Beaver Creek Resort & Mountain – Skiing & Snowboarding
Beaver Creek Resort & Mountain – Skiing & Snowboarding
From the day Beaver Creek Ski first opened its slopes in December of 1980, it has represented the finest in ski resort experiences. Modeled after the fabulous slopes and quaint, luxurious mountain villages in the European Alps (think St. Moritz, Switzerland and Cortina, Italy), Beaver Creek is a beloved destination for skiers and snowboarders looking for an all-encompassing, hassle-free resort experience. Beaver Creek Mountain was built to accommodate all levels of skiers and snowboarders, and it contains some of the most diverse terrain, from early beginner to super-expert, of any Colorado Ski Resort. Let’s have a look at what makes skiing and snowboarding Beaver Creek so special.
Beaver Creek is technically a collection of 3 ski mountains altogether, including the original Beaver Creek Mountain. It also encompasses Arrowhead and Bachelor Gulch – 2 additional ski areas within the umbrella of the resort- all connected by a European-style village-to-village trail system.
Beaver Creek proper is comprised of 6 diverse mountain “zones”. The Front Side, accessible via the Centennial Chairlift from the base, drops you at the halfway point of a maze of a beautifully groomed beginner and intermediate runs. For a longer jaunt, hop on Chair 8 (Cinch Express) after Centennial to the very top. Both of these zones are notorious for delivering a predictable, smooth ride on cruiser corduroy or evenly packed powder, and many guests ski to their hearts’ content here all day. Three terrain parks dot the front side as well: one for littler rippers called Park 101 (it is just that- a safe, mellow introduction to park features), and a medium-feature park entitled the Zoom Room, both accessible via Chair 8. The third is a professional-grade park for serious freestylers, The Rodeo, complete with an expert half-pipe and easy access from the front-side slopes.
Beaver Creek boasts 2 magnificent bowls as well. Rose Bowl is a powder-seekers paradise, a well-protected nugget of gladed, steep runs that hold tight onto the mountains’ annual 325 inch snowfall. This is a peaceful oasis from lift lines (though Beaver Creek rarely sees crowds) and is a stone’s throw away from the mid-mountain point of Spruce Saddle. Once riding the Rose Bowl Express you have access to fresh-snow favorites like Ripsaw and the new Stone Creek Chutes. The smaller, mellow Larkspur Bowl is adjacent to the Red Tail lodge area, and is comprised of a wide-open field of medium-grade packed snow with a handful of short, challenging upper mogul chutes.
Also funneling into the Red Tail area are Beaver Creek’s 2 infamous expert zones: Birds of Prey and Grouse Mountain. The Birds of Prey Express lift (Chair 9) drops you at the pinnacle of a cache of challenging expert runs. The eponymous Birds of Prey downhill course is here, the site of an annual
World Cup men’s downhill reputed to be one of the most dangerous and difficult in the world. The adjacent long, steep mogul runs, Gosshawk and Peregrine, will give you an epic workout. Next door is Grouse Mountain, a labyrinth of very steep, double black diamond runs which are one of the locals’ best kept secrets on a powder day. Powder then yields to challenging moguls and undisturbed tree skiing and boarding for the ultimate ride in expert terrain. The independent lift, Grouse Mountain Express that services this mountain is quick and efficient, allowing you to do multiple laps in a short period of time.
Skate over a skier bridge from to the West to access the Strawberry Park lift. Ski Strawberry Park’s stash of black diamond runs (also accessible from the Larkspur Bowl) or use this as a launching point for Beaver Creek’s village-to-village riding experience. Strawberry Park connects to Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead- small, manageable intermediate terrain that is perfectly kept by Beaver Creek’s impeccable grooming equipment. Arrowhead is a cherished local treasure as it has the feel of a small family mountain; one lift services these runs, and the lively, spacious base area is a favorite for an après-ski beer in the sun while enjoying live music. Several beginner and intermediate runs direct you back toward this base, making it easy for groups to reconnect throughout the day. Bachelor Gulch is between Beaver Creek and Arrowhead, and is the epitome of a luxury skiing experience. Serviced by one spectacular base area and peppered with the eye candy of exquisite mountain homes as well as the fabulous Ritz Carlton at its base, Bachelor Gulch is lovely and luxurious in every way. The skiing is not too shabby either, as these slopes are meticulously groomed to provide a smooth-as-silk cruising experience.
Forbes Magazine recently named Beaver Creek Ski Resort the number one top ski resort for families in the U.S. Beaver Creek is a clear winner with a sizeable ski area for children and the fresh made complimentary chocolate chip cookies served on the slopes daily at 3pm. It’s easy to see why Beaver Creek is the leading ski resort in COlorado.
Beaver Creek Mountain Snapshot
|Season||November 23, 2016 – April 16, 2017|
|Hours of Operation||8:30/9:00am – 3:30/4:00pm|
|Base Elevation||8,100 ft. / 2,469 m|
|Summit Elevation||11,440 ft. / 3,488 m|
|Vertical Rise||3,340 ft. / 1,231 m|
|Number of Trails||150|
|Number of Lifts||24|
|Total Uphill Capacity/hour||44,264skiers/hour|
|Average Annual Snowfall||325 inches / 787 cm|
|Total Skiable Area||1,832 acres|