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Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Copper Mountain. This mountain is popular with locals because the resort's 2,465 acres are spread across several peaks where the terrain is naturally separated into areas for beginners, intermediates, and expert skiers and snowboarders, making it easy to pick your slope. The Union Creek area contains gentle, tree-lined trails for novices. The slopes above the Village at Copper and Copper Station are an invigorating blend of intermediate and advanced trails. Several steep mogul runs are clustered on the eastern side of the area, and have their own lift. At the top of the resort and in the vast Copper Bowl there's challenging above-tree-line skiing. Freeriders gravitate to the Woodward Central and the Bouncer Park. Weather permitting, on several days each week beginning in mid-February, expert skiers can grab a free first-come, first-served snowcat ride up Tucker Mountain for an ungroomed, wilderness-style ski experience. 209 10 Mile Cir., Copper Mountain, CO, 80443. 970/968–2882 or 800/458–8386. www.coppercolorado.com. Nov.–mid-Apr., daily 9–4.
2,601-foot vertical drop; 2,450 skiable acres; 21% beginner, 25% intermediate, 36% advanced, 18% expert; 1 high-speed six-person chair, 4 high-speed quad chairs, 5 triple chairs, 5 double chairs, 4 surface lifts, 3 conveyor lifts.
Lessons and Programs
Ski and Ride School. Copper Mountain's Ski and Ride School has classes for skiers and snowboarders, private lessons, men- and women-only groups, and special competitive lessons (to help you make a quantum leap in skills). Copper's Youth Seasonal Programs, divided into groups based on age and skill level, are designed to both teach and entertain. There's also Kids' Night Out, popular among parents who want an evening without the children. Copper Mountain, CO, 80443. 970/968–2318.
Early-season window tickets (through mid-December) are $51 and then jump to $86 in high season. Few people pay the walk-up rate, however. Vacationers usually purchase lift-and-lodging packages, which include discounted lift rates. Copper Mountain has last-minute deals online at www.coppersavers.com. Passes can save skiers and riders 20% or more. The best deal is Copper's four-pass program for $99 (with some blackout dates). If you want to short-circuit lift lines during busy times (like Christmas week and spring break, try the Bee Line Advantage—for $20 a day you can get on the lifts 15 minutes earlier in the morning and use a dedicated (and shorter) lift line. Ask about it when you book your hotel or condo; many properties have this as a free bonus.
Rental packages (skis, boots, and poles) start at $30 per day for sport ski packages and go as high as $45 per day for high-performance equipment. Snowboard rental packages (snowboard and boots) start at $42 for adults. Helmet rentals begin at $10.
Copper Mountain Resort has ski-school options for older kids and child care for youngsters. The smell of chocolate-chip cookies wafts from the Belly Button Bakery, day care for tots two to four years old. Belly Button Babies accepts kids six weeks to two years old. Children's programs are based in the Mountain Plaza at Center Village.
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