The idea of this series is to highlight local skimo training zones. Not the big, rad lines in the backcountry that you go to for huge missions, but the day in, day out, reliable training spots. It could be on piste or backcountry but it’s where you go to crank out intervals or hone your descending.
Today, we have Ram Mikulas telling us about Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Summit County Colorado, near Denver.
Where is it?
The north side of Summit County, Colorado is a bit closer to Denver but also near Breckenridge. You have two ski resort options: Keystone and Arapahoe Basin – we have a profile of both!
What makes it special?
Keystone is a great early morning workout to get in some good vert quickly. And the high speed groomers down put a grin on your face. The first pitch is steep, so forget about warming up! Once you’ve topped out the first pitch you can get in some good intervals and still have time for a cool down as you reach the top. Arapahoe Basin has less vert, but the views above treeline early in the morning can’t be beat… just do multiple laps if you need to!
Where is the trailhead/parking?
What are the rules?
At Keystone, uphill access is only open before and after public lift served operating hours. No designated routes, but skiers must not impede or obstruct ski area operations at any time. Pets used to be allowed, but are no longer allowed on the ski area at any time. Must abide by all posted signs, including all closed signs. Click here for the official info.
A-Basin supports uphill skiers in a big way and puts on the local Abasin Rise and Shine Race Series. Get a free uphill pass. All access before and after lifts run (well behaved dogs welcome during this time). Limited access to mid-mountain during lift hours (no dogs). Click here for the official Info.
What is the local training group?
At Keystone, the local training group has a standing 5:30am Tuesday and Thursday meeting time. If you’re late, you’re skinning alone.
At A-Basin, local training groups gather informally on most days along with their four legged friends. Many of the regulars are members of the Summit Skimo Club which welcomes new members to the sport.
What workouts are best to do here?
It’s all about the groomer vert here. 2300′ at Keystone and 1600′ at A-Basin. Don’t forget to check out the Rise and Shine Rando Series!
Stay tuned to SkinTrack and the Training Zone Series for more of the best training locations around North America and beyond!
Got a zone you would like us to showcase? Leave us a comment below and we will get in touch!