Okay, be honest. If you're like a lot of us this season, you obsess over your EpicMix points. You pull out your Sprint Android phone checking your numbers on the lift, or you're rushing back to your laptop to see your vertical feet. Sometimes you wonder whether you're in it for the skiing and riding or for collecting pins and racking up points.
And no pin is more exciting and more worthy of bragging rights than the Day Tripper, 250 points of high country happiness. The goal is simple: Hit all four Colorado EpicMix mountains in
one day. Easy, right?
Well, it is easy, with a little pre-planning anyway. There's a lot of I-70 to cover between Keystone and Beaver Creek, so to accomplish this feat you'll need to fire up your navigation, know the best lifts and runs for your time, and keep moving. I've gone ahead and done some research for you.
To maximize your time and get a full night of sleep before you embark on the Day Tripper quest, I recommend staying in Summit County. But, if you're coming from the Denver metro area, the best choice for your first stop is Keystone. Leave Denver by 7:00am for the quick trip up I-70 and over Loveland Pass and you can snag a spot in the free parking lot at the River Run base area and catch the first Gondola of the day. At the top, head left for a nice run down the blue Spring Dipper or to the right for a good warmup down the green Schoolmarm. Follow the signs back for River Run, head for the parking lot across the street and get ready for Breckenridge.
Head west out of Keystone and hang a left on Swan Mountain Road for a quick cutoff over to Highway 9 and on to Breckenridge. Stop at the Airport Road free parking lot and take the free shuttle to the gondola or head for the $5 gondola lots for easy access to the mountain. Take the gondola to the Peak 7 dropoff and stroll over to the Independence Superchair for a quick ride to the top of Breckenridge's northernmost peak. A fun run down any one of Peak 7's blue runs takes you back to the Gondola and back to your car.
From Breckenridge, head back north on Highway 9 and on west I-70, Vail-bound. When you get to Vail, you can once again take advantage of the free parking and shuttle bus at the North Frontage Road or go straight to the base's pay parking at Lionshead Vail Square. Hop on the Eagle Bahn Gold for a quick trip to the top. A nice blue run down Simba or, if you're warmed up, the black runs Safari or Cheetah Gully, and you're three-quarters of the way through Day Tripper madness.
After a quick lunch at the base area, head back to the car for the final leg of your journey to Beaver Creek. Stop off at the free parking (and free shuttle) at the Bear Lot or pay to park in the village at Villa Montane. Since this is your last stop, you have the time and the freedom to explore the great powder and wide runs on this gem of a mountain. And grab your Sprint Android, fire up our EpicMix app and revel in the glory of hitting all four Colorado mountains in one fun day!
Who's with me?