Awkwardly posing at the top of Blackcomb Mountain in BC, Canada for Spring Break '11
Because of the holiday, this weekend CU students get Monday off. The coveted 3-day weekend brought an atmosphere of that intangible crispness that accompanies the fall season. Boulder still basked in the Colorado sunlight, but the cooler temperatures that coaxed jackets out of closets forecasted the weather to come—the September Indian summer followed by the chilly winter, which, for me, means one thing: SKI SEASON.
I’ll admit, it’s become an obsession. I spend my summers prowling the internet for good buys on ski gear and saving up money for passes. Labor Day weekend signifies the start of a passion that runs deep in Coloradoan’s veins. It’s the “skiing is almost here!” marker, since this weekend only you can buy season passes at reduced prices and you can go to Sniagrab (bargains backwards), which lures thousands to the Sports Authority parking lot, enticing them with cheap season-old gear. But, having the stuff is supplementary to doing the stuff.
Sure, skiing can be like an intoxicating drug. It can give you a rush like nothing else. You can spend a lot of time and money just to get to the powder and tear up the mountain. But, it is all worth it. And being in Boulder means that there are several options for you to ski.
First, there’s Eldora, a little mountain about 45 minutes away from Boulder. A bus runs to Eldora a couple times a day, so it’s pretty convenient to get there. Also, since it’s so close, you can go to class in the morning and shred in the afternoon.
Along the I-70 corridor sit many different ski areas—Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Vail, Breckenridge, Copper, and (just over a pass) Winter Park. All of these resorts boast steep terrain and great snow, year round. If you want to ski an unlimited amount, you can purchase either the 5-mountain/ Epic Pass (which includes Key, A-Bay, Breck, Vail, and Beaver Creek) or the Colorado Pass (Copper and Winter Park). With the cost of lift tickets, most passes pay themselves off after 5 times of skiing—so if you’re a snow aficionado, it’s the most economic option.
Not that into skiing? Lots of resorts offer 4-packs, where you can buy 4 lift tickets for about half the price. Even if you only plan on going up a couple of times, just find a friend with a season pass and use one of their “buddy passes—“ which means discounted lift tickets.
CU has a bus that hits the slopes every weekend for about 15 dollars. This is great because it turns a 2 hour drive into a 2 hour nap, which is always needed at 6 am (ahem!) or at four after a long day of riding.
CU harbors students who yearn for the snow. Located at the foot of the Front Range, the Rocky Mountains provide so many options for hitting the slopes, that it’s miraculous if you somehow manage to stay away from the mountain. So whether you pain for powder or just like a few recreational days of riding, Colorado is the place for you.