Sheer Torture But Good To Know (Part 1)

Just in case everyone has not been tormented enough, I have decided to compile a rough overview of a few of the Front Range ski resorts! Included in this two part overview will be the given resort’s estimated opening day, general facilities/capabilities, and cool new additions. For the sake of order, I will list them in alphabetical order.

Arapahoe Basin:

Opening Day – October 15th(currently open!!)

General – If you have read my online article about this resort, then you know the unique history and a few general facts already. With half of this resort above tree line it is not only the highest skiable terrain in the country, but it also boasts one of the longest seasons (October – June) Being so high up also means that snow is generally not a problem especially with its snowmaking capabilities. It tied with Loveland this year to be the first resort in the country to open and it was all made possible by its 18 inch base of man-made snow.


Vertical rise: 2,270 feet

Base elevation: 10,780 feet

Summit elevation: 13,050 feet

Average annual snowfall: 350 inches

Number of trails: 105

Longest run: 1.5 miles

Skiable acres: 900

Snowmaking acres: 125

One quad chairlift Two triple chairlifts Three double chairlifts

Cool and New- Their much anticipated “Montezuma Bowl” is officially and completely open this year. Provides an expansion of some 80% in skiable terrain.

Beaver Creek:

Opening Day – November 26th

General – This resort is quite ritzy in nature with all of its spas, shopping, and dining facilities. This said, the resort has a lot to offer and do not be fooled by the rich overcoat. They boasted a best-year ever last year with 430 inches of snow!

Base Elevation 8,100 ft. / 2,469 m

Summit Elevation 11,440 ft. / 3,488 m

Vertical Rise 4,040 ft. / 1,231 m

Number of Trails 149

Number of Lifts 17

Bowls 2, Rose Bowl and Larkspur Bowl

Gondolas 2

High-Speed Quads 10

Triple Chair 2

Double Chair 3

otal Uphill Capacity/hour 25,939 skiers/hour

Snowmaking 605 acres

Average Annual Snowfall 310 inches / 787 cm

Total Skiable Area 1,815 acres

Longest Run (Centennial) 2¾ miles

Cool and New- Their New automated snowmaking system is bound to improve snow cover, just in case they do not get 430 inches this year. Also, if you are the type or your girlfriend is the type that demands excellence. They have a new resort and spa called the Westin Riverfront. It has amazing features and connects directly to the resort via a gondola outside the front door of the resort.


Opening Day – November 7th

General – Breckenridge is one of the most well-known resorts in the Front Range and rightfully so. It has a large night life in addition to a large park. Add in its proximity to I-70 and you get 1,650,321 million visitors(the number of skiers who visited Breckenridge last year.

Base elevation 9,600 ft.

Summit elevation 12,998 ft.

Snowmaking 565 acres

Average snowfall 300 acres

Total ski area 2,385 acres

Trail Classification 36% Expert 31% Advanced 33% Intermediate 15% Beginner

Longest run “Four O’Clock” at 3.5 miles

Half pipes 3

Lifts 29 (40,680 per hour)

Cool and New- The resort is opening its gondola (Breck Connect) that runs from the town up to its new base area “Peak 7″. This means the whole supporting area of ticket sales, rentals, dining, and lodging is brand new. Opening a new base area is something that they have not done since 1971. Moreover, Breckenridge will be the first stop on the AST Winter Dew Tour being held between December 18 and 21.

Copper Mountain

Opening Day – November 7th

General – Located 75 miles west of Denver and just South of Vail, Copper Mountain is a fairly large resort with good capacity and variety. It is known for its “naturally divided” terrain which basically means you do not have worry about going down a bunny slope and then having it turn into a triple black diamond all of a sudden. According to summit.net some locals call it “Colorado’s perfect ski mountain.”

Base Elevation: 9,712 feet/2,926 meters

Summit Elevation: 12,313 feet/3,767 meters

Vertical Drop: 2,601 feet/793 meters

Lifts: 22 total (1 six-person, high-speed lift; 4 high-speed quads; 5 triple chairlifts; 5 double chairlifts and 7 surface lifts)

Lift Capacity: 32,324 skiers per hour

Skiable Acres: 2,450 acres/985 hectares makes Copper one of the largest ski and snowboard resorts in Colorado

Marked Trails: 126 (21% beginner, 25% intermediate, 36% advanced, 18% expert)

Average Snowfall: 282 inches/710 centimeters

Snowmaking: 380 acres/154 hectares

Longest Run: 2.8 miles/5 kilometers (Soliloquy to Roundabout)

Cool and New- Newer and faster chairlifts, an additional 110 acres of snow coverage, and top-to-bottom snow coverage of the main lifts two main runs screams good stuff early and late in the season.

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Written by Elliot Matthews in: General |

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