Heading home after skiing Copper Mountain recently, our son proclaimed “This is one of my top five resorts.”
Now you might think he was just saying this because a) the skiing on new snow was terrific, b) there were no lift lines, c) we’d had a huge lunch at a low-cost and d) we’d skied some of our favorite runs and discovered new ones.
And you’d be right, because all of these things are true.
Five Reasons to Love Copper Mountain
1. Naturally Divided Terrain
You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again: Copper Mountain is geographically blessed. The mountain is naturally easier to the west and gets progressively harder moving east.
This means that most beginners are in West Village, intermediate skiers tend to congregate in Center Village and advanced and expert skiers start their day in East Village, ripping the downhill training runs under Super Bee, spreading out into one of Copper Mountain’s famous bowls or dropping into the back bowls and riding the free Tucker Mountain Snowcat.
The natural divide keeps lift lines shorter, disperses skiers across the mountain more evenly and facilitates Copper’s famous wide-open feel.
Best of all, from a parent’s point of view, beginners never have to cross difficult runs or feel intimidated by expert skiers.
This makes skiing and riding at Copper especially relaxing and enjoyable.
Facts: Copper Mountain has 2,490 acres of skiable terrain. Twenty-one percent of the marked trails are beginner, 25% are intermediate, 36% are advanced and 18% are expert.
Tips: Know your level. If you’re staying at Copper Mountain, choose your lodging according to the skiing and riding abilities of your family. If you’re going to be skiing most of the time above West Village, stay in West Village, and so on.
Free shuttles and busses connect the villages, so you can easily move from one to the other after the lifts close.
If you’re coming for the day, shuttles from the free parking lots are divided by ability and take guests to the appropriate chairlifts.
Don’t Miss: Ice skating in Center Village and tubing in East Village. While you can enjoy both of these activities during the day, we recommend them after the lifts close.
Rent skates at the Woodward Cage, adjacent to the pond. Skating is available until 9:00 p.m. Center Village is also where you’ll find many restaurants, bars, live music and Après Alley on Saturday nights.
As for the tubing hill, it’s a must for kids and adults. There are four lanes, with the first being and the fourth being fastest. For the biggest thrill link up with friends and family and ask the attendants to spin you. It’s a fantastic ride.
Tubing sessions are one hour and reservations are recommended. For the fastest sliding, choose the last session of the day (6:00 p.m.) when the snow refreezes after dark.
2. Tall Peaks. Deep Snow
Copper Mountain is high in the Rockies, with a base elevation of 9,712 and a summit elevation of 12,313 feet. With this great height, comes great snow, an average of 305” each winter.
Copper Mountain has a long season, generally from early November to mid-April. March is often the snowiest month (averaging 53” of snow), making Copper Mountain a fantastic spring break destination.
Facts: The 2010-2011 winter was the snowiest of the past 12 seasons with 390”. This year, Copper Mountain has received 82” through January for a total of 181″.
Tips: The sun is strong at these lofty heights. Always wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Also, be altitude smart. Take time to go in and drink water throughout the day. Staying hydrated will help you adjust more quickly to the altitude, as will eating potassium-rich foods and avoiding alcohol and sugar.
Don’t Miss: Make time to catch your breath and take in the stunning views. Check out the SKY chutes to the east and the central Rockies all around. Capture these Instagram moments (and don’t forget to tag Copper Mountain at #mysnowday and #coppermtn).
3. Learn a Lot
In addition to a variety of private and small group lessons and clinics for all ages, Copper Mountain offers unique Start With Woodward and Ride With Woodward classes for kids ages 6-17 interested in park and pipe.
Start with Woodward are full day lessons for beginner skiers and riders. The morning is spent on snow in West Village and the afternoon is spent in the Woodward Barn, Copper Mountain’s indoor training facility.
Ride With Woodward is for intermediate and advanced skiers and riders. No previous terrain park ability is required and lessons follow a format similar to Start With Woodward classes.
Facts: The Woodward Barn is an indoor training facility for skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, BMX and slopestyle mountain biking. Open year-round, it features a foam pits with jumps, a pump track and trampolines.
Tips: Book a Start With Woodward or Learn With Woodward lesson at least 24 hours in advance and save 20%.
Don’t Miss: Woodward Summer Camps. Our sons participated in the summer ski camp when they were in middle school and loved it.
4. Find Your Way
Take a free Ambassador Tour. An intermediate and above tour meets each day at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at the top of American Eagle. An easier Westside tour meets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the top of the Union Creek Quad.
Copper Mountain’s Ambassadors also offer free snowshoe tours each day at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Reservations are recommended.
Facts: For information at your fingertips, including deals, snow conditions, events, lodging and more, download the Copper Mountain app.
Tips: Using the Copper app, open Sherpa, Copper Mountain’s award-winning audio guide with audible tips and information targeted to your on-mountain location. Sherpa also tracks and maps your runs, vert and speed.
Don’t Miss: Ski With a USFS Ranger on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Geared toward intermediate skiers and riders, tours meet at the top of the Timberline chair. Ski a run while learning about the mountain’s cultural and natural history.
5. Big Value
At Copper Mountain, parking is free. Shuttles are free. There are numerous free activities on mountain and in the village throughout the season. While lunches aren’t free, the pricing is fair. (Check out the massive quesadillas, burritos and taco salads at Solitude Station and ask for an extra plate.)
Facts: Purchase lift tickets online and save. Copper Mountain offers a variety of season pass products including a foo-pack available each fall. Copper is also on the Rocky Mountain Super Pass.
Tips: Copper Mountain is on the MAX Pass. The MAX Pass offers five days at each of 39 resorts through North America. There are no blackout dates. If your home mountain is on the MAX Pass, it’s a smart way to get tickets for local skiing and a ski vacation with one purchase.
Don’t Miss: Buy gas at a participating Shell station and get a voucher for a buy-one/get-one Copper Mountain lift ticket.
More Copper Mountain:
- Copper Mountain Turns a Black Day White, February 16, 2012.
- Woodward Copper: Sign Up Now for the Coolest Summer Camp on Earth, March 2, 2011.
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