street park and work your way up from there!
“Do you remember the first Keystone park?” – @dang_0_silver_fox
I didn’t grow up riding in Keystone so I don’t remember the first Park. I do remember seeing industry leading progression coming out of Keystone over the years. Progression like the BBQ rainbow, American Flag wall ride, bus rail and huge snow features during Transworld’s launch event. A51 history really made an impression on me as a passionate park rider. And I am humble to leading a park program with such legendary roots.
“How do you determine the length between jumps and landings?” – @yukicoloradohusky
Generally, we start with the minimum distance a Snowcat can groom out the surface between the jumps without having to turn out too sharply during the process. After that we may increase the distance based on the targeted size of jump line. For instances a small jump line may be closer to the optimal grooming distance than a larger jump line.
“You guys should put more beginner rails/flat rails in the easy street park” – @gabezimmerer
Thanks for the feedback. We will additional simple rails as the season progresses.
“I heard rumors of the park being gone in a few years. Please tell me that’s not true.” – @ryan_golden
That rumor is not true! A51 will be here as long we have guests like you who support it!
“Best competition at A51?” – @purpletonez
Thanks for your question. We don’t hold a lot of competitions in A51. Competitions tend to close sections of park and we want our parks available whenever guests are here to ride.
Why is there no longer night riding at the park like you had 10 years ago?” – @kitejumping
Thanks for the question. Night Park had a lot of operational challenges with maintenance and lighting of features. For these reasons we choose to discontinue access to the terrain park at during night riding.
What we adding? What we changing?” – @rybod18
Thanks for asking, our next moves are building Main Street, Mini Pipe, and a re-fresh in Alley Park.
Jan. 3, 2019
“Do you mitigate for avalanches etc in Bergman?” – @janettenoel
Yes, our Ski Patrol team does a variety of control work with ski cutting being the primary method in the Bergman Bowl.
“How cold does it have to get to cancel night skiing?” – @evelyn.w22
There’s not a set threshold. We’re always looking out for the safety of our guests and employees and do need to consider worst-case scenarios, like if a lift were to stop.
“Is it often you guys cancel the pm skiing?” – @log.white
Not at all. Only if we deem is absolutely necessary to ensure safety
“How many does the gondola hold? Also – any Palma or T bars?” – @heyydensmar
The gondola comfortably fits 6 guests at a time. No high alpine surface lifts at this time.
PREP FOR YOUR VISIT
“Where is the ice skating rink with the Christmas tree in the middle? We can’t find it :-(“ – @jericadownes
“Do you have snowbikes” – @braydenkay12
“How did the Kidtopia snow fort get built?” – @hippohugger
For the first time this year we built the fort with an internal team. We make and pile snow in the area and then our A51 Terrain Park team began shaping the fort. A variety of machine and hand work was utilized. And then a speciality team was brought in to do some of the amazing snow carving.
“How’s the outback?” – @chrisdesfo
11,980 feet tall, 100% open, snowy! It’s tree runs and natural conditions, as the majority of runs are not groomed and offers more difficult and most difficult terrain.
“How tall is the mountain?” – @sammp1013
The base elevation of Keystone Resort is 9,280 feet and our summit elevation is 12,408 (located in the Erickson Bowl) and each of our three peaks (Dercum, North Peak, The Outback) have an elevation just shy of 12,000.
“Visiting soon. A little nervous about the possibility of elevation sickness. Any tips?” – @sarajanew94
Water, water, water! Before and during your trip. Depending on where you’re coming from, if possible, a night in Denver can help ease the transition. Keep caffeine and alcohol consumption to a minimum. Some people say eating more carbs can be helpful as well and some find extra oxygen helpful–there’s a small oxygen bar at the Keystone Lodge & Spa and you can buy “canned” oxygen at many local outlets.
“Does the chalet at the bottom of Peru lift have a good spot for one year olds?” – @ashley4140
There is a open area with tables and chairs and nearby food and beverage options. We also suggest checking out Kidtopia HQ in River Run Village.
COMMITMENT TO ZERO
“Are you guys doing anything to battle climate change? I think its a very serious topic and is relevant” – @joebertotto
In November, Vail Resorts released a progress report surrounding our company’s ‘Commitment to Zero,’ which you can find at www.epicpromise.com.
SKI & BOARD
“Yes, legs were sore from skiing yesterday. Any recs for alternative activity for today?” – @miss_kp
Absolutely! Check out mountaintop tubing, ice skating, paint your own pottery at Ready, Paint, Fire, or maybe a service at the Keystone spa!
“Is there any Olympians that ski here?” – @kitwit38
We do see professional skiers and snowboarders at Keystone, often they can be found skiing and riding in our A51 terrain park. Be on the lookout! We also have a former Olympian running our Nordic Center – check it out here https://youtu.be/wTb1Che9A8g
“What peak allows night skiing?!” – @sehudgins
All night skiing is on Dercum Mountain
“Can 4 year olds typically ski down the family trail after 2 days in ski school? I know every kid is different.” – @sgraves216
As you said, every kid is different. Schoolmarm is more than 3 miles long, so ensure little legs are prepared for that. We might suggest starting with a Schoolmarm run from the top of Peru lift to the bottom to see how they do.
