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Copper expands mountain bike trails

RICHARD CHITTICK

COPPER MOUNTAIN – For the third time in as many years, Copper Mountain is expanding its mountain bike offerings.

This summer, a new trail is being constructed that will add three miles to the mountain’s existing inventory of trails, according to Bruce Hodson, the slope maintenance manager for Copper. With the addition of the new trail, Copper Mountain will offer over 15 miles of mountain bike trails, including 13 miles of singletrack.

The trail will start near Solitude Station and head east up the existing mountain road to a new singletrack trailhead at the top of the Cabin Chute ski run, near the top of the Resolution lift.

The singletrack will then loop underneath the Alpine lift back to Solitude Station, before descending underneath the Super Bee lift.

Via a series of switchbacks on Andy’s Encore, the trail eventually will reach B Road, an access road which at one time served stations on the two lifts that were replaced when the Super Bee was installed.

Among the challenges facing work crews in the construction process are avoiding Copper’s wetlands and making the best use of existing paths of human disturbance, Hodson said.

Construction of the new trail will take place in two phases with the singletrack connecting Mountain Road to Solitude Station taking place first, and the switchbacks down Andy’s Encore following.

“It should happen by mid-July,” Hodson said. “But I think it will come together pretty quickly.”

According to Katelin Hill, Copper Mountain spokesperson, Copper’s summer season is scheduled to begin June 12.

Copper features complimentary lift rides for walk-on passengers in the summer, while lift tickets for bikes can be purchased for $14, Hill said.

The new trail, Red Tail and Elk Alley are accessible from the top of the American Eagle lift.

In 2002, Copper Mountain rerouted the Colorado Trail from the access road in Copper Village to a trail on the mountain, which began at the south end of the Alpine parking lot and continued through the resort to Guller Gulch, west of the Lumberjack lift.

Last year, the resort followed up with Elk Alley, a 3.09-mile trail on the mountain’s west side.

Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236.


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