Colorado is America’s mountain epicentre. Here are three beauties near Denver not called Vail or Aspen.
A classic hill, and a classic town. The town was founded in 1859 in a gold rush; the ski hill opened just over a century later in December, 1961. Breckenridge has maintained its ambience as it has grown into a major destination resort. There’s tons of skiing for families and even more acres for black diamond/double-black types.
Opened near the Continental Divide the year after the Second World War, A-Basin – self-billed as “The Legend” – began with a single rope tow, $1.25 daily lift tickets and 1,200 skier visits. The double-blacks off the 3,978-metre (13,050-foot) summit are indeed legend and more double-blacks have been added in the Montezuma Bowl, opened four winters ago. The A-frame lodge was once used as a base for military missile testing.
Once home to a ski resort, the mountain pass on the Continental Divide is now a destination for backcountry skiers who earn their turns. The lodge is long gone and favourite ski runs include colourfully named Skull Bite, Floral Park and Hell’s Half Acre. Berthoud Pass is about 25 kilometres north on Highway 40 from the I-70, the turn coming about 25 kilometres before the Eisenhower tunnel.