I’ve been snowboarding and skiing at several ski resorts in Colorado this winter.
Sport has many advantages, but it also has many disadvantages.
The two biggest disappointments I experienced on the slopes this year were congestion and cost.
Nothing beats the feeling of cold snow hitting your face while snowboarding down a mountain.
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I’m not the only one who loves the thrill that skiing and snowboarding offer. In fact, The Colorado Sun reports that more than 14 million people spent time on the state’s slopes last year.
sauce: Colorado Sun
Skiing and snowboarding draw a lot of people, and for good reason. It’s a way to stay active, take in the impressive mountain scenery, and spend time with friends during the cold winter months.
There are many benefits to skiing in Colorado, but there are also many disappointments on the slopes.
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The biggest disappointment, in my opinion, is the large crowd.
Those crowds affect the trip before it even begins. I’ve heard of a friend who sets an alarm five hours before the lifts start operating on most of Colorado’s mountains – at 4am to avoid weekend traffic jams.
read more: I was one of the first to arrive at a Colorado ski resort this season on Amtrak’s Winter Park Express. Here it is like that.
The earliest I woke up for snowboarding this season was 5:30am. Also, even with an early morning start, we were stuck in traffic.
Furthermore, these early mornings do not guarantee optimal parking. I once parked at the resort and found the nearest parking lot already full.
Luckily all the resorts I visited had free parking. The downside is it’s location away from the slopes, so we relied on the shuttle bus to get to the mountains.
While I would have appreciated the free shuttle, I did experience large, unorganized crowds waiting to be pushed onto the bus.
With so many people on board, the bus felt like a can of sardines. Unwanted elbows pushed forward, slipping through strangers to reach slopes.
We experienced everything from short 5 minute shuttles to long 20 minute shuttles, depending on traffic. At one point, my group even decided that it would be quicker to walk than get stuck in traffic on the shuttle bus.
Once we got to the mountain we waited up to 20 minutes for the lift. Some resorts, such as Winter Park, have apps that allow skiers to check lift lines. To me, it felt reminiscent of visiting a crowded theme park like Disney World.
In a statement sent to insiders, a representative for Winter Park Resort said, “There are many variables as to how long you will or will not wait to get on the lift.”
Other times, I headed behind a single rider line, hoping it would move faster than it looked.
Back at the resort, ski racks don’t always have space to store snowboards for rest. So I left my gear littered on the ground.
During these breaks, I encountered my fair share of long toilet lines.
I also struggled to find open tables for lunch in restaurants and cafeterias.
But it’s not just the crowds that disappoint skiing and snowboarding. It’s also a cost, as lift tickets, gear rentals, and food purchases quickly add up.
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According to 9News in Denver, same-day lift tickets hover around $200 at many resorts in Colorado. According to The Points Guy, his passes for the Epic and Ikon seasons, which offer riders access to multiple mountains, ranged from $670 to $1,229 for him this winter.
Rental gear can also be expensive. We rented boots and snowboards for $84 from the official Winter Park Resort rental shop. In a statement sent to Insiders, a representative said, “Our equipment rental prices are competitive with other resorts in Colorado.”
The cost doesn’t stop there. We didn’t have a packed lunch and were forced to pay the resort fee. In one case, after tax and tip, the burger cost him nearly $40.
On another occasion, I paid $20 for three mushroom tacos. A representative for Winter Park said, “Like other dining options, Winter Park Resort has had to adjust prices to accommodate the current economic climate.”
After hitting the slopes six times this winter, I’ve learned to expect crowds and expense. But we’ve also picked up a few tricks to avoid those disappointments.
Independent ski resorts not included in your Ikon or Epic pass often offer cheaper lift tickets. For example, Arapahoe Ski Basin sells lift tickets starting at $89, according to the resort’s website.
sauce: Arapahoe Ski Basin
It is also said that you can avoid road rage if you ski on weekdays instead of weekends.
Getting elbows off the bus and overpaying for tacos can be frustrating, but being one of the 14 million people who want to hit Colorado’s impressive slopes I am grateful to
For future trips, I plan to explore privately owned ski resorts, pack PB&Js, and stay positive when the traffic drops.
Read the original article at insider