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Don’t Put Away Those Skis Just Yet

COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO – Snow lovers in striking distance of Copper Mountain woke to a veritable Christmas in April, with a major spring storm dumping 18″ of new snow overnight and an additional 5″ piling up on their snow stake in the wee hours of the morning. Conditions are, well… to call them UH-MAZING would be an understatement. The resort announced on April 15 that they will extend the 2023-24 season into May.

And if the gift of a foot-and-a-half of fresh powder wasn’t enough, now through the end of that extended season, Copper is offering $99 lift tickets and 40% off Friends and Family passes. For those of you hightailing it to the resort, don’t take your eyes off the road while we do the math for you: that equals ticket prices as low as $60. Plus, don’t miss the Lleky Hot Laps event on Thursday, April 18, and Copper Live on Saturday, April 20, along with the final uphill race of the Mammut Uphill Race Series.

Copper Mountain’s annual closing weekend celebration, Sunsation, will take place on April 27–28. Set your GPS for the resort, drive carefully, and enjoy free live music performances from Ripe and The Main Squeeze in Copper’s Center Village in Eagle’s Landing. Sunsation festivities continue with Slush Rush on April 27. A team relay event, Slush Rush combines several snow sport competition favorites, including halfpipe, a boarder cross course, and a jump and rail section into a pond skim. Registration and more details are available at CopperColorado.com.




Photo courtesy of Copper Mountain

Food In High Places


by Amanda Faison
skier, ski mom, lover of slopeside cuisine


SOMEWHERE IN COLORADO SKI COUNTRY USA – Growing up in Aspen, my provided ski-school lunch consisted of a very sad hot dog and a small soda on a tray. (Of course, I always bolstered this with a pocket roll of Mentos for chairlift snacks.) Hot dogs might still make an appearance on the occasional resort menu, but on-mountain dining has evolved to include more finely crafted options. See below for some of CSCUSA’s top picks, plus an uphill bonus.

Not only does Arapahoe Basin’s Il Rifugio sit at 12,456 feet and carry the distinction of the highest restaurant in North America, the bistro also serves excellent antipasto and charcuterie boards along with panini and salads. For stunning views of the Continental Divide, dine on a bluebird day and see if you can nab a table by the window or sit on the deck. The vistas pair perfectly with a glass of bubbly. Open for pastries and coffee at 9:00 am and lunch starting at 10:30 am; no reservations.

Fun fact: Before Il Rifugio opened in 2019, Telluride’s Alpino Vino (at 11,966 feet) boasted the title of North America’s highest restaurant. But don’t let the difference of 490 feet discourage you from dining at this gorgeous chalet. Perched on the side of the aptly-named See Forever run, you really can see for-evah! The views only enhance the already terrific menu of pastas, antipasti, and panini. Swirling a glass of Italian wine by the fireplace, you might momentarily think you’re in the Dolomites. Open for lunch and dinner; reservations strongly recommended.

Over the years, the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse, a yurt with nightly dinner service, has become a destination. The structure, which sits at 1,080 feet and is accessed from Ski Cooper’s nordic center, is only reachable by snowshoeing, skinning, or (for an upcharge) snowmobile. The ongoing popularity of that experience led the resort to create yet another dining opportunity: Yurt dinners at Ridgeview Cafe. For these evenings, a snowcat delivers guests to the mountaintop yurt, and after a dinner of prime rib, shrimp scampi, and other fancy dishes (plus tiramisu!), folks either pile back into the snowcat or ski down via headlamp. Reservations required. Cooper’s yurt dinners are sold out for the rest of the 2023–24 season, but Tennessee Pass Cookhouse will soon transition to its summer schedule. 

Skiers and riders take note: Loveland Ski Area is doing something all its own. Thanks to its secret weapon, kitchen supervisor and head baker Audra Alviso, the mountain has established a fantastic pastry program. Alviso, a Denver native who worked as head baker at Whole Foods for six years and as a chocolatier in Idaho Springs, has taken Loveland’s morning nosh up a serious notch. She specializes in doughnuts, French pastries, and petit fours, and even if you’re not hitting the hill (ummm, whyever not?!), Alviso’s treats are worth pulling off I-70 for.

