Spring is synonymous for one thing in Boulder: Ski season. As soon as the first snowflakes hit the ground, students will sprint to the slopes hoping to get a piece of fresh powder.
Students have easy access to many major ski resorts including Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek, Winter Park, Copper and Arapahoe Basin, all of which are located within about a two-hour drive. If students do not have a car, CU offers a Ski Bus which takes trips to Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe-Basin almost every weekend; a few special trips to Vail and Beaver Creek are offered occasionally.
Tickets are $15 roundtrip, and there are typically 35 tickets available each trip. More information can be found at their Web site.
When choosing a resort to ski or snowboard at, it is important to not only consider convenience but also run variety, snow quality, the social scene and the overall atmosphere of the resort.
Although there are good and bad things about every mountain, students seem to overwhelming favor Breckenridge and Beaver Creek.
Jordan Marshall, a 19-year-old junior sociology major, said she prefers Breckenridge.
“Breckenridge is my favorite because it’s really, really big, and it’s easier to maneuver and go from peak to peak,” Marshall said. “Beaver Creek’s snow is really powdery. I’m obsessed with it.”
Mike Forrest, an 18-year-old freshman film studies major, is another advocate for Breckenridge.
“Breckenridge is really convenient,” Forrest said. “It’s got more open more space…[There are] more opportunities to do things.”
Forrest also said that a lot of students that live on his floor prefer to go to Breckenridge.
Megan Ahroon, 19-year-old sophomore communications major, said Breckenridge is a very diverse which makes for an interesting place.
“Breckenridge has a lot of international people and that’s really cool,” Ahroon said. “I took up the lift a thousand times, and I didn’t meet one person from Colorado…People come from everywhere. For local friendliness I’d probably go to Keystone. There are a lot of college kids.”
Some students said they like Beaver Creek for other reasons.
“It’s [Beaver Creek] not as crowded as everywhere else, and it has a good variation in runs,” said Katherine Carter, a 20-year-old junior psychology major.
Students said they have mixed emotions about where the worst places to ski were.
“Copper…It’s too condensed,” Forrest said.
Copper isn’t the only place students had problems with. Marshall said Arapahoe-Basin had qualities that she disliked.
“I think A-bay [Arapahoe Basin] is too small and Vail is too pretentious,” Marshall said. “I broke my ankle in Vail—Vail is cursed. Everyone breaks their bones.”
One thing is for sure: Each resort has its own personality. Winter Park is known for its cleverly named famed mountain, which is called Mary Jane. Vail has a reputation for being more of an upscale resort. The shops at Breckenridge don Christmas lights and decorations for much of the winter, even through February.
Several students have commented on the miscellaneous bras and beads that can be seen hanging from the trees at Breckenridge.
“Skiing and snowboarding is supposed to be about the sport—bras and beads are taking back the sport,” Marshall said.
As long as runs have been successfully shred students can be sure to return to Boulder rosy-cheeked, worn-out and content.
Students have the opportunity to purchase multiple types of season ski passes every fall on campus, online or at Boulder Ski Deals located off of Arapahoe Ave.
There is the Epic Pass which offers unlimited trips to Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek and Arapahoe Basin; the Colorado Pass which offers unlimited trips to Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek; the Summit Pass which offers unlimited trips to Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin.
Students can also purchase the Rocky Mountain Super Pass which allows unlimited trips to Winter Park/Mary Jane, Copper and six days at Steamboat Springs.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Nicole Zimbelman at Nicole.firstname.lastname@example.org.