Best Skiing and Snowboarding Mountains in Summit County, Colorado

October 6, 2015 — 

In July, more than 3,745 people cast their vote to select Summit County’s best in 88 categories, from brewpub to hiking trail in 2015 Best of Summit contest. The people have spoken on their favorites; consider the following your outdoor winter skiing and snowboarding recommendations throughout Summit County, Colorado. For a full list of the best across all categories check out the 2015 Best Of Magazine.

Best Place to People Watch - Breckenridge Main Street

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Each ski run at Breckenridge Ski Resort has a name and a story all its own

November 9, 2013 — 

Note: This is the first in a six-part series about the history of the ski run names at Breckenridge Ski Resort.

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Ski-slope history: How the Peak 8 runs at Breckenridge were named and what the names mean

November 16, 2013 — 

Note: This is the second in a six-part series about the history of the ski run names at Breckenridge Ski Resort.

Last week’s article recounted the manner in which many of the original runs at the Breckenridge Ski Resort were named — names such as Springmeier, Rounders and Little Johnny. Let’s expand this run through history to the rest of Peak 8. We should note that none of the early runs were actually named until the mid-1960s, roughly five years after skiing began, and that most of Peak 8’s names relate to early ski-area persons or situations.

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How the early runs on Peak 7 at Breckenridge got their names

November 23, 2013 — 

This is the third in a six-part series about the history of the ski run names at Breckenridge Ski Resort. To read the first two parts, visit

In two previous articles, we spoke about the naming of the ski runs on Peak 8 in Breckenridge. Most of these names actually came from people associated with the history of the resort itself. Now we turn to Peak 7, where all of the runs are named after Breckenridge-area historic places, many of which can be seen from the slopes on a clear day. In 2001-02, the resort turned to the Summit Historical Society for assistance in naming its new expansion area after an employee naming contest determined that the new area’s names would have a local history theme.

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How early runs on Peaks 7 and 8 at Breckenridge Ski Resort got their names

December 25, 2013 — 

This is the fourth in a six-part series about the history of the ski run names at Breckenridge Ski Resort. To read the first three parts, visit

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The highest heights: How some early runs on Peaks 7 and 8 at Breckenridge got their names

December 25, 2013 — 

This is the fifth in a six-part series about the history of the ski run names at Breckenridge Ski Resort. To read the first four parts, visit

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Breckenridge Ski Resort Peak 9 run names have history that goes back farther than peak's inception in '70s

December 25, 2013 — 

This is the sixth and final part in a six-part series about the history of the ski run names at Breckenridge Ski Resort. To read the first five parts, visit

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How the trails on Breckenridge Ski Resort's Peak 10 got their names

December 21, 2013 — 

Editor’s note: This is a bonus seventh article to the original six-part series about how the runs at Breckenridge Ski Resort got their names, leading up to the opening of the new Peak 6 on Wednesday, Dec. 25. To read the first six parts, visit

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Summit County resort report: Breckenridge, Copper Mountain plan for more terrain for holiday weekend

November 26, 2013 — 

With sunshine in the forecast for the holiday weekend, more terrain opening by the day and snow expected next week, area resorts and ski and ride enthusiasts have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Early reports are calling for the terrain opening to continue into the weekend.

“It’s really been a phenomenal early season in terms of snowfall, and I’m hoping this trend continues through December and beyond,” said Adrienne Saia Isaac, communications director for Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

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Early season steeper than expected at Aspen Mountain

November 27, 2013 — 

Some of the most “unusual” snow conditions have created some of the best early-season skiing that Aspen Skiing Co. Vice President of Mountain Operations Rich Burkley has witnessed in 20-plus years on the hill.

It’s extremely rare that Skico can open double-black-diamond terrain prior to Thanksgiving, Burkley said. So much snow fell so early that trails crews were able to use winch cats to compact the snow in the expert terrain of Walsh’s and Kristi. They both opened Saturday. One skier with 40 years of skiing on Aspen Mountain said it is the first time ever Walsh’s was open to start the season.

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Beaver Creek opens for season Wednesday

November 27, 2013 — 

BEAVER CREEK — Beaver Creek Resort’s opening day Wednesday will provide Thanksgiving holiday skiers and snowboarders with 486 acres of terrain accessed by seven lifts and seven surface lifts. Good early season snowfall combined with a state-of-the-art snowmaking system have allowed the resort to prepare top-to-bottom skiing and terrain for all ability levels.

