A cracking day in Copper Mountain

10th February 2015, by Dave Watts

Boards at the top of major lifts show which trails were groomed last night – a great idea

Boards at the top of major lifts show which trails were groomed last night – a great idea

After spring conditions in Steamboat we found great groomed trails with mainly packed powder in Copper Mountain this week. Temperatures still unseasonably warm but the difference is explained by Copper’s high altitude (slopes mainly above 3000m) compared with Steamboat (slopes mainly between 2100m and 3000m) and the fact that most of the trails on its front face are north-facing and so do not suffer from sun damage.

The groomed trails were much nicer than the ungroomed and it was very useful that boards at the top of main lifts showed which runs had been groomed last night – why can’t European resorts use this system too?

Copper is also famous for its ungroomed back bowls. We tried Copper and Spaulding Bowls but the snow in both was sun damaged – not surprising at these mild temperatures with the slopes facing predominantly south or west, getting the full force of the afternoon sun.

The village at Copper is entirely purpose-built and was expanded by Canadian ski resort developer Intrawest (which developed Whistler) before it hit financial problems a few years ago. It is still small and has no hotels, only apartments (condos in US-speak). Although there are East and West villages, the place to stay is Center Village where nearly all the bars, restaurants and shops are – plus a big outdoor ice rink.

Copper is very proud of its indoor ‘Woodward’ centre where you can learn freestyle jumps and tricks in safety – under the control of coaches and with huge pits of soft foam blocks to land in (those I saw jump nearly disappeared under the foam). The idea is to progress from there to Copper’s famous super-pipe and terrain park, which hold major competitions that competitors worldwide attend and GB’s own James (Woodsy) Woods won an Olympic qualifying event a couple of years back.



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