“Do more people at keystone ski rather than snowboard?” – @sir_sam_45
Based on the data available, we see about 50/50
“How do you become a patroller at Keystone?” – @mattogle20
Keystone Ski Patrol conducts an on-mountain clinic at the end of March, during which skiing and snowboarding skills are assessed and an interview is conducted. Reach Your Peak at https://jobs.vailresortscareers.com/
“How long does it take to groom your terrain?” – @_maddiems_
Our grooming staff primarily operates when we are closed, with two graveyard shifts every evening.
“How many groomers do you have?” – @maddie_mn2
Our team typically grooms about 40 trails per night, and you can access our daily grooming report here: https://www.keystoneresort.com/the-mountain/mountain-conditions/terrain-and-lift-status.aspx
“What’s the best run to go on for the least traffic?” – @e_little12
Sometimes a little exploration can go a long way! Check out Jackwhacker, Gassy Thompson, Go Devil, Anticipation, Porcupine for some fun runs that may be a bit off the beaten path.
“What is the best black diamond run on north peak?” – @landestatum24
We love Starfire as a steep groomer and Cat South on a powder day
“How do you determine which runs to groom?” – @butrfli024
There are certain trails that we groom every night. Additional trails are determined daily based upon need, such as inconsistencies on the trail like unevenness.
Dec. 28, 2018
WHAT’S THE BEST?
“What’s the best bowl?” – @davidschechter4
Like a good bowl of cereal, everyone has their favorites. Fan favorites include North bowl for easy access from the Outback chair and Indy bowl for wide-open turns.
“When is the best time to ski? Less crowds, more snow *” – @aleahkahn
We love late February and early March.
“What’s the hardest blue run?” – @aleahkah
That’s open for interpretation, but we have some great blue runs on all three peaks. Some favorites include Spring Dipper, Last Alamo and Oh, Bob.
“Can you do a shared bus service from Denver?” – @lindseyphilopois
Yes! Check out our partners at Epic Mountain Express: https://www.epicmountainexpress.com/coupon
“Do you have a cat pulling riders back to resort from BC?” – @pb_rowdy
You can access North and South Bowls via our cat shuttle on the weekends (cash only), or we have full day in-bounds guided cat tours via Keystone Adventure Tours: https://www.keystoneresort.com/explore-the-resort/activities-and-events/winter-activities/cat-skiing.aspx
“What is the longest run?” -@max_scott17
Schoolmarm! Over 3 miles. Feel the buuuurn.
“Best advice for first timers?! We have a keystone trip under the tree for our littles!” – @caroline_garnett
We can’t think of a better gift–thank you for sharing our playground with your family. We have a whole page of first-timers advice here: https://www.keystoneresort.com/explore-the-resort/about-the-resort/first-timer-guide-to-keystone.aspx. And feel free to email KeystoneSocial@vailresorts.com with any specific questions.
“Where does the name of the mountain come from?” – @da.flemingo
Thanks to our own history buff, @stennyparks, Keystone was named in the 1870’s by gold and silver miners from Pennsylvania. These miners were homesick and they paid tribute to their hometown of Pennsylvania, nicknamed the Keystone State, by naming Keystone Mountain. In the early 2000’s, the official designation of Keystone Mountain was moved up towards Bergman Bowl, and the old Keystone Mountain was renamed what is now call Dercum Mountain to honor Max Dercum, one of Keystone’s founders, enshrinement to the American SKi Hall of Fame.
“Best apres ski bar?” – @joshychopper
Last Lift at Mountain House or 9280’ in River Run Village
“Do you have to wear a helmet while snowboarding?” – @p_kirkham
We strongly, strongly recommend it, but it’s not mandated, except for children in lessons.
“What is the speed limit on Schoolmarm?” – @cjrogerz
Safe and slow. The entire trail is a designated slow zone. And always in control and adhereing to the skier responsibility code: http://www.nsaa.org/safety-programs/responsibility-code/
“Is there a ski patrol email? I’d like to thank one who seriously helped me when I got injured” – @jobroak
So glad our amazing Patrol team was able to assist you, although we are sorry to hear you were injured. Feel free to email KeystoneSocial@vailresorts.com and we’ll be sure to get it to the right person.
“When does go devil open?” – @gstone136
It’s open top to bottom! Don’t forget, you can only access it via the Peru lift.
“Whats the most crowded time of year?” – @evelyn.w22
Holidays when schools are on break tend to be our busiest–between Christmas and NYE, MLK and Presidents day weekends and Spring Break weeks in March. But with 3000 acres of terrain, particularly more experienced skiers can almost always find some elbow room!
“What’s more fun, skiing or snowboarding??? Asking for a friend….” – @guncle_laz
We might get in trouble for this one 😉 We love them both!
“When will the windows open?” – @lifeisntatrip
Some of our most challenging terrain, we do need a LOT of natural snowfall to ensure safe access to this area. Mother Nature has been VERY good to us this year and we hope with continued natural snowfall we have it open soon!