“Beaver Creek’s mountain operations teams continue to work around the clock preparing as much terrain as possible for opening day guests and we are looking forward to skiing on 486 acres when lifts open at 9 a.m.,” said Doug Lovell, chief operating officer for Beaver Creek Resort.

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Breckenridge Ski Resort will open Peak 9 terrain before Thanksgiving weekend

November 21, 2013 — 

With snow continuing to fall on the High Country, local ski resorts are opening more territory for skiers and snowboarders to explore.

Breckenridge Ski Resort just announced it will open terrain on Peak 9 on Saturday, Nov. 23. Full base-area services, including ski and ride school and on-mountain dining, will be available.

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Vail Mountain will open with more than 130 acres

November 21, 2013 — 

VAIL – Vail Mountain said Thursday that the resort will open for the 2013-2014 season on Friday with more than 130 acres of terrain and access from Vail Village and Lionshead. Breakfast burritos from Vail Mountain and hot cocoa will be provided at both base areas for early risers, and a DJ truck will be parked at the base of Vail Village to provide music throughout the morning.

“When we open tomorrow, the majority of skiing and snowboarding will take place on Born Free, with connecting routes from the top of Gondola One and the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “We are very close to being able to open up much more additional terrain on mostly natural snow. (We) just need a bit more snow, and most importantly, cold temperatures to allow our snowmakers and groomers to fill in a few ditches, holes and gaps to connect everything together safely. Ski patrol will be evaluating trails every day, and we will open up as much additional terrain as we can, as soon as we can open it safely for all of our guests. Keep your fingers crossed for continued snow and for cold temperatures, and we’ll get there soon.”

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'Stoke' level high as snowstorms turn Summit County ski areas into winter wonderlands

November 19, 2013 — 

Local ski area and resort representatives have delighted in the snow falling in the mountains over the past week. The snowy conditions have elicited grand reviews from early-season guests, they said.

Keystone Resort currently has 142 acres of terrain open across seven trails — with five chairlifts running during the week and six on the weekends.

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Boulder County's Eldora Mountain Resort set to open Friday, Nov. 22

November 21, 2013 — 

Boulder County's Eldora Mountain Resort is set to open for the winter season Friday as snow is expected to move into the area later today.

The Challenge and the Cannonball lifts will open and the intermediate trails Hornblower and International will have a 20-inch base of packed powder and machine-made snow, according to the resort near Nederland.

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Vail gets new six-rider Chair 4; mountain opens Friday, Nov. 22

November 20, 2013 — 

VAIL — It’s a sunny day on the soon-to-be-opened Vail Mountain at Mid-Vail, where it’s a bustle of activity, mostly centered around the mountain’s newest lift addition.

Workers from the resort and lift company Doppelmayr are busily putting the finishing installments on Mountain Top Express (Chair 4), one of the most frequently used lifts at the resort. The new Chair 4, the mountain’s first six-passenger capacity lift, is expected to increase the lift’s capacity by 33 percent. That means the chair could feasibly transport 3,600 people to the top of Vail per hour, the same capacity as the new Gondola One.

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Lindsey Vonn's Olympic hopes uncertain after Copper Mountain crash injures ACL

November 20, 2013 — 

Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn suffered a partial tear to the ACL in her surgically repaired right knee during a crash while training at U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain Tuesday.

“It’s always disappointing when any athlete gets injured,” women’s speed team head coach Chip White said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I love the sport, but I hate the sport when anybody gets injured.”

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Vail Mountain to open Friday, Nov. 22

November 19, 2013 — 

VAIL — Vail Mountain will open for the 2013-2014 season on Friday, Nov. 22. With recent natural snowfall, colder temperatures, and mountain operations crews working hard in preparation for the start of the ski and snowboard season, the resort will provide access from both Vail Village and Lionshead.

“We’re excited to kick off the first year of Vail’s next 50 years this Friday and are looking forward to another incredible season including the opening of two new chairlifts and much more in store,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “Our snowmaking and grooming teams have been making great progress on the mountain each day and we are thrilled to announce that Vail will open for skiing and snowboarding out of both Lionshead and Vail Village.”

