Copper Mountain ski resort
About Copper Mountain
Copper Mountain is one of the world’s newer ski areas, created from scratch in the early 1970s. It is also one of the planet’s highest, with a base at nearly 3,000m (9,850ft) above sea level.
The resort itself is a pleasant, pedestrianised village that has both a strong family ethos and a huge selection of terrain that attracts good skiers and boarders from across the world. This appeal has been boosted by the opening of a year-round indoor facility, Woodward, which contains dry slopes, trampolines and foam pits where anyone can practice freestyle technique in safety.
The resort has an excellent design, learning from the mistakes of earlier purpose-built areas and ironing out many of the inconveniences of traditional villages that have evolved into ski resorts. The majority of accommodation is in convenient slopeside condominiums, interconnected by walkways and separated by squares. However, the expansion of the resort has led to the creation of several ‘districts’ that are connected by a shuttle bus service; so it is worth checking exactly where accommodation is located when you’re booking.
Copper Mountain in Summit County, Colorado, is located in the Rocky Mountains in western USA. The resort is 126km (78 miles) west of Denver by road.
On the slopes
Copper Mountain is a planner’s idea of what a ski resort should be, with a well-ordered resort sitting within naturally divided terrain on two mountains: Copper Peak and Union Peak. The slopes cover one long face along the front, so everything’s easily accessible and the skiing gets progressively harder as skiers move along.
Although it’s not a giant resort, there is plenty of enjoyable skiing for all levels. The majority of terrain at Copper Mountain is rated as either ‘advanced’ or ‘expert’ so accomplished skiers have plenty of options, including the challenges of Copper and Spaulding Bowls and various other spots around the back of the ski resort area. An unusual yet exciting addition, unique to the resort is a snowcat service that transports skilled skiers up to some of the resort’s most challenging terrain.
Intermediates have around a quarter of runs suited to their level and can cruise the entire resort from top to bottom. Beginners, meanwhile, can learn in the safety of the nursery slopes at Union Creek.
For snowboarders, there’s an excellent selection of terrain parks offering a progression from easy to advanced levels and a super pipe for freestyle skiers and boarders.
Due to the resort’s high altitude, snow cover is normally reliable, and the ski season generally runs between November and mid-April.