No. of Recommendations: 17
Hello fellow snow-lovers!

On The Hill

Yes, I'm back on the hill and back in your mailbox. Thanks to all of you for your kind notes and concern while I was hurt.

What's a person to do when stuck in a foot of fresh snow without any snow tires? Ski maybe? Well, that's what I had to do on Monday at Vail. Almost knee-deep powder was enough to do turns without really feeling the bottom. So sweet. Sun Up Bowl, Sun Down Bowl, and Game Creek Bowl were open on the back side as well as an enormous amount of terrain on the front side. The rest of the Back Bowls open tomorrow and I heard that Blue Sky Basin opens this Friday. Vail is looking very good this year.

Also did runs at Breckenridge last weekend, both Saturday and Sunday. The best run I had there was Corsair off Peak 10. There wasn't a lot of black terrain open, although chair 6 is running. Peak 10 is as slippery as ever, in spite of new snow. I hope they open up The Burn soon - I love skiing amongst the stumps. Peak 8 and Peak 9 groomers were in great shape and lift lines weren't a problem.

Breckenridge was hosting the Van's Triple Crown snowboarding event at the same time that Winter Park had Jonny Mosely, et al, for a huge skiing event. Talk about tough choices. Actually not that tough for me - I much prefer seeing new school and I think the mogul/freestyle skiing competitions are somewhat stifling. So I ended up at Breckenridge and really enjoyed standing on top of the halfpipe while the best snowboarders in the world demonstrated the state of the art. I got to see Barrett Christy - the girl goes BIG. I just hope to see skiers competing in the pipe soon. BTW, the halfpipe at Breckenridge is the best in the world.

The Saturday before last, when my knee was still shaky, I went up to do a few turns at Copper. I took my two-for-one coupon from the Snow Sports Expo up to the ticket counter and they asked me for $46.00. I asked if they were joking. That's $23 each, which is ok, except that Copper Card and season pass holders can buy up to four tickets a day for $19. So I just snagged the nearest person with a pass and had them buy my lift ticket. The lesson learned is that the two-for-ones from the Expo may not really be that much of a bargain.

I saw snow guns blowing everywhere last weekend, the ski areas are working furiously to get ready for the Christmas holidays. The terrain is already good and it's getting better every day. I think everyone who comes for Christmas this year will have a very fine time. Seeing the lights twinkling in Breckenridge after dark and hearing Christmas carols on Main Street is quite charming.

Favorite Person of the Week

This week my favorite person is actually a combined image of the many, many expert skiers I saw on Monday at Vail. Picture a man of about fifty or sixty years who skis like an absolute demon. All I can say is that I got schooled by the old school and I have to give respect where it's due. I am again convinced that Vail is not just about money; it's about skills. I hope I don't have to wait twenty years to ski that well.

News & Real Deals

I still talk to people all the time that think skiing and snowboarding is just too expensive. I'm afraid they just don't understand how much times have changed. There is always a bargain to be found and it's never necessary to pay full price. I do my best to cover the deals that I encounter when I write this report, but I encourage all of you to tell your neighbors, coworkers, and friends that skiing in Colorado is fun and affordable. If you want to do a really good deed, get a never-ever up the hill and into a lesson. Help them with equipment. Be nurturing.

It is time to get up early in the morning to avoid the rush on I-70. You should plan to be at the Morrison Exit by 7:00 if you want a smooth ride up the hill. Also, when you leave in the afternoon, don't stay and shut down the lifts - plan to do your last run between 2:00 and 2:30. If you go to Breckenridge, you can ski all the way down to the Miner's free parking lot at the end of the day if you follow Four O'Clock run. Then you don't have to wait in line for the buses. If you plan to do this you should try to park at the far southern end of the lot, near the 1st Bank.

Don't forget to check the weather before you head out: http://www.hmsweather.com/Snowcast1.htm. It's all good news and you can learn about solar flares affecting our snow as well.

The best deal around right now is a four-day pass to Copper Mountain for $50.00. Pick it up at King Soopers before December 22.

We stayed at the Snowshoe Inn in Frisco last weekend for $55.00 per night and will do the same this coming weekend. It's a really great central location and the rooms are clean and nice. They also take pets in some of the rooms. The owners are Polish immigrants with a great sense of humor and good cheer. Beautiful daughters too.

I can't put snow tires on my 17" rims, so I have to buy a set of rims along with tires this week. I always go to Discount Tire - they have the best prices and great employees as well.