This season, Aspen Snowmass set out with a mission to bring the best of the best in burgers to its on-mountain guests. The resort rolled out seven signature burgers across its four mountains. From classic to seriously over-the-top, each $21 sandwich features local, grass-fed beef patties from Nieslanik Ranch in Carbondale. The chosen restaurants—Sundeck at Aspen Mountain; Elk Camp, High Alpine, and Ullrhof at Snowmass; Buttermilk Mountain Lodge and Cliffhouse at Buttermilk Mountain; and Merry-Go-Round at Aspen Highlands—all added their own flair. For example, in keeping with High Alpine’s Bavarian spin, the burger is topped with pastrami and kraut and bookended by a pretzel bun. Over at Merry-Go-Round at Highlands, the mountain’s come-as-you-are vibe translated to a burger with a little bit of everything: pastrami bacon, onion rings, pepper jack, barbecue sauce, lettuce, onion, tomato, and grilled cheese sandwiches standing in for a bun. If only there were a burger passport, where you could get a stamp for trying each—and a prize (a shot of Pepto? A free beer?) at the end!

And speaking of Aspen…With small exception, most every CSCUSA resort permits uphilling with an arm band and mindful awareness of the rules. But Buttermilk takes the experience to the next level with the Friday Morning Uphill Breakfast Club. On Friday mornings throughout the season, Cliffhouse, the restaurant at the summit, opens early for those earning their turns. For the 2023–2024 season, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association sponsored the breakfasts, meaning that uphillers could nosh on items from a DIY yogurt and oatmeal station or breakfast fried rice with a farm egg for just $7.50 per person.




Photo courtesy of Arapahoe Basin

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Closing Dates


All the closing dates below are subject to change, so we recommend checking directly with our member resorts for the most up-to-date information.


Arapahoe Basin — into June, as long as conditions allow

Aspen Snowmass — closed April 21

Cooper — closed April 7

Copper Mountain — into May, as long as conditions allow

Echo Mountain — closed April 14

Eldora — closed April 21

Granby Ranch — closed March 31

Howelsen Hill — closed March 23

Loveland — into May, as long as conditions allow

Monarch Mountain — closed April 21

Powderhorn — closed April 7

Purgatory — through April 28, Friday–Sunday only

Silverton — closed April 14

Steamboat — closed April 21

Sunlight — closed April 7

Telluride — closed April 7

Winter Park — Mary Jane side only, into May, as long as conditions allow




Photo courtesy of Echo Mountain

Eating at Elevation Is Twice as Tasty

by Amanda Faison
skier, ski mom, lover of slopeside cuisine


SOMEWHERE IN COLORADO SKI COUNTRY USA – Maybe there’s something in the water? Maybe it’s the crisp mountain air? Maybe it’s both? Whatever it is, we’re convinced that food on the slopes just tastes better.

Think about it: how often do you order a sky-high pile of nachos and finish every chip on the platter? Or destroy a massive, smothered breakfast burrito? Instead of getting all science-y on you, we tapped Purgatory‘s Executive Chef John Feeley, CSCUSA’s 2023 Double Diamond Award winner for food and beverage, to give us his thoughts on the high-altitude phenomenon.


CSCUSA: Why does food taste better after a day on the slopes?
John Feeley: I’ve never thought of it like that, but a lot of it has to do with working up an appetite and not just that it’s lunch time. The fresh air, all that exercise, it makes you extra hungry. Does that draw you to particular foods? I think so, especially chilis and soups when it’s cold out. Chicken tenders are a best seller at every resort in the U.S. They’re a safe choice versus getting something like a pulled pork sandwich and wondering if it might be dry.

CSCUSA: What are some of Purgatory’s biggest sellers?
JF: Chicken fingers, burgers, the chilis. At The Powderhouse, which is more of our local spot, there’s comfort food like chicken pot pie, homemade lasagna, and something we call Purg Pockets, which are like Hot Pockets. We do a Cuban one, a pizza one, and other flavors.

CSCUSA: How about for those folks who are looking for higher-end items?
JF: We just did a snowcat dinner on the full moon. It was a five-course wine dinner. You ride to the top of the mountain and stop to get pictures of the alpenglow on the Needle Mountains—I haven’t been everywhere, but I think it’s one of the best views in Colorado. The experience is so quiet, and it’s such a different vibe at night. It’s special and unique, and we stuff guests full of gourmet food and really good wine.

We also have the Bistro at Dante’s, which this year has a traditional alpine menu. There are charcuterie boards, wiener schnitzel, a sausage sampler plate (we work with a meat provider to get fresh sausages), different smoked salmons, French onion soup, jäger schnitzel, and alpine sides like sautéed apples and cabbage. It’s not traditional American comfort food, but it’s still comfort food, and it’s caught on. We just did the mid-season financial analysis of what’s selling and what’s not. The building upstairs is fine dining (Dante’s), and the cafeteria is downstairs. We learned that fine dining is doing more volume, which is mind blowing.

