Full Moon Winter Adventures

Submitted by Helen Olsson on Tue, 01/30/2018 - 09:35

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Photo by Tripp Fay courtesy of Copper Mountain.

The Super Blue Blood Moon is coming (January 31!). And what could be better than skiing underneath it?

Skiing and riding under a full moon (or just a star-studded sky) can be a singular experience. After the lifts close down for the day and the sun begins to dip, avid outdoorsy folk don’t head for the bar and dance in their ski boots. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Instead, they head back out for after-dark winter adventures.

Of course, a handful of Colorado ski resorts offer night skiing, but you can also find unique once-in-a-lifetime experiences, from gourmet dinners and full moon skiing to stargazing via snowcat and Nordic skiing to a toasty deep-woods yurt.

Here are four options for playing in the snow at night—and eating well—at Crested Butte, Copper, and Aspen in Colorado. 

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Photo courtesy of Crested Butte.

Crested Butte

Full Moon at Ten Peaks

This Wednesday, January 31, three lunar events will be all rolled up into one for the Super Blue Blood Moon. It’s a Blue Moon (the second full moon of the month), a Super Moon (meaning the moon’s position relative to the earth will make it appear humongous), and there’s also going to be a total lunar eclipse happening.
Catch this lunar phenomenon at Crested Butte, which is hosting a full moon skin or snowshoe from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on January 31 (as well as two dates in March).
The adventure starts with a self-guided skin or snowshoe tour to the top of Ten Peaks under the full moon. Inside the Umbrella Bar, you’ll tuck into a buffet dinner including charcuterie, fondue, chili, and panini, followed by dessert. The $40 price tag includes a glass of house wine or draft beer (bring your ID). Layer up for the uphill and the downhill and be sure to bring a headlamp in case it clouds over. Get tickets for these full moon parties at the Adventure Center, online , or by calling 970-349-2211.

If you miss the wintertime full moon parties, Crested Butte hosts similar events throughout the summer months.

Dates

  • January 31, 2018
  • March 1, 2018
  • March 31, 2018

Cost

  • $40 per person

More info: Crested Butte Full Moon at Ten Peaks

Copper Mountain

Moonlight Dine and Ski

This after-dark adventure begins with a lift ride up Copper’s American Eagle chair to the mid-mountain Solitude Station. While Chef David Taladay prepares a sumptuous meal, dining guests can enjoy the exclusivity of after-hours skiing off the Excelerator lift, a perfect way to whet the appetite.

Inside Solitude, diners can sip cocktails (two are included in the price for the over 21 set) and enjoy live music by sixth generation Coloradan Beau Thomas, purveyor of soul, funk and folk. After a gourmet buffet dinner and dessert prepared by Chef Susan Vlass, work off those calories by skiing or riding back down to Center Village, arcing turns under the full moon.

In the case of the Valentine’s event, you (and presumably your honeypie) will be riding under the twinkle of the stars, as the new moon phase begins February 15. In fact, February 2018 is a “Black Moon” month, meaning there’s no full moon in February at all. All the better to see the stars. The March 31 event at Copper will be special, too, as the dinner will coincide with a Blue Moon, which is the second full moon in the same calendar month.

Be sure to bring along a headlamp (in case the moon is obscured by cloud cover or you’ve chosen the Valentine event) and an extra pair of shoes or slippers to wear during dinner so you can kick off your ski or snowboard boots. If you don’t want to ski or ride down in the dark (but really, that’s the big draw here), you can arrange for a snowcat ride down the mountain for an additional cost.

Dates

  • New Year’s Eve Moonlight in the Mountains - Sunday, December 31, 2017
  • Moonlight Dine and Ski - Saturday, January 27, 2018
  • Valentine’s Special - Saturday, February, 10, 2018
  • Raised on Colorado - Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cost

  • Adults: $125
  • Children and young adults, 12 to 21: $90
  • Party of four: $440?
  • Cat ride down: $50 (if you don’t want to ski); or $75 for a round trip. Call 866-847-2481 to reserve a seat in the snowcat

More info: Copper Mountain Moonlight Dinner

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Photo by Dan Bayer courtesy of The Little Nell.

Aspen

The Little Nell Snowcat Stargazing

If you’re looking for a truly one-in-a-lifetime experience in Aspen, consider booking The Little Nell’s exclusive Snowcat Stargazing Winter Adventure. You and a group of like-minded pals (up to 12 total) can book the cat for rambling after-dark tour high on the mountain.

The adventure starts at the end of the ski day with a ride up the Silver Queen Gondola on Aspen Mountain. At the top of the mountain, you’ll meet up with Aspen Mountain Powder Tours guides for a snowcat ride on the Aspen’s backside, where you’ll soak in views of the surrounding peaks as the sun sets.

When the sky turns dark, the stargazing begins. A guide from Aspen High School’s astronomy program will help you identify stars, planets, constellations and possibly meteor showers.   During the three-hour adventure (from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.), you’ll warm up by a wood-burning stove at a private on-mountain cabin, enjoying drinks and sweet treats along the way. For pricing and booking, contact The Little Nell Ski Concierge at 970.920.6315.

More info: The Little Nell  

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Photo courtesy of Crested Butte.

Crested Butte

Nordic Magic Meadows Yurt Dinner Experience

Crested Butte Nordic organizes this culinary nighttime adventure. The price includes trail passes, gear rental, guides, live music, a five-course dinner, and drinks.

Gear up at the Crested Butte Nordic Center with either cross-country skis or snowshoes, then head for the trailhead. Be sure to bundle up for the ski in, especially if it’s a chilly night. You’ll be exerting energy, but you’re still out there in the winter elements. Consider bringing along slippers for inside the yurt. If you have any food allergies, be sure to let the organizers know well ahead of time and bring any medicine you might need.

Guides will lead you to the yurt on a mellow, rolling mile-long trail. Inside the solar-powered yurt, warm up next to the wood-burning stove while you sip specialty cocktails crafted from Crested Butte’s Montanya Distillery or beer from Elevation Beer Company.  Try on for size a drink called the Winter Coat. There will be live music to enjoy over a leisurely paced multi-course gourmet dinner prepared by Creative Catering’s chef Josephine Kellet.  

Dates

  • February 10, 14, 17, 23, & 24, 2018
  • March 3, 10, & 17, 2018

Cost

  • Adults: $135
  • Children: $85
  • Equipment, passes, guides, food, libations, live music, and gratuity are all included

More Info: Crested Butte Nordic Center 

Helen Olsson is the author of The Down & Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids. She blogs about outdoor adventures with kids at maddogmom.com

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