Winter is coming! In this year’s installment of the Edge, Westword’s annual guide to winter activities, we’ve got the what’s what, the what’s new, and the what to do at ski areas and mountain towns across the state. From skiing and snowboarding to new mountain roller coasters, fat-bike tours, snowmobile adventures, hot-springs soaks and more, the Edge — inserted in the November 16 edition of Westword — will help you plan your vacation days, personal days, powder days and sick days from now until spring. Among the resorts now open: Copper Mountain.
A long-term partnership with the Woodward Copper action-sports center has helped make Copper Mountain a magnet for skiers and snowboarders looking to learn new tricks. An all-access pass gets you on the mountain and into the Woodward Copper Barn, an indoor extreme-sports arena that offers something for skiers and snowboarders, but also BMX and slopestyle mountain bikers.
Here are five more things you need to know about Copper Mountain.
1. The high-alpine Tucker Mountain Snowcat ride, on the backside of the resort, is a must. “Copper’s free snowcat rides to legendary Tucker Mountain are the essence of skiing and riding liberty: catching a free ride, choosing your own line, and never wiping the smile off your face,” says Copper spokeswoman Taylor Prather. Weather permitting during the winter season, snowcats run Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. The cat picks up guests above the base of the Mountain Chief chairlift, accessible by American Flyer to Rendezvous chairlifts. Brief hikes to either side of the drop-off point will put you into your choice of wide-open bowls or steep chutes.
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2. Check out the Rocky Mountain Coaster, a new year-round attraction opening in December. The alpine coaster zigs and zags along a 5,800-foot track near Center Village. Other attractions beyond skiing and snowboarding include a tubing hill, an ice skating rink on the Center Village pond, and a kids’ adventure zone known as Critterland, complete with the “Ducktopus” tubing carousel, a snow-den play area, and the Squeal Hill mini tubing hill.
3. The new Kokomo Express high-speed quad debuts in Copper’s West Village this season, replacing the old Kokomo lift and improving service to beginner terrain. Other recent changes: Endo’s, a popular slopeside bar and restaurant in Center Village, is now Ten Mile Tavern after a $1.5 million renovation over the summer. Look for a new menu and twenty beers on tap. Toast & Co. is a new “breakfast and mixology” concept, serving breakfast and brunch in the morning and drinks and small plates in the evening. Also new this season: Downhill Dukes, bringing a “high-energy après scene” and a dog-friendly patio area.
4. Book early to reserve spots on the Moonlight Dine & Ski nights, which include nighttime skiing under the moonlight on the American Eagle chairlift and a mid-mountain gourmet buffet dinner.
5. The offerings at Woodward Copper include trampoline and foam-pit progression sessions in the Woodward Barn, a season-long Park Rats coaching program on Saturdays and Sundays for ages six through eighteen, winter day-camp programs for ages six through fourteen, and all-ages single-day Park & Pipe coaching packages. Book at woodwardcopper.com or call 970-620-9015.