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. Here are five things you need to know about Wolf Creek, in southwest Colorado.
Wolf Creek opens for the holiday week on November 21, with the regular schedule dependent on snow conditions. Never fear: The ski area, whose motto is “the most snow in Colorado,” got hammered with over 440 inches last season, so pay close attention to the powder forecasts on opensnow.com and try to get yourself there when it matters.
Here are five things to know about Wolf Creek:
1. When you’ve timed it right, head for the Knife Ridge, home of Wolf Creek’s steepest and deepest powder fields. “Wolf Creek is known for an abundance of snow and finding fresh tracks on a powder day,” says Wolf Creek spokeswoman Rosanne Haidorfer-Pitcher. “The free Horseshoe Bowl Snowcat shuttle offers guests easy access to adventurous terrain east of the Knife Ridge. The shuttle service runs during storm cycles for some epic turns on one of many deep-powder days at Wolf Creek.”
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2. Adult lift tickets are $70. For discounts, hold out for the locals’ appreciation days — November 27 and 29; December 6; January 24 and 28; February 4 and 28; March 25 and 28; and closing day, April 1 — when the price drops to $48.
3. Beginner packages are offered daily and open to anyone age nine and older. “Wolf Creek Ski School has a ‘Guarantee to Learn’ initiative for these packages to ensure success at the new sport,” Haidorfer-Pitcher says. “This ski deal includes four hours of lessons, a full-day lift ticket to the new conveyor Lynx Lift, the Nova Chairlift, and access to the Raven Chairlift and Elma Chairlift after 3 p.m. This is a great way to get out and take on a new sport.” The packages are $71 for beginner skiers or $74 for beginner snowboarders.
4. To do a Wolf Creek powder day right, you’ve got to get up crazy early to make first chair. After you’ve made first tracks and thoroughly worn yourself out, check out the Continental, a high-altitude espresso bar at the top of the Treasure Stoke Chairlift, to warm up and get a caffeine jolt to replenish the stoke.
5. Stay on either side of Wolf Creek Pass. On the South Fork side on your way in from Denver, you’ll find hotel and motel rooms — or rustic cabins — for well under $100 a night. On the Pagosa Springs side of Wolf Creek Pass, you’ll pay slightly more but have access to three different hot springs in town. Start at the Springs Resort & Spa, then check out Healing Waters Resort & Spa and the indoor Overlook Hot Springs if you’re staying for a few days.