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Traveler's Ski Report: Copper Mountain, Colorado

See what's new at this popular Colorado resort, where you can now buy secret upgrade passes to cut the line.

The specific promotions described in this article have now passed, but it remains online so that the resources named will be of future use to travelers.


Just 75 miles west -- and nearly a mile above -- the Mile High City, Copper Mountain (tel. 888/395-0048; is the prototypical Colorado resort, with great access to the interstate and Denver International Airport, plenty of top-notch terrain for every skill level, and everything you need in the self-contained village set at the eastern foot of Vail Pass.

Nuts and Bolts: The resort's artful series of peaks and basins provide a picture-perfect place to turn one's tips and boards. While on the steep side of the spectrum, the resort has plenty of mellow greens and blues for cruising. Copper Mountain also received an epic blast of feathery early-season powder earlier this week that tallied well over a foot. Also look for such perks as free snowcat access (on select days), a public race arena, and some of the best terrain parks anywhere.

What's New: Quite a bit. Utah-based Powdr Corp, the owner of Park City Mountain Resort, Mt. Bachelor, and Killington Resort, bought Copper from Intrawest last season and put money into a variety of off-season improvements: There's a new year-round 22-foot Superpipe for this season, as well as a kiddie area with forts and hideouts, not to mention $6 million in investments in snowmaking, parking, and other amenities. Also new in 2010-11 is the Secret Pass, a $20 daily upgrade on lift tickets that allows bearers to jump in exclusive lift lines that shave down the wait on busy days.

Debuting last year, Woodward at Copper is a one-of-a-kind year-round facility where aspiring shredders of all ages can try out the latest tricks on trampolines and indoor jumps made of Snowflex synthetic snow with cushy foam pits below. Open since February 2009, the facility is a favorite of both amateurs and professionals, described as the "raddest place on the planet" by Director Ben Brown, noting that customers range in age from 5 to 70.

With an electric guitar and graffiti, skateboarding bowls, and rock and roll on the P.A., Woodward is definitely where the cool kids hang out. It's also where they learn the latest tricks and hone them to perfection via repetition in a controlled environment. The place is an outgrowth of the extreme sports camps in the east, offers classes and drop-in sessions as well as snow on the mountain year-round. After an introductory "One Hit Wonder" ($59) to get up to speed on the features, two-hour drop-in sessions are $30. A full day split between Woodward and the hill is $169, lunch and lift ticket included. In summer, the Barn (yes, it looks like a barn) is dominated by teenagers in weeklong camps.

Ski Deals: The resort is offering three nights of lodging for the price of two in a package that also includes lift tickets and the aforementioned Secret Passes. It starts at $74 per person per night (kids 12 and under stay and ski free) but must be booked by Dec. 5. The resort is also offering four-packs of non-transferable lift tickets with no blackout dates for $139. Check here for a roundup of Copper's latest and greatest deals.

Quotable: "It used to be the huck-and-hope method. Kids would just huck themselves down the hill and hope they landed the trick. Here we offer a nice and safe place to practice." -- Ben Brown, director of Woodward at Copper