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Copper Mountain U.S. Ski Team Speed Center wraps up weekend of racing

November 12, 2013 — 

A busy weekend of FIS-level alpine racing concluded Tuesday afternoon at Copper Mountain with women’s giant slalom — the final event in four days of competition.

“It’s phenomenal for Copper Mountain to host this early in the year,” U.S. alpine team senior press officer Doug Haney said, adding that it’s an “enormous advantage” for U.S. team members to be able to compete at their home training area.

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Photo: Winter Park Resort opens for the season

November 14, 2013 — 

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Aspen Mountain to open for the weekend; Snowmass kickoff set for Nov. 23

November 11, 2013 — 

The local buzz about an early opening for Aspen Mountain turned out to be true.

The mountain will open to skiing and snowboarding on Saturday and Sunday, a little less than two weeks ahead of the scheduled Thanksgiving Day start, Aspen Skiing Co. said.

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Breckenridge Ski Resort opens 52nd season with 82 acres of terrain

November 8, 2013 — 

Students were truant, jibbers were jibbing and the Bavarian cream-stuffed éclairs were flying Friday, Nov. 8, as throngs of snow riders flocked to Breckenridge Ski Resort for opening day.

The annual event does more than just kick-start the season. It’s a celebration, a right of passage that has the supernatural ability to coax ear-to-ear grins among friends, family, strangers and even some of Breck’s longest-tenured residents ... and by all accounts Friday’s opener was nothing short of epic.

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U.S. Alpine Ski Team naming ceremony at Copper Mountain draws big crowd

November 8, 2013 — 

While the U.S. Alpine Ski Team naming ceremony at Copper Mountain was more of a formality than a surprise to any of the U.S. team members, the hundreds of fans who showed up for a chance catch a glimpse of their favorite athletes didn’t seem to mind.

Kids of all ages — and a fair share of enthusiastic adults — crowded onto the Burning Stones Plaza in Center Village at Copper on Friday, clad in red white and blue and holding signs and waving flags to celebrate the introduction of the alpine team.

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Colorado ski season: Keystone Resort's guests get freshies for epic opening day

November 1, 2013 — 

Mother Nature was in full swing as Keystone Ski Resort rang in its season on Friday.

A steady stream of snowflakes coated the mountain as skiers and boarders became one with the mountain, gliding down the slopes, zipping through trees and hopping over moguls.

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Lindsey Vonn stages comeback at Copper Mountain ski team practice

November 6, 2013 — 

If Lindsey Vonn was nervous stepping to the starting gate at the top of the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center downhill practice course Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Copper Mountain, she didn’t show it. It was her first time on a downhill course since tearing the ACL and MCL ligaments in her right knee in February.

The four-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist slid up to the starting gate just as she has countless times before, waiting for the all-clear notice to come over the radio. While waiting she loosened up, practiced her tuck position, smiled and laughed with a ski team staff member tending the starting gate.

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Copper Mountain Resort opening like Christmas morning for powderhounds

November 1, 2013 — 

The pale illuminated numbers on the alarm clock say 5:30 a.m. I blink and squint at them again, willing the time to jump ahead more quickly. Outside the window, white flakes dance among the trees, teasing my groggy brain into wakefulness.

I stare at the ceiling, visions of powder fields dancing through my head like sugarplums to a child on Christmas. Today is the day, no ordinary day, as good or better than any holiday.

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Copper Mountain opens U.S. Ski Team Speed Center for Olympic training

November 1, 2013 — 

Weather was the story Friday as training got underway at the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain ski area.

With 5 inches of new snow reported overnight and additional accumulation throughout the day, team officials decided to change the alpine team’s practice schedule.

“When we got up this morning it had snowed quite a bit more than we expected, probably twice as much,” women’s speed team head coach Chip White said. “We could have gotten the snow cleared off where we could train, but berms on the outside would have been too dangerous. It’s at the very beginning of this camp, and we’re not trying to jeopardize anything. We made a call due to safety.”

Instead, members of the men’s and women’s alpine teams took to the fresh snow for coach-directed freeski sessions.

“We usually work on drills,” women’s Alpine A Team skier Laurenne Ross said. “It was kind of nice to just go skiing.”

Ross spent the morning skiing with fellow women’s team members Stacy Cook, Leanne Smith, Alice McKennis and three team coaches.

“That was fun. It was a really good first day back,” Ross said after the session.

