Woodward at Copper has piloted a Public Park Session, opening up the opportunity for summertime shredding in Summit County, CO. For just $10, Copper invites snowboarders and skiers to hone their tricks using various boxes and rails at the Playground Terrain Park. Sessions take place on Saturdays from 10am to 1pm and will continue through the remainder of July, as conditions permit. (continue reading…)
If you’re a gear geek and recovering ski bum like myself (and, I presume that you are, since you’re here) the prospect of unlimited free stickers is enough to drive cross country, call in sick to work, and lie about your profession in order to get access to the biggest ski and snowboard tradeshow in America, the Snowsports Industries America trade show in Denver, CO.
Thankfully, you don’t have to claim to be a Bosnian journalist to get in – Colorado Ski Country’s got all the goods, right here, free.
My goal today is to take the pulse and gain access to the heartbeat of the snowsports industry: Colorado-based companies. I’ve got my press credentials, my camera and a full cup of coffee. Game on.
First stop is FlyLow Gear. The good folks at FlyLow keep me looking, uh, fly on the slopes. Founded by Colorado skiers looking for gear rugged enough to hold up to their demands, they put a different spin on nature vs. nurture success story; nature did the nurturing, and the result is a very cool and fast-growing company.
Another company based in CO is Native Eyewear. They’re so busy today that their PR person can’t talk to me. I snap some photos, marvel at their shade(s) tree, and move along.
A distant corner of the tradeshow thumps with bass. Music blares, beers are cracked open at 2pm, and the amount of stickers increases exponentially. I’ve wandered in to the snowboarding zone.
Venture Snowboards is a proud mom-and-pop shop from Silverton. They’re globally revered for the quality and aesthetics of their boards, all of which come in a split board option. I’ve had the pleasure of riding handcrafted wagons, drinking bizarre Indian beers, and taking bellydance lessons alongside the folks from Venture, and can personally verify that these are pure Coloradans, producing a pure Colorado product.
The last stop I make before heading to Winter Park to ski bumps is at the Icelantic booth. Here is another company taking the passion, culture, and geography of Colorado and producing an amazing product. I’ve been riding the Nomads all year, and have found them to be pretty close to a one-ski-quiver.
Ben, Icelantic’s founder, tells me he took a community-focused approach when he started the company, and it’s been fun to stay in Colorado, build skis, and watch the company grow. He’s not the only one.
-John Trousdale, Mountain Correspondent, Colorado Ski Country USA
One-point-two seconds. That is the time it takes for me to see a fur coat after stepping out of my rusty Subaru. I’m parked semi-legally in front of the Sky Hotel in Aspen, Colorado. I’m here on a holiday weekend with one goal: to see if it’s possible for the average skier to ski Aspen on the cheap. Here goes…
In Europe, they ski as a means to eat. That is, you arrive early to the chairlift not because you want fresh tracks, but because you want the best table at the restaurant. Having skied (OK, eaten) at a handful of Swiss and Austrian resorts recently, I can personally attest to the fact that one looks forward to opening the menu as much as they do the trail map.
Here in the States? We’ll cram our jacket pockets full of PB&J’s if it means another lap on a powder day. Lunch? Not if there’s skiing to be done. For many, on-mountain dining carries about as much appeal and sophistication as the plastic tray on which it’s served. But that is all changing, and the American “Ski to Eat” movement is now taking reservations at Telluride.
Crested Butte has a reputation for steep, challenging terrain, plentiful snow, and a down-home atmosphere that core skiers love. But I wouldn’t know, because I can’t seem to bring myself to actually go skiing.
Kids. Sure, they look innocent, but they’ll turn on you. I’m about two hours in to a day skiing with a couple of kids at Echo Mountain Resort, and I’m in trouble. I shot myself in the foot by failing to share my Hershey’s Kisses on the chairlift. As I swallow the last of my tasty chocolate morsels, I can feel the morale plummeting. I worry they can smell the my fear… (continue reading…)
When you purchase your lift ticket at Copper Mountain, you’ll have to decide between a full-day, or a half-day ticket. Obviously you go with the full day (you couldn’t even scratch the surface of Copper in a half), but the whole question itself is misleading. You see, the team at Copper works around the clock, so even if you ski from open to close you’re really only skiing a half day in the eyes of those who work behind the scenes. For my most recent adventure in Colorado Ski Country, I tagged along with one of these everyday heroes, a man named Curt Bender, a Level-3 Operator on the Copper Slope Maintenance team.