“When you gonna get schoolmarm opened for night skiing?” – @5280_life
It is open! You can check the night skiing map and schedule here: https://assets.vailresorts.com/-/media/keystone/products/brochure/the-mountain/about-the-mountain/trail-map/kys-night-map-2018.ashx
“When is Diamond Back opening??????” – @immabefrankwithyou
“Trail with the best views??” – @dalton.ennis
Great question! We love the top of Schoolmarm overlooking Lake Dillon and the county, Top of Outback chair and the keytop overlook for views of Breckenridge. But we like to think there’s not a bad view on the mountain!
“Do you have to hike to access the bowls at Keystone? Or is there any other way?” – @logan._.bole
You can access North and South Bowls via our cat shuttle on the weekends (cash only), or we have full day in-bounds guided cat tours via Keystone Adventure Tours: https://www.keystoneresort.com/explore-the-resort/activities-and-events/winter-activities/cat-skiing.aspx
“Is easy street mini park open yet?” – johnnysnipes
“Are all glades open?” – juaannchojack
We still have some tree skiing left to open, but plenty of great options are available. You can check daily terrain reports here: https://www.keystoneresort.com/the-mountain/mountain-conditions/terrain-and-lift-status.aspx
We personally love Bullet Glades and Cat South, as well as almost anything on the Outback
“Where can I find photos taken today by the photographers that scanned my epic pass?” – @haleycleaves
Head over to https://www.epicmix.com/EpicMix-Photos.aspx and it’ll walk you through the process. Thanks for visiting!
“How does one do photos for keystone??” – @brookelittlebear
Looking to take some shots? If you’re local, send us an email at KeystoneSocial@vailresorts.com with some recent work, rates and availability and we can chat!
“How do I get on your story? I’d love to promote your ski area!” – @jfrisby24
We love sharing our guests’ content–make sure to tag Keystone and use #KeystoneMoments or #KeyPow so we see your content!
A GREAT SEASON
“Is it snowing yet?” – @jlw2212
More than 7 feet so far this season!
“How many inches of snow have y’all had this season so far??” – @krisy8
A small elephant’s worth! 87” or more than 7 feet–and 9” in the last 7 days!
“Is this a good season so far or going to be?” – @mike_blu
It’s been a GREAT season! We’ve had more than 7 feet of natural snowfall, almost the entire mountain is open, all of our activities area available and it’s F-U-N on and off the mountain!
“How many days are left in the season?” – @brockjohnson7529
We’re not ready to start counting down yet, but we have about 100 days until April 7th, which is our planned closing day–but you never know what could happen!
“Can I meet the avalanche dogs Jan 25-28?” – @heyydensmart
Our weekly Kidtopia Meet the Avy Dog is on Tuesdays, but stop by Patrol Headquarters at the summit of Dercum Mountain (around the back of the Summit House) and typically a furry friend or two is around! They also like to play fetch on the mountaintop.
“What’s happening in late March for 3-7 year olds?” – @mabnewcomb
Great timing–bring your dancing shoes for the Kidtopia Music Experience: https://www.keystoneresort.com/Explore-the-Resort/Activities-and-Events/Event-Detail?id=1b0dac40-c691-4f36-8843-c98b74fe6604
“When will A-51 be fully developed?” – @natekrall_
We’ve got a ton of features across all the parks right now, but we should have all areas opened by mid-January (targeting Jan 7th)
“Why do you have to pay now for the farther lot at Mountain House? It used to be free” – @chrisochobeck
The majority of parking in Keystone is free for the entire season. The change to free parking in our Mountain House base area will improve the flow of traffic for guests seeking up-front paid parking in the Mountain House base area, with continued alternative options for complimentary parking and Mountain House base access still provided.
“I’ve heard rumors of river run lot no longer being free this season. Is this true?!” – @casiggins
No way, jose! We hate those pesky rumors. The majority of parking in Keystone is free for the entire season.
“Why are there blackout dates for people who paid quite a bit of money to have a season pass?” – @kathleeniethepanin
A variety of pass options are available annually with varied access to our Vail Resorts’ properties. Lower priced passes do have blackout dates associated.
PREP FOR YOUR VISIT
“What time is night riding until” – @gerlie_loyola
8 p.m. You can check the night skiing map and schedule here: https://assets.vailresorts.com/-/media/keystone/products/brochure/the-mountain/about-the-mountain/trail-map/kys-night-map-2018.ashx
“Do you offer private lessons to learn how to ski west coast pow?” – @jonshwang_13
Absolutely. Unfortunately we can’t promise every day will be a powder day, but private lessons are available for all ages and abilities and will be personally tailored to individual skills and goals!
“How’s the snow?” – @nathan.benson12
SNOOOOO-Good! See what we did there 😉 9” and counting in the last 7 days!
“Is there a heated place for parents/grandparents to watch their family tube without having to pay?” – @ethjawn
Unfortunately there is no indoor vantage point of the tubing hill. Located on the Summit of Dercum Mountain, every guest would also need lift access-we sell foot passenger tickets too. There is a heated yurt located at the tubing hill, but it doesn’t have windows out to the hill.
“How would you rate the current skiing conditions?” – @garretthall
A+ in our books!
“This isn’t a question but I’m coming up to Keystone in a few days and I’m so excited :)” -@bella_wood_795
Can’t wait to have you!!!!
