Colorado Rocky Mountain High

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

Are you a beginner skier searching for your chance to ski some of the most beautiful terrain in the U.S. and don’t know where to start?

Look no further. One of my all time favorite destinations is Colorado. Being a beginner myself, I took my first trip to Breckenridge, Colorado four years ago and became familiar with the towns locale and surrounding area and absolutely taken with its beauty.

When you think of Colorado you immediately think of the majestic Rocky Mountains and bald eagles. You are transported to a far-away land surrounded by soft, fluffy, white powder, horse-drawn carriages, frothy hot chocolate teaming with marshmellows and big, crackling bon fires. This is just the beginning of what you will experience in beautiful Colorado. I happened to be two hours south of Denver in the town of Breckenridge, which is also part of the Keystone / Dillon area. The two most convenient ski resorts are Breckenridge Ski Resort and Copper Mountain Ski Resort. Copper Mountain Ski Resort was recommended to me by a friend and proved to be a fantastic first time experience. Check out the webcams and trail maps of the resort, as well as road conditions, lift ticket pricing and other information at www.coppercolorado.com. This will provide you with an overview and give you some idea of what to expect when you arrive. They also offer, which I found rather helpful, was free mountain orientation tours. This will give you a visual impression of what the trails consist of, the landscape and help match it to your level of comfort.

If you have never skied on the West Coast before I would suggest a one-time instructor lead lesson. The coaches are tons of fun and they mentor you how on how to ski the mountainous landscape. Copper Mountain offers trails for all levels and I stayed in the green zone or better known as the bunny slope or beginner’s zone. But no worries I was shredding powder in no time.

The average snowfall per annum for Breckenridge is approximately 300 inches. There is certainly no shortage of powder in this region, so any area will be well worth the trip in case you decide to trek to another area. Now, in the spring/summer months in can be difficult to find good trails and patches of packed snow hidden away only for the novice ‘ol timers to unearth. But you needn’t worry, backcountry skiing and side country skiing are offered at Copper Mountain, along with a range of options as to what suits you and your group. This allows you to investigate exclusive mountain peaks and limited access secret spots. You will be stoked to find powder stashes you never knew existed and this is an exciting new opportunity for you to discover more than just the groomed trails. This is a great way to hone in on your skill set and come back with some amazing stories to tell.

Now that you’re ready to get started you’re asking what should I bring, what should I buy and where do I get my gear?!? Blue Ridge Mountain Sports offers some of the best brands of equipment with excellent warranties for reasonable prices www.blueridgemountainsports.com as well as Backcountry offering reader comments, live chat and gear questions www.backcountry.com/store. Until you master the sport, however, I would suggest renting your equipment for now. If you have special circumstances it might be beneficial for you to purchase your own gear in case the rental office cannot accommodate you. But otherwise rentals are great. Copper Mountain offers a huge selection of skis, snowboards, boots and bindings for all levels of expertise and seasonal terrain conditions. The spring/summer months are going to be slightly warmer than your usual winter months in Colorado but keep in mind that on top of the mountain will always be a little cooler than your probably use to. Be sure to bring a fleece jacket, spring rain jacket, goggles (with mirrored lens to deflect sunlight), extra change of clothes, lift passes (keep these accessible, as you will need them for each lift ride), clean socks, whistle, sunscreen, chap-stick and water bottle. Being at such a high altitude you are exposed to more sun so keeping sunscreen on hand will prevent you from being burnt and miserable.

One of the most common safety mistakes made by beginners is altitude sickness which results from dehydration. So keep your water bottle handy and always drink H20 instead of coffee, soda and the ever popular, so-called power drinks. All of which can actually deplete your energy level and make you more dehydrated than normal. Another common mistake is not having a signaling device, such as a whistle, on you for safety measures. This really comes in handy if you get disoriented or stray from the group and allows you to signal for help or in identifying your location. Copper Mountain has over 2,500 acres of topography so it wouldn’t be impossible to get lost or ski onto some other trails without blinking twice. It is understandably easy to get entranced by the splendor of Colorado but staying alert and focused is the key. Another common mistake is leaving the ski shop with your boots and bindings too tight or not tight enough. This can lead to an uncomfortable experience on the slopes. They slip or fall off the tracks and are either loose or too tight which leads to falls and twisted ankles. So make sure when trying on your gear to stand up, put the boots on and then give yourself a little wiggle room but not too much. Much like putting on a pair of tennis shoes. You don’t tie them too tight but tight enough so you don’t walk right out of them.

So now that you have your gear, your choice destination and your smarts you are ready to go on a trip of a lifetime. Colorado is great for making new friends as well and you will find that most people are very interesting and have several different hobbies. A fun thing to get into is to find out when the instructor competitions are and go to a couple of those. It is a great way to learn from the best and see what you can someday be able to do.

For additional information please visit:






Upgrade Your Inbox

Don't waste time seeking out the best skiing content; we'll send it all right to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *