We had to go three states away to do it, but we found decent snow! With a limited time to hit the slopes, neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor gale-force winds would keep us off the slopes. As long as the lifts stayed open that is…
Our first stop was Arapahoe Basin, or as the locals call it A-Basin. We drove up from Denver Thursday, arrived at the resort mid-morning, and took a few runs in the white out conditions. The wind was blowing so hard on the backside it looked as if the ground was moving – giving a couple of my fellow riders vertigo. However, once we found shelter in the tree runs it was great conditions!
A little after noon we stopped to warm up. I decided to become a Colorado Bloody Mary connoisseur and try one at each resort. The 6th Alley Bar & Grill had a variety of Bloody Mary’s to choose from, I opted for their original as it came with bacon! I only like a smidgen of spicy and their Bloody Mary was a bit too spicy for me. If you like spicy – I recommend trying one. I also recommend their macaroni and cheese bake.
We were greeted by the sun after our break; it was great to see farther than two feet ahead! One down side of A-Basin is there are enough flat spots to be annoying to snowboarders. The rest of the crew I was with was on skis and didn’t seem to mind.
The second day we opted for Copper Mountain due to a sweet two-for-one deal after purchasing 10-gallons of fuel at Shell. The 360 degree views of the Rocky Mountains at Copper was exactly what I was looking for. The day was nice and sunny and we found fresh powder in the Spaulding Bowl. The runs were miles long and the mountain was so massive we didn’t even get around to exploring all of the runs.
Also, I am awarding Copper’s Incline Bar & Grill my favorite Bloody Mary, just enough spice and a garnish variety. That’s my main judgment of Bloody Mary’s – how many snacks it comes with. We got actual food from Copper Red Hots, which specializes in sauteed macaroni and cheese – I had the Mediterranean style and would recommend it to a friend.
On our last day we woke to more gale-force winds, but didn’t let it stop us from loading the lift at Loveland. We spent 75 percent of our time cutting off Dealer’s Choice into the trees. Even with spending so much time in that one area I don’t think I made the same track once. I will warn snowboarder that there is a flat spot in the middle of Forest Meadow, but that was part of the fun – finding the route that would spit you out where you didn’t have to unstrap and push. We spent the day at Loveland Basin, but you can take a quick shuttle to Loveland Valley – same resort different parking area. As for the Bloody Mary, the one from the bar in the cafeteria area was tasty, but nothing special – at least throw more than one olive in for a snack!
Overall, this was a powder-iffic trip! We stayed in a vacation rental from Wildernest in Silverthorne, which was central to a hand full of resorts. Having never been to Colorado I liked that we skied and snowboarded multiple mountains. Plus our lodge had a hot tub and heated pool, which hit the spot after those frigid days. Now to go back in the summer to explore the Rockies with a backpack and my pup.