“How much a package that includes EVERYTHING (clothes, ticket, polest and skis)?” – @saribelmarie
Keystone and our immediate partners unfortunately do not rent clothes but Norski rentals does: https://norskisports.com/clothing_accesory_rentals/
“How many trails are open?” – @charlotteirby06
109 and counting! You can check the daily terrain status here: https://www.keystoneresort.com/the-mountain/mountain-conditions/terrain-and-lift-status.aspx
“Expecting good snow for March?!?” – @jack_mcdonald1
We sure hope so! We hate to be greedy, but Mother Nature has been spoiling us!
“When’s the last time y’all had a lot of snow fall?” – ssalter2022
Dec. 20, 2018 – Holidays
The holidays are here! We answered your questions to celebrate at Keystone.
“We are arriving Saturday, Dec. 22 – what do you recommend as my plan for the evening, starting about 4:30pm” – @devlynchatzi
You’re right on time for the Kidtopia Mountaintop Spectacular! Check out all the fun here, which includes two, yes – two!, firework displays and the lighting of our world’s largest snow fort. Also, you can ski or snowboard until 8 p.m., or fuel up at one of our many dining options!
“What day are fireworks?” – @zach_13
Every Saturday at 7 p.m. in River Run and on NYE at 9 p.m. in Lakeside Village.
Are there fireworks on NYE??” – @racheldlecliar
Yes! 9 p.m. in Lakeside Village. Torchlight Parade at 6 p.m. in River Run. Oh, and they are freeeeee!
“Free hot chocolate? ;-0” – @asianmannn
We offer free hot chocolate every Sunday during Kidtopia’s Fireside Cocoa & Coloring. For any adult who purchases an evening foot passenger lift ticket, that also includes a free hot chocolate. And hot chocolate’s equally delicious cousin, hot cider, is free and available at the top of Dercum Mountain at the Guest Services hut.
“How many Santas board or ski there?” – @diego.cornett
We only know of one Mr. Santa Claus, and he has been spotted quite frequently at Keystone. Where will you spot him? We have seen quite a few Santa suits swooshing down the mountain too – they must be ambassadors of his or something?
PLANNING YOUR TRIP
“How’s the kids fort” – @lucy.jonesyy
AMAZING!! Check out our latest social posts for some fabulous pictures
“Are parents allowed to hold their kids on their lap on the tubing hill?” – @e_benz4
You can link up, but no lap riding unfortunately. For the riders who aren’t ready to take on the big tubing hill just yet, we have and old fashioned (ie, no lift) tubing hill at the Nordic Center, which is perfect for smaller children.
“How many runs are open right now?” – @hcsynchro
98 (as of 12.20). You can view terrain and lift status daily here
“Are there any current Groupon or discount for a ski day pass” – @skyes_the_limit_
Our lift tickets aren’t sold by any third parties. The best available rates are always booking online at KeystoneTickets.com. If you can book at least 7 days in advance, those are our lowest rates, but you’ll also save off window prices up to the night before!
“How do most people without cars get around there – do you have Uber or Taxis?” – @sallya1972
Dec. 13, 2018 – Ski & Ride School
Pizza, french fry’s … no we’re not talking food, but we think something just as sweet – the Keystone Ski & Ride School! We went to Nicole Brandli, @nlindsey16, a children’s ski instructor based out of our River Run base area. She’s got the scoop on all things Ski & Ride School.
Resources: Book Ski & Ride School or check out the Resort Map
THE MAGIC CARPET
“How much does one half day and full day session cost?” – @kate_goodin
Prices vary based on age and private vs. group lessons. You’ll always find our best available rates online, and if you book at least 48 hours in advance you’ll get our lowest rates, plus fast check in (win win!).
“How far in advance should we register?” – @vlovanrack
At least 48 hours in advance for the lowest rates!
“Does Keystone do the on mountain no-reservation quick lessons?” – @eliotlandrum
We don’t at this time.
“How old do kids have to be to start ski school?” – @futuremrs.martin
3 years old and potty trained!
“Whats the earliest age my kiddos can learn to snowboard with y’all?” – @bpierce25
Private lessons start at age 3 and group at age 3. We love little rippers!
“How old is the youngest kid that has done ski school?” – @olivia.sopyla
Three years old–so cute!
“How long is an adult lesson? And how many in a group?” – @errricamerica
A full day is 10 a.m — 3:30 p.m. and half-day lessons start at 1 p.m. We always try to keep groups small, but sizes vary based on lesson type (beginner, intermediate) and date (holidays are busier, mid-week much less so).
“What the age you think little kids are prime to get started???!!!” – @n8bythelake
6-7 year old is kind of the sweet spot, but it absolutely depends on the kid. And it’s NEVER too late!
“Do you do ½ day lessons?” – @misskyleew
Yep, for adult group lessons (p.m. only) and private lessons.
