BEAUTIFUL BEAVER CREEK
by Paul Maraschiello

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I had heard a lot about Beaver Creek but had never skied there. I was looking forward to skiing at this legendary ski area As I drove up from Leadville. When I got there, I was struck by the beauty of this ski resort. I parked in the parking lot and rode the shuttle bus to the village. After I got my ticket, I rode up the escalator (yes, I said ESCALATOR) in the village to the slopes. The village is built into the side of the mountain, hence the unique conveyance.



I took the Centennial Chair up the mountain and skied down under the chair to warm up. On the next run, I rode the same chair and skied over to the Cinch Chair to ride up to the top. Then I began to explore the mountain. There were plenty of pine trees all over the mountain and I was really impressed by all the long runs. I had a chance to ski down the Birds of Prey Downhill Course and rode that chair back to the top. Where I took a run down Goshawk. I spent the morning exploring trails like Peregrine, Golden Eagle, Zoom Room.



I had lunch at the Rocks Modern Grill and sat with a bunch of ski bums from South Africa but due to camera failure, photos of them are not available. (All photos are courtesy of Beaver Creek Resort) These were some really nice friendly kids.



Stats
After lunch, I was back on the hill exploring glades and trails. The summit elevation is 1,440 ft. With a vertical rise of 4,040 ft. There are 148 trails serviced by 16 lifts. They rate 19% as Novice with 43% rated as intermediate and 38% rated as expert trails. They have two bowls (Rose Bowl and Larkspur Bowl) with 1,805 acres of skiable terrain. Although the longest run is only 2 miles, I swear you can ski a lot further than that by exploring the trails all the way down from the summit.



There are three terrain parks and a Superpipe that are open to skier and riders. Park 101 is a small park, featuring rollers, dots and other terrain features that will allow lower level skiers/riders of all ages to learn weighting and unweighting of boards and skis. Zoom Room is a progressive small to medium park providing the necessary terrain for aspiring park skiers and riders to progress further in their skills. Moonshine Terrain Park and Pipe is a medium to large park with a pipe for those aspiring to higher performance levels. The resort's Superpipe is located at the top of the intermediate Latigo run on Beaver Creek Mountain.



There was a lot of nicely groomed trails with a couple of inches of new powder on all the trails the day I was there. I have skied at a lot of different ski areas and would give Beaver Creek high marks in all areas.



There was a lot to ski at Beaver Creek and I am really sorry that I didn't get a chance to spend more time there but my biggest problem is "too many ski areas and not enough time."



I met some really nice people there including an older gentleman in the ticket office from Vienna, Virginia, the town where the Ski Bum News has its office. I am already planning to visit Beaver Creek again when I can spend a little more time at this world-class ski area. If you are in Summit County, I'd put Beaver Creek on your list of ski areas. You will NOT be disappointed, I guarantee it.



Accommodations
I drove back to the Leadville Hostel where I was staying. It only took me around 45 minutes to get back and the scenery on the drive was very pretty. The Leadville Hostel is one of the best lodging bargains in Colorado. With bunkroom beds for $17.00 per night, this place is a STEAL. I became friendly with the owners on a previous trip and really enjoy staying there. They have one of the friendliest clientele in ski country and if you are on an economy budget, give them a call. They are close to Cooper Mt., Copper Mt. and a reasonable drive from Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, A-Basin, etc. For reservations, call: (719) 486-9334 and tell them you read about them in the Ski Bum News.

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