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Couples on the Slopes: Bliss or Battleground?

SolVista Basin ski pro offers advice on how to survive skiingwith your significant other.


Valentines weekend mountain getaways beckon this time of yearwho doesn’t love to schuss side-by-side with a sweetheart? Except when she skis bumps and he craves groomers. Or he’s got helpful pointers she doesn’t want to hear…wait a minute, there goes the romance.

Having different interest or skill levels can be a challenge for couples, says SolVista Basins Ski and Ride School Director Dan OConnell. Its inevitable that the more-skilled rider or skier tries to help, and the less-skilled person is trying so hard not to be a problem, and tension results.

OConnell (with 24 years of skiing with his significant other under his belt) offers these tips for keeping the peace on the mountain with your significant other:

Set up expectations. Preface your time on the slopes by saying the point of this day is to be together and have fun, -not hunt for powder stashes or bag as many runs as possible or refine your skills.

Make it about the mountain, not just the runs. Take time to enjoy the whole skiing and riding experiencescenery, snow, cozy fireplaces, hot drinks.

Ski with others to take the pressure off. OConnell calls it getting ski time in the bank; if you head out with friends of equal skill and interest, you burn off the need to ski at that level, and can justify a more relaxing day with your partner.

Lighten up. Take a long lunch, explore different parts of the mountain, goof around.

To each his or her own. Make a plan to go your own way for an hour and ski as you like, then meet for coffee and hit the slopes together.

Take a lesson together. Face it, we dont always listen to the ones we love. Let an instructor play the role of objective third party, and help you both polish skills and up the fun factor.

SolVistas Sweetheart of a Deal offers two-hour private couples lessons for $180 throughout February. In this private lesson, the instructor will work with each of you, regardless of skill level. While one is practicing a new technique, the instructor works with the other. After the lesson, the two of you can head off together and help each other using tips and techniques learned. And most importantyou can offer encouragement and be your sweethearts biggest fan.

To speak with OConnell and score more ideas for easy ski days and teaching tips contact Lisa Craig at For more information about SolVistas programming, events, and specially designed family-friendly terrain, events, rentals and instructions, visit

About Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch is a four-season mountain community nestled against the Continental Divide, located only 20 miles from the western entrance to Colorados Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Ranch is home to SolVista Basin ski area, SolVista Bike Park, and Headwaters Golf Course, and offers chairlift access to thousands of acres of hiking and cross-country trails as well as world-class downhill mountain biking, a championship golf course, miles of blue-ribbon fishing and the friendliest family ski mountain around.

With homesites from under $100,000, Granby Ranch is the ultimate family mountain community, with a variety of cabin, condominium and single-family home neighborhoods surrounded by protected open space overlooking wilderness and wildlife areas. Homes and lodging reflect the rich history of its rustic Colorado mountain community, with neighborhoods connected by trails instead of sidewalks, ensuring that kids grow up with an adventure around every corner.

Visit for a dayor stay for a lifetime. Go to for lodging options, activities, or to learn more about owning a mountain home at Granby Ranch. Photos and multimedia are available. Contact Lisa Craig at