“Are you able to come ski with your children for a run or two when they are in a group lesson?” – @ethjawn
Family Private Lessons were designed for just this experience! In a group lesson this can get tricky based on schedules and can be very distracting for all lesson attendees, so we tend to suggest against it. But talking to your child’s instructor is always best 🙂
“How do I know if a beginner or intermediate lesson is a better fit for me?” – @shap.david
GREAT question–definitely talk to our awesome team at time of check in. And even throughout the day, we can always move you around to ensure the best placement and experience. This is super important to us to ensure the best experience and progression!
“Are there lessons for intermediate snowboarders?” – @zhenka
Absolutely! From first turns to perfecting trees, bumps and powder, we have lessons for all abilities!
“How old do you have to be b4 you cant do it anymore” – @sniper470bt
You’re NEVER too old! We even have instructors ages 20 to nearly 70!
“Can I request a second group lesson with the same instructor?” – @daniisil
Absolutely! And we always do our best to honor requests, but can’t always guarantee. Sometimes instructors need a day off or have conflicts.
“Are there instructors that specialize in teaching how to ski after severe knee injuries?” – @alexishill12
There aren’t, but give our team a call. Some of our instructors have definitely been through this kind of injury (800) 255-3715.
“We go to Keystone every year!! But how many kids are allowed in each group?” – @addiegratton_17
Yay! We love our KeyFam 🙂 Group sizes vary by age, ability and timeframe, but never more than 10-12 per instructor.
“Is ski school also for adults?” – @buckeye_ari
Absolutely! We welcome kids ages 3 to 93, and beyond!
“Are kids spectated by age groups or ability level?” – @talia_rysz
Yes and yes! Ages 3-4, 5-6 and 7-14 are grouped together, but also separated by ability.
“Can you do half a day ski school and then hit the regular slopes?” – @buckeye_ari
If you book a ½ day private lesson you can do a morning session, but our adult ½ day group lessons are afternoon only.
“What time do you guys usually eat and where do you eat?” -@blake.jeffers
Varies a bit by age and location (River Run or Mountain House), but it’s typically between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and either at the Mountain House Ski School or Summit House.
“Kinda off topic. But I want to know more about the snow fort you guys do. Sounds like a kids dream.” – @jakedunn_
We are ALWAYS happy to talk snow fort. It’s one of our favvvvorite things! This year our awesome #KeyPeople built it, which is super cool. It opens THIS Saturday (12.15) on top of Dercum Mountain. You do need a mountain access product– lift ticket, season pass or foot passenger ticket to come play. But the climbing, sliding and smiles are all FREEEEEEE.
“What do ski instructors eat for breakfast?” – @gabe_zimmerer
Protein, protein, protein, gotta keep that energy up! Oh, and coffee. We like coffee!
Dec. 6, 2018
We are on a roll with our Ask Key Anything! You asked, and Key answered!
“How many runs are open so far this season?” – @guiespanhol
Thanks to the hard work of our KeyPeople and some great early season conditions from Mother Nature, we have 70/128 names trails open and 72% of our total acreage available. That will continue to increase so be sure to check out our daily Terrain & Lift status here: https://www.keystoneresort.com/the-mountain/mountain-conditions/terrain-and-lift-status.aspx
“When is A51 going to open?” – @chaitanya_mccauley
Get ready to hit the park – A51 will open Friday Dec. 7th.
“Are both places to ice skate open now Which one is the most fun?!” – @sarmarie88
They are!! We love them both; the ice rink in Dercum Square is intimate and provides an urban skating vibe in the Village setting. Keystone Lake is HUGE (5 acres!) and feels more like old fashioned pond skating, although we do maintain the ice. How’s your triple toe loop?
Which runs are open for night skiing?” – @johnzoda
Check out the map here: https://assets.vailresorts.com/-/media/keystone/files/key1819nightskiing.ashx and the daily terrain status page here: https://www.keystoneresort.com/the-mountain/mountain-conditions/terrain-and-lift-status.aspx
“Mozart estimated opening?” – @felipe_penna
Fri-YAY! We’ve been working on this big, wide and sometimes steep trail and it will open Friday Dec. 7th.
GETTIN’ AROUND OUR PLAYGROUND
“Is there a shuttle from the Denver airport going to any Keystone lodging?” – @sarajanew94
Yes, our friends at Epic Mountain Express would love to make that trip safe and easy! Visit https://www.epicmountainexpress.com/ for pricing and more info!
“What time do the free parking lots typically fill up by on weekends?” – @zachkritzer
Depends on the day, but especially if we’ve had fresh snow, the River Run Gondola lot can be full before 9 a.m.. Check @KeystoneParking on Twitter and utilize the shuttle parking lots off Hwy 6 and Montezuma Rd. for the easiest way to the lifts!
“Where can I find a winter 18/19 resort transportation schedule? You know, for all the different color buses?” – @willfeldman
Thanks for using our FREE and convenient in-resort transportation system. The schedule is available here: https://www.keystoneresort.com/explore-the-resort/about-the-resort/guest-services.aspx?tc_1=2
“Where is Kidtopia headquarters? Can’t wait to get there!” – @ericajoxo
Second star to the right and straight on till morning. Well, it’s not technically Never Never Land, but it is an amazing indoor play and activity spot for kids. Best suited for 1-6 year olds, we have a variety of toys and games. Plus, don’t miss our daily Kidtopia activities. Peep the full schedule at Kidtopia.com. Oh, and we’re actually located in the Expedition Station building, next to the Dercum Square ice rink in River Run Village.
