On March 8, International Women’s Day, I went skiing with women, a bunch of women, about 80-90 women, on the final day of a multi-week women’s program at Eldora Mountain Resort.
It was also the final day of my six-day MAX Pass tour of Colorado’s northernmost ski resorts, or as I’ve been calling them, the North Stars.
Women’s Day at Eldora
The Women’s Days program at Eldora is unique for many reasons.
It’s been around for over thirty years and is one of the oldest women’s ski programs in the U.S.
Each winter an average of 300 women participate in the ten week program. Divided into two sessions, six weeks and four weeks, many of the participants sign up for the entire winter. And some of these women sign up year after year, for 7, for 8, for 14 seasons.
These are women of all ages, of all abilities from never-evers to advanced. They come from nearby Nederland, from Boulder, from Fort Collins and from the Denver metro area. Some drop off their kids at school before driving up, others take time off from work.
Not all of them are alpine skiers. Some are snowboarders, some telemark, some are learning to race, while others are perfecting their skate or classic cross-country ski skills. Next year, they’ll be able to take a session focus on AT skiing.
In common, these women have a desire to improve their skills in the company of other women.
Four hours of instruction are provided each day, along with breakfast and lunch.
But the camaraderie is what really brings women into the program.
As Amanda, a first year participant put its, “I think it’s wonderful to ski with other women who are at my level. It’s confidence building.
“I’ve been skiing with my husband for years and it’s been hard because he’s better than me. I don’t know if I want to ski with him again, I think I prefer to ski with all these women.”
Program director Krista Crabtree explains further.
“We focus on how best to communicate with women and to nourish them as they learn. We provide a place where women feel successful. We like to challenge them without pushing them past their limits.
“My favorite thing about this program is when women tell me, ‘I met a bunch of friends and now we ski together every Thursday.’
“We give them a place for that.”
Boulder’s Home Mountain
Boulder, Colorado is a lot of things.
A college town with the University of Colorado, it’s also a burgeoning tech and start-up town.
Outdoors-oriented to the extreme, Boulder is a place where everyone seems to be looking for their next workout-generated endorphin fix, and many of these “everyones” are Olympic and professional athletes.
A running town, Boulder is also a biking town. It’s a climbing town and hiking town.
And for 54 years, Boulder has been a ski town, thanks to Eldora Mountain Resort.
Home of the CU ski team, as well as the place where Boulder county children learn to ski, Eldora is integral to life in Boulder.
Located 35 minutes up Boulder Canyon, there’s not much traffic on the road to Eldora and you don’t have to deal with either mountain passes or tunnel approaches. The ease of getting to Eldora has increased the regional popularity of the resort.
For as you might have seen on an Eldora T-shirt, “Friends don’t let friends drive I 70.”
And if you don’t want to drive at all, you don’t have to. RTD has regional bus service from downtown Boulder to the ski area.
New Days, New Energy
With new ownership came changes.
Eldora now allows uphill travel on AT or telemark gear. In an exercise-oriented community like Boulder, this is huge.
Eldora also incorporated Woodward freestyle ski and snowboard training in their ski and ride school. “The Woodward Experience” features the indoor Woodward Hub where kids work on body awareness, coordination and skill development before getting on snow in the Woodward Start Park.
Then, on March 7, Eldora announced that a new high-speed six pack lift will replace two side-by-side fixed grip chairlifts for next season.
The new lift will take just over four minutes to rise 1,000 vertical feet with access to Challenge Mountain, Indian Peaks and Corona Bowl.
President and General Manager Brent Tregaskis is excited about all of the upgrades and changes taking place.
“We at Eldora could not be happier to be part of the POWDR family. Since June of 2016 when POWDR purchased the resort, we have had nothing but great support on all levels.
“From the three new runs we cut last fall to the new high speed detachable 6-pack going in this summer, remodeled restrooms and many other capital improvements on and off the mountain, Powdr has listened to guest’s and management’s requests and invested money where it was needed, making many long-awaited improvements that greatly improve the experience at Eldora.
“We are very excited for the future.”
More About Skiing and Riding at Eldora
Eldora Mountain Resort has 600 skiable acres with a base elevation of 9,200 feet and a summit of 10,800 feet. Spread across three mountains and extending into one bowl, the views of the Continental Divide to the West and the Colorado plains to East should make a visit mandatory.
Terrain runs the gamut from the learning area on Little Hawk Mountain to the double black glades of Corona Bowl.
As Tregaskis mentioned, Eldora expanded it’s advanced offerings this winter with three new double black runs, Red Tail, Alpenhorn and Wolf Tongue.
We skied them all and found them fantastic.
Eldora also has an extensive Nordic trail system and Nordic Center. It’s a unique set up that doubles the fun.
So here’s a shout out for a day trip or longer to Eldora. It’s a great family mountain and a great local mountain, where you don’t have to be a local to have fun.
When You Go…
Part of both the MAX Pass and the Rocky Mountain Super Pass, it’s easy to score some free days at this Front Range favorite.
And if you’re a female skier or rider, the MAX Pass is your ticket to the Eldora Women’s Days program. With five free days at Eldora, and no blackouts, you’re covered for the four-week program, plus one more day.
You’re also covered at Colorado’s other North Stars, Steamboat and Winter Park, as well as 41 additional North American resorts (for a total of 44 in 2017-18) including Crested Butte and Copper Mountain.
Being a MAX Pass Ambassador this season got me out on the road visiting five unique Colorado resorts, Copper Mountain, Crested Butte, Eldora, Steamboat and Winter Park. Thank you so much to the MAX Pass team for giving me and my family this opportunity!
More Colorado MAX Pass Resorts
- Copper Mountain, Colorado: A Top Five Favorite Ski Resort, February 28, 2017.
- What Makes Crested Butte, Crested Butte? February 15, 2017.
- Colorado Skiing’s North Stars: Steamboat Ski Resort, March 15, 2017.
- Colorado Skiing’s North Stars: Winter Park Resort, March 20, 2017.
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