Yes, Colorado is in the midst of one of the slowest starts to the ski season since the Great Depression. But that does not mean there’s no skiing to be had—and it’s surprisingly decent up there.
We know. You hate the “white ribbon of death.” But here’s the thing: Early season skiing is not as bad as you seem to think. Case in point, we hit up Eldora, which opened Friday, over the weekend. Fully prepared for ice and yahoos, we were pleasantly surprised to find some soft snow and reveled in our first turns of this slow-starting season. That’s not to say there were not some slick spots and boneheads sliding down butt-first, but keep your cool, stick to the spots with some soft stuff and it was a good day to be dancing down the mountain on the two open runs.
Since there has ben very little natural snow, a big reason why the snow was decent up at Eldora is the resort’s outstanding snowmaking team. Watch this video (which won SAM’s 2021 I Am a Snowmaker contest) to get a feel for the work this team puts in every season.
Now for a caveat. It is early season. There are hard patches of snow and there are morons out there (though Eldora did an outstanding job of positioning patrollers in spots where things could get out of control). Be safe.
You need to learn to make the most of these conditions on the bare days. Enjoy the drive up. Make a good Spotify playlist. Spend an hour or two getting your legs underneath you in decent weather. You can sleep late and won’t have to worry about fighting for a parking space. Order a mocha for the drive down (we stopped at our favorite Nederland cafe, Salto Coffee Works). You are blessed and, yeah, privileged to live this life. Enjoy it slow, without all the aggression of a powder day. It’s skiing. See you up there.
Photos courtesy Eldora / Cullen McHale