Colorado The Other Colorado

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by bamaman, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

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    Location:
    North Alabama
    Me:- 57 years old, just retired from managing my company, an advanced intermediate. Been coming out to Summit County (from Alabama) for the last 6 years for 1-3 weeks every winter. This year, I decided I wanted to do something different. So, I'm hitting up places I've never been including some of the GEMS of Colorado.

    Day 1 ((Monday, Jan 14) - Sat in dentist's chair for 2 1/2 hours getting a crown. Left Huntsville, AL at 11:30 am CDT driving my F150 4WD supercab and made it as far as a rest stop just before Salina, KS at 11:30 pm. Didn't feel like spending money on hotel to just be unconscious, so just wrapped myself up in the down sleeping bag and slept in the back seat. Got a GOOD 7 hours sleep.

    Day 2 (Tuesday, Jan 15) - Made it to Silverthorne, CO about 3:00 pm and checked into Luxury Inn and Suites for $99 night. Nice hotel with great indoor hot tub and pool.

    Day 3 (Wednesday, Jan 16) - Went to Ski Cooper just north of Leadville, CO. Nice local mountain with 2 non-high speed lifts. Terrain isn't steep, but 2-3 inches of soft on top made some great carving runs. This is a great place to learn or to have just an easy day. It was definitely uncrowded. But I don't think it's steep enough to enjoy good powder here. Was a good place to warm up for the trip though. Lift ticket was $56. Left Ski Cooper and went to Glenwood Springs and stayed the night at Glenwood Springs Cedar Lodge for $60. Was a nice clean room and the property had a great indoor hot tub and heated pool.

    Day 4 - (Thursday, Jan 17) - Went to Sunlight Mountain just outside of Glenwood Springs. This place had awesome terrain for every ability level. There are no bowls, but 2000' vertical and NOBODY here (< 75 cars in the parking lot). Lots of groomed trails, bumps, and tree skiing. Was a bluebird day and views are amazing. Lift ticket is a reasonable $65. Was VERY pleased with this mountain and wondered why there aren't more people skiing here. This truly is a Colorado GEM. They boast that powder lasts for days as there are no crowds and this seems to be true. While skiing, found out that they have a bed and breakfast right at the base. Got a room for $80 night spur of the moment. Started snowing around 3:00 pm and they are expecting 6-12" by Friday afternoon.
     
    KansasTraverse, karlo, Slim and 18 others like this.
  2. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Location:
    Colorado
    Ssshhhhhhhhhhhhh
     
  3. raisingarizona

    raisingarizona Getting off the lift Skier

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  4. UGASkiDawg

    UGASkiDawg AKA David Pugski Ski Tester

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    Location:
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    IMAG0174-1.jpg
    Yes what happens at Sunlight stays at Sunlight. I guess with only 75 cars they weren't running the shuttle. You need to ride that:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  5. Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    Location:
    Northern Colorado

    I rode that SOB. I think @SBrown had a short video. Good stuff. The bar at Sunlight has a nice après feel.
     
    coskigirl and SkiNurse like this.


  6. UGASkiDawg

    UGASkiDawg AKA David Pugski Ski Tester

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    I asked if I could drive it....bastard said no
     
  7. UGASkiDawg

    UGASkiDawg AKA David Pugski Ski Tester

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    Oh and if you liked Sunlight then you are going love Powderhorn but you will need to step up your tree skiing chops a little to get the full Monty. Have fun and post more!
     
  8. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  9. Bad Bob

    Bad Bob old n' slow Skier

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    Location:
    Home with 'Children of the Sun' in the PNW
    You got a good winter for this safari.
     
  10. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    You can get a cheaper Sunlight lift ticket on Travelzoo.
     
  11. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Ok, what about "sssshhhhhhhhh" do you not understand?!?

    :P
     
  12. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Well, $45 for a mountain with lots of flat terrain isn't such a big deal.
     
  13. Thread Starter
    TS
    bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

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    Pics from Ski Cooper, Sunlight:

    Ski Cooper - Going up lift and shot of snow coming down.
    Ski Cooper - Going Up Lift.JPG

    Ski Cooper - Snow.JPG

    Sunlight Mountain:

    Sunlight1.JPG
    Sunlight2.JPG
    Sunlight3.JPG
     
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  14. Thread Starter
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    bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

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    Olaf, the dog that co-ran the Bed & Breakfast lodge at the base of Sunlight. Jason is a great host and price VERY reasonable $80. Nice lounge area, some old arcade video games and old time pinball machines.
    Olaf.JPG
     
  15. VickieH

    VickieH Out on the slopes Skier

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    Location:
    Denver area
    I've wanted to buy the Gems card and check out the smaller places. Knew it offered BOGO, but didn't realize until just now that it offers 30% off a single ticket. Looking forward to your scouting report.
     
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  16. Thread Starter
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    bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

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    A cool bridge I crossed on road from Ski Cooper back up to I-70.
    bridge.JPG
     
    karlo, Doug Briggs, Coach13 and 7 others like this.
  17. Jim Kenney

    Jim Kenney Travel Correspondent Industry Insider Team Gathermeister

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    Yes! If I'm not mistaken that is the bridge outside Red Cliff, CO.
     
    Doug Briggs likes this.
  18. Thread Starter
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    bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

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    Yep. That's it ogsmile
     
  19. Thread Starter
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    bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

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    Location:
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    Continuation of Trip

    Day 5 - (Friday, Jan 18) - Travel day. Woke up to powder at Sunlight, but a sore back. I struggle in powder and didn't want to chance hurting my back worse (I've been known to have back issues). So I skipped skiing. I packed light and had to get some laundry done, so I headed into Glenwood Springs and found a laundromat. Then hit the road out to Powderhorn. Pics along the way:

    Heading out I-70 westbound not too far west of Glenwood Springs

    Westbound I-70 heading West out of Glenwood Springs.JPG


    Exited onto Hwy 65. This is a beautiful winding drive (below) between some pure rock canyons.

    Hwy 65 on way to Powderhorn.2JPG.JPG

    Picture of Powderhorn heading up mountain.

    Powderhorn1.JPG
     
    karlo, Snowfan and UGASkiDawg like this.
  20. Thread Starter
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    bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
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    Location:
    North Alabama
    Day 6 - (January 19) - Ski day at Powderhorn. Stayed the night before at the motel right there on the mountain. So I was literally 20 yards from the Flat Top Flyer Lift.

    Flat Top Flyer.JPG

    Got a lift ticket for 20% off (because of the lodging) so it was around $50. Many locals said it was the most crowded day they've seen in over 3 years. Lift lines were 5 minutes, which apparently is "crowded" for Powderhorn. It was the Saturday after powder and was the MLK weekend. To me, it was no crowded than many other CO Summit County resorts on a weekday. So, I was fine with it. Went hard the whole day and enjoyed the groomers plus challenging myself on some bumps to the left of the Flat Top Lift (looking uphill). Was interesting that many of the glades were closed with signs that said "low snow". Although, it looked plenty deep to me. But I guess they know best. Pictures below:

    Powderhorn Run.JPG

    Views of the valley are awesome. Right after sunset.

    MesaValley.JPG

    Drove down to Mesa's little convenience store and took this picture of the moon over the mountain (mountains blurry).

    moonlight.JPG
     
    karlo, MattSmith, New2 and 5 others like this.

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