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First Time @ Copper - Suggested Trails To Get a Feel for the Mountain

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Heading to Copper with my wife for the first time. Looking to get a feel for the mountain layout in terms of trails that would let us experience as much as possible...a lay of the land trip so to speak in prep for future family trips. This is a day trip for us instead of Mary Jane.

Not looking for any expert terrain...a reasonable guide to our skill set is that we will ski a trail like Jane Trail @ Mary Jane fairly aggressively top to bottom even when it is cut up and moderately bumped up top, but above that my wife is a pure (solid) finesse skier and my developing skills start showing gaps. I'll continue to work on that at my home mountain. We are both on LX82's, will be weekday so not concerned about any crowd issues.

Hoping someone can say...'park in lot x, take lift y to trail z....and from there....' with some other options as we get familiar. I will study the trail maps, but they never really tell much of a story.

post #2 of 5

Unless you are willing to pay for parking, just park and take the bus to East Village.  Take the Superbee lift to the top of the mountain.  Warmup run is down Copperoplolis to the Excelerator.  Now that you have your legs under you, take the Excelerator back to the top, go skier's left, and ski Ptarmagin.  Again back up the Excelerator, now go further left and ski Hallelujah.


If you like that, then make another one or two laps.  Next, head skier's right down Andy's Encore.  Under the Alpine Lift, ski Triple Treat to the bottom following the lift down. You;ve just skied 1500 feet of moguls (presuming it hasn't been groomed).  Fortunately, the lift is slow, so you can rest on the way back up.  Next, take Andy's to Oh No to the top of Formidable.  Go below to the top of the cat track and cut right into the trees.  Now you face a choice:  right is Black Bear glade, and right is Freefall Glade.  Both are double diamond excellent gladed skiing.


Take lunch!


Next, get yourself to the top of the mountain (Superbee or Excelerator).  Traverse to the Storm King lift.  Head up into Spaulding Bowl.  If you are feeling confident, head left towards Cornice, Bariloche, or So Fine.  If not, head right to Marvin Gardens.  Take Cross cut at the bottom to return to the Resolution lift.  Now, head way across the mountain to the Entrance to Enchanted Forest.  Take Ute Overlook or the run to the right.  A nice short steep shot of generally good snow.  Take the traverse to the Timberline Express Lift.  At the top, take the traverse to the R lift and head into Copper Bowl.  Ski any of the lines, but work your way to Mountain Chief.  At the top, take the traverse around the top of the bowl and keep heading towrads Union Peak.  You'll come to Buzzard's Alley, a fairly long (and steep) shot to the bottom.


You can then take the S lift up to the top. Here, you can either head into Jupiter Bowl or head over the back into Gold Digger, Revenge, or the like.  Catch the Jacques Pique return if you catch the stuff off of the back.


From there, explore!



post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Mike...appreciate the response!
post #4 of 5

I like Mike's plan for an expert skier, but I'm afraid it might be too much for you and your wife if you like the Jane trail.  You'll be hitting lots of bumps and steeps with his plan (it's pretty much what I do every day :).


I'd suggest you primarily ski a handful of lifts that have both intermediate and expert runs and pick what you like under each based on snow and grooming conditions.  Like the Jane Trail, some of the blues at Copper will get choppy or mildly bumped if they haven't been groomed for a couple days.  There are also some blacks that are sometimes groomed you might like under the Super Bee.  Check the daily grooming report and maybe take a printed copy with you:




Here's my suggestion for an advanced intermediate skier at Copper based on how I lead my family and friends around the mountain:


Excelerator Lift

Make your way to the top of the Excelerator Lift via the Super Bee.   Use the free outlying parking and take the shuttle to the East Village to  catch the Super Bee that meets the Excelerator at the top.   Ski the blues under the Excelerator.  The runs and lift are nice and short and a great warm up.  Venture onto Hallelujah or the bump runs served by the Excelerator if you feel adventurous, or they happened to be groomed that day.  This lift is nice for skiers of different abilities to ski different runs and easily meet at the bottom.  When you get bored with these runs, just take the lift to the top and head down the Super Bee side.


Super Bee Lift

This is the meat of the advanced intermediate terrain at Copper and also serves many expert runs.   Spend a bunch of time skiing this lift.  Start with Andy's Encore (one of the best cruisers anywhere IMO) then explore the other runs to find your favorites.  This lift kicks butt.  It's super fast, has lots of vertical and serves a great variety of terrain.   Grab lunch at the base of the Super Bee.  They have great $5.99 lunch specials that would cost $12 at Vail! 


Alpine Lift and Resolution Lift

Check the snow report to see if any runs have been groomed that are served by these lifts accessible off the Super Bee.  If not, I would only recommend an advanced intermediate skier venture there if they are ready for LONG bump runs (like Derailleur to Long Haul at MJ).  If you are not a confident bump skier stick to the shorter expert runs under the Excelerator lift.


Timberline Express Lift

After the Super Bee side has cooked your legs, I like to take folks over the the blues on the gentler side of the mountain.   From the top of the Super Bee head hard skiers left and make your way to the American Flier lift at the Center Village.    The top of the Flier meets the top of the Timberline lift.  Play around on the runs served by the Timberline lift.  Some will be groomed, some not, so you'll find something to your liking.   There is a great outdoor grill with lounge chairs at the base of the Timberline lift that's a nice place for a break or snack.


Rendezvous Lift

Once bored with the runs under Timberline, head to the top of the lift and make your way to the Rendezvous Lift.   You need to head hard skiers right and stay high. Look for the signs.   The Rendezvous lift serves some fun high-mountain beginner and intermediate runs.  It's slow and doesn't have much vertical, but the view is amazing and the terrain playful. 


At this point, if you havn't had enough just head back to the Super Bee.  Most likely the lift will outlast your legs.  If not, I love to catch the 4pm chair, wait a bit a the top of the hill, then rip down the empty slopes pretending I'm a downhill racer training at the US Ski Team Speed Center they run under the Super Bee early season.  Here's a video of a downhill racer under the Super Bee to get you excited for your trip: 



Have fun at Copper Mountain!

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yea, Mike's response got me started...but I figured we'd stick to the non-expert part biggrin.gif. I really appreciate the detailed response...hoping to get up there on Monday!
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