Acres: 1,832 | Vertical: 3,340’ | Snowfall: 323” | beavercreek.com
Beaver Creek claims to be all about luxury, but in addition to white-glove service, this compact resort is also a trove of steeps, trees, and chutes. Better yet, they get a tenth of the crowds of Vail and Breck. “There’s a tremendous amount of challenging terrain here,” says Chris Romer, longtime Eagle/Vail resident. “But that’s not necessarily what people think about when they think of Beaver Creek.”
Can’t-Miss Run: Burn your quads on the Royal Elk Glade and Stone Creek Chutes—all while sharing the slopes with only a handful of others.
Resort Bite: The décor is European alpine and so is the trademark Kasseler Rippchen casserole (shaved smoked pork loin, sauerkraut, home fries, and baked apples), but you can still find some continental favorites at the on-mountain Talons Restaurant, like pulled pork, smoked (onsite) Buffalo chicken wings, and chili.
Stay an Extra Day: Speed demons will thrive in the annual “Talons Challenge,” held in January. Participants try to ski over 26,000 vertical feet of black and double black diamonds on 14 runs in a single day. Part of the challenge covers the famous Birds of Prey downhill course, considered one of the most difficult in the world with a 2,483-foot vertical drop and a pitch that tips up to 45 percent in spots. —Rachel Walker
From the Early Winter 2016 issue.