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Colorado Springs

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Soooo it seems as though I'm going to be working at the US Olympic Training Center in Colo Springs from Sept-Jan before i head to grad school.

Does anyone have any good information on the area? If not personal then at least links to some good sites? I've looked at some of the local tourist boards and city websites that came up on google, but it wasn't anything spectacular

I know here in the east we're barely skiing by mid december... where would the closest/ best place to get a few turns in before its time to move on?
Other stuff I've been interested in:
anyone from here who lives there to have fun with
mountain biking

annnd anything else you might be able to give me.

I'm really looking forward to this. It ought to be a good way to transition from the East to the Rockies.
post #2 of 6
Keep an eye on Loveland and Wolf Creek. ...With just a little luck you should be able to get in the equivalent of a whole year of skiing back east, before you have to leave.
post #3 of 6
Loveland's October openings are based on a couple runs with snowmaking. Its high alpine terrain (new chair, #9 I think) is often not open until January. From Colorado Springs Monarch might be as close to you as Loveland.

Wolf Creek's early season, when it's good, is for real. It's very remote, but I think it's an hour closer for you than from Denver. That means 3 hours one-way vs. 4. Wolf Creek is different from the rest of Colorado in that it tends to get its snow in big dumps. It is fully covered with natural snow in early November about 30% of the time. The flip side is that you are still looking at rocks at Christmas about 10% of seasons. Note Dec. 1999 in the table below, which is missing the similar Dec. 1989.

The other areas that have decent early season snow reputations are Steamboat, Vail and Winter Park. As a reality check I refer you to this useful compilation of early season open terrain in Colorado from 1988-2002: http://people.montana.com/~jbraun/coloearly.htm .
post #4 of 6
Originally Posted by RJP
Does anyone have any good information on the area?
Well, it's slightly less soulless than Denver. That's not saying much.

Ski Monarch if you get a chance. It won't be too far of a drive and it's a fun hill. It's also out of the way enough that it doesn't get huge numbers of skiers. Likewise, you can drive about 2 hours past there to get to Crested Butte - another phenomenal mountain that doesn't get a lot of people. Breck will be your closest mountain (via Hoosier Pass). It will also be the mountain of choice for about 25,000 of your closest friends on any given weekend. It's hard to say which mountain will be best in December, but the San Juans usually get awesome early season dumps (that's one of the reasons for the Wolf Creek suggestion.) It's hard to say whether Monarch or Crusty Butt will be any good since both require natural snow for most of the terrain.

As far as outdoorsy stuff goes, go in the Sangre de Cristo range! It's practically in your backyard and it's one of the least trafficked areas in Colorado. I'm not too familiar with mountain biking trails, but there has to be some nice ones through there. If you like to hike, I highly suggest the North or South Colony Lakes area. North Colony has less traffic, South Colony is prettier.
post #5 of 6
I would have pointed out that CB is another 2 hours past Monarch, but your original post said you would be in Colorado only through January. Unfortunately the normal opening for CB's North Face terrain is late January. It is open by Christmas about 10% of seasons.

In general your time in Colorado is during the wrong half of the ski season. February to April is consistently good at most areas
post #6 of 6
Originally Posted by vinn
It's also out of the way enough that it doesn't get huge numbers of skiers.
obviously you haven't been there when the 50 church buses from Texlahoma roll into the parking lot
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