Syndicate guide to shredding stateside. Keystone Colorado
Just under and hour from Vail is the park rats dream that is Keystone. I hadn’t been there since being able to touch my shin bone after a fight with a rail about a decade ago but with Vail lacking a park due to poor snow we jumped in the car on a blue bird day and gave it another go.
A solid start was the free parking(beaver 10 bucks) Keystone has a good vibe to it’s main street to the gondy including a delicious healthy breakfast of waffles with marshmallows and chocolate. A long gondy ride to the top(chair option too) seen us have a 360 view of the Rockies. America doesn’t have the same spectacular views as the Alps as its not as high but the lack of height does give you the famous tree runs. However this was incredible. Rather than heading straight to the park we went on a scouting mission and were not disappointed. The mountain was super quiet which meant charging the long groomers with smooth rollers and steep drops. One of the benefits of Keystone was the lack of yellow jackets( guys that can take your pass for speeding in slow zones) Vail has them everywhere but Keystone and Beav only at the bottom of the hill at the end of the day.
After clocking over 100kmh first run I knew it was going to be a good day. Keystone has back bowls(the us equivalent of off piste) which can only be accessed by a cat which they do for free! There was one bowl that is hike only although they do groom the hike for you. From the top base it’s about 45 minutes to take you just over 12000ft. In hindsight maybe take some water! Once at the top the view again were outstanding. Despite it now being way after lunchtime we were looking down at an untouched open powder field. Many turns were had then this led into a long tree run before handily ending up at the smokehouse for beers. On a park front despite the poor season Keystone is just simply phenomenal. There are 4 choice of parks Area 51, Main street or Park Lane and punter alley. So so many lines featuring an abundance of rails, quarter pipes, mini pipe, wall rides and the full range of kickers from small to shitting yourself. In total there was 14 kickers. The park is serviced by a 2 man chair lift where you can watch and get inspired on your way up. Up and down was 10 minute laps. There is even a spot to hang your backpack up if you are there for the day and want to dump your lunch and beers.
Everyone was super friendly and what was just going to be a day visit turned into 5. Including trying to learn to play ice hockey on the frozen lake which led to me breaking my ass and almost my wrist. I’ve totally fallen in love with the place and can’t wait to get back