A check on my winter bucket list
On Saturday I did something I haven’t done since mid-December: I left the Roaring Fork Valley.
Life gets busy in Aspen in the winter when you work full time, so it’s not unusual for many residents to not leave the comfy confines of the valley until the spring thaw.
If you recall a short write-up I did a month or so ago laying out my mid-season bucket list, one of the items on that list that I wanted to accomplish was to ski a resort outside of Aspen-Snowmass.
So on Saturday afternoon, my travel partner and I packed up the car and hit the road to Beaver Creek, determined to add a checkmark beside this winter bucket list item.
We technically stayed in Edwards, not Beaver Creek, but the mountain was a short 10-or-so-minute drive away and the Inn at Riverwalk, the lovely hotel we stayed in, had a free shuttle, so it was very convenient.
Like the good tourists that we are, we hit the mountain bright and early Sunday when the lifts started spinning at 8:30 a.m. and were greeted with perfectly groomed corduroy and sunshine, only to be replaced by stormy skies and soft snow falling from around 12:30 to 3 p.m.
On Monday, we returned to the mountain for a shortened day since we wanted to get back to Aspen at a reasonable time and there was some shopping to be done in Glenwood Springs (you know you have to hit up the big stores when you have a chance).
But Monday was just as good as Sunday, with plenty of sunshine, hardly a lift line and a plethora of wide-open runs to bomb down.
Here are some of the things I noticed while spending two days skiing Beaver Creek:
Beaver Creek is huge. I can barely remember the names of the runs on the mountains here, so I can’t imagine how long it would take me to learn all the hidden gems on a mountain with 23 lifts.
Speaking of how huge Beaver Creek is, there really is terrain for every type of skier and rider.
This is not an important fact, but it’s a fact I noticed nonetheless: It seems like half the skiers and snowboarders on the mountain were riding with backpacks, which is not something many of those skiing in Aspen do.
Beaver Creek not only has a Candy Cabin on the mountain, but it also has an ice cream parlor. I strongly recommend that Aspen Skiing Co. take note of this and add an ice cream parlor on one of its four mountains.
In the end, I’m hoping to return to Beaver Creek to ski again next year when I perhaps time my short getaway better so it aligns with a winter storm and I can explore some of their more adventurous terrain. The mountain is like an amalgamation of a lot of my favorite things about skiing in Aspen-Snowmass, so while it’s different enough to feel like I got a short vacation, it feels enough like home that I want to go back.
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A new 6-mile jug handle trail has been added to the Emma side of land known as the Crown. The Vasten Trail provides options for mountain bikers in the popular area.