By Kristen Lummis, braveskimom.com
My calendar says that spring starts on March 20th. But, I know differently. Spring started on March 9th, at Copper Mountain.
Snow and Sun
As I’m sure you know, it’s been snowing– a lot. In fact, about a foot of fresh snow fell that weekend, from Friday to Saturday, providing amazing mid-winter conditions across Colorado. And then, just as surely as we all had to change our clocks on Sunday morning, we sprang ahead, not just in time, but also in temperature and season. Spring arrived on Sunday, with stunning blue skies, a late rising sun, and, by afternoon, amazing sun-softened conditions.
We love Copper Mountain any time of the year. But springtime at Copper is especially fun. Start your day on the shady, north side, and move to the east and south facing slopes as the sun softens the snow. Move higher up the mountain into Copper’s numerous bowls and you’re almost guaranteed to find good conditions and fun skiing and riding.
So far this year, Copper Mountain is looking at huge snowfall, with 289”. And since March is usually Copper’s snowiest month, with an average of 53”, this year could easily be one record-setting.
Divide and Conquer
One of my favorite things about Copper is the “naturally divided terrain.” If you haven’t been to Copper, the mountain naturally increases in difficulty as you move from east to west. Copper Mountain has three villages, West, Center and East. In the West Village, you’ll find the Union Creek express, almost all of the beginner terrain, and the amazing Woodward at Copper terrain park.
From the Center Village, take American Flyer to ski long green and blue runs, head over to the blue runs under Timberline Express or cut through the trees and get to Sierra, an old-school triple that will get you above tree line into Union Bowl and some of the steepest, softest shots on the mountain.
Also in Center Village, American Eagle takes you up to Solitude Station, the mid-mountain heart of the resort and some super fun blue groomers and black mogul runs under the Excelerator lift.
Finally, from the East Village, the Super Bee 6-pack goes up to the top of Resolution Bowl. Super Bee also provides access to steep groomers, used pre-season by the US Ski Team for speed training, and thigh-burning mogul runs on the far west side.
There are no easy runs in the East Village, and consequently, beginners don’t come over here, while expert skiers rarely go over to West Village. For moms and dads, it’s reassuring to know that your young novices won’t mix or cross trails with faster skiers.
Springtime Fun Now through April 20th
Copper Mountain is a big, high altitude resort. With 2,465 acres of skiable terrain, a base of 9,712 feet and a summit of 12,313 feet, spring comes a bit later and the snow lasts a bit longer than at lower altitude resorts. If you’re headed up to Copper Mountain this spring, be on the lookout for a full schedule of spring happenings.
There are snowboard and ski winter camps at Woodward at Copper in March and April, as well as the United States Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championships on March 26 – April 9th. And then there’s Sunsation, Copper Mountain’s two week spring festival. This year, weekend #1, April 12-13, includes a full schedule of live music and the Red Bull Slopesoakers Jam. Picture a floating terrain park, with a pond skim and a pool party.
The next weekend, April 19-20, is a full rainbow of fun, wiht the first Copper Color Run on Saturday. An untimed, totally family-friendly 5k run on a manicured snow course, participants wear white and are splashed with washable paint as they run. As if you won’t be colorful enough at the end of 5k, the dousing continues at the post race Finish Festival.
Easter Sunday will see everyone cleaned up and hunting for eggs in Colorado’s largest Easter Egg Hunt, followed by the So Gnar End of Season party.