Many people consider Colorado the Mecca of all ski country.
With the notorious Champagne powder of Steamboat, the reputable
nightlife at Breckenridge and Vail as the number one ski resort in
the United States, local ski and snowboard enthusiasts alike have
much to look forward to in the upcoming season.
Early snow reported mid-September in Vail and Steamboat is
promising an early season.
“It was unusual because snow fell around 7,000 feet, covering
the village of Vail,” said Kelly Ladyga, spokesperson for Vail
With Vail’s opening date scheduled for Nov. 19, Steamboat for
Nov. 24 and Keystone for Nov. 12, students are gearing up. Ski
passes and deals are widely available for college students for
almost all of Colorado’s mountains.
“Most people from Fort Collins choose between the five-mountain
pass, and the Copper-Winter Park pass,” said Elizabeth Boese, an
officer for CSU’s Outing Club.
The five-mountain Colorado Pass is about $340 for the season,
including unlimited skiing at Keystone, A-Basin, Breckenridge and
10 days at either Vail or Beaver Creek.
The Copper-Winter Park pass is about $330, but Wells Fargo is
offering a two-for-one deal on the pass when people open an
account. Copper also sells four-day passes for about $80, available
at King Soopers.
Vail may be well worth its reputable title, but students will
have to make the three-hour drive to find out for themselves. It
offers more than 5,290 acres of skiing.
“You can ski an entire week and not ski the same run twice,”
For some of the best backcountry skiing, a visit to Copper
offers free access to the backcountry via Snowcat, a tractor used
to groom mountains.
Loveland Ski Area offers a season pass for $289 or a no
restriction four-day pass for $89.
“(Loveland) is the closest decent mountain, and a lot less
crowds,” Boese said.
Dylan Westfall, a freshman mechanical engineering student, said
powder-hounds should look no further than Steamboat “for some of
the best powder in all of the Front Range.”
Sarah Chiarello, treasurer and records director of the CSU
“Steamboat is going to get pounded this year,” Chiarello said.
“There’s always amazing early skiing.”
Hosting the continent’s longest superpipe – a terrain park
featuring an outdoor sound system, glade areas and natural hot
springs – Steamboat offers something for all tastes with a six-time
pass for $99.
For those seeking bumps and trees, a trip to Mary Jane, a ski
resort attached to Winter Park, may be the way to go.
“The entire mountain is covered in goosebumps, and most of it is
black diamond or experts,” Boese said.
Mary Jane, as well as Copper and the back bowls of Vail, is
known for providing terrain where experts can be separated from
Beaver Creek contains some of the most difficult and
well-groomed, terrain in Colorado.
With so many opportunities available, it’s just a matter of
finding a ride up to wherever the ski pass goes. The Snowriders
offer buses for day trips starting at around $30, as well as a few
planned trips to Steamboat in February to Jackson Hole, Wyo., in
early January, and to Utah over Spring Break.
“Advice to people for which pass to get – get the one your
friends are getting. It’s much more fun to ski with friends than
ski alone, and makes commuting much easier,” Boese said. “But
always remember, there’s no friends on powder days!”