The TSJ Roadtrip: Early Season Colorado

The Shadow Junkie December 23, 2009 2

[singlepic id=31 w=320 h=240 float=right]The nice part about riding in -35 degree weather is that there are no crowds. In mid-December, The TSJ team loaded up the car for an early season roadtrip to Colorado. We stopped by A-Basin, Loveland, Copper, and Winter Park. Would have taken more photos except the extreme cold weather kept freezing up our trusty camera.

We based ourselves out of centrally located Frisco on I-70. Not much of a night life, but it’s less than a 30 minute drive to six different ski areas. And if you need a party, Breckenridge is just a few miles away. Hop onto the free Summit Stage and avoid the heavily patrolled road.

The first two stops, A-Basin and Loveland, tested our cold weather hardiness with those cold Summit County winds keeping temps well below -20.  They both had limited terrain open, mostly blue groomers with a lovely three inches of powder covering them.

Winter Park had the most terrain open this early in the season. We spent the day cruising groomers although the trees were tempting. And finally at Copper, we were lucky enough to be first in line for a few rope drops leaving us hungry for more powder.

Winter 2010 029

Here are a few tips from our Summit County sojurn:

Best Lift Ticket Deal: We picked up a couple on-sale Descente Jackets for the season which provide an insane amount of free tickets — and three resorts which are less than an hour from Denver.

Best Runner Up Ticket Deal: The Colorado Gem Card. Our favorite $10 deal period. When we ran out of free tickets, this card got us 2 for 1 at Loveland Basin.

Best Lodging Deal: The cheapest one star motel in Summit County runs around $60. On a weekday. That’s why we swear by Priceline where we came across an astounding $35 Ramada Limited. The rooms, while tiny, come with free Internet and free breakfast.

Best Summit County Perk: The Summit Stage is a free bus takes you just about anywhere you want to go. It runs to all the mountains and goes late enough to get your fill of the bars.

Best Apres-Ski: The Dillon Dam Brewery. $2.50 pints of apps and huge 1/2 price appetizers (or what we call “splurging on a big dinner”)

Best $2 Dinner: That would be Ollie’s Pub & Grub in Frisco. Wednesday night is burger night. Buy a beer, get a $2.00 burger. Fixins are extra — one of our burgers ended up costing a whopping $4 bucks.

For the Return Trip: Stock up on Vitamin Water. Why? Because 10 of these will get you a 10 midweek voucher to Winter Park or Copper.

Click on this photo for full size


  1. Dick Val December 28, 2009 at 9:21 am -

    Nice work on CO trip.

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