October 31, 2017
Snow days don’t just have to be reserved for when the weather gets rough.
Chilly temperatures, windy days and colorful leaves hint that ski season is approaching Colorado fast. For first-time skiers and snowboarders or the experienced mountain connoisseur, taking a day trip or weekend to the mountains as midterms wrap up is a great way to relax and have fun with friends and family.
The Scribe compiled a list of mountains and resorts to visit as ski season begins in November.
Located 68 miles outside of Denver, Arapahoe Basin offers students a lengthy ski season from October until June, according to Colorado Ski Country U.S.A.
A Basin sees an annual snowfall of 350 inches at the base elevation of 10,780 feet. But the summit is even higher: skiers can ascend to 13,050 feet to experience the thrill. Snow enthusiasts won’t be disappointed.
Students interested in hitting the slopes can get A Basin’s Elevation 4-Day pass for $169. No blackout dates are included in this fee, the value of which offers students a chance to experience skiing for about $45 a day.
Open terrain is mostly for intermediate skiers. However, beginner lessons are offered starting Nov. 18. Students can pay $125 for two and a half hours starting at 9:55 a.m. or 1:05 p.m., according to A Basin’s website.
When students aren’t busy descending the slope, they can visit the 6th Alley Bar and Grill for some hot food or the famous A-Basin Bacon Bloody Mary if they are, of course, 21 and over.
Drive time: 2 hours, 11 minutes
Address: U.S. Highway 6 Dillon, CO
Hours: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays; 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Season: October – June
Snowmass won’t open until Nov. 23, but students can use the coming weeks to plan for a trip over fall break. With 2,465 acres of terrain to ski and board, snow enthusiast will get their fix on the mountain.
According to the Aspen Snowmass website, “you can spend your entire trip skiing and riding its [Snowmass’] terrain without covering the same ground twice.” The summit itself is 11,212 feet, according to Colorado Ski Country U.S.A.
Aspen Snowmass offers a premier college pass, which includes unlimited skiing at all of Aspen Snowmass’ resorts. The pass, which covers four days of skiing, costs $659. However, if students are looking for a less expensive option, they can go for the College X pass at $92, which covers two days of skiing during the X Games on Jan. 25.
Students can also participate in multiple events along with skiing and boarding starting in November: Snowmass 50th Anniversary (Dec. 15, $6.50 lift tickets); Ullr Nights, a winter wonderland party Fridays starting Dec. 22; the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Jan. 10 – 14; the X Games on Jan. 25; and more.
Drive time: 3 hours, 46 minutes
Address: 120 Carriage Way, Snowmass Village, CO
Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Season: Nov. 23 – April 15
Nestled alongside Interstate 70, Breckenridge is a popular resort and ski town for students to visit during the winter.
While not quite as high as A Basin, Breck boasts a base elevation of 9,600 feet and a summit elevation of 12,998 feet, according to the Breckenridge website. Those eager to get up there will have to wait until the resort opens on Nov. 10, but once they do, they will have access to 187 trails and 2,908 acres of ski terrain.
Students can pay $98 for one day on the slopes without lodging, but a day trip to the mountain is worth it. Breck offers 11 on-mountain dining opportunities, including a pub, a bar and a grill. Students can also go into town and experience beautiful mountain scenery, dining and nightlife options.
Drive time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
Address: 1599 Ski Hill Rd, Breckenridge, CO
Season: Nov. 10 – April 22
Copper Mountain offers a college season pass of $339. That might cost as much as one textbook, but the value is worth it.
Students have access to unlimited skiing and riding with this pass at not only Copper Mountain, but also at Purgatory, Monarch Mountain and Taos Ski Valley for three days.
Explore 2,450 acres of terrain on the mountain, which has a summit elevation of 12,313 feet. Skiers of all abilities – beginner, intermediate and advanced – are welcome to experience what the mountain has to offer.
Aside from skiing, Copper offers various activities for individuals and groups, like the tubing hill, mountain tours, ice skating and more.
Drive time: 2 hours, 2 minutes
Address: 209 Ten Mile Cir., Frisco, CO
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays; 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends
Season: November – April