TravelRocky Mountain High

Rocky Mountain High

Rocky Mountain High

Forget that it’s easy to get to, the super friendly locals or the low-key vibe  tied to its mining history, 3oo days of sunshine and 300 inches should be reason enough to head to Copper Mountain in Colorado ski country. No? How about free cat skiing?

Well, not totally free. You have to have a lift ticket but unlike other resorts were you pay a premium for the privilege to ski the back bowls, at Copper it’s included in the price.

You can take as many runs as you want but the kicker is that the cats only come out Friday to Sunday.

When it comes to the lay of the land, Copper is a rare hill. Its three peaks are naturally divided by ability level. There are no mountain-top lunch spots but the hill is a cinch to navigate so friends can easily meet up for lunch at one of the many restaurants in any of the three base villages.

The suns out, Colorado’s famous champagne powder is beautiful, it’s mid-week and there are only a handful of riders all cutting fresh tracks in the new snow that fell over night.

We hit Spaulding Bowl for some nice wide-open steep stuff above the tree line. The only thing better than the snow on this bluebird day is the view. Just beautiful.

On the far east side, Too Much challenges us with its moguls the size of VW bugs. We rest our wobbly legs in the East Village and fuel up at JJ's Rocky Mountain Tavern on fantastic wood-fire pizza.

The US Ski team heads to Copper Mountain in November to train but there’s no rush to get here, the snow lasts late into the season. Most locals turn to teeing off long before the snow is done for the season so the lift lines are generally light.

We finish the day by hitting Union Peak leading to some challenging glade runs then a table at Jack & Jill in Center Village for some après beers.  

All the lodging at Copper Mountain are in the three Villages close to the lifts, shops and restaurants. Center Village sports a good size ice outdoor ice rink while East Village is home to a tubing hill.

We opted for a soak in the outdoor hot tub, a great dinner a C.B. Grill and an early turn in . . . Another great mountain day in Colorado n

Woodward at Copper Mountain is a 19,000-square-foot cool, bounce, jump, flip and fly “barn” for the future Alex Bilodeau’s in the family. Year-round programs are run at the indoor space located in the village to teach boarders and skiers, both young and old, air awareness.

Started in Pennsylvania in the 70s, Woodward now has world-class training facilities in five states.

The guides are all young, keen and happy to see you improve. The ramps, bowls, trampolines and foam pits are great for developing skills, regardless your level of ability.

New this year, Woodward is offering ski and snowboard lessons slope side. No terrain park ability is required; as long as you can link your turns and stop, you are a candidate for a Woodward lesson. 

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