I like to read about other people that love the snow as much as I do. Here's a story that I really enjoyed: http://www.denverpost.com/skisnow/ski1208a.htm. It's about Aspen Highlands, which I will visit for the first time this year.

Winter Park is having a free snowboard demo day this Saturday with many companies represented. You need to be over 18 and bring a credit card to participate.

Beaver Creek is opening all their terrain on Saturday. They are also running a special where you purchase a night of lodging and a lift ticket and you get another night and another lift ticket free. I think this would make a perfect romantic getaway weekend if you want to surprise your significant other with an early Christmas present.

If you don't have a pass for Vail, you can get lift tickets for $26 at Colorado Ski and Golf. Don't show up at the window to buy a lift ticket though - they want $54.

Berthoud lift tickets are only $22 and you can print out a two-for-one coupon at their website. I'm still waiting to go because they don't have all their terrain open yet.

Copper Mountain is offering a one-bedroom condo for $89 (per person, I guess) through Christmas. I wonder if there's some sort of catch, because this deal just looks too good to be true. Salomon will be offering free ski and snowboard demos there this weekend and they have the famous 1080's and X-Scream skis as well as very good snowboards. This year they've also come out with a new integrated ski/binding system called Pilot, I think.

Loveland is opening their brand new terrain park this weekend along with more acres to ski/ride.

If you are really hungry for some powder, you might consider heading down to Wolf Creek this weekend. They are getting more than their fair share of snow. They are 100% open and the weather report calls for snow and more snow.

Next Day Out

I'll be skiing all weekend, but haven't decided where yet. There are just too many good choices.

As always, all of you are welcome to join us anytime for fun on the hill. Also, if you would like to stop receiving this email - just drop me a line. If you know anyone else that might want to get this report just send me their email and I'll add them to the list.

Miriam
...See you on the slopes...


Please don't hesitate to let me know what you think of this report. What do you like? What don't you like?

Ski Areas

Arapahoe Basin
Http://www.arapahoebasin.com/
29", 220 acres

Aspen Highlands
Http://www.skiaspen.com/
23"

Ajax
Http://www.skiaspen.com/
22"

Beaver Creek
Http://www.beavercreek.com/
35", 918 acres

Breckenridge (3)
Http://www.breckenridge.com/
24", 1096 acres

Berthoud Pass
Http://www.berthoudpass.com
43"

Buttermilk
Http://www.skiaspen.com/
20"

Copper Mountain (2)
http://www.ski-copper.com/
31", 754 acres

Loveland (1)
Http://www.skiloveland.com/
28", 300 acres

Keystone (2)
Http://www.keystoneresort.com/
25", 1626 acres

Snowmass
Http://www.skiaspen.com/
28"

Vail (1)
Http://www.vail.com/
32", 2200 acres

Winter Park/Mary Jane (2)
Http://www.skiwinterpark.com/
41"

Wolf Creek
http://www.wolfcreekski.com/welcome.html
60", 1600 acres


Colorado Ski & Golf

(303) 337-1734 2680 S Havana Street
Aurora

(303) 420-0885
6530 Wadsworth Bypass # 130
Arvada


Gart Sports

(303) 741-9621 9000 E Peakview Avenue
Englewood near Arapahoe Rd & I25

(303) 220-9933
2690 E County Line Road
Littleton

(303) 692-0121
2496 S Colorado Boulevard
Denver

(303) 340-3524
14401 E Exposition Avenue
Aurora

(303) 341-4305
14200 E Alameda Avenue
Aurora

(303) 333-4123
3000 E 1st Avenue # 123
Denver

(303) 333-1933
233 Milwaukee St
Denver

(303) 933-9005
8055 W Bowles Avenue # 4
Littleton

(303) 972-0350
8501 W Bowles Avenue
Littleton

(303) 861-1122
1001 Lincoln Street
Denver (Sports Castle)

(303) 922-5549
7200 W Alameda Avenue
Lakewood

(303) 431-8537
7400 W 52nd Avenue # A
Arvada

(303) 920-2226
251 W 104th Avenue
Denver


Christy Sports

(303) 708-8535 9609 E County Line Road # A
Englewood

(303) 740-7055
5926 S Holly Street
Englewood

(303) 321-3885
201 University Boulevard
Denver

(303) 972-0432
8176 W Bowles Avenue
Littleton

(303) 237-6321
875 Parfet St
Lakewood

(303) 271-0155
14371 W Colfax Avenue
Golden
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