What comes to mind when I think about Colorado? Skiing and Beer!
With friends recently moving to Denver a couple months prior, Andy and I made plans to visit them before the end of the ski season in search of champagne powder I have heard so much about. With flights booked, we had a place to stay, people to visit, and slopes to ski.
Without new snow on the forecast, we chose two affordable ski resorts. After filling up gas at a Shell station, we were set with a buy one, get one lift ticket for Copper Mountain.
After skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb the weekend before, I was in ski shape and ready for high altitude skiing. Perfect blue-bird conditions is something PNW skiing usually does not see. I enjoyed the snow-covered mountainous views as I shredded down the slopes.
Copper would be an excellent place to learn how to ski with its wide slopes and few tree runs. I tried to keep up with the boys as much as possible but enjoyed my time alone to take in the views. Since it was a gorgeous day, I saw many people sitting in Adirondack chairs that lined the restaurant patios for people to chill and soak up the sun.
- Runs: 17
- Max Speed: 39.1 mph
- Distance: 23.8 miles
- Vertical: 26.3 k feet
Arapahoe Basin, or as the locals call it A-Basin, is less developed than Copper Mountain but has a hometown feel to it. With many skiers and boarders tailgating in the parking lot, it is easy to feel like you found a local gem. I purchased lift tickets the night before on Liftopia, which included meal vouchers for the cafeteria for the same price of regular lift tickets.
After picking up rental skis, we were off to try to ski as much terrain as possible. With fresh snow from the night before and snow all day, it was nice to get a few fresh tracks.
My burly rentals.
A-Basin felt close to home with poor visibility and the snow falling. The rudimentary lodges and cafeteria dining reminded me of Washington ski resorts. However, A-Basin did have a mid-mountain lodge to eat and rest at. With an area to ski on the other side of the mountain, it felt just like Stevens Pass and is where we spent the majority of the morning. I found the best snow I had all weekend in the bowl at the top. Again, we tried to hit all the lifts and get our moneys worth for the day.
- Runs: 10
- Max Speed: 33 mph
- Distance: 10.5 miles
- Vertical: 11.2 k feet
Where To Stay
With plans for only one night, it was hard to find an affordable vacation rental. Fortunately, We stayed at Swan Mountain Resort for one night that had two bedrooms and showers. It was very roomy and midpoint between where we would be skiing. Dillon is a centrally located to many of the ski resorts.
Where to Eat
Dillon Dam Brewery was a few minutes drive from Swan Mountain Resort. The restaurant has two levels and viewing areas to see the many fermenters used while brewing. The brewery offers free tours, which we did not partake in. However, there were signs on their brewing techniques, history, and awards. While waiting for a table, we ordered beer from the bar. The food was amazing, and we were able to watch March Madness on their many HD televisions.