Alpine teammate Lindsey Vonn was reported to be on snow training independently. Julia Mancuso was said to be joining the team tomorrow.

Those on the hill worked on fundamentals in loosely structured freeskiing drills through fresh snow that was up to 12 inches deep in places.

“Today was directed freeskiing, doing drills working on balance and body position and things like that,” White said.

The change in plans still made for a productive day.

“It’s good to do that in a freeski situation in powder snow, because you’re constantly checking your balance. We get a lot out of a day like today,” he said. “No day is a wasted day.”

For members of the team it was a relaxing start to organized training at the Speed Center.

“This is a good way to start, in the powder. Everybody’s happy,” Ross said while on the chair.

“Hopefully tomorrow the weather is going to cooperate and we’ll get some training in,” White said.

About the Speed Center

Now in its third season, the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center runs out of the East Village at Copper Mountain. It is the early season training home of the U.S. alpine team.

“It’s been amazing what’s gone on the last couple years,” White told the Daily. “I have to tip my hat off to them (Copper). The effort that goes on is second to none. It’s probably the best venue in the world this time of year.”

While the team trains there in November and early December, the slopes accessible by the Super Bee chair are closed to the public, but the East Village is open for spectators to watch the team from the base area. Slopeside facilities in the East Village, including J.J.’s Rocky Mountain Tavern, are open during the team’s training.

Spectators are encouraged to come catch a glimpse of Olympians like Vonn, Bode Miller and Ted Legety as they train for Sochi.

For the first time this year Copper will also host an official team-naming ceremony at the Burning Stones Plaza in Center Village, Friday, Nov 8.

Festivities will include live music and a chance to see the U.S. team’s future Olympians.

The slopes at East Village will open to the public Dec. 16.

Keystone, Copper Mountain open on heels of Summit County snowfall

October 30, 2013 — 

Mother Nature laid a fresh blanket of snow onto High Country mountains just as two major Summit County ski resorts prepare to usher in the season.

The early winter storm swirled over much of the west Tuesday night, and swept in anywhere from 3 to 10 inches to the mountains of Colorado, according to meteorologist Joel Gratz’s Colorado Daily Snow report.

Most of the moisture was expected to push out by Thursday morning, but Gratz said he expected another flurry of snowfall, ranging from 2-4 inches in the mountains along and north of Interstate 70 Thursday night before rolling into a clear and sunny weekend.

Keystone Resort

Keystone Resort representatives welcomed the new layer of fresh snow Wednesday as they ramped up for opening day.

“Early snow and cold temperatures allowed us to begin snowmaking on Oct. 5 this year, which has helped lay down a great base in preparation for our season,” said Laura Parquette, senior communications manager for Keystone Resort. “We’re excited for some additional natural snow this week ahead of opening, and look forward to fantastic skiing and riding beginning on Friday.”

The Keystone season will debut with 65 skiable acres on Dercum Mountain. Lifts will open at 9 a.m. with skiing and riding continuing through 4 p.m.

The resort will offer top-to-bottom skiing and riding on the intermediate Spring Dipper and River Run trails.

“Spring Dipper is one of Keystone’s signature cruisers and is the perfect run to get in early season turns,” Parquette said.

The River Run gondola, Summit Express, Montezuma and Ranger lifts will provide uphill access for skiers and riders. For beginners, the resort is offering a learning area at the top of the mountain on the Endeavor trail, including a carpet lift open to the public. Keystone Ski & Ride School will also have ski and snowboard lessons available on opening day.

Park lovers will have the chance to catch some air and grind some rails at the resort’s A51 Terrain Park, opening Friday. This terrain park is comprised of more than 20 features available in three lines ranging from beginner to advanced, Parquette said.

“Our early season terrain park, the largest available in the country, will be on Scout Trail with designated lift access on the Ranger lift for easy lapping,” she said.

Skiers and snowboarders who attend opening day can take part in events and activities throughout the day.

The first 200 guests to line up at the gondola will receive a raffle ticket for prizes — including a GoPro Hero 3, Never Summer snowboard, Starbucks gift cards and Keystone swag.

The first 43 guests to line up at the gondola will receive a Starbucks gift card and a Keystone Starbucks mug. Complimentary hot chocolate and donuts will be available to all.

