COMING TO COOPER: A New Lift, New Ski Trails and Additional Skiable Acreage, plus more!

Submitted by Andy on Wed, 05/15/2019 - 14:24
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Drone photo of the area that is to be opened up at Cooper

Cooper is the very definition of authentic skiing, with the softest snow surface in Colorado. They have terrain variety for all abilities, including the finest learning and beginner terrain in the country, up through epic powder, glades, and bumps. So, it is no surprise that they are working to bring their visitors and pass holders the best experience possible. What has been in talks for quite some time now is the possibility of expanding their skiable acres, the addition of a new chair lift, new ski trails, and various other projects. Cooper has finally been granted the go-ahead to proceed with all projects.

Diana Trujillo, Forest and Grassland Supervisor for the Pike & San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron & Comanche National Grasslands, signed the final Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Ski Cooper Way Back Pod Improvement Project on the Leadville Ranger District.

The project has support from both the local community and out-of-area visitors. "The Leadville Ranger District is very excited to see this project come together, and it will be great to work with Ski Cooper in the following months to implement the plan," said Michelle Mueggler, Natural Resources Specialist/Recreation Planner. This project was a collaborative effort between the USDA Forest Service, Ski Cooper, and many other partners.

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Drone photo of area that is to be opened up to mostly gladed tree skiing at Cooper

The final decision authorizes various activities and improvements at the Ski Cooper ski area, including the installation of a new ski lift, removal of vegetation to develop new ski trails and a maintenance access route, repositioning and reinstallation of the ski patrol headquarters building and the installation of a new vault toilet. This project will enhance the overall skiing experience within Ski Cooper’s current special use permit boundary while minimizing adverse effects on natural resources.

Approximately 71 acres of new intermediate and advanced skiing terrain will be created as a result of this project. 

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Vertical drone photo of the propsed Gladed tree skiing area at Cooper. 

The final decision and project information are available online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/psicc/landmanagement/projects or by contacting Michelle Mueggler, Outdoor Recreation Planner, at the Leadville Ranger District by phone: 719-486-7409 or via email: michelle.mueggler@usda.gov.

This is very exciting news for Cooper. Currently, they have 41 trails, 4 lifts, and 400 skiable acres. All of those stats will be added to by the end of the summer hopefully in time for the 2019-2020 season!

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