A to Z of resorts: Keystone

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The Independent Travel

With Keystone, what you see – at least what you can see from the purpose-built village – is very different from what you actually get. The front face of Keystone mountain is inviting enough, with plenty of not-too-steep, well-groomed pistes cut through the trees, but anyone who thinks that this is all there is, is in for a surprise.

With Keystone, what you see – at least what you can see from the purpose-built village – is very different from what you actually get. The front face of Keystone mountain is inviting enough, with plenty of not-too-steep, well-groomed pistes cut through the trees, but anyone who thinks that this is all there is, is in for a surprise.

From the top of the mountain, the extent of the terrain is easier to appreciate. The skiing gets more challenging from here, too, as you swoop down the back of Keystone mountain and take the lift to the top of North Peak. Keystone's middle mountain has a series of black runs, although there is also a long, gentle green down the back face, which can make near-beginners feel they have really got the hang of skiing. Keystone's most challenging peak is the Outback, and if this still isn't enough, there is plenty of off-piste skiing at the back of the mountain.

While the skiing is varied, the village of Keystone, such as it is, is disappointing. A modern, purpose-built sprawl, unlike many resorts in Colorado, it has no real centre and, as a result, no focal point for any nightlife. As if to compensate for this, the lifts operate until eight o'clock every night, so with nothing to rush back for, many skiers are happy to stay on the slopes until well into the evening. An alternative is to make sure you have a room with a view. My own most vivid memory of the resort is the view of the floodlit mountain with the skiers gliding gently down – all enjoyed from the comfort of my hot tub.

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