Mountain passes provide options, save big bucks
Many people are attracted to CU because it’s a mecca for all things outdoors, especially skiing.
Two of the more popular season ski passes are the Rocky Mountain Super Pass and the Colorado Pass.
The Rocky Mountain Super Pass allows full access to Winter Park/Mary Jane and Copper Mountain. Wells Fargo Bank offers a deal that provides two Rocky Mountain passes for the price of one when opening a new account. The Super Pass has fewer options but is also less expensive
Winter Park/Mary Jane is a great mountain known for its terrain, rather than its atmosphere.
The Rocky Mountain Super Pass also caters to resort life and families, with Copper Mountain only one additional hour up I-70 from the Berthoud Pass exit that takes you to Winter Park.
From the CU campus, Winter Park/Mary Jane and Copper Mountain are both less than a two hour ride.
An alternative is the Colorado Pass, which provides unlimited skiing at Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin along with 10 restricted days at Vail and/or Beaver Creek. According to Mapquest, these mountains are all also within two hours of the CU campus.
“The nice thing about A-Basin is that you can ski until June,” said Cody McDevitt a junior news-editorial journalism and history major.
Vail offers mini-festivals and Oktoberfest (Sept. 8-10, 15-17), PRIMA (June-September), The Harvest Festival (Sept. 23-24) and others. For details, check out the resort web site and click on nightlife.
If these options aren’t enough, the pass also allows for half-price tickets to Heavenly Mountain Resort on Lake Tahoe.
Nightlife at the resort mountains is worth a trip as well, said Kevin Kohler, a junior environmental studies major. For three weekends in April, Copper has Sunsation. This end-of-season blowout bash has free live bands, on-hill events including the infamous Eenie Weenie Bikini Contest, barbecues, beer gardens and more.
The mountains offer a great way to get away for the weekend, McDevitt said.
The Rocky Mountain Super Pass and the Colorado Pass offer good, big mountain skiing. A closer option is Eldora Mountain in Eldora. A one hour drive up Boulder Canyon, Eldora provides a quick escape for anyone looking for a half-day of skiing.
“An Eldora pass is good for skiing after class. The other mountains are good for weekends and full days,” McDevitt said. McDevitt works as a ski instructor at Eldora.
Traffic can sometimes double the length of your drive, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Some mountains offer shopping and nightlife opportunities. These mountains tend to be more crowded because of the numerous hotels. However, the same skiing is available at other mountains.
“I don’t go for resort life. For the hardcore skier, I would go with the less resort mountains, like Winter Park. There’s less ski traffic,” McDevitt said.