BEST DAY EVER!
“What’s your favorite thing to wake up to at Keystone?” – @rammagnar
Fresh snow sparkling in the Colorado sunshine and that crisp mountain air.
“What’s the best restaurant to try in Keystone? For breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?” – @sarmarie88
One of the hardest questions to answer. We love local favorite Inxpot (in River Run Village) for a quick breakfast–and caffeine fix–before heading up the lift. The reimagined Stube is an amazing on-mountain lunch experience with a social atmosphere. Have you ever tried a flight of BACON before!?!?
Go Big Burger is a new spot at the Mountain House just steps from the slopes and we can’t get enough of the mouth watering burgers and shakes! If the skiing is too good and we skip lunch and need an apres snack, the nachos at 9280’ taphouse are our go-to.
Dinner is a tough choice; the Sleigh Ride is a one-of-a-kind experience with delicious food. But the fun at Fondue–not to mention the two gondola ride trip up–is can’t-miss for families. The steakhouse inspired menu at The Ranch makes us feel right at home with Colorado favorites. And the intimate and award-winning Ski Tip is our top choice for date night, a celebratory dinner or just a “treat yo self” night out. Dinner by the fire is the BEST way to finish a day in the mountains. Hungry yet? We sure are!
“Do kids still ski free?” – @mizzmalott
You betcha! Stay two or more nights with Keystone Resort and kids 12 and under ski freeeeeee.
“What’s the best first tree and/or mogul run for someone new to Keystone?” – @a.lace.y
If you’re new to trees and bumps we suggest taking a lesson with one of our pros who will keep you safe and comfortable on new terrain. Better yet, they’ll show you their favorite local spots! But Keystone is known for our bumps on North Peak (check our Instagram for a recent post), but beware, we’re also known for our long runs!
“When do you do the fireworks?” – @kel_davies12
Every Saturday at 7 p.m. (or 8 p.m. from March 10th on). Psssst, did you know that if you’re night skiing or dining at one our mountaintop outlets you can download on the gondola and fly over the fireworks? It’s an amazing point of view for one of our favorite weekly traditions. Load the Gondola at the top of Dercum mountain at about 6:55 p.m. for the best viewing.
SILLINESS AND FUN FACTS
“Suga suga how’d you get so fly?” – @mind_lab__
And ooh wee it’s the ultimate feelin’
“How old is Keystone?” – @zach.johnson04
48 years young–we think we look pretty good for our age! And we can’t wait to celebrate the big 5-0!
“Not a ? But I’ll be in Keystone in January, can’t wait!!” – @katieg622
Woop woop. Here’s our question–are you ready for mountains of FUN?!
“Where does all the water come from that you’re making into snow?” – @afninja
Most of our water is from –and returns to– the Snake River. We work closely state regulators on this important issue.
“Are there free water stations around the mountain?” – @sarah_briscoe
Yes, ma’am. We even added one of those amazing water bottle refill stations at the Summit House. Cheers to staying hydrated!
“Is it true Keystone is the greatest mountain ever??” – @samuel_828
Aww, we’re blushing. But we have to say, affirmative 🙂
Nov. 29, 2018 – Snowmaking
Is that snow you’re making even real? Thank you for all your snowmaking and related questions. We went to our top snowmaker, Todd Green, to get the inside scoop on all things snowmaking. Hint, it’s real snow!
Todd Green, Keystone Resort Snowmaking Manager:
Are there differences in how real snow vs. man-made snow looks? Like crystal structure” – @kenwday
Crystal structure certainly plays a part, so gold star for you! It’d take quite an eye to identify the subtle differences, like looking at a grain of salt vs. sugar. But the crystal structure is indeed different and natural snow crystals tend to be delicate and intricate while man-made snow crystals are more rounded and simple.
“How early in the year do you start making snow?” – @olivia.sopyla
On average, we begin making snow in the middle of October. But long before we receive the cold temperatures needed to make snow, we spend our summer days preparing and prepping for the winter, which includes a lot of maintenance and planning.
“How much snow does there have to be to quit making fake snow? When does that occur in the year?” – @heyydensmart
Fake snow? There’s no such thing! We certainly understand your question though, so we’ll let it slide. ;p Speaking of sliding, we make enough of the good stuff – even if man-made, to open a trail with an average of 18 inches of snow. Generally, we are done making snow in January.
“What’s the best thing about your job besides riding a snowmobile?” – @diegomendez32
Yeah, that’s not a bad way to get around. Also, well, the skiing and snowboarding on our finished product. We refer to it as product testing and we simply enjoy being out there skiing and riding just as much as you all!
“Any local brewery recommendations?” – @pabloran92
Check out 9280Tap House in River Run Village. Or, the Last Lift Bar in the Mountain House Base Area. Only off-the-clock, of course
“What is the best way to stay warm when it is all out Hoth out there??” – @1207_crew
This question took some googling on my part. But now that I know you are referring to the sixth planet that is a world of snow and ice, then just like this fictitious Star Wars location, making snow in the real life Keystone requires us to layer our clothing and to stay dry. Modern synthetic fibers work great in snowmaking conditions. I can’t speak for how for those Star Wars folks stay dry though.
