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Jan

2

Eldora, CO

Acres: 680 | Vertical: 1,600’ | Snowfall: 300”

Overview: Only 35 minutes from downtown Boulder, without “Eldo” there would be far fewer skiers on Colorado’s northern Front Range. A local’s hill since 1962, the place languished in recent decades under management that not only refused to invest substantially in the hill, but also actively picked fights with Nordic skiers, uphillers, race teams, county commissioners, and environmentalists. Worse still? The bathrooms looked like they’d been maintained by graduates of the Isis School of Hygiene. Entering its second season under new owners—the resort operations specialists at Powdr—Eldo feels all new. But it’s still a beloved local hill with ample beginner and intermediate terrain for its size, and some of the steepest inbounds tree skiing in Colorado on the extreme terrain—really just legit expert—of West Ridge.

What’s New: Last year brought three new cut expert runs off the Corona Chair, a Woodward terrain park, uphill access for ski tourers, upgrades to snowmaking and grooming, and a generally more welcoming vibe. This year the Alpenglow high speed detachable six seater replaces two parallel fixed grip relics that had been cobbled together from parts by three lift manufacturers. Those lifts were so slow and independable that, on powder days, hardened skiers were brought to the verge of tears. The new lift cuts the ride time from 14 minutes to 4.5, and it’s heavy enough to all but eliminate the frequent wind holds of the old cluster. Also, new bathrooms.

Local’s Take: Here’s the plan my son and I live by on powder mornings. First, get up early. By 8:30 a.m. a metro bus driver will skid his or her rig sideways in the canyon and you will be bumming. Next, grab first chair or at least top 20—Eldo powder days draw a lot of rippers. And finally, from the terminus of the new six-pack, skate hard across the flats to Muleshoe to rip fresh snow on top of a groomed man-made surface. Keep lapping the Corona chair until patrol readies the rope drop on West Ridge. Now you’re on your own. eldora.com  —Marc Peruzzi

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