Snow Days are Coming

Labor Day weekend kicks-off the anticipation for the upcoming ski season with the SKI REX sale at Colorado Ski & Golf where you can get all of the necessary, new season equipment. This is crucial because, at least for me, my equipment has been through it all on the slopes from the past season. I am proud to be a skier and have been nothing but that my entire life. This is partially due to my Dad who always says “a family that skis together, stays together.”

I grew up in Colorado, which only means one thing, as soon as I could walk I was strapped into skis. I would hit the slopes as a little kid , running into trees, left and right. Growing up in Colorado and skiing the same slopes for so many years, I know many of them like the back of my mitten. If you want to ski with the locals, here are some of my favorite back-country runs on some of my favorite slopes.

madden3Looking for a quick day trip to the mountains? Keystone is the best. An hour and a half car ride isn’t bad when you are with your friends, jamming out to music all the way up, at the break of dawn. Keystone is known for its extensive terrain park, back bowls, and tree runs. If you love to be where no one else is, go all the way back to the Outback. There are no lift lines and few “gapers.” From the top of Outback Express, on a clear day, you will get one of the best views of the Breckenridge Ski Resort. At the top of the lift, you can pay $10 to ride a snow cat up the mountain for more back country skiing. f you are a poor college student like me, however, you can hike up the ridge and ski down instead. These back bowls are barely touched if you go down the right chute, and they offer many different natural obstacles. But beware, the backcountry is for expert skiers only! Even I broke my hand and fell into a creek when I was back there.

If you are trying to get away for a night or two, Vail is the place to be. It has the #1 back bowls out of all Colorado ski resorts, and it has all terrain types. Blue Bird run is Vail’s hidden gem. Very few people make it that far back because it is miles of cat tracks away but it is more than worth it. n a powder day, there will be few tracks, even late in the afternoon. Another one of my favorite runs is North Woods. Vail is an unforgiving mountain, and you must remember that when skiing some of its toughest runs. I’ve gone through some runs and have had a bit of trouble trying to maneuver myself down through the mountain. The town is one of the cuter ski towns in Colorado offering a variety of delicacies. My favorite is Sun & Alp, known for their authentic Swiss fondú.

madden2For the people trying to make a longer, real trip to the mountains, Aspen will have you swooned with its charming town and beautiful scenery. 91% of the runs are black diamond, and 95% of the people are skiers. So if you like that kind of exclusivity, then you have found your place. Because of how far it is (4 hours away). the lift lines are short, and the snow is light as a feather. Bell Mountain has amazing tree skiing, is extremely steep, and even features an Elvis Presley memorial hidden away. To me, the best part of Aspen Mountain is the food at the top. YUM! Their food selection blows away all competition. After skiing in a whiteout, it’s nice to go into the lodge for some fresh stir fry and a hot cocoa.

All in all, no matter where you ski in Colorado, you will experience some of the best in the world. Being at the University of Colorado in Boulder means the mountains are so easily accessible that it’s hard to stay away! I can’t wait for this ski season, and I know you can’t either. Catch ya on the slopes, shredding that GNARRRRRRRRR.

-Madden