SUN’S OUT. (SNOW) GUN’S OUT.
“How many guns do y’all have?” – @leitner.poma
We have almost 700 snowmaking guns that cover more than 600 acres of snowmaking capability. If that’s not a chairlift topic to share with some newfound friends, than I don’t know what is?
“How many snow guns can you run at a time with the given water supply?” – @michaelpitts21
Is your snowmaking gun running? You better catch it! I’m full of jokes. Of our nearly 700 snowmaking guns, we can run more than 100 at a time when conditions are just right.
“How do the pipes not freeze?!?!” – @athielen8
Did you know that there is such a thing as ‘frost free’ depth? Yup, it’s a real thing and so we bury our supply lines so far down that they are located as such a depth where the ground does not freeze. Again, science – it’s everywhere.
“Where is your favorite place to make snow on the mountain?” – @rammagnar
My snowmakers like making snow on our trails that contain automated snow guns because these be adjusted by a click of a computer mouse. Technology, science … have I mentioned that comes in to play just a bit? But, this system of automation allows our snowmakers to concentrate on making sure the quality is the best that it can be.
“Is it difficult to man the snowmakers?” – @nathan___idk
It is. I believe our snowmaking team are some of the hardest working members of our mountain operations team. Snowmaking operations are 24 hours, 7 days a week when conditions allow and so we always have someone working. There’s a lot of tough jobs on the mountain across departments, but we all do it because we love the same things you all do – skiing and riding!
SNOW, SNOW, SNOW
“How’s the snow?” – @wleusche
It’s white, and cold, and falling all over the place. No? Okay, seriously though, it’s great! We have been consistently making snow across the mountain since the middle of October. We’ve also received a lot of natural snowfall, and the dual efforts of snowmaking operations and natural snowfall allow for some other key people (like Ski Patrol, Grooming, Lift Operations) to do their thing and get more of the mountain open quicker for you all.
“Can you bring that snow to my local mountain?” – @taylor_michielli_We’re not exactly hoarders, but we’ll be keeping all of our snow. However, we’re happy to share it – you just have to come visit us!
“How does real snow compare to man-made snow?” – @dylanbass25
This sounds like the start of a great joke – unfortunately I’m drawing a blank for a great punch line. So, science it is! The crystal structure is different. Natural snow crystals tend to be delicate and intricate while man-made snow crystals are more rounded and simple.
“What’s the ingredients for snow? We need some in Arkansas ASAP.” – @blake_hasley
We are just like Mother Nature and the best ingredients for snow are cold and water. We can’t help you out with snow in Arkansas, but we know of a place where there is plenty! Hint hint 😉 Come visit us!
“A51 opening?” – @gregsherm
Soon! We are working on A51 as we speak, specifically The Alley to Lower Main Street. Be on the lookout for that opening by Dec. 7, and in the meantime we have our early season A51 terrain park setup on the top of Schoolmarm.
BY THE NUMBERS
“How long does it take to produce around an inch of snow?” – @brady_smith31
It depends on the weather conditions, and the colder and drier (low humidity), the more snow we can make. Get this – if we have our snowmaking system at full capacity at 25 degrees temperature, we could cover 22 football fields in 24 hours with a foot of snow.
“When does snowmaking end?” – @rynewsom
We conclude snowmaking operations when we have made snow on all the trails and areas that have snowmaking coverage capabilities – more than 600 acres! Typically our job is done by mid-January.
“How much artificial snow do you make on average per year??” – @gracelajoie8
Artificial snow? We don’t have that. We do make the good old fashioned real stuff though – it’s simply man-made vs. falling from the sky. But silly logistics aside, we make enough snow to ensure a base that will last the entire season.
“Which trails do you start making snow for first?” – @evelyn.w22
A few years ago we spent some hot summer days looking to improve our opening day guest experience. We begin making snow on Schoolmarm to Silverspoon to Last Chance, all beginner trails, which allows more people to ski and ride from day one of the season. This year, for the first time, we set a rather ambitious goal of opening beginner terrain on Dercum and intermediate terrain on North Peak for opening weekend – and guess what, we did it! We opened North Peak on our planned opening day Nov. 9th, the first time in Keystone’s history we have been able to do so.
“What’s the best temperature for snow making?” -@dylanbass25
Well, there’s this funny thing called a wet bulb temperature. In the most simplistic of terms, we need a combination of low temperatures and low humidity – each as important as the other. Cold and dry is what we’re after, and if you want me to get scientific, (again!), we want a 27 degree wet bulb temperature.
Nov. 21, 2018
The first ever Ask Key Anything! You asked, and Key answered!
“When does night skiing open?” – @krisy8
Today! Nov. 21. Check out the schedule here: https://www.keystoneresort.com/the-mountain/about-the-mountain/trail-map.aspx
“When does tubing open?” – @ethjawn
Also today! Want to save your spot? https://www.keystoneresort.com/explore-the-resort/activities-and-events/winter-activities/adventure-point-tubing.aspxWe never want you to miss out on fun, so don’t forget this activity often sells out during weekends and Holidays. Make reservations as early as possible, especially for our high-volume timeframes!
