Golden Experiences at Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain is not a destination resort. Ironically, therein lays its charm. Although Copper is owned by Intrawest, the company that brought you Whistler/Blackcomb and Mount Tremblant, in Copper, they have created a ski area that is the destination of choice for Summit County and Denver locals. Copper Mountain is not about late night parties and shopping till you drop. However, it does have the most varied terrain in Summit County. Even better, the trails are completely separate according to your level of skiing or snowboarding.

For example, the Union Creek area of Copper Mountain is a separated area for new skiers. The terrain is so basic that intermediate and advanced skiers never visit this part of the mountain. As such, you can learn to ski in this area without worrying about advanced skiers zooming past you. Multi-day lift, equipment and learning packages are available.

Advanced beginners and intermediates will have fun on the long runs off the American Flyer lift. However, if it's a crowded day, get off at the top of the flyer, and turn right. You will be in the Timberline area, where the snow is much softer and the lift lines are much shorter. Advanced intermediate skiers and snowboarders can try the runs off the Eagle Lift. Once you get comfortable with steeper terrain, you can avoid the crowds by taking the Excelerator Lift, which is located near the top of the Eagle. Head down the slope and look to the right. You can't miss it. A NASTAR course on Copperopolis runs off the Excelerator Lift. If you want to compare your speed with skiers and snowboarders from the rest of the country, give it a try.

Those who have a profound need for speed should consider Copper's Racing Clinics. A single session with a lift ticket costs $45, which is cheaper than the lift ticket itself. If you are over 45, consider joining the Over the Hill Gang. The Over the Hill Gang guides are all locals. As such, they are privy to all of the mountain's secret nooks and crannies. Over the Hill Gang members get lift line privileges. Additionally, they are allowed to eat lunch at The Edge, which is the employee cafeteria. The Edge offers a pretty decent lunch discount.

Skiers or snowboarders who crave a memorable challenge should plan a late January trip to Copper, so that you can take advantage of the free cat tours to Tucker Mountain. Starting at 10:00 a.m., the cats take you on a 20-minute ride to the summit of the 12,337 summit of Tucker Mountain. From there, you can start your descent, or hike for a few hundred yards to gain more vertical. About two thirds of Tucker Mountain is above tree line.

For the younger set, there's a new and exciting option for advanced skiers and riders. This season, Camp Woodward, the famous BMX, skateboarding and inline training facility is coming to Copper. Freeride enthusiasts will have the opportunity to practice aerial skills in an indoor facility, which features foam pits, trampolines and other confidence-building training tools.

Fortunately, the fun at Copper continues after the lifts close. All the ski season, Copper holds En Fuego Nights. You'll be entertained by torchlight parades, street entertainers, musicians and more. Want to take a day off from skiing? No worries! Just take one of Copper's snow shoe tours, spend part of the day in the tubing park, or visit Copper's fitness center.

The motto for Copper Mountain employees is “Creating beautiful memories, again and again and again.”

Most employees take this very seriously.

Copper Mountain is located in Summit Country, Colorado