CSCUSA: What do you attribute that to?
JF: When I started five years ago, everything was pre-cooked and pre-prepared—just heated up. I looked at the head chef, who had also just started, and said, We need to talk. Within a year, we had moved to a scratch kitchen with fresh ingredients. We truly cook. We were smoking brisket, making pulled pork in house instead of buying product, and we got immediate, positive feedback. Guest satisfaction has gone through the roof.


Skiing or riding this weekend?
Seek out these Colorado eats

Nachos at Sixth Alley Bar & Grill, Arapahoe Basin
This cheesy pile of layered goodness starts with a tangle of Colorado’s own Raquelitas tortilla chips. From there, you choose shredded chicken, beef, or plant-based chorizo, along with black bean and corn salsa, scallions, cheddar jack cheese, pickled jalapeños, olives, and sides of sour cream and salsa. These nachos feed a crowd, so don’t go at it alone. Bonus: if you’re part of the Mug Club (there are only 473 available each season), you get $1 off of draft beer, Bloody Marys, and Moscow mules all season long.

Lifty Chili at The Lookout, Eldora Mountain
In addition to serving up views of the Continental Divide and James Peak Wilderness, The Lookout dishes up its Lifty Chili, which is a favorite of—you guessed it—Eldora’s lift operators. The bison chili is hearty and filling, and it comes with a story: the recipe originates from Tocabe, a restaurant in Denver specializing in contemporary American Indian cuisine. The ingredients are carefully sourced and inspired by Osage family recipes.

Waffle Fries at Brother’s Grille, Echo Mountain
Why order regular fries when you can have waffle fries! Echo Mountain’s signature snack has more surface area, more crunch, more everything. The fries are so popular, they’ve even been called “life changing” on the customer feedback survey. If you really want to take it up a notch, pair the fries with a bowl of tomato soup. It might become your new favorite combo.

Whatever’s on draft at Todd’s Tavern, Sunlight Mountain Resort
It’s not just food that tastes better on the slopes, it’s a frosty microbrew too. And how better to enjoy it than at Sunlight’s creaky floored, dollar-bill decorated Todd’s Tavern? This season, Todd’s collaborated with Glenwood Canyon Brewpub to create an easy-drinking, crushable lager. If you’ve got a mug, save $1, but even without, you’ll be saying cheers!




Photo courtesy of Purgatory

Phunkshun Wear’s Fundraiser Is Totally Rad

Grab your raddest, retro-est gear and show off your gnarliest moves at the 9th Annual High Fives Foundation Retro Shred-A-Thon


Wait a minute, Doc. Are you telling me that I need to build a time machine… out of a DeLorean?

Nope. I’m telling you that CSCUSA partner Phunkshun Wear and the High Fives Foundation, which provides support and resources to athletes who have suffered life-altering injuries, have done all the hard work already. You just gotta show up wearing your Calvin’s* and looking like you went to high school with Marty McFly.


So if your calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, we’re gonna see some serious [BLEEP]?

First of all, we’re going to overlook your salty language because it is very exciting, and second of all, we do. not. endorse. driving 88 miles per hour.

That said, the event is hosted by Winter Park, which is known for a wide range of terrain that’s suitable for all skill levels, so there’s something for everyone at the Shred-A-Thon.

All you have to do is sign up and participate! Prizes will be awarded for most laps, most money raised, raddest costume, and more. While you’re rippin’ it up on the slopes, you’ll be helping to make a real difference in the lives of people who have faced significant challenges. All funds raised go directly to High Fives, and every turn counts! It’s gonna be, like, totally tubular.


I’m no couch potato. Count me in. When and where?

See you at the Retro Shred-A-Thon on Saturday, April 15, at Winter Park Resort.




*Be there or be square, but please put some winter gear on over your Calvin’s!













#SkiLikeAGirl #ShredLikeAGirl

An explosion of women-centered clinics, events, and gear are helping women level-up their skiing and snowboarding skills, protect their knees, and connect with each other on and off the slopes. Whether you’re thinking about taking your skills to the next level this season or planning an active girls’ trip next season, there are a bootbag’s worth of ways to ski or shred like a girl in Colorado Ski Country USA.

For Women Only
CSCUSA resorts across Colorado have added lots of options for women-only clinics. The camaraderie and vibe of these clinics led by women instructors creates a supportive environment for conquering fears and developing confidence in one’s skills.