Free parking will be available across the resort on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Mountain access is easiest from the Gondola East/West lots and the River Run lot,” Parquette said. “Our free in-resort transportation system will be running as well.”

Both the River Run ticket window and pass office will be open on Friday. The pass office is currently open seven days per week and Keystone staff are suggesting pass holders pick up their passes prior to Friday morning, if possible.

For more information about Keystone Resort, visit www.keystoneresort.comtarget="_blank"> or call (877) 204-7889.

Copper Mountain Resort

Copper Mountain snowmaking teams have been hard at work since early October to prepare for great early season conditions, said Austyn Williams, the resort’s communications manager. Their efforts, combined with recent snowfall, have transformed the mountain into a snow lover’s haven.

“Conditions are looking incredible on the mountain,” Williams said.

Copper will kick off their season on Friday featuring top-to-bottom skiing and riding off the American Eagle chairlift and in the Easy Rider learning area.

American Eagle chairlift will start turning for the 2013-14 season at 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 and at 8:30 a.m. on weekends and holidays.

“Nothing is better than taking the first runs of the season on top-to-bottom terrain. It’s one of my favorite feelings to get back in the groove after a summer off,” Williams said.

The early season terrain is suitable not only for experienced riders, but beginners as well. Terrain off of American Eagle and Excelerator accommodate intermediate skiers and riders, while Easy Rider surface lift is the perfect beginner learning area, Williams said.

Throughout opening weekend guests can get lucky on Copper Mountain’s Loot Lift, a contest based on the New York City television hit Cash Cab. Guests riding the Loot Lift (the American Eagle chairlift) are randomly selected and quizzed on their ride to the top of the mountain. Prizes include complimentary Copper lift tickets, village gift cards, GoPro cameras and more.

The newly renovated Woodward at Copper Barn will also be open daily starting Friday, Nov. 1, from 1:30 to 8 p.m.

Staff said they are looking forward to the opening day buzz created by early season skiers and riders.

“I’m most looking forward to the opening day excitement, you can’t swing a dead cat around Copper during opening weekend without finding someone who’s just as excited to get back on the slopes,” Williams said.

Guests can park in the resort’s Alpine or Far East lots for free during opening weekend and all season long. Tickets are available at the mountain on opening day, but the lowest prices on Copper Mountain lift tickets can be found online, Williams said.

More information about Copper Resort can be found at www.CopperColorado.comtarget="_blank">

Colorado ski slopes differ on marijuana tolerance

October 31, 2013 — 

Two weeks into the Colorado ski season, slopes have split in response to skiers and snowboarders toking on the hill.

Marijuana smokers could lose their ski passes or receive an indifferent shrug depending on where they hit the slopes this winter. For some, the different policies could add to the confusion that has followed Colorado's legalization of recreational pot.

As in real estate, location is everything.

"One resort, like A-Basin, may ask them to leave, the next may call law enforcement," said Dave Byrd, director of risk and regulatory affairs at the National Ski Areas Association. "That is going to vary a little bit, how they do that."

Two weeks ago, Arapahoe Basin Chief Operating Officer Alan Henceroth revoked two visitors' passes after he found them smoking on the slopes. He wrote a blog post on the incident, which served as a reminder that smoking pot in public — or on public lands — remains illegal.

To read this article in its entirety, click"_blank">

Opening dates for Colorado ski areas

October 25, 2013 — 

With November fast approaching, so too are the opening days for a handful of ski areas across Colorado.

Favorable early-season conditions have paid off for Arapahoe Basin and Loveland ski areas. Both were able to open in mid-October and have since been able to open new terrain much sooner than in previous years. A-Basin said they are opening new runs about two to three weeks earlier than normal.

Here’s a list of opening dates for the rest of Colorado’s ski areas:

Nov. 1: Copper Mountain, Keystone
Nov. 8: Wolf Creek, Breckenridge
Nov. 13: Winter Park
Nov. 22: Eldora, Vail
Nov. 27: Crested Butte, Steamboat, Beaver Creek
Nov. 28: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Telluride
Nov. 29: Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort
Nov. 30: Howelsen Hill
Dec. 6: Sunlight
Dec. 11: Ski Granby Ranch
Dec. 12: Powderhorn
Dec. 14: Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, Ski Cooper
Dec. 21: Silverton Mountain

For more information, check out Colorado Ski Country USA or Vail Resorts.

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