Tis the season for skiers—the snow is flying, it’s time for buying, and it’s sometimes trying. Here’s how we handle the busy holidays.
New trails, different resorts, major discounts, inspiration to hit the trails, the gift of fresh snow and the scent of pine? A season punch pass from CCCSA let’s you bundle all these under the tree, with 14 total punches for 2 trail passes at 7 different resorts for $120. Learn more at coloradocrosscountry.com.
TFDstudio on Etsy will customize this cool maple wood print sign with trails from your favorite Nordic resort so you can keep your skiing bucket list handy. $140, or you can check out Nordic-themed art by Colorado artist Marjorie Cranston.
Be the one NOT sitting on I-70 at 5 p.m. during the holidays by booking a few days at a Nordic resort or guest ranch. Talk about ski-in, ski-out—hit the trails after breakfast, get in a solid day’s ski, then roll to the hot tub and a gourmet dinner and sleep it off under down comforters. Devil’s Thumb, Latigo, Vista Verde and Home Ranch all hit that luxury note, while off-the-beaten-path folks will love Tennessee Pass’s comfy yurts, Thunder Mountain’s cozy cabins, or the budget- and family-friendly lodge rooms at Snow Mountain Ranch.
Got a family that’s more alpine than Nordic? Compromise. Head to Frisco Nordic Center while they ski Copper Mountain; peel off at Breckenridge Nordic Center center as they hunt powder stashes on Peak 10, take a lift up to Beaver Creek’s above-it-all trails (the views!) while they hit the World Cup runs.
Get your ski in before the 10 a.m. onslaught. Casual and newbies may not be out at dawn, but you can be—while the grooming is pristine and check-in is a breeze. Another tip: Crowds peel off around 2:30/3:00 p.m., a great time for a quick ski before happy hour.
Start a Christmas/New Year’s morning ski tradition. What better way to celebrate the season of new beginnings that with a meditative escape into a winter wonderland? You’ll have the trails to yourself for hours before you cruise in for a leisurely late breakfast.
Opt for lesser-known or out-of-the-way centers and trail systems for day skiing. We love Grand Lake Nordic Center (homemade soup and a cozy bar), Vail Nordic Center (beginner-friendly, off-mountain, easy access), Gold Run Nordic Center (friendly terrain, sleigh rides).
Stay off the skis for the day and rent a fat bike or snowshoes. Most Nordic centers rent both and it’s a great way to explore new trails from a different perspective (or just call it cross-training).