“I’ve seen that in a women-only clinic, the women feel more comfortable talking about their fears,” says 2023-24 CSCUSA Ski Instructor of the Year and Telluride Ski Instructor Deb Willits. “When that happens, we can really dive into what it will take to increase confidence. Often, it’s because students may not know exactly what to do in a given situation.”

Women-only clinics are available each season at Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Snowmass, Copper Mountain, Eldora, Granby Ranch, Monarch, Powderhorn, Purgatory, Telluride, and Winter Park.

Willits says every skier or snowboarder can benefit from taking a lesson. “There are always things to learn, and every individual has some kind of inefficient body movement or posture particular to them that, if addressed, will help to make them an even more accomplished and confident skier,” she says.

Along with clinics, many CSCUSA resorts are offering women’s programming especially for Women’s History Month and around International Women’s Day. Aspen Snowmass will be celebrating with its second annual Uphill Champagne Lunch, complete with a DJ, raffle, and gifts from local businesses, on Friday, March 8.

Many resorts also offer informal groups to encourage women to get out and adventure with other women. Monarch Mountain near Salida started a Women’s Social Club that meets every Wednesday around 10:00 am, and it’s free and open to anyone who wants to join.

A women-only veterans’ clinic is also helping set the stage for transformation and healing each season at Sunlight Mountain Resort near Glenwood Springs. Sunlight and The Kirstie Ennis Foundation partner to provide 10 female military veterans with everything they need to push through boundaries on the slopes: snowboarding gear, outdoor clothing, ski and snowboard lessons, and lift tickets.

Girl Gear
Gear designed especially for women can also help boost confidence and even decrease injuries. CSCUSA partner HEAD offers a women’s PROTECTOR SLR ski binding, featuring Full Heel Release (FHR) technology. HEAD reports that the binding, which has 180° heel release, reduces the load on the knee and leads to the reduction and mitigation of knee injuries.

Another piece of gear that can change your whole day on the slopes is an investment in your gloves. CSCUSA partner Christy Sports carries a line of heated women’s gloves called Sidas Ultra Heat Boost. They come with an ultra-light lithium-ion battery offering up to 10 hours of heat that spreads 360° around the fingers and the top of the hand. Imagine a whole winter of warm hands whether you’re skiing, shoveling the driveway, or walking the dog!

#SkiLikeAGirl #ShredLikeAGirl
Whether it’s leveling up your skillset and conquering a new run, finding gear that makes for a more enjoyable day on the slopes, or connecting with a group of like-minded outdoorswomen, Colorado Ski Country USA has a mountain for everyone.

Rent the Gear. Own the Powder.

Spring Into Action at Christy Sports


The slopes are covered this time of year—and so are all your outdoor gear needs at Christy Sports! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice eager to take on the mountain, our partner Christy Sports will provide you with everything you need for an unforgettable ski trip this season.

This March, during their Ski-Ya-Later Sale, Christy’s is offering up to 40%, 50%, even 60% off select gear. Shop early for the best selection of gear. Shop all month long for the best deals of the season—in-store and online.

Planning a ski trip for Spring Break? Book in advance online and get up to 20% off your daily rentals. With 30+ locations in Colorado (some at the base of your favorite mountain!), you can’t miss ’em! Skip the lines—and the wait—hit the slopes sooner, and spend more time carving this spring.

With Christy Sports, you can embrace the winter season with confidence, knowing that they have your back. Walk in or login anytime to see what else we have to offer.


Visit Christy Sports

It’s Delightful, It’s Delicious, It’s De-Lovelandy

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, CO – Every Valentine’s Day, Loveland Ski Area celebrates that crazy little thing called Love with a mass wedding ceremony, attended by brides and grooms dressed to chill—and to ski.

This year, 115 couples tied the knot at the 33rd Annual Mountaintop Matrimony ceremony in Forest Meadow, and the only thing more breathtaking than the sheer amount of love present at the time of their nuptials, was the elevation, which, at 11,215 feet, was enough to take the breath away from those in attendance—and those attending the couples in attendance. Fifteen of those 115 devoted twosomes exchanged vows for the first time, and 100—a perfectly apt number of Centennial State residents—renewed their vows.

Following the ceremony, the newlyweds skied and rode down the mountain and gathered for an après-ski party. The highlight was the best-dressed couple competition, with the winning couple earning a romantic honeymoon getaway at the Clear Creek Inn and dinner at Coopers on the Creek in Georgetown, Colorado.