Skiing

Whenever someone hears you have moved to Colorado or just come to visit, "skiing" is likely to be one of the first words you hear come out of their mouths.  Let me just say that it is certainly true that you will find some of the best skiing in the world here, and if that is what you do now wherever you live, you will have plenty of opportunities to do it here as well.
Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs
Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

Indeed, I have been skiing here a couple of times.  I skiied almost every day one winter while I was in college, and at various other times as well.  Skiing, however, is not what most people who live here think about.  If they do ski, it likely will not be at the places you have heard the most about like Vail and Aspen.  Those places are relatively far away from the front range and just too crowded, too expensive and too much trouble to get to.  The locals are much more likely to ski at places like Cooper Mountain in Leadville, or at the other Copper Mountain.  If they want to splurge or impress the visitor, Keystone is fairly accessible.  If they make the trek to Vail or, God forbid, Telluride (I skiied there once and it was fabulous, but it takes a day to get there and a day to return), be sure to thank them, because it is a subtle way of honoring you.

Telluride, incidentally, is great.  They have a nice bar by the slopes so you can wander in, get a beer, and then wander out and ski some more.  The best thing about Telluride, though, is the quaint little town, which has been used in numerous films about the Old West.  Spend a little time wandering around and soak up the atmosphere, you'll remember it more than you will the skiing.

One tip you should know is that it is a common practical joke to suggest to a visitor that they try the "easy slope."  They then will direct you to a nice, easy Black Diamond run.  Unless you are an expert, don't fall for it.  Those are for experts, or at least intermediate skiiers with local experience.  Do yourself a favor and find a truly easy hill to start off and work up from there.  A lot of injuries are caused by visitors not taking the time to work their way up to the more challenging slopes, the ones the locals find "interesting."  Also, remember the old adage about not indulging in "one more run."  The altitude and other factors will affect you more than you realize, don't try to prolong your day of skiing just because the sun is still shining.  When you're don, finish and leave, all of these slopes have plenty of attractions down at the lodge to keep you busy for the rest of the day.

Another tip is that nobody here pays full price.  Find a coupon of some kind.  They usually have them in the supermarket, or there are ways to find them online.  Most people out here squeak by on a government salary or minimum wage, they don't have the resources for $75 lift tickets, and you shouldn't spend that much, either.

There's plenty to do and see in Colorado.  Unless skiing is your mission in life, a day or two doing that here is plenty.

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