Colorado Skiing and Riding – Paul Profiles Copper Mountain – [PHOTOS, INTERVIEW]
Copper Mountain Resort is right along I70. If you're driving by and not going skiing, the sight of it will make you wish you were. While the resort offers much more than skiing or riding with restaurants, golf in the summer, and the advanced training and fun facility at Woodward at Copper, we're here to talk slip sliding away on Copper's awesome slopes!
Copper Mountain Resort has a very special place in my heart. My family took a trip there from Pennsylvania back in 1986 and we had an amazing time. I remember being amazed at how LONG the runs were. That was an early seed that would eventually turn me into a full blown Coloradoan.
Since then, I've experienced almost everything Copper has to offer. I've skied the mountain dozens of times. I've stayed at the base in the summer and the winter. I've enjoyed and even worked at their 4th of July festivities, and have eaten at almost all of the restaurants (chinese food at the base of a great ski resort is my heaven).
Since that Reagan-era trip, that special place in my heart has only grown bigger...and then, last year's snow happened. Copper Mountain's terrain and size have always made it a great place to ski. Last year's snow made it almost unbelievable. Everything was wide open. I skied 5 days there last year, and I still feel that I didn't see every inch of the skiable terrain available...and I ski from early morning to late afternoon. I honestly came off the mountain ravenous, tired, and wishing that the chairlift ran later into the day.
My last day on skis in Spring 2011 was at Copper and limited amounts of the mountain were open. I spent 6 hours on ONE lift, the Sierra Lift that services some incredible terrain. I had a tough decision between a quick hike to the summit over Union Bowl, or a scoot down the double black diamonds Revenge, Endeavor, Indian Ridge or Little Trees.
For an advanced powder freak like myself, Copper has it going on. It also is one of the best of Colorado Skiing for beginners. The whole west side of the mountain is a great place for people who are learning, or are not adrenaline junkies like me.
I spoke with David Roth, Resort Spokesperson for Copper Mountain. We discussed how Copper Mountain truly has something for everyone. He explained how Mother Nature blessed Copper with 'Naturally Divided Terrain'
It's nothing we did, it's just how the mountain is naturally laid out. You start over on the western most part of the resort, that's where our beginner terrain is. Make your way more toward the east side and the terrain starts getting progressively more difficult. So, beginner skiers [and riders] will have their own area and don't have to worry about making a wrong turn onto a difficult trail. On the flipside the experts don't have to worry about a beginner traversing across an advanced trail. So...you have your level and you go to the part of the mountain for your ability level.
County - Summit
Distance from Old Town Fort Collins - 137 Miles. 2 Hours, 29 Minutes Map
Distance from Denver International Airport - 100 Miles - 1 Hour 52 Minutes Map
Accessible Acreage - 2,465
Vertical Drop - 2,601 feet/793 meters
Marked Trails - 126 Marked Trails (21% beginner, 25% intermediate, 36% advanced, 18% expert)
Chair Lifts - 22 total (1 six-person, high-speed lift; 4 high-speed quads; 5 triple chairlifts; 5 double chairlifts and 7 surface lifts) Capacity to move 32,324 skiers per hour
Copper Mountain's Trail Map