Ski bum: Milbery suggest the Coffee and Tea Market in the old Balcony House at the base area. "And when I'm really doing it on the cheap, I'll buy a beer or a $3 happy-hour margarita at Lime and then munch a bunch of chips to fill up." The best buy on lift tickets is the $149 Winter Park Four Pass, with December 27-31 as the only blackout dates.

Drink locally: Try the Mary Jane Ale, made exclusively for Winter Park/Mary Jane by the Blue Moon Brewing Company @ The Sandlot inside Coors Field.

WOLF CREEK SKI AREA

Loveland celebrates 75 years this season.
Loveland celebrates 75 years this season.
Ski Cooper is one of Colorado’s best-kept secrets.
Ski Cooper is one of Colorado’s best-kept secrets.

www.wolfcreekski.com,

970-264-5639

Wolf Creek reports an annual average natural snowfall of 465 inches, the most in Colorado by a long shot, which makes it the perfect place for Fat-ypus Skis owner Jared Mazlisch. "People look at those skis for the first time and wonder who would ever need such a fat ski, but if you want so see our A-Lotta powder skis in their natural habitat, then you need get out to Wolf Creek after one of their four-foot dumps." For people who are willing to make the drive, Wolf Creek also offers a classic and mostly frill-free ski experience. "Wolf Creek is the place to go when you're ready to get out of town, take a break from the big resorts and just get away from it all," Mazlisch says. "I love it because it's pretty much all about skiing and nothing else."

There's practically no beginner terrain at Wolf Creek — Mazlisch favors the double-black-diamond terrain in Horseshoe Bowl, the Dog Chutes, the Knife Ridge Chutes and Montezuma Bowl — so check out the monthly ski and ride clinics if you're ready to step up your game. Wolf Creek will host the Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup for the first time on December 15.

Splurge: "A stay in Pagosa Springs on the other side of Wolf Creek Pass can be an extravagant, wonderful experience," Mazlisch says. Try the Ski & Soak package at the Springs Resort & Spa, which includes a full-day lift ticket at Wolf Creek and unlimited access to 23 mineral pools.

Ski bum tip: Lift ticket prices drop to $35 most Wednesdays throughout the season. There are also a few College Days a month, also $35 with a college ID. "The $8.50 'Hot Special' at the Wolf Creek Lodge has to be one of the best meal bargains in Colorado Ski Country," Mazlisch says.

Drink locally: Duck into the Pathfinder Bar at the base area to sample beers from San Luis Valley Brewing, Steamworks, Ska Brewing, Breckenridge Brewery, and New Belgium.

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