If the Flatirons built-in to the backdrop of CU Boulder weren’t telling enough, one of the biggest and best assets of going to school in Colorado are the big, beautiful mountains, especially during skiing/snowboarding season (starting late November-mid December and going until March and sometimes beyond). Take it from a non-native; with the most breathtaking views, the highest altitude and the longest ski runs, Colorado has, undoubtedly, some of the best skiing in the world. The majority of all CU-Boulder students take advantage of this prime ski season. CU Boulder has specifically dedicated a University of Colorado Ski Bus to help get students to the mountains without having to drive! With about 1,000 students and faculty, CU Boulder’s Ski & Snowboard Club is the largest club on campus.
But with so many different resorts and passes, where do you start and how do you choose? Snow.com offers discounts for students, and passes to all the major Colorado resorts—Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and A-Basin, just to name a few. The Epic Local College Pass is by far the most popular among avid student skiiers and snowboarders, however, it is pricey, even with the student discount. All ski passes are pricey, not to mention how expensive new gear is, but with the right site and discount, you should be able to get a decent deal as a student that will pay for itself after 4 or 5 trips. I bought the Summit Value College Pass from Snow.com this year and so far, I have not been disappointed.
The best resorts to ski or snowboard at are largely up to personal preference (I have yet to experience a bad ski resort in Colorado). However, a few resorts have stood out to me that I personally have dubbed “the best.”
Breckenridge is a popular resort for people of all ages. It’s massive, and has skiing for all levels, from never-skiied-before to very difficult, expert terrain. I have known it for the scenic town at the base and many fun paths through the trees.
Copper Mountain has been my family’s ‘go-to’ favorite forever, housing a fun village at the bottom and our favorite “T.Rex Grill,” a snowy shack located in the middle of the mountain (you have to ski to it), complete with a sunning space facing the skiiers made with lawn chairs on the snow (also home to the best burgers and fries I have ever tasted).
However, Keystone has become my new favorite resort, with a slightly better view of the mountain range than Copper (you can actually see Copper from Keystone), it’s use of Gondolas in place of some chair lifts, and the less-busy backside of the mountain has the best blue (intermediate) runs.
I highly encourage you to take advantage of the awesome skiing/snowboarding opportunities available to those of us lucky enough to live close to the Rocky Mountains! There is nothing better than ripping or gliding down the powdery face of a mountain while basking in the warm sunshine. Don’t forget to check the weather and snow report before you head out to ski. Strap on your skis or board and CHECK OUT THAT SICK GNARLY POW, BRAH!
You live in Colorado, after all!