The Rocky Mountains – the first sight I saw when I drive into Colorado. My first drive in the mountains overwhelmed me. The snow-capped mountains of Colorado, the trees, and streams and lakes so blue and green, you'd think Mother Nature was fooling with food coloring.
On the drive up to Copper Mountain, I passed by some a couple resorts on the way, Arapahoe Basin and Ski Cooper. But Copper Mountain is considered by many of my friends as a local's mountain; Although they have a ski school and beginner's terrain, I feel Copper tend to be frequented by us, Coloradans rather than out-of-state tourists. Unlike resorts like Vail or Winter Park, Copper tends to have few lines and shorter wait times, even at the height of tourist ski season (exceptions to this rule are during Holidays, which often experience long lift lines due to so many families just out to Copper has a combination of green and blue runs, Copper's Superpipe, and its premier terrain park, Catalyst. with the resort tend to funnel into Center Village.
Winter Park Resort
My family and I spent a few days just enjoying the resort, I found the resort to consist of three interconnected mountain peaks – Winter Park, Mary Jane, and Vasquez Ridge – which share a common lift ticket. Mary Jane, is known for its moguls, tree skiing, hidden huts and generally more difficult terrain. It encompasses the above-tree line terrain of Parsenn Bowl.
Winter Park is also home to the National Sports Center for the Disabled with its featured ski program. The vision for the NSCD program is "to provide skiers of all levels the opportunity to achieve their dreams and goals through skiing."
Beaver Creek Resort
This is a great resort for beginners. With 1,805 acres, the resort dedicates a significant portion of its terrain to teaching beginner skiers and snowboarders. In fact, Beaver Creek Mountain is actually laid out upside down with most of the prime beginner runs located at the top. This layout gives beginner skiers a true "ski-down-the-mountain" experience, not to mention spectacular views of the nearby Gore Range.
What Makes Beaver Creek's terrain conducive to teaching?
As a mother of children ages 3, 4, and 7 years old, the new children's gondola and ski school offers excellent beginner teaching terrain for kids and teens. I am told by the staff that beginner areas are served with the best beginner-lift technology, including surface carpet lifts, which are easier to ride and cut down on fatigue.
Slope maintenance crews move and shape the snow in the resort's beginner areas for optimal learning opportunities, creating sculpted terrain features including burms, knolls and rolls that help ease the learning curve for beginning skiers and riders.
Learning snowboarders have their own section of the beginner area on which to learn that is specifically sculpted for optimal beginner riding conditions.
Three terrain parks and a Superpipe mean plenty of beginner to expert level FUN. Park 101 and Zoom Room are an integral part of the Park-ology learning program for kids and teens.
For the more Advanced and Expert terrain and powder hounds set their sights on The Talons and, in its second year, the Stone Creek Chutes extreme terrain. The Talons advanced to expert area is served by three high-speed quad lifts and offers enough steps, bumps and gladiators to challenge the most season skier or rider. Ride the high-speed quad in Larkspur Bowl to ski the Stone Creek Chutes. Stone Creek offers 180 acres short, steep glades runs for experts.
You've heard of Vail – the largest ski resort in the United States, the most groomed terrain on the planet, three huge faces with 193 ski trails over 5,289 acres, all with an average 300 days of sunshine and perfect snow, perfectly groomed. The resort prides itself on offering exemplary customer service, which is also a driving force behind the award-winning Vail Snowsports School experience. With a guest return rate of more than 80 percent, the Snowsports School also provides the opportunity to customize the ski or ride experience through its private instruction program. And privates are not just for adults- the popularity of kids' private lessons is on the rise. Spend a day or week with one of the school's top pros and discover why at Vail there is no comparison.
Here are some options for skiers to enjoy at Vail.
Vail's Back Bowls are the stuff legends are made of. Make sure you allow more than a day to explore the seven diver bowls that stretch across six breathing miles. Whether it's gliding down Poppyfields in China Bowl or making tracks on Genghis Khan, the Back Bowls offer a huge amount of terrain to challenge and satisfy the experienced skier.
Located two miles away from civilization, Blue Sky Basin offers a whole different type of mountain experience. With trees, rocks and natural terrain everywhere, skiers and boarders can enjoy excited runs at a variety of levels. Blue Sky Basin is filled with both intermediate and advanced runs, allowing skiers of at least mid-level ability to enjoy its unique scenery and terrain.
Like the other two faces, Vail's Front Side has something for everyone. The Front Side offers 127 marked runs as well as all four terrain parks. Choose to cruise down the powder-filled blues next to the Mountaintop Express or challenge yourself to the four-mile long Riva Ridge. Whatever your level, Vail's Front Side will keep you entertained through your stay.
After the ski day is done get to Adventure Ridge at the top of the gondola for snow tubing, ski biking, kids snowmobiling, dining and more.
With all this terrain and a host of other activities both on and off the mountain, time and again Vail is recognized as one of the top ski resorts in North America. There's no comparison – you've got to get here and experience it now.
Aspen Mountain- Ajax as the Coloradans would say, is known as one of the world's classic ski mountains. Known for steeps, powder and bumps the mountain also holds some great wide-open blue cruiser runs. The mountain rises straight out of the heart of downtown Aspen and is a must for anyone who calls themselves a skier or snowboarder.
The newly renovated Ajax Tavern, steps from the base of the Silver Queen Gondola, will have more space and updated menu this season. With an expanded bar area and deck, Ajax Tavern will continue to offer a French Bistro menu at lunch, with favorites such as Truffle Fries. This is the place to see and been seen. New this year, Ajax Tavern will be open for dinner.
After last year's record-breaking season, powder will be in high demand once again. Get your cat skiing fix with Powder Tours on the backside of Aspen Mountain. Luxury snowcats take you to prime, untracked stashes. Fresh tracks guaranteed and gourmet lunch included.
Here's a best-kept secret: Groomed, intermediate, cruising runs under Ruthie's and Shadow Mountain lifts. Carve long, smooth turns on the very runs where World Cup racers do.
Would you love to get to these great places, but are uncertain how much if will cost or do not know where to stay?