“When will the lake be ready for ice skating?” – @jakedunn
Get those triple axles ready, Keystone Lake will open on Nov. 22! And, Dercum rink is already open. We have a lot to be thankful for this week!
“When does A51 open?” – @murphy_man15
For those looking hit the terrain park, we are looking to have The Alley to Lower Main Street open starting Friday, Nov. 30. Until then, our early-season A51 terrain park is located on top of Schoolmarm.
“How much of the mountain can be open for night ski?” – @matthew.kirkland
Play up late! 9 trails and almost 250 acres are lit for our night skiing operations, which is the largest in CO
“Are new food options coming to the dining areas on the mountain?” – @nate.krall
Check out Go Big Burger at the Mountain House! And we hope you’re bringing your appetite!
“Can the 2018 night skiing dates be expanded or are they set in stone already?” – @jk50iron
We like to think we’re flexible, but we have night skiing dates set based on historical terrain and weather conditions. But we never say never–remember that time we opened early?
“What is the run/line you recommend with trees for first timers?” – @liznewwhen
We might get an eye roll or two, but we suggest taking a lesson–did you know we offer ½ day privates? Our instructors will teach you the skills to ensure you’re safe and confident in the trees, as well as show you a secret stash or two.
“Just got my season pass; what slopes should I hit first? I’m an intermediate skier.” – @heyydensmart
Woop, woop! Welcome to the fam! Warm up on Dercum with a run on Schoolmarm, Spring Dipper and then Frenchman. Then, head over to North Peak for Prospector and onto Elk Run (when groomed) on the Outback. Starfire is a good first Black, once you’re feeling confident.
“Visiting for the first time best week – what’s the best places to check out?” – @agosternmann
Yooohhoooooo! Hope you’re ready to play! Activities: mountaintop tubing and skating on Keystone Lake. Dining: Go Big Burger and Fondue.
“How do I plan a sleigh ride with my kids for Dec 1 -4?” – @swebbair
Our Play Experts would be happy to help! Give ‘em a shout at 970-496-4386
“What are you doing to be more sustainable?” – @chrisgoesoutdoorsing
This season we’ve eliminated conventional plastic straws at all of our food and beverage outlets and our trail maps are printed on 100% recyclable paper. Just last week our company announced additional steps in our overall ‘Commitment to Zero’, including a long-term wind energy contract to purchase the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 100 percent of Vail Resorts’ North American operations by 2020. More information about our Commitment to Zero can be found at www.epicpromise.com.
“Will there be any apres skiing? So excited!” – @nickcarreras
You can find us at the Last Lift Bar! Cheers!
SILLINESS AND FUN FACTS
“Does pineapple belong on pizza?” – @will_chav
If pineapple belongs on pizza, it also belongs on french fries!
“How big is the biggest jump in A51?” – @isaac_merritt
Lay about 3 and a half giraffes end-to-end; our biggest jumps are approximately 60 feet. If you’re not ready to fly high, you can ride the Peru lift over A51 and check out the action –
“What is your favorite run?” – @yungbrandon
Um, can we name them all? Depends on the day, but some favorites include Wild Irishman, Diamondback, Starfire, Cat South Glades and Bushwhacker
“When is the best time to ski?” – @edgarsilva09
10:23 a.m. on Jan. 21. We kid, we kid. When is there a bad time to ski?
“Where did the bowls get their name from?” – @blaine_griffin
Independence is the official name of the peak, Bergman is after one of our founding families (Dercum being the other) and Erickson has an old mine and mining shack. It was originally Erickson Mine. North and South … well, we might have run out of steam on those two 😉 What names would you give ‘em?
“What’s the strangest thing found on the mountain after the snow melts?” – @misslauren7
Prior to each summer, Keystone Resort partners with Friends of the Dillon Ranger District for an annual highway and mountain cleanup. This June, we collected more than 400 pounds of recycled items and more than 900 pounds of garbage! We’d prefer to find nothing but a beautiful natural mountain environment, so be sure to utilize on-mountain receptacles for your waste – and hold on to your phones and mittens! We have enough of those too, we promise, we don’t need yours! 😉
“If Keystone didn’t exist, what ski area would you be?” – @ceimbert
I think we’re having an inception moment! We’d be Breck for the amazing town and high alpine terrain, Whistler Blackcomb for the variety of terrain and Olympic heritage, Stowe for the classic New England feel (and the foliage!) and Northstar for that laid back and luxurious California vibe. How about you?
“Why are Keystone patrollers so cool?” – @turbo_toaster_tay
Hard to say, really. We raise them that way 😉 But give ‘em a high five when you see ‘em!
“What year was your record snowfall season and how many inches was it?” – @robtiff
Shovels were in high demand during the 1995-1996 season as the snow just seemed to keep on falling! That season, we received a total of 387 inches of snow (quick, how many feet is that?! More than 32!) and if you were skiing here in January, then you needed a snorkel as we had 127 inches of snow in that month alone (surprisingly, not the snowiest single month at Keystone though, that was in December of 1983 when we received 128 inches!).